Friday, January 30, 2009

Ca$ino Night kicks off winter week

Above left: Students play Texas Hold’em at Casino Night.
Above right: Leslie Paquette won a Wii game system.

Approximately 100 students attended Casino Night, which was hosted by SAC. Prizes included a Wii, a digital camera, Shamwow, iLive, movies, giftcards, CDs, and toilet paper. Casino Night was originally scheduled for Feb. 1, but was moved to Jan. 25, to accomodate those students who want to watch the Super Bowl. Winter Week will be held Feb. 2-7.

New website to be launched soon

By Sara Eisenhauer
Cardinal Staff

Design challenges and content fine-tuning have delayed the release of the new Saint Mary’s University website for at least another week, according to SMU Vice President of Communication and Marketing Bob Conover.

“We assured faculty and staff that we would launch the new site when it works well technically and the content is accurate,” said Conover.

The redesigned website, which was originally estimated to be accessible Dec. 1, has presented challenges for the SMU Web team because of formatting changes.

Because the new site will focus on reaching external audiences, the SMU “Inside Pages,” or www2. pages, have been revamped to concentrate internal information for current students, faculty and staff into one common area. The new “Inside Pages,” which now feature new links and updated content, have been up and running since the beginning of the new year.

“This is very different from our old website,” said Conover. “It has been a challenge to design a site that works well for the entire university.”


The new site will not only serve the Winona campus, but will be completely functional for all programs at all levels and locations, Conover said.

Planning for the new site began in early 2007 when the Communication and Marketing team decided the university needed a website that is more externally focused and easier to navigate.

Monta May, director of web communication, has been working with a team of designers and programmers to develop a site that will make it easier for external audiences such as prospective students to find the information for which they are looking.

“We don’t need to have prospective students’ parents having to wade through all of our internal business office forms when they are looking for financial aid information,” said May. “They just need to be able to go there and have the information right in front of them without all this other stuff mixed in- that just confuses things.”

To iron out some of the problems with the new format, faculty and staff were shown a draft of the site in mid-December. Making suggested changes to the navigation and content of the site is contributing to the delay in the site’s release, Conover said.

Students head west to present papers

By Lauren Rothering
Copy Editor

Saint Mary’s University students Teresa Gill, senior; Ryan Briscoe, junior; and Lauren Rothering, sophomore, will attend the ACTC (The Association for Core Texts and Courses) Student Conference at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, Calif., to present papers originally written for courses at SMU.

Gill, Briscoe and Rothering all submitted one-page proposals of their respective papers and their relation to the conference theme, “Core: Tradition and Arts, Culture, Justice,” to members of the ACTC board in early November. All three were notified of their acceptance to the conference in December.

The conference will host around 40 students from colleges and universities across the United States. Students will meet in groups of five, present their papers and have the opportunity to discuss ideas with other students outside the realm of the classroom from their home institutions. Three of the best papers delivered at the conference will be selected for publication in the online literary journal Agora, which is published out of Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va.


Gill’s paper is an adapted version of her senior thesis project, while Briscoe’s and Rothering’s papers were written for courses in the Lasallian Honors Program. The theme of the conference coincides with the Honors Program’s “Great Books” curriculum.

The proposals and papers themselves differ about as much as their authors. Briscoe will be speaking to “Dostoyevsky as reactionary to Western thought in his novel The Brothers Karamazov,” while Rothering will present a paper entitled “The ‘Wild Boys of Gilgamesh’: Truth in Humanity.”

Although their intellectual pursuits may differ, all three students seem to relish the thought of briefly escaping the Minnesota winter and hearing feedback from peers outside the sphere of SMU academia.

“I’m excited to travel,” said Briscoe, “but beyond that I’m looking forward to other criticisms of my ideas. I am also thoroughly excited to hear what our peers are thinking and writing about in their courses.”

While at the conference, Gill, Briscoe and Rothering will have the opportunity to participate in panels, listen to guest speakers and even explore Moraga and the surrounding San Francisco Bay area.

The conference will take place Feb. 6-8.

Grad program expo on Feb. 26

By Danielle Larson
Co-Editor in Chief

The Saint Mary’s University Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs (SGPP) is hosting “Go Red to Get Ahead,” an event on Feb. 26 that showcases the variety of SMU continuing education.

Activities for the event will last throughout the day and light refreshments will be provided.

As part of SMU Founder’s Week, the SGPP event will include informational sessions, an open house for the general public and informational displays throughout campus.

Students are encouraged to stop by the displays to explore SMU’s graduate programs and learn more about the benefits of continuing their education, according to Graduate Programs Assistant Geri Sharpe.

During the 2007-08 academic year, the SGPP had a record enrollment with 7,539 students in 54 academic programs, according to the most recent SMU annual report.

Classes are offered on the Twin Cities and Winona campuses, at the Rochester, Minnetonka and Apple Valley Centers and at 110 instructional sites throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the annual report.

