Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chapel unveils refurbishment

By Emma Stenzel
Managing & Advertising Editor

Saint Mary’s University’s Saint Thomas More Chapel is now open for prayer and liturgical services after the completion of its interior refurbishment.

During the past two months, construction crews and maintenance staff have been cleaning, painting and reconstructing the chapel in accordance with the designs of Father James Notebaart, architect of the refurbishing and the liturgical consultant.

On Tuesday, March 13, the SMU community celebrated the refurbished chapel’s Rite of Dedication, where Bishop John Quinn consecrated the new stone altar. Along with nearly 200 attendants, special guests Notebaart, artist Alec Smith, local contractors and members of the maintenance staff were also invited to the event.

Dean for University Affairs Sister Judy Schaefer said that the refurbishment was necessary since the Saint Thomas More Chapel is a place of importance at the SMU Winona campus and needed updates. In addition, she said that the changes were made in preparation for the university’s upcoming centennial celebration.

Notebaart said that he wanted to create a different character for the chapel, giving it a “quieter” fa├žade while incorporating the nature in the Winona area.

“We wanted to restore the material that was here,” said Notebaart. He explained that the tapestry stone used for the 7,000-pound altar was cut from the earth only a few miles away from the Winona campus. The altar also reflects the four seasons of the area, depicting different images of nature in four square medallions.

Notebaart also added lattice screens to the front of the chapel, which he said act as a gate that invites the congregation within. “The screens are placed in front of the tabernacle, and to me they say that something special lies beyond,” said Notebaart.

Though there is not yet a crucifix in the refurbished chapel, Notebaart said that a bronze crucifix will be installed in May or June.

“It’s so nice to have a beautiful space to pray in,” said Schaefer. “Several people made a comment to me that they feel more comfortable and more drawn to pray in the chapel. And that was our goal: to make it more welcoming and prayerful for everyone.”

The chapel now resumes its daily liturgy at 12:10 p.m. Monday through Friday and its weekend liturgy at 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Date set for SMU lockdown drill

By Julianne Bartosz

The lockdown drill at Saint Mary’s University will be held during an academic day within the coming weeks of April, said Vice President for Student Life Chris Kendall.

Kendall said that only a few faculty members will be informed of when the drill will occur.

“The community will not know when it will be because you cannot be prepared,” said Kendall. He said that this allows the SMU community to get the most effective practice out of the drill.

The drill is a part of SMU’s updated emergency response plan, said Kendall. This plan includes the use of Blackboard Connect to send an emergency alert via email, phone call and text message.

SMU community members are encouraged to update their personal emergency contact information on WebTools to ensure that they receive emergency notifications.

More information about the lockdown drill and SMU’s emergency response plan can be found in February’s “SMU to practice lockdown drill” article on the Cardinal blog,

Lockdown drill procedure:

1. Stay in room or classroom meeting space
2. Keep calm
3. Immediately secure doors
4. Turn off lights
5. If possible, stay out of sight of windows and doors
6. Silence all electronic devices and limit use
7. Faculty/staff take attendance
8. Stay put until you hear “All clear”

Plans for Nordic Ski Center in new residence hall

By Julianne Bartosz

Saint Mary’s University has partnered with the Winona Nordic Ski Club to develop the Brother Jerome Rademacher Nordic Ski Center in SMU’s new residence hall.

The Winona Nordic Ski Club is helping fund the Nordic Ski Center which will be housed in the basement of the new residence hall’s north wing, said Vice President for Student Life Chris Kendall.

“It will bring together several key pieces of campus life,” said Kendall.

The Nordic Ski Center will house the Outdoor Leadership Office and the Environmental Awareness Center. Kendall said it will also include a large open room that will be available for a multitude of events, including events through SMU’s Office of Residence Life and Athletic Department.

In addition to campus life, the Nordic Ski Center will also allow campus to connect more with the Winona community. For example, Kendall said that the Nordic Ski Center will also be headquarters for the Winona Senior High School’s Nordic ski team.

Relay for Life raises money, fights back

By Kassondra Burtis
News Editor

Saint Mary’s University’s Relay for Life event was held Friday, March 16, through the early morning hours of Saturday, March 17, and raised more than it ever has before, easily surpassing its donation goal.

Relay for Life is an overnight event where participants join to remember everyone who has suffered from cancer, both those who have won the fight and those who have lost it. It is a way for people affected by the disease to create awareness and raise money to help fight back against cancer.

Senior Laura Larson, co-president of SMU’s Colleges Against Cancer, said the university’s goal for this year’s event was to have 30 teams, 300 participants, and raise $30,000. The event consisted of 28 teams, 275 participants, and raised just over $36,000, though donations are still accepted until August 2012 and will likely raise even more.

“The amount we’ve raised is more than double what we raised last year and is at least $10,000 more than SMU has ever raised before with this event,” Larson said. “I am very proud of how well we did as a community this year.”

Relay does not only rely on the money raised by donations before the event, but also on activities during the event.

“Since this is a fundraising event, there is also food and games at the event to raise money,” Larson said. “Mr. Relay is one event that I see people getting into. This is an event where males dress up in women’s clothing and we have a pageant. For about the next half hour, the guys walk around the [facility] and try to get as many donations as they can. The guy that raises the most money wins.”

Along with the fundraising efforts, there are many ceremonial aspects. The night begins by introducing and celebrating cancer survivors. There is also a “Remember Speech” given by someone who has been affected by cancer and a luminaria ceremony where all luminaries are lit and everyone at the event takes a few laps around the track together.

“The part that I get into the most is the Remember Speech and the luminaria ceremony,” Larson said. “It is a time to remember those we have lost and to keep in our hearts those who are fighting. The room just becomes a place with everyone caring for one another, and it is really great to see that we have someone to lean on.”

Larson encourages those who have never been to a Relay for Life event to try one out and also encourages those who have gone to get others involved.

“In the four years that I have been here, the event has grown so much, and I hope to see it grow more in the future,” Larson said. “Let others know how great it was. Start a team next year!

“Cancer affects each and every one of us one way or another. Relay for Life is a great way to feel like you can do something about it.”

More information can be found at and any questions can be directed to

SMU students to take Alcohol and Other Drug Survey

By Julianne Bartosz

Saint Mary’s University’s Jay Johnson Wellness Center’s biannual CORE Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) survey will be sent out to undergraduate students around the third week in April.

SMU students will receive the AOD survey via email from the CORE Institute. It is a brief voluntary survey.

“It is important that students fill out the survey,” said Director of Counseling Services Dr. Ruth Mathews. “We use the data a lot within the Wellness Center and other parts of campus life.”

The AOD survey is used by the Wellness Center “to better understand alcohol related issues and programming needs of our students,” said Mathews. She said that psychology research students also use the data.

The 2010 AOD data showed that alcohol and other drug use was associated with lower grades and experiences of harassment and violence.

To encourage students to complete the survey, Mathews said that students will have the opportunity to win prizes. Survey participants will be entered into a drawing for prizes and the residence hall with the greatest participation will win a pizza party.

