Category Archives: Campus News

Corpus Christi Center Standing Strong After Harvey

Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, affected Houston and other southeastern parts of Texas, resulting in floodings, major property damages, and even deaths. Luckily, the Corpus Christi Center was fortunate since they didn’t sustain much damage, the Center Director, Sara Heydon, described the devastation as “a small amount.”

“Wind-driven rain came in our office and hallway windows. Corpus Christi was spared a direct hit – the full force of Hurricane Harvey came ashore about 30 miles away, where many of our students and faculty live,” said Heydon.

Following the hit of Hurricane Harvey, there were many parts of southeast Texas that suffered due to property damages. Those who had limited resources, such as water and power suffered greatly, as well. However, despite this affecting some parts, the Corpus Christi Center was able to reopen on Sept. 5, only couple days after the hurricane hit.

“After delays due to lack of electricity and running water, reopening went well. Our building was intact, we had internet access, and the staff was able to return,” said Heydon.

Along with staff, faculty and students were able to return to continue with the academic year.

According to Heydon, “Despite some having to find alternate living arrangements and not having power, all the faculty and most of our students came back.”

As Heydon said, there were some students who were not able to continue with classes.

“At least 17 students withdrew due to the hurricane. Instructors helped many other students by giving them extended time to complete assignments,” said Heydon.

Saint Leo has been able to encourage its faculty to make extensions for the students’ accommodations, which was reported on the Saint Leo website when Hurricane Harvey was projected to hit the area. The students’ ability to perform in classes is still a concern, particularly for Heydon.

She states that “Cell and internet service are still not fully restored in some areas, so we are worried that some students won’t be able to complete their classes, or perhaps haven’t been able to contact us.”

There were many persons from the center who suffered damages to personal property. Despite their issues, the center’s employees’ sense of community has been going strong, as efforts to assist the center are underway, notwithstanding the students helping each other.

“Some of our students’ and faculty members’ homes and vehicles were destroyed, while others suffered major property damage,” said Heydon. “We are collecting items, like clothing, and are helping them connect with resources. Our students were amazingly generous towards each other – offering the use of chainsaws, generators, RVs, and their time/help to those in need.”

A Higher Level of Reality


Disclaimer: The following story, photos, and accompanying items are fictionalized and are part of Saint Leo University’s Alternate Reality Learning Experience (ARLE). The events described did not occur. The characters are fictional and any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.

For the last two years, Saint Leo University has implemented an interactive learning mechanism known as the Alternative Reality Learning Experience, or the ARLE. Two years ago, the ARLE simulated an election, and was very successful, with many students actively participating. Last year, it continued the success of the election with The Presidency and added another event, The Trial of the Century.  The Presidency kept the political inspiration of the previous year, while the Trial of the Century, focused on a fictional criminal case. Both simulations featured many different departments and programs across campus.

This year, because of these successes, the University has decided to focus on the 1960s and connect with the Arts and Sciences theme that will run all year. The purpose behind these simulations is to allow students to start using the skills they have learned in college in a way that is closely related to the professional world.

According to Mr. Frank Orlando, instructor of political science, the ARLE features the participation of many students and departments.

“This year…we want another level of reality; we want the students to be even more immersed in the process,” said Orlando.

Because the ARLE is intended to instruct students about the real world, those involved are very focused on making it a believable experience.

“An ARLE represents real-world tasks, authentic assessment, and the most meaningful collaboration found in a university setting,” said Dr. Jeff Borden, the University’s chief innovation officer.

Both students and faculty are excited to participate in the simulations.

“The ARLE is beneficial for our students, and I’m excited for another go-round this year,” said Orlando.

On Nov. 3-4, 2017, Saint Leo University will retry Lee Harvey Oswald, and students will hear the evidence and decide once and for all if Oswald really did murder Kennedy.

The image above of the visual disclaimer will appear on all ARLE fictional articles for the ARLE so that readers will recognize that the articles they are reading are part of the fictional story line for the ARLE.

