Dear Parents and Families,
As hard as it may be to believe, your SBU
student’s first semester is drawing rapidly to a close. They
are having a hard time believing it, too. It seems like just yesterday
that you were dropping them off (do you remember all those boxes,
bags and electronics?) and getting the room ready. Do you remember
the jitters? The anxiety? That first wave of homesickness? For many
students, most of that is gone, now replaced by an ability to deal
with the unexpected and the willingness to face and manage change.
I’ve watched many commuter students, too, emerge as active
and involved Bonnies. The Class of 2013 has become just that –
a class – with an emerging identity on our campus.
We are delighted to have them as part of the
SBU family and look forward to spending the next three-and-one-half
years with them.
We trust that your son or daughter has had
a good “first-half of the first year” experience. We
know that your sons and daughters are looking forward to coming
home (don’t be surprised at how much they sleep when they
get there) and having some serious down-time. They deserve it. We
are happy to send them home, hopefully with a sense of accomplishment,
but we will be happy to have them back again in January.
From our family to yours we send our very
best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy
Director of the First-Year Experience Program
Patience key as your
student readjusts to living at home
When you sent your student to college four
months ago, you knew a lot about her – how she reacts to things,
what is important to her. You and she knew what rules were enforced
at home and how those would affect her.
All of that is about to be different. Readjusting
to home after the first semester of college can be hard for both
students and parents. Your student will have grown up, a lot or
a little, and he might be different than the person you brought
to school in August.
One major thing to consider: Your student
has become comfortable being independent and being on her own. She
is operating in a setting where she can establish many of her own
rules, including how late she stays out at night. That can be among
the biggest conflicts when students return home.
Chris Brown, associate director of residence
life and director of orientation, deals with many issues that students
have throughout the year.
“In the fall semester, the student grows
up and parents might not realize just how fast they may have grown
up,” he said. “They get used to an independence they
have never had before. If this independence is not something the
parents are prepared for, there will be tension.”
The first step, he added, is to expect change.
Brown suggested starting to talk about the
changes even before the start of Christmas break. Parents should
ask questions – not too many, but it is important to revisit
the changes that have occurred in the last four months.
Parents, he added, will need to start all
over again explaining what it means to live at home.
One resource for those conversations is the
parent/student calendar that each family received at orientation,
Brown said. Its December page centers on the theme “Expecting
Roger Keener, director of the University Counseling
Center, said it is important to lay some ground rules for the student.
“Opening up communication is essential.
Parents and students have to lay down each of their expectations.
The old rules may have to change,” he said.
Keener explained that students will definitely
show independence while defining their wants and needs.
“Students and parents must become reacquainted
with living with one another,” he said, “and maybe the
students will show, in a positive way, how much they have grown
Both said the main goal of parents and students
is interdependence. If your student was responsible before leaving
for college, he will not stop being responsible when he comes home.
Parents and students should concentrate on
compromise, even if giving a little more leeway is hard. Life does
not have to change totally at home just because your student has
returned from college. But things have changed and compromise can
help everyone deal with that change.
Class of '11
reprinted from Dec. '08
A Christmas Greeting
Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D.
President of St. Bonaventure University
Featuring "Bonaventure Alma Mater"
(sung to "Oh Tannenbaum")
1958 Centennial Recording
by the SBU Men's Chorus
of Trees serves up holiday cheer
Snowflakes have begun to dot St. Bonaventure’s
campus. Students, staff and faculty caught up in the semester-ending
hubbub find themselves wondering how to replace visions of finals
and papers with visions of Christmas joy and happiness.
For many on campus, taking part in the Festival
of Trees program helps provide that holiday spirit. The program
is coordinated by Bona Buddies, a social ministry program of University
Ministries that offers mentoring to children and adolescents ranging
in age from 5 to 18.
The Festival of Trees is "basically
a Christmas party for the neighborhood kids,” said Robert
Donius, vice president for University Ministries.
“The children are the stars,”
said Della Moore, director of the Bona Buddies program.
