Thursday, November 21, 2013

Salvation for Syria event raises awareness

By Katy Teske
Cardinal Staff
Dr. David Lynch speaks to students about the situation in Syria.
Photo by Mae Yang
Approximately 70 students attended the Salvation for Syria event on Friday, Nov. 8 to hear Dr. David Lynch speak about the status of the war in Syria.

Lynch, a political science professor and chairman of the social science department at Saint Mary’s University, was invited to speak on the subject by the Peace and Justice Club. Although Lynch does not specialize on the Middle East, he agreed to speak because of his interest in the present state of Syria, especially the difficulties facing the humanitarian efforts trying to get to those who are need of aid.

Lynch said, “The United Nations estimated 40 percent of Syria in dire need of aid.” Right now, the death toll has reached 110,000, and there are 2 million refugees, according to Lynch. With winter coming, the urgency to help these refugees increases, he said. However, humanitarian efforts are prevented from reaching many of these people because of the constant fighting and disagreement in the Middle East.

Syria, made up of a mix of many different religions and ethnic groups, has been under the rule of the Assad Regime since 1971. Since the Arab Spring hit Syria in March of 2011, the opposition has been fighting to overthrow the regime. The Assad Regime has used violence to maintain their position of power ever since it took control, and they view staying in power as means for survival.

As Lynch states, “There is no one opposition.” While the opposing forces are trying to overthrow the Assad Regime, they are also fighting battles among themselves. The United States is aiding the opposition, but there is no single leading group to speak for all of the opposing forces. It would be “impossible to untangle the opposition,” said Lynch.

The complexity of the situation leaves us observing with the fear that the conflict will spread to include additional countries, even forcing the United States to become more involved in active warfare. Lynch worries about not only the possibility of it escalating, but also the problems facing humanitarian efforts attempting to assist those in need of aid.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Students volunteer in Winona on Make a Difference Day

By Kelsey Hulbert
Copy Editor

Students rake leaves on National Make a Difference Day.
Photo by Courtney Euerle

Over 150 students from Saint Mary’s University took part in Make a Difference Day to rake leaves, paint, wash windows and beautify the Winona community on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Students helped out at over 30 sites including the Winona Visitor’s Center, the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, various homes of Winona residents and the first ever visit to Herbal Turtle Farms – an organic farm that specializes in various gourmet mushrooms.

Make a Difference Day is part of an overall SMU effort to engage students with the city of Winona so they understand how to be a good citizen and neighbor.

“Make a Difference Day is a great way to get outside your bubble and enjoy the nice fall weather, meet new people and put forth a good name for SMU,” said Lucas Sansovich, SMU junior.

Make a Difference Day is recognized as a national celebration of neighbors helping each other. The annual event was created by USA Weekend and takes place the fourth Saturday in October.

Ballroom Dance Club competes

By Regina Barbosa

Two couples from the Ballroom Dance Club at Saint Mary’s University placed in the top five at the Badger Ballroom Dancesport Classic on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“It was a huge competition,” said senior Gus Wiggert. There were dancers from University of Michigan, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Iowa, St. Olaf, Carleton, UW-Madison and some other schools, he said.

Dance couple Sarah Leitzke and Wiggert placed third in newcomer waltz, and couple Abi Osborne and Wiggert placed fifth in newcomer mambo.

“The interesting thing about it is that these aren’t choreographed routines we do. There’s a set number of moves that we have to use,” said Wiggert. “You’re judged on everything from the actual execution of your moves, to simply your floor presence,” he said.

“[The judges] really want to see if you can create the feel of the dance, as well as doing the moves,” said Osborne.

It was the club’s fourth time ever at a dance sport competition, and first time at such a large one. “In every heat that we competed in, there were about 60-70 couples,” said Wiggert.

Different dancer categories ranged between newcomer, bronze, silver, and gold. The newcomer category is reserved for those who have been dancing under six months, bronze for over six months and silver and gold are for more serious dancers, according to Leitzke.

“All of our couples danced newcomer and bronze,” said Osborne.

“As a club, we just started competing,” said Wiggert. “We are geared much more towards the social dancing,” he said.

“We’re not looking to be professional dancers,” said Osborne, who encourages people to give SMU’s Ballroom Dance Club a try. “This is something to take advantage of,” she said.

“It’s a fantastic club,” said Leitzke, “and it’s worth going to at least once.”

The Ballroom Dance Club meets in the dance studio on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

iPath: Undeclared Majors Retreat a success

By Skylar Finkelstein 
Cardinal Staff
Students finger paint during the Art of Your Life Exercise.

The Student Success Center’s new iPath Undecided Majors Retreat, hosted Nov. 9, aimed to assist students to discover their true self, according to Chris McClead.

