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Study Spaces

The week every student dreads is imminent: finals week. Yes, your student has been through this once before, but with the upcoming three-month summer break, this semester’s finals are something else.

So here’s the “need to know for parents,” followed by some tips to help your child through it.

Finals facts:

Where can my student study?

  • The library: It’s the most popular study place for finals so it can become quite full during finals week. Even the quiet floor tends to lose its claim to its name.
  • Café La Verna: The coffee shop on campus can provide a more relaxed place for studying. The perks include comfy chairs  and couches plus easy access to caffeine.
  • The Merton  Center/University Ministries: This space is open 24 hours and provides a place for students to study alone or together.The Loft, in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts: Similar to the two above, but less well known, as it opened at the beginning of this semester. Compete with beanbag chairs, tables and artwork, this third-floor wonder encourages focus through its laid-back atmosphere. Suggest your student check out this room at the Quick Center for the Arts.
  • The Damietta Center: Located next to Francis Hall, this space will be open during finals week for students. Exact times and dates will be announced through the Notice Board.
  • 24-hour rooms: Several classrooms will be open all night as study places. The exact locations will be announced via the Notice Board.

Reading day
For those of you who are first-time college parents, this might be a foreign term for you. Reading Day is between the last day of classes and the first day of final exams. This gives students a full day of studying before the first test occurs. This year, Reading Day is May 3.

Send a simple “I love you!”
“I encourage parents to send a quick message that will be encouraging to the student during this stressful time,” said Abby Cohen, First Year Experience assistant director.

During finals, students are handling a lot with multiple comprehensive exams or papers, so students don’t have too much time for anything else. Letting your student know in a text message, Facebook chat or two-minute phone call that you’re there for them and you love them, this can go a long way.

“There is so much going on, so remind them to stay focused for just the few short weeks left, that you’re there for them (your student) in case they need to talk, push that they are not alone during finals week and summer is just around the corner,” Cohen continued.

Student strategies: What you should tell your students

The outdoor fanatics
Friends and the lure of sunshine can keep students from hauling out those note cards. So if your freshman seems to be taking to the lawn rather than the books, here are the tips your student needs to hear.

  • Take it outside: Who says you have to be in the library to get your work done? Bring it outside to bask in the fresh air while hammering in CathFran facts.
  • Take a break! After hours of studying, it’s OK to take to the trail and go for a walk or socialize outside with some friends. Or multitask it: suggest your son or daughter pack a picnic and eat outside with some friends.

The super stressed 
Students may feel overwhelmed from now until May 9, but, just like everything else, it’ll be over soon and they’ll have survived. They may be exhausted, but they’ll still be breathing.

Tips for surviving the stress:

  • “Do Not Enter”: You may remember this sign going up on your bedroom door years ago. It’s time to dig it back out. However, this time around, your child needs it for herself.

“Rooms can be very distracting with all that’s readily available, so we try to encourage students to get out of their rooms to do their studying,” Cohen said.

  • Change it up: After hours of studying, not only does the mind need a break but so does the body. Moving around to three or four locations during the day will help your student’s mind stay focused, and his body from becoming antsy.

Regardless, your students should address and note all of her end-of-semester responsibilities, prioritize, and create a plan. The next week may be rough, but if you’re there for your student in any form she may need, it will greatly help her overcome this last hurdle to the finish line of her first year.

-Megan O’Donnell
Class of 2013

Campus reveals All Bonaventure Reads book
reprinted with permission from The BV

Freshman checklist: finalize room assignment information, get residence hall necessities, buy school supplies and read the All Bonaventure Reads (ABR) selection.

At the end of August, a new pack of Bonnies will pour into St. Bonaventure and each will be expected to have read “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts,” the ABR book for the 2012-13 school year.

Neil White’s memoir details his story as an inmate in a federal prison in Carville, La., for 18 months after the FBI discovered his money-laundering scheme.

The facility turns out to be a part of the last leper colony in the continental United States. White describes his encounters with criminals, nuns, lepers and, ultimately, people who became his friends. The book is about his transformation process and how his experiences impacted his life.

Jean Trevarton Ehman, chair of the ABR committee, who stumbled upon ‘Outcasts’ one morning, reflected on this year’s selection process and commented on how the committee chose the seventh book in the program.

“We auditioned 56 titles this year, so it’s kind of an arduous process,” Ehman said. “We want it to be a book that’s going to be engaging because we respect that not all of our incoming students are readers. We want books that are thinking books that make our new students pause and wonder.”

“In the Sanctuary of Outcasts” turned out to be that book.

The search for a new ABR book began two weeks after Conor Grennan, author of last year’s ABR book, “Little Princes,” visited campus, according to Ehman.

She explained the committee contemplated renewing “Little Princes” as the ABR book but eventually decided against it.

“We did talk about rerunning ‘Little Princes’ and nobody could think of a good reason why not to do that, except that we thought that we were better than that,” Ehman said.

Andy Liuzzo, a sophomore Spanish and journalism and mass communication major, discussed the close ties ‘Outcasts’ has with Franciscan heritage.

“Unlike other past selections, Neil (White) actually has direct contact with a Franciscan in his time at the prison,” said Liuzzo, a member of the ABR selection committee.

Brother Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., vice president for Franciscan Mission at St. Bonaventure, reflected on how readers will appreciate the way the book extends to Franciscan values on campus.

“The service of lepers and other ‘outcasts’ is an integral part of the Franciscan tradition,” said Brother Ed in an April 20 university press release. “Reading the text will provide some unique opportunities to invite students into a critical conversation with the wisdom of the Franciscan intellectual-spiritual tradition and its contemporary relevance.”

Liuzzo said he recognizes the significance of being part of a group that has such a profound impact on the campus community. He is excited to introduce White’s account to students and faculty.

“It’s an honor to be behind the scenes of a movement that does affect everybody and to make a selection that we can be proud of and other people can enjoy and carry with them,” he said. “(White’s) story is not just another everyday story, and he definitely has a message to be told.”

Amanda Rossney-Koneski, a junior journalism and mass communication major, said she anticipates the book will spark conversation.

Rossney-Koneski said she hopes readers will revel in the memoir because it is a great way to build a bond with new students.

“I encourage all of the incoming freshmen to read it and people on campus to read it, too, because it’s a way to connect with the freshman class,” said Rossney-Koneski, a two year member of the committee. “We always pick good books.”

Ehman said Michael Fischer, provost and vice president for academic affairs, would task incoming students with writing a personal reflection about the story. The selection will play a role in the First-Year Experience program for freshmen, especially in University 101 classes. The ABR committee is finalizing plans to bring White on campus and is in the process of developing programs and activities for incoming students to engage in regarding “Outcasts.”

Incoming students may be preparing to close a chapter in their lives, but they will soon be beginning a new one. 

-Matthew Laurrie
Class of 2015

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, 5/2 - Last day of classes - Friday classes will be held
Thursday, 5/3 - Reading Day
Thursday, 5/3 - Reading Day Away at Mt. Irenaeus
Friday-Wednesday, 5/4-9 - Final Exams - Click here for final exam schedule
Thursday, 5/10 - Residence Halls close at 10 a.m.


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