PLEASE NOTE: THESE ARE ONLY A SELECTION OF NEWS ARTICLES IN OUR CURRENT ISSUE. FOR COMPLETE COVERAGE PICK UP THE PROMETHEAN ON CAMPUS. TO REQUEST A BACK ISSUE CONTACT US.
By: Martha Kelly
So we all know Division One Sports are no joke. Seeing the field hockey girls hustle to and from practice with their sticks in hand. Seeing the men’s basketball team constantly on the news. These guys are true athletes, and props to them. But what about the rest of us who love playing sports but just can’t find the dedication or the time to play D1? That’s where intramurals comes in. And to get involved you have to be informed, so here’s the deal…
Fall intramural sports offered are flag football, floor hockey, squash, volleyball, and soccer. And for the spring we have the ever popular softball, basketball and more soccer! Just get a group together, sign up, and get started! Senior Sean Sullivan says getting involved was simple, “Getting into intramural sports couldn’t have been easier, I started freshman year by just heading down to the gym to play basketball and asking around to see who wanted to start up a team.” Still having trouble getting enough people together? Intramural coordinator Alison Wade says that students should keep in mind that they can also register as a free agent and be assigned to a team after rosters are collected.
Upcoming events and signups are posted at the beginning of each semester in the MAAC and usually via e-mail to the whole student body. For each sport, your team will need a roster and a captain to attend the first meeting. Most sports offer men’s, women’s, and co-ed leagues and some are even splint into divisions or level of play, so everyone is welcome – beginner or pro. All games are held right here on campus and, with equipment provided for you, it’s free! “I really missed the competition from high school and intramurals was the perfect opportunity for me and my friends to get together and play on a level more serious than pick up but without the commitment of D1,” says Sean Sullivan. So it’s agreed, this is the perfect opportunity to get involved in sports again and get a chance to meet new people. Just think – no 8 AM practices and no coach – just the fun of playing the game. So get down to the MAAC and sign up!
Not interested in stepping on the court but still want to get involved in intramural sports? There’s a spot for you too! Intramural supervisors, referees, and scorekeepers are all needed to keep intramurals running smoothly. It’s the perfect and fun work study job, and it is also sometimes available on payroll. To check out these employment opportunities contact intramural coordinator, Alison Wade.
Farewell to Fr. Bill
from April 30, 2009 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
At the close of this school year, Fr. Bill Beaudin is stepping down from his position as college chaplain and going on a six month sabbatical.
When Beaudin took the chaplain position, he resolved himself to staying in it for six years, and he has already been in it for seven. He enjoys Siena and its community but is beginning to feel the wear and tear of the job. The position requires working six to seven days a week, long hours, and living in Plassman Hall as friar-in-residence. He believes that staying in the position will not improve the office in any way, and he knew it was time to leave.
As a friar, Beaudin is fortunate to have the option of doing different things. He asked permission to go on a friar-sponsored sabbatical, since administrators usually do not take sabbaticals. In other words, the friars are supporting and financing his sabbatical. Beaudin is planning on spending some time in Massachusetts with the Jesuits. First, he is leading a thirty-day silent retreat in Glouchester, MA. After that, he will be back at Siena briefly for a conference and then leaves on vacation. At the end of the August, for the fall semester, Beaudin will move to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA, with Fr. Ken Himes, the chair of theology at Boston College. He will be living there as a scholar in residence and reading in the area of Franciscan studies.
Beaudin will return to Siena for the spring semester, where his goal is to use the information he learned at Boston College to orient new members of the Siena community, students, faculty, and administrators alike, to the Franciscan tradition and its relevance to a liberal arts education. It is unclear exactly what his role will be, but he will be back, living and working at Siena.
Beaudin admits that the thing he will miss the most about being at Siena is the frequent contact with students. During his tenure as college chaplain, Beaudin has learned a great deal from the Siena students. He has learned that Siena students are a lot of fun; after a tough day on the job, he will sometimes take a walk around campus, and interacting with students can relieve a lot of stress. “Working with students also made me realize that I have more patience than I thought I had,” says Beaudin. It has also challenged him to be more outgoing and compassionate than he really is.
When asked what he will miss the least about Siena, Beaudin admits that the lost sleep and late nights as friar-in-residence in Plassman Hall is not his favorite part. He has had some wonderful wings of students and very much enjoys working with the residential life staff, but being friar-in-residence is very demanding, especially after a day of work in an already demanding position.
The Eleventh-Hour Mass is a very popular event on campus, and students flock to the chapel to hear Beaudin’s latest song. However, he will not be continuing the mass after this semester, because it is a chaplain’s office activity and he will no longer be chaplain. It will be up to his successor to find something equally entertaining to draw the students in. Beaudin does have a favorite Eleventh-Hour song, though: Spring 2007’s “If I Only Had a Brain,” with Spring 2008’s “What Goes Around Comes Around” as a close second.
Beaudin’s best advice to his successor, who had not yet been announced, is, “Be yourself. It is the best way to serve the community, and the average eighteen-year-old can spot a phony a mile away.”
“It’s been a good run,” Beaudin says. He is grateful for his wonderful staff (Fr. Kevin Daly, Shelly Stefanik, and Diana King) and is fortunate to have worked for two Siena presidents, both of whom have been enormously supportive. He also feels fortunate for his two wonderful bosses, Fr. Jim Toal and Fr. Ken Paulie, both of whom have been supportive and non-intrusive.
The Promethean staff, as well as the Siena community, extends its best wishes to Beaudin and his endeavors on his sabbatical.
Annual Appreciation Dinner
from April 30, 2009 issue
By Leanne Gelish
This reception is a chance for the families to meet the students they are sponsoring, and to hear all the many stories that the Siena students have been able to experience due to their generous donations. At this particular dinner, over six hundred families and students were in the Maloney Great Room. When the families were finally matched with their student, their eyes lit up with excitement. They loved hearing about the student’s typical days, and they were all genuinely pleased to help these students. When asked how the scholarship has affected him, Eric Baral, who is sponsored by Ed and Colleen W. Butler, said “Someone gave me a chance to better my life. This scholarship has helped alleviate a lot of the financial burden and my first year at Siena has been great because of it”. Ben Thomas, who is the President of the Class of 2012, said “Appreciation is everything. Everything you do in school is for yourself, but when someone else is providing you with the opportunity, it really inspires you to do the best you can”. He is sponsored by the Gene and Mary Sarazen Scholarship, and the Maureen O’Sullivan Cushing Scholarship. When glancing around the Great Room that evening, you saw how grateful the students were for their sponsors. Many of these students would not be able to attend Siena if they did not have these scholarships, and each of them work very hard to continuously improve their lives, because someone gave them the chance to.
Fresh Face for Foundations?
from April 2, 2009 issue
By Liz Muscarello
Twelve years after the foundations sequence was implemented as a part of Siena’s Core requirements for all students, it was time to review its evolution over the years. Two years ago Linda Richardson, the VP of Academic Affairs, and a committee of dedicated faculty members began an extensive review of the program.
The committee wanted to establish a new mission statement for the program as well as new learning goals. The committee also thought it was important that they review how the Franciscan tradition was being implemented within the curriculum of Foundations. There are a few issues that have surfaced throughout the years since Foundations has been in place. Since Foundations started in 1997, 60 new faculty members have been hired. The culture among college professors has been changing over the past few years. Many professors now teach 70% reassigned time which means that they are not full time professors. Many professors are spending that time conducting research in their specialty fields. Over time the number of faculty interested in teaching Foundations has declined, and at the same time the number of incoming freshmen has been increasing each year. This inverse relationship makes scheduling foundations courses a little more difficult.
There have been many suggestions on how to modify the Foundations sequence, and the committee is still deciding which model will best suit Siena College. There have also been discussions about increasing the visibility of our Franciscan Values into the curriculum, not only in foundations but also in some of the liberal arts courses. Some people feel that since we are Franciscan, we do not implement this enough throughout our courses. Along with the review of Foundations the committee is looking at ways to weave the Franciscan Tradition into more courses.
The Foundations sequence has come a long way in the twelve years it has been offered at Siena College. It will continue to flourish and become even stronger after the committee decides on how they will tailor the program to make it better for students and faculty alike.
Board of Trustees: More Than Just a Fancy Title
from April 2, 2009 issue
By Lauren La Marca,
The Board of Trustees here at Siena College is something most students don’t know the first thing about. So, what so important about them? In an interview with Fr. Kevin Mullen, I had come to discover that there is a lot more than just formal business to this board of extremely important people.
The Board of Trustees is a corporate body that directs the policy of Siena College, and is responsible as the legal entity for everything the college stands for and does. It has approximately 40 members, whose makeup is extremely diverse. Members of the board have expertise in certain areas, and are truly people of high influence. They are important figures in their community, and also have a very strong and bold way of supporting Siena as a whole. Characteristics of a board member vary, but there are various groups of people on the board. It truly is a blend of backgrounds, and they reflect that on the Siena community.
Most board members are not alumni of the college, but some are. All of the work they do for us is on a voluntary basis, and they really come from all over the county. Many of the members are located in the capital district, therefore making the commute to meetings a bit easier. The Board of Trustees meets 5 times a year; quarterly to do regular business, and the fifth meeting is for a self evaluation of them. At this fifth meeting, they plan the next year, and how they did as a group that year.
The role the Board of Trustees plays at Siena is bigger than most students realize. They touch student’s lives by voting their tuition, voting candidates for graduation, and overseeing all the operations of the college to ensure that they are in compliance with New York State, Federal Regulations, and Accrediting Agent’s standards.
As for the future of Siena College, they really are just going to keep on doing the best job they can at keeping the college running and the best it can be. A lot of their work is done behind the scenes, and not upfront in the students’ faces. Yet they are incorporated into some events on campus, such as graduation, and other special ceremonies.
Now that we have established some sort of background, how does this committee work? The answer to that is in sub-committees. These working groups are spread across areas such as facilities, academics, athletics, finance, investment, Franciscan values, development and fundraising, student affair. Broken into these segments, the teams collaborate to help the college run better as a whole. Board members are on these committees, as well as faculty, staff, administration, and students. Representatives from all areas of the college are included, in order to get a better picture of things going on here at Siena.
The subcommittee’s breakdown of students and faculty is quite extensive. As far as students incorporation in the Board of Trustees, the President of the Student Senate comes to every meeting and gives the student perspective to the board. On every subcommittee, there are at least 2 students who go to committee meetings, and share with people on the rest of each committee the student perspective from their observation. Sometimes students are invited to meetings on academic award basis, or various other special qualifications. This May, there will be one student from each of the schools, Liberal Arts, Science, and Business who will be invited to a Board meeting to speak about their education, the future of Siena College and what they would like to see, and how Siena has influenced their lives. These students, along with the students on the subcommittees are all chosen by the Deans of the schools. What they are looking for are students who have outstanding qualifications in certain fields of interest.
As far as the faculty perspective, the chair as of now for faculty has been professor Jim Matthews. He represents the faculty, and speaks formally at every board meeting, from the faculty perspective. He is a Computer Science professor, and was elected by the faculty to be their chair some time ago. Like student, there is one faculty member on every subcommittee of the board.
Recently there was a meeting of the Board of Trustees, and it was a regular quarterly meeting. At this time of year, they dealt with budget for next year, which occupied a great deal of the discussion. Many of the members are in business and professions, and respond to the economy from their own perspectives. It truly is a collaborative event. These members come from different professional backgrounds, including the fields of industry, service professions and many more. Their main goal of this meeting was to try and figure out how the economic state right now is directly affecting Siena through their own experience in the work world. Also in this meeting, they had a report on integrated communications and marketing for Siena College.
The most important work of the Board of Trustees is focused around the students which make up Siena College. It’s what they are there for, and what they are proud to represent.
Editor’s Visit to the New York Times
from April 2, 2009 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
“Journalism is the key to democracy.” The Assistant Managing Editor for the New York Times said this in a college editor workshop, and the statement could not be more true. It is the responsibility of journalists in the most democratic nation in the world to espouse the truth and show all facets of a story. Even though journalism is a dying field, due to the advent of online news sources, journalists still have a major responsibility to “tell it like it is” and keep the public as informed as possible.
The New York Times‘ “Inside the Times” News Editors Workshop is a great way to cultivate a new generation of journalists who are excited and enthusiastic about going out into the field, witnessing the world first hand, and reporting back to the public. On March 20, Lauren LaMarca and I took a 6 AM train to Manhattan to participate in the workshop. The Times is located in a statuesque, modern building on 8th Avenue. There were several speakers throughout the day, including Bill Schmidt, the Assistant Managing Editor, and Kathleen McElroy, the Editor of the Continuous News Desk. McElroy’s presentation was particularly interesting because her position is very exciting. Working at the Continuous News Desk is fast-paced and requires working together with a lot of other news desks. According to McElroy, news that you see in section A of the newspaper was likely up on the website the prior afternoon or evening. The Continuous News Desk must be constantly working to update stories and figure out what is the most important and timely news.
Following a delicious lunch and an orientation to the Times‘ website, Don Hecker, the Director of the Student Journalism Institute, ran a two hour editing workshop with the group. He provided us with some wonderful writing and editing tips, including the six things to consider in any story: Is the first paragraph clear and easy to understand? Are all the basics there? Are there any unanswered questions? Is it fair and balanced? How well is the piece written? And finally, does the math add up? These are important things for any writer to keep in mind, whether they are a journalist or simply writing a paper for a class. I definitely took a lot away from this portion of the workshop, and it was interesting to get the perspectives of other editors as well as Hecker.
The workshop was particularly intriguing because students from all over the country and from colleges I had not previously heard of flew in just for the workshop. It was great to get others’ perspectives on writing and editing and to hear about how other schools’ newspapers work. The day of travel was certainly worthwhile, and I brought home a lot of great tips to pass on to my fellow staff writers and editors.
Spring Career Fair
from March 19, 2009 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
With the current economic times, many college students are concerned about getting summer internships or what they are going to do after graduation. To help students out with these difficult decisions, the Siena College Career Center is holding its sixth annual Spring Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday, March 25 from 3-6 PM in the Alumni Recreation Center.
According to Annette Parisi, the Assistant Director for Employer Relations, over fifty organizations will be in attendance, including companies, non-profit organizations, government organizations, and graduate schools. Students from all majors and all class years are invited to attend. Some organizations are seeking full-time employees, which is perfect for seniors who are looking for jobs, and some are seeking interns, which is perfect for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.
The sponsors for this event are Verizon Wireless, Sodexho, and YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities. The full list of participating organizations can be found on CareerSaint, but they include the Department of Health/The Wadsworth Center, Vicarious Visions (makers of Guitar Hero World Tour), American Girl Place, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the Nielsen Company, and Time Warner Cable. Many organizations are contributing to raffle prizes; if you attend, you can win some great stuff. Prizes include Yankees tickets, games by Vicarious Visions, and restaurant, mall, or gas gift cards. If you RSVP on CareerSaint, this will enter you into additional raffles, will save time during check-in, and will create a more professional name tag for you. However, you are welcome to attend if you do not RSVP. Also, you must attend the Career Fair in order to win the prizes.
Parisi encourages students to dress sharp. Seniors should wear business suits. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors should dress in suits if they have them, but a nice pair of pants, shoes, and a sweater or button-down shirt would be fine. “This is not the time to wear pajamas, sweats, sneakers, or jeans!” says Parisi. If you plan on applying for a job or internship, bring copies of your resume on nice resume paper. The Career Center offers critiquing services if you need help writing your resume.
Even though the economy is tight, places are still hiring for full-time jobs and internships, so take advantage of this great event!
How Riding a Bike Can Help Put an End to Poverty
from March 19, 2009 issue
By: Lisa Dussault
All over the world, many people suffer from poverty because of bad living conditions or low-paying jobs. Many of those living in poverty are unable to pay their rent and mortgage requirements due to lack of funds. Because of this, many poor families are forced to foreclose on their houses. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), “Of the 11 million individuals living in worst-case housing situations, 3.6 million are children, 1.4 million are elderly, and 1.3 million are disabled adults.” Many of these people live in houses that have things wrong with their heating, toilets, hot water, and electricity. It is sad to think about these families living in such horrendous conditions when we as students have so much to be thankful for! However, one of our very own at Siena College is taking the extra leap to help out in this cause. Bridget Woebbe, who is a senior, is planning on participating in the fight against poverty.
She is working through Bike and Build, which is an organization that cultivates funding and awareness for affordable housing projects. On the website, it says, “Our events act as a catalyst to build homes, foster the spirit of service, and empower young adults… mile by mile, house by house.” Their main goal is to raise money in order to build houses for the less fortunate and to get as many young people as possible involved in the process. They want the young people of today to test their limitations, reach their absolute potential and create wonderful change for those who are less fortunate. They have young adults, between the ages of 18-25; participate in cross-country fundraising cycling trips. Each biker must agree to raise at least $4,000 on their own before the trip starts, which is usually raised in many different ways with help from the association. All the money that is raised by these young people is then distributed to different affordable housing organizations. Each year Bike and Build must decide which housing projects they wish to fund with the money they raise. This is such a great way to help those who are unable to help themselves due to certain circumstances.
Bridget, who will be graduating in May with a degree in political science and a certificate in environmental studies, is excited to get started on her two month journey across the central United States on a bicycle. She is a firm believer in trying to spread awareness and raise funding for the housing crisis in America. She will be bicycling through 12 different states, stopping on the way at “build sites” in order to help physically build the houses her fundraising money will be sponsoring. Throughout Bridget’s college career at Siena, she has been involved in many other housing projects, such as community service projects organized by the Women’s Rugby Team, which she is a member of. So, when she learned of Bike and Build’s mission from a friend not too long ago, it really gained her complete interest and dedication.
