Friday, January 25, 2008

Veterans Memorial project

By Amy Kalina and Becky Newby
Managing Editor and Arts & Entertainment Editor

Forum Jan. 29 for comments and questions

A Veterans Memorial scheduled to be installed this spring on the Saint Mary’s University Winona campus has recently drawn attention from a group of Saint Mary’s community members, who hope to raise awareness and express concerns over various aspects of the project.

A forum will be held on Jan. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall for any students, faculty and staff members to make comments or to ask questions.

The Veterans Memorial, a project initiated by the Saint Mary’s Alumni Association, was first approved by the Board of Trustees in 2004 to honor requests from alumni to commemorate Saint Mary’s veterans, said Meg Richtman, director of alumni relations and university liaison to the Alumni Association. Richtman said the idea for a memorial on campus dates back to the 1940s with plans for a veterans memorial chapel that was indefinitely postponed.

The design of the new memorial’s five arches symbolizes the five branches of military. The design also encompasses four pillars within the memorial, including a pillar with a plaque listing the 33 alumni who lost their lives in service during WWII. The memorial is tentatively designed so that a ray of sunlight will shine on the plaque on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when Veterans Day is nationally observed.

A second memorial pillar will recognize the 1940s V-12 program, a Navy officer training program on campus during World War II that kept the all-male school afloat during the war, said Richtman, who said an estimated 1,400 Saint Mary’s College alumni served in WWII. A plaque given years ago to Saint Mary’s by the United States Secretary of Defense will be displayed to honor the V-12 program.

The Ditter and Rooney Barracks, on-campus residences that housed veterans upon their return from WWII and were named after Saint Mary’s alums, will also be remembered on the memorial.

The proposed Veterans Memorial will be located just east of the Fitzgerald Library. Construction will begin in late spring with completion by mid-June. More information on the memorial can be found at

A group of students met recently with Chancellor Brother Louis DeThomasis to discuss concerns relating to the memorial. This resulted in an invitation for 1 to 2 persons of the student group to attend the Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 9. Several alumni with concerns will also speak to the board at that time. The board will then discuss and review the project.

A main concern among student protesters is that they think the memorial glorifies the military and promotes war. According to Richtman, “We are honoring our family. We’re not honoring the military; we’re not honoring a war. We’re not honoring anything but our people. Our alumni. And they deserve it,” Richtman said.

Fundraising efforts for the memorial have reached $80,000, said Richtman, surpassing the most recently adjusted fundraising goal of $70,000. Some students, alumni, faculty and staff feel the money raised for the memorial would be better spent elsewhere.

A “Saint Mary’s University Voices on the Veterans Memorial” blog (, which is dedicated to voicing concerns about the memorial, has elicited postings from students and other members of the Saint Mary’s community. The group questions whether the money is being spent in a suitable manner.

“If Saint Mary’s University intends to honor the men and women who have engaged in the military, then the already accrued monies should more appropriately go to veterans’ services,” wrote four community members and associates of the Winona Catholic Worker, three of whom are Saint Mary’s alumni. They also wrote that “scholarships for immediate family members of disabled or deceased veterans” would be a better option for allocating memorial funds.

According to Richtman, the Alumni Association agreed that a scholarship would be a great idea, but there has to be interest in starting one first. Richtman said that the board is more than willing to talk about further scholarship options.

All money given by alumni for this particular memorial was intended for the construction of a permanent structure on the Saint Mary’s campus, giving members of the Saint Mary’s community the opportunity to honor their own family members on a campus they once called their home, said Richtman. She added that alumni can purchase bricks, etched with the veterans’ names, to be placed along the walkways leading to the memorial itself to honor the larger Saint Mary’s family.

“If an alum of the university buys a brick for his father or grandfather and wants it on our ground on campus, that’s powerful,” said Richtman. “That means this university means a lot to them.”

According to Richtman, all of the funding for the memorial was raised independent of university money, including money needed to send out the initial fundraising appeals. The only university-sponsored vehicle used in fundraising efforts was the alumni magazine, said Richtman. The project was conceptualized and spearheaded by alumni, with all the money involved in the project intended to fulfill its purpose of honoring Saint Mary’s veterans, Richtman added.

In addition to financial concerns, some have questioned the nature of the Veterans Memorial and its message, particularly at a Catholic institution. Senior Jeff Austin, who expressed his concerns on the memorial blog, wrote, “Our Catholic faith holds war to be unjust and unnecessary, and a memorial to the military seems to be contrary to our faith values.”

However, Richtman said that a pillar within the memorial will be dedicated to a statement about peace in order to fully explain the memorial’s intent. “It is going to speak about how we have got to establish peace in our country. It is the Catholic belief, it is the university’s belief, and that’s what the Alumni Board wants to get across,” said Richtman. “That’s why we’re honoring our veterans, our alumni, because I’m sure they wanted peace, too.”

One of the main concerns of an on-campus student-led opposition group is a lack of communication to students about the intent to build the memorial. Students were informed of the Alumni Board’s project in the December 2005 issue of the Cardinal newspaper. However, no updates have been provided to the students since that time.

“To my knowledge, the students are unaware of this project and should be informed,” Austin wrote on the blog. “As Lasallian learners, it is important to be informed and involved in our community because SMU is our…home.”

The current protesters are not the first to question the memorial’s intent. Richtman said that a group of faculty and staff came forward during the 2005-2006 school year with concerns. Representatives met with then-President Brother Craig Franz, the Alumni Association, and the chairman of the Board of Trustees to discuss the project in June 2006, said Richtman. The outcome of this meeting was a decision to go forward with the memorial. Richtman hopes that the current controversy will be resolved after the Board of Trustees meeting in February.

“It’s a balancing act. We have alumni who have given a lot of money, but on the other hand, we have the students, and this is their home, too,” said Richtman. “We’ve been promoting this for four to five years and have had overwhelming support. I hope the trustees listen to the students’ concerns, but I hope they also understand that the intent of the memorial is to honor the individuals who served.”

Regardless of the board meeting’s outcome, students hope that the meeting and the Jan. 29 forum will increase awareness of the memorial on campus and encourage students to be more active in important university issues.

“I’m not against honoring veterans,” said sophomore Mary Gleich, a member of the group of students trying to raise awareness. “I would just like to have our voices heard about the issues that affect us as current students and future alumni, and the way Saint Mary’s will be represented to the rest of the world.”

New president visits Winona, meets students

By Lindsay Dickson

[Editor’s note: The following information is from Brother William Mann’s talk with current SMU students and from an interview conducted by Deb Nahrgang, director of communication.]

Brother William Mann visited the Saint Mary’s University Twin Cities and Winona campuses on Jan. 8 to speak with and meet students, staff, and faculty. He will begin his term as the 13th president starting June 1, 2008.

The Board of Trustees named Brother William the next SMU president on Dec. 13, 2007. Brother William, a New York native, was most recently the Vicar General of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. In this role, he was the second-highest officer of the international Catholic teaching order which comprises 5,300 Christian Brothers, working in association with 73,000 lay educators to operate 930 schools and universities serving 900,000 students in 82 countries.

