Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama elected next U.S. President

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, Barack Obama became the President-elect with a large margin of victory over Senator John McCain in the Electoral College, while having a closer lead in the popular vote.

Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in to office on January 20, 2009. Obama’s success is historic because he will become the first black president of the United States.

Sisters successful at blood drive

The sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota sponsored a blood drive that was held in the Saint Mary’s University Hall of Fame Room on Oct. 20 and 21. The sisters set a goal of 60 participants per day and exceeded their goals. Approximately 130 people donated blood, according to senior Sam Kirsch, a member of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Students send Palestinian Rugby Club to Cyprus

By Jessica Paulsen
Managing Editor

Several students in a Saint Mary’s University Lasallian Core Traditions (LCT) class raised money to send the rugby team from Bethlehem University (BU), a Lasallian university in Palestine, to a tournament in Cyprus in early October.

“They raised money and awareness and also did some research into what life is like for Christians living in Palestine,” said Dr. Jane Kelley Rodeheffer, professor of philosophy, who teaches the class. Students contacted the players and coach to get first-hand information about their situation.

“From corresponding with the coach, I got an idea of what things are like over there and how easy things are over here,” said Steven Boussie, a sophomore student in the LCT class. “It made me realize that I’ve been given an opportunity to help, and I should not take that for granted.”

Part of the course was to learn about the Lasallian mission, and the project focused on raising awareness about the situation in Bethlehem, according to sophomore Maria Biebel, a student in the class.

“It’s for perspectives on the good human life, so obviously we’re living the good life by helping people,” said Biebel.

“It was nice to be able to send them some money, but it was more about creating an awareness about what is going on in Bethlehem and making people stop to think about it,” said Boussie. The money the students raised went to the rugby team’s airfare to Cyprus and equipment needs that they had.

Tag rugby has become a way for youth in Palestine to learn about sportsmanship, team-building and peace. Martin Bisstrai, coach of the Rugby Club in Palestine, said in a news article for the Palestinian News Network that “‘Rugby is a great sport and it’s a battle without weapons. That is what Palestinian (and any other) youth need.’”

Israel has built a 30-foot-high wall around the city of Bethlehem. Many people are unable to leave and have to go through security checkpoints to enter the town. Because of these conditions, many of the rugby players had never been outside of Bethlehem before their trip to Cyprus, where the team won its tournament.

BU was the first established university in the West Bank and is the only Catholic university in the Holy Land. It was founded by the Christian Brothers and shares a Lasallian heritage with SMU.

Saint Teresa Institute looking to change

By Megan Mollison
Cardinal Staff

The new coordinator for Saint Mary’s University’s Saint Teresa Leadership & Service Institute for Women plans to make some changes to the program.

Peg Winters, the fourth and newly-appointed coordinator for the program, plans to work on reshaping the freshman seminar to get more female students involved with the institute. She also plans to have the institute host campus activities in which both men and women could participate. Winters wants the Institute to organize special events for the different residence halls on campus.

“I am excited about getting more students involved with the new and upcoming program,” said Winters, who has set a goal of adding 60 students to its current 20-member roll.

Winters, who took over the program from Holly Richard this fall, believes this program will encourage women to participate more actively in leadership roles that help them to develop stronger and more varied educational goals.

The Saint Teresa Institute will also offer a wider variety of classes for young women to take. These classes will promote spiritual growth and will guide students in their social and spiritual interactions.

“I can’t wait for this program to take off,” said Winters.

The Saint Teresa Institute’s brochure defines its members as a “diverse group of young women” committed to improving themselves and to making the most of their talents and abilities.

Students commit one to two hours weekly for events, meetings or service projects.

Tuition to rise despite financial worries

By Travis Fick
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University will raise tuition for the 2009-10 school year, but the percentage increase has not been disclosed. The increase will be due to larger expenses and existing obligations that the university has to future students, said Cynthia Marek, vice president for financial affairs.

SMU’s tuition, room, board and fees for 2008-09 are $30,530. This is third lowest of the 17 Minnesota private colleges, higher than only Concordia-Moorhead and Bethany Lutheran in Mankato, Minn.

The current year’s comprehensive cost is seven percent more than in 2007-08.

There is growing concern about how the state of the economy, combined with increased tuition and fees, will affect students and their families. “The family situation is the most difficult for us,” said Marek. “We cannot control what is going on in the financial world, and it is making us very concerned about the possibility of this economic state being long-term.”

Marek said the Financial Affairs office is willing to work with students and their families to create payment plans and explore other types of financial aid. “I would highly encourage people to stay in touch with us if they are having financial issues so we are aware of it and can help as much as possible,” said Marek.

Even with the uncertainty of the economy, SMU’s fiscal status is strong and will allow for all business and plans to continue. “An increase in tuition is not surprising by any means,” said Dr. Martin Judd, professor of business. “The fact that the institution is doing a more modest increase than they have done in the past is a reflection of their concern for the present economic environment.”

Brother William Mann, president of SMU, recently announced an initiative to expand the Brother James Miller Program for Access, which helps make a private college education even more affordable for low to middle income families. According to a recent SMU press release, “The adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for qualifying families was $75,000 … For freshmen enrolling in fall of 2009, Saint Mary’s will expand the program to include families with up to $100,000 AGI.”

Regardless of the assistance offered, students say that concerns over their finances persist, and concerns about how the administration can justify an increase have been raised. “Many families do not have the funds for increased tuition,” said junior Sara Eisenhauer.

