Category Archives: Student Life

Leadership Weekend 2014

Oct 1, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend Student Senate’s annual Leadership Weekend. The purpose of the event was for student leaders to develop leadership skills within themselves and when working with other people. The weekend was held up on Raquette Lake at Camp Huntington, which is a secluded property owned by SUNY Cortland. We left from Strebel at 2 p.m. on Friday and returned at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

    (Camp Huntington is so secluded that you have to take a pontoon boat to get there!)

(Camp Huntington is so secluded that you have to take a pontoon to get there!)

The biggest attraction of the weekend were the high and low ropes courses, which were done Saturday afternoon. Individuals were split into two groups, and then went through a series of obstacles designed to test a multitude of skills associated with leadership ability. On the low course, the main take back was that of teamwork; people had to help out their team, and had to be encouraging if someone was having difficulties. The high ropes course was more about challenging yourself, and overcoming any personal hesitations you might have had.

(One of the low ropes course obstacles was being led around while wearing a blindfold...while your teammates also had on blindfolds.)

(One of the low ropes course obstacles was being led around while wearing a blindfold…while your teammates also had on blindfolds.)

 

(I was terrified of going up on the ropes, but I was proud of myself that I did it.)

(I was terrified of going up on the ropes, but I was proud of myself that I did it.)

Throughout the weekend there was also free time to kayak, canoe, swim, and even paddle board. The weather was beautiful (not a rain cloud in sight!!), so everyone took full advantage.

(My friend, Elaine, and I loved kayaking with everyone else.)

(My friend, Elaine, and I loved kayaking with everyone else.)

The other main focus of leadership weekend is for the students to think of ideas which may better the school, prepare presentations on them, and then present their proposals to various Utica College dignitaries who were invited up to the camp on Sunday afternoon. Several ideas were thrown around, but eventually three ideas became the prevalent ones, and were presented by the groups on Sunday afternoon. The proposals were:

1.) Better Handicap accessibility on campus. (Including shoveling snow more thoroughly in the winter, fixing the elevators in the academic and residential buildings so they break down less often, and allowing for better handicap seating in classrooms.)

2.) Updating IITS issues. (Printers placed in every residential hall, schedules put up outside of computer labs when they are in use, and the Strebel computer lab getting a bit of a “face-lift.”)

3.) Helping to integrate commuter students more easily. (More programming for commuters, and a lounge which contains lockers, a refrigerator, seating areas, etc. so they have somewhere to go on campus.)

(A group presenting their proposal on how to improve Utica College.)

(A group presenting their proposal on how to improve Utica College.)

The ideas were all good ideas, and presented very thoroughly. The various Utica College officials took notes, and will try to implement some of the students’ suggestions.

 

(I love love love loved Leadership Weekend 2014.)

(I love love love loved Leadership Weekend 2014.)

Leadership weekend was probably one of my favorite things to have done on campus, and to quote my friend Elaine, “I’ve done a lot.” It is a beautiful place to go and spend a weekend, and I highly encourage it. Even if the ropes course freaks you out (like it did me!) think to yourself, “When am I ever going to get this opportunity again?” A completely free weekend spent in the Adriondacks challenging yourself, and thinking of ways to make your school better – I can’t think of anything better.

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SYBL: Internship

Sep 30, 2014 | Author: Karita Rawlins

2. Land an Internship 

With my senior year off to a great start, it is also a reminder that it will soon be coming to an end. In a couple of months, I’m going to have to face the facts and be out in the real world. I can guarantee you, I am not ready for that.

For starters, I have changed my major a total of five times, and even now I am second guessing it. To help myself better understand what I want to do for the rest of my life, I decided to apply to for an internship. Since my major doesn’t require it, I figured it would still be a great learning experience and I should go for it, but if don’t land one, it would be okay.

My passion for news reporting drove me to apply for something in that field. I successfully landed an internship as a Reporting Intern at Time Warner Cable News Syracuse.

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Here on campus, Career Services has many available resources to land an internship. Below are a few tips of my own you can use:

1. Early bird gets the worm!

Don’t wait until to last minute to start looking. It’s okay to start looking a semester or two in advance. It’s better if you know what you need to improve or have ready when the time comes to apply. Pay close attention to deadlines! Just because your application is not due until 11:59 p.m. doesn’t mean you should wait until 11:53 p.m. to submit it. Technology isn’t always our best friend.

