Women’s Basketball by Antoinette Watson

The Notre Dame de Namur women’s basketball team opened up the season with an 88-67 loss to Sonoma State at the PacWest/CCAA Challenge hosted by the Argonauts.  The Argos started slow, falling behind in the first half before a great third quarter cut the deficit.  However, the Seawolves closed strong to hold off NDNU despite the Argos forcing 29 turnovers.

The Argos struggled with foul trouble in the second as three starters sat the majority of the quarter while Sonoma State lengthened their margin.  The Seawolves outscored NDNU 20-10 in the period to take a commanding 23 point lead into the break. “It didn’t matter what the score was at that time, I still believed our ladies would come back and take the lead” stated Nick Kussman.

   After the break the Argos could not seem to cut into the lead as SSU kept their advantage over 20.  However, trailing by 24 with less than four minutes in the quarter NDNU made their move.  The Argos ripped off a 16-2 run, including the last ten points of the quarter to close within 11 at 62-51.

NDNU used a suffocating press to close the gap, forcing nine turnovers in a four minute span leading to several easy layups. Sonoma State settled down in the fourth, opening up on a 12-2 run to put the game away.

  The Argos shot 46% in the second half after opening the game by shooting just 25% in the first half.  They went cold from long distance, hitting just 5 of 26 from 3-point range.  The Seawolves meanwhile hit at a 56% clip.  NDNU did force 29 Sonoma State turnovers, including 11 in the third quarter on their way to 16 steals for the game. Compliments still arose from the crowd, A Mom stated “I’m proud of them for staying in the game. It is still early in the season too so I’m not worried all.”

DIY Food in a Mug: Dorm Room Edition by Brooke Becton

The eating patterns of a college student stereotypically includes eating loads of ramen noodles, Easy Mac, and anything that can be made in a microwave. However, the internet is also full of do-it-yourself (DIY) food recipes that can be done right in your dorm room with little ingredients, but with better health benefits.

Sophomore, Eric O’Neal says, “sometimes I get sick of the food in the cafeteria, but don’t feel like going off campus and spending money.” He has read up on some food in a mug recipe, which students can make easily without the use of kitchen appliances. O’Neal loves desserts, and he shared that one of his favorite recipes is “Brownie in a Mug.” For this recipe he uses, ¼ cup of flour, ¼ cup of sugar, 2 tbsp. of natural, unsweetened cocoa, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cinnamon, ¼ cup water, 2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil, and 1 drop of vanilla extract. For an extra treat, he adds a scoop of ice cream. Mix all of the dry ingredients with a fork or spoon to mix and break up any clumps. Then, add the oil, water, and vanilla to the mixture until it is smooth, microwave for 1 minute and 40 seconds, let cool and then enjoy!

For those running short on time, there is a plethora of food items that can be made in the comfort of your dorm room. A favorite among roommates Andrew English and Korey Serna is an “Omelet in a Mug.” This recipe calls for 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 green onion chopped, 1 teaspoon of parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper. In a mug, add the eggs and whisk them together with a fork, add your dry ingredients, microwave for one minute, stir, and then microwave for another 45 to 60 seconds. Although, this recipe is vegetarian, other ingredients can be substituted or added like bacon, cheese, and/or other vegetables.

Pizza lovers can also indulge in a pizza in a mug recipe! This makes for an easy dinner or late night snack and is one of sophomore, De’Era Brown’s favorites! She uses 4 tbsp. all purpose flour, 1/8 tsp. baking powder, 3 tsp. baking soda, 4 tsp. salt, 3 tbsp. milk, 5 tbsp. milk, 6 tbsp. olive oil, 7 tbsp. marinara sauce, two handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese, a handful of mini pepperoni, and ½ tsp. dried Italian herbs. Then, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mug, add in the milk and oil, then add the marinara sauce, and spread it around the bottom of the mug, sprinkle with cheese, pepperoni, and dried herbs, and microwave for 1 minute, until the flour rises. Then enjoy right away!