Despite a small attendance, the retreat was successful, and all who attended expressed feeling more comfortable and confident in the major they choose, said McClead. Staff from the student success center joined efforts to make the iPath a meaningful journey. 

A range of activities including defining one’s top four values and finger painting current and future self-portraits were designed to help students during the retreat.

A game was played where the participants would write down 16 values they held and had to slowly rip up the different pieces of paper with their values on them until they were left with one.

McClead led the final activity, which involved finger painting. Retreat coordinator Charlie Ness applauded his effort by saying, “Chris added a nice flavor to the day with adding The Art of Your Life” component.

The student success center recognizes that research proves that freshmen and sophomore college students need guidance when deciding what to major in.

According to Ness, the retreat is meant to be a day of discovery and guidance. “When we work with a student, we are often learning who they are at the same time the student is. So we can step back and provide the big questions, and allow space for students to answer in whatever way resonates with them,” she said.

Retreat coordinators Jackie Baker and Mitchell Lawson walked students through the six-step process to finding a college major.

The efforts made by staff seemed to pay off. The students walked out of the retreat with a new perspective of what to major in, but more importantly a more individualized self-identity.

Students are encouraged and welcomed to set up appointments with the Student Success Center staff to receive advising on proper steps to take while enjoying their college years. A similar retreat will take place during the upcoming spring semester.

Future Alumni Committee hosts first Cardinals Give to the Max week

By Samantha Borawski
News Section Editor
Photo by Dana Testa

A penny war, an email campaign, a scavenger hunt and a price-tagging competition were events hosted by Future Alumni Committee throughout Nov. 10-14 to mark the first ever philanthropy awareness week for Saint Mary’s University. 

The philanthropy week and events were created to educate students about the importance of giving back, not only to their community but to Saint Mary’s as well.

The week-long penny war raised $123 for Give to the Max Day. An email campaign alerted family and friends about other events including a scavenger hunt on Tuesday, where students had to take pictures of the buildings and spaces on campus that have been named to recognize some of our loyal benefactors, and a price tagging event, where different items around campus had prices on them to help understand the costs of items on campus that we take for granted.

The movie “The Human Experience,” which is in direct relation to the idea of philanthropy, was shown on Wednesday and there was also a volunteer opportunity to show that anyone can give back in ways other than monetary contribution.

Finally, Thursday, Nov. 14 was the Give to the Max Day event in which SMU competed against other non-profit organizations to raise the most money for their organization.

The event, held in the Cardinal Club, promoted Give to the Max Day by showing a live feed of the event on televisions and had an information table to raise awareness for those in attendance.

According to the Institutional Research Fact Book 2012-2013, SMU’s operating budget for all programs, both graduate and undergraduate, is $63 million, but tuition and fees only covers $49 million of that budget.

This is where the Saint Mary’s Fund comes in. For those who do not know, the Saint Mary’s Fund is the university’s main lifeline to fund the daily living and learning that happens in all classrooms, both graduate and undergraduate. Without the Saint Mary’s Fund, the university could not open the doors, turn on the lights, or admit or graduate a single student.

Future Alumni Committee President Kenzie Corrow said, “I hope that Cardinals Give to the Max Week has shown undergraduates why it is so important that after they graduate they ought to give back, to Saint Mary’s as well as other charities or non-profits they are involved with too.”

Conner Ellinghuysen, member of Future Alumni Committee said, “I hope people had fun and have a better understanding about why we should thank donors.”

Dance Marathon meets kids at Gundersen Lutheran

By Kate Bailey
Cardinal Staff

Students at Saint Mary’s University were given the opportunity to meet with child cancer patients Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., on Nov. 17, 2013.

“My favorite part of the day was seeing one of the children at the hospital. She was playing with her toy train. She was happy to see us, but too shy to say anything. Her parents, on the other hand, were overjoyed to see their daughter smile and were thankful that we were able to give her our full attention,” said Nicholas Korchak, president of the SMU Dance Marathon.

During the visit, students were given a tour and met the children in the game room. According to Korchak, the game room is an important place for the children to go and play during their stay.  

The visit to Gunderson Lutheran was in preparation for the second annual fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s on Feb. 1, 2014. The fundraiser aims to provide children with the medical attention they need.

The fundraising event will feature a talent show by children from Gunderson Lutheran, and will take place in the SMU Recreation and Athletic Center from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. Donations and proceeds will directly benefit Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in providing meal tickets for the families, medical equipment, medicine used for their treatments and other needs the hospital may need.

Students can purchase a shirt or donate money. A table with more information will be set up on Nov. 13, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m in the Toner Center.  

“Remember, 100% of all the money raised goes directly to the kids and their families!” said Dance Marathon Advertising Chair Catie Deysach. “By participating in Dance Marathon, you are helping children in hospitals and their families receive the care they need in order to get better.”