This year, 10 six-foot artificial Wesley
Pine Christmas trees were purchased and given to local families
taking part in the event. Campus clubs, organizations and academic
departments contributed by donating $25 and decorating the trees.
The trees were set up in the San Domiano room in Francis Hall so
members of the sponsoring organization could decorate their sponsored
tree at their leisure.
Some campus organizations also donated money or provided volunteers
for the event.
This year, the event included a sit-down
dinner and entertainment. Student volunteers, including members
of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, helped
with serving food and providing entertainment.
Age-appropriate books and T-shirts, purchased with donations from
campus departments, were given to the children.
Those signs of Christmas? Festival of Trees
participants found them in the exchange of conversations and gifts
over a meal.
And, added Moore, "The looks on their (the children's) faces:
You can't beat that."
Class of '11
Students can develop
leadership skills in ROTC
Planning, time management, leadership: You’re
undoubtedly hoping your student improves her skills in all these
areas during her college career.
One avenue to that goal is St. Bonaventure’s
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. Freshmen
and sophomores may take the basic ROTC courses without making a
commitment to serve in the military; those who choose to continue
can officially enter the program as late as the end of their sophomore
“My advice to parents of a freshman
student is to have their son/daughter take the ROTC class and lab
to see if they like it,” said Richard C. Trietley Jr., vice
provost for Student Life. Trietley was head of the ROTC program
at St. Bonaventure for a number of years before his retirement from
Freshmen taking the ROTC basic course and
lab will receive academic credit, learn valuable leadership skills,
meet new students and open up potential scholarship opportunities
(full tuition, room/board, book money and monthly stipend).
From the start, said Lt. Col. Thomas G. Leitch,
chair of the Department of Military Science, the program is “about
leadership, time management, planning and how these things relate
both to the military and to your own experience. It’s about
training and educating future leaders.”
ROTC has been a part of St. Bonaventure for
about 70 years. Currently, 44 students, contracted and non-contracted,
are participating. Contracted students have signed a formal, legal
contract with the U.S. Army and are committed to serving as an Army
officer after graduation. Non-contracted students have no legal
obligation to the military and are, in essence, “trying out”
The basic course is open to any student on
campus who wants to learn the foundations of leadership. Students
take one weekly one-credit course a semester. Also offered are a
lab and physical training, both optional for non-commissioned members
of the program.
Freshmen and sophomores taking the basic courses
learn planning, time management and leadership skills.
“In the advanced course, we get into
more specific military topics,” Leitch said. “We get
into very detailed planning about military writing style, how to
write operation orders and planning.”
Students who complete their academic studies
at Bona’s and complete the ROTC program are commissioned as
second lieutenants into the United States Army. They will either
be allowed to serve on active duty, in the National Guard or the
“Commissioned officers are ready to
lead young Americans right after they graduate with 12 to 16 credit
hours (in military science courses),” Leitch said.
Students can join the ROTC program after their
freshman year. They’ll be sent to Leader’s Training
Course at Fort Knox, Ky., where they’ll spend 28 days training
with other cadets.
“You’re put into different leadership
positions and then you’re critiqued and evaluated and given
feedback on how to adapt your leadership style to different environments,”
Participants in the Leader’s Training
Course program receive a $5,000 bonus, as well as a chance to earn
“It’s a win-win situation,”
said 1st Lt. Matthew Rado. “It’s a great experience.
It’s an excellent opportunity to meet people from other places.
You make friends. You get pretty well paid for it. You’re
really keying in on your leadership abilities.”
Over the summer, cadets are offered a variety
of further experiences. Some partake in the Cultural Language Program,
which sends them to places such as Tanzania or France for a week.
Others go to airborne school, or shadow a platoon leader or an officer
at a unit.
“It’s an opportunity to see what
it encompasses before they get commissioned themselves,” Rado
said. “That benefits them because they’re a little bit
more prepared when they do move forward.
How many opportunities are out there where
you get to get paid and learn about it and still not have a commitment?