WSU adopts campus-wide smoking ban

By Robby McGuire
Cardinal Staff

In early January, Winona State University enacted a new policy to make their campus 100 percent tobacco-free.

The movement to go tobacco-free began last spring with “overwhelming” support from the student body, said Dr. Karen Johnson, the interim dean of students at WSU. She described the policy as “an extension of the previous 25-foot policy,” a policy similar to the policy at Saint Mary’s University that says people must smoke at least 20 feet away from building entrances.

The purpose of the policy is to demonstrate the core value of health and wellness at WSU, as well as provide a healthy learning and working environment for students, faculty and visitors. It is also an effort by the campus to conform to a Minnesota statute banning smoking in state buildings.

Under the policy, the use of all tobacco products, smoking and smokeless, is prohibited on campus property. The policy also provides tobacco cessation programs, which are intended to help students who wish to reduce or quit tobacco use.


Johnson said the feedback has been “mostly positive, though some students have not been pleased, of course.” On the whole, she feels that the transition to the policy has gone very smoothly.

“We understand that smokers are smokers, and we realize the addictive nature of cigarettes,” Johnson said. “We wish to emphasize that smokers are not bad people, but that smoking is simply a bad habit. We respect our students that smoke and hope that they respect non-smokers as well.”

While many students at SMU would be in favor of a tobacco-free policy, quite a few would be opposed. Of 25 students questioned in St. Edward’s Hall, 21 would support a similar policy on campus. Freshman Annie Garrigan was one of the students in favor of a smoking ban policy.

“Secondhand smoke is a potentially deadly chemical, and I just don’t think the doorways are the best place for harmful tobacco,” Garrigan said. “If it’s a method of stress relief, I think our campus could adopt more anti-stress programs.”

Kyle LeBarre, SMU freshman, finds a policy such as this one to be unreasonable.

“I’m all for sanctions of where (a person can use tobacco), but I think it would be a little unfair to leave a smoker nowhere to go on campus,” LeBarre said. “The biggest factor I see is that no matter what you do to ban a common practice, people will still find some ways.” His solution would be to change the policy to allow tobacco users to smoke in a more acceptable way, such as the construction of designated “smoke houses” across campus.

Survey offers chance for a prize

By Karina Rajtar
Co-Editor in Chief

Students recently received emails with a link to the Multi-Institutional Survey of Leadership, a survey that tracks what students are involved in on campus and whether or not they feel they have learned anything in their experiences.

Jason Richter, assistant dean of students for activities, leadership and service, said Saint Mary’s University is one of 150 schools in the nation completing the survey and is also one of the smallest.

The survey will help to determine whether students gain benefits such as strong relationships and confidence through their involvement in the university community.


“It’s going to help us develop programs that will help (students),” Richter said. He also said the survey will give the school a “benchmark to measure ourselves internally,” adding that the survey may be repeated in two to four years.

Richter encourages all students to complete the survey and warns that students who do not will receive emailed reminders from the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership until they do, up until February break.

As an incentive, students will have a chance to win one of seven prizes for taking the survey. The prizes include receiving the highest housing priority number for the winner’s class, three $100 gift cards to Barnes & Noble, dinner with three friends and the president of the university, a Page Performance Series year pass for the 2009-10 season and payment of the registration fee for one service trip (through S.O.U.L. or Volunteer Services) within the United States. Students will have the opportunity to decide which prize they want according to the order in which their names are drawn.

In addition, the residence hall with the highest percent of participants will receive a pizza party.

The raw data results of the survey will be available to the university in March, and comparisons with other participating universities will be available in August. The prizes will be awarded in March before priority housing takes place.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Former international students make new plans

By Pat Howard
Cardinal Staff

After the fall semester of the 2008-09 academic year, more than 20 Saint Mary’s University international students withdrew from the university.

At the beginning of the spring semester of the 2007-08 academic year, SMU played host to a group of roughly 20 students from Nepal.

“This cluster was one of the largest the university has ever accepted at one time,” said Tony Piscitiello, vice president for admissions.

The Admissions Office was pleased to find so many international students who were interested in attending SMU, Piscitiello said. However, the trend for larger groups of students has typically been to make collaborative decisions rather than individual ones. After the conclusion of this first semester, one of those decisions was to pursue new opportunities.


There are many possible reasons to explain why some of the former international students have left. The state of the economy may very well have played a factor. Scott Song Zhe, Saint Mary’s Student Senate vice president for International Affairs, said, “other indications included the want to live off campus, the pursuit of other scholarships and the want to stay together as a group.”

Students and faculty alike agree that accepting international students has many benefits. Together, domestic undergrads can learn about other cultures just as international students are able to participate first-hand in an American college experience.

Despite the Nepalese group decision to depart, SMU is still the home of students from all over the world.

“It is a vital attribute of the university,” said Piscitiello. “We are committed to having international students.”

