Ryer’s muscles were on fire as he swung his sledgehammer into
an old chimney. Pieces of brick and soot spewed violently throughout
the room, leaving the whole team filthy. Still, the BonaResponds
student volunteers sported wide smiles that, like the dirt, just
couldn’t be wiped off.
Spending their spring break in Greenville,
S.C., 20 St. Bonaventure University students and leaders painted
houses, spread grass seed, cleared a field, tutored kids, repaired
a church, built stairs and improved the outlook of the community.
“I learned a lot of new skills that
I wouldn’t have if I was on a normal spring break, such as
operating an excavator,” said freshman biology major Frankie
Kara Deighan, a freshman undeclared arts major,
“I learned how to use a chainsaw, a
Bobcat and a circular saw,” said Deighan.
Deighan enjoyed the chance to meet new friends
and take charge of new tasks, including rebuilding a staircase with
part of the team.
“I loved the spontaneity. There was always something new and
different to do. The work never got boring,” she said.
“When you work side-by-side with the
same people, you depend on one another, and at the end of the day,
the job is done,” said Sean Corey, a freshman finance major.
Corey especially enjoyed meeting new people
and interacting with the kids at the school where he worked.
“The work was super fun. There wasn’t
one bad part about the trip,” he said.
“On a 1 to 10 scale, I would rate the
BonaResponds trip to Greenville a 17,” said Ryer, a senior
physical education major and co-president of BonaResponds.
Ryer has been on more than seven other Bona
Responds ventures, including trips to Texas, Gowanda and Haiti.
The Greenville trip was his last as a St. Bonaventure student.
“We had a great group, great weather,
the sweet tea tasted great and the barbeque was out of this world.
It was an amazing last trip,” he said.
For Deighan, it was her first trip. She looks
forward to going on more trips in the future.
“The only thing I would change about
the Greenville trip would be to make it longer,” she added.
“It was so much fun; I didn’t want it to end.”
“I would definitely be interested in
a leadership position in the future,” said Matuszak. “I’ve
volunteered during the local, weekend BonaResponds trips before,
but I want to get more involved.”
The trip was not only a lot of fun, but also
eye opening, the students said.
Ryer reached out to a homeless man, hoping
to make even a small difference.
“I jumped out of the van, ran across
four lanes of traffic and gave him a hug,” he said. He gave
the man a bag of food, and the man started to cry. “I told
him, ‘Just believe, man,’ and he hugged me again. It
was one of the best experiences of my life.”
“It helps to know that your good deed
will continue affecting people even after you’re gone,”
“I’ve already recommended the
trip,” said Deighan. “I tell every person I talk to,
‘You should go,’”
“I would absolutely do this again,”
said Corey. “The trip was one of the most rewarding experiences
of my life.”
Class of 2013
Making a "major"
Picking a major may be one of
the more simple-sounding yet more difficult-in-practice choices
your student has had to do since arriving at St. Bonaventure University.
It is possible your student continues at Bona’s as “undeclared.”
Dr. Lauren Matz, the director
of the Major Adventures Program, said there is absolutely nothing
wrong with a student coming into college with an “undeclared”
Matz said she stresses to
undeclared students the classes they take now are not “wasted.”
“Every course undeclared students take expands their horizons.
These courses give the students ideas of what they want to do and
not do with their careers,” she said.
Your student might be a part
of the Major Adventures Program. More than 60 freshmen undeclared
arts and sciences students were involved in the Major Adventures
Matz said there are many
advantages for students.
Each student in the program
was paired with an academic adviser specifically chosen to work
with undeclared students. The students were also put in the same
University 101 classes and another common class. That way, Matz
said, the students got to know each other faster. Matz said many
of these students also live in the same residence hall living communities.
The Major Adventures Program
is about more than having a student declare a major. The St. Bonaventure
Career Center works in conjunction with the Major Adventures Program
to encourage students to look into what career opportunities are
available for majors they might declare.
The program is in its first
year. To date, more than 20 of the 60 students involved have “graduated”
from the program by declaring a major.
The remaining students still
have time to choose a major. St. Bonaventure University does not
require students to declare a major until the second semester of
their sophomore year.
Parents can sometimes be
discouraged if their student is struggling to find what he/she “wants
to do with his/her life” but Matz has a simple piece of advice.
“You know your student
more than anyone else on this campus. Parents need to encourage
their Bonaventure students to follow their strengths and be open
and available to their students for what they want to do with their
Class of 2013
Warming House moves
The Warming House’s move not only brought
a new space but new opportunities this semester.
The Warming House moved from its former location
to its new home on North Union Street in downtown Olean. The new,
restaurant-style space is twice the size of the previous site with
a dry basement and a much more professional look, said Nick Goodell,
the program manager for St. Bonaventure’s Center for Community
“It’s definitely a good move,”
said Goodell. “It’s more professional and much more
With the new move came new products. Goodell
said they brought along the refrigerator, freezer and stove from
the previous location. New silverware was donated by Cutco and Olean
High School donated new pots, pans and dishes.
