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Grit ‘N wit: A humongous hit

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By Emmy Kolbe
Features Editor

Students climbed, sprinted and solved puzzles at this week’s Grit ‘N Wit obstacle course event.

On Monday, students joined together in either teams of two or four to face the course, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB). The event consisted of 20 obstacles, both physical and mental, around a three-mile loop on campus, according to Cody Didas, CAB president.

“The idea originally came from Abby Cohen and Rob DeFazio,” said Didas, a senior finance major. “They thought it would be a solid event that many groups of people on campus would want to get involved in and liked the spin that Grit ‘N Wit put on Tough Mudders and traditional 5k races.”

Eighty people participated in the event, according to Cohen, associate director of intramurals, club sports and student engagement.

One participant, sophomore international studies and Spanish double major Haylei John, said she participates in a lot of competitive races, but she’s never done one with both physical and mental aspects.

“Grit N Wit was even better than I had hoped, because it made me realize that I’m capable of a lot more than I had realized,” said John. “It’s not every day that I get to climb and jump over walls taller than me.”

John added the wide range of obstacles kept her guessing throughout the course.

“One minute I’d be sprinting and climbing, then the next I’d be working on a puzzle with my partner,” she said. “It kept the course interesting.”
Another participant and CAB member, junior Riley Eike, said the event was much different than she expected.

“I expected there to be more obstacles, just because I saw two different maps that the company had planned out for the course of the race,” said Eike. “It was more exhausting than I expected. This is probably because I hadn’t trained for it or worked out in a while, but I was lacking in the running parts of the event.”

Although she had a tough time running, Eike, a journalism and mass communication major, said having a partner, Paul Lavelle, through the course helped a lot.

“Whenever I was stuck on a wit obstacle, he had the answer and vise versa,” she said. “We also spotted each other on the grit obstacles.”
Eike said the top four teams received prizes, medals, key chains or bottle openers, from the Grit ‘N Wit company.

jon snow dead

Popular HBO series back in action

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By Diana McElfresh
Managing Editor

Game of Thrones returned for its sixth season Sunday with one big question looming in viewers’ minds —Is Jon Snow really dead?

The question was answered almost immediately: He’s definitely dead. Snow, played by Kit Harrington, appeared at various times throughout the episode, but he was ice cold in each shot.

But this is Game of Thrones. Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he’s gone. Lady Melisandre (Carice van Houten) returns to Castle Black just after Snow’s assassination and seems genuinely distraught, even confused, at his death. Perhaps she will use her religious superpowers, some of which are revealed in this episode, to bring him back to life— after all, without Jon Snow, the popular fan theory that he is destined for the Iron Throne is a moot point.

The first episode of the season also covered several other plotlines left loose at the end of season five, including the uncertain fates of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen); Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke); Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau); and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), among others.

Turner and Allen delivered almost touching performances as their characters escape from Winterfell. At one point, the pair embrace each other in an act of pseudo-sibling bonding (after all, they did grow up with one another) before Allen’s Theon attempts to sacrifice himself and save Sansa. It seems as though his character, previously one of the most detestable on the show, may be on the route to redemption.

The Dothraki have captured Daenerys Targaryen, who was last seen swarmed by a horde, abandoned by her dragon. The Dothraki men insult her in their native tongue, and she spits back at them with the type of venom that made Clarke’s performances so memorable in earlier seasons. Daenerys under duress offers a far more engaging plotline than the powerful and power-hungry Daenerys of recent seasons. Her entrapment is a welcome change.

Similarly, Headey’s best performances happen when Cersei Lannister is in emotional pain, and Cersei finding out her only daughter, Myrcella, has died by poison is no exception to this rule. Headey employs a Lady Macbeth-like mix of power, weakness and pain here, bewailing the loss of her child.

“I thought if I could make something so good, so pure, maybe I’m not a monster,” Cersei whispers to her lover and brother, Jaime, who shares in the pain of Myrcella’s loss as her father.

The pair then makes an ominous pact to destroy those who have wronged them, heading them down a rather beaten bath of violence and deception, away from their shared pain and suffering.

The pair’s baby brother Tyrion Lannister is seen still in Meereen, trying to piece together the crumbling empire Daenerys Targaryen left behind her when she disappeared last season on her dragon. Multiple shots show him through the slats of a window shade, or possibly a cage. This voyeuristic view suggests someone — or something — is watching him. The audience can only guess what or who, but a massive ship fire at the port means he won’t be getting out of the city anytime soon, offering suggestions of a wild plot for the Imp this season.

The episode also included many other plotlines, including a look at the now blind Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and the strange, rather secondary land of Dorne, where women are taking over without a whole lot of exposition. Overall, the episode opened up a season that looks to be just as enticingly bloody, mysterious and beautiful as last year’s near-perfect season five.

Exhibition showcases senior artwork

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By Liam McGurl
Features Assignment Editor

According to Bonaventure’s senior visual arts majors, the university’s visual arts program has shattered their pre-undergraduate artistic boundaries. Their exhibition last Saturday was proof of that.

On April 23, students, faculty and staff gathered in Francis Hall’s San Damiano Room, home to the annual 720/1 Senior Art Exhibition. The two-hour-long showing, displaying a variety of three senior artist’s undergraduate work, included speeches by the artists, time for viewing and refreshments.

This year’s featured artists: Michelle Denmark, Toni Nicosia and Alana Fallon.

While all three students are nearing the end of their college careers, they said their artistic ventures had very different starting points.

Denmark, who’s also majoring in art history, said she’s inspired by the larger-than-life creations of Japanese cartoons.

“My early artistic influences came from Japanese manga and anime,” said Demark. “…It’s continued to influence my art because that is the style of art that I create.”

Denmark said while dozens of her completed pieces were on display, she had one favorite in the bunch.