2. Double Triple Quadruple check your resume

When you submit your application, you’re not going to be able to sell yourself the way you want to pre-interview. Having a spelling-and/or grammar-error-filled resume can kill your chances. Use Career Services! They offer a resume clinic and are available by appointment to work on strengthening your resume. Don’t sell yourself short either; in today’s market experience. comes in different forms. President of your sorority? That’s a leadership role! — include it.

3. Go into your interview prepared.

Research the company you are interviewing with. There is nothing more embarrassing than being in an interview and not knowing who you’re interviewing with. Dress presentable and professional. Don’t wear a ball gown, but maybe khakis aren’t the way to go either. A good beard trim won’t hurt. You want to be taken seriously, and your appearance is the first step. Career Services also offers mock interviews. Schedule one a week or two before your interview, and while you’re there, order some of the free business cards they have available for students!

4. Be confident and never feel discouraged

We all can’t get everything we apply for or want in the world. Maybe you didn’t get that internship the first time. Stay confident in yourself, and it won’t be long until you land your first one!

If you are a student seeking an internship, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Take a risk because the worst thing they can say is no! Believe in yourself and anything is possible. Stop by the Office of Career Services to learn more about what they have to offer.

Want to learn more about my Senior Year Bucket List? Check it out how far I’ve made it on my list!

SORRY!

Sep 29, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

HOW ARE YOU GUYS DOING !!! I know it’s been a while since I posted a blog and I’m sorry schools and football has just been so crazy. I just want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us this past sat at the game and helping us go 4-0 we play for you guys and the whole city of Utica.  Today’s blog is about managing time over this past week I found out that I wasn’t doing my best job of managing my time I was so stressed and I never want to feel like that again because it really  screws up a lot of other things just like a domino effect. So make sure you’re using your Sundays wisely to get all homework done make sure that you have your week plan out and maybe even get a nice jump start on some later projects.

Try New Things! No, Seriously. Try Them.

Sep 26, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Everyone says college is about trying new things, and leaving your comfort zone…well, listen to them; it’s a cliche for a reason. My first semester on campus, I was the typical commuter; I went to class, and went home. I joined one organization and prayed their meetings weren’t later at night so I wouldn’t have to drive back to campus. Now, I rarely leave campus…which may be considered not so good, looking at my sleep schedule. But looking at it from my own perspective, sleep aside, I enjoy college much more now, and *bonus* know all of the places to get coffee on campus. Plus, I feel more at ease with my surroundings, and love all of the organizations of which I am a part of.

I credit my current involvement with the personal philosophy I adopted my second semester freshmen year, and even more so when I studied abroad the fall of my sophomore year. If I see something that looks interesting to me, I do it…or join it. I don’t let my own fears hold me back from doing something I want. So, you shouldn’t either!

(Mentors involved with the Transitions play during my first year of orientation, Summer 2013.)

I joined Orientation the summer after my first year and learned so many useful techniques about interacting with people. I even made friends I consider to be friends for life. When I was applying for the position I was unsure, and a little nervous about joining in with a group of people I had never really met before. Now I know every single mentor and wouldn’t hesitate to say hi if I saw any of them in the hall between classes.

(The Dublin Zoo was so fun to visit, it was definitely worth the hour walk.)

My fall semester, I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I had planned on going abroad since I applied to UC. However, I had never lived away from home for more than a few weeks, let alone many months. Plus, the only foreign country I had ever been to was Canada.

While I lived in Ireland, I told myself that I would not let a day go by where I did not do a single thing. Luckily, one of my housemates had the same philosophy, and we made sure to do at least a little thing every day. We went to museums, little shops, parks, and the zoo; really, we went anywhere we could. However, this philosophy doesn’t have to be used in a different country. Do it here! Do something different everyday. Whether it be as small as trying a new sandwich for lunch, or as big as going to the next town over and exploring, just try new things.

(The first pic I ever took in the radio station. This was taken from the Divaa Hour’s first show.)

The spring of my sophomore year, I randomly decided I wanted a radio show. So one of my friends, Karita, and I created The Diva Hour. We would play music from all of the great divas, classic to modern. It was fun, and we even got our other friend, Elaine, on board with it. Then, this year, we decided to make a new show, and titled it “3BL.” It’s fun to do, and fun to listen to (at least according to our mom’s it is…). Our show is even going to be featured during the upcoming college radio day, which we’re super excited about! So, if making a radio show is one of the new things you want to try, go talk to the staff at wpnr!

Utica College is a diverse campus with loads of activities and things to do. So, go out there and try some new things, it’ll make your college experience that much more exciting. Trust me.

