Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Feature Story - On-Campus Apartments

Kate Murphy
Newswriting and Reporting
Writing Assignment #6

            The alarm clock goes off and you get out of bed, making your way to the kitchen. Pouring yourself some cereal, you get ready to start your day. You are all dressed and begin your short distance to Tower Hall, noticing the crammed parking lots. After class, you make your way to second floor Cedar to start on your piles of laundry. Later at night, you could go to the Science Auditorium with your friends and laugh the night away with movies or head over to the Burns Wellness Commons to work out.
            Living on campus has its many benefits, from not having to worry about finding a parking spot to being able to interact more within The College of St. Scholastica community. CSS offers eight on-campus apartments for sophomores, juniors and seniors: Groves, Pine, Maple, Willow, Birch, Cedar Hall, Scanlon Hall, and Kerst Hall. Living on campus provides convenient access to college resources such as the library and Banner computer lab, as well as numerous student activities, such as intramurals and college organizations and clubs. It's all part of the college experience.
            “I believe that living on campus is a benefit,” Ben Fox, a resident of Willow apartments, said. “Living on campus keeps you close with your friends and your academic resources. Not to mention, it keeps you close to the BWC, which is a great place to blow off steam. Moreover, living on campus makes me feel a part of the community; what I do affects the other residents and impacts the school.”
            Being on campus also has the bonus benefit of building relationships and being able to count on people when you need assistance.
            “I live on campus,” Cody Adams, resident of Scanlon Hall, said. “I like being closer to people to who can help me with homework and I have the option to cook. Or I can go over to someone else’s place and I don’t have to cook!”
With a sense of freedom, students can feel like they are their own person. There are positives and negatives to being on your own though.
            “I love being on my own,” Jackie Sagedahl, a Cedar Hall resident said. “You realize that when your mom made you do chores it was teaching you to make sure your home someday is clean and organized and your kitchen and bathroom are clean.”
It’s one of the first times that the young adult can get a sense of what it’s like to live in the real world…and to be a “grown up.”
            “It has some ups and downs,” Sagedahl said. “With four girls in a two bedroom apartment, that's when you have to realize you're a grown up now and you need to start acting like it.”
            Even though living with other people can be stressful sometimes, being on your own can be a liberating experience.
            “Living in an apartment is pretty liberating,” Fox said. “When I lived in the dorms last year everyone was always right around the corner. In the apartments, everybody is scattered. However, the increase in responsibility is great. Being in charge of your food and the cleanliness of your living space makes you feel part of the real world. I think it is definitely going to better prepare me for life after college.”
With on-campus apartments and access right at your fingertips, St. Scholastica has made transitioning into the real world easier. Not only that, you also don’t have to wonder if you’ll ever find a parking spot.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The BWC Aids in Burning Calories

Kate Murphy
Writing Assignment #5

The College of St. Scholastica offers a 63,000-square-foot complex that allows students, sports teams, staff and the public to get their sweat on.
            Whether you want to tone your arms in the weight room, go for a jog around the running track, or scale up the 40-foot rock wall, the college offers sweat-breaking ways to keep your body in shape. The Burns Wellness Commons features an indoor six-lane 200-meter running track, four tennis courts, weight room, aerobic studio, cardio-filled fitness area, and so much more for those who want to get in shape.
             “The BWC has so many options,” Janessa Matheson, a sophomore at CSS said. “I use the BWC for core exercises and I can do anything from the elliptical, to the treadmill or bike.”
            “I would recommend everyone to use this facility because it’s super nice, lots of fun and very good for you,” Amy Strafelda, a sophomore at St. Scholastica said. “I love working out on my own. It’s my “me time.””
            The facility is also the prime place to feel the burn during the infamous Duluth winters.
            “I want to keep my body toned all year,” Matheson said. “Running is my favorite and it’s a little difficult to run outside in the winter.”
            The aerobics room offers a beautiful view of Chester Creek, as well as a variety of dance, aerobics, Pilates, yoga, and self-defense classes to get students’ hearts racing. The weight room gives the weight trainer the opportunity for a full body workout. The ever-popular climbing wall is a great way to stay active. The best part is that all of these options are conveniently placed in one location.
            “I am so happy we have a facility like BWC right outside our back door,” Strafelda said.
If pumping iron or running on a track isn’t your thing, CSS also offers intramural sports. Students sign up and meet on designated days to show off their skills or to join together with friends to blow off some steam.
“I love sports. I ran cross country and track in high school,” Matheson said. “I really miss it, so I wanted to join intramural volleyball. It’s a way to hang out, have fun and be healthy.”
Whether you are working out to have fun, get in shape, or to get away from the cold weather, the Burns Wellness Commons is a great way for people to stay in shape and get their sweat on.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