“My favorite piece that I’ve created was a piece I created last year for my Drawing 2 class,” said Denmark. “The piece is titled ‘My Soul is a Garden Filled with Unseen Thorns.’ It was meant to be an abstract self portrait that I created using different natural elements to create the facial features. For example, the hair is made up of hundreds of rose petals and the lips are a pair of leaves.”

Much like Denmark’s nature-based piece, Nicosia said a great deal of her pieces are inspired by the natural world.

“Most of my displayed pieces are related to nature and feature bright colors,” said Nicosia. “I want my viewer to feel like they are inside a piece of my work.”

Outside her current nature-based inspirations, Nicosia said her father served as her early creative muse.

“He never pursued art professionally, but everywhere he went he was drawing things,” said Nicosia. “Picking things up in my house and laughing at his little drawings on people in the newspaper or on old mail always made my day. It always made me want to create things that make other people happy.”

While Nicosia draws on outside sources for inspiration, Fallon, a self-proclaimed “photographer by nature,” said her own photographic work serves as the basis for her current artistic ventures.

According to Fallon, one of her favorite recreations, “My Cup of Tea” (which was originally a photograph), features both she and her boyfriend. “My Cup of Tea” was one of her 60 pieces on display in the exhibition.

“This large piece is a 4ft x 4ft cube with many layers, which is commonly called a tunnel book when made of paper,” said Fallon. “It showcases the use of colors in my life varying from black, gray, blue and white to exhibit the love of my life in visual form.”

Fallon added that another one of her most prized creations, again, started with a photo she took, this time of a stem cell through a microscope.

“This year I had the opportunity to create large-scale paintings from photographs I took using the biology department’s photographic microscope,” said Fallon. “I took a series of photographs of cheek cells, which are displayed as modified photographs, onion cells, which are displayed as large-scale abstract paintings and charcoal pastel drawings, and even dust, which again are displayed as large-scale paintings.”

Although each of the exhibition’s featured artists come from differing backgrounds and have preferred mediums, each agreed that Bonaventure has exposed them to styles and techniques they were unskilled in before their enrollment in the university.

For Fallon, Bonaventure taught her nearly everything she knows about art outside of photography.

“I didn’t take art classes in high school,” said Fallon. “Here, I learned how to paint in watercolor, acrylic and oil…I learned how to draw using all kinds of medias…I learned how to sculpt in terracotta clay, something I never would’ve thought of doing.”

For Denmark and Nicosia, Bonaventure’s visual arts program furthered the skills they already held entering college.

“Before coming here I only had a few mediums I was comfortable with; now I can look at anything and find a way to make it art,” said Nicosia.

Bona’s best photo spots

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By Simone Robinson
Staff Writer

From architecture to nature, make your Bonaventure fashion shoot worthwhile by capturing your outfit of the day at campus’s most beautiful and unexpected locations.

Location: Devereux Hall

Laced with multicolored leaves and intricate gold designs, Devereux Hall stands as one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings on campus. The unique structure of its main archway, which features a bare wall with low-placed, textured bricks, serves as an ideal site for fashion photography. To capture the most unique photo, weave the warm-colored aesthetics of the archway’s features into your outfit, making sure to include colors such as white, yellow, nude, rose gold and deep red.

Wall of Leaves
Location: Café La Verna

Splashed with vibrant colors such as green, yellow, purple and red, the wall of leaves outside of Café La Verna is the perfect location for a standout style photo. The playful background is guaranteed to add a tropical edge to your look, so don’t be afraid to rock your most colorful and boldly printed pieces.

McGraw-Jennings Field
Location: Fred Handler Park

The well-crafted, modern baseball field is the perfect place to not only play but also to strike a pose. Equipped with lush greenery, a breathtaking mountain backdrop, a tall metal fence and dugout, the site is essential for shooting both casual and sporty apparel.

Stairwell Landing
Location: The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

A haven of inspiration, the Quick Center serves as one of the most creative locations on campus. Not only is The Loft a perfect place to shoot your look of the day, the stairwell landing leading to it is, too. Ideal for minimalist or androgynous outfits, especially combined with a leather black jacket, the cement-colored walls will add the perfect blend of simplicity and grittiness to your photo.

Stone Wall
Location: Behind Loughlen Hall

Although it is mainly known for being a residence hall, Loughlen Hall is home to one of the greatest locations for fashion photos. Behind the building, in close proximity to the parking lot, is a distinct wall of stone. The visually appealing multitude of colors is suitable for outfits of any kind, from elegant to preppy. Not only will you obtain flawless photos, but you’ll also be able to take amazing headshots at this location.

Students weigh finals fairness

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By Thomas Cottingham
Staff Writer

It is almost that time of the year again: late night studying, cups upon cups of coffee and a few mental breakdowns here and there. Although finals week can be stressful, finals are still a cornerstone of a college education.

Cumulative finals have been a controversial topic over the past decade. While cumulative finals cover all the material throughout the semester, the final itself could be too difficult and tedious, according to some students.

​“We are tested on most of the material during the semester,” said junior finance and accounting double major Matt Bizaro. “I think we should be tested on the remaining material at the end of the year. There’s just too much to study. Especially when some students have four to six cumulative finals in a single week, there might not be enough time to study for all of them.”

​Another issue that students seem to have with end-of-the-year cumulative finals is the additional midterm. Material that was already taught in the beginning of the semester is tested again, which some students find repetitive.

“Having two tests during the semester, which both would cover similar topics would not benefit a student,” said Ryan Frick, a senior history major. “The questions for the final would be subject to either change or rewording in order to not give the student an advantage on the test.”

Alex Olday, a student athlete and computer science major, took a different approach on cumulative finals. There are some positives about preparing for a cumulative final.

“I believe it is an accurate measure of the intake of knowledge that a student has acquired over the course of the semester,” said Olday. “I prefer cumulative finals because I’ve prepared all year for it.”

​ Although these tests can be long, in depth, and difficult, there are some benefits to cumulative finals.

