Category Archives: Voices

Middle of Midterms

Oct 21, 2014 | Author: Cisse Yousouf

Didn’t the year just start last week? Well, that’s exactly how it feels.
Guess what? We are in the middle of midterms….

Here are some tips to do well on your midterms:

1. Skim: On midterm eve, you may be tempted to open up your chemistry book and read every word of chapters 1-55. Don’t! This is a waste of time. Instead, focus on chapter headings, footnotes, the course syllabus.

2. Don’t cram: On this same note, don’t wait until the night before your exam to begin studying for it. Instead, prepare sooner.

3. Disconnect: Facebook, Pintrest, Twitter, and email are all unnecessary distractions, so while studying, disconnect for an hour or so. You may be surprised at how much you can accomplish when technology doesn’t get in the way.

4. Take breaks: Consequently, a 12-hour marathon study session won’t do anything but make you crazy. Instead, take short breaks every hour or so, even if only for 10 minutes. Leave your study area when you do. That bit of fresh air may be just what you needed to clear your head.

Follow these few steps and you’ll see great results if you haven’t already.

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October Festivities

Oct 20, 2014 | Author: Courtney Hryniowski

This October has been quite busy with preparing for midterms, but that did not stop me from having some fun! Sometimes, all you need is a few hours to do something you enjoy.

On October 9th, Utica College’s Gay/Straight Alliance hosted an event called “Mom, Dad… I’m Gay.” This event gave anyone the opportunity to get on stage and share their story of how they came out to their family and friends. It was amazing to see the courageous individuals stand up in front of strangers and tell their story.

The support that filled Strebel Lounge was beautiful. It is incredible to be a part of a community that is so supportive of the diversity on campus. Each story was so unique and touching. I am very proud to say that I am the secretary of this organization. I am straight, along with many other members who are here to support the LGBT community that we have here on campus.

Cake Pops, t-shirts, and two of the beautiful GSA members!

Cake Pops, t-shirts, and two of the beautiful GSA members!

Some of the courageous individuals who shared their stories with us.

Some of the courageous individuals who shared their stories with us.

GSA's e-board (above), GSA members along with some students who attended the event (below).

GSA’s e-board (above), GSA members along with some students who attended (below).

On October 13th, I tagged along with the International Studies Office to Syracuse, where we went to Abbott Farms and Destiny USA. While at Abbott Farms, we walked through the corn maze, were able to slingshot apples or shoot them out of a cannon, feed and pet some of the animals including goats, pigs, and chickens, and lastly, we enjoyed some of the fall favorites such as corn on the cob, hot apple cider (my personal fall favorite) and apple fritters. After all of those activities, we were off to Destiny USA! It was a blast hanging out with the international students, and on top of it all… I was able to get my shattered screen fixed on my phone. It was definitely an overall great day!

Nothing but smiles with my pumpkin!

Nothing but smiles with my pumpkin!

On October 14th, I had one of my RA events called “Bra Pong” in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month. I put together a board with bras pinned to it (shown in the image below), and the residents who wanted to play had ten attempts to shoot the pong ball into the cups of the bras. It was very exciting to see the residents get involved and have a friendly competition with each other! Prize – 10 boxes of candy!

Bra Pong

This past weekend was Homecoming, one of the most exciting weekends of the fall semester where families come up to visit their loved ones and one event after another. Friday was packed with events and guest appearances, my favorite events were definitely the Casino Night (hosted by Inter-Greek Council) and Pub Night: Students’ Showcase (hosted by Utica College’s Programming Board).

Saturday was full of tailgating and preparation for the football game against St. John Fisher that started at 1 p.m. Even though we lost, there was a lot of support from the fans! This was also the first game where there was a student section sectioned off in the bleachers, giving out free t-shirts that said “Rack Attack” to the first 75 students who arrived!

Later that evening, I accompanied my friend to his Alpha Chi Rho formal. I’m very close to many of the brothers within the fraternity, so it was a blast being able to attend a night just for them. They gave out awards that were both funny and heartwarming. Current brothers as well as alumni made speeches that were really wonderful to listen to. AXP is still new to the campus but definitely has made a great impact so far. Homecoming weekend was a success for me, hopefully for you as well!