Students meet with public relations professionals

By Kaeli Todd
Cardinal Staff
Photo by Dean Beckman

Members of the Saint Mary’s University Public Relations (PR) & Business Club traveled to Minneapolis on Wednesday, Nov. 13 for a networking event and panel discussion featuring local public relations professionals.

The Minnesota chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) hosted “PR with the Pros: An Evening Discussion about the Future of PR,” in the Cambria Gallery.

Allison Halvorson, a senior at SMU and the secretary of the PR & Business Club, was very impressed by the discussion. “The event consisted of many individuals who have worked in the PR industry for numerous years,” she said. “The members of the panel had personal stories about their careers in PR and ways to make yourself a valuable PR professional.”

According to the Public Relations Society of America, the Twin Cities and metro-area has one of the most impressive public relations industries in the nation. Some of the most prominent names in PR attended the panel discussion to give advice to young PR hopefuls. 

“The best advice I took from the event was to take risks,” said Halvorson. “One will never know change until they change what they do. I also learned that it is alright to fail, everyone does it. You just have to learn from your mistakes and hopefully not make them a second time.”

Halvorson was one of nine SMU students who attended the panel. She recommends that young PR students take the initiative to experience events like this one. 

“I would definitely recommend other PR majors or those possibly switching to PR to attend events similar to this one,” she said. “PR really is all about networking, and these events definitely provide that opportunity if students are willing to attend.”

Under-Told Stories Project panel on human trafficking

By Mary Nordick
Cardinal Staff

The Under-Told Stories Project hosted a panel discussion on Nov. 13, to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking in Minnesota.

The Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership and SMU sponsor the Under-Told Stories Project,  which is dedicated to raising awareness of under-told global issues, and is broadcasted by PBS News Hour.

The panel was moderated by Fred de Sam Lazaro, the director of the Under-Told Stories Project. Lazaro is a journalist who travels all over the world reporting on these issues.

The panelists talked about the rapid spreading of human trafficking cases in Minnesota. This is an issue that is widespread but not widely known. “Victims do not always come forward right away,” said panelist Michelle Garnett McKenzie, advocacy director at the Advocated for Human Rights.

“This year in Minnesota there have been 612 cases of human trafficking and 400 convicted,” said panelist Dennis Cusick, executive director for the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute (UMCPI).

The panelists talked about how Minnesota is one of the most affected states by human trafficking. Even closer to home than we think, Rochester is one of the major cities in Minnesota with high human trafficking numbers.

Panelist, and director of outreach for the Assisi Heights Spirituality in Rochester and member of the SE Minnesota Committee for Human Trafficking, Sister Marlys Jax is trying to help raise awareness in Rochester about this growing problem. “There are 300 homeless children in Rochester every night. Young adults can be recruited by these sex traffickers,” she said.

The panel talked about how there are more and more victims each day.

Junior Emily Trudeau said, “I had no idea that human trafficking was so widespread, the panel definitely brought this to my attention. I want to find a way to help raise awareness to this growing issue.”

Witness for peace: Drugs, guns, US policies in Mexico

By Jesus Martinez
Managing and Advertising Editor
Francisco Cerezo shared his experience of human rights violations.
A first-hand victim and activist came to Saint Mary’s University to share some of the human rights violations that millions of Mexican citizens, including himself, have increasingly endured due to implemented U.S. policies in Mexico. 

Francisco Cerezo, one of the founding members of Comité Cerezo, a Mexican human rights organization, said that he and two of his brothers were “unjustly” imprisoned for peacefully protesting against the Mérida Initiative.  According to Cerezo, they were in a federal prison for over seven years, where they were tortured physically and mentally.

According to Cerezo, the Mérida Initiative: Expanding the U.S./Mexico Partnership has been the primary cause for the increase in violence, political repression, and human rights violation in Mexico. The initiative seeks to expand and deepen both countries’ cooperation to maximize the effectiveness of disrupting organized criminal groups, strengthen partnership between the U.S. and Mexico, build a stronger border control, and to build strong and resilient communities in Mexico, said Cerezo. 

According to Cerezo, the Mérida Initiative is supposed to reduce violence and political repression in Mexico by strengthening human rights, providing and training Mexican officials with a specific code of conduct that treats citizens fairly. 

“Unfortunately, the initial intents of the initiative have backfired for both parties,” Cerezo said. “In reality, Mexico is being militarized by the U.S. in an attempt to have control in Mexico.” The fight on drugs has actually created a new conspiracy in Mexico, Cerezo said. 

The alleged conspiracy is that Mexican officials with the help of the U.S. have been forcefully disappearing people, Cerezo said.

“Blackhawk helicopters have been spotted being used inappropriately to stop peaceful protests against the initiative,” said Cerezo. “Mexican officials react violently against protestors.” 

