Blazing fire safety demonstration on campus
fire ravaged the room in just two minutes and 45 seconds; all contents
melted into a mass of charred remains and melted twisted plastic.
But the fire was a controlled burn, designed
to bring a message to St. Bonaventure students.
“Fire safety is a primary concern,”
said Ralph Aloia, fire and life safety officer. “It just takes
one minute for a fire to get out of control.”
To promote fire safety on St. Bonaventure
University’s campus, the Allegany Fire Department set fire
to a mock dorm room on the front lawn of Devereux Hall Sept. 15.
The 8-by-8-foot room, constructed of plywood
and plaster, was furnished with a bed, microwave, desk, extension
cords and other legal and illegal accessories typically found in
a residence hall room.
Littered with props including beer cans, stuffed
animals, clothing, posters and an ominous candle, the room was a
realistic demonstration of a college residence gone wrong, and a
reminder of what can happen if everyone does not remain constantly
“I report at least one fire safety hazard
a day,” Aloia said. “Typically, it is an exit light
out, doors propped open. Unfortunately, this campus’ No. 1
problem is the tampering of fire safety devices such as fire extinguishers.
That is a life safety device and tampering with them can get people
arrested for it.”
The Allegany Fire Department, joined by the
university’s Medical Emergency Response Team and Safety and
Security Office, volunteered personnel and materials to assist during
The mock dorm fire cost less than $300, which
came from the Fire and Safety budget, Vito Czyz, director of safety
and security, said. It is the first of such a type of demonstration
to occur in Western New York.
“We are all really proud to be able
to provide such an educational visual for our students,” Czyz,
said. “Every one of the major core buildings (at Bonaventure)
has burned. It has been over 40 years since the last one and I would
like to keep the streak going.”
Czyz took time before the demonstration to
explain to students the importance of fire safety. He said the loss
of a life due to a fire breaking out is grave yet preventable with
smart choices and education.
Along with the visual of the burning mock
dorm room, Safety and Security personnel gave out pamphlets on fire
Many students are unaware of what will produce
these flames. Alcohol, cooking, smoking and the use of extension
cords are all sources of residence hall room fires.
Czyz said he hopes this demonstration educates
students and they make fire safety a part of their daily lives.
Matt Schweiger, a freshman psychology major,
now believes he has the right perspective about fire safety.
“I was really surprised about just how
fast it all went up,” Schweiger said. “It just took
a minute for the smoke and flames to cover everything. This definitely
put fire safety in perspective and I hope they do this next year.”
Approximately 200 people watched the mock
residence room fire, said Czyz.
“There are over 3,000 residence hall
fires a year, averaging 40 deaths across the United States on college
campuses alone,” Czyz said. “Many of them (are) alcohol
“We hope this really drives home to
students how important fire safety is,” Czyz said.
Class of 2011
addresses class of 2014
St. Bonaventure University President
Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., met on Wed., Sept. 17 with
members of the class of 2014 to welcome them to the university and
discuss the importance of diversity both on and off campus. The
discussion, which was mandatory for all freshman students, was part
of the university’s First-Year Experience Program, and has
been a tradition for several years.
Sr. Margaret used the discussion to inform students of the university’s
policies on discrimination. Her main goal was ensuring that all
students are aware of their options should they find themselves
in a situation where they feel they are the victim of bias. She
shared with students “several avenues” which they can
use to approach situations of intolerance.
Any student who feels that he or she has been the victim of any
type of discrimination is encouraged to contact any of the following
• The student’s resident assistant or residence director,
who will give advice on how to handle the situation
• Advocacy officers, who are various St. Bonaventure University
staff members who have been given specialized training to handle
• Dr. Gary Ostrower, St. Bonaventure University’s ombuds
officer, who will facilitate communication to resolve all types
Sr. Margaret also used the discussion as an opportunity to relate
the All Bonaventure Reads book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta
Lacks,” to students’ lives. Since one main theme of
the book is racial despair and prejudice, Sr. Margaret hopes that
the university community can use this knowledge to build better
relationships with one another during “the journey to become
better citizens.” Sr. Margaret closed the discussion by saying,
“here at Bona’s we want to understand, educate, and
eliminate all forms of discrimination.”
Class of 2012
SBU Family Weekend
to feature Casino Night, hypnotist, and annual Bonagany celebration
with the village of Allegany
This year’s Family Weekend celebration
at St. Bonaventure University promises fun for the whole family
with music, games, presentations and festivals over three days.
The festivities run from Friday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Sept.
26, and will allow family members to get out and see the wider campus
community in action.
The entire schedule of events is available
students have a subscription to the online magazine Student Health
101. There is a parent companion piece for you!
Access this online magazine.