Some of the pictures from the Alpha Chi Rho formal!

Some of the pictures from the Alpha Chi Rho formal!

October is only a little more than halfway over, so I am excited to see what is in store for me in the upcoming weeks!

Homecoming 2014!

Oct 20, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

This weekend marked my fourth and last Homecoming Weekend as a student at Utica College. While I have always had fun during Homecoming in the past, this weekend was the best Homecoming yet!

At the Homecoming Carnival my sophomore year, October 2012, with Karita and Justine

At the Homecoming Carnival my sophomore year, October 2012, with Karita and Justine

In years past, the highlight of Homecoming was always the Carnival Under the Stars on Friday night. However, this year, UC decided to provide different programming instead of the carnival. It was unexpected, but I still enjoyed the weekend and the new things to do and see!

Me at Homecoming Weekend 2013, which was my junior year, with my boyfriend Ryan!

Me at Homecoming Weekend 2013, which was my junior year, with my boyfriend Ryan!

The weekend started out with the casino night in Strebel Lounge. As usual, the lounge was packed with student volunteers, alumni, and families all having a great time. I love seeing all of the Inter-Greek Council members hard at work. They always do a great job running events like this! Later on, I worked at the student showcase with WPNR, which took place in the Pioneer Pub. WPNR, aka the Utica College radio station, DJ’d the event and had their own music showcase segment. It was so much fun to get the crowd going with all sorts of music, especially when students’ younger siblings were getting out of their booths and dancing. Even Campus Safety officers were joining in with the dancing!

Ashley and I, who both work at WPNR, along with Trax and Miss Monica. Everyone was having a great time at the student showcase!

Ashley and I, who both work at WPNR, along with Trax and Miss Monica. Everyone was having a great time at the student showcase!

The following day, Saturday, was the biggest day for Homecoming programming. My day started out bright and early because I worked at the WPNR tent before the football game. WPNR played music throughout the tailgating, and even though it was chilly and rainy, there was a huge turnout! Even before 9 a.m., there were tons of happy Pioneers in the parking lots. It made working so early in the morning in the cold rain much more enjoyable!

Of course, after the tailgating was the big football game against St. John Fisher. Although the Utica Pioneers lost, everyone was still in good spirits for the rest of the programming that day. Later at night, the America’s Got Talent illusionist and UC alum Leon Etienne packed the Strebel Auditorium for an amazing show. I saw Leon last year, and his show this year was just as fun. Even though I have seen the show twice now, I still couldn’t figure out how he did such amazing illusions! I am a sucker for magic, and Leon is a great performer.


Enjoying Homecoming Weekend my senior year with friends and fellow bloggers Laura and Karita

Enjoying Homecoming Weekend my senior year with friends and fellow bloggers Laura and Karita

After Leon’s show, there were fireworks outside in the Strebel Lounge, which was a great way to spend the time before the John Cassidy: Balloon Freak Show began. I had no idea what to expect for this show. All I knew was that the performer, John Cassidy, had some Guinness World Records for how fast he could make balloon figures. The show was absolutely hilarious and one of the most entertaining shows I have ever seen at UC. John was funny, extremely skilled, and unpredictable. He was just as fun for the students as he was for the family members who attended the show. This show was so different from anything else that UCPB has brought to UC, and I hope he will be back for future students to enjoy!

Once I made it through such busy days on Friday and Saturday, I spent most of Sunday sleeping and doing homework, though others continued the Homecoming festivities with sporting events and award ceremonies. This weekend was a total success, and I was so grateful to have had such a great Homecoming my senior year!

What I Love About Utica College: Fall Semester Edition

Oct 19, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit down due to midterms and gloomy weather, but I hate feeling that way. I don’t believe in bad days (As I’ve stated before…). So, I decided to make a list of all of the great things on campus that I appreciate, and some things that I am looking forward to for the rest of the fall semester; I figured that would cheer me up in no time!

(A picture I snapped the other days of the trees on campus.)

(A picture I snapped the other days of the trees on campus.)