SMU student publishes book

By Marissa Johnson
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University junior Brian Thomas has recently published his first book, The College Life 101, a transitional guide to assist college freshmen.

The book covers a wide range of topics including financial aid, choosing a major, involvement in extra-curricular activities and saving money on textbooks.

“I saw high school students who weren’t prepared for college,” Thomas said. “I thought, what better way to help than by writing a guide?”

His book stresses the importance of balancing students’ lives both inside and outside the classroom, especially since it is the first time many of these students are living on their own.

Thomas, an English major, is involved with the First Generation Initiative program at SMU and plans on spending the summer working on the Countdown to College program, which is designed to help prepare high school students for college.

Thomas said that his book is “not as much about monetary gain as it is about helping students.” He believes that if students are prepared for college during high school, they are more likely to succeed in college and beyond.

The College Life Guide 101 will be in print by the end of March. In the meantime, it is available as an eBook on his website

Hop on the SOUL Train!

By Marissa Johnson
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University’s Serving Others United in Love (SOUL) program was once again on the road, as ten different student-led groups, each with a faculty advisor, visited many different locations over this year’s spring break.

A few of the destinations for this year’s trips included New York, Rhode Island, Arizona, Iowa and Montana. The students involved helped in various ministries such as education, social work and construction.

Chris McClead, the faculty advisor of SOUL, participated in the St. Louis, Miss., trip. He described the sense of awe he felt when he saw how “sixteen people who didn’t know each other were put in a very uncomfortable position for anyone, woke up each morning and asked how to serve the community they came with and the community they were entering.”

SOUL has two purposes. The first is to provide as many students as possible with the chance to serve others; and the second is to enable the SMU community to connect with diverse communities throughout the nation and world while enriching the lives of those individuals.
Although every trip has different people and perspectives, each decision and course of action is based on the four pillars of SOUL: faith, service, community and transformation.

Every student encounters SOUL differently. Depending on the ministry of the trip and the experience of the participant, one could walk away from a trip with new friendships, greater humility, or even a simple understanding of what life is like on the other side of the spectrum.

SMU sophomore Bill Van Wagner participated in the trip that visited a Blackfeet Indian reservation in Browning, Mont. The students on this trip spent the week helping in the eighth grade classroom of a San Miguel school. The focus of his trip was primarily on helping to motivate the students to work hard in school and strive to attend college so that they can break the cycle of poverty in their community. Van Wagner described his experience as “a reminder to be grateful for the many blessings I have in life as well as to appreciate the joy of a life of simplicity.”

Although it is not possible for a group of college students to completely fix the problems in the communities they visit through SOUL, the trips allow them to become more aware of the issues in the world and, if the students serve with the Lasallian spirit, they are able to make a lasting impression on the people they serve.

Library extends Friday hours

By Kassondra Burtis
News Editor

Saint Mary’s University’s Fitzgerald Library has extended its hours on Fridays by an hour and a half and is now open until 6 p.m.

Library Director Laura Oanes said the idea of extending the library’s hours came from student input and she is hopeful that students will use those extra hours and prove that the decision was a good one.

“We are really hoping that students will take advantage of it,” Oanes said. “We are here to serve [the students] and what their needs are.”

The reasoning behind the hours being extended as they were, Oanes said, is to give students a little extra time after classes get done on Fridays to do any homework, group work, or printing they need to finish before the weekend.

The extended hours are, for the remainder of the semester, on a sort of trial run. The decision was put into place just after spring break to give the staff a chance to use the end of the year to see if people would get used to the hours and use them.

Oanes said that the library staff would love to hear students’ feedback on the extended hours. Any feedback or suggestions helps with looking at long term decisions and if the new hours are helpful to students. Feedback may be directed to the library’s email,

Kendall’s career continues at SMU

By Julianne Bartosz

When Chris Kendall graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 1979, he never would have imagined he would continue his career at SMU for 27 years.

Kendall majored in language arts and minored in philosophy. He later earned his Master’s degree from Saint Mary’s in human development with an emphasis on outdoor leadership.

“I was an average student,” said Kendall. “I also benefited a lot from the number of Christian Brothers here.”

His best memory from Saint Mary’s was taking a statistics class with Brother Leo Northam. Kendall said that the class did not advance to the next chapter until everyone earned a perfect score on the quiz.

“I was living what it meant to be Lasallian in this learning community without realizing it,” said Kendall.

Kendall lived in Saint Edward’s and Saint Joe’s residence halls before moving off campus. He said he enjoyed living in Saint Joe’s because the current art department was a gym where he spent a lot of time.

He also spent his time playing Frisbee, competing in intramurals and hang gliding. In addition, Kendall played baseball all four of his collegiate years.

He currently holds four all-time rankings: 4th in most hits (137), 4th for most triples (8), 6th for most total bases (196), and 9th for most at bats (389). His athletic success was honored as he earned All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors in both his junior and senior seasons. He was also selected as an NAIA All-District outfielder in 1979.

Kendall continued his involvement in Saint Mary’s athletics as both assistant and head baseball coach and later as the athletic director.

In addition to these titles, Kendall was also the student activities director and the dean of students before gaining his current position as vice president of student life.

He said his experiences as a student gave him a unique perspective.

“I became the dean of students with an idea of sitting on both sides of the desk,” said Kendall.
Kendall said he is amazed with his decision to attend Saint Mary’s and the impact it has had on his life. It was the only college he applied to and he didn’t visit campus, he said.

“I didn’t know it then, but it was the most significant decision of my life,” said Kendall. “It has been an interesting journey, and I still learn a lot every day.”

University alum Leibundguth ‘Back in the Day’

By Jenna Capelle
Cardinal Newspaper Staff

Admission Counselor Neil Leibundguth didn’t always spend hours talking on the phone with parents, attend college fairs and visit high schools throughout Wisconsin.

Leibundguth recently graduated from Saint Mary’s University with the Class of 2009. In college, he was involved with the campus radio station, KSMR. He hosted a radio show on KSMR and served as the Technology Director for a period of time. Leibundguth also installed the sound board that’s currently in the KSMR broadcasting room today.

With the Office of Admission at SMU, Leibundguth works with prospective high school students from the greater Wisconsin area along with the St. Paul area. He helps students through the admission process by meeting with students when they visit. Also, he talks to students and parents on the phone to figure out necessary paperwork for transcripts and financial aid.

Becoming an admission counselor was an easy choice for Leibundguth because he had such a great college experience.

“When you love your school so much it’s easy to tell students about it,” said Leibundguth.
“I loved seeing students adding the online feed of KSMR,” said Leibundguth. “It’s great to see the station get bigger and more popular.”

Three years out of school, Leibundguth continues to be included with the men’s music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha, in which he was a member during his undergraduate days. Since graduating, the fraternity has occasionally asked for his assistance onstage and offstage in preparation for the Blue Angel music variety show on campus.

“Being on campus still allows me to stay a part of the fraternity when they need me,” said Leibundguth.

Leibundguth suggests that students in college should get as involved in college as possible. However, it’s important that students learn to prioritize their time with school and activities so they don’t overstretch themselves.