Before Brother William was involved in administrative positions, he had hopes of becoming a Christian Brother and following his passion for teaching. “It was during my high school years that I really got attracted to the idea of being a Brother –– being like them, in community, and working with young people, teaching.” While there were years spent out of the classroom, he knew that education was his calling.

Brother William is excited to be working with students again because “a university is ultimately about its students. SMU doesn’t exist without its students, both the undergraduates and the graduates.”

In his trip to SMU this month, Brother William wished he could have had more interaction with students. “The most painful part was going from building to building and bumping into young people and just passing them by, not knowing them and not being able to engage with them in discussion. I like saying hellos. I like chatting. I like knowing people.”

Brother William commented that he fears sitting alone in the presidential suite doing administrative duties and not being able to interact with students. He said that he hopes to attend activities such as theatre, dance, and sporting events as a way to get to know the SMU community.

Brother William is not new to the SMU community; he served on the Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2001. He was drawn back to SMU because he enjoyed his experience as a board member. “I was impressed with Saint Mary’s mission and vision, the recent self study, and the agenda that the university has set about how to enhance the Catholic and Lasallian identity. And it does it in such a way that faculty and staff have great satisfaction in what they’re doing.”

Brother William plans to continue spreading awareness of the Lasallian identity at SMU. “For me, the best in Lasallian formation is when you begin to help people through what is already their own experience…Lasallian, for me, is helping people to see their life, their values, their profession, their family, as an integrated whole,” said Brother William. Teaching in this way gives “meaning and encouragement, fire and passion. It is hoping some of the passion can be unlocked.”

As for Brother William’s presidential agenda, he plans to work with the SMU community to “continue enhancing Saint Mary’s contributions as a force for good, for people, for the church and for interactions within the Lasallian world.” He also hopes that “good things continue to happen in ways that we can’t predict. And that these good things are for the good of our nation, our world, our Church.”

Brother William said he plans to come to SMU this June in trust and in hope. “I have a care, concern, dedication, and hope for the future.”

Science center to be upgraded

By Tamika Robinson
Cardinal Staff

Located east of Saint Mary’s Hall is the Adducci Science Center, housing many classrooms, offices, and labs. The original building, Hoffman Hall, was built in 1956, and later additions were made (Brother Charles Hall) in 1987. Students can be seen walking to and from this building all day, but soon they may have a new building to walk to.

Dr. Roger Kugel, dean of humanities and sciences, is the chairman for the Natural Science Facility Task Force. The committee began meeting last semester and is responsible for the recent plans to build a new science facility. At this point in time, the committee hopes the building project is underway by 2012, the 100th anniversary of Saint Mary’s University, said Kugel.

“The labs, we believe, are currently outdated, so last year we hired an architectural firm to evaluate the current science building,” said Kugel. “The architectural firm performed a study and concluded that the current building was structurally sound, but for laboratories, it’s inadequate,” said Kugel.

The new science building will include new features such as modern laboratories, while the old building will be completely renovated into dry labs, office space, and classrooms.

“Students will benefit from new science facilities because we will be able to create spaces that provide a more ‘learner-friendly’ environment for learning science in the 21st century,” said Kugel. “Students in both science and non-science majors will be able to learn science more effectively and become more aware of the multitude of ways that science and technology affect their lives.”

Nodetty Joassaint, a senior biology major, felt that a new science building “would probably encourage more students to major in science.”

“Students would be more interested in the sciences during campus tours, and it would encourage more research for thesis projects,” said Nora Sadek, a senior cytogenetic technology major.

“The new facility will allow for growth of Saint Mary’s by providing new space and by enhancing our ability to attract and retain quality faculty and students,” said Kugel. “All in all the new science facility will enhance all programs at Saint Mary’s, not just those in the sciences. It’s an exciting project and I feel privileged to be part of the planning process.”

Free music brings high costs

By Alex Downes-Borowski
Cardinal Staff

Seven Saint Mary’s University students recently received letters regarding allegations of music copyright infringement by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). While an email sent to all SMU undergraduates from Ann Merchlewitz, vice-president and general counsel of SMU, said that the university received 13 settlement letters, only seven were directed to students currently enrolled at SMU.

Each of those students have received settlement offers near $5,000. The RIAA plans to subpoena the university for the names of those students who choose not to comply, but the university will only release the names of these students upon receiving court orders.

Merchlewitz said that the university has a five-year history of dealing with the RIAA. It is typically in regard to “preservation of evidence” notices, which ask the university to keep records of specific instances of illegal file sharing. These notices include IP addresses, the song, and the time it was downloaded or uploaded. The university forwards these notices to students. In the current seven cases, the range of documented illegal activity ranged from 73 to 1,236 downloaded songs.

SMU has its own policy against downloading and sharing of online music. In the past, first-time offending students were required to watch a 10-minute video showing dangers of illegally sharing music, said Amanda Frost, HelpDesk support technician. Additionally, they were required to sign a form stating that they would discontinue sharing music. Second-time offenders had their Internet access revoked (pending the submission of an essay about how illegally sharing is wrong) and were fined $25. There have been no cases of third-time offenders. The majority of first-time offenders are freshmen.

Merchlewitz said that she is “shocked that we are in this situation.” SMU is one among the 18 universities in the RIAA’s 12th wave of university lawsuits. Some of the other universities include Arizona State University, Duke University and MIT. It is speculated that SMU was included as a statement that all universities, regardless of size, can be held accountable.

There are a growing number of services online which provide legal music downloading. These services also include movie and e-book downloading and typically have an annual or monthly subscription fee.

Students are strongly encouraged, said Merchlewitz in the undergraduate email, to remove peer-to-peer software from their computers to eliminate the possibility of being targeted by the RIAA.

A goodbye to Carol

The Saint Mary’s University community said goodbye to Carol Gerth, former Chartwells food service employee, on Jan. 16. Carol passed away after a battle with cancer.

The Gerth family has selected the Lung Cancer Research Foundation at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., to be the recipient of any memorial donations made in Carol’s name. Condolences can be sent to:
Charlie Gerth and Family
216 E. Mark Street
Winona, MN 55987

The book that was at the cafeteria entrance was sent to the Gerth family earlier this week.

Community unites to sustain Winona

By Sean O’Brien
News Editor

Conserving energy and becoming “sustainable” have become popular missions recently, especially for large corporations that can potentially earn greater social respect and energy cost savings.

What does not happen very often is an entire city deciding to become sustainable, but Winona collectively has decided to take up that challenge.
The city of Winona, Winona County, Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical, Winona State University, Saint Mary’s University, and the Winona School Board have all joined together to make Winona, and its respective institutions a more environmentally responsible.

The “Sustain Winona” joint mission seeks to implement current energy-saving techniques and invest money into new ones in order to make Winona a healthier, better city to live in. Their goal is to achieve a certification known as ISO 14001, an international standard for sustainable living that many large corporations and universities have begun to adopt.