This trip across the country will entail not only the accumulation of the required $4,000, but also a huge deal of work and endurance in order to meet the physical demands of the trip. She is relying heavily on friends, family and the members of the Siena College community for help in all difficult obstacles. Her route will be taking her from Virginia Beach, VA to Canon Beach, OR and will be stopping in almost every state in between to help in building projects. Some stops include, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. Bridget does not have very much experience cycling, so she has begun preparing for her trip by training in the gym on a stationary bike and doing different exercises to target new muscle groups. She is very excited to begin her trip and has been reading up on how to cycle properly and about Bike and Build.
According to Bridget, “The organization as a whole is great. They raise awareness while also having a physical presence making a difference in an area.” By stopping along the trip to help build affordable houses, it makes it easier for the bikers to spread the world throughout the whole country. This year, Bike and Build will be supporting seven cross-county trips with over 210 participants. They are hoping to raise a total of $420,000 for affordable housing projects. As years go on, this organization has continued to grow consistently. Many members are continuously seeking new ways to continue fundraising and volunteer efforts by young people nationwide. Currently, Bike and Build has donated over $1,144,231 to affordable housing associations across the country! Hopefully in the future, Bike and Build will continue to grow and prosper towards the fight against poverty in the United States. If you would like to learn more information, you can visit their site at bikeandbuild.org.
Globalization Conference Comes to Siena College
from March 19, 2009 issue
By: Lauren LaMarca
The globalization studies minor is a field of interest which is growing at a rapid pace here at Siena. The Introduction course to the program is even more popular, since its wonderful addition in 2006 of the Globalization Conference in coherence with Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. The course is extremely popular, and never has any problems filling when course selection rolls around, and with its ever-growing popularity, came the need to add another section of the class. Now the question is, why is this so intriguing?
As previously stated, the Globalization Conference is a part of the Siena Global Studies program, and it originated in an introductory course. This year, the event will be held on March 19, 2009 in the Boland Room here at Siena. “Professors believed that students should have a firsthand globalization experience,” commented Siena’s very own Dr. Stern. So therefore, two professors decided to contact Rosemary Shade, who directs the Loyola International College at Concordia University. She thought having a joint conference between the two schools was a fabulous idea, and here we are four years later!
The first conference was held at Concordia in March of 2006. Ever since then, they have been alternating between there and Siena, as to where to conference would be held. This year it’s Siena’s turn and things are going to be held a bit differently. For one, this will be a two day conference, versus just the one day. In addition to that, there will be a dinner held for the select faculty and students, as well as keynote speaker Dr. Ricardo Lopez, who is an atmospheric scientist at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and he will discuss Climate Change and Social Justice. The following day consists of panels. This is the newest addition to the conference, and this day is completely open to the Siena public. These panels are divided into two segments; students and professors from schools, as well as outside community peace and justice groups. As far as who will be on the Siena-Concordia panel, students are still yet to be determined; but faculty has been established. From Concordia University, Dr. Daniel Salee will address (his topic of speech is still to be determined), and Dr. Richard Shirley, who will be discussing sustainable agriculture. The reason students have not been determined yet is because of the intense competing they’ve been doing among their peers to earn a spot on the panel. As far as the community peace and justice groups, some guest speakers Siena will be hosting include Ed Murphy (Executive Director of the Workforce Development Institute (NYS AFL-CIO)), with the topic of NAFTA and Its Impact on Labor, Brenda Rosenbaum (Anthropologist at SUNY Albany), with the topic of Free Trade versus Fair Trade, as well as our very own Dr. Jean Stern, who will discuss Social and Immigration Conditions Along the Mexico-Texas Border.
As you can see, holding this conference is no easy task. There will be a lot of hard work and effort put into this wonderful event, and hopefully much will be gained from it for some of our Siena students. With any luck, other students and faculty from the Siena community will be able to get there on the second day of the conference, to hear what these outstanding people have to say, about the conditions in our world today. It’s your world kids, go out and learn about it!
Siena Investment & Research Association: What’s it All About?
from March 5, 2009 issue
By Lauren LaMarca
Siena Investment and Research Association, also known as SIRA, is one of Siena’s new up and coming clubs on Siena’s campus. With great goals, networking opportunities, and hardworking students who want to gain experience with the outside world, this club is not something to overlook.
Now, what is the club all about? SIRA is an association which deals with the understanding and the explanation of the global economy, as well as the current business world, at a college level. “We want to give students the opportunity to challenge themselves by applying what they’ve learned in the classroom, and enhancing their leadership, organization, and communication skills,” said Michael Anderson co-chairman of SIRA. The club is divided into six divisions, five of which are each responsible for research within their field, and presenting a collaborated production at the end of the semester to fellow club members. These The different divisions are the Economic Advisory Division, the Marketing and Relations division, the Investment Banking division, the Global Markets and International Business Affairs division, the Accounting and Business Ethics Division, and the Development and External Affairs division. Each segment contains approximately 4 to 8 analysts, who do all of the research on their topic of choice within the world of business current events. The last division, Development and External Affairs, is in charge of organizing events and planning meetings within the association. As one can imagine, this is a key part of the group, and a necessity to its overall function.
Five of the six divisions of the association also have a Vice President/ Team Leader. These are students who moderate the people of the division, as well as make sure they stay organized and on task. These established representatives are Ryan Wilson (Chief Economist, Economic Advisory Division), Christopher O’Connell (Vice President of Marketing, Marketing and Relations Division), Monica Gaspo (Vice President of Finance, Investment Banking Division), Craig Shepard (Vice President of International Business Affairs, Global Markets and International Business Affairs Division), and Patrick Creegan (Chief Accountant, Accounting and Business Ethics Division). SIRA also has a Senior Vice President, who is the overall Team Leader. This prestigious title belongs to Frank Massi, who is a sophomore Finance and Accounting major.
In accompaniment to the divisions VP’s, there are also corporate advisors, who step in to assist the club with their research topics. Some of the companies that these advisors come from include Goldman and Sachs, Citizens Bank, Sandler O’Neil, and Nestle. The topics they suggest may actually be a project that the advisors themselves are actually working on, which gives students a dose of real world goals. In my interview with the two co-chairmen, they wanted to get the message out there that they are determined to expand their client database in the near future. Mike Anderson also noted that “We want SIRA members to experience a successful transition from Siena’s classrooms into the business world.”
SIRA was founded by two Siena students; Diego Blake, a sophomore Finance major with an Economics minor, and Michael Anderson, also a sophomore Finance major with an Economics minor. These two are the co-chairmen of the association, and play a big role in the club’s events and activities.
So, what else does SIRA do for Siena students? Some of their other functions include résumé writing workshops, interviewing workshops, public speaking workshops, as well as dress for success workshops. All of these events are beneficial to all students in the business field, and all are encouraged to attend.
Sira is a highly complex association, the type of organization not found at many undergraduate institutions. The goal of the club is to open doors, while taking beginner steps into the business world. Here students get a feel for analyzing data and working with corporate advisors. “Students get real world experience through this practice, as well as acquiring networking skills, which is really a main goal of the group,” said Diego Blake.
With that all said and done, how on earth did Diego and Michael come up with this extensive, yet incredible association? “It just so happened that we were sitting the Marketing Lab in Siena hall, and were discussing a club that concentrated more on investment research.” The two had already started a club called the Federal Reserve Challenge, which consisted of a competition between many schools, determining how the economy was going to fluctuate, based on data. Because of the excitement they felt with that club, they decided to branch out, and expand their research and experience.
Siena Investment and Research Association is a new group as of the spring of 2009. In response to the clubs overall promotion, there were about 70 responses, and about 45 active participants. There are meetings held twice a month, yet the E-board (The VP’s, the Senior VP, and the co-chairmen) meet once a week. In addition to this great staff, there are also two faculty advisors; Tom Kopp, head of the Finance Department at Siena, along with John Piccione, Finance Professor at Siena. The organization would seeks to expand its numbers, considering how beneficial it is to each individual in the group. Diego is extremely proud of this club, and would like students to know that “SIRA allows Siena students to delve within their major outside of the classroom. Students get the opportunity to learn about topics that may not be taught in classes, while also getting advices from business people who have achieved great success in a their career field. An organization that really separates itself from other campus clubs.”
With Lent Around the Corner, Meditation is in Order!
from March 5, 2009 issue
By Lauren LaMarca
For the past couple of years, the Chaplains Office has been providing a meditation series, held in the St. Mary of Angels Chapel here at Siena. With the liturgical season of Lent now upon us, this is a great time for reflection.
The meditation series is offered to all students, regardless religious background. This meditation series is offered during Lent in order to let students reflect on life, religion, and themselves. The mediations last about ten minutes, giving students an opportunity to center themselves during this busy and hectic time of the spring semester. This semester, the dates for the Meditation series are scheduled for March 3rd, 10th, 19th, 24th, 31st, and April 7th.
So what is this meditation thing all about? What do you do there?
Well, the time spent in the chapel is divided into three main segments; prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The prayer service is the first part of the meditation, where there will be a period of silence, as well as breathing exercises. The fasting and almsgiving come afterward, which involves food and reflection. This year, there will be homemade soups and fresh breads served as a nice and hardy lunch. For the almsgiving, there will be a photo gallery of service trips that were accomplished this year.
“The whole point of the mediation is for the students to obtain quiet time and personal time for themselves. Each person is different, so therefore each person’s experience is different. It could be a spiritual thing, or maybe just a ten minute relaxation period that some students may not be able to get in their day. It could also be a personal journey with God; you really do get to create your own scenario,” said Shelly Stefanik, who is an Associate Campus Minister in the Chaplain’s Office here at Siena.
The Chaplain’s Office would like to encourage more students to attend these sessions, considering the benefit only nature of meditating.
“My hope is that the Chaplain’s Office will continue the mindset and relationship of collaboration with other organizations on campus,” said Stefanik. With joint efforts on campus, there is more room for creation of resources and services for students here at Siena. The meditation series is one of many services that would benefit from increased participation and collaboration.
How the Career Center can help with the Interview Process
from March 5, 2009 issue
By Lisa Dussault
An interview is one of the most unnerving things everyone must go through. It is hard to know exactly what to say, or what to wear, or what to do when going on an interview for the first time. Without preparation, a lot of times an interview can go very wrong. Luckily for us, Siena students, we have a qualified group of people right on campus that can help us through this difficult process. The Career Center is full of people who want to help us not only find a job we like, but also actually get that job we like. Debra Delbelso, director of the Career Center, has a lot of insight into the whole interview process and all the different outlets on campus open to those of us nervous about it. She says, “the economy is difficult, jobs are competitive, but there are entry-level positions that are available, but you should start early in the job search!” She says it is very important to make an appointment with a Career Center counselor to talk about any jobs that may interest you.
It is very easy to set up a mock interview over at the Career Center. All you have to do is call them up or go onto their website and sign-up for one under CareerSaint. Real employers then come in from distinguished companies, usually employers from Human Resources. They can be done for any major, last around thirty minutes and provide feedback so you know what to improve on. Also, in the fall, specific interviewers from accounting companies will come in to interview students interested in an Accounting career. It is also important to have your resume on hand and to dress professionally when coming to a mock interview.
However, you don’t have to go into the Career Center just to talk to a counselor; you can simply run in and grab one of their many handouts– particularly the “Effective Interviewing” one. This will give you an overview as to what to do before an interview, how to enhance your presentation skills, what to do during an interview, what to do after an interview and also includes questions you may ask your interviewer or questions they may ask you. This form could be very helpful to anyone who may be nervous about an upcoming interview or just wants to know the basics. It is definitely a great resource to have on hand!
According to Debra Delbelso, there are two important things to remember during the interview process. First, to do research on the specific company you are interviewing for and to send a thank you card to them within 48 hours after the interview. Both actions will make your chance at getting the desired job a lot better and will make you memorable to your interviewer. The interview process can definitely be a stressful time in anyone’s life, but you can most certainly make the whole ordeal a little easier by taking advantage of the great resources found right on campus. The Career Center is located over in Foy Hall and the doors are always open to any students who need guidance.
TEN MOUNTAINS TO SKI AT THIS WINTER!
from March 5, 2009 issue
By Meg Rowley
Winter is my favorite season. And there is one reason why: I love skiing. And while I don’t live out in Colorado, and I’m not able to hit Aspen and Breckenridge on a routine basis, I am lucky enough to be able to ski at some very steezy, very sweet mountains here on the east coast. So for all you ski and snowboard bums that dream of shredding the slopes rather then sitting in the classroom, I have complied a list of a few of the sweetest mountains to hit up, within driving distance of Siena.
1. Killington, VT: This has been my home resort since I was just a little guy. With over 200 trails, loads of wood runs, two parks, and a haft pipe they have been working on all winter, Killington has something for all levels. Killington has recently been sold to new management, who pride themselves on their snowmaking. So, in the future, Killington can only improve, making it a most excellent ski resort.
2. Whiteface, NY: Now, Whiteface is commonly called Ice-face by avid skiers, due to the icy conditions and harsh winds. Maybe it is because I went there as a little kid, and fell in love with Lake Placid Village, which has the same abundance as ski towns out West, but I love whiteface. It is a great place to ski and offers plenty of things to do in the Village for the Skier that just wants to buy a half-day ticket.
3. Stowe, Vt: If you know anyone that goes to UVM, you should make friends with them so you have a place to stay while hitting the slopes of Stowe. Stowe is comprised of two mountains, and is known for its great snow conditions, and being a picturesque ski town.
4. Jay Peak, Vermont: If you’re a more experienced skier who’s into intense skiing, then Jay Peak is the place for you. It has been on multiple lists for best skiing in the North East. Located near Canada, the snow dumps at Jay are always insanely awesome. To give you some perspective about how much snow they get– I’m writing this on February 25 and, in the last six days, Jay has got nearly 70 inches– Yes, I said 70 inches of snow!
5. Sugarbush: Is tons of fun! With lots of events that are geared toward a younger crowd, Sugarbush is a great place for college students to shred. For a lot of fun head up to Sugarbush on March 28, for the 42nd annual pond skimming event. This is the oldest running pond skimming contest in the country. Pond skimming is an event where people ski down the slopes and hit a man made pond where they try to water ski across the waves; most people don’t make it across, creating a highly entertaining spectacle.
6. Willard, NY: The closest mountain on this list, Willard is located about a 40 minutes drive from Siena. Willard also has the best priced lift tickets. A tubing park, terrain park, and night skiing are all offered at Willard. Go to Willard’s website at willardmountain.com and enter the rail jam that is coming up in the next week, for a chance to win some sick prizes.
7. Okemo, VT: A great mountain. Okemo is known for its stellar snow making. Only two hours from Siena, Okemo offers a lot of clinics, where you can learn from the best. Through March 23-25 snowboards can sign up for lessons from two time gold medalist Ross Powers. So get out your board and learn some very sweet tricks.
8. Tremblant, Canada: Tremblant is a bit of a drive, and you have to go through customs, but it is quite an adventure and well worth the drive. Tremblant hosts huge college weeks that run through the winter recess and the spring break. This New Years I was lucky enough to be able to go to college week in Tremblant, and let me just tell you that if you don’t enjoy the skiing, you will not be disappointed with the nightlife.
9. Gore, NY: Gore is a sweet little mountain that offers a wide variety of terrains, and it is very close to Siena. I used to ski at Gore when I was a youngster, and I vividly remember the tow-rope, which pulled me up the bunny hill. Gore’s a great place to learn to ski, but also offers some exciting terrain for more experienced skiers.
10. Jiminy Peak, MA: I used to go to ski club at Jiminy when I was in middle school, and I had a lot of good times here. Jiminy has transformed from a little ski mountain into a mountain that has a very nice resort that the whole family can have a lot of fun at. They offer night skiing, and if you go to Jiminy’s web site you can score some online tickets that will save you a couple bucks.
These are just a few of the great mountains that I grew up skiing on, and recommend that anyone looking to have a little winter fun try them out. Hope to see you on the slopes!
The History of Romance
from February 12, 2009 issue
By Lisa Dussault
Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is; everything exists, only because I love. –Leo Tolstoy
Every year a special day in February is set aside for those who want to celebrate their love and happiness with each other. A day that can make us either happy because true love has been found or sad because the search for it still continues. Of course, we all know this day is Valentine’s Day, which takes place every year on February 14th. But where did this day that makes us honor love even come from? Why has it grown into such a celebrated event that makes people spend tons of money on candy, stuffed animals and jewelry? It seems bizarre that a special day has been created to commemorate love, though it is possibly the more important holiday to celebrate. The history of Valentine’s Day is actually quite ambiguous and interesting when you look at it closely. It was not always the commercialized event that it is today.
Legends are all we really have to examine in order to place the exact person and the exact events that have created and shaped our cherished Valentine’s Day. Although, the problem with this is that there are several different legends that claim to be the correct story about how the day of love came about. One legend begins in Rome in 269 AD when Claudius II was emperor. Claudius II carried his men through many bloody and horrendous operations making it hard to get soldiers to join his army. He believed that young men were unwilling to join his army because they did not want to abandon their loves or their families, and so he decided to ban all the marriages of young men in order to force them to join the army. However, the good Saint Valentine, who was a priest at the time, went against the banishment of marriages and secretly performed weddings for young lovers. Eventually his actions were discovered and he was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. While in jail, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s young daughter, who always visited him in his cell. Before he was to die on February 14th, he wrote his young lover a letter and signed it, “From your Valentine,” which is where we get that phrase today. Then in 496 AD, Pope Gelasius set aside February 14th as the day to celebrate Saint Valentine and his memorable exploits. And according to this legend, that is why we have this day to celebrate the honor of Valentine’s quest and for love in general.
