Category Archives: Campus Life

Stressed Out? Take a Hike.

Sep 29, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

We’re so fortunate at Utica College to be not-too far from one of the most beautiful national forest reserves in the entirety of the United States. Literally, head up north for just an hour and you’ll be submersed in mountains and trees and glorious fresh air; it’s something every UC student should experience at least once.

This Sunday one of the RA’s in the First Year Village was holding a floor event where people could sign up to go for a hike. I signed up once I knew there were enough spots left, and convinced a friend to tag along. It was a beautiful day and we were lucky it wasn’t too hot in the sun-it was literally “just right.”

The hike was up Bald Mountain which is just outside of the Old Forge area. It’s a relatively easy hike and barely takes a half hour to submit the top. There isn’t too much fancy-footwork required, but there are a view rock faces you have to scale. My philosophy is, “if that dog can do it, so can I.” The views at the top, however, are beautiful and well worth the climb.

So, if you find yourself stressed and in need of some nature-time: head up to the mountains, gain some perspective, and enjoy the view.

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(The view from the top of Bald Mountain.)

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(Courtney and Gator attempting some relaxing yoga at the summit.)

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(George and I scoping out the view.)

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Campus Yard Sale!

May 8, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This semester I took a biology senior seminar class that focused on urban ecology. While we discussed the several different viewpoints there are to an urban ecosystem, the one thing we emphasized throughout the entire semester was the need for urban environments to head more toward the direction of sustainability.

We talked about what it meant to be eco-friendly and why we felt it was essential for smaller urban ecosystems, such as the Utica College campus, to become more environmentally aware. We brainstormed different ideas and tried to think of ways to improve the ecological footprint that our entire campus gives off.  (An ecological footprints is the measure of demand that a person or people put on the earth and its resources.)

One idea we came up with was to promote the idea of reusing and recycling items. Often, at move out, students will throw away items they no longer have use for, or simply cannot bring home due to lack of space. That is a huge waste of resources! (And move out is often a sad site to see the garbage containers over flowing with items that should not be there.)

So, our class decided to host a campus yard sale. All donations are welcomed, and encouraged from both students, and faculty/staff. This event is a great opportunity for items to be “revived” and get a second home. You know that saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, this event is made with that principle in mind. Also, all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Utica Zoo to aid in their own conservation efforts.

So, if you want to donate items you no longer have a use for, there are donations bins in every single residence hall, as well as outside of Gordon 173. Please reflect on your own ecological footprint and consider donating those items which might have otherwise ended up in a landfill.

Also, be sure to stop by the actual yard sale! It will be held Wednesday May 13, the last day of finals! It’s from 12:30-5:00 in Strebel Lounge. 

Yard Sale Flyer

New Semester Resolutions: How I Did!

May 8, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

In a post at the beginning of the semester, I listed my new semester resolutions. Now that the year is coming to a close, I’d like to return to the list and reflect on what I have accomplished over the last several months:

My New Semester Resolutions/ Senior Year Sentiments:

1. Attend as many of my favorite (and free!) UC events as I can- including UCPB nights, Crystal Ball, and Mooseapalooza!

I definitely accomplished this! Some of my favorite events were the hypnotist during Moose Madness week, the Utica College TEDx talk, the Eh440 concert, Crystal Ball, and the GSA Annual Drag Show!


The UC Gay-Straight Alliance snaps a picture after the show (above). 3BL at Crystal Ball (below).



2. Win at Tuesday night trivia! (Hey, 4.0 Laura, I’m going to need your help with this one, lil sis)

While we didn’t win, we did get third place! Mainly because 4.0 Laura had night class and couldn’t be on our team to save us.

3. Do something fun over Spring Break- even if it’s not very far away or tropical!

We went somewhere both far away AND tropical- St. Thomas! It was gorgeous and so much fun!


3BL in paradise!


4. Take advantage of the open swim hours at the UC pool to add variety to my workouts.

Mission accomplished! Karita and I love to swim, and Laura and I tried spin classes, zumba, yoga, step, and tabata to switch up our workout routine. Photographic evidence of Karita and I at open swim can be found below.


5. Take a Saranac Brewery tour, and check out any other local attractions that I have yet to see before I leave Utica.

The brewery tour was great! I went with Rachel, a Burrstone RA, and a few of her residents. I loved learning all about how beer has been made throughout history right here in Utica.

6. Get a good night’s sleep (most nights, at least!) so I am more alert during my 8:30 AM classes!

While I don’t have photographic proof of me sleeping, I can attest to the fact that I made sleep more of a priority, and my grades definitely prove it!

7. Make it a priority to do more volunteer work in the area.

This is one area that I was not able to accomplish nearly as well as I wanted. While I stayed very active on campus and was involved in many orgs that help area charities, I didn’t ever find the time to do my own, separate volunteering in the Utica area. There’s definitely always room for improvement, so I still plan to keep this goal in mind for the future!