According to a study from Psychology Today, repetition and “the space effect” generates positive benefits while studying and taking cumulative finals. The space effect is studying something that you previously studied for another exam or project, which leads to a wider understanding of the subject. Repetition helps students achieve long-term knowledge from the subject, and can tremendously help life-long knowledge.

​Another tip from the study explains to not let intuition fool you. According to the research, students tend to underestimate the importance of long-term studying and end up cramming knowledge at the last minute. Some students can also be biased to think that their memory will not change over a period of time, which prevents consistent studying.

Benefits of cumulative finals also require a much longer time to study. Like everything, balance is the key.

SBU spreads sexual assault awareness

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By Brandon Fields
Staff Writer

Commander John Plumb, congressional candidate, canceled his talk on national security policy in order to attend the Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) rally on April 26.

Plumb referenced his military training on sexual assault awareness and provided his own tips on how to prevent sexual assault.

On Tuesday night, over 70 students, community members and campus officials gathered in front of the De La Roche academic building in support of the SAAM rally.

Eighty-seven percent of stalkers are men, 86 percent of domestic violence incidents resulting in physical injury are perpetrated by men and 99 percent of rapes are committed by men, according to Robert Amico, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, who opened the rally.

Hosted by the club SBU4Equality, the rally sought to inform and open the conversation on the lack of awareness regarding sexual assault and the blaming of victims.

According to Juliette Bauer, president of SBU4Equality and sophomore double major in English and women’s studies, the club decided to take advantage of the special month promoting awareness through poster campaigns, education through pledges and solidarity through hosting the rally.

Amico stressed the need for solidarity and the role men play in contributing to and supporting a culture of violence towards women.

“It is time for us men to stand up and own this as our problem,” Amico said, encouraging men to be accountable for their actions and for the men of SBU to stand by the women of SBU, in solidarity.

Daniela Carrasco, a sophomore marketing major and contributor to the new security guidelines, said having Plumb cancel an event and come to the rally showed the importance of the topic. She also pointed out everyone’s willingness to stand in 30-degree weather, proving how much everyone cares about the issue.

As a part of the event, the club revealed a new set of security guidelines released on Wednesday. Carrasco, who presented an abbreviated version of the guidelines, focused on the bystander.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, St. Bonaventure University, New York; Meeting for sexual assault awareness month. Mariam Skhirtladze (c) 2016
Wednesday, April 27, 2016, St. Bonaventure University, New York; Meeting for sexual assault awareness month.
Mariam Skhirtladze (c) 2016
SAAM 2She spoke about trusting your intuition, calling safety and security for help and using the three D’s (direct, distract, delegate) to know protocol for situations that may be heading in an inappropriate direction.

Before the candlelight ceremony, which paid respect to sexual assault victims and concluded the event, the club read a letter to administration urging a partnership for change and open conversation on campus. The partnership between the campus community and campus officials seeks to make tangible and impactful changes that go beyond the rally.

The letter, signed by 30 students and counting, seeks to work with administration to make campus safer. The club aims to change attitudes towards sexual assault survivors, general safety aspects, how people respond to friends regarding rape culture and change the lack of knowledge about the topic of rape culture.

Bauer said she is pleased with the turnout and the 310 pledges received, but she knows it could be better. She believes the conversation about sexual violence is a multi-vocal conversation and having different perspectives could aid in fair social change on campus and abroad.

“We are on a campus of about 2,000 people,” Bauer said. “That becomes 2,000 people who can have an opinion on sexual assault and violence. That’s 2,000 voices.”

Beyonce makes ‘Lemonade’

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By Brandon Fields
Staff Writer

Beyoncé Knowles Carter creates a conversation, and after the release of her second visual album, the conversation is louder than ever before.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z are one of the most famous Hollywood couples, but when it comes to their personal lives, they are reserved in what they allow the public to know. Even after the famed elevator incident that took the Internet by storm, the couple managed to keep quiet and didn’t reveal much about it.

Lemonade, Knowles’ sixth solo album, seeks to break down that barrier. In her most authentic and arguably most vibrant album yet, she uses spoken word, thought-provoking visuals and diverse music to tell the poignant story of a woman’s journey through self-understanding and healing.

With little warning to the public, this musical gem, released April 23 on HBO, surprised everyone. The secretive album was released exclusively on Tidal at first and proved successful on the rising streaming site.

As expected, the album received great commercial success, receiving 200,000 sales within the first day of release and is expected to rise to 600,000 by the end of its first week.

The “Single Ladies” singer began her visual journey in the “intuition” stage, one of the 11 stages throughout the visual album, where she is alone in a field with her afflicted heart and sings angelically “Pray You Catch Me.” Afterwards she explodes, walking through streets destroying everything in her path using her anger, paired with a baseball bat, sporting a Roberto Cavalli mustard-colored dress in her song “Hold up.” With lines like “Can’t you see there’s no other man above you / What a wicked way to treat the girl who loves you,” Beyoncé uses patois, island beats and a pop style of rapping to call out her husband for not appreciating her affection.

She then says screw it, as she stops her self-loathing and begins to take control of her situation in the “anger” and “apathy” stage of the album. In songs like “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and “Sorry,” she uses her voice to throw musical daggers at her adulterer with a line saying, “Who the f**k do you think I am.”

In the song “Sorry,” similar to Beyoncé’s hit “7/11,” she recruits tennis champion Serena Williams to do some dance-hall style dancing. The song, with its catchy cadence and ironic, unapologetic nature, showcases Yonce’s “apathy” in the fourth stage of her album.

She keeps up the powerful vibe up in her song “6 Inch” where she recruits “I Can’t Feel My Face” singer The Weeknd. The song uses both of the artists’s dynamic voices to create an anthem for hardworking women, encouraging them to count their money.