Another popular legend that is quite different from the one already mentioned, also takes place in Ancient Rome. February 14th was a day that was set aside to honor the goddess, Juno, who was the Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. She was also known as the goddess of women and marriage. The day after Juno’s honored celebration, on February 15th, the feast of Lupercalia began. During this time in Roman history, young boys and girls were to be kept strictly separate; however on February 14th (the eve of the festival) they were allowed to be together. The names of the Roman girls were placed on slips of paper that were then placed into a box. The young boys had to draw a girl’s name out and become their partner for the rest of the festival. Sometimes, the young boy and girl would fall in love and marry. Priests, at this time, wanted to do away with the heathen celebration of Lupercalia, so they changed the name of the celebration to Valentine’s Day. But it was not really until the 14th century that this festival became solely associated with love, due to the romantic writings of Chaucer.
Valentine’s Day made it to the United States quite some time later. It mostly began in England and then was passed on to the American colonies back in the 18th century. However, it did not really become completely wide spread until around 1850 when Miss Esther Howland sent the first Valentine’s Day card, which was decorated with ribbons, lace and hearts. Then they began to be made and sold commercially. This holiday of love has become such a commercial success now that 25% of all cards sent throughout the year are Valentine’s Day cards. In fact, it ranks second (after Christmas) for most greeting cards sent.
The month of February has always been regarded as the month of love, even back in the middle ages, and it has continued to be throughout the world. It is quite obvious that the celebration of love never gets old. All throughout history, there are many stories of love, romance and chivalry that always continue to be endearing and popular in society. Despite all the legends and all the commercial success however, Valentine’s Day is still simply a time for everyone to celebrate something that has lasted for as long as time: love.
Recycling Program a Huge Success
from February 12, 2009 issue
By Craig Osborne
The recycling program at Siena has evolved from a single garage-bay operation to a program that continues to grow each year. In the beginning, there was no sorting at the disposal point and everything from paper to plastic to metal was mixed together. There are now recycling bins where there are garbage cans. Not only does this help the recycling effort but it keeps the area much cleaner. Besides putting the recycling bins in the corridors, recycling bins have been put in dorm buildings. Eventually, the program would like to have recycling bins on each level of each dorm building. Facilities management believes that easier access to recycling bins will increase the already increasing recycling on campus. Also, the cardboard that is recycled is put into a cardboard crushing machine that wraps bundles of cardboard up, placing them in dumpsters. Once full, these dumpsters are then sent to a recycling center. Facilities management also has been putting ‘book drops’ in several places on campus to encourage the recycling of old textbooks. A big step for the recycling program was the introduction of electronics recycle day. Facilities management was unsure how much of a response it would get from this addition. In 2007 they received eight pallets of computer equipment. Only one year later they received 22 pallets full.
The whole program continues to grow and receive numerous results. With the continued technological improvements in the world, recycling is becoming progressively easier and more convenient. A new technology called single-stream recycling is being implemented throughout the campus. Single-stream recycling allows one to put all recyclable items in a single bin, letting technology do the sorting at a later time. Another part of Siena that is helping to recycle is the dining department, which has recently switched to bio-degradable cups.
The greatest thing about the recycling program and all of its advances are the results that have been achieved. According to facilities management, 27,000,000 sheets of newspaper have been recycled, saving the equivalent of 2,200 mature trees. The program has saved enough energy to power 103 homes and created landfill space for the disposal needs of 1000 people. Also, the program has saved 907,000 gallons of water which is continuing to become a more and more valuable resource.
Siena is doing its best to do its part in the never ending battle against our own consumption. The recycling program will continue to grow and make recycling a more convenient option on campus. It cannot continue to grow without the help and support of the faculty and students. All that facilities management asks of the students is to make an effort to get recyclables into the right bins.
Philanthropy – How Can We All Give Back?
from February 12, 2009 issue
By Nancy dos Santos
Philanthropy is – charity, compassion, generosity, and benevolence. What do these words mean to you as a college student? Everyone is capable of giving back to humanity in some way. So, we all know that one person is not going to put an end to poverty or cure hunger, but why not get involved? A single person showing compassion to another human being is enough to start a change. When did we all become too busy to care about one another anyway? Everyone has plenty of things to do here every day, and I’m just as busy as the next person, but helping others can be rewarding in many ways. If we all took a little time out of our day to think about our community and help out in some way, I’m certain that in the long run we would enjoy our world a little more.
Demonstrating philanthropy can be as easy as volunteering some time in a soup kitchen, or donating some clothes from your closet to someone who needs them more than you. We should all consider ourselves lucky to be a part of the Siena Community, which offers students such a wide variety of groups and organizations through which to help others. There are so many great ways to get involved and give back to the community, whether it is through volunteering of some sort, joining Habitat for Humanity, or even giving blood. Whatever it is you choose to do, just remember to give back in some way because in the words of Saint Francis, “It is better to give, than receive.”
Gay and Lesbian Literature: A Fascinating class offered at Siena College
from February 12, 2009 issue
By Meg Rowley
Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I love picking my classes for the new semester. As an English major I have been able to take a wide range of really interesting courses in the English department, and last semester I took an Honors English class that was the most interesting class I have ever taken. Gay and Lesbian Literature with Dr. Rachael Stein was truly a wonderful class.
The class was composed of less then 15 students, making it intimate and easy to open up. Each week we read a book by a gay or lesbian author or about an event concerning a gay or lesbian individual. We then wrote essays which were peer critiqued and spent the whole class discussing the books. Some of the books that we read included The Laramie Project, The Female Man, Beebo Brinker, and How I Learned to Snap. The books were all quite different but fascinating in their own way. The class required a huge amount of work between reading a book a week and writing an essay each week, but it honestly did not feel like any work at all. It was so exciting to be in a class with students that were really interested in the topic, and by focusing on the Gay and Lesbian perspective, it let us examine literature in a unique, new, and refreshing way.
For our final project we were allowed to write a creative piece that delved into a subject related to the gay/lesbian lifestyle. For our final class each student went around and shared a part of their written work. I was blown away by the candid rawness of what my peers had written. Everyone had put such a great deal of work into their short stories, poems, and essays, and the effort showed. It was the most powerful class I have taken.
When I run into my classmates that were in Gay and Les lit, we all talk wistfully about how much we miss our class and our teacher. Dr. Stein was an excellent teacher because she was open, kind, and very knowledgeable about literature.
While this was hands down my favorite class, when I would mention that I was taking Gay and Les Literature people would raise their eyebrows, chuckle, and ask me how Siena College, a Catholic school, could allow such a controversial topic to form a class. This shocked me. We go to a liberal arts college that prides itself on being open and accepting, and still so many people seemed opposed to this course being offered at Siena. I think that having Siena offer this class is wonderful. It is simply expanding the knowledge of the world around us, something that may be different to some people, but important and worth studying. There are many classes offered that deal with heterosexual romantic literature, so one should also be offered that studies homosexual romances.
I applaud Siena College and I urge people to look into trying to take this course that challenges their boundaries; a course that opens their eyes to something that they do not know about and tests them and their views of the world. These classes are the classes that will truly shape Siena students into the open minded, well-rounded individuals that all colleges encourage their students to be.
Spring Break Trips
from February 12, 2009 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
As a Franciscan school, Siena offers its students plenty of opportunities to give back to the community. This spring break, there are several trips going out that allow students to help those in need. Not only do students get to give back to the community, but the trips are very rewarding for all involved.
For the third year in a row, Shannon O’Neill, director of the Women’s Center, Br. Brian Belanger, director of International Programs, and Suzanne O’Connor, Assistant Director of the Career Center are leading nine students to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Applications were due in October, and there were more applications than spots on the trip. Those involved with the trip stay with Franciscan Sisters and help with their school and medical clinic, as well as bring donations to help the impoverished community. The Sisters also run a baseball program, which is very popular because many Major League Baseball players come from the Dominican Republic. Participation in the program requires that the adolescent boys stay in and attend school, which helps ensure that children are being educated and kept off the streets and out of trouble. The group will be collecting baseballs the week before spring break to donate to the program. Last year, three students chipped in to buy one of the boys a left-handed glove, which are expensive and hard to come by in the Dominican Republic. According to O’Neill, “The community appreciates anything we can bring and the time we spend with the children doing fun but educational projects.”
The more well known spring break trips are the Habitat for Humanity trips. Habitat spring break trips consist of about eighty students going to four different parts of the Carolinas. Each of the four trips has about nineteen students and one chaperone from the college. The groups travel to the Carolinas to four different host sites, where they work with the people in that area for a week on building a house for someone in need. They work on whatever project that affiliate has going on at the time, and the students get to meet and work with great people from those areas. Sometimes other Habitat clubs are there at the same time, which provides Siena students with the opportunity to meet other college students from around the country. According to Elizabeth Murphy, a senior at Siena, “It is a very rewarding experience, and it’s so much fun to see how you are helping a family who would not have had a home if it were not for Habitat.”
Another popular spring break trip is to the St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This trip gives students the opportunity to serve the poor. This year the trip will be chaperoned by Fr. Dennis Tamburello. The nine students going on the trip will stay in the “Elizabeth House,” a few doors down from the St. Francis Inn. As volunteers, these students will have the opportunity to prepare and serve meals for guests at the Inn, travel with staff members throughout Philadelphia to pick up donations for the Inn, help with the care and support of women who come to the Women’s Center, and help with deliveries and maintenance. While it is too late to get on the trip, Judy Dougherty at the Franciscan Center can provide more information for future trips.
Looking for ways to build your resume, get community service hours, or simply volunteer your time for those in need? These three trips are excellent ways to do that and will also be rewarding for all those involved. Contact Heather Flood for Habitat for Humanity, Shannon O’Neill for the Dominican Republic trip, or Judy Dougherty for the St. Francis Inn trip for further information.
Siena Ranks Among Highest In Graduation Rates
from Jan. 29, 2009 issue
By Gabrielle Dessaint
What does a college education mean in 2009? For many it means a new start, an escape from the confines of home and a chance at a better life. But it also means many literal things, college is a demanding job, and as we all know it’s far from easy. A college degree takes time, allot of money, persistence and a whole lot of patience. However, in 2009 going to college is a norm adopted by most high school graduates, many of whom will successfully complete a four-year college degree at a college or university. Recently, Siena has been named one of the “Best Colleges” by US News and World Report. With a 74% graduation rate, more students are applying (5,792 applicants last year) and with a 54.2% acceptance rate, this year’s freshman class is the biggest ever. Prospective students are paying attention too, an anonymous blog commenter wrote, “I’m a prospective student thinking of attending Siena next year and I think it’s really great that the college is moving up in the rankings Especially in today’s day in age when prospective students can get info anywhere on the net. Siena seems like a great school and I’m highly considering attending next fall!” If you would like to view US News and World Report’s list of best colleges you can check out the link listed in the news blog section of the student homepage!
Interview Tips from a Professional
from Jan. 29, 2009 issue
By Lisa Dussault
Going on an interview is always a tough thing to do when you enter the working world. When you become a senior, anxieties about the future begin to overwhelm you and the interview process is a big part of that. On News Channel 13, Mark Grimm, head of Mark Grimm Communications, was asked for tips on how to properly go through an interview. He went through all the dos and don’ts of the process, like how to make a good impression and make yourself stand out from all the other interviewees.
Further, it doesn’t help that our economy is not doing so well either. Many people have lost their jobs and, no matter how many interviews they go on, find it hard to get another. Mark Grimm began his advice by saying, “to lose your job is like a kick in the teeth,” because your job is a part of your identity and helps to distinguish who you are. Mr. Grimm’s biggest piece of advice, however, was to stay positive!
He proceeded to list off six main things to remember when going on an interview. First, “it’s not about you.” When going on an interview, it’s important to make the whole process geared toward the company. Usually you are focused on your own life but really the employer is more interested in what you can bring to the table and what abilities you have to offer his or her company. It’s always good to go into an interview with a plan or outline, but not to script it completely. You want to be able to let the conversation flow with your interviewer.
His second tip was to “show how you can help” the company you are interviewing for. It would benifit you to research the company before the interview and then decide what they need most help with. Then, be prepared to tell them how exactly you can deliver A, B, and C in a way that highlights your accomplishments. This leads into his third piece of advice, to “talk about your accomplishments.” He made it clear that it is better to represent your accomplishments rather than giving them a list of your duties. This gives more assurance that you can help.
Next, he discussed how to make your resume the best that it can possibly be in order to grab the attention of the employer. It’s good not to have a lot of text; make it easy to read with a lot of white space and bolded headlines. It’s also good to alter your resume for each job you apply for because each one is going to be very different. It is also good to start with a summary of what you can bring to the table and how to help the company.
His fifth tip was to “listen well.” It’s best to know a lot about the company and tell them that you know what they need and that you can deliver it to them. It’s good here to discuss your past accomplishments in order to give evidence to prove you can get the job done.
His last bit of advice was to “follow-up.” He said it’s good to send a thank you card to let them know that you are still interested and also to highlight certain parts of the interview so you can prove that you were listening well. This also helps prove that you are better than the other people they interviewed.
After all of this advice given by Mr. Grimm, he ended on the same note that he began with, to STAY POSITIVE! It’s a tough market out there, but if you can follow some of the advice given by Mr. Grimm, it is sure to help you.
Financial Crisis Hits Home
from Jan. 29, 2009 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
As stocks and the job market remain unpredictable and volatile, Siena College students have noticed the crisis hitting a little closer to home. Weekend shoppers at Crossgates Mall see that the mall is emptier than it used to be and stores do not have as much merchandise as they did previously. It is certainly an eerie feeling to recognize things like this and realize just how bad the economic situation has become.
The crisis has affected life at Siena as well. In December, the college sent home a letter from Father Kevin Mullen stating some changes in residence life for the fall 2009 semester. Siena had planned to build a new residence hall over the summer for next fall, but the economic environment has caused the administration to postpone this project. Also, the Polytech apartments are no longer available to Siena students for next fall. In total, this will leave approximately two hundred students with no housing for next year.
According to Dr. Maryellen Gilroy, Vice President for Student Affairs, and John Felio, Associate Dean of Students, housing decisions for next year did not happen overnight. The administration had to evaluate numbers and enrollment plans. While a new residence hall had been talked about and planned for a year, they decided to put it on hold because there were too many uncertainties on how the economic situation would affect families. “We didn’t want to build a new residence hall and have it half empty if people could no longer afford to live at Siena,” said Felio.
The administration considered several options to defer a housing crisis for next year. First, a decision on Polytech was made after Thanksgiving. Siena did not want to buy the entire building, so the college let the bid go to RPI. After all, most students want to live on campus anyway, so Student Affairs and Residence Life did not want Polytech to be the only option left for students with high lottery numbers. Siena also looked into other off-campus housing, including several private communities, but no off-campus locations were acceptable. Gilroy also points out that it is very difficult to find off-campus housing for just nine months.
As a result, as students may know from Fr. Mullen’s letter, the college decided that the best option in this situation would be to increase Padua Hall’s occupancy to four instead of three. Not only does Padua have the square footage and fire code requirements for four people, but even numbers of people tend to work better than odd numbers in terms of making housing easier. To live in Padua, it is much easier to find two extra people than one, and this will make splitting up larger groups who tried to get townhouses easier as well. This also gives the administration an extra year to assess the economic crisis and how it will impact the college before any permanent decisions regarding new residence halls can be made. John Felio also mentioned that in order to make Padua more appealing and add an extra amenity, the college has obtained the financial support to make Padua wireless for next year. This, too, will make the switch to four people easier because students will not have to arrange their room according to where the Ethernet connections are.
In light of this news about Padua, students have also been wondering how this crisis will impact the MacClosky Square renovations. Last summer, the college began renovating a few complexes in MacClosky in an effort to update them. The changes include brand new, beautiful appliances, hardwood floors, and faux granite countertops, to name a few. The results are beautiful, and these new townhouses are highly sought after for next year. Felio assures the student body that the renovations will continue this summer, but the scope has slowed down-only two houses will be updated this year. However, the college has a solid commitment to renovate MacClosky, as the houses badly need to be updated and repaired, so that is one thing that will not change for now.
Overall, the college has to look at how money is being spent and how it can be spent more efficiently. It is certainly looking carefully at its expenditures and considering what can be put on hold without cutting too much student funding or activities and services. Right now, Siena is just trying to project for next year and gauge how the economic situation will affect its families, which will in turn affect the decisions the school makes-particularly regarding housing. According to Gilroy and Felio, the college is also being very flexible to opt out of the four year residency requirement prior to the housing selection. The college is doing everything it can to make things easier on its families and not make the crisis obvious to students.
For further information regarding the housing process for next year and what it means for students, please contact Residence Life. Dr. Maryellen Gilroy in Student Affairs and John Felio are also excellent, helpful resources.