Marek said that the increase in tuition is necessary because of larger expenses that the school is encountering but gives credit to conservative budgeting and living within its means as the reasons SMU has a strong fiscal base. “We are very fiscally prudent,” said Marek. “We have balanced budgets, so we always live within our means. We have been very low risk takers, so we do not have any investments or debt or other kind of obscure things that could affect us in the long term.”

Marek said SMU’s preferred loan companies are in good condition. “Financial Aid has told me that we have not had any problems with the lenders we deal with, but there are other lenders who are having problems right now,” said Marek.

As for what students can do to take control of their financial situations, both Judd and Marek said the simplest solution to the problem is to write down what one spends. “To be more financially responsible, students should keep a record of what they have spent,” said Judd. “Records arm you with something so that you visually see what you have actually spent.”

Marek said that writing information down makes students more cognizant of what they are spending when they are on a tight budget. “You do not think about spending five dollars on a coffee or three dollars on a drink with friends,” said Marek. “The little things that you do not think about add up. I would say watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.”

Bishop Quinn joins Diocese of Winona

By Betsy Baertlein
News Editor

News of a new bishop for the Diocese of Winona has been circulating through the local media.

Bishop Bernard Harrington, whom students may recognize from special masses on campus, submitted a request for retirement to the Vatican upon his 75th birthday in September. His request has not yet been accepted by Pope Benedict XVI, but Bishop John Quinn of Detroit has been named as coadjutor bishop in the meantime.

As coadjutor bishop, Bishop Quinn will serve with Bishop Harrington until his request for retirement is accepted, said Father Andrew Beerman, rector of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary.

Bishop Quinn, like all appointed bishops, was hand-selected by Pope Benedict to serve the Diocese of Winona. Various committees, both in the United States and Rome, investigate possible candidates for Bishop when a vacancy is anticipated, said Father Beerman. They may suggest current priests and bishops for further investigation. Ultimately, the committees select three candidates most suited to the diocese in need. This list, called a terna, is then submitted to the pope, who in turn selects one candidate, said Father Beerman. However, the pope may choose a candidate outside the terna or have the committees compile a new terna. When placing a bishop with a diocese, factors such as geography and style of church in that region come into play, said Father Beerman.

Bishop Quinn is similar to Bishop Harrington in many ways. According to The Courier, the Winona diocesan newspaper, Bishop Quinn told third graders at Saint Francis of Assissi School in Rochester that “Minnesota has the Minnesota Twins, and now they have the Winona Twins!”
Bishop Quinn is currently 62 years old; he was ordained to the priesthood in 1972. He has had a great variety of assignments, including many parish assignments and serving as associate director for justice and peace and for religious education of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Bishop Quinn is very committed to education, and he currently serves as “the Cardinal’s delegate to Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and remains there as well as an adjunct member of the faculty,” according to The Courier. It is a possibility that Bishop Quinn will teach a class at Saint Mary’s University, said Father Beerman.

Students at SMU will not see any changes in Church teaching with the implementation of a new bishop, said Father Beerman, but they may see changes in diocesan policies and the ways they are implemented. “Brother William is committed to working with Bishop Quinn in helping to foster the Catholic nature of SMU,” said Father Beerman.

According to Father Beerman, Bishop Harrington has a place to live in Rochester after his retirement. He will most likely continue to help the diocese in various ways, including filling in for priests and ministering to prisoners.

Best-selling author visits campus

By Sarah McDonough
Cardinal Staff

Sylvia Nasar, best-selling author of “A Beautiful Mind,” spoke at Saint Mary’s University on Oct. 30.

Nasar discussed her book and answered questions the audience had regarding Paranoid Schizophrenia and John Nash, the person whom her book and the movie are based on.

After Nasar landed a job with the New York Times, she became interested in Nash’s life story.

Nash, a 1994 Nobel Prize winner, was nominated for the award because of the work he did at Princeton University. Nash is a genius. He was a graduate student at age 20 and then received his doctorate from Princeton at the age of 22. His life was nothing short of extraordinary. Through a late onset of Schizophrenia (diagnosed at age 30), as well as his self-claimed recovery from this psychotic disorder, Nash’s life seemed almost unbelievable- which is why Nasar wanted to write more than an article. She felt his life story would benefit millions, and it did.

Many regard Nasar’s book on Nash’s life as inspiring. She was thrilled at the fact that her book seemed to have “struck a universal cord.” Nasar said, “You only get stories like these once in a lifetime.”

Network and Internet issues

By Becca Sandager
Cardinal Staff

Two different network/Internet issues occurred on campus during the month of September and into the beginning of October, according to Sarah Bearbower, the information technology manager of academic systems.

The first issue plagued all university servers, WebMail, Blackboard, Tegrity and Rex2, which deals with printing, the G drive, departmental file storage and course materials for the Winona campus. This resulted in everything being slowed down, and Bearbower asserts the cause of this slowdown was due to the university’s storage area network (SAN) experiencing a high rate of “network packet retries.”

Essentially, SAN connects and transports storage data between devices in the form of packets. For example, every Web page that you receive comes in a series of packets, and every email you send leaves as a series of packets. In this case, Information Technology (iT) staff and network engineers found a communication error between devices, so the packets had to retry transporting the data, slowing everything down.

Unfortunately, fixing the issue was complicated by the fact that other systems needed to be ruled out as a cause of the problem first. The first steps Bearbower and other iT staff took were to remove a device on the network that assists with spam blocking for the email server and then replace and downgrade the email server. It took time to determine if the slowness would be resolved. After working diligently to troubleshoot the issue, a switch upgrade and SAN network simplification was found to resolve the issue.