STI fights stereotypes

By Maria Sullivan and
Tamika Robinson
Arts and Entertainment and
Feature Editors

In its fifth year, the Saint Teresa Leadership and Service Institute for Women (STI) is still trying to find its feet.

Since its inception, some have stereotyped the women of STI as feminists practicing to become nuns, according to Robyn Perez, senior and fourth-year STI member. Peg Winters, director of STI, said she is aware of these different perceptions that exist about the institute.

“(STI) is trying to become more visible in the community,” said Winters. “The hope is to be able to change that perception so that it more accurately reflects what the Institute is all about.”

Serious exploration of leadership, experiential learning through development of an individual’s leadership skills and engaging in service are the main ideals held by STI, Winters said.

Maria Pechacek, sophomore and first-year STI member, said STI helps its members become stronger women and gain confidence through leadership activities.


“There are some women that I know that really need that boost,” Pechacek said. “I think STI would be a great place for them.”

Perez said STI is about helping women who want to become leaders in the world.

“I think (STI) is more like service and leadership and just trying to make a difference and trying to make change,” Perez said.

STI is currently comprised of 17 members, but Winters welcomes all women of the SMU community.

To become a member of STI, contact Peg Winters at or visit STI’s office in Saint Mary’s Hall room 103B.

Kick the cold, cheat the chill

By Tamika Robinson
Feature Editor

With the weather reports of more snow coming our way, it is easy to get depressed and want to stay inside, but what you may not know is that you could be exhibiting a sign of “winter blues.”

“Winter blues is kind of a generic term,” said Angel Weisbrod, director of health services at Saint Mary’s University. “People are cold, they don’t want to go outside as much, and so they are a little inactive and feeling down.” Weisbrod also said that winter blues can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which is a form of depression.

Symptoms of winter blues include feeling lethargic, having a hard time waking up in the morning as the days get shorter, difficulty concentrating and thinking creatively in comparison to the summer months, misplaced blame on yourself for things that go wrong, difficulty performing tasks that normally seem to be easy and enjoyable and an increase in craving carbohydrate-rich foods and drinks like chocolate and soda.


To get the most out of winter, Weisbrod suggests that students stay on a regular schedule, eat right and get some exercise.

“It’s really important to do for a lot of people because it’s cold outside, and they don’t tend to go outside as much,” she said. “Using the RAC would be a really good idea...(and) finding some activities to do that are indoor ones that will keep you active and interactive with people. Get some fresh air though at the same time. Even if it is cold, bundle up warm and go outside and go for a walk.”

Liz Therneau, senior, said that during the winter she likes to go for walks in the bluffs with friends. “When we’re cooped up inside we’ll get blankets and watch movies and try to relax and do homework,” she said.

Students feeling any of the symptoms of winter blues can visit the staff in the Wellness Center for help or for more information on SAD.

Dear Angel,

My roommate is almost always grumpy or stressing out over the smallest things. She wasn’t like this when we started school last fall. We had a lot of fun hiking in the bluffs, going out, and hanging out with friends. Now she won’t do much of anything. She’s always complaining that she doesn’t feel well and is tired.

I told her she should go get checked out, that maybe she has a bad flu or something. I don’t want to catch it if she does. She got really mad at me and told me I should quit bugging her. She says she doesn’t have much resistance and this happens every winter. She says her mom has the same thing and once the weather warms up she’ll be fine.


I have a lot of classes this semester and don’t want to get sick, what can I do to protect myself?

-Sick and Tired of Sick and Tired

Dear Sick and Tired,

While it is possible that your roommate is less resistant to the “bugs of winter,” the symptoms you mentioned may well be related to a chemical imbalance rather than a virus or bacteria. I suggest this because of the comment she made regarding feeling better as the weather warms up and the fact that her mom has the same problem. There are some people who experience a seasonal depression referred to as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). While the exact cause of this is not fully understood, it is suspected that a decrease in sunlight impacts certain chemicals (melatonin and serotonin) that impact sleep and wake cycles. Often, this condition can be found in members of the same family. Unlike an occasional “down day” that anyone can experience, the symptoms usually appear in the later fall and go away as spring and longer daylight returns.

In spite of the fact that the symptoms may well go away on their own, it is important to understand that this should not be ignored since these symptoms can be serious. Additionally, there are multiple approaches to treatment, including light therapy, medication and counseling which can ease the symptoms and allow your roommate to enjoy every day, not just the spring and summer.

My suggestion for you is to take care of yourself – get adequate rest, exercise, eat healthy and wash your hands frequently. You might also consider meeting with someone in counseling (you can make an appointment by calling ext. 1773) if you are feeling the pressure of your roommate’s mood or are concerned about her emotional state.


Questions can be directed to Angel via email at
***This is not a substitution for medical evaluation and care

Winter survival tips

By Kristina Scherber
Cardinal Staff

Most people who have lived in cold states for any amount of time are knowledgeable about winter weather conditions. They know how to dress, drive, be active outdoors and generally make it through winter in one piece. Nevertheless, deaths and injuries occur every winter because people fail to take precautions. Here are some helpful tips for staying safe during this winter season.

Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia by keeping warm.
*Wear a hat, hood or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
*Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth.
*Keep fingertips, earlobes and noses covered if you go outside.


If you must drive:
*Avoid traveling alone, but if you do so, let someone know your destination and when you expect to arrive.
*Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible; these roads will be cleared of snow first.
*Drive slowly. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
*If you skid, steer in the direction you want the car to go and then straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction.
*Know your vehicle’s braking system. Vehicles with antilock brakes require a different braking technique than vehicles without antilock brakes in icy or snowy conditions.
*Try to keep your vehicle’s gas tank as full as possible.

While on campus:
*The campus speed limit is 15 mph. Drive slowly and watch for pedestrians at all times.
*Stop at all stop signs.
*When walking on campus, wear brightly colored jackets and clothing.
*If there is not a sidewalk, stay as close to the edge of the road as possible, especially when it is dark.
*Always look both ways and use caution when crossing roads.

For these and other tips on Minnesota winter hazards visit

Winter Week busts winter blues

By Karina Rajtar
Co-Editor in Chief

Students will have a week’s worth of activities to help curb the winter blues Feb. 2-7.

The Student Activities Committee (SAC) and Future Alumni Committee (FAC) are sponsoring the ninth annual Winter Week, a week consisting of free activities and events for students of Saint Mary’s University to help bridge the gap between the Christmas and February breaks.

“The winter is kind of ho-hum,” SAC President Maria Borgerson said, adding that the variety of activities “helps to take the monotony out of school.” Borgerson said the week will involve events that will appeal to “all the students,” from card games, movies, athletics and music to “relationship advice for the hopeless romantics.”


The first official Winter Week event, Casino Night, was held on Jan. 25, rather than the originally planned Feb. 1, to try to accommodate football fans who will be watching the Super Bowl.

Most Winter Week events are free for SMU students.

Winter Week Schedule

Mon., Feb. 2- Euchre tournament, 6 p.m. in the Game Room

Tues., Feb. 3- Mystery event sponsored by SAC and Lasallian Collegians, 8:30 p.m. in the President’s Room

Wed., Feb. 4- Downhill skiing and snowboarding at Coffee Mill, leaving after 4 p.m., the first 40 people will have their lift tickets paid for by SAC; SAC Wednesday Night Movie, “Hitch,” 9 p.m. in Salvi Hall, with a pizza party sponsored by FAC

Thurs., Feb. 5- Date Doctor David Coleman, the “real-life Hitch,” will talk about relationships and reading signs and will give relationship advice, 7 p.m. at a location that will be announced prior to the event

Fri., Feb. 6- SMU Crew at the men’s hockey game, 7:05 p.m., ice arena; a “Fan of the Game” will win a free t-shirt, there will be a snowball eating contest between the first two periods and SAC will pay for the Chuck-a-Puck that takes place between the last two periods

Sat., Feb. 7- FAC-sponsored sledding at Yon’s Hill, 2-4 p.m., hot chocolate and sleds will be provided; Battle of the Bands, 7 p.m. in the Common Room

Acrobats of China

By Maria Sullivan
Arts and Entertainment Editor

On Feb. 3, the Page Series will present the Acrobats of China at 7:30 p.m.

The Acrobats of China have performed in more than 30 countries and have been a part of national and international acrobatic competitions and festivals. The Winona community expressed interest in having physical theatre shown, which is why the Page Theatre decided on acrobats.

For those who cannot make it to the 7:30 show, there will be a free 20-minute presentation given at 6:30 p.m. the night of Feb. 3. The presentation will be about the history of the troupe and physical theatre. Two students from SMU will be translators for two of the troupe members.

As of Friday, Jan. 23, there were a few seats still available. To see if there are any seats left, visit the Page Theatre’s website or stop by the box office.

Children’s storybooks coming to life on stage

By Kristina Scherber
Cardinal Staff

“If you Give A Pig A Pancake and Other Story Books” will be performed at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, at the Page Theater by America’s largest non-profit theatre, Theatreworks USA.

The theatre will be presenting the story of a loveable pig that is always coming up with new things she needs. What she will want next will keep the audience guessing. It is considered to be a cute book-turned-play for all ages.

Other favorite children’s storybooks featured in the show include: “Diary of a Worm,” “Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig,” “Horace & Morris but Mostly Dolores,” “How I Became a Pirate,” “Lilly’s Big Day,” “The Paper Bag Princess” and “Ruby Mae Has Something to Say.”

To feel like a kid again, stop by the Page Theatre and get a ticket. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and $5 for students.

Comedian receive positive reaction

By Maria Sullivan
Arts and Entertainment Editor

On Jan. 12, the Student Activities Committee (SAC) presented comedian Chad Daniels.