Sustain Winona has nine core goals to adhere to in order to guide them through the process of becoming more sustainable. From researching and implementing renewable energy sources to new environmentally-friendly public transport systems, the program is far reaching and expansive. “These goals are all a bunch of little changes, and that’s the key. If everyone can just make little changes together, it will result in one big change. It’s an exciting process with a lot of possibilities,” said Chris Kendall, SMU vice president for student development.

The process of implementing these new standards is done through a joint committee with representatives from all the participants in the program as well as site-specific committees to implement respective changes. SMU has already begun this process with visible changes on campus. The new red maintenance trucks on campus are electric, and SMU has also invested in technologies to create and use the bio-diesel fuel. These changes are not only environmentally friendly, but fiscally responsible as well.

“All of the changes we have made so far will pay for themselves in 5 years or less, and that’s something we are looking forward to,” said Kendall. “If we can improve ourselves environmentally, but have it at a cost that can be reimbursed in a short time period, that’s ideal.

“We feel that this is a unique situation to make Winona, and therefore Saint Mary’s, a better place to live in. Becoming sustainable and spending less on energy costs not only saves money but is something that promotes our mission,” said Kendall.

Readers are encouraged to visit to learn more about the Sustain Winona program.

10K ski race this Sunday

By Betsy Baertlein
Feature Editor

A 10-kilometer classic style ski race will take place at Saint Mary’s University on Sunday, Jan. 27.

This is the fifth year that SMU has tried to hold the event, but only the third year that there has been enough snow.
Usually about 30 to 40 participants from the Winona community, including SMU students, faculty and staff compete in the event. The 10K is being promoted more among the SMU community this year than in other years, with a goal of 100 participants.

In the future, the Fall Frolic 5K, the SMU 10K and the SOUL Triathlon may be combined into an event series with participation and competitive awards.

Students need not worry about their skiing experience to participate in the 10K, as there is a recreational class. The SMU 10K is free for SMU students, faculty and staff. Cross country skis can be checked out from the Environmental Awareness Center.

“Brother Jerome and Brother John have worked for years as a labor of love on developing these opportunities in the bluffs through cutting trails and operating the Environmental Awareness Center,” said Chris Kendall, vice president for student development.

Their hard work has paid off, as the SMU trails are hot spots for local hikers and skiers.

“The trails are a great asset to the campus, and with all the snow this winter many have rediscovered winter sports, especially Nordic skiing,” said Kendall.

Registration for the 10K ski race will begin in the Toner Student Center at 11 a.m., and there will be a mass start with a hot air balloon launch (weather permitting) at 1 p.m.

Upcoming events

Campus Energy Challenge
The month of February is SMU’s Campus Energy Challenge. SMU reduced its energy consumption by seven percent last year. Student Senate urges SMU to try to use even less this year! Stay tuned for energy-saving tips all next month.

Date set for dance to benefit SMU senior Christy Pickford
A benefit dance will be held from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Feb. 23, for Christy Pickford at the Big River Room (formerly known as the Black Horse). The benefit will raise money to help the family with Christy’s medical costs.

Tickets will be $20 per person or $15 with a SMU ID if purchased beforehand ($25 at the door). A silent auction will also take place with various items, and musical performance by the Tim Sigler Band.

For tickets please contact Lindsay DeLaRosby at or Kelly Pickford at They can also be reached at 218-340-0458.

Real World 101: Surviving Life After Saint Mary’s
A senior conference will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27, to help prepare Saint Mary’s senior for life after graduation.

The event is being sponsored by the Career Services, Alumni Office and Student Development and will include sessions on budgets, job-hunting, graduate school, résumé and interviewing tips, and benefits.

The conference will conclude with a reception starting at 4 p.m. with complimentary drinks and appetizers.

Cardinal wants you in 2008-09

By Lindsay Dickson

At the end of the year, the Cardinal newspaper will be going through a major period of change, as the majority of the editors will be graduating. Now is your chance to step up and get involved with the Cardinal!

If you’re thinking “But I’m not a journalism or public relations major,” that’s not a problem. I will be graduating this May with a major in social science. All you need is an interest in writing, photography, or design, and a passion for knowing what’s going on at Saint Mary’s University and the Winona community.

Open editing positions for next year include: Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Design, Copy, News, Feature, Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Online, Advertising, Distribution, and Photographer. Please contact me at for an application or if you have any questions.

While I’m nervous to start searching for jobs, I am proud to list my experience as Cardinal Editor-in-Chief on my résumé. This has been a great learning experience I will never forget.

Politically incorrect

By Sean O’Brien
News Editor

Imagine you’re standing in line to get a coffee, and you step up to the register to place your order. You place your order, “Black with sugar, please,” and that’s when you hear a voice to your left chime in: “You should say plain; you don’t want to offend anyone.” Yes, that’s right; this situation actually happened to me not long ago and caused me to think: what has this country come to where people can potentially get offended for a simple thing like a coffee order? Maybe political correctness has gone too far.

I love this country, and I think that everyone should do their best to live together harmoniously, but when I have people getting offended at me calling my coffee black, what has the country and its people come to? Have we become too cautious? Partially to blame are ourselves, what with Americans’ sue-happy nature and love of labeling people. Saying just about anything today can be misconstrued to be a racist, sexist, or anything ending in –ist comment, and in turn results in a nice little piece of paper in your mailbox alerting you to the fact someone’s suing you back to your adolescence (i.e., when you were poor). Even if the lawsuit doesn’t stick, you are still weighed and tried in the court of opinion and automatically labeled as whatever your accuser said.

Political correctness has become such a way of life that we can’t even communicate directly anymore or say what we mean because we’re so frightened of being misjudged for it. This has permeated into every facet of our lives, from ‘sensitivity training’ in the workplace to politicians trying so hard to kiss everyone’s posteriors and not offend anyone that you can’t actually tell what they believe.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not talking about going around and saying every offensive thing your mind can think up. What I am saying is that maybe we’ve become so worried about offending each other that we have effectively killed our abilities to get along, all because we’ve become so engrossed with ‘being p.c.’

Real world, here I come

By Alli Hill
Cardinal Staff

We have finally made it to the home stretch of our senior year. In a mere five months, we will have graduated and made our transition into the “real world.”
This is really a very scary feeling for us. Either we have only started our search for a job, or we have no idea where to start. There are dozens of options out there for us to pursue, but there seems to be no time to do it.

Now before you start hyperventilating, remember that we are all in this together. If you are like me, you like to have your life planned out to the very tiniest of details. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do that in this new transition. And, let’s face it, I am completely freaking out.

I have also had the chance to talk with some of my fellow seniors and am getting the same ‘freaking out’ feeling from all of them. One of them even had a very intense breakdown over the issue.

I have taken it upon myself to help answer this question of what to do when we leave Saint Mary’s and what tools can help get us to the point of being okay. I do not feel that I am in any way heroic by doing this, but I feel that I will be helping myself in this search as well as others.

