Friday, December 5, 2008

MYST opening exceeds expectations

By Sarah McDonough
Cardinal Staff

Bright lights, cage dancers and great danceable music- all of these were at MYST, the new Winona nightclub. MYST opened on Nov. 14 at 9 p.m. with approximately 1,000 students in attendance, according to Eric Lehnen, MYST Nightclub organizer and Winona State University student.

At the moment, MYST is a trial to see what kind of interest it sparks in students and the community. The MYST Nightclub members are hoping for MYST to become a monthly occurrence. Expectations for attendance were roughly 600 to 700 students. Since turnout was almost double that, MYST Nightclub members are hoping the club can occur more often.

MYST is currently only allowing college students to attend. To prove student status, attendees must bring their student I.D. as well as a state I.D. or driver’s license. The club is alcohol-free. Since the setting is strictly aimed at college students, students felt it should be alcohol-free in part because of the underage drinking issues Winona area undergraduate college students are facing.

“I think it’s cool that there is another option for people to have if they do not want to drink but still want to go out and have a good time,” freshman Brigid McDonough said.

According to Lehnen, students started a club at WSU and they received a budget from their student senate. MYST Nightclub members also received money from businesses that supported their purpose of providing the college community with a safe place to go on the weekends, where students are not disturbing the town residents.

With the leftover donated money, club members were able to rent lights, build stages for the D.J. and paint for the big night.

“I thought (the club) was a good idea; it gives us something to do, and we can meet Winona State kids,” freshman Emily Gould said.

Don’t let economy discourage post-grad plans

By Danielle Larson

Students, do not let the bleak outlook of the economy ruin your post-graduation plans; there happens to be good news for those of you who are graduating within the next couple of years.

According to a press release by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), “The professional work force is aging and shrinking.” Approximately 24 million baby boomers have left the workforce within the last five years, and “the number of baby boomers — aged 44 to 62 — working will shrink while the pool of available workers — aged 25 to 44 — will decrease, too,” said NACE.

Graduates should be excited to know that companies that are dealing with retiring baby boomers want to hire new graduates who can be trained as the future leaders for their organizations, said NACE.

However, before you soon-to-be graduates get too excited, you should know that it takes work to get a job. Jackie Baker, director of internships and career services, said, “Job hunting is a lot of work and is almost a full-time job itself.”

Baker said, “Students need to be proactive in their job search. (They) cannot sit back and wait for a job.”

According to Baker, students need to do everything they can to get their resumes noticed. They can get internships, take on leadership roles or volunteer. Also, they should be working on their G.P.A., communication skills, interview skills and interpersonal skills.

According to NACE, there are four things students can do to increase their chances at getting a job offer: use the resources available to them, for example, Saint Mary’s University Internship and Career Services Office; research employers and their opportunities; network; and get relevant work experience through full- or part-time jobs, volunteer work or internships.

Lastly, Baker said students should not be discouraged by what they hear in the media in relation to the job market. “You may not land your ideal job right after graduation, not many students do, but most work experiences provide a stepping-stone to something bigger and better.”

Baker encourages students to stop by the Internship and Career Services Office in Saint Mary’s Hall, room 136. You can reach her by email at or by phone at 507-457-6695.

Campus Ministry holds leadership retreat

By Kristina Scherber
Cardinal Staff

On Nov. 14-15, the Saint Mary’s University Office of Campus Ministry offered its first leadership retreat at Camp Ehawee in Mindoro, Wisc., focusing on the Lasallian charisms of faith, service and community. The retreat involved learning about how to be an effective leader, promoting Lasallian ministry and forming community.

The retreat participants included leaders of Campus Ministry clubs as well as other SMU students who exhibit leadership qualities. The main goal of the retreat was to enhance the leadership skills of those individuals while bringing them together to form a community.

“Fostering community among leaders is important,” said senior Ryan Langr, an Outreach Ministry and Serving Others United in Love (S.O.U.L.) leader. “It’s nice to know who to go to if you need help.” One way retreat participants formed community was through small and large group discussions. “I found the discussions to be very inspiring,” said Langr.

Freshman Steve Schmidt said, “I liked hearing other people’s perspective on things, while being able to share my own view, even if it didn’t match theirs.”

To promote a vision of Lasallian ministry, the participants discussed the definition of ministry, what it means to be Lasallian and who is served by the various Campus Ministry programs.

“I hope that students left with skills and excitement that they can bring back to share with their clubs and others on campus,” said Lynn Streefland, assistant director of Campus Ministry. “Campus Ministry is working on providing another leadership retreat for next semester because of the positive reviews that we’ve received and the need we’ve noticed for an event like this.”

‘71 alum elected U.S. Senator from Neb.

By Travis Fick
Cardinal Staff

Senator-elect Mike Johanns, R-Neb., of Lincoln, Neb., a graduate from Saint Mary’s University and distinguished alumni, was elected to represent Nebraska in the United States Senate.

Johanns, who graduated from SMU in 1971 with a degree in communications arts, was elected over his Democratic opponent, Scott Kleeb, of Kearney, Neb., 58 percent to 40 percent and will replace outgoing Senator Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.

Johanns said that the reason he entered politics was the values that were instilled in him as a child. “I grew up in a family that strongly believed in public service,” said Johanns. “I was taught to look out for my fellow man and woman, and that’s where it all started.”

In a political career that began in 1982, Johanns has served as a Lancaster County commissioner, Lincoln city councilman, mayor of Lincoln, governor of the state of Nebraska and most recently as the United States Secretary of Agriculture.

Johanns said that he was not a great student in high school and came to SMU because no other school would give him a chance. Under the direction of former professors Mike Flanagan and Don Peach as well as Father Andrew Fabian, professor of philosophy, Johanns said he realized the concept of service that he applies to his position as an elected official.

After graduating, Johanns was accepted to Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Neb., where he earned his law degree. But Johanns says his success in college all began at SMU. “I owe a lot to Saint Mary’s,” said Johanns. “I would not be where I am today.”

