Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pro Vita at DU, but no Pro-Choice...

After seeing a poster in the dining hall this week advertising Pro Vita's trip to Washington D.C. to protest against abortion, I recalled other instances where I have seen Pro Vita fliers on the wall beside the Lewis staircase. In the years I have been at Dominican, I remember seeing fliers about people who have lived successful lives and informed the reader that they wouldn't have been able to contribute to society if they had been aborted.

Now I understand that with Dominican being a Catholic university, promoting pro-life is not unexpected with it being an important aspect of Catholic belief. Personally, I see both sides of the argument and I think that each side has a valid argument.

I feel guilty sometimes for leaning more toward pro-choice. I think that women having a choice is very important and they shouldn't be beholden to a religious belief however well-meaning it is. After seeing fliers posted by Pro Vita with pictures of aborted babies (I'm not 100% on this, so if such fliers weren't posted, feel free to correct me), I don't know anyone who would choose abortion over considering the option of having their baby adopted. So either way, don't you think adoption - giving the child a chance - is a better option to not giving him/her a chance at living at all?

But there is no Pro-Choice group on campus when it comes down to it. This controversial issue of abortion even extends to who some people may have voted for in this past election. A friend of mine said that her personal belief supporting pro-life affected her choice for president - that she felt she'd be going against her belief if she voted for someone supporting abortion.

Even the Wellness Center here at Dominican has stopped handing out contraceptives to students in order to support the pro-life belief so central to Catholicism.

I know how controversial the abortion issue is - I almost wasn't sure whether or not to bring this up. Though Dominican is a Catholic university, I'd be surprised if all the students at DU supported pro-life.

Dominican on the Radio

As I was driving last night to visit home I was listening to 101.9 FM, The Mix radio station. During a commercial break I was completely shocked to hear a commercial for our own Dominican. I heard the "Inspired Minds, Amazing Possibilities" slogan and laughed.

From the time I have been at Dominican I have barely seen any advertising, let alone hear a radio commercial. I found this very interesting. I am assuming this is a part of our plan to reach 4,000 students. I don't know how affective radio commercials are these days, but nonetheless, I was excited to here my little school on the radio.

Discover Dominican

During the course of the school year, there are four Discover Dominican events in which high school juniors and seniors, transfer students and graduate students get group tours of the school. Sophomore Craig Dettmann gave one tour during the course of the day.
"This is a great way for students to come on campus and meet with academic advisors and tour the campus," Dettmann said. "It is a great way to narrow their college search and see the opportunities that Dominican can offer them."

Men's Soccer Victory!

After the game!

The boys celebrate their victory!

Tailgater Derek Stone tries to stay warm.

The boys on the field!

Juniors Juan Carlos Saldana and Trinidad Correa watch their teammates.

Here's to a big congradulations to the Dominican University Men's Soccer Team! Today, the boys won the conference championship and now have an automatic bid to the national tournament! Dominican played against Aurora University and won four to zero! The time and the location is undecided for the national tournament.
"This is my third conference championship," said junior Nico Toro. "I was extremely happy how we played and how we rallied in the second half. This is my first automatic bid!"

Erasing the Distance

Students Sara Carranza and Stephanie Taylor Greenman are in rehearsal for the Fall play, Erasing the Distance. This play has certainly created a buzz around campus since Dominican students have submitted their own personal experiences with alcoholism, depression and suicide to be apart of the show.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hate Free Dominican

Today marked the end of Hate Free week, sponsored by Student Government Association (SGA is doing something!). This week was in reaction to the Hate crime that had been committed on the priory campus about a month ago. All week students were urged to sign a banner indicating they do not support acts of hate. As the week progressed I saw more and more "Hate Free Zone" signs on the doors of the residents on campus. Pictured here is a sign on a residents door, along with the contract they have signed against hate.

Facebook Statuses: the New Battleground?

I've noticed lately that many individuals I'm "friends" with the social networking site Facebook are using the status feature for more than declaring their mood or telling people they're going to the gym.