“iLead, iChange, I am an RA”
from Dec. 4, 2008 issue
By Leanne Gelish
As our first semester back at school comes to a close there are many new opportunities developing on campus. One of these new opportunities is the chance to become a Resident Assistant on campus. As we all know, the resident assistants are a constant presence in all of our lives. Residents can always go to their resident assistants if they have a problem, or just want to talk. Although many people believe that the Resident Assistant’s job is just to keep those rowdy residents out of trouble, their job has many perks, and it looks phenomenal on a resume. One of the most beneficial perks of becoming a resident assistant is free room and board. Resident Assistants also receive a bi-weekly stipend amounting to $1,750 a year, and a $200 a semester book stipend. Besides the financial benefits, Residents Assistants gain a better understanding of people, and have the opportunity to connect with many students. This years theme for resident life is “i Lead, i Inspire, i Build, i Change, i Help… i Am an RA”. You may be wondering how one can go about becoming a Resident Assistant, and the process is a fairly simple one. Starting December 3rd, 2008 till January 30th, 2009 there will be an application on Blackboard. The general requirements are you must be a full time student, you must be in good judicial standing by the start of employment and you must maintain a 2.5 or greater cumulative and semester GPA. The requirements for moving forward in the process are as followed: You must attend one of these three informational sessions on either: Wednesday January 28th from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in SSU 243, Thursday January 29th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm in SSU 243, or Friday January 30th from 12:30 to 1:30 in SSU 243. If after the informational sessions you are still interested you must have schedule an interview, as well as submit a resume with a cover letter. You must also obtain two letters of recommendation, one of which must come from a current Resident Assistant. After all that is said and done, you must also attend a group process meeting which will take place on March 7th 2009 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This group process will give the Resident Life staff a chance to meet potential candidates and give an informal group interview. To join the Blackboard group you must e-mail Deanna Rella, who is the Assistant Director of Residential Life, as well as the Resident Director in Padua at firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>. If you have any more questions about the process, please contact Deanna Rella through her e-mail , or you could contact her via phone through extension 6733.
from Nov. 13, 2008 issue
By Meg Liguori
Hey Siena, get ready for November 15th! The Asian Students Association (ASA) and the Black and Latino Student Union (BLSU) are hosting this year’s Fall Fusion. “Welcome to the Jungle” is the theme of this year’s show, and it should be a “wild” night. Derrell Melton and Meridith Chan will be the MCs, to ensure tons of fun! Some performances to watch out for: the Bhangra Team, which won first place in the region; Top Quality and Hypnotic, two teams who competed for Siena’s Best Dance Crew; and the Step Team. There will also be many other forms of entertainment!
Proceeds from this event will go to the Against Malaria Foundation. This foundation’s cause is to prevent and protect against malaria all over the world. It provides nets and other forms of prevention against malaria in areas where the disease is prominent. Every year, about one to three million people die from malaria. Malaria is a deadly disease that is spread through mosquitoes. The easiest way to prevent the spread of the disease is with insecticide nets. With only $5, the Against Malaria Foundation can purchase, distribute, and install one long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN), which will remain effective for five years. Please visit www.againstmalaria.com for more details.
Make sure you come out and support the fight against malaria!
Fall Fusion will begin at 7pm, and the doors open at 6:30pm. Admission for non-Siena students is $5, the exact price of one mosquito net! Mark the date down on your calendars, Saturday November 15, 2008. It will be a great event to support a great cause!
Where the Money Comes from
from October 30, 2008 issue
By Leanne Gelish
For many years Siena College has been fortunate enough to be able to provide
scholorships, fund numerous student programs, and give financial aid to
those who qualify, but where does this money come from? The money used to
fund these programs stem from the Siena Annual Fund. The Siena Annual Fun is
supervised by Susan Ferris and the Alumni House. Here, they manage the
money, and each year they contact alumni, parents of students and others
through personal meetings and letters. Also, throughout the year, from Sunday
to Thursday, student volunteers take part in a phone-a-thon program. The
money raised is then put to use during the next fiscal year. Last year,
through the efforts of many volunteers, the Siena Annual Fund raised
$1,720,183 of unrestricted support. Each year, the Alumni House raises their
goal, and this year is no different. This year, the Siena Annual Fund hopes
to raise $1,850,000 in unrestricted support. Hopefully, even with the
current financial turmoil, they are able to reach their goal, and continue
to support our Siena Community.
Siena Fosters Future Careers
from October 30, 2008 issue
By Lauren LaMarca
On November 6th, 2008, Siena College will be hosting a night of opportunity for our budding professionals. This night is about making connections between students, alumni and professionals. The night I’m referring to? Siena’s Annual Networking and Mentoring Night. Although the goal of this night is not to get jobs or is even a career fair per say, but it is a night for students to get themselves out there, and improve their networking abilities.
The people who put the whole show on the road are the Career Center, and the Office of Alumni Relations; yet they are also in partnership with other groups on campus, such as Delta Sigma Pi, and SIFE. The event is completely Siena funded and is primarily run through the Office of Alumni Relations. There is no fee to attend, and plus, refreshments are served! The event is set up more like a reception with employers in similar fields being placed at the same table. It is set up in this manner so students can easily find employers in specific career fields.
Another goal of this fair is to have a diverse, wide variety of organizations. Although the social event isn’t a career fair, in the past there has been a wonderful turnout on both the employer and student sides. Last year, 60 professionals were in attendance, along with over 300 students. For students, this event can be intimidating, but these people are here specifically to speak with you, take advantage! Some of the bigger corporations who will be in attendance this year are Nestle, Seton Health, Enterprise Rent-a-car, the FBI, Clearview Center, and the Office of the State controller; just to name a few.
Our Networking & Mentoring Night event focuses mainly on educating students in the art of networking with employers. Students are encouraged to talk to employers to gain more knowledge about career fields of interest. Most of the students are seniors, yet the event is open to all students. It is highly encouraged to attend to improve their networking skills, which will stay with them for life. Some employers will have open positions and graduating seniors are encouraged to bring their resumes and be prepared for a short interview. There will be a comfortable space set aside for employers if they choose to conduct an interview with any students.
For further information on this event, please contact the Career Center: Careermail@siena.edu
from October 30, 2008 issue
By Tim Jeffreys
Would you be interested in a course that deals with human mortality, immortal gods, human sexuality and male brotherhood? This spring Professor Karimi-Hakak from the Creative Arts department and Professor Dick from the Religious Studies department are co-teaching two classes on the Gilgamesh epic, which is assumed to be the oldest surviving piece of literature in the world.
Dating back approximately 4,000 years, this Mesopotamian epic follows a hero, Gilgamesh, and a wild-man, Enkidu, as they journey to kill a demon god for glory. It has been translated into multiple languages and has influenced many great literary classics like Homer’s Odyssey and the Arabian Nights. Scholars even believe that the flood tale in Gilgamesh was taken by the writers of the Bible to formulate the story of Noah and his Ark.
In order to adequately study this famous work of literature, Dr. Karimi-Hakak and Dr. Dick have crossed department boundaries to illuminate all aspects of the Gilgamesh epic. Students are required to take two classes, which are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings. RELG-300 “Topics: Gilgamesh” and CREA-297 “Topics: Re-presenting Gilgamesh” will be team-taught by the professors. The religion course will concentrate on the significance of the written language used in Gilgamesh and how its message has remained relevant for so many generations. In the creative arts class, students will have the opportunity to recreate the text through a number of different perspectives. Whether it’s through a dramatic presentation or simply a retelling, students will be able to display their interpretations in a manner that extends beyond simply reading an old document. In fact, at the end of the semester, this course provides an outlet for students to publicly exhibit their understanding of Gilgamesh on stage.
If you’re interested in learning about perhaps the most famous piece of human literature then this course is for you! Dr. Dick and Dr. Karimi-Hakak are not only teaching the Gilgamesh epic, but are also offering it in a way so different from the other classes Siena students normally take. When spring registration rolls around in the upcoming weeks, students should keep in mind the unique opportunity presented to them and dive into the world of blood, honor and sexuality that is Gilgamesh.
Troy Lawyer Advises Students
from October 30, 2008 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
When their children go away to college, parents want to know that their new home will protect them if they are ever in trouble. Siena has a little-known, long-standing tradition of providing students with legal advice and counsel if they are ever in trouble or have a problem. The position of legal council for Siena students has been passed between three different lawyers over the course of time; however, in 1994, Matthew Turner, a lawyer and judge for the City Court of Troy, took on the position full time. Many students at Siena are completely unaware of this service, which is provided through the Student Senate’s activities budget.
Turner’s objective is to give students who are living away from home legal advice at a reduced “Siena” price. He maintains an office hour in Siena’s Student Lounge on Mondays from noon to one PM. Here, he helps students with speeding tickets and problems with landlords, for those students who live off campus, among other things. Not only does he advise the student how to go about dealing with the issue, but he will also represent the student in court if necessary. “It’s important for everyone to know they have options and know what those options are,” said Turner.
This service is simply a resource for students to tap into if they are ever in need of legal counsel. It’s a better option than flipping through the Yellow Pages to find a random lawyer in the area. Siena provides this service through the Student Senate, who has $1100 allotted for the year for this assistance. This way, Turner can charge students a greatly reduced rate for his services. For example, Turner normally takes a speeding ticket case for $300 dollars, but it would only cost a Siena student $100.
Turner is currently a criminal defense lawyer, but has experience dealing with personal injury cases. He is also a part-time judge for the city of Troy. He remembers always wanting to be a lawyer growing up, because he had an interest in politics and government. He received his political science degree from Catholic University in Washington, DC, and received his law degree from Albany Law School. Turner’s current inspiration for this position is his daughter, who is a freshman in college. If she were ever in trouble, he wants her to have someone to turn to for help, and he hopes that he can be that person for Siena students.
Darkness in the Albany Capitol
from October 30, 2008 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
What darkness lurks in the nooks and crannies of the Albany Capitol building? Find out for yourself on a Capitol Hauntings Tour! Join the fascinating, ghost hunting tour guides as they lead you through supposedly haunted parts of the building.
On October 23, Siena’s History Club went on a ghost tour. While we didn’t see any ghosts, we did find out some intriguing information about the Capitol building and the Capitol region. We bravely made out way to the very spot where Samuel Abbott, the Capitol’s night watchman, died in the Capitol fire of 1911. As the story goes, he is occasionally known to walk the same hallway where he died at night; sometimes people hear keys jingling and find no one around, or sometimes their custodial equipment will end up in another part of the room than where they left it.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the tour was when our tour guide told us that Lincoln’s body visited the Capitol region after his death. Sometimes at night, people can hear the train that carried his body and all other sound around them disappears. Then, once the train has past, people claim that they look at their watch and eight minutes had passed. Also, a Loudonville couple, Clara Harris and Major Rathbone, were in Lincoln’s theater box at Ford’s Theater the night he was shot. Some of Lincoln’s blood got on Clara’s dress, and according to the legend, Lincoln’s ghost will sometimes wander restlessly in the couple’s house.
We were also able to see the state Assembly Chamber, where a tormented artist created hidden murals. During the fire of 1911, the Assembly Chamber was spared, despite its paper machè ceiling. Sometimes at night, restless souls wander the Chamber as well.
The tour ended with the legend of the “Secret Demon” near the Western Staircase. The story says that when the Capitol building was being built, one of the stone masons, as he was working on an intricate wall design with grapes, made one of the little balls of a grape into a demon face. It is difficult to see without shining a flashlight up close to it, but the little demon is there. It is even said that he is cursed.
Even if you’re a skeptic, the tour is fascinating and offers a great history of the building and the region. Tours are free, but reservations must be made through the Curatorial/Tour Services Office at 518-473-7582. For more information, go to www.ogs.state.ny.us.
Circle of Enlightenment
from October 16, 2008 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
Twenty-six years ago, a small, tranquil place on campus was dedicated to Father Duffy, a former Siena President who greatly contributed to the improvement of the campus landscape. This place, a small study circle in front of Foy Hall, is somewhere that students can go to escape from the stress of everyday life and observe the beauty of nature around them.
The study circle near Foy, one of two located in the Academic Quad, began to show its age, and Don DelManzo, Facilities Director, and Keith Volsky, Grounds Foreperson, recommended that the circle receive a makeover. The next challenge was to find a landscaping company that specialized in building walls and walkways and was willing to work with the existing concept and add new elements to the space. The college found this in Orsini Landscaping, owned by Dave Orsini.
The new circle kept the existing plaque and sundial but features all new stones in the patio area and walkway. Orsini also incorporated plants that thrive in shade around the circle. This new plan kept the main focal point of the circle and simply enhanced its appearance to give it a complete makeover.
Now students can enjoy the new circle in a class setting, if a professor decides to teach outside during warm weather, or individually, taking a few minutes between classes, papers, and meetings to relax and reflect upon their lives and time at Siena.
Nate Maloney, 00′ Grad, Leaves Siena
from October 2008 issue
By Lauren LaMarca
It is always sad when someone leaves the Siena community. Whether it is a
student, graduate, or faculty member, they are all greatly missed in their
own way. As many of you may know from Fr. Kevin Mullen’s email earlier
this week, Nate Maloney, a 2000 graduate, is leaving Siena on October 10th,
2008. I had the privilege of meeting with Nate and getting an interview in
to hear his thoughts.
Nate Maloney was hired to work for the Annual Fund Office right
after graduation, and has been at Siena a total of 8 years. Five of those
years he spent as the Director of Alumni Relations. Fr. Kevin Mullen
included in his email that “Since his appointment, the alumni relations
office has seen major growth in outreach to our alumni, including using
technology and social media to do so.”
Nate was offered a job by Mike Ehlers, who was actually a graduate of Siena
himself, the class of 1979. Mike and Nate had worked together spontaneously
throughout the past 8 years, with recruiting alumni and recruiting students
to jobs. After working with Nate for so long, he noticed his many talents
and strengths and offered him a job as the Marketing and
Management Communications Spokesperson for ELSAG North America. It was a
prestigious and incredible chance, and Nate could not let it go. When I
asked Nate what his main reason for leaving was besides the enormous
opportunity, his response was that Siena College preaches community, and
although this community is dear to his heart, he wants to prove to himself
he can take on a challenge like this in the real world.
Besides being the Alumni Relations Director at Siena, he also began an
event with a fellow Siena grad which is still being put on today. The event
is called Siena Festivino, which is a wine and dinner tasting open
to the public. The majority of guests are Siena faculty and alumni. This event
is a fund raiser, for which half of the proceeds go to Saints Alive, an athletic booster club, and half goes to the Bucci Plan, a
student/alumni engagement program which offers outreach support for
Initially, Nate was uncomfortable with the situation; he grew up in the
capital region and has been at Siena for twelve years. This was way out of
his comfort zone. But, the job did accommodate him, and he will be
traveling to his job site 3 days a week, while working from home the other
days. He also gets to go to Italy on a quarterly basis!
Nate says he will be leaving Siena “kicking and screaming,” and will miss
Siena dearly. But I am sure I speak on behalf of the entire student body
when I say good luck, Nate! You’ll do great!
Family Weekend a Success
from October 16, 2008 issue
By Leanne Gelish
On Friday, October 3, 2008, hundreds of families from across the east coast
and beyond traveled to our humble campus to see their loved ones.
Families were reunited, home cooked meals were packed in glad ware, along
with snacks and twenty-four packs of water, and there was an overall joy
that enveloped the campus. For many, this was the first time students were
able to see their families since moving in five weeks earlier. For the class
of 2012, it was their first time being able to show their families around
their new home for the next school year.
As tradition holds, Family Weekend usually incorporates many different
activities for families to engage in, and this year was no different. On
Friday there was a family reception, which had an array of different foods,
and a “Travelin’ Max” Late Night Sarazen session for those families who
were not completely exhausted from their journeys.
On Saturday, many woke up to the smell of fresh dew and teed off at the
Annual Family Weekend Golf Tournament, held at the Mill Road Acres Golf
Club. For the not so early risers there was a wonderful brunch with the
Deans held in Serra Hall. Following the brunch there was a SAINTS Spirit
Fair held on the Lonnstrom Landing, and it included everything from “dry ice” ice
cream to Siena paraphernalia at a very low price. Local families
brought their pets to be blessed outside of the Standish Library, and many
families attended the Mass for the Feast of St. Francis held in the Alumni
Recreation Center. After the feast, there was a wonderful Multicultural
Dinner held in the Maloney Great Room, which was immediately followed by a
fireworks display in celebration of St. Francis. And for the families who
could not get enough of each other, there was a mind-boggling Late Night
Sarazen session with Mentalist Alain Nu. On Sunday, many families attended
the President’s Pancake Brunch or went to the local diner to enjoy a
nice breakfast together before saying their “goodbye for nows”. Overall,
it was an incredibly successful weekend and a much needed break from
reality for many of us.
from October 16, 2008 issue
By Leah Antil
Perhaps you have heard some cries or whispers around campus about some of the new programs that have been implemented for students and the surrounding community. If you haven’t, listen up! Change is in your midst! Last year, Siena College incorporated the VISTA Program under the leadership of Dr. Mathew Johnson PH.D, and the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy– and now, students are directly involved with community outreach through a veritable “phase two” called the Bonner Service Leaders Program.
So, what is ‘Bonner?’
The Bonner Leaders Program is a nationally recognized development program that allows students to work with the surrounding community on outreach projects that foster progressive learning. Participating Bonner Leaders develop the experience, skills, knowledge, and values necessary to make their work in the community meaningful and impacting. If this perk isn’t enough, the Bonner alumni network also presents extraordinary opportunities for post-graduate students who wish to continue to pursue the journey of education or a career that will make a difference in the world. So, with the efforts of the college’s Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, the Bonner Leaders Program at Siena invites students to engage in social action that transforms their lives by making positive changes across their campus and within their community.
The Bonner Program is a four-year integrated process that begins with a pre-selection of ten students from the incoming class of freshmen based on merit and community involvement. Committing themselves to around ten hours of community service per week, Bonner Leaders are eligible for an award of around $4,724.00 in exchange for 1800 hours of service (including summers) over their four years at Siena. Though 1800 hours sounds like an eternity, most of these are spent with a community agency of the student’s choosing, such as 4-H Earth Clubs, Boy and Girls Club, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and Mohawk/Hudson River Humane Society. The rest of the time is devoted to bi-weekly group meetings, training and enrichment sessions, as well as theme-based conferences that teach valuable, transferrable skills. In the United States, Bonner Leaders have worked, or held internships in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. They have worked internationally in: Venezuela, Mexico, Hungary, Bolivia and Costa Rica as well.
Think you’ve never seen or met a Bonner Leader here on campus? If you have attended any of the Presidential or Vice Presidential debate programs brought to you by the Center for Franciscan Service and Advocacy, you have shared delicious cupcakes, Snickers bars and Twizzlers with them all. Eerie, isn’t it.