This election taught the nation many new lessons, said Johanns, one of the most important being the impact of young voters. Johanns, whose opponent is 33 years old, said the recent election began the transition to the next generation of leaders. “I know many young people who are very involved in elected office, and that’s not a bad thing,” said Johanns. “I have a friend who was elected as a state senator who is in his twenties.”

Johanns said that he understands the impact of young voters and saw heavy involvement among young people during his senate campaign. “On the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, we won the precinct on campus by around 10 points,” said Johanns.

Johanns’ campaign saw a large number of young people volunteer, and some were hired by the campaign. “My deputy press-secretary literally walked off the street,” said Johanns. “He showed us he was a hard worker and that he was loyal to the campaign, so we hired him. He is 22 years old and was hired when he was only months out of college.”

Johanns said that perceptions created by television shows such as The West Wing falsely portray those who work in government as being old and having a lot of experience. Johanns said that most people are younger and right out of college. “There is a saying in Washington,” said Johanns. “Our country is run by 20-somethings.”

Johanns said that he shares the concerns that college students have, especially regarding finding jobs. He points to his record as mayor and governor to highlight his accomplishments and plans for creating jobs. “I have done that (created jobs) as a mayor, governor and a member of the United States cabinet,” said Johanns. “We need to first get the economy on its feet. I did a lot of job training programs as governor, and they worked very well, and I would like to have them considered.”

Johanns said that the offices that he has held allow him to bring different experiences to the Senate. However, he has no plans to seek higher office in the near future. “I am happy where I am at,” said Johanns.

Obama’s use of social media grabs attention of young voters

By Jill Volker
Cardinal Staff

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Barack Obama had one particular group of voters steadfastly in his corner: the young voter. The excitement and enthusiasm of the younger generation began with Obama’s speech at the Iowa caucus, the success of which carried him to the party’s nomination at the Democratic Convention in Denver, Colo., in August.

Following the caucus, Obama adapted to changes in culture and communications to redefine how campaigns are run through the use of social media, according to a message received by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

In an article from Read Write Web, reporters indicated that the demographics of social media users tend to fall in line more closely with those of today’s Democratic voters. Because of this, the Obama campaign was able to connect with its voter audience through the use of the Web and social media tools. The idea of campaigning through blogs and social networks embodied Obama’s strong connection to voters in their 20s and 30s and further propelled the success of his campaign online.

The young-voter turnout in the presidential election testifies to the effectiveness of Obama’s innovative campaign techniques. Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan group that targets younger voters, reported registering more than 2.5 million new voters under the age of 30 – a historic increase in the younger generation’s vote.

According to junior Travis Fick, one of Saint Mary’s Univeristy’s Obama campaign intern-organizers, Obama catered to a younger generation. “Younger voters saw something in Barack Obama that they did not see in John McCain,” Fick said.

Fick and Ali Kremer, sophomore, were co-campus organizers who were responsible for identifying and registering Obama supporters to vote. Essentially, Fick and Kremer had to maintain a positive image for Obama while reporting to his officials those whom they identified would be voting in the election. By focusing on the campaign’s methods of reaching out to a younger generation, Fick and Kremer created student groups on online social networks, such as Facebook, that gave students the opportunity to become involved as volunteers on Election Day.

“I feel that the use of social media was vital in the Obama campaign overall ... President-elect Barack Obama definitely pushed a level of participation (political involvement), which is what we tried to do with SMU students,” Fick said.

Through the use of social media outlets, Fick, Kremer and their volunteers believe that they encouraged approximately 40 percent of SMU students to vote in the presidential election.

University looks at future priorities

By Betsy Baertlein
News Editor

During the week of Nov. 17-21, Saint Mary’s University President Brother William Mann held roundtable discussions and townhall-style meetings for the SMU community, including faculty, joint staff and administrators, alumni, graduate students, parents and undergraduate students, in order to discuss emerging priorities for the future of the university. The roundtable discussions were conducted on an invite-only basis, whereas the town hall-style meetings were open to the entire university community.

The priorities presented during these meetings were “based on ... documents that had been created by past presidents and the Cabinet (of vice presidents),” said Molly Jewison, a junior who participated in a roundtable discussion.

The eight priorities presented by Brother William are as follows: Lasallian Catholic identity; teaching and learning environment; qualified and diverse student body and appropriate faculty and staff; financial stability and growth; modern facilities and technology; internal and external communication; excellence and well-being of all; and student success in a shrinking world.

During the roundtable discussion, not only was Brother William present to speak with students, but the Cabinet was present as well.

“I do believe that the voice of the students was heard,” Jewison said. “We came to the conclusion that there are many ‘walls’ on campus, such as between majors or years; for example, seniors don’t know freshmen. This discussion was very useful because the students make the university, and if we aren’t enjoying our time here ... then we aren’t going to enjoy the SMU family.”

During the campus town-hall meeting held on Thursday, Nov. 20, students, faculty, staff and other members of the university community completely filled Salvi Lecture Hall. Brother William remained silent during most of the meeting, allowing for the majority of the time to be devoted to participants voicing their opinions. The viewpoints expressed at this meeting varied drastically, including students concerned with the university’s curriculum requirements, recruiting and supporting diverse students and faculty concerned about the liberal arts versus vocational identity of the university.

“There is significant engagement here,” said Brother William. “…it means a lot to me as president ... It is a very powerful thing when people get to speak their truth publicly.”

New emergency alert system on campus

By Hiram Torres
Guest Writer

A new emergency alert system is being installed on the Saint Mary’s University campus to send out warnings about weather conditions and emergencies.

Jerry Seibert, director of Campus Safety at SMU, describes the workings of the newly-developed emergency alert system as a “loud obnoxious tone followed by a message.”

According to Seibert, the system will have the ability to inform the SMU community about severe weather conditions, evacuations, snow removal and other emergency situations on campus. The system will send out a noisy sound followed by a message detailing the emergency circumstances.

The emergency alert system will be wireless, and speakers are being installed in every building, including residence halls. Speakers will also be mounted outside of the apartment-like village residences.