Cerezo presented a video and a series of pictures where Mexican officials put a bag over an activist’s head to hide his identity after attacking him violently and prosecuting him for peacefully protesting against the U.S. and its initiative with Mexico. According to Cerezo, the U.S. is hurting Mexico more than it is helping it.

“Witness for Peace has made all of this possible,” said Cerezo. “The organization’s mission is to expose the effects that U.S. involvement has on Latin American countries, especially when it comes to military aid.” 

Cerezo urged students to join Witness for Peace, receive frequent action alert emails, and spread the word. He said, “You can join the team and fight for justice in Latin America.”

SMU community attempts sustainable living

By Katie Krull
Feature Editor 

Saint Mary’s University students and faculty are attempting to live more sustainably.

Individuals live sustainable lifestyles by taking shorter showers, turning off the lights, and saving paper in general.

Senior education major Sarah Jansen reuses her lunch bag when she brings her lunch to her student teaching classrooms. “I figure the less I throw away, the more money I save, and I like that I’m not adding as much to a garbage dump somewhere,” she said.

As a whole, there is a “Sustainability Forum” that meets four times a year consisting of a panel of students and faculty working together to discuss more sustainable lifestyles at SMU. 

Along with the individual efforts to live sustainably, there are many courses where professors have decided to “go paperless” to save on energy and paper.

Professor Dean Beckman utilizes Blackboard’s assignment submission feature to keep assignments organized, save paper and stay healthy. He said, “It’s nice during the cold and flu season to have papers electronically submitted, so I’m not catching and spreading germs and viruses through grading.”

Chartwells has also made the effort to be sustainable by eliminating the use of trays, buying local products, and utilizing reusable to-go containers.

Environmental biology professor Josh Lallaman believes that “education is the big opportunity, just to educate our students in our classes just to be aware of simple things they do.”

A rewarding internship experience in Sierra Leone

By Jesus Martinez
Managing and Advertising Editor
Ibraham Dickey teaches children in Siera Leone.

Ibrahim Dickey completed an education internship in Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa, at All As One Children Center (AAO), the orphanage where he was adopted from 10 years ago. 

Dickey, a senior majoring in cross-cultural studies, said that his duties as an intern at AAO included teaching and developing recreational activities for the orphans. “Teaching these kids was probably one of the toughest challenges in my internship,” said Dickey. “I found myself having to use my native tongue, Krio, to explain to these kids exactly what I was trying to teach them.” 

According to Dickey, the education system in Sierra Leone is not as advanced as the United States. Dickey said that he was teaching a sixth grade level class at a fourth grade level. He said that the linguistics course that he took at SMU with Jane Anderson, Ph.D., really helped facilitate his teaching.

“Even though teaching these kids in English was hard, I was at the same time reassured that I’m on the right track with my studies,” Dickey said. “This internship was beneficial in the sense that I now know that I can and enjoy working with kids.”

“When it came to the recreational activities, I realized that I am so Americanized that I forgot how much simple the outdoors can be,” said Dickey. “You don’t see kids play outside in the U.S., you see them inside playing video games.”

Dickey mentioned that his favorite part of the internship was spending time with the kids at the orphanage. He said that everyone was very welcoming, even if they did not know who he was. The only downside of the internship was seeing lot of the younger kids be sick because of the rainy season, Dickey said. 

Dickey said that he connected with the kids at the orphanage because they shared a lot of the same struggles. He said some of them did not have parents or relatives to care for them, so they were sent to AAO. “They treat each other like family,” said Dickey. 

“I use my experience as motivation,” said Dickey. “Always be thankful for being alive because someone out there has it worse than you.”

Insights: What the seminarian life is like

By Wilson Kubwayo
Cardinal Staff
Photo by Wilson Kubayo

The top priority of an Immaculate Heart of Mary seminarian’s life is prayer, which is one of the four pillars of formation. This spiritual pillar includes private prayer and public prayer.

Private prayer requires a seminarian to spend an hour each day in personal prayer. On the other hand, public prayer, such as Mass and Liturgies are mandatory to attend each day.

The seminary offers seminarians retreats throughout the school year that helps with pastoral discernment. “A retreat gives the opportunity to spend time and focus on prayer. It takes away all the distractions of school work and allows one to concentrate on his relationship with God,” said seminary rector Monsignor Thomas Melvin.

There are a variety of retreats that are offered to seminarians that are in different stages in their spiritual life. A retreat about learning how to pray and how to have a deeper relationship with God is available to first-year and second-year seminarians. For third-year and fourth-year seminarians, a retreat about spending time with God aims to help them discover their own vocation.

“I really enjoy seeing Seminarians mature and grow in their spiritual life as men and disciples of Jesus Christ,” said Msgr. Melvin.

Other priorities of a seminarian’s life are life of study, taking care of academic work; fraternity, spending time with the other brothers and growing together by learning from each other; and life of service, learning how to serve other people in doing pastoral works and house jobs.