The second issue affected the university’s Internet service, which was slow during the first weekend of October. This problem arose when a change was made to move the disaster recovery location to the Saint Teresa campus. The disaster recovery location protects data by replicating it to an off-site location in order to limit data loss and aid data recovery. In order to move the disaster recovery location, Saint Mary’s University Internet service provider, Hiawatha Broadband Connections (HBC), became involved. The problem was resolved when HBC found and fixed a faulty routing table.

During this whole process, the HelpDesk was taking calls from concerned users. Bearbower said, “Through this process we learned of network troubleshooting tools that we are currently training additional professional staff to use. As you can see, networking issues are complicated and hard to explain. We encourage anyone who wants more technical detail to get in touch with the iT department through the Helpdesk.”

The HelpDesk is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. It can also be reached at ext. 7800, or

Hiroshima survivor recounts experience

By Lauren Rothering
Cardinal Staff

Hiroshima survivor Shigeko Sasamori recounted her experience of the atomic bombing while pleading for world peace during a lecture on Oct. 16 at Winona State University (WSU).

Sasamori was six years old when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Sasamori said she was less than a mile from the heart of the explosion; the mortality rate was nearly 100 percent for everyone within that radius.

While walking to school on the morning of Aug. 6, Sasamori said she saw a plane with a silvery white tail flying overhead. An object she later realized was the atomic bomb dropped from the plane, said Sasamori, and she was immediately knocked unconscious by the force of the explosion. “That moment changed my life,” said Sasamori.

Sasamori said she spent the next four nights and five days in a dormitory not far from the explosion site. According to Sasamori, there were no doctors, medical equipment or even basic nutritional items for the survivors at the dormitory. “It’s very difficult, what I’m trying to say, but try to imagine,” said Sasamori. “Can you imagine (going) five days, no food, no treatment? I feel I am very lucky to survive.”

After being reunited with her parents several days after the explosion, Sasamori said her mother nursed her back to health.

Nine years after the bombing, Sasamori said she was invited to participate in the “Hiroshima Project.” According to Sasamori, the “Hiroshima Project” provided 25 women affected by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan a trip to the United States (U.S.) to undergo plastic surgery to hide scarring left from burn wounds. After the project was completed, Sasamori decided to continue to live in the U.S.

Sasamori believes that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an “obvious test on human beings.” Sasamori claimed that doctors were sent to Hiroshima immediately after the bombings not to provide treatment for the victims, but to examine and record the bomb’s effects on humans. The atomic bomb “wasn’t a warning,” said Sasamori. “We were human guinea pigs.”

“I’m not angry at the people (of the U.S.),” said Sasamori, “I’m angry at the leaders.” Sasamori pleaded for the “young people” in the audience to “please help keep this beautiful world and (its) beautiful people alive. We cannot forget the past happened, (and now there are) only two choices: peace or war.”

Sasamori’s lecture opened the “Hiroshima Peace Exhibition,” which was displayed at WSU from Oct.16 to Oct. 30. The exhibit consisted of posters of images chronicling the effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Volunteer with S.O.U.L. and Volunteer Services

By Tamika Robinson
Feature Editor

Students interested in being more active in the community can volunteer with Serving Others Uniting in Love (S.O.U.L.) or Volunteer Services.

S.O.U.L. provides service trips over academic breaks so that students can spend time helping those in need.

“Our mission is to provide service trips…so that (students) can grow in the Lasallian community and serve those who are in need,” said Ryan Langr, a S.O.U.L. Council member. The S.O.U.L. Council, which consists of six students, organizes, plans and funds the service trips.

In October, S.O.U.L. volunteered around the Winona and La Crosse area by working on farms and with Habitat for Humanity.

Next February, S.O.U.L. plans to host seven trips. “We will go to places like South Dakota, to an Indian reservation; Manhattan, to work with the poor, elderly and sick; and the Grand Canyon for camping and learning about environmental awareness. We will also go to Chicago, New Orleans, Kentucky and Kansas City like we have in the past,” Langr said.

Volunteer Services, which consists of 14 volunteer mentors and their faculty advisor Katie LaPlant, “provides students at Saint Mary’s with the opportunity to volunteer in the Winona community without a long-term commitment,” said junior volunteer mentor Molly Jewison. “Students are able to volunteer one time or they are able to volunteer every time we have an opportunity.”

Over Thanksgiving break, Volunteer Services will be hosting a trip to New York City, where students will volunteer in soup kitchens, schools and with other organizations.

In the spring, students will have the chance to volunteer for “Spruce Up Winona,” where they will be sent to different homes and organizations to help clean up from the winter.

“By having a hands-on experience, students will have a better understanding of how others live too,” said Jewison.

For students interested in volunteering with S.O.U.L., applications can be picked up at Campus Ministry or at the Saint Thomas More Chapel. Scholarships are also available for students who cannot afford the trips.

If interested in volunteering with Volunteer Services, students can sign up in Toner 8, read the weekly Volunteer Services emails or talk with Katie LaPlant or a volunteer mentor.

Get involved with Volunteer Services

By Katie Manion
Cardinal Staff

Volunteer Services provides numerous opportunities for Saint Mary’s University students to get involved in the community.

Volunteer Services is made up of 14 mentors, each responsible for offering a volunteer opportunity each month. This system provides students with frequent and numerous volunteer options. Some of the regular events include helping the Catholic Worker House with dinner every other Tuesday, babysitting for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) every other Wednesday morning and handing out food samples and recipes at the food shelf to MAC (Mothers and Children) and NAPS (Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients on the first Wednesday of every month.

