Thursday, December 4, 2008

This is why I love the Dominican Staff

As I walked through Parmer Atrium yesterday the sound of loud laughter caught my attention. It was our wonderful Dominican faculty decorating the Christmas tree. They were having such a great time I was almost envious. It put a smile on my face, so I figured it was a good time to capture the holiday moment...and yes, she is shaking her butt at me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Cheer Comes to Dominican

The weather outside is frightful, but Dominican is so delightful! As the holiday season comes into full gear, the school has began to decorate to spread some cheer. There have been trees and ligths all over to make DU a little bit more of a home.

The social is set up for the annual RSA Auction with a tree and wreaths.

Coughlin 2 with a festive holiday snowman!

How will you spread the holiday fun?

Fashion Club Basket Raffel

So today and tomorrow, the Fashion Club will be selling tickets to raise money for their annual fashion show (which happens in Spring). Christmas music could be heard in the library and dining halls luring people to get in the spirit and stop by their apealling display in the Lewis Alcove. The fashionistas dominated the alcove from 9:30 this morning until 5 tonight...they will be there all day tomorrow as well.

Tickets to win one of the elaborate baskets cost $1 each. Six tickets can be purchased for $5. All proceeds will help to produce the fashion show coming this spring. The Fashion Club's Kelsey Swank is a member of the club's publicity committee. In this video interview, Swank explains more about the drive.

The most expensive item featured in one of the baskets is a Nintendo DS. Nintendo DS's generally range from $125-$200 at retailers.

This next basket will satisfy the winner's sweet tooth. Boxes of fine chocolates and a $50 Cheesecake Factory gift card are included among other treats.

Attention all movie lovers: This basket features all your favorite pick on's while watching some of this year's most popular included DVD's.

The mentioned baskets are just some of the many baskets featured in the raffle. The prizes are great and the baskets would also make awesome gifts.

Tip's View on DU's Men's Basketball

As Joe posted earlier today, the Stars lost one of their biggest games of the season last night. Our men's basketball team lost to Concordia's Cougars 75-41. Ouch.

Starting senior and point guard Kyle Tipton spoke with me this afternoon about the defeat. He's thinking positive about the rest of the season and the next game, this Saturday against Marian University. The home game's tip off will be at 4:15 p.m.

In this video, hear why Tipton thinks the Stars lost and how they'll make a comeback.

Flower Power....After the Snow

With this season's first snow fall decorating the landscape, and Christmas lights glistening all around, one can't help but appreciate the winter wonderland. Just how long will the snowflakes and icicles last?

I love the winter snowflakes and ice (ice rinks, that is) has been a part of my life since I can remember. (My entire family is obsessed with hockey.)

Anyways, Monday I snapped this photo in Parmer Hall's fourth floor women's restroom.

Weird, huh??

I know that Parmer's a science facility (among other things), but I thought all plants and flowers were kept in the green house. Since the old science building is a little out dated, is Parmer's women's restroom becoming a new botanic garden?

CSA wins 1st Place...

The Gingerbread House Competition took place this afternoon, ending at 4 PM. Anyone who is a part of the Dominican community could have participated - you didn't have to be a member of a student organization. The majority of gingerbread houses I saw were from student organizations such as CIAO, OLA, RSA, Eco Club, CSA, etc.

I came after 4 PM while judging was still taking place. I took a picture of CSA's house because of its uniqueness - having no idea that a few minutes later their house would be placed first in the competition.
The shuttle is the vehicle-shaped cookie with black windows on the top level of the "parking garage."

The "shrine to the parking garage" house wins CSA first place.

Commuter Student Association won first place with their gingerbread house styled after the parking garage. The above picture was taken while judging was still underway. What it says on the red card is "CSA! Our shrine to the parking garage. It saves us commuters in winter! The shuttle is on top!"

OLA (Organization of Latin Americans) won second place.
"The Gingerbread House Competition gave the clubs an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate the holidays," OLA member Angie Santiago said.

Another member of OLA, Alex Sifuntes, liked that the competition "gave a chance for clubs to express themselves" through the way they designed their gingerbread houses.

