Thursday, October 27, 2011

SMU plans for future

By Emma Stenzel
Managing & Advertising Editor

The Saint Mary’s University Strategic Planning Committee began planning early October for the future of the university and its students, staff and faculty.

Brother William Mann, members of the President’s Cabinet, the committee’s co-chairs and 40 of SMU’s faculty and staff from both the Winona and Twin Cities campuses met with Patrick Sanaghan, consultant on strategic planning, to learn various methods of gathering data from university stakeholders.

Brother Patrick Conway, co-chair of the committee and assistant professor of education and interdisciplinary studies, said that the committee will divide in pairs and gather stakeholder data. This includes thoughts and opinions from current and prospective students and parents, current and retired faculty and staff members, SMU alumni, diocesan officials, civic leaders, post-secondary high school counselors and the Board of Trustees. The committee will use its findings to determine long-term university goals.

“This process is going to be very transparent, so once data is collected, it will be posted online all along the way,” said Brother Patrick.

The committee has established four specific data gathering “designs” which they will use to communicate with SMU stakeholders, focusing on past university accomplishments; current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; feedback retrieved through stakeholder interviews; and comments received regarding the university’s future timeline.

Brother Patrick said that the opinions of the university’s stakeholders are crucial in determining how SMU will grow, develop and thrive in the future.

“It’s a collaborative effort,” said Brother Patrick. “The stakeholders’ voices will be heard. I believe that people will be excited and willing to take ownership because they will be a part of this.”

Brother Patrick said that October’s assembly was the first of five meetings to be held during the 2011-2012 academic year. Once the committee gathers its data, it will meet again in December to evaluate the results and assess the issues and trends that SMU could be confronted with in the future. It will meet in February and March to determine its vision and goals before the committee presents to the Board of Trustees in May and June.

“SMU has a wonderful story and we hope to get that story out,” said Brother Patrick. “We need to ask ourselves, ‘How can we get that story out to the public?’ That’s one thing I’d like to know.”

Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance to aid alumnus, veteran

By Kassondra Burtis
News Editor

The 12th annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance (TRBD) will honor Josh Misiewicz, a former Saint Mary’s University student and military veteran who was wounded while serving his country this past summer.

Misiewicz was injured on July 20 in Afghanistan when he stepped on a bomb and lost both of his legs and some of his hearing.

“Josh is a trooper,” said Nikki Richmond, whose son Taylor was the first beneficiary of the dance. “He is already on the climbing wall, and it just happened in July. He has a heart of gold and [his injury] is not going to stop him.

“He can push himself, he’s got courage, he’s got stamina. He has his hard times too, but it’s neat to see that he’s taking what happened to him to the next level and saying, ‘I can still do what I want to do.’”

The annual event honors someone in the SMU community who is in need. The recipient must first go through a nomination process and then be selected by the TRBD committee.

SMU men’s hockey coach Bill Moore originally sent the request through the alumni relations office for Misiewicz to be this year’s recipient. Richmond heard of this and then contacted a couple of Misiewicz’s former hockey coaches growing up. They then officially nominated Misiewicz, and his nomination was accepted by the TRBD committee.

The original idea behind the TRBD came from SMU students who wanted to hold a benefit for Taylor and brought the idea to Nikki. Taylor had been diagnosed with ataxia telangiectasia, and the students wanted to send him on a trip. After the first benefit, the students decided they wanted to make the benefit an annual event and keep it in Taylor’s name.

“It’s very humbling, and I don’t know how to thank people for that, because it was the students who did it, and it was [they] who wanted to keep it in his name,” Richmond said.

“And Taylor loves it. Our family loves it, and it’s very humbling that it’s in his name.”

The 2012 Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance is scheduled for Sat., March 24, with a performance by the Johnny Holm Band.

Advocates 4 Abilities new on campus

By Jenna Capelle
Cardinal Staff

Advocates 4 Abilities (A4A), a new club at Saint Mary’s University founded by seniors Bethany Hastings, Rachel Elbert, and Diana Lundeen, offers a positive support system for those with disabilities and educates the SMU community about different disabilities.

The three seniors want to take away the negative connotations of “disabilities” and put a greater focus on people’s abilities.

“The purpose of A4A is to educate and advocate about different capabilities,” said Elbert. “We’re changing the language to make [disabilities] more positive.”

Meetings are typically held once per week with SMU Counselor and A4A Advisor Holly Courtenay present. Information shared by students in group discussions is kept confidential between those attending the meeting.

“We want to help people experience interacting with those with abilities and help people become more comfortable talking about different capabilities,” said Lundeen.