As a surprise, the Houston native chose to tap into her southern roots and make a country ballad called “Daddy Lessons.” In this song, Knowles explains her sixth stage of accountability by saying, “My daddy told me about men like you,” and hints her father did try to warn her, but she didn’t listen.

The latter half of the album is the most authentic. Not only does she make risky musical choices, she taps into sides of herself that give us the same gut-wrenching feelings that she experienced.

This half brings us through “reformation,” “forgiveness,” “resurrection,” “hope” and “redemption,” too.

These stages are the most powerful, and the music embodies that. Knowles teams up with soulful artist James Blake on “Forward” to use his feathery voice in unison with her own church-like vocals to convey her stage of “resurrection.”

Queen Bey partners with “King Kunta” rapper Kendrick Lamar on the track “Freedom” and belts for liberation as he swiftly rips through the beat, calling to stop police brutality on another impactful stand-out song from the album.

Yoncé takes many chances with Lemonade and tries to go beyond the traditional confinements of the genre. She has gone beyond just being a pop or R&B artist. Better yet, her music on this album has become an extension of her.

As intricate and evoking as Lemonade is, it can be summed up in a simple phrase: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The simplicity of the elementary proverb to describe the turmoil and heartbreak of being cheated on relates to Beyoncé as a person.

Queen Bey may have money and can get anything she desires but still can’t avoid the pain that comes from the betrayal of a loved one. Beyoncé might seem to have the world, but experiencing her journey from pain to empowerment proves, she is still a person.

Four students graduate with Franciscan studies minor

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By Kailyn Jennings
Contributing Writer

This May, for the first time in St. Bonaventure University history, students will graduate with a Franciscan Studies minor.

Franciscan Studies professor Jean-Francois Godet-Calogeras is the force behind the minor’s newfound success. He guided Dennis Kurian, Jeff Georgiades, Melissa Misenheimer and Lori Kim to the minor.

“The minor was designed at a time of transition for the School of Franciscan Studies,” said Godet-Calogeras. “Until 2009 or so, the School was only offering a curriculum at the graduate level, but for a few reasons the enrollment was going down. So, a minor in Franciscan Studies was designed and approved by the Faculty Senate and the University President. But I don’t know why it was never advertised.”

Kurian, a biology major, said he chanced upon the minor while on the Bonaventure website last school year.

“I was surprised, happily surprised,” said Godet-Calogeras. “I always believed in the voice of the students. I was delighted that a student had discovered the existence of the minor and wanted to enroll in it. And would be soon followed by others.”

The four students, after taking Franciscan classes taught by Godet-Calogeras, wanted to pursue the minor left in the shadows.

“I was impressed and deeply stirred by the way [Godet-Calogeras] both taught Franciscanism and lived it in his own unique way,” said Kurian. “After taking several classes with him, the minor became a very realistic possibility.”

Kim, a biology major, said she took Catholic Franciscan Heritage, a course required of all students, with Godet-Calogeras who broke down Catholicism and Franciscanism for students who were not raised with those backgrounds. He did not assume students understood the terms simply because they attended a Catholic Franciscan university.

However, the students said they struggled with seeking approval for the minor.

“Two of the classes needed were considered graduate level classes,” said Misenheimer, a psychology major. “I had to turn in a bunch of forms asking for permission to take them. The minor was very difficult to pursue.”

Kurian agreed.

“A problem we ran into was recreating the new Franciscan classes that were offered,” said Kurian. “There was an administrative process to getting the minor approved and obtaining the approval form from all the necessary people. A huge help in this entire process was Fr. David Couturier,” dean of the School of Franciscan Studies. “He guided us through the process of approval and basically did all the work for us.”

The students said the struggle for approval was surprising.

“As a Franciscan school, St. Bonaventure University should naturally emphasize the Franciscan studies minor,” Kurian said. “I have told others that I am doing a minor in Franciscan studies and am often met with surprise and interest. So far, no one in the student body seems to have known about the existence of the minor.”

The students said franciscanism has taken a valuable place in their lives – one they hope more students will experience.

“For me, Franciscanism is a method of approaching the world that will always remain a part of me,” said Kurian. “This method includes a strong sense of compassion and a deep care for the sick and suffering. It includes enjoying work and going about it happily, without complaint. It includes sacrifice and sometimes looking at the needs of others before one’s own. It includes a deep appreciation of all living things. It includes a virtuous living and an established moral code.”

Georgiades, a biology major, said Franciscanism is more than simply a minor; it’s a lifestyle that has positively influenced him.

“After graduating from Bonaventure I plan to go into the medical field,” said Georgiades. “One of the things that is often overlooked in medicine is the patient. The Franciscan life is one of compassion and mercy, working to help people where possible. Compassion is the most important part of medicine, and the Franciscan ideals line up well.”

The students said they found that their peers do not understand the meaning of Franciscanism. Many believe they must be religious to be Franciscan, when actually the two can be practiced both inclusively and exclusively from each other.

“The word Franciscan does not, as many assume, imply monkhood,” said Georgiades. “Francis of Assisi did not live isolated from the rest of the world. He worked as a part of the world, taking nothing for himself, but giving what he could to help the people around him, living with his friends as brothers and sisters would. That, to me, is Franciscanism. It is not a clerical life, but a life in which people can build relationships and work to help each other when they need it.”

Francis of Assisi, along with Clare of Assisi, devoted their ascetic lives to poverty and compassion, thus founding the Franciscan movement.

Misenheimer added, “[The Franciscan] beliefs and core characteristics are universal; anyone can relate to compassion, mercy, empathy and family.”

St. Bonaventure University preaches compassion, but it has work to do if it desires its Franciscan Studies department to continue to grow.

“The university portrays itself as Franciscan, and so the minor in Franciscan studies should be emphasized more than it is now, at least to validate [the university’s] claim to be Franciscan,” said Georgiades.