Daniels told jokes on various topics, which never resulted in dead silence.

“He was freaking hilarious,” senior Marty Kocon said.

According to Daniels’ website,, he is a native of Minneapolis, Minn. After performing at the ACME Comedy Company in Minneapolis, Daniels worked in Grand Forks, N.D. performing six nights a week. From there, Daniels began touring the country, which eventually led him to perform on Comedy Central as well as making his own comedy album.


“It was a lot funnier than I thought it was going to be,” senior Jon Sopcak said. “I had never heard of him before, but he had some hilarious jokes. It’s unfortunate more people didn’t go to see him.”

The next time SAC presents another comedian, Michael Palascak on April 16, take a chance and watch.

SAI presents ‘Fireside’

By Becca Sandager
Cardinal Staff

The sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) are putting on the fifth annual “Fireside” at 7 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, Jan. 30-31.

“Fireside” is a coffeehouse-style talent show that will feature 26 acts with a variety of performers, including several original performances from both students and staff.

“Fireside offers a wonderful opportunity to watch performers from around campus show off their talents,” SAI sister Jillian Reinboldt said. “The nice thing about Fireside is that it features people who might not typically be seen on stage.”


Originally “Fireside” was a show that was put on only by the SAI sisters as a fundraiser. Today, it is still used as a fundraiser for the sisters, but auditions have been open to the whole campus for the past two years.

“Fireside” will take place in the Common Room. Tickets are limited and cost $7, including pie and coffee or cocoa. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Battle of the Bands

By Sarah McDonough
Cardinal Staff

Wrapping up this year’s Winter Week at Saint Mary’s University will be the ninth annual Battle of the Bands on Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Common Room.

Bands playing genres ranging from dance duo to rock will each have 20 minutes to impress judges in their chance to win monetary prizes ranging from $100 to $500. At least one member from the five bands that are performing must be a current student of SMU.

There are a few noticeable changes in this year’s show. To compensate for the lack of space the Common Room has compared to the Page Theatre, where Battle of the Bands was previously held, it was decided that a standing-room-only style would be best, said judge and coordinator Lance Thompson. This means that there will be no chairs or tables for people to sit on while enjoying the show.

This is also the first year that bands are allowed to have three of their four allotted songs be originals, but there must also be at least one cover song.


“This gives more students the ability to express themselves,” coordinator Luke Gonnella said.

Through the years, there have been many memorable show antics.

One such memory for sophomore Brittany Kubik was of Koo Koo Kanga Roo climbing through audience members’ seats for a stuffed animal in the back of the Page Theatre.

“I’ll never forget them climbing over my head,” said Kubik.

Jared Jacobs and Brandon Scherer from Second Page (SMU Improv group) will be the MC’s for the night.

Check out the Cardinal blog for more updates and pictures of the bands.

Preview to the Performers

Open Mike Night
Members: Mike Miller, Mike McCoy, Mike Fye and Jeremy Johnston
Who they are: This four-man band has a sound that is unique, and don’t forget Miller’s vocals!
Fun Fact: At auditions it was only their second time playing together as a group.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo
Members: Byran Atchison and SMU Alum ’08 Neil Olstad
Who they are: This zany duo knows how to get the crowd engaged in their songs and are hilarious while doing so.
Bet you didn’t know: The meaning behind their band name is an interesting one to say the least. While watching the “Alphabet Jungle” episode of Sesame Street on VHS, the letter K was hanging on vines yelling “KOO KOO KANGA ROO!” Since viewing the episode, the name has stuck.

Rogue the Wolf
Members: Neil McColl, Malachi Nelson, Bradley Rysdal and Tim Boysen
Who they are: Political guys at heart. “We didn’t like Bush,” said McColl
Promises: From McColl singing into his guitar to guaranteeing they will not break anything on stage, it will be a good show.

Dow Jones and the Industrials
Members: Joe Mazzuca, Ryan Bjelland, Rob Sassetti and Richard Mazzetti
Who they are: This all-sophomore band will have the usual antics of jumping off amps provided by Mazzuca and the overall fun atmosphere singer and guitarist Bjelland brings on stage.
Fun Fact: All members reside in different states, one being as far away as New Jersey!

Lo-Fi High Five
Members: Luke Gonnella and Tommy Quinn
Who they are: These roommates are proud that they are a concept band. All of their energetic songs are about personal situations.
Best line in a song: “No means no, let go my eggo.”

Swim teams return from training trip

By Jessica Paulsen
Managing Editor

The Saint Mary’s University men’s and women’s swim teams came back from break and training to tough competition at home.

SMU hosted Carleton and Luther, two of the top teams in the area, on Jan. 10, and finished in third place.

“We knew we would be swimming against really good teams,” said senior men’s captain Eric Hills. “We didn’t even dream for a minute that we could beat either team.”