The club also intends to spread awareness about various types of mental and physical disorders.

“We want to cover any topics that people are struggling with such as Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, depression, and Asperger’s Syndrome,” said Lundeen.

In the spring, A4A hopes to hold an “Awareness Day” for students to experience a sensory walk or utilize wheelchairs. The club also plans to organize a few events with the Special Olympics of Winona.

For more information about A4A, send inquiries to Hastings (brhast08), Elbert (raelbe07) or Lundeen (drlund08).

New group to focus on culture

By Keotta House
Cardinal Staff

When Saint Mary’s University failed to celebrate Black History Month during the 2009-2010 school year, freshman Ciera Patrick was shocked and decided to take action.

She performed an unofficial survey of 80 SMU students and concluded that many minorities on campus felt they were not being represented by groups and activities on campus.

Patrick included Vice President for Student Development Chris Kendall in her research, and Kendall began to hold panels to discuss diversity issues on campus, which led to the creation of a new organization called Black Students and Allies (BSA).

BSA’s founding members are sophomores Ciera Patrick, Krista Barnes, Jamal Arnold and Miles Dunna.

“Black Students and Allies is an organization on campus that was not only created to give minorities an opportunity to openly express themselves, but also to give them a chance to present to SMU a realistic view of their cultures,” said BSA President Ciera Patrick.

BSA has already thrown a pajama party in September, raised money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and celebrated inner beauty for a week in October. The organization has many more events planned for the future.

“We have a soul food dinner on Nov. 19 that [students] are excited for, and we have a month’s worth of events we have planned during Black History Month,” BSA Vice President Krista Barnes said.

PR and Communications Coordinator Jamal Arnold is especially excited about one particular event.

“Karaoke night is going to be a blast,” he said. “Everyone loves good karaoke, and what better way to bond members of the SMU student body than with the universal language of music?”

These events are important for Black Students and Allies to establish their efforts and help them reach their goal of enduring as a campus club.

“We want to be around to usher in a new attitude toward black culture not just at SMU, but throughout Winona,” said Arnold.

Campus Safety talks fire pit regulations

By Meg Beerling
Feature Editor
Campus Safety Director Phil Gaddis and Associate Director Clint Estle discussed the responsibilities students have while utilizing the fire pits that Saint Mary's University offers for student recreation.

According to the 2011-2012 Resource Guide & Daily Planner, fire pits are to be reserved 48 hours in advance.

“Now that’s what we like it to be,” said Gaddis.

Students are allowed to come in within less than 48 hours have Campus Safety hear the request, said Estle.

“If someone came in today and said that they’ve got friends [visiting] and would like to have a bonfire tonight, I’d probably approve it,” said Estel.

“We are willing to work with students,” he said. “We take things on a case-by-case basis.”

For about a week before SMU’s Autumn Recess, the state issued Winona County as a “No Burn Zone,” said Gaddis. Even though SMU is on the outskirts of that zone, it was under orders to have no fires because of how dry it was, he said.

Wild fires were turning up and it was a strict safety precaution, said Gaddis.

“Then we got some rain, and it was back to approving requests,” said Estle.

“The fire pits are a wonderful resource,” said Estle. “We want to encourage students to go out and do those things, but there are responsibilities that come with that.”

Said Gaddis, it all comes down to responsibility, and the regulations regarding the SMU fire pits are similar to those of other locations with like facilities.

Students must make sure that the fire is extinguished completely once they are done, said Estle.

Should the rules be broken, the next step is a conversation with the permit holder, said Gaddis. He said Campus Safety want to have someone to talk to about the regulations and to make sure they know about their responsibilities as a fire permit holder.

There is not a set time frame for having bon fires but Gaddis advises students not to be out in the bluffs past 1 a.m. Camping is not allowed in the bluffs, so if students are out much later than that, it starts “getting into camping territory,” he said.

Also, in accordance with the campus-wide policy of not having alcohol outside of residence halls, alcohol is not permitted at these events, said Estle.

“The fire pits are there for students to use and enjoy,” said Estle. “[They] just have to know it comes with responsibilities just like anything else.”

Goal of alcohol policy explained

By Meg Beerling
Feature Editor

Nikki Hodous (formerly Nikki Peters) spoke of the practical reasons for Saint Mary's University’s alcohol policy as well as her feelings about the restrictions placed on students.

“It’s been easier for the administration at other places I’ve worked,” said Hodous, director of residence life at SMU. Other schools would rather segregate their student populations based on age so the administration does not have to sort out underage drinking, she said. However, she said that SMU cares about its students and takes a practical approach to health, safety and good decision making.