Something that is coming up in the near future which would be something to think about is the MN Private College Job & Internship Fair on Feb. 19. A very wise capstone professor explained it by saying, “They are looking for you! They know what you are coming for and know that they are specifically talking to students from private institutions.” If you have more questions about the fair, you can talk to the wonderful people in Career Services.

I invite those who take interest in this column to let me know of any issues that you may have, and I will address them to the best of my abilities. As for all of you, I am simply just trying to figure out this next step we are all taking. Until next time!

Questioning Catholicism

By Tim Hepner
Guest Columnist

A defense of today's organized religion

This will be a small attempt at helping Saint Mary’s students struggle with something that I’ve heard many people question. If this elicits anything within you — agreement, anger, a desire to dance like Christopher Walken — anything — never hesitate to talk to me, send me an email, or take me out for a beer so that we can struggle together.

It seems hard to disagree when someone says, “I don’t need to belong to an organized religion. I can have a relationship with God outside church.” Of course I can have a relationship with God outside church: isn’t He everywhere? And aren’t a lot of Christians pretty hypocritical anyway — going to church for an hour on Sunday and then doing whatever the heck they want the rest of the week? There are a lot of good answers to this, but I want to touch on one main one.

The greatest obstacle to a relationship with God is the illusion of self-sufficiency. We’re prone to think that we can rely on ourselves — “I can make it on my own,” as the one-legged puppy in the Homestar Runner cartoons says.

To prove this requires self-examination. Just think of how resistant we are to rely on other people, to ask for help, and possibly make ourselves vulnerable to them. In relationships, we only want to go outside ourselves if we’re sure the other person will do the same; otherwise, we risk looking like we’re desperate or trying too hard.

Translate this to religion: If there’s a God, I’m dependent on Him. Not just for my creation, but at every single instant of my life. He’s holding me in existence just by thinking about me. I’m entirely dependent and vulnerable in the face of God, and a great sign and constant reminder of this is my dependence on others.

So when I shun coming together into communion with other people who believe in God, is there an underlying psychological motivation for this? Could it be possible that I’m afraid to make myself vulnerable and to depend on God and other people? Coming into community means that I am not self-sufficient, and that I admit that my relationship with God—intimate as it is — is bound up with my identity as a dependent creature.

I hope this helps a little with the issue of organized religion. If it doesn’t, there’s always that beer you could buy me…

A students’ guide to parties: The Republicans

By Austin M. D. Quick
Staff Columnist

What scares me most about the upcoming election is that I can see things I like in a few of the Republican candidates, but none of them stick out as frontrunners. Right now, the Democratic candidates are having the opposite problem; they have too many celebrities. Between Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, the Democrats have too many personalities to choose from.

What Republicans are hoping is that the Democrats will pull each other through the mud so much that by the time the national election takes place, the Republican candidates will look more appealing. Democrats, on the other hand, are hoping that they can appeal to voters as the non-Bush party with a new plan to get our country out of the unpopular war in Iraq and change the seemingly poor economy back to where it was during Clinton’s administration.

The only advice I can give to all of you is be prayerful in your decision on who you vote for and vote for the candidate who most personifies your beliefs. The Republican and Democratic candidates have a long road ahead of them these next few months, and many will begin to drop out. The ones we are left with come November may not be ideal candidates, but they’re what we have. Mike Huckabee seems like a “normal” guy; Rudy, of course, has his baggage of multiple marriages; Mitt has the whole Mormon thing; Fred is on the way out; John McCain has aged greatly since his last attempt at the presidency; and Ron Paul is nothing but a trivia question. What we are left with is a bunch of men who, although successful in their own right, are not the candidates that the party needs at this time.

Some say that it would be better to lose this election and allow the Democrats the chance to see what they can do in four years. Others see this as a cleansing experience for the GOP by getting someone with a new face and a new approach to Washington. Lackluster as they are, they still represent the values which Republicans hold as a party. It will be interesting to see how this game of politics plays out. Remember not to get too fed up with the primary elections; stay focused on that critical decision in November.

A students’ guide to parties: The Democrats

By Eric Hills
Guest Writer

Many of us are too busy to read the newspaper daily, watch televised debates, or watch CNN. In fact, you’re probably reading this and wondering how long it will take and whether it’s even worth your time. Well, I’ll get to the point; I hope to inform you about important issues concerning the 2008 presidential election and hopefully convince you to vote Democrat.

The Democrats seek to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible. Despite Republican claims, they do not intend to “cut and run” or “surrender.” They plan to fund the troops to keep them safe while securing a peaceful transition of power from U.S. forces to Iraqis. Once our troops are home, the Democrats plan to give them the care and recognition they deserve. They also plan to address the humanitarian needs of the Iraqis that are homeless or displaced.

Another huge issue is the state of the economy. George Bush has accumulated the largest national deficit in our nation’s history. Democrats seek to bring this debt down by ending our costly war in Iraq and focusing on domestic issues.

The Democrats also seek to end the health care crisis in this country: 47 million Americans are currently uninsured, nine million of which are children. Insurance companies continue to earn record profits while continuously trying to cut benefits. Many Americans are forced to go without insurance, which leads to higher costs for tax payers down the road. By having universal health care coverage, many lives will be saved and all Americans will be able to utilize our wonderful medical care.

Candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards have been especially interested in defending the middle class. They seek to end the Bush tax cuts that only favor the wealthy and give just a few hundred extra dollars to average Americans. They also seek to disenfranchise the powerful corporate interests and lobbies that control many Congressmen and don’t allow our voices to be heard.

It’s about time we returned to leadership that is truly interested in maintaining a strong middle class, eliminating government corruption, and ending a war that has cost thousands of American lives (and approximately 80,000 Iraqi casualties). After the mid-term elections of 2006, the Democrats gained control of the House and Senate. Now that they hold a slim majority, we should give them a Democrat for president so we can start enacting the change we desire.

Websites entice young voters

By Neil Leibundguth
Cardinal Staff

Social networking websites like and video sharing websites like have changed the dynamics of presidential debates and campaigns, especially in the way they appeal to young voters.

Already this year, CNN has held a debate integrating videos sent from YouTube users with the traditional debate format. ABC recently held a debate utilizing Facebook for up-to-the-minute polling, questions and comments.

Facebook also provides several applications such as the “Election ’08” application in which users can show their support of a candidate on their profile page and see how he or she ranks amongst the other users of that application. The candidates also each have their own Facebook profiles which allow Facebook users to “friend” them and become supporters.

YouTube offers a “You Choose ’08” page where users can watch videos from and about each candidate and sort them by the issues. Users can even subscribe to a candidate’s channel and receive every new video that candidate submits to YouTube.

Other social networking websites have been a boon to some candidates’ campaigns. and are websites where users can submit links to stories and articles on other websites. These are then voted upon by other users. Besides being used for procrastinating while at work, websites have given focus to lesser-known candidates that the mainstream media mostly ignores, such as Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich.