“We had just returned from our training trip in Hawaii,” coach Eric Lindquist said. “We trained really hard over there and came back pretty tired, pretty beat up.”

College teams traditionally take a training trip over the Christmas holiday.

“Coming back into that and trying to compete against two of the best teams in the area was a lot to handle,” said Lindquist.


On Jan. 17, the Cardinals hosted Hamline, Saint Thomas and Augsburg, with both Cardinal teams finishing second.

“There were a number of excellent swims that day, though many swimmers are feeling the pains of training,” said Hills.

“That’s the beauty of swimming,” said Lindquist. “Team scores don’t always reflect what the individuals did.”

The meets are a good indication of how SMU will fare in future meets, including the MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) meet, Hills said.

“While we may not be able to match the strength of bigger teams, we definitely expect to turn a few heads this year at the MIAC meet this February,” said Hills. “Overall, I would say things are looking pretty good for Saint Mary’s Swimming.”

All teams need benchwarmers

By Alex Conover
Sports Editor

My roommate recently passed along to me a blog written by Ohio State basketball backup Mark Titus. Titus is a former student manager who eventually earned a spot on the team (playing time not included). He journals about his quest to attain the “trillion” score sheet in a game: one minute played with nothing but zeros for all the other statistics.

Reading Titus’ blog made me think of my own long and illustrious career as a basketball reserve with no hope. I was okay in junior high, but I soon realized in high school that my destiny was to ride the pine. There are two types of benchwarmers in sports: the ones that get their hopes up only to have reality slap them in the face; and the ones that accept their role. I made sure I was the latter.


High school football was mostly a disaster for me, as the coach’s son played over me at both of my positions (how cliché is that?). I did get mild enjoyment from trying to look cool in warm-ups, but near the end of the game I usually ended up looking at my friends in the stands and wishing I was up there. Every once in a while a girl would ask to wear my jersey to the game, but she quickly gave it back the next week once she realized I never played. My shining moment was an interception my junior year that got tipped in the air and could have been caught by just about anyone.

Something that everyone forgets, however, is the impact of benchwarmers on a team. The scrubs on our football team were always clapping hard, as they were under some delusion that a good attitude equaled playing time. If a starter broke a piece of equipment, my fellow reserves and I were forced into giving up our own gear as a replacement (this was rather demeaning, being the only one on the sideline without a helmet). We were cheerleaders, mechanics and most of all a pretty inadequate and unprepared option if anyone important ever got injured.

The latest National Football League season saw a few bench players rise up and represent: Matt Cassel led his Patriots to 11-5 in his first season as a starter since high school. Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Bryant caught over 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns after not being signed in 2007. Even professional sports have benchwarmers, something a lot of common fans forget. Every Peyton Manning has a Jim Sorgi, that trusty clipboard-carrier with the baseball cap on.

Every team needs benchwarmers like Mark Titus and me; without us, squads would fall apart at the seams. When you attend your next sporting event, remember the players at the end of the bench with their warm-ups still on. It is a role that some reject but others embrace.

Athletes honored for flood relief efforts

By Ashley Acosta
Cardinal Staff

Each year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division III, recognizes organizations for their contributions in community service projects and activities.

This year, Saint Mary’s University will take home the prize.

SMU athletes are recipients of the NCAA/Jostens Community Service Project Award for their efforts in aiding flood victims around the Winona area.

On Aug. 18, 2007, heavy rainfall flooded area riverbanks, causing devastating flooding in southeastern Minnesota.

At that time, a student-athlete advisory committee was looking at ways to strengthen camaraderie among athletic teams, so SMU officials focused their attention on flood relief. Nearly 200 athletes and coaches representing 10 sports bonded together and volunteered to sort through clothing, food and water, as well as clear debris and repair homes.


“Adversity brings out goodness in people,” Brother William, president of SMU, said. “In this case, our student athletes recognized the opportunity they had as individuals, and more powerfully as teams, to share their strong
hearts, minds and bodies to really make a difference in putting lives back together.

“Our students, faculty and staff travel to inner cities and even in third-world countries to serve others in need. Many members of our own Saint Mary’s family lost everything in the August 2007 flood, and this was a reminder that we have the opportunity to serve each other right here in this campus community,” said Brother William.

SMU, Stephen Institute of Technology and York College of Pennsylvania will each be rewarded $1,000 for general scholarship funds. Ten other institutions have been honored by the NCAA since 2002. This year’s winners were recognized at a convention in Washington, D.C., in January.

Making the most of winter

By Ryan Briscoe
Cardinal Staff

“There’s no such thing as bad weather,” my Grandfather would say. “Just different kinds of good weather.” Our particular Saint Mary’s-good weather may often involve subzero temperatures, winds up to 20 mph, snow or even freezing rain, but let us review what we have learned so far: There’s snow (deplorable pun intended) such thing as bad weather. Having now accepted the fact that our climate is wonderful in its own right, I have discovered the ultimate way to enjoy the winter weather. It would seem that the best solution for having fun out-of-doors ultimately involves that delightful, refreshing, gentle, caressing, frozen mass of water droplets that currently surrounds us. Yes, we have in our pool of local resources an abundance of snow.