“SMU really does listen to its students,” said Hodous. Last year, as part of his duties as a student senate representative, Bob Rousseau approached Residence Life with the student concerns that one case of beer or two bottles of wine or one bottle of liquor per Village apartment was not a practical amount. This year, the amount of alcohol allowed per Village apartment was doubled.

“It’s just proof that the senators listen, and the school does too,” said Hodous.

Hodous said that the administration doesn’t want to prohibit students from having fun. She said the goal of alcohol regulations is to help students learn responsibility for alcohol in social settings.

“Our fines and punishments are a lot different from the law and court systems,” said Hodous. SMU policy tries to provide a more educational punishment rather than huge fines or worse consequences, she said.

Underage drinking is punishable in different ways on campus. According to the policy, an underage student may be required to take one of three alcohol courses accompanied by $25, $50 or $100 fines, depending on the violation. These punishments are not linear. Each violation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, said Hodous. SMU is also willing to work with students by giving them community service options, she said.

“We all make mistakes,” said Hodous. “The more willing a student is to be honest, the easier it is to help [him or her].”

The breath test is the biggest thing, said Hodous. If a student hasn’t been drinking, it is his or her responsibility to take the test, she said; it is not the responsibility of the staff to remind students.

“I try to tell students that at the beginning of the year because that’s important,” she said. “And if you have been drinking, don’t take it; it’s just going to get you in more trouble.”

Residence Life tries to be reasonable by allowing students to associate with peers of all age groups, said Hodous.

“It’s not like we go around looking for violations,” she said. “It usually goes along with a noise complaint or some other violation, so be smart about social gatherings.”

Tobacco use policy discussed

By Gabby Limonciello
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University prohibits the use of chewing tobacco as well as the presence of hookah and all other drug paraphernalia on campus, according to the SMU handbook. The smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is permitted when 20 feet away from any building entrance.

Any individual who violates any of these regulations will face disciplinary action, according to the handbook.

“Ten years ago these rules were not stated in the handbook and were not considered as much of a problem as they are today,” said Marc Hartmann, hall director and graduate assistant of student life.

This policy is important because it provides our campus with a safer and healthier environment for students, said Hartmann. Had this regulation not been set, the atmosphere students see now would be completely changed, he said.

Hartmann believes this rule is considered fair because it still allows students to smoke if they so choose, as long as they are the appropriate distance away from a building.

By not banning tobacco completely, students are able to engage in activities as they smoke, while also providing a safe environment to non-smokers, said Hartmann.

Students have questioned why hookah is not allowed on campus. The reasons for banning hookah are that hall directors and resident assistant are not certain if the student is smoking hookah or an illegal substance, said Hartmann. He also said it comes down to trust, and that is partially why it is not allowed.

Said Hartmann, “It could be worse – smoking could be banned on campus, which I am sure would cause some major issues.”

Johnson: Class attendance policy benefits students

By Sam Kleese
Cardinal Staff
The class attendance policy at Saint Mary's University states that students are expected to attend all class meetings, according to the student handbook.

The policy gives the student responsibility to notify the instructor prior to missing class and to submit work that is due prior to the missed class meeting.

SMU professor Peggy Johnson agrees with the attendance policy. Johnson’s goal is to help students succeed, she said.

“Attending classes teaches responsibility and discipline and establishes a stronger relationship with the teacher and other students,” said Johnson. Students are held accountable in attending classes through a private school, said Johnson, so teachers taking attendance become more mindful of a pattern. This can help the student make sure they attend class, said Johnson.

The policy is reflected by student grades, Johnson said; they will be negatively affected if a reliable excuse is not given before the absence.

The handbook states that professors can lower grades if they aren’t notified prior to an absence. Instructors are under no obligation to provide make-up exams or quizzes or to accept late work if a student fails to speak with the instructor prior to the absence, according to the handbook.

Johnson believes that this policy is important to students because it can help them learn how to independently manage their work and start to take control of their academic lives. This policy also teaches students about respecting instructors and being courteous when informing instructors of absences.

New frights at annual Walk of Horror

By Julianne Bartosz
Copy Editor

The Walk of Horror at Saint Mary’s University is in its 15th year and still scaring people of all ages from the Winona community. The screams will be heard throughout SMU’s bluffs on Oct. 21-22 and 29-31 from 7 to 10 p.m.

About 1,100 people walk through the haunted forest every year, according to SMU head fastpitch softball coach Jen Miller. The Walk of Horror is the fastpitch softball team’s main fundraiser, said Miller. This year the money raised will help the team pay for it’s spring trip for a tournament in Clermont, Fla.