Call to Action Day by Sarah Reyes

Fall 2016 Call to Action Day for NDNU took place on October 11. Call to Action Day is where students from NDNU not only get the day off from class, but also the chance to participate in community service opportunities. This allows NDNU to get engaged with their community.

One of the Call to Action Day community service projects was to head down to Twin Pines Park which is located down the road from NDNU. At 8:30 in the morning students who were participating, as a group, walked down and across the road to the Parks and Recreation office of Twin Pines Park. There the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Jonathan Gervais, welcomed them. Before work began, Gervais took the students around to see the town hall. He wanted the students to get a “feel for what actually happens in the halls of Belmont.” Sophomore undergraduate student, Bryant Kubo, said that, “Before going down to the park, I didn’t know that there were interesting buildings down there like the town hall and the senior center.” Taking a tour around the park buildings gave the students a chance to have a feel for the environment before beginning their community service.

The main purpose of going down to the park was to take part in a watershed restoration project that was designed by the Belmont Parks and Recreation Environment. The group was split into two. The first team went off to go work at the creek. There they picked up litter that was in the water and on the sides of the creek. Kubo said that, “The best part about working in the creek was being able to make it clean again and discovering a little cave that I never would have known was there.”

The other team went to go clear a parking area that had been taken over by ivy leaves. This team pulled ivy vines and shoveled leaves to clear the area. Noah Sanchez, a sophomore undergraduate student said, “Clearing the area took way more work than I realized, but I’m glad we got a chance to help our community in a positive way.” These students then moved the cleared vines into compost trashcans. Sanchez said, “My favorite part was getting to shovel the leaves into the trash can, we were then able to see all of our progress.”

After the restoration project was complete that day the students got to take a look back on what they accomplished. “It was nice to see that we could actually notice the difference we made,” Kubo commented about looking onto the creek and parking area. The students returned to school completing their 2016 Call to Action Day.

Dorm Life by Jemm Magaling

NDNU requires its first year students to live on campus. A first year dorm life is crucial because it determines if a student will return or not. I interviewed students asking their opinions on dorm life and changes they would like to see.

I asked sophomore Nicole Fajardo what is like for her to live on campus. Fajardo states, “Living on campus is a fun experience because you’re living on your own away from your family, which helps you become more independent. Meeting new people and learning more about yourself are the main perks of living on campus. Another important thing is being able to be self-motivated.” Fajardo also expressed some changes she would like to see in the dorms, “Going in my second year living on campus, changed in the dorm life I would want is better wifi, more fun events, and more available parking spots for the residents.” Having better wifi in NDNU is something a lot of the students want. It is something that, not only Fajardo, but the rest of the student body want to change. It has always been a problem for students, especially residents because their learning comes to a halt when the school wifi goes down.

I also asked sophomore Jorge Segura his experience with living on campus his freshman year and changes he would like to see. He expressed, “It was hectic because I had to learn how to manage my life. Before I was what to do and when to do it. And being at the dorms meant that all would change. Also it would be great if the school were to add air conditioning in all the rooms, upgrade the sinks, and purchase newer furniture. NDNU should spoil their first year students like other schools. Because I think returning student rates say a lot about a school already.”

Sophomore Lesley Morales shared her experience living on campus, “I love living on campus because I am more involved with school events and everything that goes on, I’m always surrounded by people and always having little chats on my way to class. Some changed I would like to see is the community.” Morales also mentioned that as an RA that is something they have been working on.

It is evident that students have different experiences when living on campus. Some students even share the same desires for changes in the school. Overall the dorm life experience is different for all students at NDNU.

What does Public Safety really do? by Sophia Apolinario

“People watch movies about cops and even look at the news, and think that that’s what cops do. But it’s not. If I had the power in the total education system, I think it would be mandatory for public safety to talk to students about what our job entails and how we could help each other.”