The ambiance – Utica College is a beautiful campus in the fall. I love changing leaves, and the warm colors that everything takes on around this time. Going for a jog or walk around the campus during this time is especially nice because you can appreciate the entire place fully. One of my favorite things on campus is the trees that line some of the parking lots; they are gorgeous!

(A student, Quinaya, holding "Sweat-P" the snake during the majors and minors fair.)

(A student, Quinaya, holding “Sweat-P” the snake during the majors and minors fair.)

The events – There are countless big events which are coming up toward the second half of the semester. The Gay-Straight Alliance and the Utica College Programming Board are putting on “Take Back Your Prom.” The Greeks are going to put on Midnight Breakfast toward finals week. There are numerous sporting events to attend; hockey games are going to start soon! Everywhere you turn on campus, you’ll see a flier for a new event.

The opportunities – I just helped out with the majors and minors fair, which is an event put on annually in the Library Concourse. It is designed to help students understand what options they have as far as majors and minors go. Information about specific programs is typically presented. Also, there are numerous other events coming up in regards to future opportunities for students. There are networking nights for various majors, which establish connections between current students and successful individuals in their respective fields.

(I needed a warm cup of coffee on this chilly sunday!)

(I needed a warm cup of coffee on this chilly sunday!)

Coffee on a brisk day – For me, there is little better than sipping a cup of warm coffee on a cold day. Excuse the cliche, but it warms your soul. Fortunately for us, Utica College has a wide array of places to choose from when it comes to coffee. If you haven’t done it before, I encourage you to sit outside the library in the concourse and sip a coffee (or hot chocolate!) and just observe. As I’ve said before, this campus is beautiful in the fall. Take some time to appreciate it.

Thanksgiving break – This isn’t necessarily a thing which occurs on campus (for most), but it is three days off that the school allows us. I love spending time with my family, and relaxing before the craziness of finals starts. Plus, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, is the day after. I love getting all of my Christmas shopping done and out of the way on one day!





My UC Homecoming 2014

Oct 19, 2014 | Author: Tessa Lamper

As everyone knows, this past weekend was Homecoming at Utica College. The campus was jam-packed with fun activities for everyone and left a lot of great memories! Here are some of the things I enjoyed over the weekend…

My Homecoming 2014 experience started with the Casino Night, where I enjoyed playing Roulette and Blackjack (and found out that I am pretty good!). At the end, when I turned in my chips, I received a ton of raffle tickets that won me a cool water bottle (It may not sound impressive to you, but I was extremely excited!).

The next day, (Saturday), I started out early at 6 a.m. to get ready for the Open House (along with blogging, I am also an Ambassador/Tele-counselor). For Open House, our duties are to welcome potential UC students to the campus, answer their questions, get to know them and show them around. All of the families I met and spoke with were so friendly and enthusiastic about the college, even in the rain!

IMG_1030(Me in my cool Ambassador jacket after Open House… with my boyfriend)

When the Open House finished, I went to the tailgating festivities, and then went to the game. What’s fantastic about UC is that, even though we were losing the football game, the stadium was still packed in support for our Pioneers. After the game, I went over to Strebel for the mini carnival. There were many different activities, but the best part was the live band, Showtime. They played songs from different time periods and of all different genres. They were extremely talented





(The band, Showtime)IMG_1034


(Some folks getting jiggy to the band’s music!)





Later that night, I stood behind Strebel with my friends to watch the awesome fireworks and then went to the John Cassidy Balloon Freak Show. He did magic, comedy and of course, built AMAZING balloon figures. He made anything from a deer to a giraffe to an alien on a motorcycle! It was definitely a show that I hope UCPB brings back because it was entertaining on all levels.


For me, Homecoming 2014 at Utica College was a fun and unforgettable experience. Thank you to all who made it happen, and I cannot wait for next year!


Are You Too Busy to Be Successful? Keys to Managing Your Time Effectively

Oct 19, 2014 | Author: Allison Acquaviva

It’s only the middle of the semester, but we are already feeling the pressure of upcoming deadlines for projects, papers, and exams. It’s making us crazy, overwhelmed and just stressed out. 