Paul’s campaign has shown the potential power that the Internet and social networking websites may have over presidential elections to come. His campaign has used their Internet support to break the record for one-day fundraising with $6 million earned. This boost put his fourth quarter fundraising at the $18 million mark.

All of the candidates are now using the Internet to reach and organize voters of all ages, especially the young. This trend shows that it will be critical for future campaigns to fully embrace this technology.

From 'Redmen' to 'Cardinals'

By Alex Conover
Cardinal Staff

I’m sure you know all about the Cardinals, Big Red, and the “SMU CREW” — but have you ever heard of the “Redmen,” or the “Hilltop Hoopers”? What about the “Skempmen,” or the “Maroons”? Believe it or not, all of these odd mascots have been used to refer to past Saint Mary’s University athletic teams.

I dug in the archives last week with Dr. William Crozier, a retired history professor here at SMU. We found some great old pictures, complete with the usual mid-thigh (if that) shorts and uniforms that looked like they were made of wool. One thing that really stood out to me, however, were all the old names.

“We were the Redmen for a number of years,” said Dr. Crozier. “Also, sometimes they called our basketball team the ‘Hilltop Hoopers.’ I’m guessing that referred to Terrace Heights.”

I soon learned that “Redmen” hadn’t always refered to American Indians. Saint Mary’s College’s colors were originally maroon and white, and so they called themselves the “Maroons.” When the basketball team would play their games, the announcers would yell things like, “There go the red men!” It eventually condensed in 1935, and later evolved into an Indian chief as a mascot.

The Redmen nickname lasted several decades, until the late ’80s. A Twin Cities-based American Indian rights group contacted Saint Mary’s about changing its mascot, which they felt reinforced stereotypes. The Cardinal, an animal caricature, was re-adopted in 1988 (it was briefly used in the ’20s).

“We felt it was time to make a change,” said Bob Conover, vice president of communication and marketing (the director of public information at the time). “I talked it over with Tim Burchill, then-vice president for institutional advancement, and we decided to comply with the request. The women’s teams were already called the Cardinals, so we just made it apply to everyone.”

Saint Mary’s decision soon became part of a national controversy. Publications such as the Wall Street Journal carried stories on the switch, which left behind years of tradition. “We were the second college in the country to change mascots like this, the first being Stanford University,” said Conover. “Although there was a little grumbling by current male athletes, for the most part the transition was well-received.”

Since the change, Saint Mary’s has gone through a few different cardinals. The first logo was drawn by Brother Roderick Robertson, a graphic design professor. The mid-’90s
ushered in “Woody,” a cartoonish character used for several years. With a new millennium came a new logo, however, and in the fall of 2001, SMU unveiled its current cardinal, a more competitive, aggressive-looking bird.

Looking back in the archives with Dr. Crozier, it was evident that the Redmen brought a lot of success and glory to Saint Mary’s athletics. The mascot changes correlated with the changing cultural landscape, yet each hold a piece of Saint Mary’s rich history and athletic tradition. While reflecting on all the old nicknames can be nostalgic for some, our past can help us better appreciate our present. And right now, I couldn’t be prouder to be a Cardinal.

'Star' player shares story

By Candice Norrell
Co-Sports Editor

Over Christmas break, Candice Norrell caught up with Dallas Stars rookie Matt Niskanen to get the scoop on growing up, playing hockey and dreams coming true.

Memo to self: dreams can come true. And some come sooner than expected. For Dallas Stars rookie Matt Niskanen, this was evident. In just seven months, Niskanen went from his sophomore year of college hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth to a defenseman in the NHL.

Niskanen was Dallas’ first round pick, 28th overall in 2005.

“I’ve always wanted to be an NHL player,” Niskanen said, but he also said it was a tough decision for him to join the professional ranks. “I left behind some good buddies and teammates to turn pro. We still keep in touch, but things sure have changed.”

Hockey, hockey, hockey
Niskanen started playing hockey when he was six years old and was instantly hooked.

“That’s all I wanted to do and all I wanted to talk about,” Niskanen recalled. “I remember spending hours upon hours playing shinny hockey on the outdoor rink.”

Niskanen’s father had a key to the warming shack because he drove the zamboni, so Niskanen basically had unlimited access to the rink.

“I remember always asking for just five more minutes...that was the place to be,” said Niskanen.

Back then, one of Niskanen’s best friends was Andrea Nichols, former captain of the Minnesota Gopher women’s hockey team. The two would skate for hours on weekends at the rink. Then they would play floor hockey in Niskanen’s basement for another hour or two.

“At the time it never seemed like we were working hard, or trying to develop or anything. It was what we loved to do, and my parents were awesome about letting me spend time at the rink,” Niskanen said. In fact, Niskanen said they have always been very supportive of him.

“I’ve already been through some tough times in my career [but they’re] always very positive and remind me to keep things in perspective. Their basic message is nothing new, but is so important to keep in mind: the game is fun; enjoy it.”

Off the ice, with the team and living the dream
Like many hockey players, Niskanen enjoys fishing for walleyes. When he arrived in Texas, he was disappointed that he couldn’t go walleye fishing.

“There is bass fishing I suppose, but that just doesn’t do it for me,” said Niskanen.

What does do it for him? Niskanen said it’s definitely playing on a winning team, as the Dallas Stars are consistently among the NHL’s best and always in the hunt for the Stanley Cup.

“I really have a ton of respect for the coaching staff, as they are on our side, and [not only] fun to play for, but tough when they need to be,” Niskanen said. “It’s all a player can ask for.”

As for his teammates, Niskanen said they’re great guys.

“They’re all real supportive of the young players to make sure they’re comfortable. They also always hassle the young guys a bit. It’s all in good fun, but it’s kind of tradition to razz the rookies.” Niskanen is sure to be speaking about the stunt that goalie Marty Turco led a couple months ago.

Turco devised a plan to have Niskanen’s 2001 Pontiac Sunfire totally refurbished while the team was out east just after Thanksgiving. While the Stars were on the trip, a Dallas area body shop was working on new interior, new rims, a new sound system and, of course, a new paint job.

The grey was replaced with Stars black and white, complete with the team logo on the hood. “Nisky” was affectionately placed on the back and above the doors, with his number (5) displayed on both of the doors. The top of the windshield is lined with, “GO STARS GO.”

In an article posted on the Dallas Star’s website, Niskanen said, “I was on the ice right after practice and it came rolling out of the zamboni tunnel. I was dying laughing and was in absolute shock. But it was great. I was floored.”

When it comes to the game, Niskanen knows how to mentally prepare himself, although he has tried it all: getting really psyched up, screwing around, being loose, being super focused, visualizing.

Since skill level is what Niskanen believes is the biggest difference between each level of hockey, especially in the NHL compared to college hockey, he said this season he finds that he plays his best when he has a clear head.