Each seminarian is assigned a pastoral work and a house job at the beginning of each year. Pastoral works help to serve communities, and is divided by class.

There are a wide variety of pastoral works ranging from visiting the nursing homes, substituting or teaching at schools, visiting the prisons and the Little Buddy program here at campus.

Similarly with pastoral works, house jobs help to serve one another and live as brothers. House jobs include cleaning the stairs, bathrooms, halls, and dishes. Each seminarian is required to spend a few hours a week doing both pastoral works and house jobs.

An IHM seminarian is also required to dress a certain way throughout the school year, making it easier for others to distinguish him as a seminarian, and helping him with his discernment by living as a public person.

Review: Blue Angel 2013 a great show

By Ena Moats
Cardinal Staff
Phi Mu Alpha brothers singing the final song at the 2013 Blue Angel concert.
Photo by Janie Maki
     Good music, good people, and overall good vibes made this year’s Blue Angel, hosted by Phi Mu Alpha Nov. 8-9, a truly enjoyable show, and well worth the six dollars charged to many student accounts.
     The hosts of the night, Director of Student Activities Lance Thompson and Director of Residence Life Brendan Dolan, provided many laughs along with their introductions of the real stars of the show: 20 musical groups made up of Saint Mary’s University students.
     The wide variety of acts showcased students of all ages. From President of Phi Mu Alpha Miles Dunna’s performance in “Halfway to Miley,” and Oldie Moldie All-Stars, to first-year student Elliut Fonseca’s contributions in “A Girl, a Guy, and a Guitar” and “Orange,” each was an example of the broad extent of talent that stretches across the campus.
     Fonseca said it was a little intimidating at first to perform in front of his peers, “but it was also an honor,” he said, “especially considering that only a few freshmen got into the show.”
     Popular titles that were covered in the show included “Royals” by Lorde, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon, among others. The final song of the night was sung by all the members of the male music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha, to end the night with a feeling of community and brotherhood.
     All performances were entertaining for the large crowds, especially for those lucky audience members who were chosen from a raffle to sit in the best seat in the house: a big comfy couch.
     Alice Kaiser, a well-known Chartwells employee, was invited to sit on the honorary sofa for the ten o’clock show on Saturday. Alice commented on her position saying, “I just felt so loved.” Her favorite part of the night was the closing act with the Oldie Moldie performance, because she loved jamming to music from her own era.

     Others who attended the show could be seen doing a similar sort of jamming in addition to dancing, singing and laughing in the Blue Angel atmosphere.

Modern adaptation of classic satire hits the Page

By Paul Schmitt
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Photo by Jason Underferth

The Page Theatre recently underwent a Russian invasion the weekend of Nov. 7-10 with the student performance of “The Government Inspector.”

The play, written in 1836 by Nikolai Gogol, is a satire that revolves around the corruption of the citizens of a small provincial town in Russia as they spiral into a frenzy caused by the rumored surveillance of their town by an incognito government inspector. The SMU Theatre Department, however, used a script adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher in 2008.

“The play still takes place in 1836, but the language is very accessible,” said guest director Gale Childs-Daly, who came to department for the semester with experience text coaching for Winona’s Great River Shakespeare Festival.

Childs-Daly noted that one of the most difficult aspects of directing the show was working with such a young cast, since most of the performers were only freshmen or sophomores. Still, she said they were doing “very well,” when asked a day before opening night.

Though working with an unfamiliar director can be challenging, many of the performers seemed to appreciate it. Alex Green, a senior SMU Theatre major, who played the role of the Mayor in the production, said “working with a guest director is really great, because it gives us the opportunity to work with someone different, which is part of the main reason to be a theater major at all.”

Brian Pipal, a senior SMU Theatre major who made his role as Hlestakov his senior project, affirmed Green’s opinion, and said that one of the most challenging parts of the play was the humor. “I normally have trouble with comedic timing,” said Pipal, “and when you run a show a hundred times with no audience to laugh, it’s hard to see where you’re at.” 

Judging by the amount of laughs the play received from the audience, he had nothing to worry about. The adaptation modernized much of the humor in Gogol’s original, and added slapstick humor, jokes about sexuality and the stardom, and dance routines between scenes, all of which were relatively well-received by the audience.

Leung and Kirk showcase their talent

By Ena Moats
Cardinal Staff

A crowd filled the Figliulo Recital Hall on Sunday, Nov. 10 to watch the performance of Saint Mary’s University faculty members David Leung, Ph.D., and Ned Kirk, Ph.D.

Leung impressed the audience with his skills on violin and Kirk, similarly, on piano.  Both musicians conveyed their knowledge and passion of music through these instruments, performing four pieces by various composers including Beethoven, Schubert, Diamond, and Franck.