Immediately after the election on Tuesday, I noticed a great number of my friends, both from the Dominican community and other schools, decided to use their status on Facebook to declare their opinion on the outcome of the race. These brief updates ranged from "So and so is proud to be an American," to "So and so has donated their status to remind everyone to vote for Barack Obama today. Donate your status:" to "So and so is Pissed. Obama is PRESIDENT OF THE USA! PRAY FOR AMERICA." And then there were statuses simply saying "I'm bummed about the election" or "This is history in the making!" or variations on those involving the names of both presidential candidates.

However, Facebook friends can comment on these statuses. The comments provided the warfields in which more political battles were and are still being fought. Comments deriding fellow friends as "morons," "uninformed voters" and so many more vile claims constantly popped up in my "newsfeed" upon logging on to Facebook. Since voters elected Obama on Tuesday evening, I've seen varying degrees of Facebook battling, complaining, griping and attacking over the outcome of the election. I'm aware that political beliefs are sacred and we're all entitled to defend our own, but I think those concerned about who won or lost the election should get over it and move on. Barack Obama is now every American's president, and that's how it's going to be for the next four years. We should come together and support the president, instead of further dividing ourselves and fighting about something that can't be undone.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fired Bullet Found on Campus: FROM WHERE???

As DominiNET is becoming more familiar with DU students, tid-bits of information are beginning to be leaked to me and my fellow bloggers. This afternoon, two freshman, Ashton Baran and Conrad Sewinski, were walking outside as usual from the first floor of the library towards the fine arts building via the sidewalk. The students were strolling along until Baran noticed what appeared to be a bullet lying on the sidewalk. "We spotted it on the sidewalk and I picked it up. I was surprised to see it was actually a bullet," Baran said.

"It looks like the bullet hit something. I'm pretty sure it was shot," said Sewinski. Although he is not a fire arms expert, Sewinski does have previous experience with fire arms from hunting with his father. The picture below clearly shows that the tip of the bullet was dented. This only happens once the bullet is shot and hits something.

Is it typical to find fired bullets on a college campus? Did anyone hear gun shots ring out? Was it in celebration of Obama's victory? Was it an attempted act of violence? Who has a gun at Dominican???

Chartwell's Dish Pick-up on Power 2

Going on Megan's post, I wanted to address the dish pick-up on Power 2. For one thing, as you can see from the above picture, the crate isn't empty. I took this picture Wednesday evening and I'm pretty certain this plate has been in there since Monday. I'll have to wait and see Friday (one of the pick-up days) if it is removed.

Personally, I don't like having to go past this on my way to throw out the trash. The picture doesn't do it justice - in person, the dirtiness (however minor it is) can put you off food for a short while.

Though it's good that Chartwells is doing this to help keep as much of their inventory as possible (after resorting to other options because so much of it has gone missing); are students going to follow through on the issue? I've only seen one plate on Power 2, so it's not much better than no plates on Power 4 as Megan posted.

Dish Recovery An Unsuccessful Start

As Tom and Diana blogged about last week Chartwells is looking to recover their dishes from the residents in the dorms. Students are constantly taking cups, plates, dishes and silverware from the cafeteria. They are now lacking the inventory they need to serve us. They sign above is what they have placed in the resident halls with a bin below it. Many of these are placed near garbage cans, so that students put the dishes in the bins rather than tossing them.

This is the empty Chartwells bin located on the fourth floor Power lounge. So far it looks like Chartwells attempt to recover their dishes is unsuccessful.

Introducing Amy

Meet DominiNET blogger Amy Kenat.

History does not make us--we make history.

Huffington Post

When Barack Obama gave his moving speech on election night 2008, he unified the nation.

"And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too."

A number of weeks ago, a couple of my Dominican colleagues and myself were working together, but in the midst of some slight tension. Politics-related, the intensity of the 2008 election race season had set us all on edge.

Before it became really bad, though, we made amends. After all, these were girls, whom before I learned their persuasions, I had met and initially thought, "These are some rad chicks; I bet we'll become friends."

There have been a lot of exciting changes and possibilities not only in the journalism industry, but in Dominican's Convergent Journalism class this semester. And it's true that we became a much stronger team when we weren't on opposing sides. Well, no kidding!

"Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope."

Those values are what matter; not partisanship, red herrings, or petty issues. Our core ideals don't differ from between "sides," but they are qualities that everybody desires. If we dig a little deeper, we see that maybe we're all not that different.

"In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long."