“Certain players are so dangerous with a puck on their stick, which makes defending very tough,” Niskanen said. Therefore, like many hockey players, he tries to mentally prepare himself for a battle, without over-thinking things.

“It’s a balance,” said Niskanen.

In order to prepare himself physically on game days, Niskanen always eats pasta and chicken and takes an hour-long afternoon nap, finishing with the same warm-up routine before each game.

Coming from a Star
“[Playing for the Dallas Stars is] everything I thought it would be and more,” Niskanen said of his new lifestyle. “The travel, my teammates, and the hockey...everything is just awesome.”

What advice does Niskanen have for Saint Mary’s athletes?

“The best advice I can give to any aspiring athlete is to train and practice with the same intensity and urgency that you want to play games with [and] to remember that the game is fun,” he said.

As for the advice he gives to specifically the Cardinal hockey players?

“The most successful players in every league just happen to be the guys who love hockey the most.”

Dance team takes first

The Saint Mary’s competition dance team took first place at the Blaine Competition on Saturday, Jan. 5.

“We were so excited!” senior captain Krista Duffey said. “It was an amazing accomplishment because it was our first competition of the year.”

The team is looking forward to their next competition on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the College of St. Benedict.

Track team starts indoor season strong

By Laura Andrews
Cardinal Staff

Five Saint Mary’s University students represented the track and field team at the opening meet of the indoor season on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the University of Minnesota.

Although team scores were not recorded, the meet gave students the opportunity to prepare for the season.

However, individual scores were recorded. Junior thrower Derek Wherley, who had the school’s indoor shot-put record at 13.02 meters, broke that record by .01 meters on Saturday.

According to track and field coach Shawn McMahon, Wherley, who has thrown further than 13.03 meters outdoors, “stands to break the indoor record several more times this year.”

The team has been training since the first week in November, and McMahon is “very excited about how hard they are working.”

With their hard work and dedication, McMahon said this year’s track and field team is off to a strong start.

SMU will host an invitational meet on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Only in Wisconsin

By Eric Lear
Co-Sports Editor

Sports obsession gone too far

If you haven’t heard by now, a Wisconsin man was arrested Monday, Jan. 14, after his wife told authorities that he restrained his 7-year-old son with tape for an hour and taped a Green Bay Packers jersey on him.

Matthew Kowald’s, 36, of Pardeeville, Wis., actions have written the book on how not to raise a cheesehead.

Kowald’s wife filed a restraining order after he paid a $186 fine on Wednesday, Jan. 16. She took pictures of the event on her cell phone and turned them into the authorities.

I am as crazy about sports as the next guy, but this gentleman took the term sports “nut” literally. Perhaps taking his son to the frozen tundra of historic Lambeau Field to watch Brett Favre in action would have been a healthy option. Maybe reading him some quotes from the legendary Vince Lombardi would have inspired him to wear the green and gold. But no, this cheesehead decided to restrain his son with tape for an hour and tape on a Packers jersey.

“I didn’t mean no harm and he knows that, but I haven’t been able to tell him that,” Kowald so eloquently said in an article written by the Associated Press. Now, I don’t recall much about my days as a 7-year-old, but I’m sure the last thing my parents were worried about when raising me was what sports teams I pulled for. That poor child is now probably scared to death of the Packers.

What could have possibly been going through Kowald’s mind when restraining his child via tape? Did he think that taping a Packer jersey on him would make him jump on the bandwagon? Maybe he considered taping his cheesehead hat on him.

We can only hope that Kowald has learned from this situation, because he is now in a mess that tape cannot fix. I can only hope that he acted more civilly after watching his Packers go down to the second-best Manning in the NFL.

Students gamble without money

By Ellen Jordan
Cardinal Staff

Although it is against Saint Mary’s University’s policy to gamble on-campus, the Student Activities Committee used their own funds to host the annual Casino Day–not one dollar was pulled from any student’s wallet.

Students braced the bitter cold temperatures to attend the event hosted in Salvi Lecture Hall and Common Room. Football fans did not have to worry about keeping track of the scores–the games were played in the background.

Blackjack, Bingo and Texas Hold’Em were among the games participants were able to choose from. For an incentive to win, the prizes students were aiming to attain were a futon, 20” flat screen TV with Built in DVD player, digital camera, portable DVD player, iPod docking station, DVD’s and CD’s.

Senior Britney Staver said, “I really liked attending this year’s Casino Day. I thought that there was a very impressive selection of prizes and I think it’s a great way to get students from all grades together.”

Upon entering the event each students was offered free starter money. If a perishable food item was donated more money was granted. This money provided students with the chance to start playing games and get a feel for which ones they liked the best.

Member of Student Activities Committee and organizer of the event, Junior, Nanci Gruetzmacher said this year’s event was a successful one. “After observing last years event and seeing what worked well and what didn’t, I think that the outcome is very successful”. When asked what her favorite task for organizing was, she replied, “Shopping for prizes.”

Casino Day is just one more opportunity in which Saint Mary’s students are able to show their skills, have fun and interact with others at an event outside normal school time.

Students rehearse 'Outta Sight' show

By Kaylin Martin
Cardinal Staff

It is a dinner show that traces back to the early 1950s and is known for its extravagant energy and bright history. This year’s “Candlelight, Outta Sight!” will be no exception.

To be held at Saint Mary’s University on Saturday, Feb. 9, Candlelight will provide a flashback to the era of flower power. The painted windows in the dining hall and psychedelic decorations will only enhance the ’70s-themed event, said co-producer Jo Nesler.

Candlelight, a former fundraiser, is a community-wide event, hosted biennially by the university. Now the event is a formal celebration of the university and a thank you to the community for its support, said Nesler.

“It’s a good way to give back to the community while showcasing our talent here at the university,” said senior Moreen Bosch, one of eight performers in the show.

The Candlelight entertainment, a collaborative effort from students in the music, theatre and art departments, requires participants to invest a great deal of time and work, said Bosch. “We practice over 20 hours each week, four weeks prior to the performance.”

“It really pays off in the end, though,” said senior Erin Hendricks, another performer.

The evening will begin with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at 6 p.m. in the lounge, followed by dinner in the dining hall, both in the Toner Student Center.

Attendees will savor the flavor of a five-course meal including: Belgian endive and spring mix salad with fresh raspberries and roquefort cheese with raspberry vinaigrette; “Fruits of the Sea in a Crepe”: crepe filled with baby shrimp, baby bay scallops, fresh lump crab meat, ricotta cheese and fresh parsley topped with lobster sauce; lemon sorbet with crème de cassis; tornado of beef fillets with a port wine reduction; white asparagus with hollandaise sauce; wild rice with fresh dates, cranberries and yellow raisins; and vanilla ice cream with candied chestnuts.

A highlight of the evening will include cabaret entertainment by Saint Mary’s students, who will perform a variety of well-known favorites from the ’60s and early ’70s, which emphasize such themes of the era as women’s liberation, war, peace and protest, inspiration and relationships.

The end of the night will feature the seven-piece Diane Martinson Band giving the audience a chance to hit the dance floor.