The emergency alert system is currently being implemented on the Winona campus. The system is almost completly installed and testing has already begun.

Because the new emergency alert system will be controlled in the Campus Safety office, Campus Safety staff will be trained to use the new system. “It will be real good when it’s operational and we get to use it,” said Seibert.

Although SMU has not experienced any serious crimes, the outbreak of recent college shootings and a rise in college crime contributed in leading SMU to install this emergency system.

Toys for Teens

By Shannon Cooney
Guest Writer

“Toys for Teens” is a holiday donation event that began the first week after Thanksgiving break.

“Toys for Teens,” which collects gifts for teenagers, is an event that the Cardinal Athletic Council (CAC) has been hosting for the last two years said Melissa Paulson, an organizer of the event. It will be taking place Dec. 2-10. Students and staff will be able to drop presents off at the stairs by the cafeteria from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“In terms of toys collected, we took in over 200 toys last year, which we are hoping to increase this year,” Paulson said. “Teens are always in most need of gifts. People usually donate toys for younger kids, but teens are in need too. Also, all the athletic councils in the MIAC are focusing on teens, so we joined forces with them to promote gift-giving.”

The council is hoping for age-appropriate gifts, such as DVDs, CDs, iTunes gift cards or games. The council will also be accepting monetary donations. Donated money will go toward buying other gifts that were not donated. Donators will be entered into a drawing for gift cards to places around Winona.

Paulson said the council hopes to have a good turnout. “The athletic teams are always very good at donating, but it would help if the general campus would donate more,” she said.

CAC will also be competing for toys and money donations with all other MIAC schools. The highest percentage of toy collection will win this holiday competition.

“We are hoping for a successful event this year,” said Paulson. “Every toy will help someone, so the drive is always successful in our minds.”

All donations are greatly appreciated. For further questions contact Paulson at

Brother Finbar speaks about his ‘Finnovations’

By Carrie Russell
Guest Writer

Saint Mary’s University’s Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies hosted its last presentation of the semester on Tuesday, Nov. 18. Salvi Lecture Hall was packed with students, staff and professors who came to listen to Brother Finbar McMullen speak of his entrepreneurial experience creating “Finnovations.”

An avid outdoorsman and professor of winter camping classes, Brother Finbar has developed a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fixing and repairing odds and ends, so much so that he has taken his talents and created many advanced practical products.

Brother Finbar said to be a successful entrepreneur, “you’ve got to be hungry for it; you have to really want it.” Brother Finbar does not waste much time on marketing or advertising ploys. His attitude toward his own entrepreneur ambitions has been “to make camping nicer and easier for someone, not for financial success.”

Brother Finbar has, however, had both creative success and financial success with several of his innovations. The most commercially successful invention he created has been the “fabric tucker,” a tool designed to simplify making tucks and pleats in cloths while sewing. He was contacted by Prim Drifts, a German sewing notions distributor, who got the “fabric tucker” contracted with Joanne Fabrics and Nancy’s Notions stores. The product was sold in stores for $10. Through that partnership he sold altogether 13,000 “fabric tuckers.”

“It’s the most successful thing I’ve done,” said Brother Finbar. “I just tried to solve a little problem for myself, and out of the blue, it took off.”

Another “Finnovation” came about when Brother Finbar took a winter camping trip and discovered how uncomfortable a winter sleeping bag could be around the head when it is not properly sized, so he invented the “hood,” a separate sleeping bag-like hood that can be sized to the individual’s own head size. The amount of insulation can be adjusted. “They saved my night several times,” said Brother Finbar. He has sold approximately 400 to 500 of these “hoods” for warmer outdoor camping overnights.

Brother Finbar has invented many other practical items, such as a grape cutter and wooden back massager.

Salvi Lecture Hall was filled with interested audience members as Brother Finbar regaled them with his stories of struggle, discovery and creativity, all leading to a lifetime of “Finnovations.”

University will fill under-occupancy rooms

By Lauren Rothering
Cardinal Staff

The second semester brings new professors, new classes and, for some students, new living arrangements. Under-occupancy rooms at Saint Mary’s University occur for a variety of reasons, including December graduation, spring study abroad sessions, off-campus internships and students moving off-campus.

Studying abroad is the most common reason rooms become under-occupied, according to Jessica Bare, hall director of Gilmore Creek and Hillside Hall and assistant director of Residence Life. About 20 SMU students will be studying abroad next semester.

Currently, said Bare, Saint Yon’s and Vlazny Halls have the most available rooms, and a handful of rooms in each hall are expected to open at semester. However, these spots are expected to be filled by incoming transfer and international students; the Office of Admissions is expecting around 40 new students next semester.

If a student’s roommate is not returning next semester, “we are trying to encourage (him or her) to choose someone to move into the empty bed so we do not have to place someone there,” said Bare. If students are unable to find another roommate, the Office of Residence Life will place students returning from abroad, transfer students and students who are re-admitted into these under-occupied rooms, said Bare.

Students who are not planning on living on campus next semester should contact the Office of Residence Life as soon as possible at

Health advocates help students de-stress for finals

By Tamika Robinson
Feature Editor

With finals nearing and stress mounting, the staff of the Wellness Center has prepared activities to help students relax and do their best on final exams.

On Dec. 10-12, massages and a Stress Free Zone will be provided for students in the Wellness Center.

Angel Weisbrod, director of Student Health Services, is in charge of the activities, along with the Health Advocates. Weisbrod said that during this time “students oftentimes neglect themselves. They don’t sleep, they don’t eat, they don’t work out if they have been doing that already, and they wind up wearing their bodies down.” The massages and Stress Free Zone during finals, she said, are “just to give (students) a little time to sit down, take a deep breath, relax, pay attention to their bodies with a massage, and kind of re-collect themselves so they can focus better.”

Weisbrod said sometimes students resort to bad alternatives for relieving stress during finals, like giving up daily routines, skipping on sleep, eating unhealthy food and drinking alcohol or energy drinks. All of this, she said, is hard on the body psychologically.