“You’re not going to remember every paper you wrote about, but you will remember all the great things you did with your friends,” said Leibundguth.

Fisher hopes to ...

By Kassondra Burtis
News Editor
Hundreds of students graduate from Saint Mary’s University every year, yet few decide to come back and work at the place where they received their education. Bob Fisher is one of those few.

Fisher is a Dec. 1997 SMU graduate with a history major and business minor. He also completed his master’s degree in philanthropy and development from SMU in 2006. He has been working for Saint Mary’s since June 2000, first as director of the annual fund, and just last year switched to associate director for young alumni and student relations.

“One of the reasons that I decided to come back and work here is because Saint Mary’s did so much for me, academically and personally,” Fisher said. “It made me who I am today. I want to help provide those same opportunities that I had and actually create better opportunities for the future students of Saint Mary’s.”

As a student Fisher had a love for music, as he participated in jazz ensemble, jazz combo, concert band, liturgical choir and the musical fraternity Phi Mu Alpha. He also participated in cross country running, cross country skiing, the history club and the SMU historical society.

One of the greatest experiences Fisher was able to be a part of at SMU, he said, was the chance to study abroad in Italy.

“I would say that experience was truly rewarding; and educationally it was rewarding and refreshing,” Fisher said. “The opportunity to travel around with some of your greatest friends, travel around some of the countries in central Europe, to really grow as a person and see other cultures was so important.”

Another highlight of Fisher’s years as a student was doing the Gaslight and Blue Angel shows.

“I’m a performer by hobby and getting up on stage and performing for the student body was always a lot of fun,” Fisher said. “What is awesome for me now is I get to continue that but see it from a different side – see how students grow through those experiences and helping them get more comfortable on stage as one of the advisors of the show.”

Other aspects of Fisher’s SMU experience that helped him to excel included the chance to do three internships – at the history museum in Winona, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the SMU Development Office – as well as the close attention that professors give to students.

“I wasn’t an honors student by any means, but I worked hard, and I learned to really write well as a student here,” Fisher said. “I came in here with fairly poor writing skills, so the attention that the Saint Mary’s faculty and staff gave me was extraordinary.”

One of the things Fisher says hasn’t changed from his time as a student until now is his character.

“I’m always smiling,” Fisher said. “I think the nice guy, smiley Bob is what a lot of people would remember about me.”

Another thing about Fisher that has remained constant is his love of music. He is still active in Phi Mu Alpha, as he is now the faculty advisor of the fraternity.

One piece of advice Fisher has for students as they leave Saint Mary’s students is to stay in touch with the university.

“Stay involved, stay connected and continue embracing our great community because it’s not just a community for four years, it’s a community for life.”

Miller’s career at SMU

Samantha Borawski
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University alumnus and current head fastpitch softball Coach Jen Miller recalls her memories of attending SMU and the differences and similarities between the university then and now.

While attending SMU, Miller played four years on the fastpitch softball team, leading her to her favorite and best memory of college as winning a National Division III Championship in 2000.

Aside from a national championship, Miller also remembers significant moments such as winning regionals and just being able to continue to enjoy playing softball.

As a student, Miller majored in elementary education. She said to her knowledge, classes are still similar to when she attended SMU. Her favorite class she took at SMU for her major was Social and Science Methods, which was a class where the student practiced writing lesson plans for elementary school students.

“Students tend to be more inquisitive [now] and want to know why things should be done one way rather than another,” said Miller. Students tended to have a more “just do it” mentality when Miller was a student, she said.

When not being a full-time student or being an active member of the softball team, Miller recalls enjoying all campus parties in the quad which offered things such as live bands for students to listen to.

Two things Miller wished she SMU had when she was a student were the ropes course and the soccer field. Students are still able to enjoy these aspects of Saint Mary’s today.

Lastly, Coach Miller did not plan on staying at SMU to coach. She always imagined herself in a classroom setting, teaching children.

While working at SMU is not what Coach Miller thought would happen in her life, she is glad that she chose this university as her place of employment. She initially chose SMU because of the great softball program, and that is why she is still here today.

Gaslight variety show to celebrate 50-year anniversary

By Jenna Capelle
Cardinal Staff
Gaslight, a music variety show that serves as a fundraiser for the senior class at Saint Mary’s University, will celebrate its 50-year anniversary with an exclusive alumni show.

Associate Director of Young Alumni and Student Relations, Bob Fisher, is responsible for coordinating the alumni show, which will feature various performances from former SMU students throughout the decades.

“The original Oldie Moldie All-Stars from the ‘70s will be performing with Chris Kendall and Mike Charron as emcees,” said Fisher.

The Gaslight alumni show is the first collaboration between the Alumni Relations office and the senior class officers. A reception will be held for alumni one hour before the 7 p.m. alumni show on Saturday night in the Toner Center Dining Room.

“Gaslight is a wonderful tradition for this university,” said Fisher. “It’s a memorable experience for students from every generation.”

Senior class officers, Tina Swanberg and Danielle Strebel, will stay busy over the next few weeks preparing for the Gaslight fundraiser by running auditions, publicity, advertisements and ticket sales.

“Since I have never performed in it and have only been on the audience side, I am really excited to be a ‘behind-the-scenes’ person and make it all happen,” said Strebel.

The senior class officers and Fisher encourage students to audition for Gaslight from March 30 to April 1. In honor of the 50th anniversary, the top two acts that score the highest ranking in auditions have the privilege of performing in the alumni show.

“It’s a variety show, so we make an effort in auditions to enter all different types of music,” said Swanberg. “Every person watching the show can find something they like.”

There will be two student shows at 7 and 10 p.m. on Friday, April 20. The alumni show will be at 7 p.m. and the student show at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Tickets can be purchased during lunches the week prior to the show in the Toner Building or at the door. The shows will take place in the Toner Center Dining Room.

For more information about Gaslight, look for campus emails, posters and the Facebook page. The senior class officers can be contacted at and

Jazz Combo I travels to Germany

By Trisha Stachowski
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Saint Mary’s University’s Jazz Combo I traveled to Cologne, Germany, to perform during spring break.

The 12-piece band was able to experience German culture and share American jazz with the German citizens. The band also had to opportunity to sightsee. The Combo was able to tour both a German cathedral and palace.

The band also had the opportunity to participate in several musical experiences. Under the direction of Dr. John Paulson, the band was able to partake in one rehearsal and play at two different events.

According to junior Jazz Combo I member Allen Mekash, the band had the chance to play at an open rehearsal with a local community band.

In addition to the rehearsal, the group also got to perform at a sold-out show where they teamed up with magician Stefan Gusgen to put on a memorable performance, playing in front of a crowd of over 400 people.

Jazz Combo I concluded their German experience by performing once last concert at the Community Evangelical Church in Wesseling, Germany.

Mekash said the concert was mainly for the host families that housed the students throughout their trip to Germany.

Jazz Combo I will perform at the Page Theatre at SMU on April 13. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For more information, contact the Page Theatre.