Misenheimer believes the university should advertise the minor during admissions events, club fairs, orientation and within every Catholic Franciscan Heritage course, a class required of all students, so prospective students and freshmen can immediately appreciate the Franciscan aspect of the school.

Godet-Calogeras said he is concerned with the minor’s future. But he also has faith in it.

“Obviously, some courses like the Catholic Franciscan Heritage can and maybe should play as a spark or an appetizer, that is, raise the desire to learn and know more about that Franciscan heritage and how it can inspire daily life today without necessarily become a member of a religious order. That is what happened to the four students who will graduate in May,” said Godet-Calogeras. “As the Franciscan movement started with a handful of people, we hope that more students will follow and that some day the Franciscan heritage will influence all schools and departments of St. Bonaventure University.”

Valento discusses admissions efforts

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By Rachel Konieczny
News Editor

“In our recent reports, we were trending ahead of the last three years,” Bernie Valento said of admissions efforts for the 2016-17 academic year.

Valento, vice president for enrollment, said the final week of April is unpredictable in terms of how many deposits will be submitted, but he is hopeful for the future.

“We’re developing plans towards the future, looking at new ways to recruit and enroll students and looking at new enrollment drivers,” Valento said.

Valento also said the university is developing a military-aligned program for military students and veterans and a discernment program for students to discover whether they want to pursue a particular vocation, as well as pursuing recruitment in international and secondary markets.

“We’ve been developing some international recruitment markets,” he said. “We’ve been expanding our efforts in secondary markets, like New Jersey, where we’ve done well, and Philadelphia. We’re tasked at looking for new markets and new opportunities there.”

Valento said the university has also expanded communication graduate programs, notably the online MBA program.

Valento stressed the importance of building partnerships to expand recruitment internationally, particularly in China and Brazil, despite the commitment of two to three years.

Stephanie Kennedy, a junior strategic communication and digital media major, agreed Bonaventure should recruit to more areas.

“I’m disappointed in the amount of enrollment, because I think this school has a lot more to offer than people realize,” Kennedy said.

Valento said he enjoyed his first year at Bonaventure.

“I’ve really appreciated partnering with the entire campus,” Valento said. “It takes everyone in order to be successful in admissions and enrollment. It takes the mobilization of the entire university community, and I feel very grateful.”

Oratory renovated, set for rededication

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By Rachel Konieczny
News Editor

The heart of campus is being recreated, according to Fr. Ross Chamberland, O.F.M.

Chamberland, executive director of the Lateran Center for Catholic Identity, said he undertook the project of instituting a chapel of Eucharistic adoration in St. Joseph’s Oratory to help promote, cultivate and preserve St. Bonaventure’s Catholic identity.

“The oratory building had more or less been dormant—it hadn’t really been used for any prayerful purposes for quite a while,” Chamberland said.

Chamberland said the oratory will reserve the blessed sacrament inside of a glass tabernacle. Renovations include the restored original flooring, painted walls, new lighting fixtures, handcrafted wooden benching around the walls, a new pedestal for the tabernacle and a security system that requires ID cards for access. Chamberland said donors raised about $10,000 for the renovations.

Chamberland said the woodwork, completed by university carpenter and maintenance worker Joseph Questa, is the oak from the original tables in the Hickey Dining Hall crafted by the friars.

“[Questa] preserved that oak and repurposed it in this chapel which is really kind of beautiful because we try to make the connection between the celebrations that happen at the table of the Lord in the chapel and the celebrations that happen at the table in the Hickey,” Chamberland said. “We want to [convey the idea] that food is food and that God is present in all of those examples and situations.”

The oratory, built in 1927, originally served as a chapel for nuns living on campus, Chamberland said. The late Fr. Thomas Plassmann, former university president, blessed the current location of the oratory and prayed that the university be spiritually built by the carpenter Joseph, the father of Jesus.

“We talk about things like strategic planning and curriculum revision and finding new leadership for the presidency,” Chamberland said. “I think that what needs to be a part of that conversation needs to be the power of prayer and the presence of Christ in our community. I think that this is one way in which we can really help make that come alive.”

Vanessa Hulse, a junior chemistry major, said she plans to use the oratory as often as she can.

“I think it’s going to be a really great place for students to go to,” Hulse said. “Personally I’m very excited about it especially since the University Chapel is generally not open 24/7.”

OratoryThe oratory will be rededicated during a Mass on Wednesday, May 4 at 4 p.m. in the University Chapel. A procession of the Eucharist to the oratory will follow Mass.

Committee appointed for interim president search

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By Ethan MacKrell
News Assignment Editor

This week, the St. Bonaventure University community received an update on the university’s search for an interim president. Robert Daugherty, chair of the Board of Trustees, announced he had appointed an ad hoc committee to assist in finding potential candidates for the interim president position.

The committee consists of members from the Friar community, the Cabinet, the faculty and the Board of Trustees. These 6 members include Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., Dr. Joe Zimmer, Ph.D., Leigh Simone, Ph.D., Ray Dee, Bill Lawley and Laurie Branch.

The committee’s role is to act as advisors towards Daugherty’s decision on who he will recommend as the university’s interim president to the Board for its approval. The university also has a partnership with The Registry, an organization St. Bonaventure has used for interim appointments in the past, to help find potential candidates for the interim president position. The committee is also accepting direct recommendations of people who have an affiliation with the university, and people can nominate someone for the position by contacting anyone on the ad hoc committee or Robert Daugherty at

Good night, and keep watching the skies

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You know that spiel the university loves to give about alums sprinting through airports to meet up with other alums they don’t even know just because they went to the same school?

That’s not going to be me.

You know an alumnus who plans their entire year around making trips up to Bonaventure to get drunk at the Burton for three nights?

That’s not going to be me.

The school likes to tell you that when you leave here, you never truly leave because Bonas will always be your permanent home address. Well I think I’m going to stick to receiving my mail (or more likely Amazon Prime packages) at whatever actual address I have.