Junior Health Advocate Hillary Stenzel agreed. “I think a lot of times when people get stressed, they get to the point of either over-frustration, where they just give up and decide ‘I’m not going to do this,’ or they can go to the extreme of saying ‘I’m not going to sleep,’” she said.

If in need of a little study break, students should visit the Wellness Center during this time. “I think the biggest benefit of it is just having students know that there is somewhere to go if they get to the point where they are like ‘Okay, I’m stressed! Where do I go now?’” said Stenzel. “Everyone is in the same situation, everyone is stressed, so if you just take that second and come and join the activities for a little bit, I think that will help.”

Appointments will need to be made in advance for the massages, but students can still check in on those days for last-minute availabilities. Relaxation CDs and other relaxing activities will also be on hand for students.

Energy drinks affect the health of users

By Becca Sandager
Cardinal Staff

When it is three in the afternoon and students are trying to make it through class, study for a test, finish a paper or just stay awake, they often look towards energy drinks to get that extra “kick.” Energy drinks like Red Bull, Full Throttle, Monster or 5-Hour Energy claim to boost mental alertness, enhance metabolism and increase endurance, but this quick fix is not entirely harmless.

Most “energy” in energy drinks comes from two main ingredients: caffeine and sugar. Brown University states that the average soda holds approximately twenty-five to forty milligrams of caffeine, whereas most energy drinks double that. The dangers involved with too much caffeine are much more than just insomnia. In fact, Brown University says the main health risks associated with the large quantities of caffeine like those found in energy drinks are heart rate and blood pressure. The heart rate can accelerate so much that it may become irregular and even cause palpitations.

Caffeine and sugar also do not provide the necessary hydration; instead, they quickly dehydrate the body. This is dangerous when people exercise after drinking an energy drink. The website for the Natural Health & Organic Living Blog gives this example: People will sweat more burning off the extra energy and not realize they are becoming dehydrated; once the drink wears off the effects of dehydration can be staggering.

The sugar in energy drinks will also over-stimulate the nervous system, creating a sugar high, according to the HowStuffWorks website. Inevitably, though, a crash always follows. This cycle can weaken the immune system. Excess sugar can also lead to diabetes, obesity and low serotonin levels that actually cause more sugar cravings.

Some people will argue that the other supplements in energy drinks, like Ephedrine and B-vitamins, are good for the body, but the claims do not always match the evidence. The About Kids Health website gives evidence that Ephedrine is supposed to stimulate metabolism and burn fat, but it has many of the same risks as caffeine: anxiety and high heart rate and blood pressure. B-Vitamins also seem like a good idea, as they convert sugar to energy, but About Kids Health says that most energy drinks will have two to three times the supplement needed.

So while energy drinks seem like a great pick-me up, they can be loaded with too much sugar, which is bad for your waistline, and too much caffeine, which is bad for your heart.

Mocktail party raises awareness

By Kristina Scherber
Cardinal Staff

On Dec. 9, the Health Advocates will host the third annual holiday mocktail party to educate students about the effects of alcohol in a fun and relaxed setting.

“What better way to get in the holiday spirit than by getting away from the stress of finals and celebrating with good food, good friends and good music?” asked health advocate Hillary Stenzel.

The event will include live music performed by the sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Along with the entertainment, food is provided, including spinach artichoke dip and shrimp cocktail.

The mocktail party will take place in the President’s Room Lounge from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. R.S.V.P. was requested, but if you would still like to attend, admission is five dollars at the door. Formal attire is requested.

Week focused on health risks

By Ashley Acosta
Cardinal Staff

Dec. 1 marked the 20th annual World AIDS Day, and Health Services spent the week raising awareness.

Each year, people around the world come together to help raise awareness of the AIDS virus for one day. Health Services and the Health Advocates brought that message to campus.

With World AIDS day falling on the last day of Thanksgiving break, Health Services decided to extend the event into an awareness week.

Dubbed AIDS and HIV/STI Awareness Week, the four-day event began on Dec. 2. Each day focused on a different yet connectable theme, such as abstinence, abuse and relationships.

Health Services used a passive tactic to spread awareness by putting up posters and banners. The week’s events were designed to not only help raise awareness of diseases but also of choices.

Student Health Director Angel Weisbrod said, “The idea is to raise awareness that when students choose to be sexually active, they also choose to put themselves at risk for HIV and STIs.”

Weisbrod also hoped to use the week’s events as a foundation for a more in-depth project for second semester- Sweetheart Days.

“Sweetheart Days is meant to show students how relationships work and the effects of relationships, whether they be sexual or not,” she said, adding that more aggressive methods such as guest speakers will be used.

One tactic that Weisbrod and the Health Advocates are excited about is the use of focus groups. Student leaders will be selected by the health staff and include members of hall staff along with Health Advocates. The rest of the participating students will be chosen at random.

The groups will be asked to discuss issues concerning relationships, the effect alcohol has on rational judgment and behaviors as well as sexual activity.

“These issues are things people are either comfortable talking about or they aren’t,” Hilary Framke, a junior Health Advocate, said. “I am glad we are doing this because this is our life and our choices, and this allows us to come together to hear from those who are our age about what concerns them.”

Weisbrod hopes that these two events will help students take notice of their decisions as well as the risks.

“Everyone knows the risks, but even the students who do know think it can never happen to them. We want to let them know that it can happen to them, and if it does there are places and people they can turn to for help. They are not alone,” Framke adds.

Sweetheart Days is slotted for January, and focus groups are set to begin Jan. 4. If any students are interested in sharing their opinions, they are asked to contact Weisbrod.

Dear Angel,

I just have a quick question for you... If I shared drinks with someone who has bronchitis, should I be worried that I am going to get it? I don’t know if it is contagious, and I found out that a person at the party I was recently at has a really bad case. With finals coming up, I’m really freaking out since I can’t afford to be sick. What can I do so I don’t get sick?

Freaking Out Before Finals

Dear “Freaking Out”

Whenever you share drinks, utensils or anything else someone has put in his or her mouth, you run the risk of contracting an infection. This is because we all carry viruses and bacteria in our mouths. These viruses and bacteria may be “normal” in our mouth, but for someone else they can induce illness. So the short answer is yes, you could get sick.