Jazz Combo I performs homecoming concert

By Trisha Stachowski
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Saint Mary’s University’s Jazz Combo I performed a homecoming concert on Friday, March 16, celebrating their return from Germany in the Figliulo Recital Hall.

The homecoming concert marked the first concert that the 12-piece Combo put on in the United States following their return from their German tour. For the concert, the Combo played 12 songs, including a song arranged by SMU faculty member and Jazz Combo I member A. Eric Heukeshoven. The performance included songs such as “Comin’ Home Baby” and “I’ll Take Romance.” The Combo performed under the direction of Dr. John Paulson.

Paulson said, “I asked each of the students to introduce one of the selections we played, as well as talk about their favorite aspect of the tour.” The Combo stayed consistent with their typical style. When asked about the trip to Germany and the homecoming concert, Paulson stated, “both Eric (Heukeshoven] and I were very proud of the way the students conducted themselves. they were very polite and responsible”.

Jazz Combo I will perform again in the Page Theatre on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They can be purchased through the Page Theatre.

Successful spring trip leads to hopeful season

Samantha Borawski
Cardinal Staff

Despite losing two games in Rochester at the beginning of the season, the Saint Mary’s University fastpitch softball team went 6-2 on its spring break trip to Clermont, Fla.
By the end of the trip, the Cardinals walked away feeling victorious, hopefully giving the rest of SMU a preview of how the season will go.

Coach Jen Miller said one of the most beneficial things she learned about her team was the depth of players at each position. She said the amount of versatility and willingness to work has given her and the coaching staff confidence in each player at each position.
Miller said she also discovered the team’s determination, since the players never gave up during their games and worked hard for their victories.

With conference games beginning March 28 against Augsburg College at home, the team is ready to begin playing, especially since the weather has been unnaturally warm lately.

Miller said that “defense, hitting and pitching” will be important for the team to have a successful season this year. She said those three aspects will determine if the team will have as much success as they did on their spring break trip.

Cardinal baseball off to a strong start

Nick Bravos
Sports Editor

The Saint Mary’s University baseball team once again started the season off with a spring break trip, this year traveling to Arizona to take on teams from around the country. The team ended the trip winning six out of the ten games, providing a very solid start to the season.

In the final game of the ten-game trip the team came back from a 10-5 deficit to Oregon Lewis and Clarke College. After tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, the score was dead-locked at 13-13 in the bottom half of the tenth. With the Cardinals at the plate, senior Curt Swanson hit an RBI-single to score sophomore Zach Wolfe to win the game 14-13.

Since returning from Arizona, the team has continued to play well, winning two of its three games. After splitting a doubleheader with Cornell College on March 17, the Cardinals outlasted University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 1-0 in a 14 inning pitchers’ duel on March 25. The Cardinals won after Andy Edholm hit the game winning single in the bottom of the 14th inning to score Matt Tessmer.

The Cardinals have their first home game of the season Saturday, March 31 when they host a doubleheader against Bethel University starting at 1:00 p.m.

El Otro Lado

By Jill Spitzmueller and Kelsi Addabbo
Guest Writers

Ricardo came to the United States with his parents when he was just 10 years old. Now at the age of 34, he is eating beans and tortillas in Nogales, Sonora, a border town in Mexico. He hadn’t been to his native country in 24 years and had no family to turn to or a place to call home. Back in California, Ricardo had an established carpentry business, a wife and two young children. One day, he was pulled over for a burnt-out tail light. The officer asked for his papers and when he failed to produce documentation, he found himself deported to Nogales.

During spring break, we heard many stories like Ricardo’s while on our SOUL trip to Tucson, Arizona. We took part in the San Miguel High School immersion program, El Otro Lado (The Other Side). Throughout the week, we not only saw what life was like on both sides of the border, but we were also challenged to consider many different perspectives on the issue of immigration. We invite you to be open to the many viewpoints we are going to share with you.

Day One: The Wall
Seeing the wall for the first time was shocking. The “wall” is more like a fence in that you can see through the posts to el otro lado. As we walked along the wall, we began to see how arbitrary it was. We walked past a border patrol agent sitting in his vehicle to deter people from jumping the wall.

We then went downtown to the border crossing station where a bus full of recently deported migrants was being unloaded. As we stood there, watching in disbelief, residents walked by as if nothing out of the ordinary was taking place. We were almost ashamed to be watching.

Day Two: The Government Perspective
We began our day with a visit to the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Station where we were given a tour and an informational presentation. The agent told us that the mission of Border Patrol is to prevent terrorism in the United States. Interestingly, they have caught a total of zero terrorists trying to enter from Mexico. We also learned that only 12-14% of migrants are carrying drugs into the United States. One agent shared that the most difficult part of his job is hearing the stories of the migrants, knowing that the current solution is not the best fix, but being unable to think of a better solution.

Later that afternoon, as we sat in a courtroom full of 70 shackled migrants, we watched them approach the bench in groups of five to seven to have their “trial.” Operation Streamline is a federal program used to process undocumented migrants caught in the United States. Again, we felt ashamed as we watched them being herded like cattle through the American Justice System. At a debriefing session with a federal defense attorney, we learned that most of the people involved in Operation Streamline have the same feelings toward it and are seeking a better, more dignified solution.

Day Three: The Environmental Perspective
In the morning, a cattle rancher who lives on the border invited us to his home to give his perspective on immigration. He shared some of the challenges he faces with migrants coming through his property, including cutting his barbed wire fences and leaving the water tanks open. Although he is sympathetic towards the migrants, he worries about his safety and the safety of his family. This concern came to light after a close friend and fellow rancher was killed by a migrant when he was trying to offer assistance to a distressed group of migrants.

Later we met with No More Deaths, a humanitarian group that works along the border. We hiked to a shrine built by migrants along a well-traveled migrant trial, leaving gallons of water along the way. It is impossible for migrants to carry the necessary amount of water with them as they cross through the desert, causing many of them to die of heat stroke.

Day Four: The Humanitarian Perspective
We spent the day with the Green Valley Samaritans who are a group of mostly retired people working to maintain the dignity of the migrants. We drove to a “nest” on the rancher’s property, a place where migrants rest and abandon their unnecessary belongings before making their next move. We proceeded to pick up backpacks, clothes, toothbrushes, food cans, and more personal items, checking for identification along the way.

Afterwards, we took part in a memorial walk in the desert to remember those who lost their lives on their journey. We visited three sites where human remains were found. Unable to be identified, their families have no closure and likely don’t know where their loved ones are.

Day Five: The Migrant Perspective
It was on this day, at the Kino Border Initiative, that we met people like Ricardo who shared their stories with us. Talking with the migrants, we learned that some of the them had been living in the United States for 20 or more years while others did not want to stay in the United States, but only wanted to work for a year or two to make enough money to support their families. Meeting the migrants themselves was a fitting end to our week.