8. Take a trip to NYC to see museums and eat tons of new foods!

This is another one I didn’t cross off the list. St. Thomas was a huge trip, which made finding time for NYC difficult. Luckily, I have some time this summer to try to accomplish this goal!

9. Allow myself more down time and fun, rather than over scheduling every moment as usual.

Check! I worked very hard on balancing my life more this semester. I gave myself more down time, had a great time with my friends, and was more spontaneous. This allowed me to enjoy every moment instead of trying to over-plan everything all of the time, as I am often tempted to do.


Sunny days and good vibes in Utica with Karita (above) and Rochester with Ryan (below).


10. Graduate summa cum laude and go on to graduate school next fall!

I am very excited to be the Class Marshall for the School of Arts & Sciences at this year’s graduation ceremony. In the fall, I will be beginning at the University at Buffalo in the Social-Personality Psychology PhD program.



So there you have it! I’d say I did pretty well accomplishing most of the things on my list. It was a lot of fun to both create a senior year bucket list and to work towards checking it off. Though my time at UC is almost finished, this list helped me make some awesome memories in my last months here.

Time passes much faster than you think, so I invite you to ask yourself what you want to do before you graduate, make a senior year bucket list or new semester resolution list of your own, and have exactly the college experience that you imagine for yourself!

Things to Do: Utica Edition Part 2

May 7, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

It’s study day and honestly, where did the time go? I feel like just last week it was February. But, now the sun seems to be here to stay and the area is getting greener and brighter with every passing day. The initial change of a season is my favorite time. (From summer to autumn, winter to spring-the transitions always feel so new and fresh.)

If you remember, I wrote a blog post about things to do in Utica during the wintery/colder season. (Check it out here) So, I figured since Spring is upon us, I would scope out some fun activities to do outside.

Head to the Utica Zoo!

The Utica Zoo is located off of the Utica Parkway, so it is not even 10 minutes from campus! The zoo boasts numerous types of animals and is a fun place to pass an afternoon. My favorite little animal buds are the alpacas. There’s also numerous bird species, invertebrate species, and so many others to oogle and aw at!


(This goat was too cute. He ate right from my hand!)


(There’s a great view of the city at the top of the zoo! It’s a must see!)


Every time I head to the zoo I make it a point to take as many pictures as possible.  And I encourage you to do the same! Admission to the zoo won’t break the bank, and you’ll probably have enough to grab some fries from the Voss’ food stand while you’re there!

Find a good mountain to hike!

Utica College is super close to the Adirondacks, maybe 45-1hr away! So I always take advantage of that. Located throughout the northern region are numerous mountain peaks, and hiking adventures you can embark on. My friends and I love to hike up Bald Mountain, near Old Forge, every year. There’s also Rocky Moutain right close by, so you can climb two peaks in a day if you’re feeling up for it! My family also hikes Panther Mountain, which is on Piseco Lake.

(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)

(My friends and I stopped for a group pic during a hike last summer!)

There are so many places to choose from, and they’re all free! So hiking is a great way to blow off some finals steam, and de-stress!

Head to the Canal Trail!


(My friends and I always go and hang out at the lock. Here we were listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album for the first time last summer!)

For those that might be unaware, Utica actually had the old Erie Canal run right through it. (Where I live in Whitesboro, at the very end of a road not too far from mine is an Erie Canal Memorial area which is dedicated right where it used to run!) Some parts of the canal are actually still in tact, and are still used today. There is a lock not to far from Utica College that is one of my favorite places to just relax and hang out.



The canal is great because it’s another free(!) spot to hang out and relax. Also, it’s closer to campus than hiking in the Adirondacks…so you can still get your taste of nature, just closer to home!

(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)

(My friends, Mary, Pat, and I, enjoy the occasional frog hunt both on campus and at the canal!)

There are so many things to do in Utica! So soak up the last bit of the semester and explore the area! After a final head on down to the lock and de-stress! Or head to the Utica Zoo and make a new friend! Just whatever you do, have fun and I hope you give these activities a try!

Goodbye Moose-a-Palooza, Hello Moose Madness!

Apr 28, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Each spring, the Utica College Programming Board hosts an entire week of events that are totally free for UC students. This week has always been known as Moose-a-Palooza, and in years past, it has often included BBQ food, sunny weather, frisbee and volleyball tournaments, and inflatables in the quad. I look forward to it every year, because it’s a great way to enjoy the spring weather and spend time with other students before the craziness of finals week kicks in!

This year, UCPB revamped Moose-a-Palooza. First, they held a content to rename the week and design the tshirts that would be given out to students. While I was disappointed that my suggestions did not win the contest (C’mon, Trax wearing sunglasses would have made for a great shirt!), I was quite fond of the winning name: Moose Madness!