After all was said and done, and some ego-checking, I knew that my colleagues and I could be powerhouses if we worked together. Tuesday night I saw this reflected on a global scale: the greatness of what happens when people come together.

BBC News

Huffington Post

Divided we fall, united we stand.

Oprah reiterated that philosophy on her post-election show. At the end of the broadcast, Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, and Bebe & CeCe Winans (artists from very different styles of music--country and gospel) performed a song that encapsulates this push toward unity. At first I thought it might be cheesy, but it's beautiful and inspiring. The accompanying video highlights the great moments of the election race, as well as inspiring footage from across the country that shows that yes, we do "need each other."

This video isn't the best quality, but I will post a better version when one is uploaded.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Meet Charlotte

Personally welcoming all the lurkers and readers to this blog. Hope you find it informative and entertaining!

Intro to Diana

Introducing Megan

Just a little background on myself, so you know the person behind the blogging.

I Love Spuds: The Suzy Herman Adventure

Here is a little story about my adventure on rounds, involving mashed potatoes.

Hello, I'm Tom Blackwell

My little introduction for y'all.

I'm Natalie...yesterday. today. always.

I've been blogging since September. Now you can finally get to know me a little better. Check out my video.

Hello from Maryann Pisano

Hello everyone! Check out this video to learn a little bit more about me!

Meet Joe Nava

Hey everyone, I'm Joe Nava. This is a little video describing me and a little bit about our blog.

Meet the potential Mr. Dominican

The first-ever Mr. Dominican pageant will be held tomorrow, Nov. 6, in the Social Hall at 6:30 p.m. Like Amy posted, the guys will strut their stuff, hoping to claim the title of Mr. DU. Sophomore Jamie Tade, a veteran who served in Iraq, will be competing tomorrow. His talent: stand-up comedy!

Tade represented the Mr. Dominican contestants by rocking this t-shirt.

Vote for Jamie!! (And check out his story on Veteran's Day in the latest Dominican STAR.)

CSA Haunted Tours: Video

Here are the video highlights at the 11:20 PM tour I went on during Commuter Student Association's Haunted Tours the Thursday before Halloween.

FA 114 is the most haunted room in all of Dominican according to the tour guide Dan Wawzenek.

Tour guide Dan Wawzenek explains that the spooks in FA are not fake after something happens that sets some people on edge.

Every Physical Plant worker hired to work overnight...after being in the Fine Arts building, they have to quit within four months. The tour guide tells the story...

The ghost stories in Lund Auditorium. Our tour guide told us some of them in the darkness outside of the Lund Auditorium. After this, we went into the Lund to sit there in the dark with only one light shining on the stage. We had to sit there for five minutes and wait and see if we would witness anything supernatural.

A few people were positive that something brushed past their leg or touched their feet - and they were certain it wasn't someone in the group. Is it true? Who knows. I have to say that those were one of the longest five minutes of my life.

Though I tried to not make much of it - sitting in a place after hearing ghost stories surrounding it is not easy. Especially when you're almost in complete darkness and it's nearing midnight.

Obama Did It

Yes we can.

No, you can Barrack Obama. Last night, history was made. The United Stated of America elected its first ever African American president. The votes came in, the people were heard. They wanted Obama.

Throughout the election, Dominican has been mildly involved, trying to energize students to vote and stand up as young, educated Americans. It seemed like the university was fairly split as far as democrats and republicans go, but no one could ignore the importance of this election.

I went home on Tuesday to vote and eat "election dinner" with my family (cute, I know.) When I returned, many of my friends were frantically rushing through the door on their ways to the rally downtown. I was on duty and had to be at the desk.... and very jealous.

After a few hours of election coverage, my hope rising and falling at each state projection, I noticed several other residents watching the TV as they passed by. Some were excited, others didn't really care. But when the anchors finally announced that Obama had been elected, you could almost hear a pin drop.

People froze throughout McCain and Obama's speeches. It was a really exciting and historical moment for everyone. I knew that this would be one of the few things in my lifetime that I would remember for a long time and would be proud to tell others I was a part of it.

No matter who you voted for, this is a new time for America. Things will be changing. Yes we can.