Now, dear reader, I have considered the traditional array of popular snow-themed activities. The frosty amusements of our youths such as starting a snowball fight, going snowshoeing, frolicking along with Grandpa to go ice fishing or even building a snowman are potentially resurrect-able, and those who partake in such pastimes shall always return home with smiles on their faces. Sledding (on the legal hill, not the slope in front of St. Joseph’s Hall) is also a winter favorite. Indeed lacking, dare I say unfulfilled, is the life of one who has not careened down the bluffs in a virtually uncontrollable plastic vessel at speeds of 25 mph.


Ice skating is an option too. In case you haven’t noticed, Lake Winona is frozen. The possibilities of ice-born games and festivities are endless. Hockey, figure skating competitions, politically-themed demonstrations, checkers-on-ice; all are promising and immensely pleasurable. Furthermore, consider the accessibility of cross-country skiing. Brother John Grover has a huge stock of well-maintained equipment, which he is willing to allow even the clumsiest of amateurs to borrow (note any destruction of equipment is neither condoned nor encouraged by this paper). What a prospect!

Ultimately, I believe that I have finally compiled the supreme winter activity; but in order to not stunt your exploration of this legion of chances for you to enjoy yourself, I will do you the favor of keeping my favorite pastime a secret!

Your call to service

By Travis Fick
News Editor

One common theme that President Barack Obama reiterated throughout the entire 2008 presidential campaign was his call to service for all Americans.

In his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009, Obama said, “What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world.”

This call to service will remain in history with calls from past presidents, such as John F. Kennedy’s infamous calling for Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country.”

This is our generation’s call to serve the nation that has given us so many opportunities. We were not asked to sacrifice or to serve America during the past eight years, but in a time where we face financial uncertainty, two difficult wars and a society full of injustices, we must take heed to the call from our new president and fulfill the duties that we all have toward our country.


There are many opportunities to serve our nation. Americans have the opportunity to serve in the military, Peace Corps, Teach for America and many more. But these are not the only opportunities that we as collegians have to fulfill the duty to our fellow man.

On the Saint Mary’s University Winona campus, there are endless opportunities in which students can be involved. We have humanitarian organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, S.O.U.L. and Volunteer Services that benefit those less fortunate. You can serve your fellow students by being their voice in the Student Senate. You can assist in planning and operating constructive and engaging activities as a member of Student Activities Committee. You can clean up and advocate for the environment by becoming a member of Eco-Reps.

Though opportunities are great, need is even greater. Will we be a generation that allows our nation to fall into the hands of intolerance and ignorance? Or will we be the modern-day “greatest generation”? The future of our nation is in our hands. I call on every student, administrator, faculty and staff member of the SMU community to act upon the call our new president has made.

5 ways Italians outdo Americans

By Betsy Baertlein
Cardinal Staff

This semester I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy, and as I write this I have been out of the United States for about a week. I must say that I am still in the process of adjusting to being a foreigner. To give a brief synopsis of my experience so far, I have compiled a list of five things Italians do better than Americans:

1. Leisure time: Italians seem to have mastered this one to perfection. Each day from approximately noon until two all stores, with the exception of restaurants, close down, and workers go home to eat lunch and take a nap. Also, stores close for the entire day on Sundays, and many Italians simply take leisurely walks around the city.

2. Staying skinny: Don’t ask me how the Italians manage this one with all the decadent food that is available, but a fat Italian is definitely a rare sight. Perhaps all the walking pays off.


3. Being green: Beside almost every garbage dumpster on the street is a recycling dumpster, so it is just as easy to recycle as to throw something way. Italians also drive much smaller vehicles than Americans, for example, Smart Cars and motor scooters are very common on the streets of Florence. These habits could be part of the reason that the carbon emissions per capita in Italy is 2.12 tons, whereas it is 5.61 tons in the U.S. (

4. Vino: A decent tasting bottle of Chianti made in the Tuscany region of Italy is sold in the local grocery store for two Euro (about three U.S. dollars), and there is technically no legal drinking age as long as you are not in a pub or restaurant, where the legal age is 16. Enough said.

5. Fashion: With the abundance of designer brands that have origins in Italy, it is easy to infer that Italians would revere fashion. Wearing a t-shirt or sweatpants on the street is completely unheard of. Everyone wears black wool coats, and most women wear calf or knee high leather boots. If you want to scream American tourist, try wearing a colored ski jacket.