When You Know, You Know

Kate Murphy
Newswriting and Reporting
Weekly Assignment #4

When You Know, You Know

            It’s indescribable. It’s magical. It’s “The Thing.”
For some students, deciding on a college is difficult. Financial aid, academics, college size, the community, and distance from home can all be attributes that students look for when searching for the perfect place to call their home. The one exhilarating characteristic that students recall about their college process is that feeling they get in their gut. By getting to know the campus and having the sensation that this place “let’s me be me,” your college days ahead will be more than enjoyable.
            “When I toured CSS, I felt that it was right,” Amanda Moore, a junior at The College of St. Scholastica said. “I felt like this was my home. I honestly don’t know how to describe it.”
            College tours can be an exciting adventure in a young adult’s life, but it can also be a nerve-racking time when the student is ready for independence and is unsure on how they will transition. Whether the student tours one college or ten, it is important for the young adult to “get a feel” of the campus.
            “Coming into the entrance of St. Scholastica, I saw the ‘castle,’” said Moore. “Basically, I felt this awesome feeling inside of me. It reminded me of Hogwarts and I just fell in love. I knew it was going to be the place I called home.”
            It is important to remember that you may be living in this community and attending this college for four years or more. It’s crucial to feel like you belong, whether that means you like the people who attend the school, the clubs and activities are interactive and gratifying, or the town is a place you could imagine yourself spending time. When thinking about attending a particular school, go and visit the campus before committing.
             “After I toured here, I didn’t want to tour anywhere else,” Moore said. “I knew right then and there that this was the school for me. There wasn’t a need to go see any other school.”
            Some students create a list of the attributes they are looking for in a school, but it isn’t until you step foot onto the campus that you know. If you go to the campus and you do not like the vibe, then the school is not right for you.
Shelby Purdue, a sophomore at CSS, knew she wanted to major in nursing, but she needed to get a feel for the campuses before she could definitively make a decision. If you go to a campus and you do not like the vibe, then the school is not right for you.
            “I toured University of North Carolina and University of Minnesota-Duluth,” Purdue said. “They were beautiful but I didn’t have that feeling. CSS is not only one of the top nursing schools in the state, but it also felt like my soul mate. I remember when I first toured CSS and said to myself, ‘Whoa! I get to go to class in a castle?!’”
            Besides the “fit” of a college, students should have some concrete factors to base it on. A campus tour, scheduling an interview with an admission counselor, and meeting with faculty members is highly recommended. Visiting the college’s Web site and learning about the campus is a great way to further enhance your knowledge of the school.
            “It’s pretty important to go out and get a feel for the college,” Purdue said. “It’s going to be your new home. You don’t want to be miserable where you are at because you didn’t go out and explore.”
            Moore mentioned that when visiting a college, try to build in time to sit in on classes, eat in the dining hall or hang out the high-traffic areas. That will help you imagine yourself as a part of the community.
            “I visited a class and I couldn’t believe how welcoming and inviting the professors were,” Moore said.
            Both Moore and Purdue expressed that the college process can be a daunting adventure. Students are transitioning into their new life, trying to figure out who they are and what they would want to major in. The size, cost, distance from home and academics can all be influences on the young adult’s decision. No matter how long the list is that determines your idea of the perfect college, the one overwhelming element to consider is “fit.”
Choosing a college because your friends are going there or because of where it ranks on a list should not take into account who you are and what is right for you. College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.
“Even though I can’t describe it, I had it,” Moore said. “In my head, heart, and gut I just knew. It was this overwhelming…thing.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One Hundred Years is Worth Remembering

Kate Murphy
Newswriting and Reporting
Multi-week Writing Assignment #1
October 4, 2012