There are perks for the Siena Community to capitalize upon with the presence of Bonner leaders on campus. Primarily, if any clubs need community service, on or off campus, the Bonner Leaders can hook you up (community service is kind of their thing). They are great tools and resources for encouraging the campus to get involved in their community outreach projects so more can be a part of the great learning process that Siena works so hard to promote.
So, now that you know what the Bonner Program is, you can take action, get involved, and check out the Siena Bonner Leaders Program Wiki (www.sienabonnerleaders.pbwiki.com <http://www.sienabonnerleaders.pbwiki.com/> ) to apply to the program or find out more information! If wikis aren’t your style, check out some of the Franciscan Center’s upcoming events and corner a Bonner Leader with your questions and inquiries. On Wednesday October 15th, at 8:45 pm in the Boland Room is the last debate watch, Community Service Day is Saturday October 18th from 9:00 am- 2:00 pm and Wednesday, October 22nd, from 4:00-7:00 pm in the Maloney Great Room is the Post Graduate Volunteer Fair. Good luck and get out there!
Where Does All the Money Come From?
from October 2, 2008 issue
By Lauren La Marca
At Siena College, we have a hand full of talented, distinct students who receive scholarships, based on a wide variety of things. These scholarships are an ENORMOUS help to all the students in attendance, and truly is an amazing gift. But the question is, where does all the money come from? This is a question even I myself did not know the answer to until a couple of days ago when I met with Ruth Richards, a Financial Aid guru at Siena. She opened my eyes to not only where the money comes from, but how students give back.
Funded scholarships, along with grants and scholarships from Siena itself and state and Federal aid, support our commitment. These scholarships, sometimes called endowed scholarships, exist in perpetuity; investment income provides the annual award. Siena currently maintains more than 200 funded scholarships. Scholarship funds range in size from $25,000 to more than $3.7million. On average, 600 students receive more than $1.622 million in scholarship aid annually ranging from $500 to full tuition.
Alumni, past and current professors, corporations, foundations and friends of Siena College have endowed scholarships. Donors often create or contribute to a scholarship as a way to express gratitude for their experience at Siena, to honor or memorialize friars, teachers, friends, colleagues, or loved ones, and to invest in our future leaders. Businesses and foundations have invested in our students through funded scholarships to further the aims or goals of their organizations.
Generally, funded scholarships are named for persons (The Gene and Mary Sarazen Scholarship; Maureen O’Sullivan Cushing Scholarship), Friars (The Fr. Matthew Conlin, O.F.M. Scholarship), families (The Bond Family Scholarship), businesses (The Callahan Industries Scholarship), or foundations (Equinox Foundation). Each scholarship has requirements set by the donor, but the common thread among all is student need.
In response to receiving and accepting these scholarships, students are expected to give back. Upon receiving, students are expected to write a thank you letter to their sponsors. The formats for these letters are expected in student’s mail boxes within the first few months of school. Additionally, students are also required to attend The Annual Scholarship Dinner, which is on April 22nd.
Without these scholarships, Siena would not be able to carry out the mission of bringing education to well deserving students. It is absolutely incredible how people can be so exceptionally selfless and just give to people who they don’t even know. These gifts are so incredibly under appreciated by students, and not even by fault of their own. Many of our students that don’t receive Endowed Scholarships don’t even know where their money is coming from, simply because they aren’t educated on the matter.
The Feast of St. Francis
from October 2, 2008 issue
By Kristen Roys
“Siena College is a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts education, rooted in its identity as a Franciscan and Catholic college.” We see this phrase on the bottom of e-mails and across campus, but what significance does it hold?
“Siena defined as a liberal arts college does not make us unique, and we’re not the only Catholic college,” says Fr. Bill Beaudin. Then why is Siena unique? Fr. Bill elaborates: “Siena is unique because it’s Franciscan.”
There are many Catholic colleges, yet few are rooted in a Franciscan tradition. A Franciscan education means humility and humanity. The concept of humanity is people serving each other as brothers and sisters. There is an urgency to “make students more open to the awesomeness of life and the wonders of the world, which should move us to wonder and praise,” says Fr. Bill. He also states that “learning should be a service of community and the common good of those around us.” We should focus on the advancement of others, not ourselves.
Although St. Francis could read and write, and knew a small amount of Latin and math, he was not an academic. He did not found a university or college, or even attend college. However, our college is based upon his teachings of brotherhood- a brotherhood which the friars hold in high esteem.
St. Francis has a wider appeal than just to Catholics. Fr. Bill states that Protestants are also interested and there is a group of Franciscans who belong to the Episcopal Church. St. Francis is also admired by Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. He is a “bridge to those in the community who are born and raised Catholic and those who are not,” says Fr. Bill.
The Feast of St. Francis will begin on Friday, October 3, with the Transitus. This commemoration of St. Francis’ passing into eternal life will be celebrated at 7:30 PM with a candlelight service followed by a reception. On Saturday will be the blessing of the animals at 2 PM in front of the library. There will also be a Mass at 4 PM in the ARC. Fireworks, hot chocolate and cookies will cap off the festivities at 8:30 PM in the academic quad. So this weekend let us all join in brother and sisterhood to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis.
from October 2, 2008 issue
By Kari Weiterschan
On Tuesday September 30th, The Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy will be holding their first annual “Show you Care with Pink Hair” event. As many of you know, October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” and in honor of that, Rumors Hair Salon has teamed up with our school to provide over four hundred pieces of bright, or light pink human hair extensions. This wonderful event will be taking place in the Maloney Great Room from four to seven o’clock.
The cost for each extension is ten dollars, and the process for receiving an extension is simple. You pick the shade of pink that you like, how many strands you would like, and a hairdresser from Rumors will glue the extension to approximately eight strands of your natural hair. The extension will last about a month, but if you want to take it out early all you have to do is cut it out, and there won’t be a trace. All proceeds will be donated to the Neil and Jane Golub Breast Cancer Center at Bellevue Hospital in Niskayuna, NY.
The “Show you Care with Pink Hair” event is not the only event taking place this month to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness. If you have been in the book store recently, you may have noticed the new “pink tic tac’s” that were made specially for this month. Tic Tac will be donating $100,000 to CancerCure with the help of each purchase. Also, on October 4th 2008, Siena students and faculty will be participating in the Susan G. Komen “Race for a Cure Walk/Run,” sponsored by the Komen Foundation. This will be the third year Siena students and faculty will participate in this wonderful fundraiser. This year’s team name is “We care with Pink Hair.” To sign up for the walk you may go to the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy in Foy Hall. If you have any questions regarding these events, or any other events currently sponsored by the Franciscan Center, you can drop in for a visit or call them at: (518) 782-6526.
The Social Work Class’s fight against Alzheimer’s
from October 2, 2008 issue
By Lisa Dussault
It is always great to see young, vibrant college students trying to make a change in the world through the use of their knowledge and abilities. On campus, we all try to educate each other on important topics that we should be aware of. For example, on Sunday, September 21st from 7 – 9 pm in the Maloney Great Room, the Social Work Class of 2009 held a very important event about Alzheimer’s. The tag line for their event was, “A World Without Alzheimer’s: Come out and learn more about Alzheimer’s & What a wonderful world it would be without it! At the event, they had a PowerPoint playing that showed various amounts of information regarding Alzheimer’s; facts and figures as well as ways to handle living with someone who has the disease. It was made known that about five million people are diagnosed every single year with this illness. Not only this, but they also had games, free food, a raffle, karaoke and prizes. It was a great and effective way for the Social Work students to raise awareness about a very vital disease that affects everyone, whether directly or indirectly.
Another reason for this event was because of the Memory Walk that took place on Saturday, September 27th at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway. This walk funds the care, support and teaching of communities nationwide that deal with Alzheimer’s everyday. The Social Work students were all planning on attending this event to support their fight against Alzheimer’s. Lynne Daly, who has worked in the Info and Technology Services
The Biggest Party of the Year
from September 18, 2008 issue
By Lauren La Marca
At Siena, we have over 60 clubs and organizations. The Club Fair at
Siena College is an event we have every year for all students to attend.
It’s a day, usually within the first two weeks of school, where all
students, upperclassmen and underclassmen, can come and sign up for clubs
that range from Men and Women’s Rugby to the American Marketing
Association. According to Stephen Archer, the president of the class of
2011, the Club Fair owes the majority of its credit to The Office of
Multicultural Affairs and the Student Senate. Without their hard work and
energy, this fair probably wouldn’t have been as big of a success as it was!
The entertainment for the Club Fair this year was really popping.
Some of the performing artists included Robanic Reggae, H4, Siena Step Team,
Siena Bhangra Team, DJ Daddy Dog and last year’s Musical Mayhem’s winner,
Hines Heartbreakers. All of the acts were awesome!
There were several clubs that did a great job in decorating and
“theming” out their tables. Some of the more interesting ones were The Stage
III and The Biology Club. They split the prize for the best theme. Thanks
to our fearless Saga Leader, Norm, there was great food at the event, which
brings everyone together.
The theme for this year’s club fair was “Gone Clubbin’.” Upon
entering the fair, all students received a bracelet. Also, to keep a sort
of “tally” of how many people came to the club fair, every time a student
signed up for a club, they received a tally. For every three tally marks,
the student was entered to win an Apple iTouch. How cool is that?! Siena
is steppin’ it up with the prizes, so now Siena students, if you didn’t sign
up this semester, make sure YOU step it up and get involved!
Siena Friar Makes Life Transitions
from September 18, 2008 issue
Br. Linh Hoang, OFM is a Franciscan friar of the Holy Name Province. He came to Siena College in 2005 as a temporary professed friar in the formation process. During his formation period, he was discerning professing solemn vows as a friar with the Franciscan Order and also becoming a Roman Catholic priest. This past summer he completed the last steps of his formation towards both.
On August 23rd, five other friars and Br. Linh professed their solemn vows in front of their family, friends and the whole Franciscan family at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. In the presence of the provincial of Holy Name Provine, Fr. John O’Connor, the friars formally committed themselvs to observe the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience for the rest of their lives. This means that now they are full members of the Order of Minors with all the obligations and enjoyments that comes with being a solemnly professed friar.
Before becoming a priest, the Church requires that a person be ordained to the transitional diaconate. On September 6th, Auxillary Bishop Francisco Gonzalez of Washington, D.C. ordained three friars and Br. Linh as transitional deacons at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Transitional deacons are usually ordained to the diaconate after they complete their third year at a theological seminary. Br. Linh had already completed his theological requirements but waited to profess his solemn vows first. What does a transitional deacon do? A transitional deacon has specific duties. Deacons can deliver the homily and also assist the priest during the Eucharistic prayers. Deacons can preside at weddings, funerals or ceremonies that does not require consecration of the eucharistic bread and wine.
The history of the transitionals deacon is quite complex. For several centuries, all Roman Catholic deacons were in this transitional stage between layman and priest. After the Second Vatican Council, the role of permanent deacon, usually a married man who is unable to remarry after ordination if his wife pre-deceased him, was revived. However, some US dioceses do not have permanent deacons. The diocese of Albany has an active number of permanent deacons.
Br. Linh will be ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 2009. The ceremony will take place at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. You can see Br. Linh serving as a deacon at masses on campus throughout the fall and spring semesters.
Siena Alumna Saves a Life by Kidney Donation
from September 18, 2008 issue
By Alyssa Tognetti
Not many people would be able to donate their kidney, especially to a complete stranger. Melissa Stephens, a 2007 Siena alumna had her heart set on donating her kidney when she found out her grandmother had pancreatic cancer. Immediately she searched the web to see if there was anything she could do for her grandmother’s cancer. When Melissa realized she could not help her, she focused on giving back to others. She claimed, “The idea of a kidney donation popped into my head almost immediately. I had no idea where it came from.” From that point on she knew that it was something she wanted to do.
Melissa has always been a caring and generous, value she also saw in Siena College. She graduated with a Marketing and Management degree. During her time at Siena, Melissa was involved in many groups on campus including various Student Event Board events; she served as a secretary for Habitat for Humanity and was a Resident Assistant for three years. After her graduation, she decided to move to from upstate New York to Long Island, where she currently has a job raising money for children with disabilities.
When she was researching the donation process, she found a site called www.matchingdonors.com who paired her up with a recipient. Her recipient lived in her area and had been struggling with polycystic kidney disease- a genetically inherited disorder that affects 1 in 500 people. She was fortunate to keep in contact with her recipient throughout the process. During her talks with him she discovered that he is known in the music world for writing music for various musicians. His story intrigued NBC-Nightly news and now that he was able to receive a kidney, NBC wanted to interview both him and Melissa.
Crack out those Pencils and let the creative energy flow: The Pendragon is one hot club on Siena Campus!
from September 18, 2008 issue
By Meg Rowley
If you went to the club fair last week or looked around campus you must be aware of the fact that Siena College offers a wide variety of clubs and activities for students to get involved with. One of those clubs is the Pendragon. The Pendragon is the literary Magazine on campus. The magazine is composed of short stories, prose, poetry, essays and art work. Leah Antil the Editor-in- Chief of the Pendragon says that they are going to be expanding the types of submissions that they except. “We’re taking into account digital photography, scripts, journal, newspaper articles, and artwork from the various ranges of creative works that are incorporated in every day classes. It’s an eclectic collection that reflects the talent and promise of Siena community!”
The Pendragon takes about 50 submissions from students and the magazine is released at the end of the year. Once work is submitted the board; which is made up of a Poetry Editor, Short Fiction Editor, Essay Editor, Layout Editor and Associate Editors, President and Editor-in-Chief reviews the work. The submission is then rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Work that receives a 5 is seriously considered for publication.
This is the 7th year that the Pendragon will be publishing. Students can submit their work until mid-April and the magazine comes out in early May so students can take home as many copies of the magazine as they desire.
It is an exciting opportunity to be able to see your work published in a forum that allows the whole campus to see your creative talent, as well as an enjoyable way to see the talents of your fellow peers at Siena.
If you are interested in submitting Antil says, “Submissions can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org — anonymously sent to the Pendragon Office Mailbox in the Leadership Lounge or emailed. (The selection and review will not include people’s names on the work so there are no biases) I encourage everyone to submit anything and everything and not to be nervous about the selection process. We’re not that scary!”
This is great creative outlets that show cases the many talents of students here at Siena. As a liberal arts college the literary magazine is an asset that should be utilized and strongly supported.
from September 18, 2008 issue
By Lisa Dussault
On the Siena campus, you can always be sure of your safety because of the many regulations that have been enacted through the years. Most dangers are not even thought of because of how secure most students feel. However, it is also important for us to know how to keep ourselves safe as well. That is why on Wednesday, September 10th, the Department of Public Safety held their annual Safety Day from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm in the Academic Quad. At the event, students were able to examine a live fire of a mock residence hall and other hands-on training.
According to Michael Papadopoulos, the director of Public Safety, it was meant to “educate students on doing things responsibly and the affect that mistakes can have.” The main point of the whole day was to educate by giving hands-on experience and to give the opportunity for students to talk to people about their safety. For the mock dorm room fire, they wanted everyone to see how little time it took for a room to burn down, which was incredibly fast. The Fire Department of New York also came to give fire prevention tips during the mock fire, and other tips such as locking one’s dorm room upon every departure and hiding money and valuables in a safe place. It was also made known that students can register their computers with serial numbers in case of robbery so that it is easier to retrieve afterward.
The Colonie Police Department was also present and talked about Choices 301, which is a program in conjunction to stop DWI. In order to better prove their point, they had some students put on a pair of goggles that assimilated the experience of being intoxicated. With the goggles on, students were then made to drive a go-cart and take sobriety tests. The difference was simply shocking; students could barely pass the tests and had a lot of trouble driving the go-cart. With this, the Police Department wanted to show how dangerous it can be to drive under the influence.
Other events included hands-on fire extinguisher training and a NYS fire training trailer. Most people do not know how to use a fire extinguisher, so this helped students learn how to work one and use it in case of an emergency. Students were also given the opportunity to speak with the safety officials in case they had further questions. There were also free giveaways and Sparky the Fire Dog Mascot, which drew people in to learn more. All in all it was a very educational day that allowed us, as Siena students, to learn how to better protect ourselves from day to day. For more information regarding fire safety, you can log onto www.dos.state.ny.us/fire/firewww.html.
A Recent Siena Grad’s love of Politics
from September 4, 2008
By Lisa Dussault
It seems, in today’s world, that many young people do not put enough effort into knowing what is going on in the political world. However, one young person in particular is sure to go against the norm and make his mark in politics. Recent Siena graduate, Bryon McKim, has a great determination when it comes to politics and moving ahead. So much so that Mark Grimm, the host of the weekly Siena Alumni Connection, interviewed him on his show. The Alumni Connection airs every Saturday at 10 am and on Sunday at 6 pm on WVCR. For Mckim, this was a very great honor because of Mark Grimm’s impressive reputation on the news.
Bryon McKim’s interest in politics began at the early age of 18 when he started volunteering for the campaign of former Saratoga Springs Mayor, Michael Lenz. Based on the work he spent on this campaign, he quickly became involved with the Saratoga County Young Republicans. From there, he was elected Vice-Chairman of this group and eventually Chairman in 2005. He continued from this point to involve himself completely with political efforts and currently works on the Governing Board. He also is presently the Director of New Media for the New York Republican Assembly Campaign Committee (RACC), and looks forward to a rewarding future in the political world with this group.
On the show, Grimm mainly asked McKim about his involvement with his recently developed company, McKim Strategies. In the words of McKim, this is “a multi-dimensional political consulting organization that specializes in Technology Coordination, and Campaign Technology for Local, State and National Political Candidates.” Already, though recently developed, this organization has been nominated for the prominent Pollie Award by the American Association of Political Consultants for best website design. It is almost certain that McKim will experience even greater accomplishments in the future.