Caf goes trayless

By Greg Freeman
Cardinal Staff

“Trayless?” Yes, we have officially become a “trayless” university. This was not an easy task at first, but with guidance and support from the entire Saint Mary’s University community, “trayless” has become a huge success. Currently, SMU is saving water and over 90 pounds of waste each day. With SMU currently striving toward “green” efforts, “trayless” is a great way to remind us how to be more environmentally friendly every day. Listed below are a few questions gathered from the student body and directly answered by the Director of Chartwells Foodservice, Curt Coshenet:
Where do unused meals go at the end of the week?

“If you don’t use your meals, you lose them.” When preparing the estimated food cost, it is necessary to know what percentage of meals given to students is actually used. As a business, Chartwells uses these percentages and counts on them holding true into the new semester. If all meals in a meal plan were actually eaten, the cost of food, along with individual meal plans, would increase due to more meals being eaten than expected.
How has going “trayless” impacted SMU?


Wednesday, Feb. 11, is the beginning of many new and exciting things coming to Chartwells this upcoming spring. On that Wednesday, Chartwells is thanking the entire SMU community for embracing “trayless” with a “Thank You Dinner Party.” This is only the beginning of new things to come. Along with tweaks within the typical menu that provide new and exciting options, such as the “Roman Chicken” added recently, pay attention for upcoming surprises that Chartwells will be offering the community.

If you have any questions regarding foodservice, email them to Several questions will be answered in each issue of the Cardinal. Finally, a blog about foodservice at SMU will soon be posted under the Student Senate website. We look forward to your feedback and participation.

Ballroom Dance Club showcase

The Ballroom Dance Club will be presenting a Showcase for the students of Saint Mary’s University to show what members of the club have learned throughout the year.

Club members will perform eight dances with explanations and demonstrations of each dance featured, according to Beth Leister, president of the Ballroom Dance Club.

The Showcase will take place on March 7, at 6 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall and should last approximately an hour.

The Showcase is a club fundraiser and will cost $3, said Leister. Students can purchase their tickets the week before the Showcase or at the door.

Club Corner: S.O.U.L. and CAC

Serving Others United in Love
By Karina Rajtar
Co-Editor in Chief

Many Saint Mary’s University students may be planning on participating in a service trip over February break with Serving Others United in Love (S.O.U.L.).

S.O.U.L. leads service trips throughout the United States every February break, as well as shorter trips over October break and occasional international trips in May.

“It’s just a really neat opportunity to meet people,” Treasurer Stephanie Marnocha said.

The four cornerstones of S.O.U.L. are service, transformation, community and faith, and these cornerstones are incorporated into the trips, Marnocha said.


At the core of S.O.U.L. is the S.O.U.L. Council, a group of seven students that plans the trips and decides which students will go to each location. Students are allowed to rank their preferences on their applications, and the S.O.U.L. Council considers these, along with the balance of the group, Marnocha said. This means including different classes and experiences with service trips, Marnocha said.

Marnocha added that the group is currently looking for new S.O.U.L. Council members for next year.

Anyone is welcome to apply for a S.O.U.L. trip, and Marnocha encourages students to try one even if their friends are not.

The deadline has passed for this year’s February trips, but there may be an international trip this spring, Marnocha said.

Cardinal Athletic Council
By Danielle Larson
Co-Editor in Chief

The Saint Mary’s University Cardinal Athletic Council’s (CAC) main focus is to encourage SMU athletes to be a positive influence on campus and in the community, according to CAC President Theresa Perrini.

The club encourages SMU athletes and representatives from each National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sport on campus to participate.

According to Perrini, CAC’s goal is to get sports teams more familiar with the other teams on campus.

CAC puts on the “Toys for Teens” drive and also puts on Kids Day, where kids come from the community to try out different sports throughout the day.

CAC is in its third year here.

Staff Spotlight: Ann Merchlewitz, Mary Becker

By Danielle Larson, Co-Editor in Chief
Ann Merchlewitz

Handling the legal matters at Saint Mary’s University is the job of Vice President and General Counsel, Ann Merchlewitz.

When Merchlewitz is not being an in-house legal counsel, she helps coordinate the searches for new faculty and staff.

According to Merchlewitz, students should go to her when they have discrimination complaints. Students in clubs or organizations, who have questions about releases they may need signed for trips or activities, should also see her.


Merchlewitz sometimes takes part in classroom activities, discussions and class meetings and discusses legal issues with students.

Working at a higher-education facility is one aspect Merchlewitz likes about her job. According to Merchlewitz, she likes being at an education facility because she gets the chance to see and work with students.

Mary Becker

Planning President Brother William’s schedule, planning all the events the president’s office puts on and coordinating the Board of Trustees meetings are just a few things that Mary Becker, administrative assistant to the president, does.

Becker’s desk is located in front of Brother William’s office in the president’s suite, which is in the Heffron building. Students should go to her for issues they feel they cannot get resolved anywhere else on campus. Students are always welcome to stop by and chat, Becker said.

Working with the trustees is one of Becker’s favorite parts of her job. According to Becker, her job is a challenging and enlightening experience. “There is never a meeting where I don’t learn something new,” she said.