Now to make this clear, I was never completely miserable in my time here or anything; if I had been I would not have stayed. I’ve made some amazing friends, some ridiculous memories and taken some eye-opening classes.

But all this great experience goes hand-in-hand with the empty feelings I got from being here for stretches of time. I’ve spent weeks at a time here just going through the motions of the life of a student.

I’ve found that nearly every semester I would quickly create a routine for myself centered on going to class, studying in the library and socializing that I would repeat week after week after week.

But then I started to write.

For the past year The Bona Venture has been everything to me. I’ve written something every week, to the point where I really thought I had run out of opinions.

There has been nothing I’ve looked forward too more than long Wednesday nights putting the paper together with a bunch of the raddest people I’ve ever met.

It’s pretty much been the only thing I’ve wanted to do in the past year. Most things at Bonaventure feel played out, with much of my coursework feeling repetitive at this point, and the social life being just a constant source of distressing déjà vu.

But the BV has been different, in the best way possible. It’s a never-ending source of fun. And it has done so much for me. I truly know how to express myself now, and I will forever be thankful to this newspaper for that.

And now for the fun part! I may not be accepting an award here, but I’m going to thank people like I am. First off, thanks to Harrison and Taylor, without your encouragement I would have never written a single article.

Thank you, Amelia, your comments and edits on my papers when I first started out made me want to strive to get better and better.

Thank you Emily, you were the most badass editor who ever walked the earth, and you set a high bar I hoped I was able to live up to.

Thank you Diana, I really regret that I won’t get a chance to be your managing editor. I would have jumped at that opportunity in a heartbeat.
And most of all, thank you Julia. I hope I was able to show you 10 percent of the passion for this newspaper that you have. I’m already planning out my weekly letters to the editor for next spring.

And to the rest of the newsroom, I love you all, but I leave you with one last message. I was never your damn pantry, good luck having snacks on Wednesday without me around.

Clare course offered abroad

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By Corey Krajewski
Opinion Editor

Starting in January 2017, students will have the chance to take Clare 304, The Good Life: International Medical Ethics, over a two week span in Perugia, Italy.

The class will concentrate on medical ethics, especially in regards to modern issues in both the United States and Italy. The program, led by Michael Chiarello, Ph.D., is a collaboration between St. Bonaventure and the Romeyne Robert and Uguccione Sorbello Foundation.

“Italy is a good point of comparison because there are genuine philosophical differences at work there: the historic influence of the Catholic Church and the strong opposition by feminists and secular liberals,” Chiarello said.

Students will spend the first two weeks of the calendar year in Perugia, Italy, where semester-long and summertime study abroad opportunities are already offered.

Chiarello says the focus of the course will be on policy formation in the face of various controversial medical issues.

“In Italy, currently there is a public discussion of assisted reproduction technology, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy and marriage equality,” said Chiarello, mentioning topical issues that would bear relevance to the class.

Chiarello says the course is meant to appeal to students interested in future careers in law and healthcare.

Bianca Georgakopolous, a junior health and human nature major said, “There is a lot of value in taking medical ethics since it can teach future physicians and medical professionals how to effectively assess an ethical dilemma.”

The curriculum for the course will include guest speakers involved in Italian public health, as well as focus on the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

Other aspects of the course include comprehensive readings comparing policy on public health issues in Italy and the United States.

“Experiences like these shape and inspire individuals, and I think this class will be of great value to students who are interested in learning about European healthcare and how to deal with ethical situation,” Georgakopolous said.

The expected cost of the class is around $2500, which covers housing, two meals per day, local transportation and special events.

Zach Waltzing Away

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As my time at St. Bonaventure comes to a close, it’s hard for me to reminisce without bringing up The Bona Venture. Since my first week on this campus, I have been involved with this publication, and I’m unbelievably proud of how much it has progressed in my brief time here.

I remember being undeniably nervous the first time I stepped into the old, dingy newsroom in Robinson Hall. There were superfluous posters and quotes plastered over the walls. The furniture in the back was decrepit and spewing stuffing out of multiple holes. But still, that room and the people interviewing me overwhelmed me with anxiety.

Despite my initial qualms about writing for The Bona Venture, the staff at that time welcomed me as one of their own. I remember the first time I went to BV Wednesday and sat through a whole night of editing stories and laying pages. I had so much fun that I decided then I would interview for the Assistant Sports Editor position that would be open at the end of the semester. That moment was when I found a safe haven for myself for the next four years.

After an abrupt relocation to the Reilly Center basement (I had just gotten used to that room in Rob?) and a promotion to Sports Editor, I really began to enjoy The Bona Venture more. I started to look forward to Wednesday nights so I could go throw around a Nerf football while trying to do a layout for three pages. I was taking on three to four stories a week, partly due to a lack in writers, but I didn’t mind the extra work because I got to see multiple bylines featuring my name.

The newsroom served as my study room, dining hall and bedroom. I can’t count the amount of times I snuck down to the Reilly Center basement after a late night at the BV just to take a quick nap on the new and not hole-riddled couch or devour a quick wrap from the RC Café while finishing my pages.

Despite those awesome benefits, The Bona Venture is not just about publishing a newspaper every week. The people are truly what make it such a great activity to do on campus. I’ve developed great friendships with editors past and present, and for that reason, I would suggest being a part of the BV to anyone here. The nights are late, and Adobe InDesign never seems to work the way you want it to. But in the end, it’s about fun people listening to 90’s pop music and staying up to 5 a.m. developing strong caffeine addictions together. It’s about going to La Verna to get giant cookies and brownies so you don’t wither away while waiting for everyone’s stories to be submitted.

The Bona Venture has garnered more and more interest from inspiring writers every year since I’ve been here, and that excites me for the future of the publication. While print journalism may be falling to the wayside, the BV has maintained a strong presence on campus and will continue to deliver important news to our students for many years to come.