The cost is $75 per person or $140 per couple. Dress is formal attire, and valet parking and coat check services will be available.

Invitations have been mailed, but everyone is invited. Anyone with questions about Candlelight or who would like to attend can contact Jo Nesler at 507-457-1664.

Five bands to ‘battle’ for $500 prize

By Amy Kalina
Managing Editor

Winter Week at Saint Mary’s University will wrap up with the 8th annual Battle of the Bands on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. in Page Theatre.

Five student-led musical acts will compete for prizes ranging from $100 to $500 in Battle of the Bands, which has become a rich tradition at SMU, said senior Michael Alexander Downes-Borowski, a coordinator of the event.

“Battle is fun for everybody because it’s your friends and classmates competing,” said Downes-Borowski. “Every year is different, but every year is entertaining.”

Competing this year are fresh new acts as well as some past favorites, including the reigning Battle champions, now performing as Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Last year’s winners were automatically accepted to compete while the other four acts auditioned on Jan. 19, performing one cover song as well as one original for judges Lance Thompson ‘05 and Abby Cooper.

“The acts this year range from rock to folk to our much-talked-about boy band act,” said Cooper, a sophomore at SMU.

“There will really be something for everyone at Battle.”

Check out the Cardinal blog for the Battle results as well as a review of the show.

All U Need
Members: Sophomores Peter Snell, Phil Thomas, Curtis Kempton, Dan Ward, and junior Eric Duffy.
Who they are: This five-man boy band performs the classic stylings of N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys as well as original tunes, complete with choreographed moves.
Listen for this: “Facebook Crush,” an original song written by member Peter Snell, just might hit home for some college students.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo
Members: Seniors Bryan Atchison, Neil Olstad, and Alex Downes-Borowski
Who they are: They won last year as the band Birthdae Partii, and they’re back to reclaim their title.
Surefire fun: Famous for their entertaining antics, this act promises to be as crazy as its name.

Rogue the Wolf
Members: Neil McColl, Malachi Nelson, Tim Boysen
Who they are: Rogue’s style rocks to the muse of Nirvana and is led by freshman McColl. The band has played together for almost four years, but their friendship is over eight years old.
If you didn’t know: McColl is the son of Saint Mary’s art and design professor Rob McColl.

Wet Bandits
Members: Bill Duffert, Tim Wojcicki, Eric Stonestrom, Adam Stasica, Zach Hansmann, and Robin Karras.
Who they are: This band features the only female Battler, bringing a woman’s touch to the competition.
Look for: A giant bass drum. “You’ll know what I mean when you see it,” said Duffert.

Empty Bottle Saviours
Members: Ryan Anderson, Neil Leibundguth, Jeremy Johnston, and Michael Fye.
Who they are: These boys have a style unlike any of the other bands. “No matter what the song is, we can’t help but play blues,” said Leibundguth.
Fun Fact: The name of the band comes from the Black Crowes song P.25 London.

Faculty 'create illusions' through art

By Maria Sullivan
Cardinal Staff

As soon as the doors opened to the Saint Mary’s University faculty art show on Jan. 16, guests swarmed into the Lillian Davis Hogan Galleries.

The art show, called “Ignes Fatui,” or “creating an illusion,” features artwork of eight faculty members. Artwork presented includes paintings, stoneware, graphic design photography and a puppet, along with many other interesting works of art.

The faculty members involved include Charles Campbell, Randi Campbell (lecturer of art and design), Michelle Cochran (adjunct instructor of art and design), Preston Lawing (art and design department chair), Robert McColl (assistant professor of art and design), Sister Margaret Mear (professor of art and design), Brother Roderick Robertson (professor of art and design) and John Whelan (adjunct instructor of art and design).

“The art show has great diversity and everyone is doing their best. The faculty is alive and growing,” said Sister Margaret, also curator of the art gallery.

The faculty art show runs until Feb. 17. The next art show will present works of four contemporary photographers from outside the SMU community.

Pictured: Charles Campbell’s “Stoneware” (left); Preston Lawing’s “Caroline Junior” (right).

P.S. – I Liked It

By Maria Sullivan
Cardinal Staff

Review of ‘P.S. I Love You’

“P.S. I Love You” was released in theatres on Dec. 21 and stars Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Harry Connick, Jr., and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (most commonly known as Denny Duquette from “Grey’s Anatomy”).

For those who enjoy romantic movies, “P.S. I Love You” just may be for you.
Holly (Swank) is a young woman happily married to Gerry (Butler), but when Gerry dies from a brain tumor, Holly’s life falls apart. When it seems like her life will never get better, the unexpected happens.

Before Gerry died, he knew that his time with Holly was limited, so he decided to write ten letters to help her move on with her life. The letters told her to do anything from singing karaoke to traveling to Ireland. Everything that Gerry asks of Holly in the letters has a certain meaning behind it.

Some viewers may perceive this movie as an interesting way to get past losing a loved one. Senior Nikki Olson said, “I thought it was an amazing movie. It’s not what you expect from a romantic comedy, but it’s worth seeing.”

“P.S. I Love You” is rated PG-13 and is still in theatres.

Cardinal Spotlight: Junior Dustan Hoffman

By Abby Zimmer
Copy Editor

The rugby players call him “Caveman.” Mere acquaintances mistake him for an actor. Either way, many students don’t realize he is actually 30 years old.

Dustan Hoffman, junior at Saint Mary’s University, could tell anyone countless stories about his life, but here is what I can tell you after 20 minutes.

Hoffman grew up in the Green Bay, Wis., area with his mom, brother and sister. Life was not easy: money was tight, and he lived in 18 different houses by the time he was 17 years old. Although his mom was on welfare and their family had food stamps, they found themselves needing to live in homeless shelters twice. Despite these difficulties, Hoffman was able to stay in the same school district by using aunts’ or uncles’ addresses.

Once he graduated from high school, Hoffman found himself working (mostly in construction) nine months out the year and traveling the United States, Mexico and Canada the remaining three months.

One of Hoffman’s famous stories begins with a job that lasted one day in Colorado. After realizing the company was not one for which he wanted to work, Hoffman drove off, only for his car to break down at the edge of Castle Rock, Colo.

Because he needed a place to stay, he went to the nearby park where he was able to find a cave. Hoffman lived in this cave for an entire month, biking to and from a new job he found the next day, with only the Bible to read at night.

After five years of working and traveling, Hoffman moved to Winona to live with childhood friends Joe and Andy Cochran, sons of Dr. Philip and Michelle Cochran, both professors at SMU.

“What really attracted me to Winona was fly fishing,” said Hoffman. “It’s my passion in life.”

Once he got to Winona, though, Philip and Michelle inspired Hoffman to go back to school.

“They convinced me I could do it,” said Hoffman. “I’m still trying to convince myself.”

Hoffman took classes at Southeast Technical College part-time for one year to have undergraduate classes to show SMU that he was still college material after taking a seven-year break from schooling.