Managing your time effectively is so much more than simply not procrastinating. In order to be successful, you must be organized, determined, and be willing to work your hardest. Everyone knows that though….right?

Here are some key concepts to make managing your time easier and to make your success rate soar:

1. Evaluate Your Timelines: Are you constantly struggling and staying up all night just to finish an assignment? If so, it’s time to re-evaluate your timeline. Set realistic expectations for yourself that you can handle without feeling overextended.

2. Don’t Underestimate Deadlines: Just because something is due in November, does not mean you should wait to DO it then. It’s important to be open about the time you take to work on things. Granted, we all need relaxation time, but before you put off any of your assignments, make sure you will be able to deliver on that deadline. They are sneaky little buggers.

3. Embrace the Power of No: Every day, we are presented with opportunities and things we want to do. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in the day to possibly get everything that we want to done. It’s okay to say no. Sometimes, for our own sanity, we have to let go of unnecessary obligations….for the time being. That doesn’t mean we can’t revisit them later on when we’re less busy.

Created by me in Meme Generator

Created by me in Meme Generator

4. Take a Digital Diet: Put down the phone, log out of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the list goes on. I know, easier said than done, right? Absolutely! I can’t tell you how many times I get distracted by my phone, Kindle, or even my dog. Then, before you know it, what was supposed to be an hour-long assignment has turned into an all day affair. Seriously, for your own benefit, put the digital devices away.

5. Prioritize: Consider what projects must be done first. Then, consider how your time can be used more productively. For example, if you have that dreaded research paper to do, think about the ways that you can make your life easier. Is there anything you can complete ahead of time? If so, do it. Also, try making a “today” list instead of a “to do” list. Focus on the tasks that you want to complete that day. Looking at all the tasks you have to do, might completely overwhelm you.

Do you want to be more successful? Do you want to accomplish more? Try doing these five key points. If those don’t work for you, make your own list of steps that you feel would be beneficial to you. Take that “too busy” feeling and turn it into a “successful” feeling!

12 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About College

Oct 17, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine


Most of our knowledge comes from experience. That’s why a lot us will look back on events in our lives and say things like, “If I only knew then what I know now.” We tend to think about things in retrospect – what we could have done better if we had known more at that present time. But of course, this never really does us any good because, try as we might, we can’t go back to those moments.

Now that I’m about to graduate this semester, I have been thinking of a lot of things that I wish I knew going into college, things I wish someone had told me. Although, even if someone had passed this knowledge my way then, would I have listened? Who knows? My hope is that, in sharing these tips with you, you’ll trust me and take it to heart so you can get the most out of your time and money.

  1. Take the classes that matter to you.
    I am going to be completely honest. Every semester, when it came time to build my schedule for the next semester, I focused only on a) what was required to graduate, b) what was most convenient time-wise, and c) what was easiest. This worked out to make my time here quite efficient, but all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I have taken all of the classes that I will take.
    I wonder if I missed things. I took a couple easy A courses, but did I take things that would be practical and applicable? Yes, but not as many as I could have. Do whatever you can to broaden your horizon now. Take communication, business and writing courses, no matter what your major is. These will help you so much. Then be sure to fit in things you find interesting.
  2. Class attendance is crucial, but your health is the most important thing.
    This past semester, I got hit with mono. It took me a week or two to get diagnosed, but I knew something was severely off. The type-A part of me was saying, “Go to class!” But my body was physically incapable of movement. I did the right thing and went to the doctor instead of class, then brought my professors a doctor’s note. When you have a serious illness like mono, you have to put your health first.
  3. The best way to do well in a group project is to take charge.
    We all know that, despite professors’ best effort, group work is never an equal division. And if you don’t get to pick who you’re working with, there’s no guarantee the people you work with have the same work ethic or concern for their grades as you do. Therefore, if you want to do well on a group project, the only way to do so is suck it up and take the reigns. You need to be in control, be responsible, and be aware of dates and requirements. As harsh a reality as it is, that’s just group work for you.
  4. Your professors want you to succeed.
    It feels like they’re out to get you when they hand you a research paper assignment, but I swear, they want to see you do well. They will do everything in their power to help you if you show you’re willing to work and to reach out to them.
  5. Make time to see your family.
    A lot of kids want to get away from their families when they go off to college. And even if that wasn’t the case for you (it wasn’t for me; I didn’t want to leave), it’s likely you’ll assume you have your entire life to visit your family, and you won’t make it a priority on breaks. The thing is, life is going to keep changing and more and more things will get in the way of spending time with them, whether it’s jobs or distance or whatever. Take the time while you have it and be with your family as much as you can.
  6. Get at least one person’s phone number in every class you’re taking.
    This will come in handy on many levels. If you’re stuck in traffic and going to be late, you can text someone and ask them to let the professor know (make sure you pull over to do this though!). If you miss a class, you can reach out to them for notes. If you’re confused about something, you can ask them for clarification.
  7. Pens exist only to be sucked into a black hole when you’re not looking.
    Seriously, buy a million, because they’ll all be gone in a week, even if you don’t lend them to people.
  8. Learn to cook.
    This is for men and women. People like people with food. It will help you take care of yourself, make friends, get on professors’ good sides, and you’ll look smooth on dates.

