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

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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 www.saintleotickets.com, CAB social medias, the CAB bulletin boards, and emails from Edson O’Neale for more upcoming events on campus.

Best Fantasy Football Performance from Week Six

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Adrian Peterson looked fantastic with his new team on Sunday running for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Credit:@NFL

Another week in the NFL is over and there is plenty to talk about. There were great plays around the league, exciting games that came down to the wire, and some more injuries that look to alter season outlooks for certain teams. Of all the great performances this past weekend, here are some of the best that really helped out fantasy football owners. 

 Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans Saints: 

It didn’t take long after the Adrian Peterson departure for Ingram to look like his usual self in the backfield. The veteran running back ran for 114 yards on a generous 25 carries, he also had five catches for 36 yards. The 30 total touches were his most since 2014 and certainly gives owners assurance that he is the lead running back in the Saints offense going forward. Rookie Alvin Kamara also ran well and received 10 carries, proving that New Orleans is more than capable of supporting two running backs worth starting in fantasy football. Don’t expect this much running every week from the usual pass-heavy team, but it is important to know that both players are featured in the passing attack every week as well. Ingram could be creeping back into the RB2 range, but I’d like to see another solid workload before we shoot him up the weekly rankings. Next week the Saints travel to play a stingy Green Bay defense that just gave up 112 yards on the ground to the Vikings. 

 Kirk Cousins, QB Washington Redskins: 

This is a player who is looking to get paid big this offseason. The consensus is that Cousins will hit the free agency market and go to the highest bidder, and with his recent play it could result in a massive contract. The veteran quarterback is also making fantasy owners pretty happy with 27.8 points in standard scoring, marking the third week in a row he has had at least 20 points. The Redskins haven’t been playing great football and have had trouble scoring at times, but Cousins is up to nine passing touchdowns compared to only two interceptions, he also added his first rushing touchdown of the season with a 6-yard scamper against the 49ers. Washington utilizes a pass-heavy offense that gives the signal caller a high floor every week based on volume of pass attempts alone. With Aaron Rodgers hurt and Matt Ryan struggling, expect Cousins to finish the year as a Top-5 quarterback and carry many teams to a championship. 

 Rob Gronkowski, TE New England Patriots: 

On draft day it’s never easy to trust Gronkowski because his elite production usually comes at the cost of his health. The big tight end hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2011 and he has already missed one so far this season. Luckily for owners, “Gronk” has been pretty great when he has played this year and is still the most elite tight end when he is on the field. The two touchdowns and 83 receiving yards against the Jets gave owners a solid 20.3 points in standard scoring and is the third time in five games that he has topped 14 fantasy points. He was drafted in the early third round on average in fantasy drafts this summer and has so far been rewarding owners for taking the risk on him. Expect Tom Brady to keep feeding the ball to Gronkowski as long as the latter can stay healthy down the stretch.  

 Adrian Peterson, RB Arizona Cardinals: 

Whoever was brave enough to start a struggling 32 year-old running back in his first game with a new team got a very nice surprise this weekend. Peterson ran the ball 26 times in his first game with Arizona, which was the first time he got double digit carries this year, and it was the most work he had received since Week 12 of the 2015 season. The veteran looked rejuvenated on Sunday totaling 134 yards on the ground (5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns. His 25.4 fantasy points in standard scoring was better than performances by the likes of Le’Veon Bell and Kareem Hunt. It’s going to tough to predict how the rest of the season will go for “AP”, at 32 years-old we’ll have to see how his body holds up after a huge workload, and there is no way of knowing if this amount of running will be the new norm for the Cardinals offense. For now, it’s best to wait and see what will happen over the next couple weeks. I wouldn’t recommend trying to trade for Peterson just yet, but if he is a free agent in your league he should be your top priority on the waiver wire. The veteran gets to the play a Rams defense next week who just allowed 130 rushing yards to Leonard Fournette on Sunday. 

 Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona Cardinals: 

Here’s the second part of a Cardinals double feature on the best performances list. It was a nice showing by the Arizona offense and it was a blowout against Tampa Bay as they were leading 31-6 going into the fourth quarter. Along with the great performance from new teammate Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald had a great game with 10 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Even quarterback Carson Palmer could have made this list with a three touchdown performance resulting in 20.9 fantasy points. The trio of Peterson, Palmer, and Fitzgerald is the  oldest in the league but they all looked fantastic on Sunday. The entire offense was great, but this section is focused on Larry Fitzgerald so let’s talk about him. The veteran receiver got off to a fast start on Sunday getting almost all of his production in the first half of the game. Fitzgerald hasn’t lost a step now in his age-34 season, as this was the second 100-yard game so far and he is on track to catch at least 100 passes for the third straight year. Keep slotting the future Hall of Famer in as a quality WR2 with a solid floor against any opponent. 

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.