According to Mark Grimm “Bryon is an impressive young man. He’s a great role model for other young people considering getting involved in politics at a young age. The more involved you become, the more say you will have. It’s that straightforward. Bryon has a great future in politics I am sure.” Grimm was very impressed with all that McKim has accomplished already, at such a young age, in the political world. It is obvious to all those who know McKim and his wonderful triumphs that he has a very bright future ahead of him as he ventures off to Albany Law School in August.
Siena Bids Farewell to Father Jim Toal
from September 4, 2008 issue
By Lisa Dussault
The people gathered on the Siena campus share a special bond with each other, which generates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Friars, students, and faculty all grow and live together in a pleasant community that others are drawn too. Just recently, one of our own beloved friars has decided to move on from the Siena community to embrace another chapter in his life. On Wednesday, July 16th, the community assembled to say goodbye to Fr. Jim Toal, O.F.M. He is leaving to become guardian of a friary located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Everyone is very sad to see such a wonderful man leave Siena’s campus.
Fr. Jim acted as vice president of the college for almost ten years and has achieved so much during that time: he supervised the attainment of the president’s house and the state police barracks; he guided the renovation of Siena Hall, and the installation of the turf field; and he also helped apply the strategic plan, as well as many athletic achievements. These are a just a few of the wonderful gifts Fr. Jim as given the Siena community.
However, among the many things Fr. Jim has done for Siena, he is certainly not leaving empty-handed. At his farewell ceremony, President Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M. gave him a Siena chair, a Yankees all-star tee shirt, and his undying gratitude. Fr. Kevin said, “To know Jim Toal is to know him from your heart.” John D’Argenio, director of athletics, also showed his appreciation with gifts as he expressed how generous Fr. Jim was during his time at Siena. Fr. Jim is not only leaving with several material gifts, but also with many life-long friendships and the awareness of the difference he made at Siena.
One of Siena’s Finest Receives Barbieri Grant
from September 4, 2008
By Lauren LaMarca
To receive a grant of any kind entails a special “it” factor for a
person to receive it. One of our very own distinct professors at Siena has
received an award of such great stature. Dr. Wendy Pojmann, who is an
assistant professor of History at Siena College, was awarded The Barbieri
Grant, which totals in at $5,000. The award is a Trinity College Research
Grant in Modern Italian History.
Dr. Pojmann is a 3 year, returning veteran to Siena College. She
also commented about how much she enjoys it here at Siena. When asked what
kind of details were incorporated with receiving and applying for the grant,
Dr. Pojmann went on to say, “I submitted a 5-page proposal explaining the
scope of my project, plans for publication, and how I planned to use the
money. I also included my curriculum vitae and a bibliography. A committee
of five historians of modern Italy selected by Trinity College read all the
proposals and chose the one to fund-MINE! I used the money for research in
three archives (The Gramsci Institute, The Basso Institute, and Catholic
Action) in Rome this summer.”
This year, Dr. Pojmann also has quite a few exciting things going on
in the classroom, as well as outside the classroom. She will be teaching
the History Capstone course in the fall, which will require the students to
write a major research paper on some aspect of the Cold War. Although this
may seem like a big task, Dr. Pojmann has some work to do as well; she will
be writing a paper with her students based on the materials she found in
Rome, where she traveled to this summer. She will be presenting her thesis
at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in New York
City sometime in January 2009. In the spring, she will be teaching her
Modern Italy course. Yet this year, there is something different-a travel
component to Italy. This tour includes Rome, Florence, Turin and Milan,
where students will learn about Italian unification in the 19th century.
from September 4, 2008 issue
By Gabrielle Dessaint
Since it was founded in 1980 the Siena Research Institute has been polling New Yorkers statewide on topics ranging from the financial impact of gas and food prices to ex-governor Spitzer’s popularity ratings. Now in its 27th year, the SRI polling results have been featured in The Wall Street Journal as well as many on news and radio stations across the state. The SRI also offers a job for those students who are seeking work-study jobs as well as those who are just looking for an on-campus job. For a non-work study student, the job pays $8.50 hourly and for a work study student the job pays $7.15 plus the additional$1,000 off your tuition bill. Students are asked to make calls across New York State and ask questions in regard to how New Yorkers view the economy, current politicians and alternative ways of energy. One of the most famous polls the SRI does is the monthly “Consumer Confidence” survey, which tracks the overall feeling of New Yorkers on the economy, the status of any home improvement or automotive purchases due to rising costs they may have planned, and basically how New Yorkers feel their quality of life has been affected by the changing economy. The job is simple, the pay is good. So what’s stopping you from marching down to the basement of Hines Hall to apply for the job? Go ahead, procrastinate and feel guilt free because nowadays we can all use a little extra cash!
from September 4, 2008 issue
By Tim Jeffreys
Let the debate begin! This year’s Popular Book Series begins 7:00 PM Wednesday, Oct 8th in the Key Auditorium at Roger Bacon Hall.
Professors representing the History, Political Science, and Business departments will discuss the predictions made by Fareed Zakaria in his newest novel The Post-American World. The debate will focus on a variety of Zakaria’s forecasts on future world expansion and how America will fit into it. The author delves heavily into China and its rapidly growing involvement within the global economy. With over a billion citizens and in the midst of an unparalleled modern industrialization campaign, Zakaria maintains that it is becoming impossible to ignore the likelihood of China soon surpassing the United States in nearly every productivity category. Following the conclusion of the Cold War, America was propelled to “superpower” status over all other foreign nations, but if and when this torch is passed, the Chinese have presented themselves as the clear-cut favors to succeed the United States. Zakaria also credits India as a potential candidate to leap-frog America in global influence. Following in China’s footsteps, India’s growing success in international trade can be attributed largely to its robust population and technological advances being made more available to its citizens. As the title may suggest, The Post-American World was initially thought to be another novel solely dedicated in providing evidence to prove that the United States’ downfall is an inevitable reality. This isn’t the case, however, as Zakaria makes a strong case for America having the potential to sustain and perhaps even expand upon its longstanding achievements. Can the United States compete with the rapid success of India and China? Will this country’s upcoming generation be motivated enough to strive for the innovation and fortitude it will take to contend with these impending foreign nations? Answers to these questions and dozens more that can be extracted from this fascinating novel can be found on the evening of Wed, October 8th in the Key Auditorium.
Another debate will be held a little over a month later on Nov 19th at the same time and location. This debate will have a greener tinge to it as Siena professors from the Science and Environmental Studies departments will focus on Thomas Friedman’s new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America. In his first novel following the bestselling The World is Flat, Friedman tackles the issues surrounding the environmental crisis both home and abroad. He maintains that global warming, overpopulation, and loss of focus has left this planet “hot, flat, and crowded.” While the author does administer blame toward a number of culprits, the United States does remain the central focus of Friedman’s attack. His general view is that the American government has ignored blatant ecological signs of potential disaster and has deviated from conservation promises in order to fund an overly forceful military strategy since the events on 9/11. However, what separates Hot, Flat, and Crowded from other books simply complaining over government negligence is Friedman’s well-researched and supported solutions to the problems he believes have been created. He takes the national catch phrase of “Going Green” and formulates it into an aggressive national operation. According to the novel, this idea could keep America from reaching that environmental tipping point of no return, and unite an American society that Friedman feels has been divided due to the abundance of controversial issues constantly being shoved into the public’s faces. So by forcing America to concentrate on a single task that will one day bring positive results, it will turn the heavy sacrifices that will be needed to make this campaign possible into a system of bonding for people to come together in the fight for an important cause. Are Friedman’s sacrifices too great for this country? Can the damages already committed to Earth be somehow reversed? Is there any way a government would adopt the ideas put forth by Friedman? You can start finding these answers by reading the book and then attending the debate forum in the Key Auditorium on Nov 19th.
“Safety” Changes Coming to Security
from Summer, 2008 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
As of January 2008, Security began to report to Student Affairs. Since then, Dr. Maryellen Gilroy, Vice President of Student Affairs, has assessed the relationship between students and Security and decided to make changes. Gilroy was approached by several students who reported that they felt as if Security treated students on Siena’s campus unfairly and that Security sometimes took advantage of their law enforcement position. She decided to rethink the guidelines of the Security department; she had a new vision and wanted to bring someone in who had a new approach to how the department would function.
Gilroy decided to bring in a “consultant”-someone who could come in from the outside and assess the department and its relationship with the community. She found this in Lieutenant Colonel Michael Papadopoulos, Commander of the ROTC Program and Professor of Military Science. Papadopoulos proved to Gilroy that he had the right vision for the department and possessed the right mix of strong administrative and leadership skills. Starting in June, Papadopoulos is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Public Safety. Thomas Breslin, the former Assistant Director of Security, has been promoted to Associate Director of Public Safety.
The change in the name of the department from Security to Public Safety is a standard on most college campuses and reflects the broadened scope and importance of this operation nationally on college campuses. According to Gilroy, “Security” is more of an industrial term, and the move to Public Safety reflects a move toward an improved relationship with the community. Public Safety plans to assess its current practices and its approach toward policy enforcement, as well as moving away from Security’s reputation of being a high-and-mighty law enforcement entity, and Papadopoulos invites community input to assist in the process.
Papadopoulos, a 1982 graduate of Siena College, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master’s degree in Systems Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He retired from the United States Army in June after a twenty-five year career. He has help such distinguished positions as Senior Operations and Training Officer, Professor of Military Science and Leadership at the University of Rhode Island, Chief of the NATO Advanced Command Post, Senior U.S. Military Representative in Greece, as well as numerous other positions during his Army career. Because of his life experiences, as well as his personal qualities of leadership, organization, and the ability to work with others, “[Papadopoulos] is the ideal person to lead the Department of Public Safety at Siena College,” says Gilroy.
Papadopoulos is already a known leader in the Siena community, and Gilroy is confident that he will assess the Department of Public Safety’s mission and move forward in a positive direction.
SOA Watch on Capitol Hill
from Summer, 2008 issue
By Kayla Grant
On May 3rd, members of Campus Action traveled to Washington, DC to lobby Congress on behalf of the SOA Watch. SOA Watch is defined as “an independent organization that seeks to close the US Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protests, as well as “media and legislative work.” The School of the Americas, now known as WHINSEC, is combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia. At the School, soldiers are trained in tactics of torture which they use on citizens of their country when they graduate and return home. Our tax dollars fund the operation of this facility.
Each spring, SOA Watch takes to Capitol Hill and spends a weekend training and lobbying Congress in favor of bills supporting freedom of information, investigation, and closing down of the SOA. Our weekend started with a dinner at the headquarters where we met our fellow SOA Watch members. Everyone’s spirits were high and with votes from the previous year being as close as they were, we were all very hopeful. Sunday saw an all day training session, complete with strategy and tactic discussions as well as planning for future events, such as the annual vigil in Georgia. We closed with actual training on how to lobby Congress. On Monday morning, SOA Watch silently protested outside of Congress, holding signs which shared our message.
I found that many people were curious and thankful that we were getting the word out about the SOA. After our protest concluded, we all split up into small groups and spent the day going door-to-door through the various Congress buildings, meeting with representatives and their staff. It was a wonderful experience getting to see the inner workings of our government and potentially altering the future of the SOA through the bills we were proposing. I recently discovered that we did in fact have an effect and that Congress passed the bill which allows for the full release of information regarding the students of the school. I attribute this to the copy we had of the current release of student information which blacked out the name of every student. It was shocking to see such blatant deception and I think it impacted everyone we showed it to. I cannot wait to travel to Georgia in November to continue working with the SOA. For further information, check out their site www.soaw.org or come to the first Campus Action meeting of the 2008-2009 school year!
GreenFiber Introduces New Community Paper Recycling Program in Albany
from Summer, 2008 issue
By Kelly Peckholdt
In May, U.S. GreenFiber, the manufacturer of GreenFiber natural fiber insulation, announced a new look for its community paper recycling program throughout the Albany area. Since 2000, GreenFiber has diverted nearly three million tons of paper from landfills, thus removing 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. GreenFiber Insulation, a natural fiber cellulose insulation product that is made from eighty-five percent recycle paper fiber, reduces energy use and lowers heating and cooling bills. Further, GreenFiber uses paper collected from its recycling program to create its product.
The GreenFiber Community Paper Recycling Program offers environmental benefits for participating communities. It provides residents with a free, ecologically-sound way of disposing their recyclable materials. Unlike some recycling programs, GreenFiber’s Community Paper Recycling Program accepts a wide variety of paper products: newspapers, magazines, phonebooks, office paper, cardboard, cereal boxes, brown paper bags, and construction paper. A GreenFiber collector regularly services the bins at no charge and designated community programs benefit from this, based on the amount of recyclable material collected. The community also benefits by reducing the amount of paper products that would otherwise be buried in local landfills.
Fifty GreenFiber recycling bins have been placed in the Albany area, and additional bins have been ordered to meet growing demands. To find bin locations in the Albany area, or to find out more information on how Siena students can get involved in this valuable project, call 518-842-1470 or contact Michael Henry at email@example.com.
New Student Leaders Ready for Challenge
from January 31, 2008 issue
By Ashley Brough
A new year at Siena means new things for the Siena Student Senate and the Student Events Board. I spoke to Conor Geary, Student Senate President, and Amy McCarthy, Chair of SEB, in order to find out their plans for the coming semester.
Student Senate has big plans for the semester; currently, they hope to have another ATM on campus. Geary says that, “Currently, there is no 24 hour banking solution at Siena and I see this as something that should be rectified.” He has also created a Senate committee that is going to look at options that may be available to solve this problem. Geary is also engaged in discussion to make sure that the New York Times readership program, which began under the last administration, exists through the coming years.
Geary also has goals that are personally important to him, which include establishing a friendship between Siena College and a legal music downloading service. However, he does not want to reveal the name of the company or the status of the project until it is complete.
As the Student Senate president, Geary also hopes to reduce paper waste. He says there will be gradual additions of double sided capable printers throughout campus, as well as policies that can be enacted in order to limit waste. He goes on to say, “This in no way will interfere with a student’s ability to print necessary work, and we are very sensitive to that fact as students ourselves, but that conversation is down the road a bit.”
Make sure to check out the Senate Website (www.sienasenate.com) to get useful links and be aware of any updates!
Amy also has big plans as the new Student Events Board chair. She is in a well-deserved position since she has been on the board since her freshman year. Her ultimate goal of the year is to plan events that students want to attend. Amy says, “The board, of just under 40 students, is ready to try to plan some of the best events in Siena history. Without them, there would be no major events on campus.”
Amy encourages feedback from students who are always able to send questions, comments and concerns via email to SEB@siena.edu. The board hopes to keep the same events such as Siena Fest, Sibling’s Weekend, and Hump Week, while coming up with new innovative events. As Amy puts it, “I hope that we able to meet and exceed student expectations by getting a little crazy and putting together some really spectacular student activities”.
Alumnus Launches Askwish.com
from January 31st issue
By Matthew Edsall
Imagine a world where money is no longer a form of currency, but instead the mere kindness of people’s hearts is used to buy and sell things. With his new website, Askwish.com, Conor Boyd has made that possible.
This past November, the ’02 Siena alum launched the innovative site with the intention of bringing together a community of people who help each other to achieve their dreams, for no fee at all. In the late ‘90s when he was eighteen, Boyd came up with the idea for the site while he was running on a treadmill.
“I asked myself, ‘How much horsepower am I using up right now while running? What if I, and everyone else, used this kind of energy to help people, rather than just benefit myself?’”
With Askwish.com, people can create a user profile that enables them to have 500 wishbones, which is equivalent, he said, to 500 dollars. You can place an ad on the site for something that you wish to do, and someone can “dish” that to you and grant you your wish. For instance, if someone wishes to go to a New York Giants game, someone else can then dish the opportunity to them for a certain number of wishbones. The person who granted gains more wishbones, which they can in turn spend on wishes they want fulfilled. Once all your wishbones are spent, you have to dish in order to gain more.
One of the most impressive ideas surrounding Askwish is the idea of money never being used. With sites such as Ebay and Craigslist, I asked Boyd how he ever gained the courage and fortitude to launch a site that doesn’t involve the almighty dollar.
“Honestly,” he said, “I have complete faith in the idea that people are all good at heart. There is one percent of the world who makes a lot of noise and commotion, and that one percent makes everyone else seem as though no one is interested in helping others. But I strongly believe that people will help others merely out of the kindness of their hearts, and I think this site can prove that.”
In only eight weeks, Askwish already has roughly eight-hundred members from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom combined. Within the next year, Boyd hopes to get big-name corporations involved with the site. For instance, say Nike was ever to grant someone the opportunity to get a golf lesson with Tiger Woods. Not only would that attract tons of attention towards Askwish, but Nike too would gain advertising. Instead of trying to outbid someone like on Ebay, you help others in order to gain more wishbones, which could then be spent on the golf lesson. The wishbones that Nike gains could then be donated to the Red Cross or Blue Shield, who could use the site as an opportunity to get more people involved in their organizations.
“It’s strictly based on people helping people,” Boyd said. “When I first launched the site, a lot of people thought that too many wishes would be put out but not many dishes. I thought the opposite. We’re a consumer society, so people will want to gain wishbones so that they can spend them. The only difference is that no money is involved, but instead people’s own desire to help others.”
A social work major at Siena College, Boyd ended up in the financial field after school. With Askwish, he has combined both of those expertises, using his financial skills to construct and build a website that is based on the social work background in which he has always been interested.
“If you get to know me,” he said, “you realize that there’s a very strict business side of me, yet there’s also that side of me that is always interested in helping others.”