Saint Leo Supports Dreamers

daca @wikimediacommonsPresident Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is of great concern to the nation today. On Sept. 6, before Hurricane Irma’s arrival, Saint Leo President William J. Lennox sent out a mass email to the student body that made the University’s stance on DACA crystal clear.

“As a Catholic university, Saint Leo University is disheartened by the move to terminate DACA,” the letter stated. “We are in accord with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

In an interview, Lennox went on to further state that “[Saint Leo University] follows the Bishops and what the Bishops have said. It’s taking care of the people that are in the margins sometimes, and we think that’s a part of our mission and what we do.”

The DACA policy is an executive action carried out by former President Barack Obama in 2012. The policy provides undocumented immigrants with the same opportunities as U.S. citizens.

Having reflected on the subject of DACA as part of the curriculum in his classes, Dr. Daniel Dubois, assistant professor of history, is well versed on the subject.

“DACA provides a two-year respite for children who have been brought to the United States before the age of 16 and who are enrolled in schools or employed,” explained Dubois. “Instead of putting them on a path to legal residency or legal citizenship, what DACA does is provides them a two-year guarantee that they will not be deported.”

These undocumented youths who fall under the DACA policy are referred to as “Dreamers.” These Dreamers arrived in the United States as children and were raised as Americans. Should DACA be terminated and no permanent solution be reached in its place, this could spell trouble for many Dreamers.

“With DACA you have, in our case, students who know no other country,” said Lennox. “They were brought up in this country…you can’t send them back to a country that they don’t know.”

Dubois agreed.

“Many of these kids were brought [to the United States] at two, three, or four years old. They don’t know anything other than growing up in the United States,” he said.

Many have questioned, both recently and in the past, the legality of former President Obama’s executive order to create DACA. By repealing DACA, President Trump is forcing Congress to re-evaluate the immigration policy.

“From my understanding of it, I think people who qualify under DACA are grateful that they are not going to be deported, but I don’t think many of them look at [DACA] as a perfect solution,” said Dubois. “The idea that they continually have to reapply is problematic. I don’t think that President Obama at the time thought it was perfect. There was nothing at the time happening out of Congress, so the President felt that he had to take some sort of action.”

As of now, the DACA policy has been officially slated to end on March 5, 2018. Congress has until then to find a permanent solution for those Dreamers currently protected under the policy.

As stated previously by Lennox, Saint Leo is home to many Dreamers. Both Lennox and the University as a whole are determined to keep supporting their students who benefit from DACA’s assistance.

“I first came to DACA by meeting some of the students here,” said Lennox. “They came up to me and they told me their stories and that they were so thankful that Saint Leo was a part of their lives. And that’s really important. I felt that we had to come out and just say that we firmly believe that we ought to continue educating, from our part, the DACA students.”

The Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition has deemed Oct. 16 through 20 a “Protect Dreamers” themed week. During this time, the Coalition will attempt to urge Congress to create a permanent solution, in part by highlighting the accomplishments of Dreamers on university campuses.

Late last year, President Lennox took the first steps in addressing Congress by being one of many higher education leaders to sign a letter in support of DACA youth.

CAVE Hosts Majors Fair


On Oct. 4, the Center for Academic Vision and Excellence (the CAVE) hosted a majors fair in the SCC boardrooms between the hours of 11:00 am to 1 pm.

Some of the faculty participants included criminology, English, education, biology, marketing, management, computer science & info. systems, health care, social work, hospitality, religion, economics, math, international tourism and global studies.

Career planning, counseling services, and student success coaches were also present, as some of the academic departments in support of the fair.

Students had the opportunity to speak with faculty representatives from the different academic departments. If a student was still undecided or even interested in inquiring about another major, the fair allowed those students to explore their interests and get recommendations of future careers and job prospects.