The audience, made up of both students and community members, was braced for the first composition, Sonata in C minor, Op.30, No.2, with a warning from Leung, who said, “It’s going to get loud, so get your helmets on.”

This piece conveyed the feelings and events of the early Napoleonic era around 1801, complete with cannon fire and the clomping of horse hooves.  The audience was able to visualize these elements through the highs and lows, which were produced by the combination of violin and piano.

The performers truly captured the essence of each and every song, staying true to the idea that music tells a story. Kirk and Leung told these stories in a way that would surely bring pride to the composers.  

These musicians’ abilities in both technical skill and interpretation stunned the crowd, and reminded the community to appreciate the phenomenal talent to which it is exposed.

Winona resident and concert attendee Julie Chaisson said, “I believe the talent here is world-class.”

Holiday music to fill the weekend

By Regina Barbosa
Student conductors Katie Kosiek and Marilyn Yennie.
Photo by Dr. Janet Heukeshoven

The Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Concert Band and Orchestra will perform throughout the weekend of Dec. 6-8. Many of the compositions will reflect the holiday season, but in their own unique styles.

According to director of jazz studies Eric Heukeshoven, the Jazz Band will feature a playful version of “The Nutcracker,” in the Page Theatre on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s the most imaginative, often time hilarious, version of the ‘Nutcracker’ I’ve ever heard,” said Eric Heukeshoven. “It features every section of the band at one point or another, and it uses some unusual doublings, where players have to switch instruments,” he said.

The Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers will perform their annual Lessons & Carols concert on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m., in the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels.

According to director of choirs, Patrick O’Shea, Ph.D., both the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are performing pieces by Francis Poulenc, Pavel Chesnokov and Arvo Pärt. The Chamber Orchestra will also be joining them to perform three movements from Charpentier’s ‘Midnight Mass.’

Readings are read in between musical pieces. “It’s set up as if it were a liturgical service,” said O’Shea, “and so the audience doesn’t applaud until the very end.”

The Concert band will be playing a variety of pieces including “Festival Español,” “Polish Christmas Music” and “O Magnum Mysterium” in the Page Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. Two more pieces will be conducted by student education majors Katie Kosiek and Marilyn Yennie.

According to music director Janet Heukeshoven, Ph.D., there will be no “Sleigh Ride” encore piece this year. Instead, music will be played during a lobby reception, where audience members are encouraged to enjoy homemade cookies, drinks and interact with music members.

The orchestra is holding off on Christmas music this year to celebrate Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday with two of his compositions: “Symphony” and “Seranade for Tenor and Horn.”

“This year is Britten’s centennial so I wanted to use this last chance to do it with the orchestra before 2013 goes away,” said David Leung, Ph.D.

The orchestra will also celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty with Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s ‘Andante Cantabile.’

Leung will conduct the orchestra at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 in the Figliulo Recital Hall.

All performances are free to SMU faculty, staff and students with identification arriving 20 minutes before the performance.

The boy who never grew up visits the Page

By Raquel Romo 
Cardinal Staff

The tale of “Peter Pan,” adapted by Trevor Nunn, John Caird and David Schechter, was performed by Theatreworks USA Theatre Company at the Saint Mary’s University Page Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 14.

With a versatile set that resembled a child’s bedroom fort, and actors resembling small children playing, the audience of local middle school students and their families enjoyed the tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up. 

“It’s a classic tale, there are classic interpretations out there and you can see it in lots of different formats. To take the original play and adapt it to more modern sensibility, like Trevor Nunn [and John Caird and David Schechter] has done, it’s a challenge, and they kept it to the core of the story, which is important,” said General Manager of the Page Theatre, Patrick Grace.

Throughout the show, the audience’s imagination was really put to use. Traditionally, Peter Pan is flown in and around the stage. In this performance, Peter Pan was partly played by a puppet, and the alligator’s costume was what seemed to be a bed sheet and tennis rackets. The production “encourages children to let their imaginations take flight and to create their own adventures using household objects as props and puppets as characters,” according to the company’s website.

Theatreworks USA, founded in 1961, is dedicated to providing access to professional theatre for young audiences nationwide. “Within 50 years, over a million people have seen them and they have a great track record in family programming and lots of companies and lot of opportunities out there,” Grace said, “with family shows, we found that working with schools and school matinees they seem very interested in working with bringing school groups to shows that are translations and adaptations of literature.”

In order to bring in performances similar to “Peter Pan,” Grace takes into account what patrons suggest through surveys. “We always ask our patrons about performances or genres that they are interested in. This helps us begin the conversation with our fellow presenters in the region as well as conversations with schools and some of our partners about what we want to bring in and what we can bring in,” said Grace. 

It is through the suggestions of patrons that audiences enjoy the performances from the Page Series and why audience members of all ages were satisfied with “Peter Pan.”