With a new name came some new programming for the week. I took advantage of as many of the events as my night class and desk duty schedule would allow, and was able to attend an event almost every day of Moose Madness! Here are just some of the things I checked out during the week:

Monday, I scored my free tshirt with the new Moose Madness design and was on a team that won 3rd place in the campus-wide scavenger hunt! Since it was my birthday, our team was named Happy Birthday Elaine. (Side note, my friends rock!)

Jason, Laura, and I competing in the scavenger hunt! Thanks, Karita, for taking the pic!

Jason, Laura, and I competing in the scavenger hunt! Thanks, Karita, for taking the pic!

Tuesday, team Happy Birthday Elaine won 3rd place in Battle of the Decades Trivia in the Pioneer Pub. Hey, at least we are consistent with our 3rd place winnings! 3BL loves trivia, and this event had a fun twist, because it featured questions from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and today!

Wednesday featured the hypnotist Seilesh. I saw him last year when he came to UC, and loved him just as much this time around! He is an amazing entertainer and puts on a hilarious show. It is so funny to see fellow students under hypnosis! I never laugh as hard as when I see a good hypnotist show.

Saturday was the big WPNR and UCPB concert- the Royal Tongues and the X Ambassadors! The show was right in the gym and was totally free for UC students! We had a huge turnout, and students loved the unique sounds of both bands. The musicians were all immensely talented and really did an amazing job performing. I was so grateful to see both bands in person, as it made me appreciate their music a lot more- these guys are the real deal!

Group pic! UCPB and WPNR with The Royal Tongues and The X Ambassadors!

Group pic! UCPB and WPNR with The Royal Tongues and The X Ambassadors!

Overall, it was a busy week for UCPB and definitely a great time for the UC students who came out and enjoyed all of the events offered on campus. I loved all of the events I attended during Moose Madness and was really grateful to make some awesome memories during my last spring fest at UC!

Awards Season (HOMW 11)

Apr 28, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Another week has passed us, friends! I would like to share a moment with you all from this past Sunday.


As the semester is quickly wrapping up, there have been many festivities celebrating the successes of the academic year. I love getting together with students, faculty, and staff and reflecting on all of the progress that we made during the last two semesters. This past weekend was especially special to me because of the Student Recognition Brunch that took place in the library concourse.

The brunch was a special ceremony that celebrated an array of students, from those with academic achievements to individuals who have contributed to areas such as Greek life, theater, and diversity on campus. I loved hearing the achievements of my fellow students and congratulating them on their hard work.

Some of our lovely UC GSA members! Lindsay, me, Imani, Maryellen, and Courtney!

Some of our lovely UC GSA members! Lindsay, me, Imani, Maryellen, and Courtney!


The Gay-Straight Alliance won the Outstanding Club/Organization Award from Student Senate, which was a huge honor for us. I myself was also recognized for several awards that noted my scholastic merit as well as my involvement on campus. Overall, the brunch was a very enjoyable event and was a great start to my week!

My boyfriend Ryan and I after the brunch!

My boyfriend Ryan and I after the brunch with some of my awards!

Moose Madness!

Apr 27, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Moose Madness (previously titled, Moose-A-Palooza) was this past week! It’s basically a week long host of events that are free for students! Typically it is the last (or second to last) full week of classes, and ends on the saturday with some big event. Plus! They always have cool tshirts that students can score for free with their student ID!

The big event at the end of this year’s festivities was the much-hyped concert put on by WPNR 90.7 (Utica College’s radio station) as well as the Utica College Programming Board (UCPB.) The performers were the X Ambassadors with the Royal Tongues as their openers. Unfortunately, I had to work an admissions event before the concert, and then had to catch up on school work while it was happening, so I’m super bummed I missed it. I did hear from some people (of the loads that went!) how great of a show it was!

But, Saturday was not the only day of fun. Monday there was a picture scavenger hunt, Tuesday a decades trivia game, on Wednesday they had a hypnotist…and the list goes on! Not only did UCPB put on tons of fun events, multiple other organizations took advantage of the fun-filled week and held their own events as well. Chi Beta Sigma’s airband was held on the Saturday after the concert and it was a great time had by all in attendance. The art gallery also held a scavenger hunt around campus based on tricky clues.

I took part in multiple activities during the week, but I am proud to say that a few friends and I were the winners of the picture scavenger hunt that was held the Monday of Moose Madness. It was a lot of fun running around campus and trying to find the various clues.

Moose Madness in general is just a week long of fun events to help students de-stress and relax a bit before the stress of finals sets in. So, if you didn’t take advantage of all of the free fun this year, be sure to check it out next year! It’s always one of my favorite things about Utica College. (Check out some of my fav pics from the scavenger hunt below!)

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You’ve Got to Have Nerve (HOMW 10)

Apr 20, 2015 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Hi, everyone! My highlight this week happened on Thursday and Friday, and once again relates to my awesome poetry workshop course, ENG 407.