Caritas and Veritas

In the light of Founder's Day, I thought I would look a little bit into our Dominican history with the meanings of Caritas and Veritas. These two words are an important part of our universities mission and culture, but do we all know what they mean? In the TORCH orientation session our freshman year, we all learn the basic definition of Caritas and Veritas, which is truth and love. As Dominican students do we really follow these two words? Are we as truthful and loving as our Founder's expect?

Chances are no. I would like to believe all of the Dominican community believe in these two small words, whether or not they follow them in their actions is a different story.

So the real question is what does Caritas and Veritas mean to you?

To me they simply mean I should learn and work with passion and care. I should put forth my best effort in everything I do.

(The photo is of the Dominican crest located in the front of Lewis Hall behind the Switchboard.)


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stalked by Dominican?

On a nice day last spring, students Jim McQuillan, Shelley Hintmann, Amy Preston, and Stephen Bala were eating their lunches in the quad, completely unaware that they were being watched...and photographed.

Photo taken from myDU

But they were being photographed. Sure enough, come fall 2008, one of the pictures taken of them that day was plastered on the myDU website for the Amazing Possibilities Campaign.

Ok, they are Dominican students and we all (probably?) signed some kind of consent form at one point, but still. Personally, I don't think I would be thrilled if my picture just appeared on myDU without my knowledge that pictures were ever even taken in the first place.

"When I first saw the picture of all of us on myDU, I thought it was cool. For like a second," said junior Amy Preston. "Then I realized it was a total stalker picture, and got kind of creeped out."

Preston admits that she was surprised when she first saw the photo and slightly offended. "Maybe they didn't have to ask our permission, I know they were going for an objective view, something not staged, but you would have thought they would have asked us to take the pic. I find it strange they didn't."

Perhaps the mystery photographer was trying to capture the "essence" of Dominican. I still don't think it would have been ridiculous for the photographer to ask for permission, or at least make the students aware that Dominican was going to use the photos.

What do you think about this? Would you care if this happened to you? Do you find it creepy, or not a big deal?

The Amazing Possibilities Campaign is over. But that doesn't mean more pictures won't be taken. Be on the look out for these photographers, because otherwise you might end up another oblivious student on the myDU website.

Students Gather to Witness McCain Concession Speech

When Barack Obama was announced as the 44th President of the United States earlier this evening, I was there with a group of 7 students in the library link watching the election unfold. As we stood there watching the massive victory celebrations in Grant Park and the somber concession convention in Arizona on CNN, students weighed in with various comments on the fate of their candidate of choice.

"I'm happy, its a bit surreal. Its a big step towards bridging that racial gap," said Kasani Jamison, post baccalaureate, giving a first reaction to Obama's victory.

"I'm worried about my future plans and how Obama's policies will affect them," says senior Brett Wassink, a conservative disappointed about the election outcome.

As I post this, students are still gathered awaiting Obama's victory speech. Some students discussing the outcome, some doing homework, some just eagerly watching the television.

DU Students Take Advantage of Late Night Science Labs

Freshmans Yasen Asmanov, Walid Mohammad and Valerie Tolomeo, all biology majors, took advantage of the science lab last night. The students were allowed access to the labs to review for the lab practical, a test based on lab work. The students are enrolled in BIO 111, a general biology class. Their first dissection project: a fetal pig.

Mohammad and Tolomeo examine the specimen.

Asmanov compares the kidneys: the real deal v. the illustration.

Even the microscopes were accessible for the students.

I think this is pleasing to see students taking advantage of the open labs. If journalism students had the opportunity to spend late night hours on multimedia projects, I'm positive that most of us would.

DU Fine Arts Building Transformed into Polling Place

After my 10:00 class this morning, I walked out of the Fine Arts building as usual. I was shocked to see that the main hallway was a polling place for today. I knew Dominican would be a polling place, but I figured that the polls would be located in a more concealed location.

I voted today, and in the 2004 election, in my home town of 5,000 people, Spring Grove, Ill. Well...the polling place has never been crowded (like I saw on the news a couple days ago) and the polling booths are in a concealed conference room. If I was to vote at Dominican, or any other open-area polling place, I don't think I'd like people walking through...especially not loud, obnoxious college students (no offense anyone). I think it would be completely distracting. How about you?