With Askwish, that’s no surprise.
Opportunity Knocks: Will You Answer?
from January 31, 2008 issue
By Christopher Hannmann
Even though the semester has just begun, the Office of Residential Life is already getting ready for the 2008-9 academic year. The application process for next year’s Resident Assistants (RA) is currently underway. Informational meetings for all interested applicants will be held in SSU 243 on February 4th, 6th and 8th during Free Period (12:30-1:30).
Since the application process can be intimidating and overwhelming, Res. Life has teamed up with the Career Center this year to help all applicants through the process. The Career Center will be offering an Application Workshop on Thursday, February 7 from 1:00-2:00PM in the Standish Library (L26). All applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.
In order to be considered for an RA position, those who apply must submit a cover letter and resume. “We decided that it is much more rewarding for candidates to write a resume than a long essay,” states Mel Beach, Director of Residential Life. “The application process is a learning experience for all of those who apply. No matter if a candidate is selected or not, he/she will still be able to walk away from the process knowing how to write a resume and a cover letter as well as how to perform well in an interview.”
All who apply are required to sign up for an interview. This not only allows the Res. Life staff to learn about the candidate, but it also provides the applicant with an opportunity to ask the interview panel questions. In addition to the interview, all who apply must participate in a group process. This process forces applicants to interact with all RA candidates and engage in team building and problem solving activities.
All interested applicants will be asked to submit their application through the Blackboard Educational System, which is part of the Siena College network. Not only does an electronic application save paper, but it also provides an organized method to the process. Once enrolled in the application process, candidates will have access to many resources that will aid them in applying for a position. Students will automatically be enrolled in the online application once they have attended one of the mandatory informational meetings.
“We really want all candidates to succeed,” states Beach, “We have provided multiple resources for students to take advantage of, this year.”
In the past, approximately 100 students have applied for roughly 55 available positions. This makes the entire process very competitive. Even so, Beach encourages all applicants to put their best foot forward when applying for an RA position.
When asked what Res. Life is looking for in a perfect candidate, Beach states that while there is no one perfect candidate, the panel is looking for a diverse team of individuals who are able to work well with others, manage their time wisely as well as contribute something positive to the Siena College community.
Beach stresses that all Siena students are able to apply for a position (including transfers, commuters, and first-year students). “Lots of RAs are very successful beyond Siena,” states Beach, “This is an amazing opportunity that provides students with the ability to give something back to Siena while helping students grow as individuals along the way.”
A Little Goes
a Long Way
from Dec. 6th issue
By Erin Peterson
Stumped about what to put on your Christmas list this year, or having trouble shopping for that picky relative? This year, get in the holiday spirit and make a donation to Heifer International in someone’s name.
Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty, and to care for the earth by providing appropriate livestock, training, and related services to small-scale farmers and communities worldwide. For more than 60 years, they helped over seven million impoverished families in 128 countries lift themselves from poverty and achieve self-reliance.
Instead of providing hungry families with a non-renewable source of food, Heifer provides what they call a “living loan” of an animal. The family’s health and standard of living is greatly improved by what that animal can provide, which could be milk from a cow or goat, eggs from poultry, meat from rabbits, draft power from water buffalo, or wool from llamas. The key to this program is that Heifer also provides extensive training in animal care, ecologically sound agriculture practices, and community development. This ensures long-term, continual success and not a temporary, short lived success for these families and villages.
Another important aspect of this process is what they refer to as “passing on the gift.” Families who receive an animal repay the loan by passing on one or more of the animal’s offspring to other needy families, then that family passes on their gift to another family, and so on. Therefore, just one gift can provide for an entire community.
To find out how only a few ducks, a goat, water buffalo, or other animals can change the lives of struggling families, visit Heifer International’s website at http://www.heifer.org.
*the information in this article was provided by http://www.heifer.org
Returns to Siena
from Nov. 8th issue
By Sarah Harrison
The Globalization minor is coming back to Siena! Taught by two professors from the School of Business and Liberal Arts, the minor simply requires that students take two Globalization courses and four elective courses. In addition, Globalization minors must travel abroad and know a foreign language at a moderate level. What could be better than a requirement to go abroad?
Since the Globalization Studies 100 sections will be a collaborative effort between Dr. Shirey and Dr. Burshstyen, they will both be offered at the same time, thus allowing the professors to “preserve the interdisciplinary nature of the courses” as well as to allow students to gain more knowledge from one class. The four required elective courses however, can be chosen from a myriad of Business, Social Science and Humanities courses. While the abroad portion of the minor is best carried out in the native country of the student’s preferred language study, the options are almost endless.
While Siena has not had a great deal of students in this minor in the past, interest is growing. This is quite understandable considering the number of graduating seniors who have gotten excellent positions related to global studies. One recent graduate, for example, is now a volunteer coordinator for the U.S. Committee for Immigrants and Refugees, while another has been accepted in to a master’s programs for conflict and ethics studies in Ireland. Clearly the experience this minor provides can be quite beneficial and influential in life after college.
For more information concerning this exciting minor, contact Dr. Jean Stern, chair of the Political Science department.
For the Little Scientist in All of Us
from Nov. 8th issue
By Kesley Moak
Siena students showed off their science skills on October 21, 2007, as kids in goggles crowded around their table for National Chemistry Week.
The Chemistry and Bio-Chemistry Club was a part of the 20th annual event held at the New York State Museum in Albany. The club is a regular participant in the event, hosted by the American Chemical Society.
A number of scientific organizations are also part of this event that teaches kids about chemistry through hands-on activities and colorful displays. The Siena Chemistry Club’s demonstration was a favorite, winning as the kids’ pick for the best booth. One of the attractions was “dry ice ice cream.” The kids learned about the process of making the tasty treat, then enjoyed their choice of vanilla chocolate, or strawberry flavored ice cream.
The club members enjoy the event just as much as their eager pupils. “It’s fun,” said Michael O’Brien, President of the Chemistry Club. “It teaches kids about chemistry and gets Siena’s name out.
The club’s most attractive display seemed to be the CO2 bubbles emanating from their table. The bubbles came from a container of warm water and dry ice. As it expands from a solid to a gas, the students explained, how CO2 is forced out of the liquid soap-covered nozzle, creating soap bubbles filled with dry ice- consequently, hours of entertainment for young and curious minds. They also displayed a reaction which took solid carbon dioxide and put it under pressure to create liquid carbon dioxide: “a very rare occurrence,” O’Brien said.
The event allows Siena’s science students to spark young interest, perhaps in the next generation of chemistry majors. Vice President Kyle McElhoney said he hopes that “kids have a better knowledge and have more fun with science.”
The club will be awarded for their booth’s win at the next regional meeting of the American Chemical Society.
An Interview with a Former President
from Nov. 8th issue
By Christine Mundy
Father Matthew Conlin first stepped on Siena’s soil when the school was still predominantly farmland. He joined the community in 1945 as an English teacher and since then has held many prestigious positions including Academic Dean, Executive Vice President and President. In 1945 he lived in what was then called the Navy House on the corner of Route 9 and Spring Street (it was so named because the U.S. military held a program there during the war). He recalls that time as “fun and nice living” but he still had many great Siena memories to make.
He was born in 1919 in Barker, New York. He either wanted to be a priest or a journalist. However, even after winning an essay contest and an internship at the Buffalo Courier-Express he decided to go into the Franciscan Order. He studied in Ireland at University College in Dublin for three years where he lived with the Franciscan Friars. His time in Ireland was not his only time abroad. He taught English for three years at the Catholic University of Puerto Rico. There, he learned Spanish even though the classes were all taught in English.
While he was teaching English here at Siena, he was also the faculty moderator of Siena News. Although he taught a variety of classes, his interests lies in British Literature. At the time, every student needed 18 credits in English (essentially, a minor in English) so he had a lot of contact with the entire student body, not only the School of Liberal Arts.
Currently, Father Matthew works part time in a local prison as the chaplain, about 40 minutes from Siena and he very much enjoys the opportunity. He describes it as, “very different from Siena” and “a new world”. Father Matthew also works with the Saint Anthony’s houses. Along with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, he started these five houses on the Eastern seaboard designed as temporary shelters for the needy. One of these houses, the Hope House in Jersey City, is designed for women and children, especially.
Since coming back to Siena after his time abroad, he commented on all of the changes made to the campus since he had left. He stated, “the campus has grown a lot… not just in what you see, but the academic life has been enhanced, as well.”
Father Matthew has attended several colleges and universities and obtained a variety of degrees from each. His advice for seniors here at Siena who are considering graduate school next year is to utilize the career center and participate in internship programs. He summed up his career advice using a joke he had heard about a man asking for directions in Manhattan. The man asks, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” to which the New Yorker replies, “Practice.”
Fun Facts about Father Matthew Conlin:
Favorite Food: Since he got back from Ireland, his favorite foods have been Seafood
Song: Anything by Neil Diamond-, he’s gone to see him twice at the Times Union Center
Movie: Dr. Zhivago
Book: currently, the Bible.
Academic Cultivation Initiative:
Harvesting the Fruits of Education
from Nov. 8th issue
By Christopher Hannmann
In an effort to work towards Siena’s continued tradition of academic excellence, the school’s academic initiative has recently been re-evaluated. To bring together the many aspects of the educational experience, Dr. Linda Richardson, Vice President of Academic Affairs, along with members of the Board of Trustees, have come up with a creative and unique new way to focus on the school’s academic growth. In order to connect the many academic departments within the college, Richardson came up with the Academic Cultivation Initiative. The program, which came to fruition last summer, uses the metaphor of a garden in order to represent the multiple layers involved in the academic process at Siena.
“While academics have always been really strong here at Siena, nobody has really put together anything that connects all academics together,” states Dr. Richardson, “Our goal with our new Academic Cultivation Initiative is to maintain what we have already achieved, while at the same time it allows us to take
academics to a new level.” Richardson uses the analogy of a jig-saw puzzle, and states that the new visual representation of the academic garden is an effective way to show how all academics are inter-related. Richardson states, “This new plan really re-focuses our mission and how we all fit into it and are apart of it.”
In conjunction with the Academic Cultivation Initiative, Richardson and the Board of Trustees are also working on developing new ways to make the physical space of the academic buildings more conducive to learning. Richardson states that at the moment she is working to address new and more effective ways to education. This includes reevaluating the current classroom structures that have already been put in place. Suggestions have been made to replace the “typical” classroom setting with a more intimate one. This would involve replacing rows of desks with a series of circular “pods.” This would allow for increased classroom discussion between students and professors.
Richardson also states that it is important to keep the class sizes small so that professors are able to closely interact with their students. With the new “pod” style classroom, professors would be able to walk freely around the classroom instead of lecturing from a podium at the head of the classroom. In addition, the “pod” style classroom would also eliminate the potential for students to “hide”, as no one is left in the back of the classroom.
Behind the Scenes With the Grounds Crew
from Oct. 25th issue
By Christine Mundy
We wake up to a manicured campus- colorful, groomed, and seemingly effortless. Sure, every now and then you will catch a lawn mower going or a few fellows in Siena gear making final additions around the flowerbeds, but on the surface, the beautiful campus we call home seems effortlessly put together. Behind the scenes, though, the maintenance crew is hard at work to make Siena beautiful.
Keith Volsky, the grounds foreperson at Siena College and a team of 12 crewmembers have a very specific routine to keep the campus in tip-top shape. Siena is run based on a zoned approach. The campus is micromanaged with two groundskeepers per zone and this allows for the groudskeepers to become an expert in his or her zone.
Volsky promotes this zoning strategy, not only because it maintains specialties, but also because it “allows the groundskeepers in a given zone to get to know the people that live there it’s the customer relations aspect of the job”. Also, the zoning system lends to friendly competition amongst the groundskeepers of “whose zone is prettier”.
Before Keith was working at Siena, he was taking classes at Schenectady Community College and landscaping on the side. He got his Associates degree from SCCC and moved over to Siena in 1999 because Siena offers tuition benefits. He is currently matriculated as a Sociology major and his favorite class thus far has been “Deviant Behavior”, taught by Father Shaw. The accompanying pictures are taken from a slide show Keith created to showcase the beauty of Siena’s campus and the work it involves.
Currently, Siena is boasting a variety of 790 mums, which hold up well in the autumn weather. However, soon winter will be here and there are measures Keith and his team are already putting into place to ensure a smooth transition between the seasons. During these middle months, it is important to do a complete check-up on the winter equipment in order to prepare for even the earliest storms. The maintenance staff are currently checking all their trucks to make sure the plows and snow blowers are working properly. In addition, this time of year is when they start shopping for salt in order to get the best price. On a more festive note, Buildings and Grounds are responsible for some of the holiday cheer that comes with winter. The Christmas trees in the academic quad and the potted Christmas tree outside of Saga are all the handy-work of the maintenance department.
I asked Keith a few questions about Siena’s current look, the first concerning the gray plastic garbage cans in the academic quad. He reassured me, “they’re completely temporary”. The garbage cans are currently serving to minimize the litter that occurs during nice weather when people are spending a lot of time outside. If they prove successful at eliminating the litter, Siena will eventually replace them with the rod iron bins around other parts of campus. Also, in regard to the gigantic potted plants between Saga and the academic quad, he insists, “it’s sort of a ‘keep out’ sign, delivery trucks and everyone would drive right up to Saga” and with the renovation to Saga’s façade, the pots help protect the stone work on the ground outside.
When asked about a five year ideal plan for Siena’s campus. Keith responded without pausing, “a parking garage. I’d love to have a parking garage”.
Blackboard Help Desk: Ready for Your Questions
from Oct. 25th issue
By Bob McHugh
Blackboard: teachers use it, students use it, and even some friars use it. It’s one of the most convenient ways to post bulletins, grades, and homework assignments, and much more. But just because everyone uses it doesn’t mean they all understand it. The new help desk for Blackboard, provided by the Office of Academic affairs, aims to fix this.
The help desk was installed because the growing popularity of blackboard means a growing number of users with questions on how to use it. Help desk supervisor Ms. Jami Cotler says that the main goal is to “provide support in an accessible, friendly and timely manner to the Siena Community”, but there are also more uses. In addition to help, the help desk center is also a way to keep in touch with the Siena community and get feedback about Blackboard to help improve it. In addition, the help center plans on keeping track of the most common problems and working on those to keep them from occurring as often.
One of the key elements of the help desk is the staff. Over 90 percent of the consultants are seniors. Seniors are chosen to be consultants because they have worked with Blackboard throughout their college career and because they know what it’s like to have a technical question and wanting a helpful and professional answer. All the consultants were chosen based on skills with Blackboard and customer service.
The help desk is located in the campus library so any perplexed teacher or student has easy access to some informative help. In addition to walk in service, which will have extended hours for students and teachers who need help in the evening, one can get help through phone or e-mail as well. The location and accessibility is all part of the goal of getting students and faculty comfortable with one of the most important student and teacher resources. Of course, one of the biggest benefits of the new help desk is that now students and teachers don’t need to break their laptops and computers out of frustration on how to use Blackboard.
Moms, Dads and Llamas…Oh My!
from Oct. 11th issue
By Kristen Roys
It is said that during the Siena college experience, the community be
comes family. However, it is imperative that students do not forget about the families that they left behind. Family weekend was held this year from September 28th through September 30th. Jen Fraley, Associate Director of Campus Programs, said that this annual weekend-long event is to give families the opportunity to see where their student spends most of their year.
Many of the weekend’s events are built around tradition. The craft fair, which is held in the MAC, is in its 24th year. There is also an annual golf tournament. The multicultural dinner, run by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, is in its sixth year. In addition, this year’s sold out dinner had a Latin theme. The Chaplain’s Office held the annual Blessing of the Animals, in acknowledgment of St. Francis’ love for animals. Also, past suggestions are taken into consideration as to which events were successful and interesting to both students and families.
Friday’s entertainment was Travelin’ Max, who performs shows at many colleges throughout the country. This year’s Late Night Sarazen was Alain Nu, a mentalist. There was standing room only, with over 250 people in attendance. The entertainment that is chosen is family-friendly so that all ages can participate.
Two hundred and sixty families were registered for the weekend’s festivities. Fraley was pleased with the “success and large turnout.” Many additional families attended but did not register. The majority of families were related to first year students. She said that this was “encouraging, and it’s nice to know that families are involved and want to be part of the community.”
Morell Gets New Look for Good Cause
from Oct. 11th issue
By Kelsey Moak
Construction is currently underway for a brand new student study lounge, due to be completed this November. The lounge will honor the memory of Dr. Patricia Brown, a former Biology professor, who made a lasting impact at Siena.
The lounge will be located in the Northeast corner of the Morrell Science Center, what was previously a little-frequented outdoor patio. This space was originally intended as a study lounge, but due to former cost considerations those plans were never fulfilled, until now.
During Dr. Brown’s 35 years at Siena College, she maintained a special relationship with her students. After she passed away on November 13, 2004 of breast cancer, the biology department decided to raise money for a room that would be as dedicated to the students as she was.
“She personified excellence and perseverance, and pushed her students to achieve at the highest level.” stated Ruth F. Richards, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations.
Biology professors Dr. George Bazinett and Dr. John Hayden, who have been actively involved in the project, also remember Brown’s dedication. “She was all about the students,” said Bazinett. “Students and Pat go together,” added Hayden.
Bazinett originally hired Brown in 1968, and Brown hired Hayden years later. They represent the wide spectrum of the biology department that was influenced by Dr. Brown during her time with them. “She made us all better,” Bazinett said.
The majority of the funding for the project came from Siena alumni, most of whom were former students of Dr. Brown. “They responded better than we’d hoped,” said Hayden, who helped the biology department raise around $400,000. Faculty also contributed significantly to the project.