You likely have your notions about immigration. You may have thought Ricardo was deserving of his deportation, or you may have thought it was wrong of the government to deport him. After hearing the many different sides of this issue, we hope you have realized that immigration is a complex issue and have reevaluated your own ideas. We also hope that you will take the time to look further into immigration to become better informed about this prevalent topic. For more information about our trip, visit our blog at

Friday, March 2, 2012

SMU mourns loss of Br. Jerome

By Julianne Bartosz

Brother Jerome Rademacher, FSC ’58, Ph.D., passed away on Feb. 15 at Saint Anne Extended Health Care at the age of 75.

A De La Salle Christian Brother for 57 years, Brother Jerome had a great impact on the Saint Mary’s University community.

Brother Jerome received his Bachelor of Arts from Saint Mary’s College in 1958. He returned to Saint Mary’s from 1965 to 1969 and again in 1974 until his retirement in 2008.

Brother Jerome spent the majority of his 40 years of teaching in the Physics Department. Nevertheless, he was also one of the first people to teach computer science at SMU.

In addition to teaching, Brother Jerome also impacted the SMU community by sharing his love for the outdoors. He and Brother John Grover, FSC ’65, founded SMU’s trail system, which is used for skiing, running, hiking and playing disc golf.

For years, Brother Jerome groomed the trails himself with his homemade grooming machinery, and this continued involvement with the trails earned him the Heffron Service Award in 2002 from SMU.

Many members of the SMU community attended Brother Jerome’s funeral arrangements, including visitation and Mass of Christian Burial, which were held at SMU on Feb. 20.

Everyone is invited to share personal photos, memories and messages about Brother Jerome on a community Facebook page “In Memory of Brother Jerome.”

Senior class gift all about giving back

By Kassondra Burtis
News Editor

As the Saint Mary’s University Class of 2012 prepares to graduate this May, it hopes to leave a great example of what will begin a long tradition of giving back.

This year for their class gift, the senior class will be pledging money to the university that has given them great education and opportunities. Pledges will be designated through the Saint Mary’s Fund to any of four different areas: Unrestricted (the money will be applied wherever it is most needed), Financial Aid, Athletics, or Friend of the School of the Arts.

“The Saint Mary's Fund is the annual giving vehicle that enables alumni, parents and friends of the university to support the mission-driven, supportive and dedicated education we provide,” said Nicole Schroeder ‘08 who is supervising the Senior Class Gift Committee and the director of Saint Mary’s Fund.

“The Class of 2012 has an opportunity through the Senior Class gift to focus on raising unrestricted funds that ensure the next 100 years of learning remain vibrant and strong,” Schroeder said. “[It also ensures] that every student experiences the relationships built in their freshman residence hall, favorite professor(s) continue to teach and the one-on-one attention remains, because at the heart of your and my Saint Mary’s education is the connection and dedication of those who want to see you succeed.”

Senior Emily Munns, co-chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee, is a third generation Cardinal and applied to co-lead the committee because she wants to help give future students the same opportunities that she has had, if not more.

“My father and grandfather are both alumni of Saint Mary’s University,” Munns said. “My father has donated money to SMU’s annual fund for as long as I can remember. I joined the committee to help inform and raise awareness to the senior class of how important our benefactors and alumni are to the university’s operation and also for the future education of SMU students.

“I am excited and honored to work with Rachel Gates-Vickery, also a co-chair, in addition to the talented committee members in order to make a difference in the future of Saint Mary's University,” Munns said.

Saint Mary’s to hold Easter egg hunt

By Aaron Henry
Cardinal Staff

As the Saint Mary’s University community enters the Lenten season and looks forward to Easter, a new tradition may arise.

For the first time in its history, SMU will host an Easter egg hunt for children of the Winona community on Palm Sunday, April 1, in Mary’s Hall Park or the Gostomski Fieldhouse if it rains. The event will begin with games at 1 p.m. while the Easter Egg Hunt itself starts at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the annual Halloween event that takes place every fall, a few students and Residence Life staff members decided to extend the tradition of community outreach and plan an event for the spring. Juniors Julianne Bartosz, Riley Sinn and Meghan Campbell are working with Nikki Hodous, the director of residence life, and Marc Hartmann, hall director in Benilde, Yon’s and Gilmore residence halls, to make the event a success.

Every year for more than 10 years, the Office of Residence Life at SMU has welcomed families of staff and faculty members and the families in the surrounding community to the campus to partake in an annual Halloween event. The participants play games and go trick-or-treating in residence halls.

“It is always a huge success and a great way to encourage community involvement at the university,” said Bartosz.

She said she hopes that the Easter egg hunt will be equally well-attended.

“I am a little surprised that Saint Mary’s has never had an Easter egg hunt for the community before,” she said. “But I am very excited to have the opportunity to help organize it. I believe that this has the potential to become a great new tradition here at Saint Mary’s.”

The Easter event is still in the planning process and help is needed. Because this is a large community event, the planning committee is looking for anyone who can volunteer time or donate candy or money. Those interested in helping should contact Julianne Bartosz at

Dance team holds annual show

By Kassondra Burtis
News Editor

The Saint Mary’s University dance team performed for the last time this semester during their second annual dance show Sun., Feb. 26.

The dance team, led by captains Allison Johnson and Kaitlyn Bryant, performed two routines. Other SMU groups that participated in the show included Ballroom Club, cheerleaders and two students who performed an Irish dance.

Dance team manager Emily Munns, a senior who has been with the team for three years, sees the dance show as a great opportunity not only for the team, but also for the other groups who come to participate.

“The dance show is put on by the team to invite studios, colleges and high schools and to showcase the different groups on campus including the dance team,” Munns said. “It is a fun opportunity to let others perform their routines in front of an audience as well.”

The show also allows many groups to be able to perform for free, said Johnson.

“The dance show is a great way for us to perform on campus,” she said. “It allows the audience to experience various styles of dance. [The] main goal is to share the love of dance.”

There were two community dance studios that participated in the show, including Jane Taylor’s Academy of Dance and Nicole’s School of Dance. Both studios performed multiple routines that included solos, duets and group dances.

The money raised from the dance show goes to the dance team budget, helping the team purchase costumes for their routines. It is also used for travel expenses to competitions. This year’s dance show helped raise over $400 for the team.

The show marked the dance team’s final performance this year. Munns looked back on her three years spent with the team and the many great experiences and memories she has shared with them.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a member and manager for the SMU dance team over the past three years,” she said. “The team is my second family, as I have had the opportunity to spend so much time with them from practices to performing at school to competitions. I will miss everyone next year but would like to wish the team the best of luck in the years to come.”

LCT class goes paperless

By Jake Schild
Cardinal Staff

An LCT class that focuses on sustainability “practiced what it preached” last spring when it did not produce any paper throughout the duration of the semester, said its professor Dr. Scott Sorvaag.

Sorvaag, dean of education at Saint Mary’s University, taught “Sustainability, Leadership, and the Human Spirit” completely electronically, using resources predominantly found on the Internet.

“We generated no paper – at all,” Sorvaag said. “We didn’t have a textbook. All of it was electronic-based text. The syllabus was never printed and was completely linked. It was a networked syllabus, which means you could link to all the readings from the syllabus. There were a lot of really good video resources we used that were in the public domain that were also linked on the syllabus.”