VOTE!......or shrug

Voting is one of the most important thing an American can do. If you're not happy with something in our government, vote to change it.

Still, it seems like some people are still having a problem with this idea, especially at Dominican. I spoke with many of my friends and classmates who were not planning on voting. Why, I ask them. Responses varied from being too busy or too far from home. The DU stars seemed to be suffering from general apathy when it came to this crucial election.

While my parents have always pushed us to vote and have your voice be heard (this election, all six members of my family voted), it seems that many do not share that enthusiasm. Many non-voters explained that it didn't really matter how they voted anyway. I proceeded to respond with "Well, what if EVERYONE felt that way" which issued a shoulder shrug and grunt. It really is upsetting to see that so many of my fellow Dominicans have little interest in voting. This attitude makes me concerned for the political road ahead of us.

I was shocked when speaking to one of my friends, senior Laura Joseph, who confessed that she wasn't even registered to vote. Huh? It takes five minutes and can have a huge impact on our future. Alas, I suppose I cannot push my voting enthusiasm on everyone for this election. But I can do something for next time.

While it may be too late to vote today, I urge everyone to get out there and register so you are ready come election day. Check out Rock the Vote for more information on getting registered and letting your voice be heard.

Photo from

(re)Visions: 2008 Faculty Exhibition

Tomorrow the O'Connor Art Gallery will open up the show called "(re)Visions: 2008 Faculty Exhibition." This will show all works from faculty here at Dominican including Noelle Allen, Jean Bevier, Amanda Joy Calobrisi, Javier Carmona, Liz Chilsen, Jeffery Cote de Luna, Hannah Jennings, James Kao, Bill Kerr, Mie Kongo and Frank Spidale.

I think this is really great the faculty here at Dominican are able to display there work for everyone to see. I know the students get the chance at the senior exhibition near the end of the year, so why not the faculty. I am personally looking forward to seeing what talents our wonderful Dominican faculty have.

Election Day

While I'm not as excited about it as Diddy over there, I do think voting is EXTREMELY important. I think it's maybe the most American thing we have. I mean, come on, we have the freedom to choose our leaders. If that's not American, I don't know what is. So if you haven't done so already, get out and vote. Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, VOTE!

Kinzer inspires aspiring journos

Last Thursday, award-winning foreign correspondent and Dominican Lund-Gill chair Stephen Kinzer met with several of us journalism students to discuss reporting and writing. He gave us helpful tips to remember when we're trying to create The Story in our journalistic endeavors. Sharing many colorful anecdotes and stories about his experiences, the hour-long meeting was not only beneficial, but inspiring, and I must say it pumped me up as I went out to do some additional reporting on my story for this issue's Star. I was captivated by his stories and took his advice to heart, and I really believe that what he shared with us was very useful information.

Kinzer's been here at Dominican for over half a semester, but I hadn't really been to any of his lectures or really heard him speak until last week's meeting (I heard him talking about the SonShine School in Africa a couple weeks ago in the Martin Recital Hall after a documentary presentation, but it wasn't for very long). I don't know what "expectations" I had of him, but he was a lot different than I expected. In his photos he appears to be, maybe, a stuffy old experienced journo dude, but that is a prime example of why you can't judge a book by its cover.


Kinzer is a very animted speaker, and you get the sense that you're seeing a real person, no self-important pretenses or major ego issues that you may find in someone who has such vast experience and an impressive list of accomplishments. He comes off as friendly, wise, and knowledgeable.

He demonstrated to us that everyone has a story. You just have to dig for it. He explained how to find the color, the interesting tidbits that people will remember by creating genuine relationships with your interview subjects. No one wants to read straight up, boring listed facts. Journalists should look for the story where they may think there is none, whether it be in a desolate, not-reported-on place, or in a person that may be overlooked by society.

You want, as a writer, to produce something with depth that can affect and impact the human soul. In spite of the changing face of journalism, I believe that there is great hope and huge potential for where the field is going, and we aspiring reporters at Dominican have a great "resource" for inspiration.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hate Free

Today kicks off Dominican University's Hate Free Week. SGA was sitting in the social hall armed with a petition against hate and a button for all who signed. The remainder of the week will include more activities.