Time to hit the books
talking to your student about college life, and he admits that
he’s finding studying for college courses a bit more difficult
than he’d expected. Or she tells you that most courses are
going fine, but there is one that she just can’t seem to
You can do more than sympathize and worry. You
can suggest some places where your student can find the academic
help she needs.
A first step is toward your student’s professor. Professors
can provide useful tips to students who need help. A student who
needs additional help may be directed to the Teaching and Learning
Center, located in the lower level of Doyle Hall. The center offers
a variety of academic help, including tutoring and labs in some
Students struggling in a class can visit the center to request
a tutor. The student will then be matched to a tutor appropriate
to his or her needs.
Tutoring is scheduled for once a week, up to one hour per subject.
Students can be tutored in more than one subject.
The Teaching and Learning Center offers writing and math labs.
These labs can help students focus on assignments and papers and
can even help students brainstorm ideas for projects. Tutors should
be told of big projects, such as research papers, at least 24
hours before a session so there is enough time for the work required.
The Teaching and Learning Center is located in room 26 of Doyle
Hall. Its hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through
The inside scoop on your student’s
Less than a month ago, your freshman left
the nest to fly solo. But even outside the classroom, your student
has resource people to help make the college transition a very good
On each floor of the residence halls, students have resident assistants
(RAs) to help them adjust to college life. Overseeing the residence
halls are resident directors (RDs), who work with RAs and residents.
Meet Jessica Taylor
Taylor is the RD for Falconio,
Robinson and Doyle halls. She is from New Bern, N.C. She received
her bachelor’s degree in political science from Appalachian
State University in 2008, and, this year, received her master’s
in student development in higher education.
“I was working with freshmen as an undergrad, and then it
kind of lugged me into this whole college thing,” Taylor said.
“My whole time in college and while completing my master’s
I was told ‘you’re just making a career out of college’
and it turns out you actually can do that,” Taylor said. As
a sophomore, Taylor became an RA and started to help co-teach freshman
seminar courses. While she was completing her master’s degree,
she worked with freshmen at a few different schools to gain more
experience. At St. Bonaventure University, she also teaches some
sections of the Freshman Foundations course.
“It’s cool because I get to know a small group of students
outside the residence halls (in her classes),” Taylor said.
One new thing for Taylor – her current job requires living
in the residence hall.
“I haven’t done that since I was an RA,” Taylor
Living in the residence hall means the RD can be available 24/7.
That allows Taylor and other RDs to be part of everything from solving
problems to having fun. Taylor posts her office hours on her door,
so students know when they can stop in to see her.
Taylor is also getting involved outside of residence life. She is
now the adviser of the SBU Hip-Hop team and is involved with the
staff intramural softball team.
Taylor’s ideas for the coming year include a “Judge
Judy” type of activity to help teach students what is and
is not allowed in the residence halls.
“We’ll have scenarios, food and a ‘sketch artist’
there as well,” she added. A date for the event has not yet
Another event planed for residents is “popcorn reflection
night,” hosted by Dr. Paula Scraba, one of the three ministers-in-residence
living in Robinson/Falconio/Doyle. Popcorn reflection night takes
place every Tuesday from 9 to 10 p.m.
Taylor is drawn to being an RD in a freshman building as it affords
her the opportunity to watch and support the transitions students
go through in their first year.
“I can be there to challenge and support them,” Taylor
said. “I know a lot of students just want me to give them
the answer or if they have a problem, they just want me to fix it.
In this atmosphere, you can challenge them and support them, but
I challenge them while supporting them because they do need that
A quote Taylor likes to go by is “Life is what you make it.”
She will encourage freshmen to make it a great year by “providing
an environment where they can achieve their No. 1 one goal, which
is academics, which is why they're coming to the university,”
Taylor said. “So providing that environment where they can
get the things they need to get done done, but also have a balance
with social fun things to do – an outlet on campus.”
Meet Gesina Traub
For the third year, Traub is the resident director for Shay/Loughlen.
This year, upperclassmen live in Shay, while Loughlen has floors
for freshmen and floors for upperclassmen.
“It is interesting to see how they (freshmen) grow …
you just fall in love with that age and being able to help them
adapt to the University,” Traub said.
Traub, from Georgetown, Ind., was an RA at Indiana State while she
worked toward her undergraduate degree. Now, she is studying for
her master’s in counseling at St. Bonaventure. She anticipates
graduating in 2012. Time management is key for Traub in balancing
both jobs, as it is for her students.
Some of her biggest jobs as an RD include managing the residence
halls, helping solve roommate or floor problems, and, most importantly,
making sure that the students feel safe.