Students in Sorvaag’s class used the free website, which invites feedback from anyone and can gather information via text messaging, web, or Twitter. The website allowed student comments during lectures and while watching movies.

Meg Beerling, a student in the course, liked this way of communicating ideas.

“It gave students a chance to be honest and not have to share those feelings in class,” Beerling said. “It really provided for a lot of honesty and helped with that sense of community. With the open-ended questions, I thought the anonymity really helped.”

Students also did homework and shared ideas on blogs outside of class that could be read by all students. Sorvaag explained that this method allowed for both him and his students to get a broader sense of what was being accomplished by looking at collective ideas from the group rather than focusing on one or two at a time.

“Oftentimes, professors get a stack of papers and we get the advantage of reading all of them,” Sorvaag said. “So we get to take a look at the complexity of all of these ideas, and it’s a very rewarding intellectual experience. One of the things that was designed into this course was to use appropriate tools, so everybody had that experience. You can see kind of how everybody’s thinking about this. That really places you in a different place as far as your ability to
synthesize and evaluate ideas. That’s something that I think was a very positive outcome.”

Students in Sorvaag’s class didn’t know until the first day of class that they would be conducting this paperless experiment. However, Sorvaag said that students responded well to the idea and made it work.

“I think, for the most part, people were open about it,” he said. “When I mentioned the challenge of going paperless, they embraced it. There was some enthusiasm there that I really, really appreciated. I really enjoyed the course. When I see people that were in the class, I get a really positive feeling about what we were able to do together.”

New, popular products offered at Cardinal Corner

By Kassondra Burtis
News Editor

New items at the student-run Cardinal Corner are giving students a great opportunity to show their Cardinal pride.

This semester, there are two brand-new items occupying the store’s shelves, as well as two more products that have been popular items in recent semesters.

One of the new featured products is a red blanket with the words “Cardinal Pride” embossed into the fabric. The other new product is a t-shirt featuring Campus Safety’s Don Nelson.

Back by popular demand are the white Father Fabian “The Legend” shirts, as well as the navy blue Andy Warhol-inspired shirts with Brother Stephen’s face on the front.

The Cardinal Corner is a student-run store operated by the Entrepreneurship class instructed by Jana Craft.

“The students in the MG315 class are broken up into four groups of four to five people, and they are tasked with deciding on a product to sell in the store,” Craft said. “They have to market it, track the inventory, report on the financials, strategy for selling, etc.

“Mainly, though, it gives them the opportunity to see that it’s not easy to control everything about a business. Not everyone flocks to your store the moment you open the doors.”

Each semester, the profits from the Cardinal Corner are donated to a charity of the class’s choosing, including all profits “from new items as well as existing items from previous semesters that do not belong to club, sports or teams,” said Craft. This semester, the proceeds will go to the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance recipient, Josh Misiewicz, a former SMU student and U.S. soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan.

Andrea Moore, a student in Craft’s Entrepreneurship class, said that the students in the class aim to provide products that people can’t buy anywhere else.

“[We] wanted a product that would sell and was unique,” Moore said. “The Father Fabian and Brother Stephen t-shirts are hot sellers so we are piggy-backing off the popularity of honoring a faculty with our ‘Security…Don!’ t-shirts.”

Moore believes that the experience of running the store gives students a first look into what really goes into running a business.

“Not everyone has previous experience selling or working on things that go on behind the scenes before a product reaches the store,” Moore said. “I think running the Cardinal Corner lets us see that there is a lot of work that does happen before anyone realizes any profit.”

3rd Annual Cardinal Plunge

Hosted by Future Alumni Committee (FAC) this year’s Cardinal Plunge was yet another success. Raising money for the Student Emergency Fund, different clubs and individuals took the leap into the icy water on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Michael LaCanne Park in Goodview, Minn.

Peace and Justice promotes social justice on campus

By Julianne Bartosz

Peace and Justice (P&J) is a club at Saint Mary’s University that aims to educate the SMU community on issues of social justice through constantly recognizing and promoting direct service as a tool for social change, said P&J Co-Advisor Marc Hartmann.

P&J hosts Fair Trade Fridays every week in Mary’s Hall, where they offer fresh fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa and pieces of chocolate.

“We offer products for free to promote awareness of fair trade practices,” said Meghan Campbell, co-president of P&J.

Even though the products are free, donations may be given to help P&J buy more products and fund additional events that the group promotes on campus.

This semester, P&J will be holding an event called Common Threads during which they will collect donated clothes and then sell them.

“Common Threads is our way of promoting sustainability,” said Campbell. “We wanted to give people an opportunity to reuse things and hopefully encourage them to donate their clothes more often.”

They will be accepting clothes donations from April 2-11. Then, the clothes will be sold to the community and campus in the Hall of Fame room April 12-14. Remaining clothes after the sale will be donated to Winona Volunteer Services.

Recently, P&J wrote a proposal to receive a grant for Reverend Green’s Fresh Start of Winona Organization. They were one of 16 groups to receive a grant from the Brother James Miller Social Justice Fund of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest District.

Fresh Start is an organization that helps people who were recently released from jail find a job and a place to live. “We chose to help Fresh Start because they promote fairness and equality for individuals in society regardless of their circumstances,” said Campbell.

Hartmann said that the money from the grant will be used to provide for the everyday living expenses needed to house up to 20 residents at a time.

Last semester, the club held a human trafficking awareness week, planned a Fair Trade Sale and attended a peace vigil at the School of the America’s (SOA) in Fort Benning, Ga.

To get involved with P&J, contact Meghan Campbell at

SOS begins “green” initiative

By Emma Stenzel
Managing & Advertising Editor

Students Organizing Sustainability (SOS) is the new student-led organization committed to promoting sustainable practices at Saint Mary’s University and increasing awareness of current environmental issues.

SOS was founded in January by a group of environmentally minded students at SMU who hoped to improve the school’s sustainable efforts and advocate alternative solutions. They work to create new opportunities at SMU that will help preserve resources, reduce waste and encourage productive dialogue about environmentalism.

Tina Swanberg, founder and president of SOS, initiated the club after observing a number of areas where SMU could develop its sustainability.

“I noticed there was a lot of waste at our school, so I wanted to start with small projects and see if people were interested,” said Swanberg. “I just think that higher educated students should have a better understanding of sustainability and make the effort to actually practice it.”

Swanberg said she has several goals she would like SOS to accomplish before she graduates in May. She said among the club’s main priorities are to educate the campus about SMU’s recycling programs and to draw attention to the everyday actions that students can change in their own lives, such as avoiding disposables and plastic bottles, consuming less, saving electricity and not driving to campus from residence halls.

“We’ve all heard so many times, ‘Every effort counts!’” said Swanberg. “But really, every small thing does matter. So turn off the lights and recycle because it will go a long way.”

Club members are also interested in seeing SOS sustain itself as a campus organization, which will require the active and consistent participation from SMU students who are dedicated to improving the school’s carbon footprint.