Upon entry of the fair, students were given CAVE sponsored tote bags containing a ruled notebook, pen, and multiple handouts explaining how to access the services offered at the CAVE, the peer-assisted learning (PAL) coaching program schedule for the fall of 2017, the academic success workshop schedule and the 2017 fall tutor schedule.

Many of the faculty attendees handed out brochures containing information about their program as well as career options available. Kaitlyn Taylor, a freshman majoring in psychology, found the information she received at the event very enlightening.

“My experience at the majors fair was very insightful. I was able to talk to professors and career planning faculty about my possible career of choice. Initially, I wanted to major in Criminal Justice, but I decided to major in Psychology instead,” said Taylor. “I want to work for the FBI, and when I spoke to some of the professors in the Criminal Justice department, they clarified what route I should take if I want to pursue a career with the FBI. Thus, I got more information which helped me come to a more concrete decision on what I should major in.”

Overall, the fair was a success. Not only were students given helpful tips and meaningful advice, but they were also given a chance to create relationships with faculty from different departments.

Let the Fall Family Festival Begin!

On Oct. 13, The Campus Activities Board presented “The Family Feud Event.”  The free event was held in the SCC Boardrooms at 7:30 p.m. The Family Feud Event kicked off the Fall Family Festival weekend, a fun-filled three-day celebration that took place from Oct. 13 through Oct. 15.

“This event is being put on by CAB as a kick off to start Fall family festival,” said Morgan Baum, Assistant Director of Student Activities. “The vendor who runs the event will be choosing people to participate in the family feud game.”

The same exact concept as the original Family Feud TV show with Steve Harvey was duplicated at Saint Leo University. Jarred Pernier, a junior communications and CAB special events assistant, said that “groups were chosen at random by the host.” Basically, there were no pre-selection of the teams that participated in the game, it was more anyone who volunteered to play and have fun.

“We wanted a fun and interactive program for students and families to enjoy together,” said Baum.

This is the first time this particular event was held on campus and it intertwined with the Fall Family Festival perfectly. Pernier and one of his colleagues, Mikael Coleman, came up with the idea to bring the Family Feud event to campus. It was then organized by Pernier and Jess Weaver, CAB traditional programming assistant, as well as other members of CAB.

The event consisted of multiple games. Whichever team had the most points at the end of the event won two hundred dollars cash. Team won came out victorious. The team members were Michelle Mariano, Jack Mariano, and Lauren Mariano.

Mariano, a junior marketing major, wanted to participate in the game because her parents wanted to do it as family. The Mariano family recieved the information on the Fall Family Festival 2017 by mail.

Mariano said that the host was a “good comedian.” The most exciting part of the event for Mariano was the last round. She called it “The Win!”  and said that it felt good to be a winner.

Lauren Johnson, a freshman phycology major, came to this event because “all her friends were talking about it and thought it would been something fun to do.” For her, the most exciting part of the event was “participating with her friends as a team.”

“CAB should spread the word more when they have events so that more people can attend,” expressed Johnson.

Dolton Scott, a freshman criminal justice major, enjoyed himself to the fullest at this event. Scott was so excited to attend this event, because he “is a big fan of the original Family Feud TV Show.” The most exciting part for Scott was participating in the actual game. Scott also mentioned that some of the questions were hard, but he still had fun.

For those who enjoyed the Family Feud event or are looking for more events to participate in on campus, Bingo is another popular event on campus. An upcoming game will take place in the SCC Boardrooms at 6 p.m. on Oct. 31, followed by an “After Bingo Party” outside of Student Activities Building.

Students should be sure to check, CAB social medias, the CAB bulletin boards, and emails from Edson O’Neale for more upcoming events on campus.

Creative Writing Staff Offers Up Something Wild

By : Olivia Callahan

At 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 4, Five members of Saint Leo University’s talented creative writing faculty performed their original works at the Department of Language Studies and the Arts event “Wild Gifts: A Reading by Creative Writing Faculty.” The Saint Leo community had the opportunity to listen as professors Brooke N. King, Dr. Patrick Crerand, Dr. Anne Barngrover, Dr. Steve Kistulentz, and Gianna Russo shared some of their creative pieces.