I would like to thank all of the editors and writers I have ever worked with throughout my BV career. There’s definitely way too many to list, but I’ve very much enjoyed my time on The Bona Venture staff. Some of my favorite memories from college are undoubtedly in the newsroom, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to do so many interesting things and work with so many brilliant people.

Zach Waltz is an Associate Editor forThe Bona Venture. His email is

Home sweet home

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The first few weeks of freshman year of college can be a scary time. For most, it is the first time they are permanently away from home, living with complete strangers in a town that they are unfamiliar with.

However, my parents kept reminding me in the weeks leading up to move in day to enjoy my time because college is the best four years of your life. I didn’t know it at the time, but they were exactly right.

They also warned me that those four years are done within the blink of an eye, and once again, that statement was spot on.

It seems like just yesterday I was moving my stuff into Robinson Hall without the slightest idea of what the future held or what I wanted to do with my life. Being an athlete was fun and exciting, yet challenging at first trying to adjust to the everyday aspects of school work, athletics and trying to have some form of a social life.

My only main regret from my time here is not getting actively involved in clubs/activities outside of Cross Country in my first two years. That all changed when I joined The BV halfway through my junior year.

Even though I have only been writing for three semesters, my life has changed so much because of The BV and the great people who are a part of it. As a journalism and mass communication major, I was still unsure of what direction I wanted to take my career at this point junior year.

Fast forward to now and I have developed a passion for writing and specifically in sports. From a very young age, my dream was to get a job related to sports but I didn’t realize until joining The BV what career I wanted to pursue: sports writing.

As a senior, it is very easy to constantly find yourself reminiscing about the good, and the bad from the four years at St. Bonaventure. Heck, I’ve been doing it every weekend since the beginning of February.

The thing about St. Bonaventure is I don’t want to leave. Sure, I’m very excited for the next chapter of my life and going into the real world , but saying I will miss this place would be an understatement.

This truly is my second home and it always will be. The friendships I have made here will follow me until the day I die. These are the people who will be in my wedding and vice versa.

Only people within the St. Bonaventure community will understand the meaning of the “Bona Bubble.” The thing about this bubble is once you are in it, you never truly leave.

Nick Konotopskyj is the Sports Editor of The Bona Venture. His email is

EDGE program graduates 75

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By Christina Root
Assistant News Editor

The Career and Professional Readiness Center’s (CPRC) inaugural year of the EDGE program sought to live up to its name by giving Bonaventure students an edge in the interview process. According to CPRC director, Constance Whitcomb, they were successful.

“We have 75 students who graduated from the program this year,” she said.

The EDGE program is a certificate program that takes place over the duration of two semesters. Students interested in the program sign up in the fall and participate throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Both interview and résumé-making skills are perfected throughout the duration of the program. Students receive a certificate from the university after completing all aspects of the program, including building a résumé and attending six seminars on interviewing and self-marketing skills.

In addition to receiving a certificate of completion, students also receive a letter of endorsement from the university president, said Whitcomb.

“The program is offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors,” she said. “Juniors comprised our largest class, but we had great representation of all classes and all majors.”

The CPRC staff has been planning for the creation of the program for around three years, Whitcomb said. The staff worked with the Board of Trustees to gain support for both the creation and promotion. The program was completely based on original ideas and research.

“We don’t know of any other schools that have programs like this,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb is also optimistic that the originality of the program will help market the university to potential students.

Due to the large amount of participating students this year, Whitcomb is optimistic about the future.

“We feel we advertised very well. We now have testimonials from this year’s graduates, she said. “The CPRC staff can sit up here and talk about the program, but it’s more of an impact to hear from their peers.”

Student testimonials were given out at the certificate ceremony last week and have already been looked over to help modify the program.

EDGE pictureMatea Britvar, sophomore sports studies major, said that she would have liked to experience more of a hands-on approach during her time in the program.

“I feel that with the interviewing process they could implement more activities that involved working in partners,” she said.

Despite her desire for more authentic practice, Britvar said she believed the program was essential to preparing for a postgraduate career.

“I joined the EDGE program because I have never had a job before, because my life has always been based around basketball training,” she said. “I definitely learned a lot throughout the entire process. The program really covered almost everything necessary to stand out in the workplace.”

Although Britvar agreed that it was difficult to find time outside of her basketball program to participate in the seminars, she said the CPRC was accommodating to her schedule.

“I would definitely recommend the program, especially to sophomores and juniors,” said senior finance major Tanja Kirmse. “I have been interviewed several times since the interview segment of the program for graduate school. The EDGE program helped me prepare and answer the questions confidently. It definitely made a big difference!”

Mulcahey makes memories

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“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” —J.R.R. Tolkien.

Because, how could I not end my senior year with a quote from Gandalf? But also because, the best decision I made in the time given to me at Bonaventure was, without question, joining The BV.

My first assignment for The BV was during my sophomore year, covering the men’s rugby beat. I only landed this gig because some joe named Zach Waltz posted on our class page that the paper desperately needed this position filled.
Hey, I was decent at writing, so why not? And so it began.

Two years later, I can’t thank Zach enough. He got me started, he turned out to be one of the best guys I’ve ever met and he helped me through many 2 a.m. layout malfunctions in my early opinion editor days.

Zach, thanks for everything bud.

I’m not a typical BVer, per say. I was on and off with my contributing writing for sports, but when my pal Nate West took over the opinion section and asked me to write, well, the rest is history. He handed me the editor position with one week’s notice, after only one semester of writing for the section. I was mortified, but it turned out to be the best move I could have made.

I was the only person in the newsroom who hadn’t been an assistant editor. Before my junior year I’d never spent any length of time down in the RC basement. I figured I would be laughed out of my position because I had no idea what the hell I was doing.
Absolutely not the case.