There are three larger events each year: Make a Difference Day in the fall, Spruce up Winona in the spring and Big Gifts for Winona during the months of Oct., Nov. and Dec. In addition, a trip to New York has been planned for this Thanksgiving break, and a trip to the San Miguel school in the Twin Cities is scheduled for the first week in December.

There are seemingly endless opportunities for SMU students to volunteer. Student Activities and Volunteer Services Director Katie LaPlant says, “no matter what you want to do, we can find something that you like doing that you can volunteer to help with.” Though many of the events only allow for a limited number of volunteers, anywhere from three to approximately 15 (not including Make a Difference Day), with multiple events happening weekly, LaPlant said, “there’s no reason why anybody on campus shouldn’t be volunteering.”

A weekly email is sent to SMU students detailing the week’s opportunities. If interested, students can either reply directly to that email or stop by Volunteer Services to sign up. Larger-scale events, such as the impending New York trip or the recent Make a Difference Day, are advertised on large posters placed around campus. LaPlant also encourages the mentors to make more connections around campus by “teaming up” with Resident Assistants, clubs and organizations.

LaPlant strongly emphasizes that SMU students are very much a part of the Winona community. Volunteer Services helps strengthen this connection.

“We’re trying to show (students) that (they are) at an age now where (they) need to be a responsible community member, and this is the greatest way to do that,” LaPlant said.

Along with a feeling of personal fulfillment and community, LaPlant stresses the other benefits of volunteering, namely the friendships. She said, “You make friendships with the people you volunteer with and with the people you volunteer for. ... It just makes you a more whole person.”

Students lend helping hands to community

By Ashley Acosta
Cardinal Staff

It has been an annual event nationally, but Saint Mary’s University held its first ever “Make a Difference Day” on Oct. 25.

Every fourth Saturday in October the country celebrates the largest single day of volunteering.

One-hundred and thirteen SMU students took part in the event that began 18 years ago. It was formed by USA Today Weekend Magazine to emphasize “neighbors helping neighbors.”

“We are looking for new and exciting ways to get our students involved,” said Katie LaPlant, director of student activities and volunteer services. “There is a certain joy that happens when a group of students gather to do service work.”

Private citizens and non-profit agencies in need of volunteers were required to contact Volunteer Services at least a month in advance. Requests could be made in writing, by telephone or by email.

Students gave their time to community groups and organizations requesting help with yard work, cleaning a creek, painting and other construction projects. In addition, food and clothing were sorted for the needy.

Students were split into groups depending on the number of people needed for the job and sent to their designated worksites.

Amanda Mueller, a junior, said volunteering to re-mulch a playground was a worthwhile and rewarding experience.

“It was really great to see how happy the teacher and students were,” Mueller said. “Overall it was a good experience. It gave me a chance to pitch in and help the community, meet new people and get involved. I am definitely doing it next year.”

Because of the success of this year’s event, SMU officials are planning to hold the event next year.

“I think it went great, and I cannot wait for next year when it gets bigger and better,” LaPlant said. “Even though volunteering only lasts a couple of hours, it can have a lasting impact, and those that we help will be forever grateful.”

Blue Angel talents awarded

Compiled by Karina Rajtar, Katie Klus,
Erin Morgan and Jody Bangerter
Copy Editor and Guest Writers

Scariest Halloween Costume: Jason Richter as Miss Silanius

Most Ironic Band Name: The Fluffy Bunnies with “The End of Heartache” by Killswitch Engage

Most Vivacious Violinist: Vanessa Grams

Best Childhood Flashback: Mild, Hot, or Spicy? with a Spice Girls medley

Best Original Song: “Perfect” written by Alison Kay and performed by Seven, Seven, Eight

Best Dance Move: “The Bill Duffert” (as demonstrated by Jason Richter)

First-Rate Freshman Solos: Sam Schepers with “When you Say Nothing At All” by Ronan Keating and Steve Schmidt with “Pinch Me” by BareNaked Ladies

Most Appearances: Bill Duffert (11 times)

Best Crowd Pleaser: Oldie Moldie All-Stars

Most Likely to Beat Eminem in a Rap Battle: 212 rapping to “Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco

Oldie Moldies to perform at Signatures

By Maria Sullivan
Arts and Entertainment Editor

On Nov. 14 the Oldie Moldie All-Stars will perform at a dinner/dance show at Signatures Country Club in Winona.

The Oldie Moldie All-Stars is a Saint Mary’s University music group that has been around for 32 years. Senior Bryan Atchison is the director of the group this year. Atchison is in charge of picking the members and the music and setting up the practices. There are 13 members in the group this year, and they are all members of the SMU Phi Mu Alpha fraternity.

The Oldie Moldie All-Stars had their first off-campus performance at Signatures last February. The show sold out and was a huge success, so Signatures asked the Oldie’s to do another show. The show is a formal shirt-and-tie event that costs $30 and includes a three-course meal. “The show will sell out, so anyone planning on going should put their reservations in soon,” Atchison said.

“This is the best group of Oldies yet,” Atchison said. “We work so well together, and the group is so fun. We can really get down. The show is going to be great. I truly can’t wait.” The show will have the Oldies playing two sets, and there will be a ‘60s Motown-heavy set this year.

“The show is going to be so much fun; dinner/dance shows always are,” Atchison said. “And if you wanted to take someone on a date this would be the perfect opportunity.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the first set at 6 p.m. Then dinner will be served and the show will end with the second set.