Goodell said that the new space will provide
an opportunity for the guests to be more involved with the community.
“It’s more about giving the guests
a hand-up instead of just a hand-out,” said Goodell. “Along
with the kitchen and dining area, there is now a classroom with
four computers where we teach basic life skills.”
Goodell explained that classes on topics such
as quitting smoking or how to get a GED are planned.
Students who help out at The Warming House
also agree that the move is good for both the guests and the community.
“The move is a serious re-evaluation
of The Warming House and what it does for the guests,” said
Michael Gargano, a graduate student studying community mental health.
“We’re going beyond just providing a meal for the guests.
It’s sort of like counseling. We’re helping them figure
out their needs and wants and getting them to want to improve their
Kara Deighan, a freshman undeclared arts
major who helps coordinate the trips and meals for The Warming House
on Thursday afternoons, agreed that the move is beneficial.
“It’s a lot nicer. Preparing
the meal runs much more smoothly now,” said Deighan. “We’re
not just providing a meal for the guests anymore; we’re helping
them become independent.”
Both Deighan and Gargano said they feel only
good things can come out of the move. Goodell agreed.
“I think the new place will provide
the Warming House with the ability to foster additional community
involvement on the part of our guests,” said Goodell. “I
think more students will be willing to come and help out during
Overall, everyone involved seems happy with
“I’m definitely happy with the
changes,” said Goodell. “It was needed for the guests
and the school. It’s a good place to start anew.”
Students who are interested in volunteering
at the new Warming House location should contact Goodell at (716)
Class of 2013
Places to hit the books
St. Bonaventure has many nooks and crannies
for students to tuck away, get down to business and study. It has
just a many resources for students in need of academic assistance.
Knowing these resources and how to utilize
them are key.
The Teaching and Learning Center, located
in the basement of Doyle Hall, offers a variety of resources for
students to obtain academic assistance.
Students can attend writing labs that offer
assistance with writing across the curriculum. They may also attend
regular tutoring sessions and go for studying advice, said Jean
Ehman, director of the center.
“They are welcome to come down here
or call and make an appointment, and one of us would be willing
to sit down and talk with him or her individually about how to study,”
Ehman said. “It’s a different process for everyone.
Some of us need to write things down while others learn better by
Students should call the center at (716) 375-2066
to schedule an appointment for assistance at the writing lab or
Ehman encourages students struggling in a
subject to speak to their professor in addition to getting extra
help from tutoring.
“Professors are the premier resource
for any student,” said Ehman. “Sometimes it’s
just a matter of hearing the professor using a different set of
words for it to become clear. The student should always be encouraged
to see a professor during his/her office hours because he/she is
the best resource.”
The math department in De La Roche Hall offers
weekly math labs for students. Students can drop in during the lab
hours. The labs are in room 303 in De La Roche Hall this semester
and held three days a week: Monday from 9-11:30 a.m. and 4:30-7
p.m.; Wednesday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m.; and Thursday
from 4-7 p.m. There is also a lab in the Teaching in Learning Center
from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The University offers many quiet places for
students to tuck away to study.
On Reading Day, the day before finals begin,
St. Bonaventure freshmen will have an additional option when choosing
a place to study. The First-Year Experience program will host a
study room in Plassmann Hall exclusive to freshmen from 12-9 p.m.,
said Abby Cohen, assistant director of the First-Year Experience.
Reading Day falls on Thursday, May 5.
“The room is specifically for freshmen,”
Cohen said. “We will be handing out stress balls, snacks,
sticky notes and index cards. Students are welcome to just stop
by and get supplies then leave. Peer coaches will be there so students
can ask them for advice, too.”
The program offered the study room to freshmen
for the first time last semester. Cohen said they initially anticipated
having it open just for five hours but students wanted to stay later.
Locations to study throughout the year include
the library, Merton Center, study lounges, Café La Verna
and the Hickey, said Cohen.
“La Verna and the Hickey are louder
but the best place to study is dependent on the student’s
need,” Cohen said.
Molly Inglut prefers La Verna for its comfortable
chairs and atmosphere.
“The library is so quiet and rigid,”
said the sophomore journalism and mass communication major. “I’m
more comfortable in La Verna because of its laid-back environment
and it’s nice that I can sit down at a table and spread all
my books out.”
Paige Winston, a freshman journalism and
mass communication major, prefers the Thomas Merton Center for study
“It’s the most like home,”
Winston said. “It looks like a living room with the coffee
maker and couches.”
Ian Rogers, a freshman modern languages major,
prefers the library.
“When I go there alone and listen to
my music, I know I can focus,” said Rogers.
For Katie Reusch, the privacy of a club office
is the best spot to study.
“I like to study in the Model UN office,”
said the junior political science major. “Since I like studying
with music, I can put my music up and spread my stuff out without
worrying about anyone interrupting me.”
Students should seek out an unused nook or
forgotten cranny to find a place that works best. On a campus filled
with them, they could be surprised.
Class of 2013