 

 

Change Makes the Campus Go Round

Sep 23, 2014 | Author: Luis De Leon

People tend to get comfortable with the status quo, but change happens all the time. Change is the reason life in 2014 is so awesome (and I’ll just assume the History Department will agree with me on this one). Change is natural, inevitable and hopefully it’s not as scary as you think.

For example, think about life when you first arrived at UC. For most of us, it’s the first taste of independence and therefore, the most freedom we’ve ever had. Living on campus probably means you’re far from home, so you left old friends and family to start all over again in a new environment.

So now you’ve been on campus for a while. Whether a while means a few weeks or a few years, Utica College has gone through quite a few changes as well. Sometimes we don’t notice because it can seem trivial in the moment. We might be too busy thinking about the cute girl (or guy) in our class and when that next paper is due. There’s nothing wrong with that, but smaller changes have a compound effect over time, and then you realize life on campus really has changed.

Alumni of the past decade, for example, witnessed the ECJS Building and Romano Hall go up. Some of us will be fortunate enough to see some very big changes, such as the forever-wished-for addition of the dome.

This is what the dome (beyond Gaetano Stadium) would look like walking from Parking Lot J.

If you’re new to the UC community, just know that a few years from now, the campus will look and feel different. As a fifth-year senior, UC has changed a lot. But it only makes sense, right? Our motto is Never Stand Still, after all.

This whole change thing is probably easiest to explain if I paint a picture of what life was like when I was a freshman. It was Fall of 2010, and I was looking extra fresh with my lanyard and the blue UC Class of 2014 shirt (time flies because it’s crazy to think the new shirts say 2018…).

Anyway, the following is a list of random things that have changed since my first semester at UC:

My hair. Two afros in four years that I grew out for a whole semester each time. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like doing that again, but at least it was fun while it lasted.

No Wi-Fi in your room. Can you imagine that? Only the main lounges of the Residence Halls had Wi-Fi, at best. Unless you had a data plan on your smartphone, the only way you could access the Internet from your room was by plugging an ethernet cable into your laptop or video game console. I still had a dumbphone at this point, but the coolest thing out at the time was the iPhone 4. Bell Hall was the first to receive Wi-Fi in Spring 2011. By Fall 2011, all of the rooms on campus had Wi-Fi.

iPads were a new thing in Spring 2010, by the way.

R.I.P. Mellow Moose. Mellow Moose was the coolest place on campus, but it no longer exists. The new Campus Safety Office used to be a coffee house that was basically a mini-Tramontane Cafe (highly recommended place, FYI). The atmosphere was quiet enough to study, but also comfortable and laid back enough to hang out.

Even though it was right in the middle of campus, Mellow Moose had such a distinct energy to it that it felt like you were off campus. At one point, Mellow Moose sold milkshakes, bagels, halfmoon cookies, brownies and other goodies. Mellow Moose was the place for open mics, board games, group meetings and other small-scale events.

Students worked there and you could use your declining balance to buy snacks. Unfortunately, the College felt that the space was seldom used and decided to close Mellow Moose down. It tried to make a return as an arcade room, but that flopped.

Common Grounds. That’s right. This was under construction in Fall 2010. I always wondered what the construction in the library was all about back then. I’m not much of a coffee person, but Common Grounds is clutch, especially during Finals Week. Now that I think about it, the launch of Common Grounds made Mellow Moose a redundant business. I still miss that Mellow Moose atmosphere, though. So chill. Anyway, the only gripe against Common Grounds is that it could stay open an hour or two later on weekdays.

Track & Field facilities. It’s awesome when hockey players go off campus to practice, especially after the $1 million makeover courtesy of the Utica Comets. When track has to go off campus, it sucks. Although the campus still awaits a track, UC took a step in the right direction in building an outdoor throwing and jumping facility in 2011. Soon enough, track & field athletes will have everything they need on campus. In all honesty, it’s crazy how good the track & field teams have been considering the lack of facilities the program has dealt with.

UC throwing and jumping facility near the baseball field.

Campus Safety. Wayne, Bruce, Rick and those golf carts have been here forever. Now that I’m actually thinking about it, the Officers enjoyed a small change to their uniform last year. Campus Safety Officers get to wear short sleeves during summer months, which we all know lasts about 48 hours a year.