‘The Nutcracker’ holiday tradition continues

By Katelyn Wadewitz
Distribution Manager

For over a century audiences have been enjoying “The Nutcracker,” and the Dance Repertory Company of Saint Mary’s University will partake in this tradition Dec. 4-7, at the Page Theatre, for its fifth biennial year.

Every-other holiday season individuals of all ages, including students from SMU and Winona State University, as well as community members from the Winona area present this full-length ballet.

SMU freshman Bryan Moore, who plays the Nutcracker in the ballet, enjoys the challenge ballet offers. Despite his background in several different dancing styles, he said, “Doing ballet for a long period of time is the most challenging thing that I have experienced in this play.” Christine Martin, production manager and one of the choreographers for the ballet, has helped with training the crew.

Martin has been involved in presenting “The Nutcracker” since the first SMU production in 2000. “Our Artistic Director, Tammy Schmidt, and I put this first production together back in 2000, and it is wonderful to be working with her again for the 2008 production,” Martin said. Martin enjoys working with all the cast members, especially the young children who are experiencing “The Nutcracker” for the first time.

One cast member’s first experience with the play is SMU freshman Jarod Boltjes, who has never seen the ballet. Boltjes, who plays Drosselmeyer and a Russian, decided that being a part of “The Nutcracker” would be a “great way to meet all of the people” in the theater department. Boltjes said, “It’s a great way to be introduced to “The Nutcracker” by hands-on experience.”

The greater Winona community can be a part of this holiday tradition by watching and supporting the crew of “The Nutcracker,” Moore said. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. To reserve tickets, call the SMU Box Office at 508-457-1715, or tickets are available online until Dec. 1 at

A bone-chilling experience

By Theresa Perrini
Guest Writer

The “Walk of Horror” is put on each year by the Saint Mary’s University Softball team. Here is a recount of my experience of it:

“Going into the Haunted Forest on Halloween night, I thought to myself, ‘I can handle this.’ Since I had gone last year, I figured I knew what to expect; oh how I wish that was the case. As I huddled around with my fellow volleyball teammates, I was able to stay calm, reassuring them that I had already done this before.

However, the moment we entered into the dark forest, my nerves started to erupt. Not being able to make clear each object I saw to the side, I clenched the rope and the jacket of the person next to me. As we started walking down the path, I started regretting being toward the end of the line.

Then out of nowhere a person jumps out at me, then another, then another and I scream for dear life because I have no idea what is coming next. I tried to continue to walk with my head buried in the coat of the person in front of me to avoid any unexpected scares. I finally got a moment to take a breath and then another person jumped out at me.

Eventually I was able to calm my nerves and just continue to walk through it. I told myself that it will eventually come to end. So yes, I made it through another haunted forest, and again at the end my heart was pumping faster than anything until I calmed down. I survived; that is all I can say.”

The money earned from the “Walk of Horror” covers the SMU Softball team’s travel expenses.

Rugby team wins DIII state championship

By Robby McGuire
Cardinal Staff

Oct. 19, 2008 is a day that will live in infamy for the Saint Mary’s University Rugby team. It took home the Division III State Championship title from a game played in Edina, Minn.

Fourth-year rugby player Gerry Lentino described that his feelings upon winning the big game included: “proud, accomplished, ecstatic and on top of the world.”

The SMU Hellfish were a perfect 4-0 on their road to the final four. In the semi-finals, Saint Olaf fell to the Hellfish 43-12. The Hellfish entered the championship game against Bemidji State a perfect 5-0.

The final game was “One of the hardest 80 minutes I’ve ever played,” said Lentino. The Hellfish struck first, scoring on a pass from Andrew Noyes to Kevin Voris. Bemidji battled back and led 12-7 at the half. SMU struck first in the second half, but an unsuccessful conversion kick left the score tied at 12. Again, Bemidji State fought back and pulled ahead 19-12. The third and final try for the Hellfish was successful, as John O’Malley scored to put the Hellfish back in the game. A successful conversion kick by Ryan Bush tied the game up at 19. With eight minutes left in the game, a penalty kick was awarded to SMU. Ryan Bush capitalized, and his kick resulted in three points for SMU. It ended up being all they would need. The Hellfish dug in deep on defense and held Bemidji in check.

“Blood, sweat and tears was the price we paid. The greatest victory ever was our reward,“ said Lentino.

The SMU rugby team was founded in 1997 by Shawn Mowery. The next seven years proved rocky for the team. Practice attendance was poor, and the team lacked leadership and organization. In 2004, changes started to happen; a freshman, Josh Barrett, took the role of team captain. It was his initiative that put the Hellfish on the right track. Practice attendance improved, and the team started to win games.

These changes continued into the 2006-2007 season as Ryan Bush and Jared Ortgeisen took the helm. Their leadership and networking skills earned the Hellfish their first sponsor. Excel Images of Winona fronted the money for the team to buy a new set of jerseys. The team had a new look and a new attitude. It went all the way to the state finals before losing to North Dakota State University.

In 2008 the team continued to build on its new approach, gaining sponsorships from the National Guard and Kooga, a rugby outfitting company.

Lentino said, “We went in with the attitude that we had something to prove; most teams thought we made it to the playoffs last year on a fluke. We were out to prove that we are a great team, capable of winning and achieving our ultimate goal-winning the state championship.”

One-on-one with the men’s basketball coach

By Alex Conover
Sports Editor

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Todd Landrum, the new head coach of the men’s basketball program.

