ISSUES: Sesame Street, loan forgiveness and more


Editorial Board

A lot of stuff happened this week.

Really though, there were quite a few topics the Editorial Board had to choose from this week and, well, we’re not always a decisive group.

So, instead of choosing one issue to discuss, we chose our top five topics for the week, offering our opinions on each.

ISSUE: Senator afraid of “Sesame Street’ 

On Nov. 6, the infamous yellow Muppet, Big Bird, tweeted out “I got the COVID-19 vaccine today!” to which Ted Cruz quote-tweeted, “Government propaganda … for your 5 year old!” Now, there are many things that can be said about a prominent political figure talking to an eight-foot two-inch tall anthropomorphic bird through a tweet on Twitter (ironically), but the biggest thing to take out of this is that “Sesame Street” has always had political roots and has always promoted vaccines.

Since the show’s beginning, “Sesame Street” has been rooted in eliminating poverty and racial injustice. It premiered on public broadcasting in 1969 and has remained on public broadcasting since.  

Joan Ganz Cooney, the creator of “Sesame Street,” has worked with a board of experts called the “Sesame Workshop” in order to curate the show to young, diverse audiences. This board includes experts of education, child development, psychology, medicine, social sciences and arts.

This board of experts advised in 1972 to do an episode on the Measles vaccination so children would be less scared of life-saving shots. All the same, in 2021 the show released a special titled “The ABCs of COVID Vaccines” which premiered Nov. 6.

Ted Cruz can quote-tweet Big Bird any time of the day, but it won’t stop outlets like “Saturday Night Live” from making fun of the senator for being afraid of a giant six-year-old bird’s wokeness.


ISSUE: The disappointing last play of the USD football game 

Last Saturday, the USD Coyotes beat the Jackrabbits on a last-second Hail Mary touchdown pass to win the game 23-20.

The Jacks had the ball, up three with less than two minutes left. All they needed to do was run out the clock. And they almost did. On what appeared to be the game’s final play, Chris Oladokun threw a pass high and out of bounds on fourth down, hoping to drain the final seven seconds of the game. But one second remained, USD got the ball, and the rest is history.

The biggest reason why SDSU lost that game is because they had a poor execution at the end.

First of all, USD should have never gotten the ball back. That Oladokun play was supposed to last more than six seconds. Coach John Stiegelmeier said that the offense practiced that play and it lasts 8-9 seconds with good protection. And there’s the first mistake. The protection on that play broke too early and Oladokun had to throw it earlier than he wanted. Oladokun also should’ve thrown the ball higher to drain more time off the clock. But those things didn’t happen. Now USD has a chance, 57 yards away from the end zone. All the Jackrabbit secondary has to do now is bat down the pass and the game’s over. USD quarterback Carson Camp’s pass traveled to about the one yard line. And instead of batting down the pass like you’re supposed to do in that situation, the two SDSU defenders going for the ball, appeared to be trying to intercept the pass. As a result, the ball tipped into the air, USD’s Jeremiah Webb came down with it, and USD walked off a winner..


ISSUE: Biden announces new loan forgiveness guidelines

The Biden administration announced that the qualifications for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) have been loosened. Just last week it was confirmed that $715 million in student loan forgiveness through PSLF had been finalized and $1.2 billion is still to come. The new expansion forgives federal student loan debt for borrowers after 10 or more years of qualifying public service employment for nonprofit and government organizations.

In the past, only direct federal student loans could qualify for forgiveness, but due to governmental issues with the PSLF program, the Biden administration announced the “Limited PSLF Waiver” program. This waiver relaxes PSLF rules so that most types of federal student loans and repayment plans can qualify for forgiveness.

Borrowers will have to submit the “Limited PSLF Waiver” by Oct. 31, 2022 to receive forgiveness.

This new program leaves college students wondering, “when will my forgiveness come in.” After all, it was Biden’s idea that every borrower should receive forgiveness. 45 million Americans carry $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. $2 billion is barely a fraction of that number but at least Biden has finally made a pin-sized dent in his campaign promise.


ISSUE: Snow leopards die from COVID-19

It was announced Nov. 12 that three of the Lincoln Children’s Zoo’s snow leopards –Everest, Makalu and Ranney–  had died because of complications of COVID-19. 

The cats had been diagnosed about a month prior, along with two Sumatran tigers, Axl and Kumar. The tigers have reportedly made a full recovery.

This isn’t the first time COVID has impacted animals as well as people. A tiger from the Bronx Zoo was reported to have had the virus back in April 2020. The Feline Cornell Health Center has reported that humans are capable of passing COVID-19 onto cats, who can then pass it onto each other, and the CDC has also ruled that some species like dogs, bats, pigs, rabbits and hamsters can be infected with the virus.

COVID-19 is still a major issue, whether we like it or not. Now that our pets are in danger of catching it, the number of reasons to avoid getting vaccinated is growing shorter and shorter.

Please, go out and get vaccinated. If not for yourself, then at least for your pets.


ISSUE: Former Sanford CEO gets almost $50 million

Recent IRS documents have come to light showing that Kelby Krabbenhoft, former CEO of Sanford Health, was paid $49.5 million by the health system after his departure last November.

Krabbenhoft stepped down after making controversial claims about mask use in an email to employees last year. In it, he claimed he didn’t need to wear a mask as a “symbolic gesture” after recovering from a case of COVID-19. These claims were dismissed by other Sanford executives.

He departed from the health system six days later, and at the time, the details of his departure as well as his severance payment, were kept under wraps.

According to Sanford, the $49 million was part of his contractually obligated retirement pay for his 24-year tenure.

The fact that Sanford wasn’t willing to disclose how much money Krabbenhoft got makes sense now, seeing as he received half a billion dollars even after putting a lot of people in danger with his claims.

Along with that, his statement made light of the hard work and sacrifices that nurses and doctors –his own employees– were making.

Whether or not this amount of money would have been a standard amount for his “retirement” before his comments, it shows that even after making such wild claims, Krabbenhoft got off relatively scott-free with such a big payout, which is something more people should probably be concerned about. 


The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.