Now Hoffman is a biology major at SMU. He works 25-30 hours a week, while also remaining involved in SMU’s Hellfish rugby team.

Once Hoffman graduates, he plans on entering an accelerated nursing program and moving into the mountains out west.

“If I could share one piece of advice with SMU students,” said Hoffman, “it would be to never take anything for granted. Be grateful.”

Claims to fame:

* Hoffman biked from Green Bay to Winona (207 miles) in one day.

* He has traveled to 47 states, all except Florida, Alabama and Hawaii.

* Hoffman is familiar with 27 kinds of edible wild plants and can create fire by simply rubbing sticks together

* He has twice donated to Locks of Love, totaling 27 inches over 6 years, after starting from a shaved head.

[Editor’s Note: Do you know anyone who has done something commendable for the SMU or Winona community, is an excellent leader, athlete, or artist, or has an interesting story that should be told? If so, contact the Cardinal staff at with their name, your name, your contact information and why they should be featured in the Cardinal spotlight.]

Rob and Neil review your meal: Chartwells

By Neil Olstad and Rob Brewer
Guest Writers

The Caf is an epicenter of student congregation. Friends exchange pleasantries, relationships blossom, and most importantly, food is served. Your expert connoisseurs, Rob and Neil are committed to guiding you through your caf experience...

Tortellini – It was a little undercooked, as a fork could not pierce the outer shell without considerable might. The chicken alfredo sauce was excellent. However, the notorious red sauce is back, and as watery as ever. This was a nice main dish, if you were lucky enough to choose the right sauce.

Yellow Rice – This had a distinct taste; you don’t get a flavor explosion like this from Chartwells often enough. There were lots of taste sensations that lingered long after swallowing. A nice complement to any entrée.

Turkey Chili – A Cajun surprise, straight from the bayou, this dish was very salty and very spicy. It was a hearty blend of beans, turkey and attitude that will give you goose bumps in areas you didn’t think possible. Make sure this dish is served with a glass of water and an appointment with a cardiologist following consumption.

Sweet Potatoes – A swing and a miss. They had a nice aroma, but the scent does not save this dish from becoming a bland, mushy disaster. The texture reminded these authors of what it must be like to eat Alpo dog food. A failure of momentous proportion.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes – This option was a welcome surprise and a breath of fresh air after the sweet potato catastrophe. The pancake’s fluffy-yet-crispy exterior brought a wry smile to the authors’ faces as we reveled in this transplanted breakfast staple.

Cheesecake – As we finished up with dessert, we set our sights on a mischievous little cheesecake that had been calling our name throughout the meal, featuring dual fruit toppings of cherry and apple-cinnamon. We consented that the crust was a carefully constructed crumbly climax to our meal. This playful cheesecake was assertive without being pushy; kudos to the Chartwells staff on achieving such a scrumptious dessert.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Russian ballet company performs at Page Theatre

Ellen Jordan
Cardinal Staff

The Saint Mary’s University community is invited to experience the misfortune of “Carmen,” performed by the Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre in the Page Theatre on Jan. 24.

Taking place in Seville, Spain, lust, jealously, excitement and sadness are emotions that are experienced throughout the ballet. The main character, a soldier named Don Jose, leaves his regiment to be with the beautiful gypsy, the title role, Carmen. When Carmen learns that she and Don Jose are fated to die, she leaves him to be with the bullfighter Escamillo. Don Jose finds Carmen at the bullfight and pleads for her to run away with him. She tells him that the affair is over, and her heart now belongs to Escamillo. Out of sadness and fury, Don Jose murders Carmen.

The Saint Petersburg Ballet Theatre is the oldest theatre in Russia, formed in 1966. Today it remains one of Russia’s most internationally toured dance companies. The dancers for the ballet are known to portray their own style while still showing excellent technique. Personal expression is also apparent throughout the ballet’s entirety, giving audience members the chance to experience diversity and lavishness.

Tickets for the ballet are $22 for adults, $16 for senior and $14 for students, and they may be purchased at the Page Theater Box Office.

FAC provides free frigid festivities

By Karina Rajtar
Cardinal Staff

Winter break might be over, but there’s still a lot of winter fun to be had. The Saint Mary’s University Future Alumni Committee (FAC), with the help of the Student Activities Committee (SAC), is sponsoring a Winter Week full of fun, free winter activities, culminating in an afternoon of sledding at the Saint Yon’s Hall hill.

Winter Week was once a very popular annual event that ended with a snow sculpture contest. FAC has brought back the tradition to entertain students during the frigid days of January, while hopefully encouraging others to join the group. Although weather conditions do not allow for the sculpture contest, they won’t keep SMU students from enjoying the other events planned for the week.

Winter Week Schedule:

• Sunday, Jan. 20 – Casino Afternoon (Salvi Lecture Hall/Common Room from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) Don’t worry football fans; the Charger/Patriot game will be shown on the television, and the event will end before the Packer/Giants game.

• Tuesday, Jan. 22 – SMU Crew at the men’s hockey game with a “Yellow Snowball” eating contest between first and second periods; the game starts at 7:05 p.m.

• Wednesday, Jan. 23 – SMU Crew at the women’s basketball game beginning at 7:30 p.m.; the SAC Wednesday Night Movie is “Cool Runnings” at 9 p.m. in the Salvi Lecture Hall.

• Friday, Jan. 25 – Cardinal Cup snow football at 4 p.m. on the soccer practice field; come win points for your residence hall!

• Saturday, Jan. 26 – Sledding from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Saint Yon’s Hall hill. Some sleds will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, and there will be free hot cocoa and treats. The Health Advocates will be speaking on winter skin care. Saturday night at 8 p.m. there will also be a Battle of the Bands in the Page Theatre.

• Sunday, Jan. 27 – 10K Cross-Country Ski Race; this is not an official Winter Week event, but it is free to all students. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the race starts at 1 p.m.

"Meet the Pros" event held on campus

By Kaylin Martin
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University is hosting the upcoming Meet the Pros event on Thursday, Jan. 24, sponsored by the Minnesota chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

At the event, students will be able to hear professionals speak about their experience in government, nonprofit, agency and corporate communications. The event will also give students a chance to get their resumes critiqued and learn more about interview etiquette and technique.

Meet the Pros is not only an excellent opportunity to network with seasoned professionals, said Jennifer Knoop, communications consultant for Wells Fargo and an organizer of the event, “it is a great way to find out what it takes to make the leap from college to career.”

Meet the Pros is held by IABC Minnesota, the third-largest IABC chapter in the world, made up of both student and professional members. It is a network of nearly 500 communicators who are part of an international 14,000-member association.

Their goal as a chapter is to reach out and provide connections and school-to-career transition information to students at colleges and universities that are interested in the business communications field.

Meet the Pros is free for IABC student members and $10 for student nonmembers if students register at by Jan. 22 ($15 at the door). The cost includes food and beverages.

The event will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall, Saint Mary’s Hall room 332.