I'm guessing the reason behind this week is the incident that occurred at the Priory campus a few weeks ago. It was a very serious issue where a racial slur was written across a wall in the residence hall. Since then, the university has been trying to promote hate-free actions and programs.

Several RA's and other members of Res Life have been facilitating programs about Hate Free Zones and anti-hate mentalities.

I love that the university is doing something because of this horrible incident. I am curious what is in store for the rest of the week, and, more importantly, whether or not it will make a difference.

Image from

DU Star Preview

This past weekend I came across a story that was submitted to the Dominican STAR, which really got my emotions. It is going to be published in the next issue, so I figured I would preview it here.

With the election tomorrow and Veterans day around the corner it is a good time to be thinking about our country, especially the men and women who have put their lives on the line to serve America. What I never really thought about is how this affects us directly. I don't have any family or close friends who have served, so I have never gave it a second thought. A Dominican student, who served in Iraq, wrote a piece for the STAR, which really struck me. He talks about his experiences in Iraq and what we should think about this coming Veterans day.

So, I urge you to read this article when it comes out Wednesday and let me know what you think.

Mr. Dominican Contestants

They made it through auditions and are now ready to move on to the pageant! Here are the contestants for Mr. Dominican 2008.

Patrick Hussey, freshmen

Christopher DeLise, freshmen

Jamie Tade, sophomore

Jeremy Porter, sophomore

Andrew Infanger, junior

Mark Kuwala, junior

Jon Campbell, junior

The pageant will take place on Thursday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Social Hall. According to Fashion Club President Shelley Hintmann, the winner will be decided by a panel of faculty and staff judges and crowned by President Donna Carroll. Students in the audience will also be able to vote for one contestant to win the Student's Choice Award. Come out and support our DU men!

Photos courtesy of Shelley Hintmann, Fashion Club President

My friends in Power do their the boy's bathroom

It can be a long haul from Power 4 to the laundry room, but luckily the residents of Power 4 have a washer and dryer located on their floor. The catch? Both are located inside the boy’s bathroom.

Um, awkward? Maybe, but this doesn’t stop female residents from entering the boy’s bathroom and doing their laundry.

Junior Hillaurie Fritz has been living on Power 4 for three years now. “It was really awkward my freshmen year, but now I'm used to it," she said. "I’d rather go in there than walk all the way down to Coughlin. I mean there aren't too many guys on the floor, so it’s not that big of a deal…I always try to hurry though."

Senior Anne Marie Barrett, who also lives on the floor, admits that the location is unusual. “I’ve been in there doing laundry and I’ve had guys walk in and ask if they are in the right bathroom. It’s probably more awkward for them.”

Don’t get me wrong, it is nice that Power 4 has its own washer and dryer. Still, this shocks me. Isn't there anywhere else that the washer and dryer could go?


Trouble with voting for residents

Photo source:

On the eve of the presidential election, some residents at Dominican who are voting absentee are running into problems. I found out this evening that senior resident Anne Marie Barrett filled out the form to receive the absentee ballot, but her ballot was sent home - not to Dominican where she is currently residing.

This is especially frustrating for her because her home is in Colorado, which is most definitely not close. She warned another out-of-state resident that they should call home to check if their absentee ballot was sent home rather than to Dominican. The other person hadn't received their absentee ballot yet.

Even though Barrett checked the absentee ballot application "5 or 6 times", it still didn't get sent to the right place.

Are any other out-of-state residents having the same problem?

For anyone who doesn't know, Colorado is currently a swing state in this election, so either presidential candidate has a good shot at winning the state since it's a toss up. Anne Marie Barrett said that she was almost relieved that she didn't receive her absentee ballot because she's still undecided as who to vote for. She thinks that it's such an important decision though a hard one since neither of the candidates are perfect. It's not an easy choice.

Another senior resident Cassie Hileman designated time to figure out the candidate she would vote for. She found to be a helpful site in laying out the issues and going through candidates' stances on the issues. She has already voted.

Also, somewhat related, the campus bookstore is offering 20% off of any general reading books in the bookstore if you show them your "I Voted" sticker as proof you voted. The discount will be offered tomorrow (Election Day) and the day after that. I thought this was a cool thing for the bookstore to do. I have a "I Voted" sticker from when I voted early in October, so I may take advantage of the offer.

