What happened at Astroworld?

By: Sarah VonBerge

Image taken from: Article 5
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/crowd-pleaded-for-help-ambulance-was-stuck- what-happened-at-travis-scott-astroworld-festival-killed-8-people-including-a-14-year-old/articleshow/87 576857.cms

“I realized people were dying”, said one concert goer after the Astroworld festival while being interviewed by CNN. What was supposed to be a weekend full of music and fun, quickly turned and became the deadliest concert since 1979, on the night of November 5, 2021.

Astroworld is a music festival founded by Travis Scott and was first held in November of 2018. It consists of 2 main stages where many different artists from all different music genres preform.

On November 5th, 2021, around 9 pm, Travis Scott began his main set. There were an estimated 50,000 people attending. Around 9:30 pm, Scott brought Drake on stage, which caused the crowd to surge forward. Everyone became crushed and those who lost their balance were trampled. Scott looked at his audience confused as he watched an ambulance with its lights on drive through the crowd and then continued to perform.

The crowd was so packed that some people began suffocating and others got heat stroke. Since everyone was so crowded, the paramedics were not able to get to those who needed help, so unconscious bodies were crowd surfed in an attempt to get them to the paramedics. Attendees who were in pain themselves had to help others since no one could get in or out of the crowd.

Scott continued performing as he stared at the fans in distress below. It got to the point where fans started chanting “Stop the show,” but he still continued to perform. One fan even climbed onto the stage to tell the cameraman that people were hurt and that he needed to find a way to get the show to stop and he told them to get off.

Hundreds of people were treated on scene, 8 were pronounced dead on scene, and 25 others were taken to the hospital, 5 of which were under 18. Those pronounced dead on scene were: Danish Baig, 27; Rudy Peña, 23; Madison Dubiski, 23; Franco Patiño, 21; Jacob Jurinke, 20; John Hilgert, 14; Axel Acosta Avila, 21.

Brianna Rodriguez, 16; Bharti Shahani, 22; and Ezra Blount, 9, were pronounced dead after they died in the hospital while in medically induced comas.

Laws and policies are put in place where organizers, promoters, and performers need to stop a show if they see even 1 person in danger. Thousands were in danger, crushed together, telling Scott to stop the performance, passing out and begging to be let out of the crowd by security, but the show continued. In the past, Scott has been known to put on extremely intense and dangerous concerts.

As of November 20, 2021, $2.75 billion worth of lawsuits from 177 victims have been filed against Travis Scott.

For more information, please visit:

Should the voting age be lowered to 16?

By: Marcus Lund

Image taken from: 5th article
https://www.democraticaudit.com/2020/02/26/what-happens-when-the-voting-age-is-lowered-to- 16-a-decade-of-evidence-from-austria/

Why can’t I vote? This question has plagued many of my politically interested peers recently, especially as our political climate has begun affecting us more. Because policies affect us just as much as someone 2 years older, why shouldn’t we be able to vote on them?

Firstly, one study found that 16-year-olds are just as civically knowledgeable as older voters, especially 18-year-olds. The study found that on “measures of civic knowledge, political skills, political efficacy, and tolerance”, 16-year-olds scored much the same. Other social scientists also claim that 16-year-olds have well established “cold-cognition” skills, which are used to make hard decisions like those needed in voting.

Another pro to lowering of the voting age is the inevitable higher voter turnout. Not only would it add a higher population to the available voters, but it would also propagate lifelong voting habits. With more young voters, a “trickle up” effect could also occur, with those voters’ parents and guardians also going out to vote.

Lowering the voter age also comes with a set of undeniable cons. The first is general maturity. With two less years of knowledge and experience, many experts argue that 16-year-olds will be unequipped to make the correct decisions when voting. Younger voters’ lack of maturity also comes with a higher capacity to be influenced by others, which makes them less likely to make decisions not influenced by outside voices.

Adding to the arguments against the lowering of the voting age includes the fact that voters aged 18-19 have extremely low voter turnout. Only 15% of those eligible in that age group voted in the 2014 election. This suggests that young voters are not ready to vote until later in life.

Lowering the voting age, while an interesting proposal, has both positive and negative aspects. As young people continue to push for it, I wonder what the government will decide on the matter.

For more information, please visit:

  • “American Sixteen- and Seventeen-Year-Olds Are Ready to Vote” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
  • “Why We Should Lower the Voting Age to 16” Nytimes.com
  • “Trickle Up Political Socialization: The Impact of Kids Voting USA on Voter Turnout in Kansas” State Politics and Policy Quarterly
  • “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2014: Reported Voting and Registration, by Sex and Single Years of Age: November 2014” Census.gov