What your friend may have transmitted was the causative agent (either a virus or bacteria) that he was infected with. In his body it manifested itself as bronchitis. Bronchitis is essentially an inflammation in the lungs, which manifests itself with coughing and shortness of breath (other symptoms such as fever, runny nose etc. may also be present). In addition to the mouth to mouth exposure by sharing drinks, you most likely were exposed if your friend was coughing or sneezing around you. Exposure was greater if the mouth and nose were not covered and/or if he was not diligent in washing his hands before touching other surfaces.

That being said, whether you develop bronchitis or another illness is hard to predict. How exactly this will show up in your system depends upon you and your unique body response. It is also equally possible that you may not become ill if you are resistant to that particular “bug,” did not ingest enough of the organism to make you ill or if your own immune system is able to “fight it off” without you feeling sick.

You can’t change your exposure at this point, but you can reduce your chance of getting ill from this or any number of opportunistic viruses and bacteria rambling around campus this time of year. This means getting 7-8 hours of sleep, eating balanced meals and drinking a lot of fluids. Additionally, don’t share drinks or other items that someone has had in or on his/her mouth, wash your hands frequently and avoid crowded areas and people who are coughing or sneezing.

If you do develop symptoms, help out your neighbor by avoiding crowded areas, covering your mouth or nose (cough into your elbow) and washing your hands frequently. You can also stop in the Self Care Center to assess your symptoms and/or make an appointment if you are not feeling well.


Questions can be directed to Angel Weisbrod, student health director, via email at

Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak speaks from his soul

By Alex Conover
Sports Editor

The rumors swirled so quickly: Kanye has a new album? There’s no rapping? The whole thing sounds like T-Pain sang it?

Yes, it’s all true. But don’t condemn West’s newest project just yet; a few listens might change your initial reaction.

Some of you might know me as a big Kanye West fan. I reviewed last year’s Graduation with two thumbs up, and I expected this next album to be more of the same. After all, I consider him the most talented person in hip-hop today, and one of the best among the current music community.

It definitely made me scratch my head when I heard that his new material would be comprised exclusively of him singing with the “autotune” effect. Autotune is a filter used in music production that alters the singer’s voice in a unique style; it was first popularly used by Peter Frampton and is also associated with rappers T-Pain and Lil’ Wayne. I found it pretty hard to imagine West using the same effects, much less while singing instead of rapping.

After only listening to a few songs, however, it’s easy to tell that this album is about someone special. Parts are about West’s breakup with his fiancé, and others are about his mother’s untimely death shortly after his last album was released. West makes it clear that it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to tell the story. One thing I found out after some internet browsing is that when West uses the autotuner during his singing, it represents his heart breaking.

The singing isn’t bad at all, either; the lyrics are sincere and soulful. According to West, rapping is limited, and the best way to express himself was through singing. Isn’t that what music is all about?

As far as the beats, “808s” is a breath of fresh air. In the past, West has made his fame and fortune off his ear for sampling and complicated layers. This album is a totally new sound, as no samples occur anywhere. Instead, West chose to use quality over quantity. He stated on MTV News that his producing for this album was “minimal but functional.” Tribal drums can be heard along with an 808 drum machine, and his keyboards are spacey and electronic.

I do have some reservations about the album. I don’t quite agree with the idea of West exclusively singing – as you might guess, he’s no Josh Groban. I think the concept is cool and different, but I’m a big fan of his rapping, and I think that’s where he belongs. The good news is that West has announced another album coming out around June 2009, which hopefully features more of his rapping than singing. Don’t get me wrong, I like the album, I just don’t think that this should be a permanent genre crossover for West.

When I first heard the leaked tracks on YouTube, I was appalled. After a few listens however, I have to confess that I am slightly addicted. The feelings are so authentic, and the sound is too unique to not appreciate 808s and Heartbreak.

Best tracks: “Welcome to Heartbreak,” “Heartless,” “Love Lockdown,” “Coldest Winter”
Overall rating: 7.5 out of 10

George Winston shares harmony with Winona

By Katelyn Wadewitz
Distribution Manager

Saint Mary’s University Performance Center will be presenting pianist George Winston at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19.

The Page Series website refers to Winston’s music as a “melodic rural folk piano style.” His technique is mellow, calming and emotional. Winston’s music is inspired by the changing seasons and nature’s beauty, according to the website.

Winston will be playing selections from his latest solo piano CD, Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions-A Hurricane Relief Benefit. It includes compositions from Winston and selections from three well-known New Orleans, La., pianists.

According to George Winston’s website, the CD was created because of Winston’s desire to help victims from the Gulf Coast region. All of the proceeds will go toward the reconstructing efforts in the Gulf Coast area.

“This is perhaps the most engaging Winston album ever, and the single one anyone who’s ever been interested in him should own,” Allmusic reviewer Thom Jurek said on Winston’s website.

Winston will also play pieces from his most popular CD, December.

The Winona community can be a part of this cause by purchasing tickets at the Saint Mary’s Box Office at 507-457-1715, or tickets are available online at

Gilmore Creek Summer Theatre takes a break

By Maria Sullivan
Arts and Entertainment Editor

Whoever said “the show must go on” never considered the effects the economy can play on the theatre business.

The Saint Mary’s University Gilmore Creek Summer Theatre (GCST) will be taking this summer off due to uncertainties in the economy. Also uncertain is whether or not the GCST will be revived in coming years.

Another reason for the program’s suspension was to avoid draining audiences from the other acts and events around Winona. “We are not out to make money, we are here to add to the theatre community,” said Michael Charron, dean of the School of Arts.

GCST just finished its second season this summer, and according to Artistic Director Judy Myers, it was definitely an exciting experience. Myers said, “It was fun, and we really had a good time. The productions were good, and we got a lot of encouragement.”

In its two seasons, GCST performances included “Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Foreigner” and “Lend Me a Tenor.”