One Hundred Years is Worth Remembering
            You only celebrate 100 years once. 2012 marks the 100th year of existence for The College of St. Scholastica. There is celebrating, reminiscing, and overwhelming sensation of pride in the form of the blue and gold school colors. While all of these are great attributes, would we still have this same “Cor et Anima” passion if it wasn’t the Centennial? We may take for granted the beginnings at The College of St. Scholastica, but in the back of our minds, the Sister’s determination brought us here. The Sisters and the values they have integrated into our school up on a hill in Duluth will always be a part of our story, whether we acknowledge it or not; we are Saints for life.
            From the willingness and determination of the Benedictine Sisters, the foundation for my home away from home came into existence. Without the Sisters, you never would’ve met the new friends you have made or connected to the incredible staff.
            “There is absolutely no way we would be here without them,”  Reverend William C. Graham, Ph. D. and director of the Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies at The College of St. Scholastica, said. “They envisioned it and built it. They run it and they own it.”
            According to The College St. Scholastica’s website, our history began with the Sister’s determination.   
“The College of St. Scholastica owes its existence to the combining of two forces: Benedictine missionary zeal and the mushrooming settlement of Duluth. The school's origins date back to 1892, when Mother Scholastica Kerst and twenty-eight Sisters arrived from St. Benedict's Academy in St. Joseph, Minnesota, to spearhead the establishment of a Benedictine mother-house and an academy in Duluth. Initially, both convent and school were quartered in Munger Terrace. Within three years, increasing enrollment required building a new facility at Third Avenue East and Third Street. Named Sacred Heart Institute, the high school continued to grow rapidly in size and prestige. Duluth's rapid expansion at the turn of the century led to a third move in 1909 - this time to The College of St. Scholastica's present location.”
The history of the Sisters brings faculty, staff, and students together. 100 years allows us to acknowledge those who created our home and to start the journey toward the future.
“The Centennial is a time to celebrate our past, present and our moving into the future,” Sister Mary Rochefort, Associate Vice President for Mission at CSS said. “100 years of “Love of Learning” is a great accomplishment for the monastery and college community.”
Our time now, began 100 years ago. CSS’ website further explains this fact by recalling in response to Duluth’s growing community needs, the school expanded into a junior college and changed its name to The College of St. Scholastica. Back in 1912, the enrollment was only six students, but those students paved the way for our future.
These one hundred years are not just another event. It’s history in the making. We walk on the same steps as the sisters did twenty, forty, sixty years ago. There’s more behind the birthday cake than we think.
“I think about many things with the Centennial,” Dr. Robert Hensely, a psychology professor at CSS, said. “I think about all the predecessors, faculty and staff, before me, that helped shape the college into what it is today. I can just envision the first class with the Sisters. The Centennial is a tribute to the Sisters back then and those alive today.”
Young adults come to college for many reasons, whether it is to further their education, experience the real world, or to get away from mom and dad. Just like us in 2012, the Sisters had their reasons to establish this college back in 1912. Their spark ignited for future generations to come to this beautiful town; we are history in the making.  
“It feels great to be a part of this amazing college and its history,” Taylor Okeson, a sophomore, said about the Centennial celebration. “It’s amazing to think that it was created so long ago and it continues to be such a great college.”
Today, the community has 94 Sisters. Sister Margaret Clarke, a historian at the Benedictine monastery, stated that the largest amount of Sisters was 1964-65, totaling 520. Even though their number is declining, their legacy should not.
“It makes me proud to be a Saint,” Drew Iverson, a sophomore at The College of St. Scholastica, said. “I feel like a part of history, considering this is one-hundred years of progress made possible by the Sisters.”
            The values of community, hospitality, respect, stewardship and a love of learning are all evident at CSS. It binds the students, staff, and alumni together. Students are forever growing toward “Becoming St. Scholastica,” also known as “Cor et Anima." Integrating the Latin phrase of “heart and soul” is a dedication that students set out to live. We are all Saints and to come together, whether it is a football game or through academics, is a way we as a community are, as the homecoming motto said, “Towering Above the Rest.”
            “The Centennial meant to me that tradition is very important to our school,” junior Sarah Sluka said. “I think that they really like to embrace community and an important part of that is tradition. It was a great way to bring all of the students together and really be proud of CSS and to be a part of that community.”
            If we take a minute to stop and think, would the Sisters and the college be a subject on our mind? While it may not be the first thing to ponder about, the dedication, support and life that the Sisters have endowed into The College of St. Scholastica are awe inspiring and worth noting.
            One hundred years is a big deal. So, take the time to reflect on the past. Without the Sisters, you wouldn’t be going to school in a castle.
            “Thanks to them, we call this place our home,” said Hensley. 

The Loss of Familiarity

Kate Murphy
Newswriting and Reporting
Writing Assignment #3
The Loss of Familiarity

            The longing for freedom may have side effects. College is very exciting for students, as they are able to taste independence for the first time. College life can bring forth a lot of dreams for the students, but some may start to feel the uneasiness of homesickness. Homesickness is a natural, temporary condition which goes away, as long as the student is willing to accept their feelings and start a new chapter in their life.
When homesickness strikes, it takes students off guard. In a place where everything is new, from their room to the faces that they see in their classes, it is natural to feel alone. The feelings of love, protection, and security, may not be present in their new environment.
“Homesickness is very normal,” Julie Kim, a licensed professional clinical counselor at The College of Saint Scholastica said.  “Incoming freshman don't only adjust to being at school, they are adjusting to every part of their life-independence; building new social networks, figuring out what they want to do with the rest of their life, independent decision making, time management. Not only is it stressful and overwhelming, they have lost the familiarity of their home, their own room, their usual routine, friends in high school, and everything that they know.”
Homesickness can become unhealthy and the students, who do not learn to deal with homesickness, may go into depression. Thus, it is important that students who experience homesickness know about how to deal with it. Students who do go into a depression should visit the college counselor to talk about their feelings.
“Sometimes just having a person to talk to who is objective helps,” Kim said.
How do we overcome these emotions though? Accept your feelings. Some students may think that being homesick is childish. In reality, homesickness is just part of human life no matter what your age.
“I spent 18 years with them,” Amanda Moore, a junior at The College of St. Scholastica, said. “I woke up one day and my parents weren't there. It was a new concept to get used to.”         
Getting involved is a great distraction. St. Scholastica offers many different organizations and activities, such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Dance Team, to get involved with and to start getting rid of the homesickness bug. Instead of going home every weekend, students should call their parents and friends to catch up. The weekends on campus are the times where the most socializing occurs.
Homesickness can take its toll on the student, but it’s just a way of life; Look at college as a challenge and try to overcome it. It may be difficult, but you can do it.