“There is always an RD available somewhere on campus …
even if it is not your student’s RD, there is one on duty
at all times,” Traub said.
Traub herself is a knock on a door or an e-mail away if someone
is in need.
“I’m very devoted to this job … I’m always
willing to help the students,” Traub said. “I am very
educationally based on how I approach situations; if there is the
possibility for students to get a life-learning opportunity out
of it, that’s where I go with things. And with that counseling
background, I am very conversational and one-on-one.”
Traub plans to help put together a floor contest through which each
floor will participate in different activities to win points, with
She said she pushes students to become involved in campus activities
because there is something for everyone. If students are feeling
bored, Traub urges parents to have their students talk to their
RA or their RD about the different clubs and organizations St. Bonaventure
“There is always something the campus can provide,”
Traub’s current quote to live by is from Oscar Wilde: “To
love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
“I see people really struggling with who they are and not
appreciating who they are,” Traub says. “I really encourage
people to look at their strengths and look at the things that make
them them and then to respect that, because we all have our strengths
… and our part in the world; be who you are and like who you
Class of 2013
GOING ON . . .
Upcoming events on campus include:
Ongoing - Math Lab available for drop-in
assistance in mathematics
Friday, 9/17 - Women's
Soccer vs. Canisius
Friday, 9/17 - First-Year
Service Program Informational Meeting
Friday, 9/17 - Karaoke Night in the Skeller
Saturday, 9/18 - FIFA X-Box Tournament in the Skeller
Saturday-Sunday, 9/16-17 - BonaResponds Mini Service Weekend
Sunday, 9/19 - Women's
Soccer vs. Niagara
Sunday, 9/19 - NFL Football in the Skeller
Sunday, 9/19 -Heavenly Harvest Celebration at Canticle
Monday, 9/20 - Ernst & Young will provide an employer forum
on Mastering the Interview for accounting and finance
Monday, 9/20 - Monday Night Football in the Skeller
Tuesday, 9/21 - Seneca Nation History Presentation
Tuesday, 9/21 - Tournament Tuesday: Foosball in
Wednesday, 9/22 - Open Mic Night in the Skeller
Friday, 9/24 -Wind
Soloists of Western New York concert at the QCA
Friday-Sunday, 9/24-26 - Family
Monday, 9/27 - Monday Night Football in the Skeller
Monday-Wednesday, 9/27-10/6 - Francis
Tuesday, 10/28 - Jazz and Coffee with Prof. Les Sabina's
trio, "NY Standard Time"
Wednesday, 9/29 - All Bonaventure Reads Author Visit,
Rebecca Skloot, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
Saturday, 10/2 - Cedar Point Amusement Park
Sunday, 10/3 - Men's
Soccer vs. Niagara
Saturday, 10/23 - Grove City Outlets
Saturday, 10/30 - Rafting Trip
Sunday, 10/31 - SBU Band and Choir Concert
Saturday, 11/6 - The Mountain Auction benefit in
support of Mt.
Sunday, 11/14 - Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions
Life" author visit scheduled
Author Rebecca Skloot will discuss her best-selling book “The
Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” during a public lecture
at St. Bonaventure University Wednesday, Sept. 29. The program begins
at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Center Arena and will be followed by a book
Skloot’s first book hit No. 5 on the
New York Times’ best-seller list less than a week after its
February publication date. Amazon.com has named “The Immortal
Life” one of the 10 “Best Books of the Year,”
and Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball have teamed up with HBO to create
the film version of the book.
“We are enjoying enthusiastic responses to our All Bonaventure
Reads selection of ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,’”
said Jean Trevarton Ehman, chair of the All Bonaventure Reads committee
and director of the university’s Teaching and Learning Center.
“Our campus community has embraced Skloot’s storytelling
ability, as she expertly wove a complicated story into an engaging,
page-turning revelation that captivates readers.”
“The Immortal Life” is the enthralling
story of Henrietta Lacks, the forgotten woman behind one of the
most important tools in modern medicine, and of Lacks’s descendants,
many of whom feel betrayed by the scientific establishment. Lacks,
who died of cervical cancer in 1951, is the source of the HeLa cell
line, the first human cells able to reproduce on their own in the
The book speaks to many themes — medical
ethics, scientific research, the experience of African Americans
in the second half of the 20th century, and the availability and
cost of health care.
St. Bonaventure Provost Dr. Michael J. Fischer
asked all incoming students, as their first official college assignment,
to write a one- to two-page reflection on the book. A group of faculty
and staff are now in the process of reading each paper and selecting
a group of winning essays. Winners will be recognized and will have
the chance to meet Skloot when she comes to campus.
More information can be found at www.sbu.edu/AllBonaventureReads.