SOS encourages all students to attend its weekly meetings held on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in Toner Room B. Students can also connect with the club by “Liking” its Facebook page or reading its blog at

TRBD committee approaches its big event

By Julianne Bartosz

The Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance (TRBD) committee, a group of about twenty Saint Mary’s University students, continues to work hard as the benefit dance draws closer.

The TRBD committee began its planning for the 12th annual TRBD early first semester with monthly meetings. As the March 24 dance approaches, the committee has been meeting every week to ensure that all details are covered.

“We have a group that is dedicated and willing to help out,” said Committee Co-Chair Kelsi Addabbo.

The committee is responsible for planning a silent auction to fundraise for the dance, advertising the event, choosing the beneficiary, sending invitations, decorating the dance site and planning a dinner for the beneficiary’s family and friends prior to the event.

This year, the committee chose to honor Josh Misiewicz after applications and nominations were reviewed. Misiewicz is a former SMU student and military veteran who was wounded while serving his country this past summer.

“It is hard to choose a beneficiary because everyone is really deserving,” said Addabbo.

Addabbo said that the dance is changing this year in two ways. It will be held in SMU’s gymnasium so that more students can attend, and it will also have a hockey or “miracle on ice” theme because Misiewicz played hockey.

“[The biggest reward] is seeing everything come together, how much money we can raise and how much it can impact someone’s life,” said Addabbo.

BSA seeks success in first year as club

By Julianne Bartosz

Black Students and Allies is a club dedicated to raising cultural awareness for African American students and diversity issues at Saint Mary’s University. Within their first semester as a club, BSA has developed into a successful and well-known group on campus.

“We were around last year, but sort of as an unofficial club,” said BSA Treasurer Miles Dunna.

This year, as an official club on campus, BSA has hosted multiple events for the SMU community. During the first semester, the club organized Beauty Week to emphasize the significance of inner beauty. It also held Africa Night, one of their more successful events, to celebrate African culture. SMU students were joined by Winona State students to dance, watch African performances and enjoy ethnic food that members of the club prepared.

More recently, BSA hosted three successful members of the African American community who spoke on Feb. 15 as a celebration of Black History Month. The speakers were Minnesota State Rep. Booby Joe Champion, Star Tribune Managing Editor for Operations Duchesne Drew, and SMU alumnus and Winona State University’s Interim Assistant Director of Housing Xavier Wilson.

The speakers discussed the struggles and achievements of their professional career as a member of the minority. Dunna said the event emphasized that everyone “can make a path for themselves regardless of skin color.”

“This was a ground-breaking event for me,” said Dunna. “It was a professional panel with diversity, yet I could relate. It reminded me to make an opportunity to make dreams come true.”

BSA started planning this event early during first semester. The event was recognized in the Winona community, earning a front-page story in The Winona Daily newspaper.

The group is currently compiled of about 15 SMU students from diverse backgrounds. Their meetings and events are open to the SMU community.

“Our events are open to the Winona-Goodview area,” Dunna said. “Getting people from the area is another way to network.”

Information about BSA events is distributed through email and posters displayed around campus.

Second Page, Simply Fun

By Amalia Santos
Cardinal Staff

Second Page is widely known as the improvisation show that occurs once every semester. Few people know that it was originally created as an improv comedy club that welcomes any students at Saint Mary’s University who are interested in improv.

The club is planning this semester’s Second Page show, which will be held in Figiulo Hall on Friday, March 23, at 7 and 10 p.m., performed by members Maggie Allexsaht, Annie Ivansek, Jake Rivet, Meg Beerling, Mary Doctor, Alex Green, Molly Nocera and Annie Garrigan.

Seniors Maggie Allexsaht and Annie Ivansek (known to fellow club members as “the Queen” and “the Prime Minister”) are this year’s Second Page co-presidents and have been members of the club since the beginning of their freshman year at SMU.

As the club’s leaders, Allexsaht and Ivansek are responsible for holding auditions and casting the Second Page show that is put on once a semester. The casted members proceed to meet every week and discuss skits and themes for the upcoming show.

During the show, audience members are invited to choose what games will be played and give skit ideas to the Second Page performers. Allexsaht said that they encourage students to arrive early to get a seat because the show has become very popular campus event.

Allexsaht said that they use most of the topics that are suggested during the show, but sometimes she and Ivansek need to interject. She said, “Comedy is usually offensive, so people kind of expect that.”

Any student interested in Second Page or improv comedy is welcome to join the club during their weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Z-Club comes to Saint Mary’s

By Mary Nordick
Cardinal Staff

Z-Club is a new club at Saint Mary's University that helps students in shape through Zumba® dances on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 8:30-9:30 p.m. in the Gostomski Fieldhouse’s dance studio.

The hour-long sessions include an assortment of cardio-enhanced dances, which incorporate fast-paced music paired with various Latin dance moves that help tone the body.

Freshman Tessa Neibauer is an active participant in Z-Club and enjoys the sessions.

“I always look forward to Zumba®,” said Neibauer. “It’s a lot of fun and you get a great workout at the same time.”

Zumba® enthusiast Mara Keyes agreed, saying, “It’s a fun way to meet people, work out, and learn some amazing dance moves!”

Multicultural showcase is a success

By Marc Hartmann
Guest writer

Saint Mary’s University held its third annual Multicultural Showcase on Feb. 18, where a variety of acts performed different dances and songs that represented the diverse cultures of SMU students.

Over 140 students attended the show to watch performances and eat an assortment of food from different cultures around the globe. Several campus clubs came together to help organize the event, including the International Club, Black Students and Allies (BSA), Peace and Justice (P&J), and the Intercultural Awareness Association of America (ICAA).

Lance Thompson, who led the planning of the event, said that the goal of the event is important to campus and remains the same every year.

“The event is at SMU to truly showcase different cultures around campus,” said Thompson. “It gives people an opportunity to perform at a comfortable venue that maybe normally wouldn’t be presented.”

Thompson believes that this showcase distinguishes itself from other shows on campus.

“While shows like Gaslight and Blue Angel are great, they mostly focus on American Pop Music,” said Thompson. “What this showcase does is bring a whole new dimension to what many of us envision as common music or dance.”

The Multicultural Showcase, previously called the International Showcase, featured 13 acts, seven of which were dances.

One of the performers, Yupeng Li, impressed the audience with a rarely seen martial arts routine. Li performed his skills with glow-in-the-dark, custom made nunchucks.

Thompson said that performers like Li will continue to show off their talents for the SMU for years to come. “As long as this kind of interest keeps up, the event will be around for a long time.”

Sigma Alpha Iota presents Fireside 2012

By Trisha Stachowski
Arts & Entertainment Editor

The annual Fireside music variety show hosted by the sisters of Saint Mary’s University’s music sorority Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) put on three crowd-pleasing performances on Feb. 10 and 11 for the SMU community.

Emcees John Fitzpatrick and Niki Ciulla began the night by welcoming the audience and promising to keep the corny jokes to a minimum. Balloon animals, jokes from the audience and dressing as shrubbery were still fair game throughout the night, however.