Myers said that GCST will be missed not only by the community, but by other professional theatres. Myers said that comments have already been made by other theatres saying that it is sad to see another theatre go because that means that there are fewer jobs available for actors.

Holiday dates in the Winona area

By Betsy Baertlein
News Editor

There is no longer reason to gripe that there is “nothing to do in Winona.” This list of five holiday-themed date ideas is sure to get you and your significant other through the winter months. Even if you are not seeing anyone right now, these dates can be enjoyed just as much with a group of friends. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless. If you try one of these dates or have other ideas, share your experiences on the Cardinal blog at

Group Date: Compile a list of about 50 holiday-themed items you might see around Winona. Examples: a giant inflatable Santa Claus, a snowball fight, kids sledding, an elderly lady eating a candy cane or a bearded man ringing a Salvation Army bell. Give couples two hours to go around town and photograph as many of the things as they can. After the two hours are up, get together and see which couple found the most from the list. You could even go all out and have everyone contribute a prize (example: Christmas cookies) for the winning couple.

On-Campus Date: If we have snow, get two pairs of cross country skis from Brother John Grover, information technology manager, at the Environmental Awareness Center. Try out some of the trails in the bluffs, which range from beginner to expert in difficulty. If skiing is decidedly not your thing, a walk in the bluffs after a newly fallen snow will suffice. After you are both white from head-to-toe, go to the Pub and get hot chocolate with your flex dollars. Then, to top off a perfect date, find a friend who lives in Gilmore to build you a fire in the lounge’s fireplace and snuggle up.

Formal Date: Make it a black-tie dress-up night, perhaps adding a splash of red and green for festivity’s sake. If you cannot find a restaurant in Winona that has tablecloths on the tables within your budget range, bring your own tablecloth to one of the old standbys (Jefferson’s, Bub’s, Betty Jo’s, for example). After dinner, go to The Nutcracker at the Page Theater, which stages Dec. 3-7.

A Date for the Kid in You: Go to LARK Toys in Kellogg, Minn., twenty minutes north of Winona on Hwy. 61. Here you can ride a carousel with hand-carved animals, including an otter, a goldfish, a deer and an ostrich, for just one dollar. While you are there, take a look at their nostalgic toy collections and remember Christmases gone by. Also take time to play with the unique toys in their expansive toy stores. Do not forget to get a few free samples of their homemade fudge.

Brilliant Date: Go to the Rotary Holiday Lights display in Lacrosse, Wisc., where you will be enlightened by over two million lights that illuminate animated displays. Here you will be able to take a carriage ride (or a hayride for the country-folk) and see a Santa village with live reindeer and a live Nativity scene on weekends. This display runs from Nov. 28-Dec. 31.

Gift ideas to make the holidays easier

By Pat Howard
Cardinal Staff

It is that time of year again, the first snow has fallen and the radio stations are playing those classic carols.

The holidays bring family and friends together, but sometimes the season can leave you feeling stressed out. What is the perfect gift for Mom and Dad? What about brothers and sisters? Sometimes it seems like the perfect idea to do something really thoughtful for loved ones. The only problem is finding that perfect gift for the special people.

Here are a few ideas to get started:

For the coffee lover: the Cotter Band is hosting a bake sale on Sunday, Dec. 14, starting at 3 p.m., and you can purchase 12 ounce bags of high-quality Coulee Coffee for eight dollars per bag.

For the movie lover: The Dark Knight is available on Dec. 9, and for a younger brother or sister consider WALL-E or Kung Fu Panda.

For close friends and family: Personalized picture frames are always a great idea because they capture a special moment you had with a brother, sister, parent or close friend.

For that special someone: You can never go wrong with gift baskets. Visit, and you will be sure to find something. Jackie’s Baskets offers a wide selection of different gift baskets that you can personalize to make it that much more special. If these gift baskets are not in your budget, be sure to check out what The Popcorn Factory has to offer at

For the t-shirt connoisseur: Do you know somebody that absolutely loves t-shirts? Visit Hot Topic either online or in-store to see a wide selection of novelty tees. You can make these gifts very thoughtful if someone you know used to love the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles growing up.

Also, never forget the simple gesture of a Christmas greeting card.

A real dialogue: Words to the critics of WHINSEC

By Scott McGrath and Joshua Gardner
Guest Writers

Not only does the conclusion that WHINSEC is wholly incapable of promoting the causes of peace or justice completely fail to consider the ability of WHINSEC graduates to think and act for themselves, but it also ignores the benefits of a properly trained security force.

The fact of the matter is that several nations in the western hemisphere do not have an adequate number of quality institutions where professional training in the field of security is offered. WHINSEC is an American institution that offers security training to these nations.

Those who consider the violence taught in the school to be an evil, necessitating the closure of the school, may not have considered the cost in violence of not keeping WHINSEC open. The governments that choose to send personnel to WHINSEC often do so in the hopes of more effectively combating renegade paramilitary and guerilla factions that are often involved in such activities as kidnapping, extortion, narcotics trafficking and murder. If these officers and soldiers are unable to receive adequate training, they cannot effectively provide security for the country from other groups perpetrating violence and human rights violations.

Almost any form of knowledge is dual use, that is to say that it is capable of good or evil based on its application. A hammer can be used to destroy or to construct; medical knowledge can engineer biological weapons or can save human lives. The act of training people in effective security techniques to support the stability of a society is no different. Ought we shut down police academies after discovering that a relatively small number of police officers that attended those academies were involved in corruption?

WHINSEC’s training is focused on methodology and nothing more. All that can be argued is that WHINSEC made its students more effective, not that it made them more or less virtuous. It is a far stretch to think that courses in radio operation or vehicle maintenance (courses offered at WHINSEC) lead to an uncontrollable and irreversible shift in worldview such that a normally good person would then commit a human rights abuse.

SOA (School of Americas) Watch, a website critical of WHINSEC, makes no attempt to explain the reasons behind the actions of ‘notorious SOA graduates.’ The effect is the appearance that these ‘notorious graduates’ are killing innocent Latin Americans without cause, excluding even the preservation of the stability of society. A person capable of killing another for no reason is more likely to be a sociopath than a product of WHINSEC’s training.