Dominican's Flexible Definition of "Midterm"

Something I've noticed in my time at Dominican is the apparent lack of official "midterms." Few classes I've been in have had an actual midterm test when it's traditionally supposed to be held: at the halfway point of the semester.

I asked a few individuals for their thoughts on the matter.

"I've never had an official midterm "test," said senior Brett Wassink. "But I have had tests around that time."

"One of my professors is making us take a midterm quiz this week," said junior Justine Savage. Savage's midterm this week isn't even in the traditional quiz, test or paper format. Her professor instead opted to play a "quiz game" considering all material learned in the course up to this point. "I'm not even sure how we'll be graded if we're playing a game," she said.

Freshman Sylwia Wysocka has not had any official "midterms" so far in her first semester at Dominican. "I haven't taken any midterms, just normal quizzes scheduled around the same time," she said. Sophomore Shannon Seegers has had a similar experience. "This year I did not have any midterms, or if I did, I didn't realize I was having one," said Seegers.

Other students I asked said they have taken actual midterms, but due dates for papers and dates for tests and quizzes were all different, never taking place within the same week. Many of my friends attending other universities usually take midterms in the middle of October, typically prior to a week-long fall break.

I guess the scheduling of midterms (or lack thereof) varies by institution. But it seems like Dominican is truly unique because many professors choose to simply do away with midterms altogether, something I'm sure nearly every one of my fellow students would call a good thing during this stressful time.

How to Relieve Stress!

Midterm tests, papers and homework can get very stressful this time of the semester. I decided to do an advice post on how to stay sane during this time of year!

Personally, when I try to relieve stress, I work out, hang out with friends and listen to music.

Junior Michelle Calvert has similar rituals when she feels stressed:
"Whenever I am stressed, I usually go for a run," Calvert said. "My stress virtually melts away whenever I have my ipod on and I am running."

Junior Michael Roder agreed with Calvert. "Whenever I am stressed, I do pushups or I go running and play soccer."

Hopefully these tips from Dominican students will help you with your midterms!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bulls Game

So last night was the Bulls game that was sponsored by Student Involvement. I was at the game (and apparently bought my tickets pretty early). I really had a good time. It combined two things I love: hanging out with my friends and watching the Bulls. By the way, #1 draft pick and future superstar Derrick Rose scored 26 points, leading the Bulls to the win. I thought the game would have had a better turnout but I did see at least 15 Dominican students. Junior Vince Nardiello was at the game and had this to say. "It was good to see Dominican organize something that gave us a chance to see each other outside of school and go to something fun like a Bulls game."

(Photo courtesy of

Keep an ear out.

Last Thursday I was rushing down the stairs in the main Lewis hall to catch the shuttle, when I was pleasantly surprised to hear Averno's music filling the halls; and it was one of my favorite songs, Laced Blinds.

The Sounds Society is previewing all the music of all the bands playing Saturday's ROCK FEST, as well as selling tickets at the table. They're going fast, so be sure to pick up a ticket this week! I also have some if anyone is in need.

Keep an ear out this week for more fabulous tunes!


This weekend, I held two snakes, a monkey, and saw some awesome magicians. Where is the place, you ask. Was Suzy at a carnival? Or a magical place of wonder?

Close. I was at a conference through NACA, the National Associations of Campus Activities. I went as a representative of the Dominican University Campus Activities Board. NACA is for college students all of the nation to come together and get ideas about programming for their schools. It was very cool that CAB was willing to pay for myself, and three other members or the board, to attend this conference. We came back with a ton of great ideas, some that you will hopefully see this school year!

The picture is me with a neat-o snake! Photo by Jon Campbell

Etiquette Dinner

I don't want to go to the Etiquette Dinner. But I am forced to go for my interpersonal communication class, and forced to pay $15 out of my own empty pocket to attend this annual DU event.

Before I go on, I need to make something clear: I'm not really that upset about this, just annoyed. I feel like my parents raised me correctly and taught me proper table manners and how to socialize with strangers and most of the other things associated with this event; therefore, I do not feel that I should have to attend. While I'm sure I'll probably learn a few things at the Etiquette Dinner, and I don't doubt its usefulness for teaching students how to act in social and business situations, I feel I could use my two hours of time and $15 in a better way.