Music review: Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP’

By Miles Dunna 
Cardinal Staff

Always theatrical and innovative in her sound and performance, Lady Gaga recently released her newest studio album “ARTPOP” on Nov. 11.

Before the official release date of her album in the United States, Mother Monster satiated her adoring monsters (fans) by leaking some of her singles. Among the leaked tracks were “Applause,” “Venus,” and “Do What U Want” which garnered much acclaim and radio airtime for Gaga.

The singles featured Gaga’s all-too-familiar heavy electronic sound coupled with intricate lyrics alluding to aspects of the Americana experience. The introductory track of “ARTPOP” is entitled “Aura.” This song features a sound reminiscent of an old western movie overlaid by Bob Dylan-esque vocal narration packaged with the sleekness of 21st century electronica.

Rounding out the album, “Applause” serves as the hedonistic closing track that embodies the all-too-common endless pursuit of notoriety amongst millennials.   

The evolutionary transition of each track on Lady Gaga’s newest album can best be described as a move toward the catchiness of mainstream electronica, dubsteb, and house music. However, the album delineates itself from that of other EDM artists with the flamboyant sensibilities of Gaga’s lyrical storytelling.

Sometimes titillating and tantalizing, Gaga pushes cultural boundaries by illustrating uninhibited female sexuality, personal agency, and commercial consumerism. The only caveat that the album presents is the repetitive beats and sounds commonly used by trap artists and house music in its pursuit of chart-topping relevance.

Lady Gaga deserves “Applause” for the post-modern chaos that she gracefully encapsulates by converging musical artistry with popular culture to create her tapestry of social commentary. 

While not as political as her “Born This Way” album, “ARTPOP” offers a narration of the youthful collective unconscious through the lens of her American “twenty-something” listeners. As a result, this author unapologetically rates “ARTPOP” a steady 4 out of 5 stars for overall production, quality, sound, and appeal.

Music review: Smallpools EP

By Allison Christensen
Cardinal Staff

Quickly rising from the musical swarm of Los Angeles, the four-man indie pop group Smallpools is making their way around the world and into the ears of thousands.

Having just formed in early 2013, Smallpools has already toured across the U.S. with Australian band San Cisco, and are currently traveling through Europe with Two Door Cinema Club. The group includes Sean Scanlon (vocals/keyboard), Mike Kamerman (guitar), Joe Intile (bass guitar), and Beau Kuther (drums).

After their first single, “Dreaming,” rocketed to the top of Hype Machine and Sirius XM’s Alt Nation, Smallpools signed with RCA and released their self-titled EP in July. Lead singer Scanlon describes their musical style as, “The most interesting melody over the most feel-good chord progression possible.”

The EP features four vivacious, irresistibly catchy songs with enthusiastic lyrics. Every track sings of eternal youth and vitality. Sparkling guitar riffs, brilliant digital effects, and a beat that just won’t quit add to the fantasy. Their sound has been compared to Passion Pit, to which Scanlon responds, “It is flattering because they are in a very good position, but I think as more songs come out [Smallpools] is developing its own world and noise.” 

Drummer Kuther explains that the band intends to stick around: “I want to create a community of Smallpools enthusiasts that will stick with us for a long time and make this band a career band. We are striving for longevity, not a quick success.”

Cardinal volleyball season ends in the playoffs

By Mary Nordick 
Cardinal Staff 
SMU's Kaylee Bunne goes up for a block during the MIAC playoff semifinal match against St. Thomas.
Photo by Chris Ebert

It has been an exciting couple of weeks for the Saint Mary’s University volleyball team as they battled through the MIAC playoffs.

On Oct. 23, the Cardinals secured their spot in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) playoffs when they beat Gustavus Adolphus College 3-1. The ladies ended regular season play with a record of (23-8) and a fifth seed overall in the MIAC.

The team began post season play by travelling to Concordia Moorhead. The Cardinals took on the Concordia Cobbers on Tuesday Nov. 5. The stakes were high; both teams were fighting for the next playoff game.

Senior Setter Lexi Assimos said, “In the Concordia game we all came out with the same drive. We all wanted the same thing. After every point there was a rush of intense energy.”

The team kept the pressure on and their energy high throughout the match. The Cardinals went on to sweep the Cobbers 3-0 in their home gym. Head volleyball coach Mike Lester said that “everybody played really well. Defensively we played well, we served well, and we played well offensively.”

This victory earned them another chance to play St. Thomas, a team who they had played a week prior.

Two days after the Concordia victory the Cardinals travelled to St. Paul, Minn., to take on the defending national champs, the Tommies. A number of SMU students and faculty travelled to the game to cheer on the Cardinals. The ladies came out fighting, winning the first set 25-22, but then the Tommies came back to win the next three.

"We were all trying to fight for that same goal, we were all defiantly on the same page unfortunately we all just came out a little behind,” said Assimos.