Landrum has an impressive resumé, having compiled a 123-95 head coaching record at University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the University of Charleston. He also spent 10 years as an assistant in the Big 10 Conference, first at Wisconsin and then at Ohio State. I am a big fan of Coach Landrum, both as a person and as a coach, and I am looking for him to bring vast improvements to our program.

Q: Coach Landrum, it says on the Saint Mary’s University website that you were an assistant under the Univerity of Wisconsin-Madison coach Bo Ryan when he coached at UW-Platteville, and that you were also an assistant to Ohio State coach Eldon Miller. What were the most important things you learned under these two coaches?

A: As far as Bo Ryan, he is as good of a practice coach as I’ve ever seen. He is incredibly organized, and has had great success at several schools. I’ve known Bo for a long time, and I plan to adapt several of his ideas on offense, including the swing.

Q: SMU basketball has struggled the last few years. What are your plans to improve our program, both short and long term?

A: In the short term, we will try to prepare the team to improve every day. The expectations are to be ready to compete and succeed in every game. Our long-term goal is to add to the talent we have through recruiting. My assistant coach (and son) Kevin and I have been working incredibly hard to bring in high school students that we think fit our criteria.

Q: How would you describe your recruiting philosophy?

A: We are aiming to recruit talented players that are good people and good students. You don’t want talented players who aren’t good people; that will take away from team chemistry and get us in trouble. We are heavily recruiting in the local area, Chicago and the Twin Cities.

Q: What are your team goals for this year?

A: Get better every day, and play hard. We want the guys to enjoy being part of this team.

Unexpected end to 2008 MLB season

By Pat Howard
Cardinal Staff

The 2008 Major League Baseball season kept fans at the edge of their seats from April to October. It may become known as the year of the unexpected.

Retirement, trades and up-and-coming players made for a busy off season. Before the first pitch of the 2008 season was thrown, it was already hard to predict what teams seemed to be playoff-bound. Despite cloudy details, many experts picked the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series. After attaining big new acquisitions like Miguel Cabrera, keeping a solid pitching rotation and the confidence of a successful 2007 season, it only made sense to pick the Tigers to go far. In no time at all, this season flipped completely around and left many baseball fans scratching their heads.

For starters, 2008 broke the New York Yankees’ streak of 13-straight playoff appearances as they finished third in the American League East Division. Finishing ahead of the Yankees were the Boston Red Sox and perhaps the most unsuspecting team in the league, the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays finished first in their division after ending their 2007 season in last place. This year they made their first playoff appearance in franchise history, while winning the American League pennant, but fell to the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

In the 2005 MLB playoffs, FOX came out with the phrase, “You can’t script October.” The 2008 playoffs could not have come up with a more suiting slogan. It seemed as though the cursed Chicago Cubs were finally going to be able to win the World Series, as they finished with the best overall record in the National League. The Los Angeles Angels showed signs of promise throughout the season by finishing with the best record in all of baseball.

Nevertheless, 2008 proved itself as the year of the unexpected when both Chicago and Los Angeles departed the playoffs after the first round and left the World Series to the Cinderella-story Rays and the 2008 champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Local mixed-martial arts team is at it again

By Pat Howard
Cardinal Staff

Ralph Monahan, owner of Monahan Martial Arts, is attempting to put a local mixed-martial arts (MMA) team, Team Clinch, together in Winona once again.

According to Saint Mary’s University sophomores Kyle Gilbert and Sean Ohl, members of Team Clinch, the MMA program had 12 members last year. With the help of Nate Boebel, a Team Clinch coach, Monahan was willing to give the program another shot in 2008. There are eight active members, ranging from high school students to the average blue-collar worker, who are fully committed to Team Clinch.

Team Clinch meets three to four times a week to train in the traditional mixed-martial arts form. A typical practice consists of an hour and a half of work on the mats (wrestling and ground work) and forty-five minutes of standing, cardio and technique (such as kickboxing). Team Clinch welcomes anyone who is curious about the new sport.

Gilbert got involved because he wrestled in high school and wanted to stay involved with the scene. “I wanted to do something to stay physically active while constantly pushing myself, and Team Clinch is the perfect environment to provide those qualities,” said Gilbert.

Ohl was always curious about the sport. “Even though I don’t have any background in wrestling or martial arts, Team Clinch offers a welcoming environment for beginners too, and the results have shown,” Ohl said.

If you have ever been interested in mixed martial arts, Team Clinch stresses the point that observers are always welcome to view a training session.

Coach Moore takes hockey in new direction

By Sara Eisenhauer
Cardinal Staff

For the last 32 years, one thing has been consistent about men’s hockey at Saint Mary’s University- the leadership of Coach Don Olson. That will change this year, since Olson stepped down to take over as Athletic Director at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn.

SMU Athletic Director Nikki Fennern knew finding an appropriate replacement for Olson would be a difficult task.

“You don’t replace someone like Coach Olson – he’s a legend,” said Fennern. “We wanted someone who would be a good coach, someone with knowledge of the game of hockey and someone who is good with the student athletes.”

Fennern believes they have found that in Bill Moore, who assumed the position of head coach for the 2008-09 season. Moore has coached high school hockey in the Twin Cities for the last 22 years, and prior to that he coached the SMU men’s soccer team and was assistant coach to men’s hockey. He also served as interim head coach in 1990 for Olson.

Moore believes being head coach will be a new challenge for his career, especially when implementing changes within the program. Coming into a team that was 9-14-2 last season, Moore wants to re-establish discipline within the team.