                                                                               -Chief William Palmini of NDNU Public Safety

Public Safety officers are often seen walking around campus, but do students really know what they do? Sophomore Shaina Acosta believes, “Public Safety takes their position seriously,” but if given the chance, she would “want to know more details about what they do other than write-ups.”

To avoid confusion between the roles of resident assistants and Public Safey, St. Joseph 2ndfloor RA Sydney Whynot says, “If Public Safety gets a noise complaint, they normally send us to deal with it.” However, if the issue is more serious, RAs call Public Safety. “If it is a bigger issue, like a party or alcohol or marijuana, RAs call Public Safety because we aren’t allowed to do anything with it [alcohol or drugs]. Otherwise, Public Safety aren’t involved with write ups.”

Whynot also distinguishes the difference between being documented and written up, saying, “They are two different things. Written up is when us RAs or Public Safety officers have a conversation with students about something they did wrong or weren’t allowed to be doing. We then take their ID and get information so we may write a report that goes to the dean. This goes to huge group of people part of student conduct process, and they decide what then happens to them and if they’re to blame for it, as well as what the next step would be. They could either call the students in, or decide a punishment for it. It becomes a documentation if they get called in for it, and they would know this if they get an email from the assistant dean saying that they need to schedule a meeting with a conduct officer.”

Public Safety consists of “8 full time officers, including myself and 3 to 4 part time officers,” says NDNU Public Safety Director William G. Palmini. They do “a lot of things on campus, including traffic flow, checking of the buildings, checking the parking lot so cars at night don’t get broken into, we’re service oriented,” according to Palmini. Public safety also does “welfare checks to check if there is a medical emergency so we can help them [students and staff] get an ambulance, first aid, or medical aid if they need it,” Palmini continues.

Public Safety enters residents’ room to ensure that “everyone is safe and uninjured,” not because they are “looking for reasons to enter a room.” Palmini questions students who think this asking, “Why would we want to enter someone’s room?” adding that every student on campus is entitled to their privacy. They even enter rooms when they, “get complaints about students leaving their food cooking and smoke goes off. All these different reasons to go into the room.”

Whenever Public Safety enters a resident’s room, Palmini says they are required to “document what we [public safety] see and write about the whole situation. From theft, to sexual abuse, to alcohol, and more.” According to him, there is an average of “2 to 3 cases a week regarding alcohol, noise or drugs.”

For whatever reason they enter the room, Palmini says Public Safety must document everything so that they may look back at these files in case something worse happens in the future, asserting, “that’s why we have to do a report to the Dean of Students it is a record of what occurred and what the investigation has led to.” Palmini also makes it clear that “if any of these violations becomes serious, we may contact the Belmont PD.” Fortunately, within the 8 months that Palmini has been with NDNU, he has only encountered the Belmont PD once to “assist us, not because our students did something wrong, but because off campus students.”

Palmini makes it clear that everything they do is for the well being of the NDNU community. “The first priority is safety and integrity,” he says. “We seek the safety of students and staff, and integrity of the campus itself. We do that on a 24 hour 7 days a week basis.” He further defends this by saying that Public Safety is here to “serve out students, for they are our clients.”

Stop the Cuts by Jamie Kingsley

Cloaked faculty parading through to hallways is a fairly uncommon occasion on the grounds of our beloved campus. Most students probably saw this going on while enjoying a Martín sandwich from the cafeteria but did not truly understand the message that the march was illustrating.

If you did witness and hear the faculties chanting, you would have heard the phrase “Stop the Cuts” repeated throughout the march, gradually getting louder and louder. This phrase is not unheard of on the Notre Dame de Namur campus, there a few dozen flyers preaching this message and the faculty union has put on a few rallies in the quad where they ask students for signatures and explain the main issue on campus.
What does “Stop the Cuts” even stand for?
 Led by faculty union member, Kim Tolley, Stop the Cuts was started in protest to the education programs being cut without the notifying of students and faculty members that are connected to these programs. This, unsurprisingly, caused uproar and concern for many people directly and indirectly involved and affected by the executive decisions made by the university.

