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Valentine's Day is coming soon.Our house is a very, very, very fine house....

Think college residence halls can’t feel much like home?

Don’t tell that to residents at St. Bonaventure. They’ve been spending time making their living areas a little more like home as part of the campuswide “Home Away From Home” project. The project, launched by the residence life staff, is an effort to encourage bonding between floormates and allow students to take pride in where they live.

“The Home Away From Home project started by a simple change in vocabulary. Instead of floors, now we have houses. Each house, which is divided by who your RA (resident assistant) is, gets to come up with a house name and decorate its floor,” explained Bree Rehac, the RA of the fourth house of Shay-Loughlen.

“The other part of the program is the ‘Golden Dust Pan’ award, which is meant to encourage everyone to keep their living area tidy,” Rehac said. “The competition is a big part of it, but I think everyone enjoyed making their house their own, regardless of whether or not they win.”

Decorative themes ranged from Hollywood and the tropics to Never Never Land and Suburbia.

“Second Shay's theme was Never Never Land from ‘Peter Pan,’ so we did two big murals on the wall. One said Welcome to Never Never Land and the other was a big picture of Never Land from the movie,” said Kait Laubscher, a freshman journalism and mass communication major. “I think the contest is a really great idea. It was a good way to get all the girls together and we had a lot of fun painting.”

Many of the students also found that interacting with their housemates was as much fun as decorating the floor.

“It was just really cool because some people I don’t always see were out helping so it was a good way to meet people and get to know them even more,” said Shannon Gawel, a freshman journalism and mass communication major.

Bona's - your student's home away from homeStudents chose the names and themes for their houses. Some names, such as 2nd Shay’s “Never Never Land,” matched the themes. Others didn’t; residents of 4th Shay christened their house “The Attic.”

“I thought they were really creative when they thought to call them (the floors) houses,” Gawel said. “I think it’s a cute way to get people to respect the dorm areas a little more.”

Prizes for the contests include half off the price of a parking pass, a savings of roughly $40; 50 points off housing lottery numbers for next year (allowing the student to choose housing sooner); and a 30 percent off coupon to the SBU Bookstore for every member of the house.

“The three events (house-decorating contest, floor name contest, golden dust pan) are the only activities we have planned currently but Residence Life is looking into planning more,” said residence director Gesina Traub.

“There was a tremendous response and excitement to the program thus far, and we’re hoping to possibly make it a semester or yearly tradition,” she added.
The judging process will be done based on each individual competition. For the house decorating and house naming contests, professional staff members will serve as judges. The ’Golden Dust Pan’ award will be awarded weekly based on recommendations of the Housekeeping staff. Each contest has a different set of points, which will be tallied up to decide the final winner.

Most of the freshmen who took part in the various contests seemed to enjoy them.

“I thought it was a nice idea to get the floors together and to do activities together and be creative together.” said Sarah Schweiger, a freshman special education major. “It was fun to see the different decorations that people came up with for our themes.”

-Maria Hayes
Class of 2012



Christmas break with SIFE

For St. Bonaventure’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), Christmas break is a time of service. For the fifth consecutive year, SIFE representatives from St. Bonaventure spent eight days of their break in the Bahamas performing service tasks for various schools, organizations and individuals.

SIFEKristen Schober, a senior journalism/mass communication major and member of SIFE, said 32 students, six St. Bonaventure professors and five teachers from elementary schools in the Olean area were on the trip.

On arrival, Schober said, students divided themselves into two teams, the school team and the service team.

“The service team converted a nursery into a senior citizens center, tarred roofs and built a concession stand for the Delancy School,” Schober said.

Other service team projects included building a greenhouse for the Beacon School for use by children with mental and physical disabilities. The greenhouse will allow students to grow fruits and vegetables when not permitted by outdoor weather, Schober said.

SIFEThe school team worked with local students on programs geared toward building an understanding of basic financial skills.

“Students earned pretend money during the week for answering questions, helping a classmate or teacher, or general good behavior,” Schober said. “On Thursday, the teachers set up a store with candy and small toys for students to purchase with their earned money.”

Schober said this exercise helped the children learn how to add up totals and determine how much change they should get back. Other programs included a YMCA after-school program to help with homework and a program in which SIFE students helped adults learn to use computers and the Internet.

“It was such an amazing experience,” Schober said. “The reward comes from seeing the people you’ve worked for, their response.”

St. Bonaventure’s Students In Free Enterprise program is ranked in the top 5 percent of SIFE teams nationwide, according to Students interested in joining should contact Dr. Todd Palmer, associate professor of management sciences and faculty adviser to the program, at

-Connor McDonald
Class of '11

Spring break with BonaResponds

For some students, the University’s spring break means time at home, catching up with family and friends, or traveling, usually someplace sunny and warm.

But for the students involved with BonaResponds, spring break ‘09 will mean a trip to Galveston, Texas, to help rebuild an area largely wiped out last year by Hurricane Ike.

Dr. Jim Mahar, associate professor of finance and BonaResponds adviser, said he expects 50 volunteers for the trip to Texas. The trip, he noted, can be much less expensive than traditional spring breaks, and can provide some special experiences for students.