Moore said in the past “there were areas of discipline that we need to recreate to get the most out of the players’ skills.”

The changes Moore has made will take some getting used to for players. He wants to eliminate bad penalties that will negatively impact the team. With this change, players could lose ice time for taking unnecessary penalties.

“We want to be aggressive, but we want to be disciplined about it,” said Moore.

Moore respects the way Olson headed the men’s hockey team but believes he can bring fresh ideas to strengthen the program.

“It’s just a different philosophy and different way to run the program,” said Moore.

Moore also believes in upholding SMU’s strong tradition of academic excellence. As a teacher for 21 years, Moore values athletes’ success inside the classroom and on the ice.

“They are here to be students first and athletes second,” said Moore.

This year, 60 players tried out for the team. Although it is a great number for the program, it also made Moore’s varsity roster decisions very difficult. Though the team is young, Moore is confident in the team he and his coaching staff have assembled.

In implementing changes, Moore attributes some success to Assistant Coach J. Reszka, who has helped link the players with the new coaching staff and the changes in the program. Moore also values newly-appointed Assistant Coach Tom Peart, who will work specifically with the goaltenders this season.

Replacing a staff member like Olson was difficult for the SMU Athletic Department, but Fennern believes Moore has fit into his role well and has earned respect from his colleagues.

“Coach Moore is a team player in hockey and a team player in the department,” said Fennern. “He’s going to help the department grow.”

Though Moore has not coached college hockey for many years, he feels that he can carry on the tradition of Cardinal hockey. Fennern agrees and is confident in the direction he is taking the program.

“Coach Moore has such an intense passion for Saint Mary’s– the love he has is priceless,” said Fennern. “I’m really excited about the continuation of a good tradition in men’s hockey.”

Tennis center sold to Cotter High

By Karina Rajtar
Copy Editor

The Saint Mary’s University tennis team does not have a home court it can call its own anymore.

The team recently learned that the tennis center at the Saint Teresa campus no longer belongs to the university. The building containing the six indoor tennis courts was sold to Winona Cotter High School last spring.

SMU Athletic Director Nikki Fennern, who was approached by the university president’s office and cabinet before they made the decision, said the team will still have the same access to the facility. The facility is run by the Winona Area Tennis Association, which rents space to the university to use. Fennern said the team will still have sufficient time for practices and matches.

Abby Cooper, a junior on the tennis team, disagrees. She said that the team has had to give up practice space to the public. Although the team is not obligated to do so, it is aware that the space must be shared now. “We don’t want to be rude; we still want to be able to use the space,” Cooper said.

Vice President for Student Development Chris Kendall, who was the athletic director when the tennis center was acquired, said the team went from having nothing to the “best of everything,” as matches were played in Gostomski Fieldhouse before SMU had access to the tennis center.

Fennern said the team, which still gets to use the tennis center courts, is “still in a better situation than many conference schools” and is still “on-par” with the conference.

Cooper said the move will affect the future of the tennis team as well as recruitment efforts. “We can’t tell them (recruits) we have a home court,” Cooper said. “One of the selling points was that we had one of the best tennis facilities in the MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).”

Another concern among tennis players is a rumor that Cotter may decide to turn some of the tennis courts into basketball courts, limiting playing space further.

“No, it’s not true at all,” said Dr. Craig Junker, president of Cotter schools. Junker said the Winona Area Tennis Association has leased the space with plans to expand its business by offering more tennis options in Winona. Junker said there are “no plans or discussions” about basketball.

Fennern said the university has a good relationship with Cotter and expects that the change will not harm the team. Fennern said she is always confident in the administration’s decisions and believes they act in the students’ best interests.

Financial issues played a large part in the decision to sell the building.

“We lost a lot of money on the tennis center,” said Cynthia Marek, vice president for financial affairs.

Marek said the university bought the building containing the tennis center as part of a package deal when it bought the entire Saint Teresa’s campus about five years ago. Marek said the university acquired eight or nine buildings at a “good price” because there were concerns about running out of space for new programs. At the time, Marek said, SMU was in “growth mode,” but the need for more space is now diminished.

Kendall said the sale will ensure the courts will be “used better without losing money.”

The university has sold off all but three of the buildings on the Saint Teresa campus, retaining ownership of the chapel, Valencia Arts Center and Alverna Conference Center.

"Decoys" review

By Marty Kocon
Cardinal Staff

In the wake of Tuesday’s events, I think we can all understand that there are things in this world that are worth fighting for, and in the billions spent campaigning nothing has mentioned one of those vital truths.

This fact is none other than that the film “Decoys” has been so cleverly hidden from an American public that is in desperate need of it.

For those unfortunate souls who do not know about “Decoys,” it is a cinematic masterpiece from the line of such epics as “The Ten Commandments,” “The Godfather” and “Star Wars.” This Canadian film is the best thing to come out of Canada since cheap prescription drugs.

The film takes place at a Canadian college where young, wide-eyed freshman Luke Callahan runs across what every freshman hopes for- interested girls. But these are not just any girls. Constance and Lily are “the babe bookends.” Unfortunately, Luke soon discovers that these girls happen to be aliens, and it falls upon Luke to alert the school to this intergalactic invasion before it is too late.

Alright, so this film is not “Ben Hurr” or “Lawrence of Arabia,” but the film is entertaining beyond belief. The extended cast includes the beloved overdramatic stereotypes, including Luke’s roommate Roger, “the desperate virgin”; Alex, who is seeking to break free of being just one of the guys and win over the heart of the oblivious Luke; inept wise-cracking policemen; and swarms of high-pitched sorority sisters.

