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Demystifying room selection

When freshmen first commit to attend St. Bonaventure, they usually don’t control where they’ll live or who will share their room.

Those decisions are made by the residence life staff. Nichole Gonzalez, director of residence life, said freshmen are assigned living areas according to a list of preferences they fill out during summer.

Soon, however, freshmen will have to consider where they’d like to live next, and whether they’d like to remain with their current roommate or make a change.

University president Sr. Margaret Carney“They really should give a lot of thought to who they want to live with,” said Gonzalez. “They are now on their own.”

The room selection progress is coordinated by Joe Stomieroski, director of housing. Stomieroski said the process begins with payment of a non-refundable room deposit of $150, which is due on or before March 2, 2009.

Once students pay the deposit, their names are put into a lottery that is organized by class size. For example, if 400 students are registered in a class, 400 tabs of paper, numbered 1-400, are prepared.

Stomieroski said a student housing committee goes down the list of students alphabetically. For each student, one of the number tabs is chosen. That number, chosen at random, becomes the student’s raw lottery number.

A formula then adds points for the GPA and cumulative credit hours, Stomieroski said. Students can score more points by achieving higher grade point averages. The number that results from the formula is subtracted from the raw number, yielding the final product: a student’s total lottery number.

At the end of March, these numbers and room selection schedules are sent to every student’s post office box.

During the first few weeks of April, freshmen will attend the actual room selection event held on Bob Lanier Court in the Reilly Center. Students with low lottery numbers will get to pick their rooms first.

Stomieroski said the process is held over three days. The final day is set aside for those registered sophomores to pick rooms by themselves, or with a desired roommate.

“If you go to room selection with your roommate who has a lower lottery number, both of you can go pick a room together when that number’s called,” said Stomieroski.

Gonzalez said finding a friend to live with before the room selection process happens makes life easier for freshmen.

“Planning ahead for room selection is important,” she said, “because sophomores can always control who they live with, but they are not always guaranteed their ideal room or building.”

Devereux and Doyle halls are the most popular places to live for sophomores, so they fill up fast, said Gonzalez.

Devereux Hall, the University’s oldest residence hall, offers one-, two- and three-person rooms. It has lounge areas with TV access on every floor and its own laundry facility on the main level. Devereux is also conveniently located near many campus buildings, such as Friedsam Memorial Library, Hickey Memorial Dining Hall and the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

In addition to rooms for students, Doyle Hall includes the offices for Health Services, the Department of History and the Teaching and Learning Center.

Sophomores can also choose Francis Hall, located on the east side of campus. This residence hall provides only single rooms. However, residents of Francis do have some perks. They can purchase a meal plan designed for them. They also have access to the Bona Bus, which provides transportation across campus.

Sorting through the housing options can take time, so students should begin giving it some thought early.

“I understand that many freshmen want to live near their friends,” said Gonzalez, “but they shouldn’t wait until the day before room selection to figure that out.”

If your student needs more information on any of the University’s residence halls or other campus life issues, they can find it on the University’s Web site,, under the Residence Life link.

-Eric Carlson
Class of '09


On the road again

Bonaventure becomes a second home for most of its students. But those students still need a chance to get back to their first home, the one they left in August and may not have returned to since.

Even students who live near the University might find the trip long if they don’t have a car. Those who live farther away may stay on campus for the short breaks and then head home for longer breaks such as Thanksgiving and between semesters.

Options for those trips do exist. The University contracts with a bus company to provide a coach bus that travels to Paramus Park Mall in New Jersey, then to Penn Station in New York City. A round-trip ticket for that excursion costs $90. The bus will depart campus on Nov. 25 by midnight and arrive the following morning.

The same trip is available at the same price for Christmas break. Departure for that trip will be Dec. 12.

The bus has limited space, so students should contact the Office of Student Life early to sign up for one or both trips.

Students heading for other destinations can book trips on Coach USA through Primo Limo of Olean. Students can arrange trips to many New York locations or to the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport for a flight home. The bus departs from Olean. Information about the trips is available by calling (716) 372-4546.

The University’s Student Government Association is considering creating a Student Ride Board, a bulletin board in a convenient place on campus that would list rides available. Students could use notices on that board to connect drivers with riders.

An informal version of that process already exists. One Houston, Texas, resident said she’s having a friend drive her to the Buffalo airport, from there she will fly to Texas for Christmas break. She was able to arrange a ride because she had a friend heading in the right direction; a Student Ride Board might have made that connection possible even without the helpful friend.

-Shannon Gawel
Class of '12


Family Weekend 2009 dates


St. Bonaventure University is taking measures to ensure that students make informed decisions about using social networking Web sites such as Facebook. Students in University 101, a course on adjusting to college life for freshmen, recently got the opportunity to hear a presentation on that subject. Chris Brown, assistant director of the University’s First-Year Experience, discussed both the benefits and the dangers of Facebook.

Brown said the presentation is designed to provide information students need to make informed decisions about the image of themselves they portray on Facebook.