Coach Mike Lester commented “I thought we played even better against St. Thomas. For the last week of the season and the last two matches, you could not have asked for a better performance.”

The Cardinals ended their season with a record of 24-9. This was the second-most wins in SMU Volleyball history.

After this year, the team will loose two senior leaders, middle hitter Kaylee Bunne and setter Lexi Assimos. “Both of them have been an integral part of our team. They will defiantly be missed,” said Lester. “Both provided such great leadership for us as a team on and off the court. To their credit I think that the legacies and tradition they have established are going to continue in the next years.”

Athletes work to stay healthy during cold and flu season

By Corrine McCallum
Cardinal Staff

As cold and flu season comes around, athletes need to be aware that staying healthy is important to keep competing.

Athletes seem to have an especially hard time staying away from illness. “With spending countless hours with the same people you have to be cautious,” said junior women’s hockey player Mary Debartolo.

According to director of student health services Angel Weisbrod, for an athlete to stay healthy, it is important for one to sleep seven to nine hours a night, eat healthy balanced meals and manage stress with time for relaxation.

Basketball player Benjamin Meyer said he tries to stay healthy during the cold and flu season “by washing my hands and staying away from people that are sick.”

“As an athlete, the number one thing I do to try and prevent getting sick is getting rest. I get to bed at a proper time and wake up at a good time,” DeBartolo said. “Something I do every morning is check the weather. I never want to be underdressed to get sick,” she said.

Even if following all of the healthy regiments, an athlete still has a higher chance of coming down with a cold or the flu, said to Weisbrod. “The difficulty is that many athletes are challenging their bodies physically, but are not giving the body adequate rest and nutrition,” she said.

“As a team, I think we just try to prevent from sharing if someone’s sick. We don’t want to share germs and spread a virus,” said DeBartolo.

“We don’t really do anything as a team, our coach does remind us to wash our hands and to take precautions so we don’t get sick,” said Meyer.

According to Weisbrod, coaches can also help with the prevention of illness as well. She said, “Coaches need to encourage healthy balances in all areas, such as sleep, diet and exercise.”

Women's soccer achieves more than goals this season

By Corrine McCallum
Cardinal Staff
Senior Heidi Martin Looks for a pass.
Photo by Peter Nyhus
As the women’s soccer season came to an end, the Cardinals connected both on and off the field, and the women bonded, despite the amount of new players on the team, said head coach Neil Cassidy.

“The single biggest item that we have been focusing on is becoming a family off the field,” said Cassidy. “I truly felt that this group of incredible young women achieved that.”

Senior defensive player, Heidi Martin said, “We came together early in the season, and I could not have asked for a better group of girls. There is not one thing that I would change about our team this year because we truly were a family on and off the field.”

With a season of no wins, there were still many positives that came out of this season, said Martin. “We lost a lot of players last year and had a very young team this year,” She said. “We welcomed a big freshman class and I was unsure of how this would work out, but it was obvious early in the season that this would not affect our team chemistry.”

This year’s roster comprised of 21 freshmen and sophomores, one junior and four seniors. “The obstacle was forming partnerships, but we made great strides and we can only build off of that for our season next year,” said Cassidy.

As Cassidy looks forward to another season, he said, “The energy, willingness to work and improve in the off season is truly outstanding.”

Cassidy said he has sat down with each returning player and put goals into place for the upcoming year. “Their goals have been set in four components, technical, tactical, psychological and physical,” he said.

As this is Martin’s last season of being a Cardinal, she said, “There were a lot of great memories created this season that I will never forget and I think at the end of the day that is what matters most.”

Tough season for men's soccer

By Katie Krull
Feature Editor 
Freshman Nate Vandergrift Battles Bethel.
Photo by SMU Athletics
The Saint Mary’s University men’s soccer team ended their season on Nov. 2 with a loss against Macalester, which left their conference record as 1-9-0.

Their overall season record was 4-13-1, but numbers do not always convey the whole truth. Four conference matches were decided by a one goal differentiation within the final minutes of the game.

Head coach Pete Watkins sums up this season as being “on the wrong end of a lot of one-goal games, whereas last year, we were on the right end of a lot of one-goal games.” 

Although the Cardinals did not achieve quite the winning record they had hoped for, they had the silver lining of developing together as a team with strong new leadership.

From a player’s standpoint, the Cardinals are going to use this season as motivation to power through their spring training and come back next season with the will and determination to see the last minute goals be made by their own players.

As for the coaches, they believe implementing new recruits of “consistent goal scorers” would be the next step to developing this team.

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) recognized two players from the team. Sophomore Fernando Camcho and senior Zach Palma were awarded “All MIAC Honorable-Mention.”

Both players started all 18 games of the season, and Palma finished his fourth year of collegiate soccer having played in 61 games, scoring three goals and having seven assists.