Themed Housing was new. If I remember correctly, the only themed housing that existed my freshman year was Health & Wellness and the Global Village. In Fall 2011, the Global Village was in Tower Hall, and after that, it has stayed in Boehlert. Residence Life once had themed housing in Alumni Hall. Once. Now, most of the themed floors are in South Hall, such as UDiscover and UBalance.

Dining was different. There was no such thing as the sandwich line. The way you’d make sandwiches on the weekend was how you made them every day back in Fall 2010. The sandwich line used to be the “Fresh & Healthy” station, where you could have custom orders of stir fried food every day. The dining services were provided by Aramark, a company UC had partnered with for over 30 years. Honestly, the stir fry was the only highlight in the Dining Commons, which is why Sodexo took over in Spring 2011. Hiring Sodexo has been one of the best things the administration has done in the time I’ve been here.

#tbt

The return of the Pioneer Pub. Before Fall 2011, there had been no campus pub for 26 years! The area where the pub is was an empty corner with a pool table that nobody used. On the bright side, back then you could actually use the back door to Pio. That was really convenient if you were coming from the Athletic Center, the fields or the Residence Halls. As a result, the back door was probably used more often than the front door. Without a liquor license, Sodexo couldn’t sell any alcohol. In other words, Fall 2011 was the semester of free booze on campus. Too bad I wasn’t 21 at the time… Anyway, way to take one for the team, Sodexo.

If you saw how Pio looked before this, you’d appreciate this beauty right here.

Speaking of Pio… The renovation to all of Pio was very much needed. There were no TVs and no booth seating. Renovating Pio, an important hangout spot on campus, was definitely a wise move by UC. The electronic menus that were added this past summer is also a nice touch. I just have one request: can we please keep Subway open until 11 p.m. every day?

Other renovations and changes worth mentioning. Gordon Science Center. Most of the Residence Halls. The library. The trading room with a live stock ticker. The canopy atop the pressbox. The transition to Google from Sun Microsystems. The new stadium turf… I can go on, but you get my point.

The people. The most interesting changes, in my humble opinion, happen to be the people on our campus. Hopefully, one day you will wake up as a senior and realize you’re not the same person who walked around campus for the first time with fresh lanyards.

Many people come and go. Mistakes are made and lessons are learned. People you never saw or spoke to during your freshman year might be your best friends at Commencement. A lot will change during your time at Utica College, mostly for the better. Just know that you as a person will grow and change with each footstep you take on this ever-changing campus.

RELAX- You Are Exactly A-OK

Sep 21, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

  If you’re reading this right now, you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to do, with exactly who you are supposed to be with.

  Take a deep breath in. Now let it out.

  You are doing excellent. You are, in this moment, exactly who you are meant to be.

  So many college students experience anxiety, and for good reason. You’re in an unfamiliar place full of unknown people. You are faced with a newfound freedom, independence, and responsibility all at once. It can be nerve-racking to try to figure your life out when you’re still trying to figure yourself out!

  However, it’s important to take each moment to recognize how much you have accomplished. You have an endless amount of opportunities every day to do something great. Whether that is acing a test, cheering up a friend, wearing a really cute scarf, writing a brilliant paper, smiling at a stranger, picking up a piece of litter, or enjoying singing along to a song on the radio, every day can be special because of something you do. It’s hard to stay optimistic and feel like you have the potential to make a positive impact on the world when you’re amid the whirlwind of college, but focusing on little moments can help you refocus on the good in the world around you and the good within you that you spread to others. Trust yourself, and trust that you are on the right path and more than capable of anything life throws your way. Though things may not always seem easy, if you keep your head up and your heart open, I promise you will always find something to be happy about.

  So relax, friends.

  Everything is A-OK.

Geocaching 101

Sep 20, 2014 | Author: Cody Plasterer

For the past 8-9 years I have been part of the greatest treasure hunt in the world, Geocaching. Oh, you don’t know what it is? I’ll tell ya!

Quick video that explains Geocaching:

http://youtu.be/1YTqitVK-Ts

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Your goal is to locate the geocache (container) using the coordinates and hints left by those who hid the geocache.

When you find the geocache, you are going to find a logbook and possibly “cache” or some treasure inside. If you take some treasure, you must leave something of equal or greater value inside the geocache for the next person who comes along.

The geocache come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t always be looking for a certain cache. This is a great way to spend the afternoon driving around town or walking in the woods trying to locate as many as you can!

If you want to try, here is the link to download the app to your phone:

http://www.geocaching.com/mobile/

Happy hunting!