    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.

    A Loaded Cheese Fries Grilled Cheese from my blog.

  9. You really need to check your email.
    Ask any professor; students don’t check their emails. That’s because our generation is accustomed to texts, and email seems like a thing of the past. However, you have to remember that your professors still use email avidly. It never fails that the one day you don’t check your email is the one day you got a class cancellation notification, but missed it and drove to school for nothing. Plus, you need to look out for weather and campus safety updates. All kinds of important stuff goes to your UC email.
  10. Establish credibility with your professors.
    This is especially true for professors you know you’ll have again. Even if someone rubs you the wrong way, you want to be on their good side. Prove to be diligent, motivated, and responsible by consistently handing assignments in on time, showing up to all classes on time, and participating in class. Always hand in your best work and be friendly. That way, when an unfortunate circumstance does happen, your professor trusts you and is willing to work with you. For example, I got rear-ended on the way to a midterm a few semesters ago, and was consequently a few minutes late, but my professor knew what kind of student I was, and he understood.
  11. You are never “too busy,” so ditch that excuse.
    The saying is true: if you really care about something, you’ll find the time for it. When you tell someone you were “too busy,” you really just didn’t see the thing you didn’t do as priority. I don’t care how much crap you take on – I’m the queen of taking on too much – you will find a way to do what matters to you.
  12. It never hurts to ask.
    A lot of people refrain from asking for something they want/need if they’re sure the person will say “no.” I have always adopted the mantra that it doesn’t hurt to ask, and it’s almost always been helpful to me. When I’m feeling like things are going south in a class, I see if there’s anything a professor can do to help me, even if I think they’ll say “no.” Nine times out of ten, I get surprised. The same goes for anything. I’ve expressed to professors that the whole class could benefit from a couple days extra of studying and gotten tests moved back. This semester, an incredibly understanding professor was willing to work with my teaching schedule at the gym. People will surprise you, and if they say no, so what? You should ALWAYS ask.

21 Questions!

Oct 17, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

In case you didn’t pick up on this by now, I am friends with several of the other UC Bloggers. Naturally, the students who blog are students who love UC and are pretty involved on campus, so I often see them at events and meetings. One of the bloggers I am particularly close friends with, Karita, posted a fun blog last week in which she answered 21 random questions about herself. (You can read her blog here). I loved it, so I figured I would do the same here, and answer her questions about myself!

