You don’t need to be a college basketball fan to be excited about what’s going on with Mount St. Mary’s. Tuesday night, the Mount’s men’s basketball team punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament with a 73-68 win over Bryant in the Northeast Conference championship.

Arriving back at campus the next day, fans and family members greeted the returning heroes after the team bus passed through Emmitsburg, complete with an escort from the Vigilant Hose Company fire crews.

The Mountaineers will have to wait until Sunday night to find out who they play in the opening round of the NCAA’s March Madness. The opponent will likely be a much bigger school with a much more impressive basketball pedigree, but there have been lots of Cinderella stories in the tournament before, so why not Mount St. Mary’s?

Want even better news? The Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball team is playing Sunday against Wagner University, with the winner gaining an automatic bid to the women’s NCAA tournament.

What a great time to be a Mountaineer!

A Goucher Poll released earlier this week confirmed something we all expected but have maybe been reluctant to say out loud — there are still a significant number of people who don’t plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The poll, which surveyed 725 Marylanders during the last week of February, said that just 64 percent of those surveyed plan to get a coronavirus vaccine as soon as they can, or have already received at least one dose. Another 15 percent intend to wait to see how the rollout goes. Disappointing numbers to be sure. More troubling is that 18 percent said they either have no intention of getting a vaccine or won’t unless they’re required to get it.

Getting vaccines into the arms of as many people as we can may be the best single action any of us can take to put the extreme effects of the pandemic behind us. And with a surge in vaccine availability coming any day now, we’re hopeful that people will change their minds. While we’d like to see 100 percent participation, of course we know that’s not realistic. But 64 percent? We can do better than that.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it is that teachers are more inclined to bring up controversial topics during their lessons because of what’s constantly unfolding around the world and the pace in which it spreads. We wholly support doing so because there is so much going on that students need to learn about, but we are glad Frederick County Public Schools is moving forward with a policy that ensures teaching these subjects doesn’t make anyone in the school system uncomfortable.

That goes for students, parents and staff. The policy, which needs some tweaks before going for a final vote before the school board later this month, would lay out guidelines and standards for teachers on how to discuss controversial topics in the classroom and the use of historical artifacts in teaching.

This came about because of an unfortunate incident where a Nazi flag being used as a teaching tool in a class at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School wound up being displayed from a window for everyone to see that night.

All indications are that once these modifications are made, the policy will be supported by the school board and then introduced to teachers shortly thereafter. These valuable lessons still need to be taught, but we’re glad FCPS is making sure it is done in a prudent manner.

It’s been a hard year for a lot of people everywhere. For many, the impact of the pandemic has taken a challenging situation and made it worse.

Fortunately, a lot of nonprofits and organizations have stepped up. But as we often remind you, these groups need help so that they can keep helping. This is where the annual Unity Campaign comes in.

“The Unity Campaign is more critical this year than ever before,” Ken Oldham, president and CEO of United Way of Frederick County, told our reporter Hannah Himes this week. “It’s an opportunity for our organizations to work together as partners to help raise as much money as we can to support ALICE households in our community.”

The Unity Campaign is a great example of Frederick’s philanthropic leaders working together to help those who need it the most. The goal this year is to get 1,000 contributions. As of Thursday, they had 550 donors bringing in more than $400,000.

That’s a good start but there’s a lot of need this year. So please make a contribution if you’re able. The campaign runs through March 21. To see the full list of nonprofit partners and to make a contribution, visit or

Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to

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