I was unanimously welcomed onto the crew on the first night. Help was all around me. Within days I was using my not-so-ladylike language in front of people I had only just met (winning myself the Potty Mouth Award at our end of semester banquet, might I add). I had found my place: the newsroom at odd hours of the night.

I look forward to Wednesday nights because I love the people around me. I love giving Kono and Jon crap from across the table. I love Liam’s witty remarks as he casually bangs out six stories in an hour because he writes for every single paper at this damn school. I love Emmy’s 1 a.m. “why did I agree to this” face and her determination to making pristine feats pages. I love talking feminism with Hannah and anticipating Lian and Amelia’s McDonald’s breaks. I love listening to Corey and Julia bicker next to a quietly focused Rachel as she just tries, for the love of God, to finish her endless pages of layout. And I absolutely love talking to Diana about life–she just gets me, man (and let me tell you, that’s saying something).
I have loved working with everybody at this place, even if it was for a short time.

There’s something sacred about this newsroom. Something that can really only be understood by those who have been here.
Thank you to the professors who critiqued, the people who read and above all, those who I was privileged enough to share this all with.

Emily Mulcahey is an Associate Editor for The Bona Venture. Her email is mulcahek12@bonaventure.

Letter to the Editor: A message from Bernie Valento

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I was quite surprised to read the recent article in the BV entitled: “Admissions Policy Not Followed.” I’d like to take this opportunity to provide professional insight and expertise on the topic.

There are many more factors involved in making a quality admissions decision than a high school average or test score. In fact, the policy itself that the article referred to cites the important role of the director of admissions’ professional judgment and discretion when making decisions. Some of the other extenuating circumstances or factors that could impact an admissions decision may include:

• Strength of the Academic Program
• Recommendations
• Life experiences
• Motivation/Attitude
• Extenuating Circumstances (long-term illness)
• High schools Grading Systems/Policies
• Personal Interview

At times, professional judgement and discretion also plays a role in not offering an applicant admission despite exceeding the published high school average and test scores. Admissions decisions are not always straight forward and require a thorough review of each applicant as an individual.
I cannot speak to why the Senate has not reviewed this policy in the last 24 years, but I can state that the Admissions Office has been very consistent in making decisions over the last 10 years as the data supports.

Need proof? Our 86% freshman-to-sophomore retention rate is approximately 20% higher than the average of private colleges. This data point makes it clear that the Admissions Office is making quality decisions and that the entire University community should be commended for its role in supporting student success.

Go Bonas!


Talk on Islam held

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By Ethan MacKrell

News Assignment Editor

Even after living in the United States for over 40 years, the Khairullah’s still find that the Quran and the culture of Islam influences their daily lives. Durriya H.Z. Khairullah, Ph.D., professor of marketing, and Zahid Y. Khairullah, Ph.D., professor of management and industrial management, hosted a talk, held Wednesday, on the role of men and women in the religion of Islam. During the discussion, the two talked how the teachings of the Quran and the culture of Islam influenced both theirs and their families’ lives.

Some of these teachings included facts that both men and women must have a modest dress code, respect their parents and care for them in their old age and split the belongings that their parents left behind equally, according to Durriya Khairullah.

Some of the other teachings that the two highlighted were that women should not be blamed for the “fall of man,” men must show respect for women, and that both men and women have the right to ask for a divorce.

Before opening up the floor for questions and discussions, Zahid Y. Khairullah presented a letter from Mohammed Ibn Abdullah that talked about the relationship between Muslims and Christians. The letter said that Muslims must have a relationship with Christians where they treat them with respect and kindness instead of hate and fight alongside them rather than against them.

In regards to dating, the couple mentioned that growing up they both did not take part in dating, and they instilled the same culture in their children. In Islam, dating is not usually allowed by a child’s parents, and if someone wants to spend time with someone of the opposite gender, it must be done in a group setting. The two also mentioned that they met due to the fact that their families were close friends with one another, and that they also started interacting with each other through group outings with other children.

In regards to education, both Durriya and Zahid Khairullah are highly educated, which isn’t always the case for arranged marriages in the Islamic culture. Durriya’s husband, Zahid, played a big role in her pursuit to earn her doctorate degree as he always pushed her towards getting her education to the highest point possible. According to the couple, however, this doesn’t always happen in Islamic marriages as some husbands force their wives to stay home. Even some female children don’t receive an education if the parents decide against it, said Durriya and Zahid Khairullah.

The two concluded the talk by explaining the main differences between the lifestyle of Islamic culture and the teachings of the Quran. They discussed how Islamic culture affects things like husbands making their wives stay home because it’s their job to provide for the family, but these aspects don’t affect the teachings of the Quran as the men must still treat all women with respect, women always have the right to ask for a divorce and women are entitled to all the earnings they make that doesn’t come from their husband’s work.


Letter to the Editor: Search for Bern

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Dear Editor:

Two weeks ago the College Democrats and College Republicans held a mock presidential debate in Walsh Auditorium. Both groups set up tables outside the room to hand out literature and sign up students to join their group. The College Democrats had just paid over $100 for life-sized cutouts of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton that stood beside their table.

While the debate was going on, someone stole the cutout of Bernie Sanders. I don’t know if the person has a special liking or dislike for Bernie, but either way, such behavior is unacceptable on a university campus. Not only is it disrespectful of free political discourse, but it also cost the club money from its budget. It’s not a prank–it’s stealing.

The group would like to have the cutout back. If you know what happened to it, please leave an anonymous message on my telephone at 375-2454. If you are the thief and would now like to return it, you can drop it off outside my office (E7 in the basement of the old part of Plassmann) and no questions will be asked. If you prefer, you can leave it somewhere else on campus and leave me a phone message saying where it is.

Many thanks to the students who participated in and attended the debate. It’s good to know that we have students on campus who care about the future state of our country.

Dr. Chris Stanley, Faculty Adviser
SBU College Democrats

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