The Walk of Horror is a fun and safe event for all ages, according to Miller. She said that the scare level is decreased for younger children and increased for only the bravest of groups.

“It’s a good team-building activity that [also] serves the Winona community,” said Miller.

The softball team gets to know each other while working together to design, plan, and carry out all the scenes in the haunted walk, said junior fastpitch player Paige Carter. “We get to know teammates as players during our fall ball season, but the haunted forest lets us get to know each other outside of softball. We bond as a team and get to see everyone’s goofy side,” said Carter.

The Walk of Horror covers the same path every year, but scenes and scares change every year. Miller said that the same advertising design has been used for several years now and “it’s become a trademark.”

Approaching her third year of work with the haunted forest, Carter said, “It’s amazing that people come back for the scare even after 15 years, but we change it up every year, and half of our team is new so I’m interested to see the new spin.”

It is freshman softball player Sam Borawski’s first year working the haunted forest and she “cannot wait to scare people when they least expect it.” She said, “I don’t know what was done in the past, but the [returning players] said that people want more things that will make them jump, so we planned them. It was important to them to plan new things while considering people’s comments from last year after walking the trail.”

This year, the softball team will be assisted by the women’s hockey team.

Said Carter, “We do the majority of the work and the scaring, but other people help, too. Our coaches are the biggest help we receive.”

After all of their hard work, Carter said, “The biggest reward is hearing that people like it and come back a second time [in the same year]. It is nice to know our time and effort was not wasted.”

Borawski also said that the upperclassmen believe the outcome reflects the effort put in. She said that returning players “take pride in it, but the enjoyment that visitors show make it worth it, especially when they return year after year.”

Brave community members who walk the trail meet on the path between the baseball and softball fields.

The cost is $5 for adults and $4 for students with ID and children 12 and younger. For more information, contact Miller at 507-457-6923.

SAC offers Valleyscare visit

By Matt Wagner
Cardinal Staff

The Student Activities Committee (SAC) hosted a trip to the Halloween Haunt at Valleyscare on Oct. 22, at an attractive price of only $10 per person.

The event takes place at Valleyfair amusement park in Shakopee, Minn., located about three hours northwest of Winona, making it a fun day trip for those who attended.

“I have been to Valleyscare a few times over the past couple of years,” said freshman, Tore Anderson. “They have a lot to do other than just rides and shows. A lot of the attractions they have are different than other haunted houses in the Twin Cities.”

Valleyscare features nine separate haunted mazes and zones in addition to its rides that are also open to the public. These haunted zones include Mr. Cleaver’s Bloodshed and the Mangler Asylum. With live entertainment such as Blood Drums and Mick Mangler’s Madness and Mayhem Show, the park has a lot to offer haunted house enthusiasts during the fall season.

“It was a ton of fun. A lot of people ended up attending the event, and everything about it was great,” said freshman SAC member Joe Budin. “We rode rides and then went through the different haunted houses; they had a pirate ship themed haunted house, one with clowns and a vampire castle. It was better than I had thought it would be.”

The event sign-up sheet filled up quickly, with more than 40 students attending, making it quite a successful event for SAC.

“It filled up a lot faster than I thought it would,” said Lance Thompson, assistant activities director of SAC. “We originally had to have 40 people for the event, but we ended up with 55. I would say it is a good possibility that we could be going next year and in future years as well.”

Area artists compete in Art Battle

By Kacie Kusinski
Cardinal Staff

Several area artists competed in the Art Battle, “art face-off of epic proportions,” on Oct. 8 at the Winona Arts Center.

The Battle was structured so that two artists “battled” at a time; they were given a set amount of time to come up with a piece of art on the spot.

The artists performed on a well-lit stage in the back of the room at the Winona Arts Center, and there were chairs set up in front of the stage where viewers could sit and watch the artists at work. Music for the event was provided by DJ Rhumpshaker, and Dr. Bob acted as the “referemcee,” serving as both judge and commentator.

According to the Winona Arts Center website, the contenders included Jamie Harper, Julia Crozier, Lyon Smith, Aaron Rykhus, Theresa Crozier, Jerod Schmocker and Brianna Klapperich.

Downstairs, the artists were able to show previous works they created without the time crunch required by the Battle. The work displayed downstairs was available for silent auction bids.

Men's hockey sets bar high

By Keotta House
Cardinal Staff

The Saint Mary’s University men’s hockey team is drawing to a close its pre-season mindset and gearing up for its first game against the University of St. Thomas on Saturday, Oct. 29.

“It’s just that fine line between being a contender and being a rebuilding program and we were still rebuilding last year,” Head Coach Bill Moore said.