  1. What is your year/major?
    • I am a senior and a psychology major!
  2. When’s your birthday?
    • April 20.
  3. Where are you from?
    • I am local- born and raised in Utica!
  4. Why Utica College ?
    • I wanted to attend a small school, and I loved that I could commute from home while still being at a school with a strong faculty. Over time, I grew to love campus so much that I didn’t want to leave, which is why I became a residential student this year!
  5. What is your favorite cereal?
    • Plain ol’ Llife cereal!
  6. Do you have any pets?
    • I have a kitten named Cleo who I am a little obsessed with.
  7. How involved are you on campus?
    • This semester, I am a teacher’s assistant, a research assistant, a WPNR DJ and production staff member, a resident assistant, a North Hall representative in Student Senate, and the GSA Vice President. I am also a member of the UC Choir, the Psychology Society, the ASA Gray Biological Society, the Student Conduct Committee, the Food Service Committee, and Psy Chi Honor Society. In the past, I have also been involved with RHA and the summer orientation program.
  8. What is your favorite season?
    • Fall- I love the changing leaves, sweaters, scarves, and hot cider!
  9. What is your favorite thing about Utica College?
    • I love that this school really feels like a family. We are a small community, and everyone knows each other. The students, the faculty and the staff all truly care about one another and want to help each other succeed.
  10. What city you would like to visit?
    • Right this minute, I would love to be in Maine. I love Boothbay Harbor, and could use a little time by the ocean.
  11. Favorite song?
    • “Somebody Loves You” by Betty Who always makes me get up and dance!
  12. Any siblings?
    • Three (brother and two sisters- all are also in college currently!)
  13. What is your favorite animal?
    • Cats. Specifically, Cleo!
  14. Favorite restaurant?
    • Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse in Utica, and Joe’s Wagon Wheel in Oneida. Both are great date spots if you love pasta as much as I do!
  15. Pet peeves?
    • I hate when people complain endlessly! My opinion: fix it, or stop complaining. Life’s too short to be unappreciative and unhappy! Fix the issue and move on.
  16. Favorite quote?
    • “Meow.” -Cleo
  17. Most played song?
    • Apparently, it is “Countdown” by Beyonce, the queen. Figures.
  18. Any talents?
    • I love to do Zumba, sing, and paint– but not all at once!
  19. Favorite video game?
    • I don’t play video games.
  20. If you could be friends with any celebrity, who would it be?
    • Judge Judy- I love her!!
  21. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    • Grateful :)

It’s that time of the semester again… Homecoming Weekend!!!


Are you ready for what is about to hit campus?
Who’s excited for the Weekend? If you’re not, let me remind you why you should be.

1. UC Set to Host Fisher for Coach to Cure MD Homecoming Game.


The Utica College football team returns home on Saturday for the Coach to Cure MD Homecoming Football game as the Pioneers take on the nationally-ranked St. John Fisher in Empire 8 Conference action.
The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on the turf at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium, and it is a part of the College’s Homecoming festivities.

2. Women’s Soccer vs. Alfred University


The Utica College soccer team also returns home Saturday, October 18 to face Alfred University. The game will be on the turf at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium as part of the College’s Homecoming festivities.

3. Edith Langley Barrett Fine Art Gallery Exhibit:

John Lyon Paul

This self-taught artist began to make sculptures at the same time he began to practice meditation in the 70s. These two practices, the receptive and the active, have informed his entire creative life and generated a large and innovative output of artworks. The master of many materials, John spends about equal time painting and sculpting in the solitude of the studio he built in the hills near Ithaca, NY. The event begins at 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 18.

These are just few events going on this weekend. If you need more information, go to Utica College.

mickey mouse

Staying Prepared for the Weather in Utica

Oct 16, 2014 | Author: Tobias Neto

In Utica, the weather changes from sunny with low winds to heavy rain storms within a duration of a day. This creates trouble in trying to prepare for the day. I have found a couple of ways to help be ready for the unexpected weather:
1. Check the Weather: It is always helpful to watch the weather, whether it’s on an application on your cell phone or simply watching it in the morning in your room as you prepare for the day.
2. Bring a Sweater/ Rain Coat/ Boots: Since some students have classes with AC and are not used to the cold, it would not be bad to carry a sweater in your bag or to wear one. It allows you to stay warm if you are feeling cold, and you can take it off it you get hot. If you know it is going to rain, prepare yourself and wear rain boots and a jacket.
3. Carry an Umbrella: if you know it’s going to rain later in the day and you are not going back to your dorm room anytime soon, bring an umbrella. It will still help, even though it is pouring. It should keep you primarily dry.