Earthquake and Eclipse Engage Students

Neumann students have had a busy April, experiencing an earthquake and a solar eclipse all within less than a week.

By now almost everyone has talked about the earthquake and eclipse, sparking interesting conversations. Dr. James Kain, assistant professor of communication and media arts, pointed out that natural phenomena like these were not always understood.

With these two events occurring so close together, it would have frightened people in the past who did not have the same knowledge that we currently do.

With a magnitude of 4.8, the earthquake occurred around 10:25 in the morning on April 5.

While some students such as John Altomare, a senior, were startled or awoken by the earthquake, others did not feel or notice any shaking.

“I swear the earthquake is what made my room messy,” joked Anthony Kuczynski, a freshman on campus, poking fun at the small-scale shaking felt on campus.

Just a few days later, on April 8, the solar eclipse took place and could be seen all over the United States at different times.

On Sunday, the day before the eclipse, Student Affairs sent out an email to Neumann students warning that the eclipse was the next day and to not look at the sky without the special safety glasses.

“While we encourage everyone to witness this rare celestial phenomenon, safety is paramount,” said Student Affairs.

 “Witnessing the eclipse is a special experience. Not only does it connect us to each other, but it is a reminder that together we are part of a greater universe and process," said Dr. Rachel Welicky, assistant professor of biology. 

Dr. Welicky had reserved a few minutes of class time for her students to see the peak of the eclipse.

Staff and students gathered around St. John Neumann circle to watch the sight. Unfortunately, the sky was filled with clouds, so the eclipse was blocked.

Some students were not able to witness the sight during the peak of the eclipse; however, they did have the opportunity to see it within the window of time. 

More positively, the school is collecting special safety glasses so that they can be recycled for children in Latin America to use when the eclipse occurs in August 2024! To donate your glasses, place them in the drop box in the library.