“This year we are very excited and we have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs with the guys we have back and the new freshmen this year.”

Last season was a learning process for the team, as there were over 15 freshmen starters throughout the season, said Moore. Now, the team is intact and ready.

Said senior captain Vince Unklesbay, “We only lost two players last year, so we are a much more experienced team this year and we will be better at both gaining leads in games and holding onto them.”

Unklesbay, who switched positions last year from forward to defense, said the transition is going well. “There are many aspects of [my defense] that need work, but overall I think it is going well, and I work to improve every day.”

There is one line in particular SMU fans and opponents should watch for, according to Captain Tom Healy.

“The Kevin Wentland, Austin Balko and Chase Marshall line really took off toward the end of last season, and I am looking forward to seeing them together again,” said Healy.

The Wentland, Balko and Marshall line put up a total of 22 goals, 32 assists, and 54 total points last season.

“Wentland is focused and ready to go this season,” said Healy. “I think we all are just ready to go.” The hockey team is centered around the chemistry between teammates this year. “For the most part our team chemistry is very good right now and it is part of the reason why we are excited about this season,” said Moore.

Moore believes this chemistry will translate into performance on the ice.

“Playing hard for each other and not just for yourself, that’s team chemistry and team unity, and I think we have that now,” said Moore.

The team has high hopes for itself both on and off the ice. They not only want to make the playoffs, but Coach Moore has additional goals for the team.

“My goal is to make sure [the team] is respectful to everyone on campus and respectful to their education,” said Moore. “I want to make sure they meet a cumulative 3.0 [GPA], get 20 or more players on the academic dean’s list and do more than 500 hours of community service.”

“Your education, your experience, and your integrity build character, and that’s what I preach. We’re crossing our fingers that that comes along with winning; then our program will be where we want it to be.”

Bitter-sweet end for some Cardinal golfers

By Morgan Stock
Cardinal Staff

The Saint Mary’s University men’s and women’s golf teams competed in the MIAC Championships in early October to conclude their seasons, marking the last round for team seniors as Cardinals.

Both Cardinal teams finished 10th in the conference.

Despite the disappointing end, seniors feel that they put forth their best effort and had a good season, said senior Lauren Ulbrich.

“For me, I had my record best this year which was an awesome way to end."

Offering insight to up-and-coming freshman golfers, Ulbrich said, "Practice in the off season—it pays off. Then go out there and have fun."

The men's team had a group that hit well and got along with each other, said senior David Borgen. “We could have done better in the MIAC for our senior year, but we each improved our average team score over the course of the season.”

Defeating Carleton College last year during former coach Jeff Stangl’s final season was one of Borgen’s favorite golf memories. Taking third in the Wartburg tournament was an overall team high on the season.

‘Switching sticks’ not a problem for men’s lacrosse

By Nick Bravos
Sports Editor

For the second time in the clubs’ histories, the men’s and women’s lacrosse clubs battled each other in the “switching sticks” fundraiser game, held Saturday, Oct. 8.

After two 15-minute halves, the men’s team came out with a 10-2 win over the women’s team.

Two years ago, the clubs came up with the idea for the men vs. women game, where players switch sticks and uniforms with the opposite team.

Women’s lacrosse gear differs from men’s. For example, women’s sticks come in only one size with shallow pockets, while men have two different sticks, both with deep pockets. Men’s offensive sticks are similar to what the women use, but their defensive sticks are much longer.

“I had done [a men vs. women game] in high school,” said senior captain Meg Beerling, “and it was a great way to get people to come watch and see what the sport was all about, since it's not a very well-known or recognized sport.”

For this year’s game, switching sticks wasn’t the only rule. This time, all equipment was traded, including sticks, helmets and jerseys -- including skirts.

“Many of our male players were wearing skirts and jerseys that were way too tight,” said Jared Haider, men’s senior captain.

“When the game started, it was pretty back and forth for a while,” Haider said. “Then we started to score some goals and get used to the equipment change.”

Wearing the guys equipment was challenging, said Beerling, but it was easier to use their sticks because they have deep pockets. She said it was difficult “to see out of that helmet, and it was far too big for my head so it kept slipping over my eyes.”

Because the helmets the men use aren’t washable, “it smelled like death,” Beerling said.

This year there was also a condition for the losing team. “We tried to make a funny stipulation that the loser had to abide by, but we did not have adequate time to think of one,” Haider said.

The teams decided that the women’s team will buy pizza at the next team party.

The game displays each club’s dedication and effort to raise funds, according to Haider.

“It also shows that our organizations have a sense of humor and know how to have fun and be competitive at the same time.”