Ciulla said, “Fireside was started several years ago by the sisters of SAI, and originally the only performers in the show were sisters.” This eventually changed, when all students were invited to audition for the show.

The first act of the night, performed by Courtney Lee and Bill Van Wagner, instantly electrified the crowd with their cover of The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow.”

The coffee-house atmosphere continued with Sam Schepers and Joe Richards performing an acoustic version of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”

Ciulla said, “Blue Angel and Gaslight both bolster a more ‘rock show’ or ‘concert’ type of vibe, and so the decision to make a ‘coffee-house’ style show seems appropriate to reach different types of performers and audience members.”

Katie Keck, Jessica Ingvalson and Matt Polum won over the crowd with smooth vocals and perfect harmony while performing Kina Grannis’s “Heart and Mind.” The first of two sets closed with Keotta House and Josh Rumppe’s heartfelt performance of Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t.” Then it was time for the traditional intermission pie break.

The second set began with an interesting “bromance” between Tyler Kircher and Mike Ostman, along with pianist Megan Hellmann, performing “Man or Muppet” from the film The Muppets. Ciulla joined her SAI sisters and roommates Jamie Jones and Katie Keck, along with Augustine Esterhammer-Fic, to harmonize to Mountain Man’s “Animal Tracks.” Cuilla also joined Andy Bauer, Paul Schmitt, Alex Bush, Mitch Lawler, Kalinn Bangasser, Ethan Thompson and Tyler Ringeisen, to get the crowd up and dancing for the last act of the night, performing Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home” to finish the show.

Although Fireside included wonderful performances and seamless transitions from one act to another, the show is only possible each year because of all the hard work leading up to the event.

SAI sister and Fireside performer Katie Keck said, “We start the planning process in the fall and begin to work out the basic details such as dates and times, and then we move on to fundraising through advertisements, decorations and more.”

Club sports may see big change this spring

By Nick Bravos
Sports Editor

Nearly a month ago I heard through the grapevine about some surprising rumors that left club sports as a whole sizzling with frustration—rumors which ended up being true.

Sometime this spring a decision will be made as to whether or not club sports, including Hellfish, Blue Jays, MUTs, Polo Bears, and so on, will take on the Cardinal name instead.

After asking around , the answers I got from members of Student Senate and faculty were almost insultingly obvious. Because the athletic clubs are becoming a larger presence on campus and in the region, when they travel and compete against other schools and clubs they are representing Saint Mary’s University and, therefore, reflect it, so the next logical step is these players should be seen as Cardinals.

It’s simple, straight forward and makes perfect sense, right? If teams that represent SMU travel and compete, they should use the traditional aesthetics to make sure people know who they are, and there should be unification on all fronts so we all look alike.

Except there’s a problem, and a big one: if these clubs make some kind of change to their identities—some of which have been student-run, competitive clubs for nearly 15 years—what will happen to the way they are conducted? Will these clubs now have varsity benefits? Will these clubs have an equal opportunity for the Gostomski Fieldhouse or field time with varsity sports? Will these clubs finally have access to the athletic trainer? My point is, this is a complex process that requires many—not one—complex solutions—one that requires input from the student body, and not just the ideologies from Strategic Planning or the Student Life office.

After talking with Chris Kendall, who initially brought up the idea, he made it a point that the safety of all the students involved will be the first priority. One solution he came up with is to add a supervisory person of some kind that will travel and accompany the team for safety and liability reasons. This idea flared up when he heard of three separate incidents where students received severe concussions this fall semester—one of which I was a witness to.

The concussion that I saw left my friend in total cognitive shutdown for one week, which meant no class, no TV, no reading, no computer usage, and even daily conversations should be kept to a limit. For most of that week, he was in a dark bedroom either staring up at the ceiling of his Old Village suite or sleeping. While this example, as well as the other two, is tragic, the one I witnessed could not have been prevented in any way by having an advisory person present. These are rough sports that, let me assure you, people will get hurt in, but I agree with Kendall that some sort of safety measure should be implemented.

What’s also legitimately important in the future discussions is that, there must be a level of transparency involved in order for both faculty and the student bodies representing club sports to be completely aware of what acceptable changes will be made. Ultimately, the decision is left to the administration as to what will happen, which may end in a hammer-swing, but I believe things won’t end that way. I think there will be a concluding decision that is fully representative of our student body’s beliefs.

I think people identify the word “club” to have—in my mind—a negative connotation that reflects that these sports aren’t taken as seriously as a varsity sport, which a) is an impressively common fallacy and b) is a shame because the club sports I mentioned earlier have some of the best athletes on campus. In fact, I know a handful of students that were recruited for a varsity sport but were persuaded otherwise to play club.

I write this not as a threat or as an insult to the efficacy of this university’s administration, but more so as a deterrent to avoid some sort of Pyrrhic Victory that will break the orderly link between a sub-culture (club sports) and its larger, unifying culture (SMU). Instead, this is to show that the students here are listening very intently to the changes that may take place, changes that I hope will leave the relationship of both cultures in good light with the other; one that I hope doesn’t leave a loathsome taste in mouths of the other.

Speak up at the Day at the Capitol

By Kevin Halpin
Guest Writer

What’s helping 19 percent of students at Saint Mary’s make it through the year? No, it’s not Mugby Junction or any other coffee shop in Winona. Something else is making a difference for many students: a grant from the state of Minnesota.

In Minnesota, it is called the State Grant program, which is a powerful tool that helps keep college affordable. This year the average annual grant is $3,076 for 388 SMU students, and it aids students based on their financial needs.

The impact of the program stretches far beyond SMU. Among the state’s private nonprofit colleges, more than 12,000 students receive the grant. Students at public institutions such as Southeast Technical and Winona State University actually receive the bulk of the program’s grants. Altogether, more than 88,000 college students in Minnesota receive these grants, which is about one in four students.

Since this investment impacts us right here at SMU, now is the time for us to reach out to policymakers. We need to make sure they understand just how important these grants are if we want to protect them from possible cuts.

This year students receiving State Grants are benefiting from good decisions that were made during the last legislative session—decisions that we students encouraged. Despite budget shortfalls, legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton agreed to give the program $21 million in additional funding. That means the awards could be larger this year than they were last year.

But we can’t be complacent. Looking ahead, forecasts show that state budget deficits will return larger than ever. Because of this, it is likely that the State Grant program will see cuts in its funding. The program is too important for students at SMU and other Minnesota schools for us to let that happen.

Also, Minnesota’s investment in the program has not been keeping pace with financial need. The value of the average award has been decreasing, even though the need among college students for this kind of support has been increasing.

Consider helping us reach out to legislators to educate them about the impact of this program. Working with students from Minnesota’s Private Colleges, we’ll be going up to the Capitol in St. Paul to make our case in small group meetings with legislators on March 22. If you want to hear more about this, stop by the Student Activities Office or contact us at Sign up at

SMU is a unique place, and for many of us, the State Grant awards allow us to be here and to minimize borrowing and future debt. So let’s speak up and ensure that all students have the opportunity for higher education.