“You have a great deal of fun, and help people at the same time. What is there not to love?” said Mahar.

Spring break will be the second trip this school year to assist in the cleanup after Hurricane Ike. BonaResponds sent 22 volunteers to Bridge City, Texas, over winter break to help with jobs such as removing trees and gutting houses to prepare them for rebuilding.

Also over break, Mahar noted, several local workdays were scheduled. Local volunteers helped build a home in Friendship, N.Y., an ongoing project for BonaResponds.

BonaResponds, created after Hurricane Katrina, aims to get students involved in volunteer work locally and at sites across the country.

The organization is based on Hands On Disaster Response. It does not require volunteers to make a long-term commitment or to pay any dues. Anyone can show up for just a day or can volunteer for every project.

Mahar said all skills and skill levels are appreciated, whether it’s construction or cooking.

National service is often offered in areas hit by natural disasters such as hurricanes. Locally, work has included painting hospitals and schools, volunteering at the SPCA and many other tasks.

“There are so many reasons to participate I do not even know where to begin!” said Mahar.

Number one, he added, is the ability to help people.

“This is a great feeling and you help others get back on their feet or help the community look better,” Mahar said.

“You also learn new skills, meet a great group of people, gain valuable skills as leaders, have something to put on your resume and have a lot of fun while doing it. I cannot say enough about it. Try and you will like it. It is easily the most rewarding thing you can do,” he added.

Information about the group and its projects can be found on the BonaResponds blog, Pictures, videos and information about past and upcoming projects are also on the blog and at

-Elisabeth Witter
Class of '11

Valentine's Day is coming soon.


Upcoming events on campus include:
Ongoing - Math Lab for help with math classes
Friday-Sunday, 2/6-8 - Homecoming Weekend
Friday, 2/6
- Do the Right Thing
lecture, led by English professor Dr. Kaplan Harris, examines the film's significance at the time of its release and the ways it still speaks to American culture today
Friday, 2/6 - Women's Tennis vs. Manhattan
Friday, 2/6 -
Meet and mingle alumni/student networking event - An opportunity for students to casually meet and network with alumni from a variety of career fields
Friday, 2/6 -
From Here To Career: What I Wish I Knew - A panel presentation in which young alumni share their stories on the transition from college to career
Saturday, 2/7 - BonaResponds Local Work Day
Saturday, 2/7 - Men's and Women's Swimming vs. Niagara
Sunday, 2/8 - BonaBuddies Meeting
Sunday, 2/8 - The Bona Venture Interest Meeting
Monday, 2/9 - Poetry Slam
Wednesday, 2/11 - Italian Film Series -
La stanza del figlio (The Son's Room)

Tuesday, 2/10 - Mt. Irenaeus Academic Evening Away
Tuesday, 2/10 - Women's Basketball vs. Rhode Island
Wednesday, 2/11 - Drs. Carol Fischer and Joe Coate - Earnings Management and Corporate Social Responsibility
Wednesday, 2/11 - Men's Basketball vs. Rhode Island
Thursday, 2/12 - Mt. Irenaeus Evening Away
Friday, 2/13 - Discover the man behind The Great Debaters, the story of Melvin B. Tolson, starring Denzel Washington
Friday, 2/13 - Mt. Irenaeus Overnight Away
Friday, 2/13 - CAB Bus Trip to "Mama Mia!"
Sunday, 2/15 - Soul Food Sunday
Sunday, 2/15 - CAB Bus Trip to see Buffalo Sabres vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Sunday-Monday, 2/15-16 - Admissions Overnight Visit
Wednesday, 2/18 - Italian Film Series - Uccellacci e uccellini (The Hawks and the Sparrows)
Wednesday, 2/18 - Mt. Irenaeus Academic Evening Away
Saturday, 2/21 - Bona's Ice Night

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Campus Emergency Notification

You know that cell phone that seems to be always with your student?

It can now bring him updates when he needs them most – during emergencies, situations in one campus building and problems caused by weather.

St. Bonaventure is working with e2Campus to provide information via text message, e-mail or both. Students can sign up their own phone and a parent’s line or parents can sign up themselves.

Chris Brown, associate director of residence life, said signing up for the system is simple. Students can log onto, find e2campus on the general links section and click that to begin. The student will be asked to set up an account with a user name and password.

Brown suggested students sign up for both the basic service and the SBU weather and facilities notification. An option is also available to sign up for notices about the Buffalo Center, which houses some University graduate programs.

When students first sign up, they set an expiration date for the service, Brown said. He said residence life encourages students to select a date that gives them as long an active service as is possible. Students who have already set up accounts can see their expiration dates on the home page when they check into the e2Campus section of

Any student who signed up for e2Campus last semester should have received a test message in January. If your student did not, ask her to check whether she has signed up properly. If she needs help with this, her resident assistant or resident director can walk her through the procedure.

Parents wishing to sign up for the messages can also access the system by going to If you are uncertain whether your cell phone will work with the system, e2Campus offers a way to test at this link:

The text message notification system is one of a number of services the University has put into place to advise students in an emergency situation. In-class phones also offer automatic messages as needed, and a steam whistle warns people who are outside that they need to get into a building.


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