The outright condemnation of WHINSEC shows a shallow examination of the numerous factors required to show that an institution necessarily produces immoral behavior in its graduates. This vilification also takes no account of the often violent situations already present in countries receiving security instruction from WHINSEC. Finally, it reflects a willful naïveté toward the 99 percent of graduates that have protected human rights more effectively after receiving training at WHINSEC.

WHINSEC needs to be closed

By Robby McGuire
Cardinal Staff

Thousands of years ago, primitive man would resort to violence because he had no other tool. In nature, two bucks may fight over a prospective mate because they have no other means by which to solve the dispute. I’m here to argue that we as human beings have evolved past this. We currently have the tools and means necessary to move toward global peace. The problem, I fear, is that no country is willing to take the first step.

America is the world’s lone superpower and, like it or not, we hold the power to set a positive influence on the rest of the world. Yet, we are refusing to move forward. Instead, we continue to build and exercise our military power. Through WHINSEC, we are even attempting to build the military of countries nearby. It is simply hypocritical to promote peace while we stand by the sword.

WHINSEC is teaching democracy in a militarized setting. Its purpose is: “To promote democratic values and enhance hemispheric security.” This is truly a noble cause, but teaching democracy inside a fort is akin to learning about engines from a used car salesman.

Democracy is about the power of the voice, not the power of the rifle. It simply cannot be taught side by side with a semi-automatic machine gun as it is done at WHINSEC. Guns promote feelings of fear and strike terror into the heart. A gun can serve no purpose other than to intimidate, injure and kill the mind, body and spirit of a being. Democracy thrives on hope, peace and an absence of fear.

We must put down our guns. We must alleviate the fear. We must close WHINSEC. We must use the power of our voices to bring the world together. We cannot afford to tear the world apart with fear and violence any longer.

‘Rivalry’ with WSU basketball needs to end

By Alex Conover
Sports Editor

This is one battle that makes me want to be a pacifist.

“The Battle for the Rock” is what the newspapers have dubbed the cross-town matchup between Winona State University and Saint Mary’s University men’s basketball. It’s not much of a fair fight though; the Warriors have won 22 straight.

That means that the last time SMU beat WSU we were called Saint Mary’s College. Our mascot was still the Redmen, and there were no Gilmore Creek, Hillside or Pines residence halls. It also means that I wasn’t born yet, and neither were most of my fellow undergrads. How’s that for a “rivalry?”

That’s right, the newspapers call it a rivalry. When was the last time you heard of a great rivalry where one school was playing a division higher than the other? Winona State is a Division II school, meaning they get to offer scholarships to their players. Us? We offer... um... nice dorms?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about Division III. SMU plays in one of the most competitive DIII conferences in the nation, and there is certainly a very high level of play. But how are we supposed to beat a team that can offer their recruits partially discounted tuition for doing nothing but being good at their sport? Answer: we can’t. Not to mention the team that we are trying to defeat is the defending DII basketball national champion.

When I interviewed men’s head coach Todd Landrum a few weeks ago, he told me that he didn’t want to start off his season against WSU. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed. Why should we play David versus Goliath, especially after a tough 2-23 season the year before? We’re trying to win games, not lose them. A demoralizing victory to a juggernaut opponent is not the best way to turn over a new leaf.

This is why I believe we should discontinue the SMU/WSU cross-town matchup. There’s no rivalry, and it benefits no one. Maybe in a few years, when we build up our program, we can bring back “The Battle for the Rock”; for now, however, I’d like to give peace a chance.

Staff Spotlight: Monta May and Adrianne Olson

By Sara Eisenhauer
Cardinal Staff

Monta May

Monta May, the director of web communication in the Communication and Marketing Office at Saint Mary’s University, has spent the last several months redesigning the SMU website to make information easier to obtain.

May graduated from SMU in 2004 with her second undergraduate degree in graphic design and multimedia, then quickly began work as an assistant to the director for the SMU graduate program. In 2005, she assumed her current position maintaining the SMU website. When she is not busy building the new site, May comes up with new features for the current website and material that people will be interested in.

To keep the website fresh with new ideas and solve problems that may arise, May has to use her creativity and logic.
“I like figuring out how to do things that don’t have an obvious answer,” said May. “I like problem solving.”
May’s job challenges her to find new ways to reach people who need to utilize the information on the website. The current website design has been running for about three years, according to May. She believes the redesign is a necessary step for the university.

“I’m hoping that it will make information more easily obtained,” said May.

Students will also be able to locate the information they need in one central location. This will hopefully speed up the search process for students looking for the tools they need.

May projects that the new site should be live by the beginning of the second semester.

Adrianne Olson

Building a website is not a one-person job. Website editor Adrianne Olson assists May with the redesign of the site by adding new content to the site. Olson, who joined the staff in February of this year, is in charge of maintaining the undergraduate content on the current website, but she has also been recruited to help with the new site.

In addition to her website duties, Olson set up and maintains the SMU Facebook page for the Communication and Marketing office. Olson said the university wanted a central location for SMU’s presence on Facebook to be located. Students can use the page to access information and happenings at the university.

Olson works closely with other staff to make sure the website is current and any necessary changes are made when they come up. She said something is always changing, and she has to be ready for whatever is thrown her way.

“There’s always something new everyday,” said Olson. “It’s exciting to come into the office and not know where the job is going to take you.”

Volleyball team finds success this season

Karina Rajtar
Copy Editor

The Saint Mary’s University volleyball team had a successful season this year, enjoying both team and personal accomplishments.

The team advanced to the MIAC playoffs for the first time since the 2004 season, and players were recognized with all conference, all tournament team and All-MIAC sportsmanship team awards. Senior Theresa Perrini also completed a record-breaking collegiate career.