I think my instructor meant well in making this event mandatory for my class. However, making the event optional, while assuring the students of the many benefits of the event, would have been a better idea, perhaps even offering extra credit or something for those that attend. I don't think instructors should require students to attend events with an extra charge outside of class. However, this is simply one opinion. And I respect my instructor's decision to send students to this event; after all, it's for our own benefit.

I'm well aware that a good deal of college students actually don't have proper table manners and don't know how to act at business or professional dinner events. And that's their loss; I shouldn't have to do this simply because many of my fellow college students don't know how to cut their steak.

Are they cracking down on Athletes?

Recently I have noticed more and more athletes actually getting reprimanded if they get "written up" for alcohol on campus. In the past it has seemed many student athletes would have the same punishment of community service, and have no consequences from their coach. It makes me wonder if the athletic department is really cracking down on their athletes.

I have heard in the past few weeks that athletes are being suspended for games as a punishment even if they are not in season. If this is true; I think it is a very good idea. Suspension from games will not only help to build a better athletic program, but also healthier, smarter and more responsible athletes on campus.

As stated last week in our blog the athletes were also required to attend the "Drunk Sex or Date Rape" lecture. Is this another move to crack down on athletes?

Junior woman's basketball player Jane Killmar said she wasn't sure why she was required to go as an athlete, but "it was an informative and eye-opening lecture. It would have been beneficial for any student to go."

The main question that remains in my mind is - Will anything be affective? Athletes (or anyone) can be reprimanded, suspended or required to attend lectures, but will still continue to act as college students. I give two thumbs up to the athletic departments efforts no matter the outcome.

On Campus Jobs

As I have mentioned before, I work phonathon at Dominican. Since I have a very busy school schedule, I do not have time for a second job. Like phonathon and every other work/ study job on campus, we are only paid once a month. When I used to work at Express, I was paid once every two weeks. It is extremely hard to stretch a pay check for one month. Why is all on campus jobs have to be like this? Couldn't we have our paychecks be once every two weeks?

Goodies for Residents

Every resident on campus recieves a letter at home for a care package sent to their dorm for finals week. I think that this is a great idea. Not only is it a pick-me-up, but it is a great way of knowing that your family is thinking of you. A care package can also be a reminder that the semester is almost over!

Follow-Up on DU Security...

To follow up on Maryann's Security on Campus, I wanted to add my opinion in a posting, rather than a comment. I'd like to start off by congratulating campus security for doing as good a job as possible, given the fact that they are only security personnel and are not in the official business of law enforcement. However, I believe that if students want to feel like security is effective, an appropriate uniform should be distributed. As of now, DU security staff, who are not students, wear the right gear, in my opinion. They look professional.

On the contrary, students working for security, need a much better uniform. DU student security workers are uniformed with a navy blue polo with the Dominican logo that reads underneath: "Campus Operations." Du student security workers are also equipped with a 2-way radio. When I was doing an investigative piece a few weeks ago at Concordia University, I met their student security workers and couldn't believe they were only students! They looked like the real deal. Concordia student security workers wore uniforms that appeared to be that of a regular police officer...minus the gun.

The uniform for students working security at Concordia is a blue button-down shirt with badges on either shoulder stating they were official and trained. There was also a badge on the front right pocket and an engraved, silver name tag on the left front pocket. The two student security workers wore black uniform pants and even black uniform boots. A specialized, police officer-like belt was also part of the uniform. By this I mean, there were special tools secured in a designated area on the belt...completely legitimate to that of a RFPD's belt...again, minus the gun. The Concordia student security workers also had much more compact, modern 2-way radios that weren't close to the size (or I imagine the weight) of those radios used by DU security.

When I went to the security station/office at Concordia, I was also very impressed. Even the female student working the desk had the same uniform as the men patrolling the campus. She was also equipped with a head set that corresponded with this fancy radio system they had for their campus.

My point is this: If DU student security workers looked the part, more than they do now, the Dominican community would most likely take them more seriously. I believe that our student security looks pretty much like any other students on campus. I mean, how many students wear a polo and jeans?? A LOT. If they were suited in a legit uniform, their presence on campus would be much more effective. As a result, maybe more people, and hopefully Maryann, would feel more secure on Dominican's Campus.