“We know for sure that employers use Facebook in hiring decisions,” Brown said.

Sarah Edmunds, a freshman undeclared business major and Facebook user since junior high, said the presentation changed her mind about the Web site.

“I actually wanted to delete my Facebook, and one day I will,” Edmunds said. For now, she added, she uses Facebook to keep in touch with old friends and to make new ones.

Freshman marketing major Marcel Brown also saw the presentation in his University 101 class.

“It showed the good and bad aspects of being on Facebook,” he said. “It can be good for networking, but it shows your personal life and could be viewed by employers in a bad way.”

Sophomore English major Rob Drummond checks his Facebook for 10 to 15 minutes every day. He enjoys using the site to plan events and isn’t afraid of the hazards.

“My Facebook is clean; I don’t take bad pictures,” Drummond said.

Facebook’s benefits are not just for students. Carole McNall, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure, has been using the Web site for the past three months as a way to coordinate events and information for a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

“I’d wondered about Facebook on and off for a while; this was the final push I needed to go ahead and set up an account,” McNall said.

McNall advises students to think about what they post before they post it.

“Realize that people can see most or all of what you choose to post – and that potential employers are increasingly looking,” McNall said.

-Connor McDonald
Class of '11

Financial aid and getting a job

As you and your student worked through college decisions last year, you probably got to meet FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The form is used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine how much aid a college student may be eligible to receive. Students are asked to provide information on family income and assets. From there, college financial aid offices are given information on how much each student needs.

Need-based scholarships and loans are awarded based on the information provided in the FAFSA. Also determined by that form is the student’s eligibility for federal work-study aid.

Work-study jobs, available through almost any office on campus, pay students minimum wage. Federal officials provide a dollar amount of work-study aid, which the University translates to the number of hours a student can work.

The government aid covers 75 percent of the salary for the student and the department or office hiring the student pays the other 25 percent.

“The number of hours a student works a week is up to the department. Students are not allowed to work when they are scheduled for a class,” said Gail Marasco, assistant director of financial aid.

If a student is not eligible for need-based aid, she may still be eligible for merit aid, which is determined by her grades in high school. Marasco said other agencies also award grants and scholarships for a student’s hard work.

And even a student not eligible for work-study aid may be able to find a job, on or off campus.

“Almost every office hires on campus, even professors,” Marasco said.

For Morgan Nyweide, a sophomore elementary education major, her two jobs provide a paycheck and more.

“I really like both of my jobs,” she said. Nyweide works at the library for five and a half hours a week through the federal work-study program and at the University bookstore, run by an independent company under contract with Bonaventure.

“I get paid every two weeks,” Nyweide said. “It’s spending money. I use it for groceries, gas and my bills.”

If a student can’t find a job on campus, he can look into the local area to see what positions are available, Marasco noted.

Staff in the Office of Financial Aid can help students acquire jobs off campus through the YMCA and the Journey Project. A student who works for the Journey Project can receive free transportation. However, a student who works at the YMCA needs to provide his own transportation.

The financial aid office is careful about who hires students off campus, Marasco said.

“Unless it’s a reputable source, we don’t tell students about it,” Marasco said.

Nyweide said the financial aid staff was “very helpful. They told me everything I needed to know.”

-Shana Hurley
Class of '11


Upcoming events on campus include:

Through Saturday, 11/8 - SBU Theater, “Dead Man Walking”
Friday, 11/
7 - Flu Shot Clinic
11/8 - Men's Basketball Tip Off Gala
11/10 - Movie and discussion - "The Black Robe" with moderator Guy Jones
- Veterans Day Ceremony
Tuesday, 11/11 - Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., to present “Dead Man Walking ... The Conversation Continues,” along with a book signing
Wednesday & Thursday,
11/12 & 13 - Freshman Registration for Spring 2009
11/12 - Fifth Annual Ignatius Brady, O.F.M., Memorial Endowment Lecture
11/12 - All Bonaventure Views "Hotel Rwanda"
11/12 - Les Sabina Jazz Quintet
11/13 - "The Impact of Christianity on Native Culture" by Guy Jones (Hunkpapa/Lakota), founder and director of the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans
11/15 - "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Recovery: The Healing Power of Humor in First Nations and Native American Art" by Allan Ryan, New Sun Chair in Aboriginal Art and Culture at Carleton University, Ottawa
Sunday, 11/16 - SBU Chamber Music Concert
Monday-Wednesday, 11/17-19 - Fundraiser for Rwandan Orphanage
11/17 - Movie and discussion of "Smoke Signals" with moderator David Dubreuil
11/18 - "The Kinzua Dam and the Seneca Nation" by Adrian John, Faithkeepers School of the Seneca Nation
11/18 - Dr. Paul Brawdy will present "The Study of Sports" as part of The Extraordinary Classroom Series
11/19 - SBU Jazz Concert
11/20 - Immaculee Ilibagiza, author of All Bonaventure Reads 2008 selection "Left To Tell"

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