Give it a try. If you like it, stick with it,” Rado said.
“That’s why a lot of people pursue the ROTC program.
It’s an excellent opportunity to get in and get involved and
get time to decide ‘Do I want to do this or not?’”
more about ROTC.
- Maria Hayes
Class of '12
Students prepared to work hard over break
Two groups of St. Bonaventure students will
be heading to warmer climates during the Christmas break, but they
won’t be lounging in the sunshine.
Both BonaResponds and Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) plan service
trips in January, said their advisers. BonaResponds members will
travel to Decatur, Ga., from Jan. 3-16. SIFE members will return
to the Bahamas from Jan. 6-16.
Jim Mahar, founder and spokesman for BonaResponds,
said volunteers will be helping to rebuild a children’s home.
He said final numbers hadn’t been confirmed yet, but he estimated
that some 20 students will go to Decatur, where they will participate
in actual construction.
The group, initially formed in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina, is constantly seeking volunteers and leaders.
“We are the easiest group to get involved
with in the world,” Mahar said, “We’re open to
anyone. Show up, come to a meeting.”
In addition to service trips, the organization
has also done relief work in the local area, including projects
in Machias and Friendship. The group’s goal is to “help
make things better.”
Mahar said BonaResponds will probably plan
another service trip for the spring break, though the details have
not yet been worked out.
SIFE, SBU’s largest student service
organization, is making its sixth service trip to the Bahamas. Adviser
Todd Palmer said 60 members will help in local schools by “teaching
basic business principals and character development.”
Palmer said SIFE members also plan to rehabilitate
a number of houses and a local community center during their stay.
A number of members are certified to offer Special Olympics workshops,
and will be doing so on this trip.
Palmer said another goal of the trip is to
create “a virtual campus between local and Bahamanian schools
using distance learning technology.”
Later in the spring, the Franciscan Center
for Social Concern has put together a number of service opportunities
for Bonaventure students. These include a trip to Philadelphia’s
St. Francis Inn, a soup kitchen, thrift shop and day center catering
to the poor and homeless, and a trip to Utica, N.Y., to serve at
a United Nations refugee resettlement city. Larry Sorokes, associate
vice president for the Franciscan Mission, said these are repeats
of trips that already took place in October of this year. Dates
for the new trips will be announced.
From Feb. 28 – March 5, trips will
be offered to both Boston and Syracuse. In Boston, Bonaventure students
will have the opportunity to serve at either the St. Francis House,
a day shelter offering food, clothing and various other services,
or the St. Anthony Shrine, which offers programs such as education
for working poor families and senior citizens.
In Syracuse, students will be part of a non-profit
organization to restore parts of the city. They could work in the
food pantry distributing meals for the needy or in the free onsite
medical clinic for those without medical insurance.
From Feb. 28-March 6, students will travel
to Kingstree, S.C. At the St. Ann Catholic Outreach Center, students
will work with Habitat for Humanity, the Lunch Program and the After
For further information, your student may
contact Jim Mahar, BonaResponds, 375-2359; Todd Palmer, SIFE, 375-4037;
or Gina Oldani, 375-7643, or Sr. Suzanne Kush, 375-2358, for the
Franciscan Center for Social Concern.
Class of '11
GOING ON . . .
Upcoming events on campus include:
Friday, 12/11 - Last Day of Classes
Friday, 12/11 - Advent Overnight at Mt.
Saturday, 12/12 - Christmas in Advent Midnight
Saturday, 12/12 - Reading Day Away at
Saturday, 12/12 - Women's
Basketball vs. Bowling Green
Saturday, 12/12 - Men's
Basketball vs. Savannah State
Sunday, 12/13 - Christmas Caroling followed by
hot chocolate in Cafe La Verna
Sunday, 12/13 - Late Night Breakfast in
Monday-Friday, 12/14-18 - Final
Exams - Students must be out of their residence halls
within 24 hours of their last exam
Saturday, 12/19 - Residence Halls Close at 10 a.m.