Finishing the regular season with a 5-6 conference record and a 19-13 record overall, the Cardinals found themselves in a three-way tie with Augsburg College and Carleton College for the sixth and final playoff spot in the twelve-team conference. They lost their final conference match against Gustavus Adolphus College and needed Augsburg to lose to the University of St. Thomas and Carleton to beat St. Olaf College. Things turned out just right for the Cardinals, and SMU was in the playoffs.

“We all just wanted to keep playing,” said sophomore Jessica Mate. “We didn’t want the season to end.”

The sixth seeded Cardinals upset the third-seeded Bennies of the College of Saint Benedict 3-2 before losing to second-seeded Gustavus 3-0. Of the Saint Benedict game, Perrini said, “It was like we won the championship.”

Mate added: “I couldn’t even breathe, that’s how intense it was.”

In addition to this year’s team success, individuals were awarded as well. Mate was named to the All-MIAC First Team; freshman Amy Kujak was named to the All-MIAC Tournament Team, the only freshman in the conference named to the six-player team; senior Carolyn Kiefer was named to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team and Perrini finished both a record-breaking season and a record-breaking career. Perrini had 721 digs on the season and 2,192 career digs, putting her in the top five all-time in the MIAC.

Perrini is excited for what this season means for the future of the team and the teammates she will leave behind: “This year gave them confidence to know it can be done.”

Intramurals tension rises

By Pat Howard
Cardinal Staff

As the semester is winding down and the idea of Christmas break is starting to become a reality, the eyes of the Saint Mary’s University intramural world are focused on that cherished champion t-shirt.

The second session of intramurals is drawing to a close, and soon there will be three more champions named in basketball, wiffleball and dodgeball.

Intramural basketball has been taking place every Tuesday and Thursday night and has kept the gymnasium very busy. However, the Recreational Athletic Complex (RAC) has been full of even more intramural activity, as it has seen dodgeball matches every Monday and Wednesday night and wiffleball games every Tuesday and Thursday night.

The second session started on Monday, Oct. 27 in the RAC when the first dodgeball was thrown, and the champions have yet to be crowned, as the playoffs are right around the corner. This will be the last chance contestants have to win an Intramural Championship t-shirt in 2008.

Club Corner

By Tallitha Reese
Cardinal Staff


MUSE is an English club at Saint Mary’s University. The club presents many opportunities to its members, including trips to the Guthrie Theatre in the Twin Cities, poetry readings on campus and on-campus student-led talks on different topics, including literary genres or specific authors. The SMU campus literary magazine, Mosaic, which publishes student work, is also organized and published by MUSE. In the spring, MUSE sponsors a release party for the magazine.

There are no specific meeting times for this club; members are notified by email when a meeting is needed, but the Creative Writing Club, which is headed by MUSE, meets every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in room 232 of Saint Mary’s Hall. This is an informal meeting in which writers from around campus get together and share their work and ideas and give and receive feedback from other writers.

English professor Brooke Lenz is the faculty advisor for MUSE, and it is headed by co-presidents Theresa Breault, a sophomore, and Mandy Haus, a senior. Anyone is encouraged to join MUSE or the Creative Writing Club. Students interested in joining can email Theresa Breault at

Ballroom Dance Club

The Ballroom Dance Club at Saint Mary’s University gives students the chance to see what ballroom dance is all about.

Club members learn to dance the Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Salsa, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing and Merengue from a dance instructor. Every Tuesday night, the Ballroom Dance Club meets in the dance studio in the Recreational Athletic Complex (RAC), where members learn new steps and techniques to these dances.

There are two different classes based on experience. A beginners’ class meets at 7 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Immediately following that is the intermediate class, which ends at 9 p.m.

Right now, some members of the club are working on preparing for a fundraiser showcase that will take place in Figliulo Recital Hall on March 7 at 6 p.m.

The club is headed by club president Beth Leister, junior, and officers Ashley Kleist, senior, and Fallon Devine, senior. This club is open to anyone on campus and has no cost to join. “Ballroom dancing is a simple way to exercise and a lot of fun,” Devine said. Anyone interested in the club can contact Devine by email at

Men: Draw from your past for a bright future

By Marty Kocon
Cardinal Staff

Do you happen to find yourself not getting attention from girls? Has the winter weather left you out in the cold? Find yourself resenting the parade of couples which surround you, illuminating your inadequacies and leaving you to sulk in the growing void at your life’s essential core?

Fear not, the night is always darkest before the dawn, right? Here are a few tips to help you break through the slump. Tips from a simpler time, a time when being “line leader” could score you some major points with the ladies.

That’s right, we’re talking elementary school moves. A time when “hitting on girls” may have in fact included hitting on girls. [This writer and the Cardinal newspaper do NOT condone violence of any kind but rather enjoyed the juxtaposition of the literal and figurative uses of the phrase as a way to showcase how the world has really come full circle. So please calm down. I am trying to be funny, not batter women].

For example, you should be sure to get yourself a big poofy Starter jacket. While along with being a practically sound way to deal with the cold Minnesota winters, the Starter jacket can conceal the four extra pounds you put on over Thanksgiving break or your lack of muscle, not to mention make you one of the coolest kids on the playground. This makes it ideal for building a snow fort, sledding or digging out your secret crush’s car from the yellow lot.

Also, there is no quicker way to a woman’s heart than offering her cuts in line. For those who are unaware or have forgotten, “The Kids Unwritten Code” defines cutting in line as budging, cutsies, heads or tails as the act of placing an outsider to the line access to the spot in front of or behind you. Whether it is for chicken nuggets in the caf or for a game of tetherball, nothing says “I want (you)” like “psssst you can (have cutsies) here.”

If you are of the bolder type, this tip is for you. If you happen to have a class with your secret crush, you can serenade her during class. Just during some down time in your calc 4, analytical chemistry, spelling or metaphysics class start singing, “I can show you the world, shining shimmering splendid….” And if she is so bold as to sing the girl part, then you are golden; and to be honest, if she doesn’t like Aladdin are you really missing out on that much?

Well I have reached my word limit, so I wish you good luck, but with these tips I don’t think you will need that.

[Editor’s note: The views expressed in this article are not representative of “The Cardinal” newspaper, its staff or the University.]