However the main concern of the protests is not the Cuts themselves, the union has many more concerns about the legality of the situation as well and how the university got into the financial “crisis” that they are in without anyone knowing until the last minute.

I sat down with Kim Tolley to see what information she was able to uncover and relay to me.  After hearing about the possible legal issues that tied into the cutting of programs, that was one of the main issues I wanted to discuss with her. Tolley explained to me that what the University did, under any other circumstances, would have been completely illegal.

The university cutting education programs without telling the students or faculty until the day they returned back for classes is not legal in the previous edition of the university handbook/catalogue. Though it seems that the cutting of programs wasn’t the only thing that changed before the beginning of the fall semester. When furious faculty referred back to the handbook to rest their case, they soon realized that the handbook had been changed by the university as well. Making their arguments invalid.

As a result, their only option to be heard was to peacefully protest and show their devotion to the university but also their concerns about the recent decisions made.

“It hasn’t been easy” says Tolley, “I got an email asking that I tell the rest of the faculty to stop informing the students about the cuts and I don’t think that is fair to the students of this university, they have a right to know what is going on.”
Tolley did not hesitate from sharing this email with me and it was, in fact, a legitimate message to all faculty asking that they not rile the students up about the issues occurring on campus.
Like all good stories, there are always two sides; however, I reached out to dean of students and the president of the University to get their sides of the story and had no such luck. Which was unfortunate because I had many questions to ask on behalf of the student body.

I’ve had students asking if this was truly the best solution to the financial crisis. “Does cutting these programs really save the university money?” Says, third year art major, Alexis VanHattem. Multiple students wonder “where is our money actually going?”

Midterms and Sports by Jerileen Ho

Juggling practices, games, and school is always difficult for any athlete, but how well do coaches at NDNU respect the athlete’s they have a student? The athletes at NDNU have coaches that support their academic career, and wish for them to succeed in their studies.

Even though there are many student athletes at NDNU that are able to graduate with their intended major, there are still a handful of students that either quit their sport or change their major because of the workload that they have. Sophomore lacrosse player, Alberto Gutierrez, states that, “Last year one of my business teachers tried to convince me to change my major. He told me that being a business major is going to be too hard for a student-athlete. That bugged me because the material that we covered in that class was not like a reason why I shouldn’t continue in business it was just one class and anyone could pass it,” although Alberto did not change his major, he now understands why his business teacher thought that. However, he is happy to have coaches that support his academic career and give him enough time in the day to do our homework. He shares, “that’s one of the main benefits of having practice so early in the morning. Even though it may be hard to get up in the morning, it gives me enough time during the rest of my day to do everything I need to do.” Alberto finished by telling me that travel does not hurt their grades if they communicate well with their teachers.

Karen Plesur, a teacher in the Communications department, says, “I try my best to work with my students so that their travel time with their sport does not greatly affect their grade in my class,” due to her class requirements of projects using a specific computer program that is hard to have the access to. She also stated, “I think it’s every professor’s fear to have a student that is not truly interested in their major. However, I try to make my class interesting, so they can truly enjoy it.” Karen Plesur continued explaining to me that usually they would have to have short tutorial sessions either in class, or with another classmate. She states, “As long as they communicate with me they seem to do fine. The worst is when I don’t see them for a week and find out they were travel when they come back.”

Karen Plesur and Alberto Gutierrez are just a few examples of how the student-athletes and teachers try their best to juggle the commitments that these students have. Karen Plesur is a teacher from NDNU that works with the student so they are able to keep their grade, however this may not be the case with every teacher on campus. We can only hope that every student athlete graduates their university with the major that they desire. However, NDNU has professors that are willing to work with their students to help get them there.