Resident Student Association won third place with their house advertising one of their big events - Battle of the Bands (BOTB).

There were several gingerbread houses made by teams of students who were not doing it as part of a club. One had a Snoopy theme to it.

Gingerbread Decorating Contest!

Today in the social hall the annual gingerbread decorating contest took place. The Commuter Student Association took first place. The judges were impressed with their remake of the parking garage!

The Campus Climate Committee makes their house solar friendly!

Members from OLA have their eye on the prize!

A member of the Ecology club concentrates.

Team Snowflake smiles for the camera.

CIAO members Michael Meranda and Paolo Cosentino decorate their house.

Top ten places to study on campus

Having trouble studying in your dorm room or at home? Luckily, there are several areas on campus that are excellent for studying, based on your individual study habits and needs.


10. The Old Library

Internet access available. So quiet, it's unsettling. The lighting is pretty dim overall, if you aren't near one of the few lamps. Good for hardcore studying.

9. The Clock Lobby

Comfortable furniture, very relaxing. Possibly distracting because area is generally crowded and people are constantly walking past. Internet access is spotty, at best.

8. Secluded areas of the Library

Secluded, quiet. Not much traffic. Lots of natural light during the day. Very private area. There aren't very many of these spots so you might have to fight for it. It's well worth the fight. Internet access is obviously available. Great view...potentially distracting view?

7. The Library

Usually quiet. Internet access and a few PCs available. Printing is very accessible. Good for working in groups. Lighting is good. People walking through can be distracting, especially walking up and down the spiral staircase.

6. The Cyber Cafe

PCs and internet access available. Crowded and loud. TVs are always on. High activity level. PCs usually occupied during the day. People getting food can be distracting. Printing is very accessible.

5. Area near the racquetball courts

Newly furnished. Furniture is comfortable. Lighting is good. Internet access not available. Some traffic. Potentially noisy area.

4. The Old Grill Area

Internet access available. Variety of tables, chairs, and couches. Comfortable furniture. Good for studying in groups. Not a lot of traffic anymore. Four PCs available.

3. The Area near the Bookstore, between the Gym and the Old Grill

Although people pass by, area is usually quiet. Internet access...sometimes. Lots of natural light. Windows might be distracting. Close to the vending machines. Might hear activity going on in the gym, depending on the time of day.

2. The Tech Center

Can be loud or quiet, depending on the time of day. More crowded than not. Both macs and PCs available. Tech support available if needed. Printing very accessible. Good lighting. Not a lot of desk space. Not a lot of privacy.

Or if you're a resident...

1. The Lounge Areas

Lounge areas are available in all of the residence halls. Generally quiet. Some are more secluded than others. Internet jacks available. Must be a resident.Good lighting. Controllable AC and heating in Centennial.Some traffic because people go in there to use their phones.

Hope studying goes well. Good luck, colleagues.

Stars Fall to Rival Concordia

The Men's Basketball team came up short versus rival Concordia Chicago Tuesday night. Team captain Dan Borys scored a team-high 20 points, but it was not enough, as the Stars lost 75-41. This 34-point loss leaves the Stars' record at 2-5, and 0-2 in the Northern Athletics Conference. The Stars will try for their much needed first conference win against Marian University Saturday at Dominican.
(Team captian Dan Borys, photo courtesy of

Finals this week?...I DON'T THINK SO

I heard some interesting news yesterday. Someone in one of my classes said they had a final this week. My professor (who shall remain anonymous) informed this student that professors CANNOT give finals this week, and that they can only be given during finals week (next week). She recommended that this student protest that final. So now all of you loyal DominiNET readers know, finals cannot not be given this week. If you do have a final this week...FIGHT THAT EARLY FINAL!
(Cartoon courtesy of

The dreaded SIR evaluations

Now is the time for the SIR evaluations, also know as the Student Instructional Report. Every student and faculty member is familiar with these end of the semester professor evaluations. Some may believe they are a burden, but truly they are important in the fate of your professor.

I spoke with Michael O'Donnell, Director if Institutional Research and Assessment, to learn a little bit more about the importance of these evaluations. He informed me that the SIR is a "standard measure of teaching, which is done at every university. This particular assessment has been in place at Dominican for about 15-20 years."