While the laughs may not be intentional, this film will leave you in tears and quoting all of the overdramatic dialogue and cheesy one-liners.

The “Decoys” issue may have slipped off the political radar, but do not prolong this upsetting trend. Watch “Decoys”; you will not regret it.

Making peace, serving others

By Laura Andrews
Cardinal Staff

In our last year at Saint Mary’s University, seniors are facing the question, “What comes after graduation?” Those of us who plan to attend graduate school or have a job lined up for post-graduation can answer that question. For those of us who don’t have a plan yet, the future is looking a little blurry.

Many of us are struggling to find our purpose in life, our place in this world. We all want to accomplish great things and live happy lives, but many of us don’t know where to begin.

I have an answer; the Peace Corps. We have all heard about the Peace Corps, but have we all considered it as an option? Have we done research to learn what it’s all about? Well I have, and I am here to say that it’s something worth looking into.

The Peace Corps is a twenty-seven month commitment to educate and care for the people of other countries. The first three months are spent training, and the remaining twenty-four months are spent on the job, with two vacation days each month.

Since its start in 1961, the Peace Corps has aimed to promote world peace and friendship. Volunteers serve in over 70 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East.

People of all backgrounds are welcome to apply for the Peace Corps. People will not be discriminated against for their race, color, national origin, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Applicants must be at least 18 years old.

So if you are unsure of what to do after graduation, and if you are willing to dedicate yourself to others for twenty-seven months, the Peace Corps might just be right for you. For more information about the Peace Corps, visit its Web site at and see how you can make a difference for others.

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

By Bill Duffert
Guest Writer

This year, Habitat for Humanity has a lot of opportunities for students to volunteer and stay active in their campus chapter.

This semester we are looking for people that are interested in playing in our Student vs. Staff basketball game on Sunday, Nov. 23 and volunteering at our next worksite Dec. 6.

I am also continuing Cans for a Cause this year. For those who do not know what Cans for a Cause is, we collect aluminum cans from recycling bins that are in each hall, and we trade them in for money that is given to the Winona Habitat for Humanity affiliate. You can help out Habitat simply by recycling your aluminum cans.

I encourage all of the Saint Mary’s University students to get involved in volunteer opportunities. If there are any questions, feel free to contact Anjy Buck, SMU Habitat for Humanity chapter president, or me, Bill Duffert.

Staff Spotlight: Dr. Gary Diomandes

By Jessica LaCanne
Cardinal Staff

Dr. Gary Diomandes, department chair of theater arts, has been teaching at Saint Mary’s University for 20 years and begins his 21st year this semester.

He is not only one of our professors, but also the supervisor of the theater program in London for study abroad students. Some of the classes Diomandes teaches include Introduction to Acting, Direction and Make-up Design. In an email interview Diomandes said that “it is important for all of our students to have an appreciation of the Arts and these courses allow me to help promote the Arts and how the Arts can be part of every student’s life.”

Diomandes is an advocate of the study abroad programs. “I believe this experience opens up a whole new world for our students, and it allows them to view the world and life from a different perspective,” he said. Diomandes said he loves seeing students mature throughout their experiences abroad. Diomandes is especially passionate about the programs in London, as he is going to be teaching first-year students in London a class on small-town America.

When Diomandes first visited SMU, his experience was an interesting one. Diomandes said, “It was in the middle of a blizzard and was 40 below zero.” The friendliness of the people here and the students convinced Diomandes that, although the weather is occasionally bad, this school is one worth sticking around for. Another thing that convinced Diomandes to stay was the Page Theatre. “I died and went to heaven when I walked into the Page Theatre,” Diomandes said. Before arriving at SMU, Diomandes had worked in substantially smaller spaces with poor facilities.

While at SMU, Diomandes enjoys attending various activities, ranging from hockey games to gallery openings. He loves directing plays and is extremely passionate about food. Diomandes worked in a family diner growing up, and the love of food remains a part of him. Lucky for SMU, the weather did not deter Diomandes from staying in Winona and being an important member of the staff.

Club Corner

By Kristina Scherber
Cardinal Staff

Peace and Justice
The Peace and Justice Club is a club for students to get together and discuss issues that are going on in the world and their community.

“The world can be a crazy place,” said senior Andy Pass. “The more you learn, the better understanding you will have.”

During Nov. 20 - 24, approximately 30 Saint Mary’s University students will be joining University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on a bus trip to Fort Benning, Ga., to protest the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). This has become an annual event for Pass, who has been going since he was a freshman. For those who can not make it on the trip, there will be a vigil held on campus.

The club leaders are open to going in whatever direction the members want for discussion and are always looking for new ideas. If there is a topic pertaining to peace and justice that you would like to cover or learn more about, just let them know.

The Peace and Justice club meets every Monday night at 8 p.m.

SMU Kidz Paintball

The SMU Kidz paintball club is all about strategy, technique and determination.

The club is in its seventh year and going strong with 11 active members. On Nov. 22 and 23, the SMU Kidz have a Midwest North Division tournament in Stinger, WI. To raise money for the tournament and other supplies the club needs, members will be selling t-shirts.

Over October break, the SMU Kidz were joined on the field by a
group of international students. It was the first time playing paintball for most of the students. “It was fun to watch them improve as they figured out some strategies,” said club president Mike Bonk. “After a few rounds, they figured out that communication is very important to teamwork.”

Contact Mike Bonk at to play a game of paintball or join the club.