The room will serve as a combined study area and lounge. Glass siding will enclose the room on two sides, and the high wooden ceiling will provide a spacious work environment. The space will include lounge furniture, two six-foot-long tables, and a white board, along with a laser printer and wireless access. More money is going into the plan, said Hayden, than was originally planned, allowing it to be better than anyone had previously expected.
The new area will be an effective place for students to study together, as well as a place for them to relax in between classes. Commuters currently use the building’s recitation room as a place to convene, and are often forced to leave when a class is held there, said Hayden.
The room will also serve as a memorial to Dr. Brown. The lounge will be named after her and will include a permanent display dedicated to “her life as a scientist and career as a teacher” said Hayden. This honor will ensure that Dr. Brown’s memory and the contributions she made at Siena, are not forgotten. “Dr. Brown was not just an outstanding teacher and scientist,” stated Richards, “She was mentor, friend and confidante to her colleagues and students in the Biology Department at Siena College.”
The room, which is due to be completed around the three-year anniversary of Dr. Brown’s passing, will be an embodiment of her dedication. “I want it to serve the students,” said Hayden. “It will be their space.”
The project serves the ambition to enhance student learning that Dr. Brown’s memory has continued to inspire.
from Sept. 27th issue
“After four years of the Franciscan tradition, you get a sense of helping people out,” said Assistant Director of Annual Funds, Mike Utzig (’07).
This Franciscan sense of philanthropy is exhibited through the annual phon-a-thon. Last year the phon-a-thon, an external affairs and development event, raised $275,000, and the goal for this year is $350,000. Student workers call parents, alumni, donors, non-donors and friends of the college and ask for monetary gifts, which range from ten dollars to over 1,000 dollars. The money goes to faculty, scholarships, buildings, and a variety of other things on campus.
The Bucci Plan, a program that was started in the spring of 2005, also receives money from this effort. Siena trustee Michael Bucci (’73) agreed to sponsor and fund this program. The goal of the Bucci Plan is to create a giving of talent and treasure to students that will continue when they are alumni; inspire young alumni to participate in philanthropy to the College; and prepare students for a life after graduation, specifically as alumni.
Student workers work from usually two to three nights per week, Sunday-Thursday from 6-9. Pay is $8.50 per hour, making it the highest paying job on campus. If you would like to get involved contact Utzig at the information concluding this article.
Being an alumnus himself, Utzig is familiar with the College and has a dedication second to none due to his personal experiences here. During his sophomore year, Utzig’s friends were in a band, The Lift. The Lift’s first performance was in the academic quad where they raised over $2500 for cancer research. It was at this time that Utzig realized Siena was a great place for Franciscan ideals and the best choice for him.
Utzig interned in the St. Francis House from February to May of his senior year through the business internship program. After graduation, he planned on moving to D.C. for political things until he received a call from his mentor about this job opening on campus. He has no regrets and feels it was the best decision, besides choosing Siena for his undergraduate education.
To sum up his collegiate career at Siena, Utzig said it was “spectacular.” He made the best friendships and received the best education. He lived by his motto that “college is 50% education and 50% social” and ultimately came out of Siena thinking that he could not have asked for a better college experience.
Please direct questions or interest in a job position to Mike Utzig at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 518-783-2914.
Constitution Day Lecture
Discusses Social Injustice
By Adam Biggs
from Sept. 27th issue
The idea of the constitution as a “living and evolving” document was explored this past Friday in commemoration of Constitution Day. Constitution Day was established as a national holiday three years ago in order to ensure the longevity of one of the nation’s founding documents.
Siena marked this annual event with a lecture on the Constitution followed by a question and answer session. Approximately 150 students and faculty gathered in the Student Union to hear Stephen E. Gottlieb speak on the Constitution and its role in the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gottlieb is a professor of law at the Albany Law School of Union University and a graduate of Princeton and Yale University. His areas of expertise are in civil liberties and how different interpretations of law lead to social injustice. Fittingly he gave a lecture entitled, “The Supreme Court and Social Injustice”.
The lecture was only an hour in duration but provided a great deal of insight into the role of the Constitution today and how it has been exploited by some justices in order to pursue their own causes instead of being “just”. Mr. Gottlieb used several court cases to explore and illustrate the “gaps” that exist in the decisions of the justices. He stated that a double standard exists for the more “conservative” justices with regards to issues such as discrimination and the right to life. For example, these justices are against abortion but do not seem to have reservations about putting innocent people on death row. The social injustices discussed by Gottlieb are important and relevant because they stem from an interpretation of the Constitution.
His lecture was well received by those attending and seemed to create a need for awareness. Gottlieb illustrated how the Constitution is still a document that is “alive” and needs constant interpretation because all of it is not black and white. If anyone is interested in viewing the lecture it is on reserve in the library.
Increased Enrollment or
a Big Misconception?
By Kelly Peckholdt
from Sept 27th issue
There have been rumors swirling since the semester started that the current freshmen class is larger than usual. If you feel like you have seen more new faces than usual this year, then you might believe the rumors. However, according to Heather Renault, director of Admissions, this is a big misconception.
This year, Siena received a record number of applicants at 5800 potential students. Only 54% of the applicants were accepted, which is approximately 3100 students. By the summer, over 800 students had agreed to come to Siena, which is a larger number than usual. Admissions usually starts out with a higher number, says Renault, because they will lose people over the summer due to personal issues or getting off the waitlist of their reach school. All in all, Admissions’ goal was to have 745 students in the freshmen class, and it ended up having 788 students, which is not a large difference. There are also only 926 new students on campus, including transfer students, which is one number higher than Admissions’ goal.
If the freshmen class were much larger than usual, it would cause a major strain on housing and academics, because there would be more triples and not enough class and faculty resources. There are triples in Hines Hall, but these triples are now considered “natural triples,” because the rooms are bigger and the beds have been lofted to create more space. Plassmann Hall also has some triples, but they have been de-tripled as space becomes available, and by September 28th there will not be anymore triples in Plassmann.
According to Renault, “We don’t want to get a class that’s too big or too small.” She also emphasizes that the recruitment process is not just done by Admissions counselors but by the whole Siena community. This is why there are Pathfinders, over 140 Ambassadors, and McGuires, who either give tours or assist with the interview process. The student effort is a major reason why many kids decide to come to Siena, because they enjoyed their tour or liked the people they met while they were visiting. Renault says, “When I am interviewing a potential student, I can tell if they are going to be successful and graduate in four years and whether or not they fit in at Siena and will become a good addition to the community.”
Students Digging into Service
By Elizabeth Muscarello
from Sept. 27th issue
Students at Siena have always been very interested in giving back to the community and participating in community service. This year Siena has given freshmen students an even greater opportunity to give back. Incoming freshmen could decide to live in a service wing in Hines hall which they call the Service Community. The service Community does community service often, and is in the same foundations class. The service wing is a great opportunity for freshmen to get involved and also form strong bonds with their peers and the community.
The Service wing could not be possible without their RA Caitlin Conheady. Caitlin was an RA last year and she was excited when she heard that a group of freshmen were interested in joining a Service Wing, and happily accepted the job as their RA. Although not all of the students involved in the service group live in Hines, they are still a close knit group. The students’ do two community service trips off campus every month and in addition to this they will host an on-campus service event at the end of the first and second semester. They will be working in throughout the capital area. Their first project is in downtown Albany at the Albany Worker House. They will be cleaning up a garden that many people and families in need can plant and grow their own food. This is just one of the many great things that they will be doing this year. Transportation is provided for students for every trip, and if students want to go out and perform service on their own they can go to the Franciscan Center for Advocacy and they will provide transportation for them, and anyone else who is looking to do community service off-campus. This is a great opportunity for any student who doesn’t have a car on campus but wants to do off-campus community service.
The main goal of this group is to get students involved and have them get other students involved. This program was designed for the participating freshmen to get other students to join the program. If you are interested in Joining the Service Community. The hope for this group is that eventually they will be able to run their own events and projects on and off campus and get as many students involved as possible. This is a great opportunity for all students to get involved. If anyone wants to become a member of the service community they can contact Caitlin Conheady, at email@example.com. You do not have to be a freshman to join, this group is looking for enthusiastic students who want to participate in community service and want to give back to the community.
Controversial Security Measures Delayed
By Kelly Peckholdt
from Sept. 13th issue
As students arrived on campus for the semester, many were expecting to see the welcome booth and security gates promised by the administration at the end of last year. However, the welcome booth is merely mapped out and there are just posts where the gates should be. Building and permit issues delayed construction over the summer, but according to the Facilities Department, the both items should be fully operational within a couple of weeks.
The gates and welcome booth, a gift from the Class of 2007, are the college’s remedy for security and navigation issues around campus. According to Dr. Maryellen Gilroy, the Vice President of Student Affairs, the only major security problems the college faces involve non-Siena students, and two years ago, these issues reached their peak.
This caused the administration to review the school’s guest registration policy and how to better secure the campus. At first, security established checkpoints where students could be asked to show their Siena ID, but administrators quickly saw that this is not the norm of how to secure a college campus and searched for a less intrusive solution. The idea for a welcome booth and gates was presented to and approved by the Student Senate and Board of Trustees, and the Class of 2007 raised money to fund the project.
Gilroy assures the student-body that the gates will remain open 99% of the time. However, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, the gates along Spring Street and other surrounding residential streets will be closed and all students will have to enter through a common entrance. Nate Maloney, the Director of Alumni Relations, says, “I understand that gating the community will help to cut down on the security check points we need to establish on specific weekends and free up our security team to patrol campus, rather than being stationed at check points.” Maloney also suspects that closing the gates on weekends is a neighbor-friendly measure, eliminating noise and lights near residential areas on Fiddlers Lane and Spring Street. The welcome booth at the main entrance will be staffed by a member of the security team at all times, and students will have to show their Siena ID or guests will have to show their guest registration form. The booth will also be particularly helpful in assisting admissions groups in navigating the campus.
Compared to other campuses, Siena is behind the times in regard to security gates and other measures. With eight entrances, the campus is very porous, and a security incident would be difficult to contain. The goal of these new security measures is to make students feel safer and to allow security personnel to react to emergencies more easily. This has been a bone of contention, however, for much of the student-body. Some students feel threatened by this intrusion into their everyday routines, saying that it is inconvenient and, in a sense, will imprison students. Others express concern about the aesthetic value of these security measures, worrying that the booth will take away from the beauty of the campus. Kevin Flood, a Siena sophomore says, “I love the openness of the campus, and with these gates, I think the school will feel more like a prison.” On the other hand, another sophomore states, “It might be inconvenient sometimes, but I think that it is more important to be safe, so the gates might not be that bad.” Many students feel conflicted about the new security measures, but only time will tell how the student-body truly feels once the measures are actually in place.
According to Jeanne Obermayer, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the welcome booth and gates are expected to be operational September 20th. The booth will be staffed from 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM Thursday through Saturday, and the gates will be closed to vehicular traffic during those times.
Siena Welcomes Fr. Matt Back to Campus!
By Christine Mundy
from Sept. 13th issue
The Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy has changed hands- from one distinguished alumnus to the next! Father Kevin Mullen has left the Franciscan Center in order to serve as the 10th president of Siena College. Father Mathias Doyle is stepping in as the new director for the Franciscan Center and he brings along with him a plethora of experiences and characteristics that make him a great role model for Siena students.
Father Mathias (Father Matt, for short) grew up near Troy in Lansingburg and attended Siena when all of the students (all of them male) commuted to school and kids played basketball in Gibbons Hall (what is now Foy). He was involved in campus clubs and activities- including yearbook. He was a History major, but it was a Political Science professor that sparked his interest in International Relations and Political Science- what would lead to an impressive string of academic achievements.
After graduating Siena in 1955, Father Matt went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the Catholic University of America, a degree from Notre Dame University in Political Science and a certificate in Educational Management from Harvard University. On the topic of higher education (especially for our seniors who are planning their next step) Father Matt offers the following advice. “I encourage them to experience as many areas as possible- things they don’t like could end up being the most attractive” and to “do what they love”.
As new director of the Franciscan Center, Father Matt has very strong beliefs in its importance here on campus. He believes the Franciscan Center is essential to Siena’s core values as it “fulfills the complete mission of the school and provides the opportunity to link the college to the outside world and beyond”. He believes the Franciscan Center helps avoid the isolation that can occur in a campus environment and allow students to see the impact of their education in the real world. Community service, according to Father Matt, can be quite a rewarding experience. He has “never know an involved student who didn’t get more out of it than they had put in”.
This is Father Matt’s second time coming back to Siena (the first time was as a professor and Guardian of the Friary). With so many of our administrators and faculty being Siena Alumni, I asked Father Matt what it is he thinks that keeps people coming back. With a smile, he recalls the Franciscan values, the community and the opportunity to teach others as the reasons he gravitates back.
For this upcoming semester, the Franciscan Center will be promoting advocacy and reflection. Father Matt thinks that reflecting on service experiences allows us to think about things like poverty, starvation and the shortage of medical coverage in our country and think why these things are and what can be done to help these people. This way, service is a part of your education, not just something on the side”.
When asked for a comment on the new director for the Franciscan Center, former director and now Siena president, Father Kevin Mullen has said about Father Matt, “He has vast experience in education and in national and global politics. His special interest to be an advocate for the poor and marginalized will be a tremendous asset to the Franciscan Center for Service & Advocacy. His wisdom in these areas will help many Siena students.”
If you are interested in the Franciscan Center, they will have a booth at the Service Fair on September 15th along with around 50 other service organizations from around the area. Also, you can talk to your Friar-in-Residence or just stop by Foy 302. If you are looking to say “Hi” to Father Matt, you had better wait a few weeks as he is currently in Bangladore, India serving as the General Minister’s Personal Delegate to the Franciscan Province of Saint Thomas the Apostle.
Ryan Hall Begins Recycling Experiment
By Caitlin Cochran
from Sept. 13th issue
If you are in Ryan Hall this year, you are sure to notice some very exciting new additions to the rooms: recycling bins! Every dorm room in Ryan gets its very own recycling bin to make recycling as easy and convenient as possible, and each trash room in the building is equipped with a large recycling unit. So, for those living in Ryan: once you fill your individual room bin, all you have to do is take a short walk down the hall and empty your recyclables into the correct section of the large recycling container.
Plastics (those marked with #1 or #2 on the bottom), cans (all types including tin, steel, and aluminum cans), and glass (clear only) are accepted—make sure to rinse out containers and remove lids before putting them in the bins. All thicknesses of paper between newsprint and manila folders are accepted. Corrugated cardboard can also be recycled– just make sure to flatten the cardboard and set it next to the recycling bin in the trash rooms. Check the large hanging charts in the trash rooms for a detailed list of what can and cannot be recycled.
Remember, the recycling bins are considered room furniture. That means you will be charged a replacement fee if your bin is damaged, lost, or thrown away. So take good care of it!
If you want your own recycling bin, but do not live in Ryan, do not despair! Ryan was selected as the building for a “trial run” of this new recycling program. The individual room bins were introduced on a small-scale first to make sure the recycling program runs smoothly and that any problems that arise could be easily solved. But by next semester, it is expected that all dorm rooms on campus will receive the individual recycling bins. In the meantime, use the SARAs (Siena College Active Recycling Apparatus), which are located in each dorm building.
If you have any recycling related questions please contact Caitlin Cochran at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be very happy to answer them!
Test Out Your Spirituality at the Chaplain’s Office
By Kristen Roys
from Sept. 13th issue
When thinking of what a college chaplain’s office function is, typically Mass offerings come to mind. However, at Siena, the staff at the chaplain’s office offers additional opportunities to get involved.
Masses are offered Mondays-Fridays, as well as throughout the day on Sundays. There is an 11:30AM Mass with a cantor and organist, and a 6:00PM Mass with a choir, organ and piano. Both of these Masses are offered in St. Mary’s of the Angels Chapel. There are also Masses at 8:00PM in the Ryan Hall lounge, 9:00PM in the Townhouse Commons, and 10:00PM in the Plassmann Hall lounge. After most 6:00 and 10:00 Masses, pizza is served to continue the celebration, as well as the opportunity for students to hang out. There is also a daily Mass Monday-Friday at 12:30PM in the Chapel.
Different blessings and Masses are held throughout the year, including the blessing of the athletes, family weekend Mass, midnight Mass at the end of the semester, and 11th hour Mass before finals begin. Friars-in-residence will be going around the building to introduce themselves, as well as giving students the option to have their room blessed.
There will be a Freshman Retreat on November 2-4 at Christ the King retreat center. Upperclassmen are needed to be retreat leaders. There will be a retreat in the spring for all years. You do not have to be Catholic to attend.
The rosary group meets at 9:00PM in the Chapel to pray the rosary. Voices is a women’s spirituality group on Tuesdays at 9:00PM starting on October 9th. Also on Tuesdays, candlelight meditation is at 10:00 and lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. It is a great time for quiet reflection and relaxation.
If you have missed the sacrament of Baptism, Communion, or Confirmation, or want to become Catholic, Right of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) sessions will begin at the end of September, or beginning of October. Sessions meet weekly during the fall and spring semester leading up the celebration on the 13th of April.
The sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is offered by appointment, or you can stop by and see if someone is available to hear your confessions.
There are also many opportunities to get involved in the celebration of Mass. Liturgical ministers are needed to serve as altar servers, readers, and Eucharistic ministers. Training will be on September 18th at 9:00PM. The Chapel Choir meets on Wednesdays at 6:00PM and 5:00PM on Sundays for an hour in the Chapel to rehearse for the 6:00PM Mass.
The chaplain’s office is located adjacent to Hines Hall and is open to all. The extension is 2332. Fr. Bill Beaudin, director of the office, said: “We support our students in good times and bad; we celebrate joys and offer a place to bring your sorrows.”