 

 

In Defense of Cat Lovers

Sep 19, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

IMG_20140629_145406 I don’t know if I’d go as far as to categorize myself as a “cat lady;” I only have two, and when I think of a cat lady, I envision someone whose home is crawling with a dozen of them. However, there’s no denying that I love cats, and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t get one more if I had a bigger place.

But what I don’t get is why cat lovers get such a bad rep. Why is it considered crazy to love cats, but not dogs? Dog lovers are completely acceptable in society. If you tell someone you love dogs, no one will bat an eyelash. But if you tell someone you love cats, suddenly you’re a crazy person. I will admit that I might be a little bit insane, but I don’t think it is directly correlated with my love for cats. Can you blame me for liking them? They’re cute, fluffy, and far less judgmental than human beings. Plus, they do the silliest things, which keeps life entertaining. 1609919_10152733959333453_3651476270738979170_n For example, my little Mina isn’t all there in the head, and she likes to hang out in the bathroom with me while I’m getting ready. Specifically, she likes to lounge in the sink and dunk her little head under the running water. 10464403_10152585137618453_3736599998729493757_n She also enjoys hanging out in trash cans, as does her brother, Mr. Poe. He gets himself into all kinds of predicaments, like the time he got stuck in a headband. 10154049_10152410203878453_5129644086988398572_n Even when I’m working out, they’re rolling around on the floor with me or climbing on my back while I do planks. The latter is annoying, but it makes my workout more challenging.

I know cats have a reputation for being little jerks, which is why many people question anyone who likes them, but they’re not all that bad. Mr. Poe sleeps at my feet faithfully every single night. Little Mina runs to greet me the second I get home. They paw at my legs when they want to be picked up. And most importantly, they keep me laughing and smiling.

You have to remember that cats need love too. Are some of the stereotypes true? Of course. Do they do odd things and act like little jerks and troll your life from time to time? Of course, but so do other animal – and so do children for that matter, and y’all still like them. Cats, in contrast, are lower maintenance, less mess, and much cuter. IMG_20140911_1604571-768x1024

Importance of Work Experience

Sep 13, 2014 | Author: Benjamin Mehic

Most college students choose to get a higher education after the completion of high school, because, well, most jobs require a college degree.

According to Tony Carnevale, via American Radio Works, the nation will need “at least 22 million more people to have college degrees in order to meet the growing demand for educated workers” by 2018.  Simply put, that’s a lot of workers and a lot of college degrees.

So, how will you separate yourself from the hundreds and possibly even thousands of college graduates who are competing for the same job as you? Answer: Work experience.

Although working and going to school at the same time can be extremely difficult, most schools such as Utica College offer work study programs and internship opportunities which not only serve as a great resume builder, but could give you a boost when it’s time to look for a job post-school.

Utica College offers plenty of work study jobs for students to gain real work experience (more info can be found here), but they also have information about how to get an internship, which is required for graduation (more information about internships could be found here).

Work study jobs are paid positions, often with flexible schedules, that give students a variety of options as to where they could work. Internships are often unpaid, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find an internship where you’ll get paid to work in a field that will give you real work experience for the future.

 

Work Hard- Play Hard

Sep 12, 2014 | Author: LaShanna Saunders

holi.celebration.by.asu.april19.2013

Begin a hard worker and having an healthy work ethic is admirable and necessary to live a comfortable and well grounded life. However, everyone needs a balance  between work and fun in life. Too much of anything in unhealthy. What’s the point in working hard if in the end you have no one to share it with. Finding free time for enjoyment is necessary. For example, some people come into college and they go through college without experiencing life on campus. They come to school get good grades and then graduate without any memories but the  library. Getting good grades in extremely important because the main reason for coming to college is to graduate and be well off but if that was the only point then we would not have college activities. Monday – Thursday should be solely dedicated to  your studies but Friday- Saturday is for you to enjoy yourself. Over working yourself and always isolating yourself from campus and activities can lead you to depression and  social anxiety. From experience I have tired to be that person who only wanted to focus on schoolwork and nothing else because I felt that it would guarantee me a successful future and it would somehow make me more mature and a better student, But to be a good student you need to have fun and have a life outside the classroom and outside your work. Having a social life is not only healthy but it allows you grow and develop yourself. School can prepare you for success but having a social can prepare you for the world. You can be as smart and well grounded as you would like to be but if you haven’t experience  life then your success is half completed. Success is half education and half life experiences. Find what makes you happy and do it because in a blink of eye you will be in the work force and an adult.

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