The evaluations are sent out to a company in New Jersey who calculates and sends reports back broken down by instructor, department and the university as a whole.

O'Donnell said these are a staring point in observing problems. "Every teacher has a bad class, so we must be very careful when evaluating." He also mentioned that these reports are important for first year teachers, as it is a first impression.

These evaluations are a good opportunity for students to voice their opinions about their professors, but I would urge students not to just mindlessly fill out the evaluations because they can have an effect on your professors job.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On the week before finals...

"I always dread the week before finals since my sophomore year," says senior Gwen Geever. She's a Business major and while she has only one final during finals week, she has five group presentations this week.

Considering her major, this is no surprise. I know how important it is to have good presentational skills in the business world - my sister is in marketing and there is always an annual presentation she has to do along with the rest of the marketing team. It is a big deal and there's no room for mistakes.

So while the opportunity to practice essential presentation skills is beneficial, Geever finds it hard to schedule meetings with all the groups she is a part of. She works two jobs - 15-20 hours during the week and 25-30 hours during weekends. While she's a resident, most of her group members are commuters. And while she's free in the evening hours, commuters - especially the ones who have to drive far - probably wouldn't want to go back and forth from home to school just to meet in the evening.

I know that if I'm finished with classes for the day and don't have a night class, I'd want to go straight to my room and relax. Who doesn't think that no matter if you're a resident or commuter?

I'm grateful that at least I don't have all of my papers due in one week - some were due last week or the week before. Though I wish all my papers had been due last week so I could have this week more or less free to focus on studies for finals week. I have two presentations as well, but if some people have up to five presentations in one week; then two doesn't look so bad in comparison.

Good luck to everyone as finals week approaches!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hollyball Tickets!

A friendly reminder that Campus Activities Board Hollyball, Dominican's semi-formal winter dance, is this Friday. Tickets will be sold for $15 all throughout the week. Stop by and enjoy some other festive winter activities!

Some students have questioned the cost of the tickets, saying that $15 is a lot to pay for a dance. Junior Jess Van Kempen said that she may not be attending due to the price. "They are never that expensive! Weren't they like $8 last year?"

Actually, Jess is right. Tickets were greatly reduced last year because the dance was held on campus in the Social Hall. The dance traditionally, however, is held off campus at the Carleton Hotel in Oak Park. This classy destination explains the increase in price.

So hopefully the holiday gift buying has not rendered your wallet so empty that you can't afford a ticket to the dance.

Celebrating the Christmas Season!

With the holiday season in full gear, Dominican is also getting ready for Christmas. On Wednesday, December 3, each club will have a ginger bread decorating contest. Hollyball tickets are also for sale. Both the ticket selling and the ginger bread contest will be held in the social hall.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Student opinion: Trayless Tuesdays

On Trayless Tuesdays, residents are hit the hardest because they eat most frequently in the dining hall. I know that I almost dread going to eat in the dining hall Tuesdays because there will be no trays. I know it may be a good thing for the environment, but I'm not fond of that extra trip to get a drink - unless I can manage to balance everything in one trip.

But is it really helping the environment and we should just deal with the inconvenience or have other problems arisen as a result?

Senior resident Anne Marie Barrett gives her thoughts on Trayless Tuesdays (transcribed from video interview):

"...there have been more spills, more breaking of plates than I have ever seen because of trayless Tuesdays. And I would like to know if they really are conserving water. How much water they are conserving? And how much money they have to spend on paper towels to pick up the messes and plates that have been broken?"

Barrett also says that she sometimes sees paper plates, which she thinks is just as wasteful.

"So, it’s like why would we have paper plates on trayless Tuesdays when you know, we’re trying to help the environment. It’s just – I don’t know – kind of seems like a contradiction."

Barrett explains what it's like on Trayless Tuesdays...

Neon Beauty

Jean Bevier, assistant professor of Graphic Design, explains the concept behind her interesting installation currently being exhibited in the O'Connor Art Gallery as part of the [Re]visions Faculty Exhibition, on display through December 15.