The work presented by these professors varied from poetry to excerpts from novels. Some of the stories were based on personal experiences, such as one of Dr. Barngrover’s poems where she describes her experience after Hurricane Irma. The natural disaster taught her many things, including that “the sign of eternal life was a palm beside the stream… yellowed fronds mean too much rain; it’s hard to start over after a great change, but if they’re not cut for tables or sold for seeds, palms can outlive the home.”

Other stories were pure fiction, including Dr. Kistulentz’s excerpt from his upcoming novel “Panorama,” which will be released in March. Dr. Kistulentz summarizes the plot to be about “a television commentator who is single, divorced and a mess. As a result of this plane crash that his sister died onboard, he has to raise her six-year-old son.”

This show was not only a great opportunity to listen to moving creative works, it was also an opportunity to promote the creative writing program and individual publications. After the show Emily Miller, an English major, manned a table where the audience had the opportunity view and purchase books written by the creative writing faculty. Also available were collections published by the university, including “Rebus” and “The Sandhill Review.” In the back of the auditorium sat faculty from graduate admissions with information on Saint Leo University’s master’s program in creative writing.

This event was a successful showcase of what Saint Leo University has to offer in terms of creative writing. From the talented faculty of the Department of Language Studies and the Arts to the entertaining publications by the university.

Women’s Lacrosse Team Makes Blankets for Sunrise of Pasco

Handmade gifts elicit comfort in times of hardship. The Women of Saint Leo Lacrosse know this well. On Monday, October 9, the ladies gathered in Kirk Hall on University Campus and spent two hours cutting and knotting fabric to create blankets for women in need at the Sunrise of Pasco County, Inc. Domestic and Sexual Violence Center’s emergency shelter.

The blankets varied in size and pattern so that they may be used by the women themselves or by their babies or older children that they may have brought to the shelter. The finished blankets will be dropped off by Aubrey Hall, Saint Leo’s Green Dot Coordinator.

Green Dot is a program that works through Sunrise of Pasco to implement awareness of power-based violence such as stalking, harassment, or domestic abuse to Saint Leo’s campus. Hall explained that her goal is to “engage the Saint Leo community at large and bring light to a reality of which people on campus may not be aware.” The idea is that the widespread knowledge of what power-based violence is will reduce the chances of that violence occurring.

According to Hall, the survivors currently at the shelter will be able to choose their own blankets, and the leftover blankets will be placed in welcome baskets for new arrivals to the shelter. Having recently escaped tremendously difficult situations, women often arrive at the shelter with little or no personal belongings, so the welcome baskets would typically include things like shampoo or sweatpants.

Saint Leo students giving back to Sunrise of Pasco furthers the relationship between the two entities, and the women of the team enjoy the experience. Women’s Lacrosse Coach Caitlin Hansen is new to Saint Leo, but she said that the team had participated in creating blankets for Sunrise of Pasco last year and heavily requested continuing the tradition. Hansen felt that the project was good for the team because it “adds color to the day.” In the busy day of a student-athlete, it is calming to craft something beautiful and know that it will help someone.

The School of Education and Social Services encourages students to take part in Green Dot. Dr. Joanne Crossman, Women’s Lacrosse Faculty Mentor and Instructor of Education, expressed that it is positive for the team to reach out and let the women at the shelter know that people care for them. It is a display of “women supporting other women,” according to Crossman.

Next week, October 16-20 is the start of Green Dot week on University Campus. Several on-campus events will provide more opportunity to engage with Sunrise of Pasco, beginning with the Green Dot Melting Pot in the Student Community Center boardrooms 6:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 16. There will be stories of survivors and information and tips about handling situations of power-based violence shared at these events.