One of my favorite things about Utica College is that there are many excellent guest speakers who present at the college each semester. I have been to cyber security presentations, poetry readings, etiquette dinners, biology seminars, and musical recitals, just to name a few!

This past Thursday evening, I attended a poetry reading by Suzanne Cleary. She was awarded the 2014 Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize, and when she read excerpts from her book Beauty Mark, it was clear why she was chosen for this award! Cleary’s writing was hilariously entertaining, and her energetic delivery of her work added to its charm. Every person in the Carbone Auditorium (which was so full that extra chairs had to be brought in!) found themselves laughing out loud during the reading. Cleary was by far one of the most entertaining and fun speakers I have ever had the pleasure of listening to, and I was surprised by how quickly the hour presentation flew by.

After the reading, copies of Beauty Mark were available for purchase, and many people had their copies signed by Ms. Cleary herself. My friend Nicole, who is also in my poetry workshop class, loves her personalized copy of the book!

Nicole and her autographed book!

The beautiful Nicole showing off her autographed book!


As if this experience wasn’t awesome enough already, the next day, Suzanne Cleary was our guest poet in our advanced poetry workshop class. We read our poems to the class and discussed them with one another as usual, except this class, Cleary was there to add in her own feedback and help us with the creative process. I learned so much from her, and was really grateful to have a different perspective. One of the things Cleary said that really stuck with me involved a poem I had written that was humorous and had a surprise twist at the end- similar to many of Cleary’s own poems. She said, “In order to embrace the pure silliness of poetry, you’ve got to have nerve. And you definitely have it here in this poem!”  She was extremely supportive of every student in the class’ writing and made for a very fun class.

Another shot of Nicole's personalized copy of Beauty Mark.

Another shot of Nicole’s personalized copy of Beauty Mark.


ENG 407 is always a highlight of my week (in fact, I’ve chosen it as the HOMW twice- here and here), but the guest poet this week made the class exceptionally wonderful!

April Events At Utica College

Apr 9, 2015 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

Before going to Utica College, I didn’t know how many events the school hosts throughout the year. Of course, it didn’t take me long to learn. It seems like the school has something going on every single day of the week.

Here’s a look at just a few events Utica College is hosting this month:

Holi Festival of Colors

X Ambassadors, featuring guest Royal Tongues:

General admission is $15, but it’s free for Utica College students! Get your tickets at UticaTickets. The X Ambassadors have been featured with the likes of Eminem and Jay-Z. Needless to say, the concert should command some attention.

Their hit single, Renegades, has been viewed thousands of times online and it’s been featured numerous times on popular television shows. Here’s more on the band, via Teen Vogue:

X Ambassadors, the dynamic Brooklyn-based quartet of brothers Sam (vocals, guitar, saxophone) and Casey Harris (keyboard), plus Noah Feldshuh (guitar) and Adam Levin (drums), we knew we couldn’t let them out of our sight. And neither could Imagine Dragon’s frontman, who, after hearing their music, immediately phoned his pal (and famed producer of everyone from Rihanna to Paramore) Alex da Kid, who promptly signed them to his label on Interscope Records.

April is essentially the last month of school. Make it a memorable one by attending these fun events.

Be The Change!

Apr 7, 2015 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Student Senate applications have been emailed out to the entire campus…so fill it out! Being a part of Student Senate is such a rewarding experience, and I strongly recommend everyone get involved. (Student Senate meets every other Wednesday at 3:00p in Bell Conference room.)

(After senate is a great time to take pictures, because everyone is dressed to impress!)

(After senate is a great time to take pictures, because everyone is dressed to impress!)

If filling out an application and being elected seems daunting, never fear! It’s not! The elections committee has streamlined the process and the only large piece to the application is 250 words on why you want the position you’re applying for. That’s relatively simple when compared to other application processes…

(Just some members of senate at a full body meeting. Shout out to Dean Varga!)

(Just some members of senate at a full body meeting. Shout out to Dean Varga!)

Honestly, being a part of Student Senate makes you feel a bit like you’re working “behind the scenes.” Whenever faculty or staff need student opinion, they head to student senate. All orgs have to be recognized by the full senate before they can be considered an actual organization on the Utica College campus. Any time an organization requests funding they first meet before the finance committee (which is an extension of senate) and then the full body senate! Student Senate helps to make things happen, and you can be a part of that!

I’ve been involved with senate since I was a sophomore. Now I am currently the Junior Class Treasurer. I love getting dressed up every other week and attending meetings. It feels I am actually helping Utica College to function as a collegiate institution, and hopefully making it just a little bit of a better place.

There are several different positions you can run for, go and check the application out!

(The full-body senate supporting one of our international senators last semester.)

(The full-body senate supporting one of our international senators last semester.)