Road Trip to Radio City

On Dec. 2, students packed into three buses and embarked on a road trip to Radio City Music Hall in New York City for the annual Christmas Spectacular show starring The Rockettes.

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A ticket stub for the event taken in front amidst a crowded first floor at the beginning of the show.

“What I enjoyed most was being able to really get into the Christmas spirit. It is so hard to feel festive when we leave home and come back right when we would normally be doing different Christmas things at home,” said senior Emily Marold.  “Going into the city when it is all decorated and seeing the show make you realize it is the Christmas season and you’ll be home celebrating soon enough!”

After leaving campus around 9 a.m., the students arrived in the city around 11 a.m. and were given roughly two hours of free time to grab lunch or wander around the city before show time at 2 p.m.  While some students chose to take in the view of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, others took advantage of the opportunity to catch up with some friends in the area.

“This semester two of my best friends are doing Marist in Manhattan, so my friend that I went on the trip with and I met up with them for brunch at Toasties which was like a block away from Radio City!” said Marold.

“My twin sister and I ate lunch under Rockefeller Center and then walked to Central Park.  Other times we’ve gone on this trip we’ve done some shopping at the Christmas market in Bryant Park,” said senior Anna Bradford.

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Seniors Anna Bradford and Beatrix Bradford stop for a quick picture in Central Park during their free time before the show.

The Christmas Spectacular show was the last of this semester’s on-campus events hosted by Marist Student Activities (SA). This year, SA also sold tickets for three Broadway trips organized by the Marist Student Programming Council: Come From Away, Book of Mormon, and Dear Evan Hansen.

“I have been on [the Radio City] trip two other years, Freshman and Sophomore year, and I liked it a lot the other times too,” said senior Beatrix Bradford.

“For me, even though it’s generally the same show every year, I still enjoy it.  Aside from the cheap factor, this kind of trip is not something I normally would get to do so it’s been important that I take the most out of this opportunity,” said Anna Bradford.

Students are encouraged to follow SA on Instagram @marist_studentactivities for even more updates on what’s going on in the Student Center and other events around campus.

Aside from selling tickets for SPC’s Broadway trips, SA also hosted a wide array of off-campus events such as a bus ride to the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie premiere at the local movie theater, shopping trips to Woodbury Commons and New York City, and Six Flag’s Fright Fest.

Student Activities announce ticket sales weeks in advance of the planned trip or event and regularly update students on these dates and deadlines through their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Despite the long lines and hours of waiting, some students agree it is worth the wait.  “My favorite part about going on these shows is how cheap they are…We’ve definitely tried to take advantage of these deals because after graduation we’ll never have the chance to do this.  It also feels a lot safer than taking the train and you can just sleep on the way there and back,” said Marold.

Beatrix Bradford shared a similar sentiment.  “I like that you can go into the city for $25, and on top of that you get a ticket to the show. Yes, you have the limit of being on the bus and make the bus times-arrival and departure, but I think for the total savings it’s a small compromise to pay compared to a train ticket, and a show ticket.”

 

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Water Polo Team Competes in Collegiate Cup

On Nov. 9, the women’s water polo team left behind the cool, crisp air of New York to enjoy a warm, sunny weekend in southern California as they competed in the annual 2018 USA Water Polo Collegiate Cup tournament.

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View from the pool at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, Calif. Photo courtesy of Anais Mathes.

Freshmen Gabrielle Gervasi and Sawyer Alter both described playing in the “fast-paced” environment of their first Collegiate Cup as “unforgettable” and different from any other tournaments or games they played in high school.

“It was super exciting but nerve wracking, especially because we were playing University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), who is one of the top 5 teams in the nation.  We have been working really hard this season to be able to compete at the Collegiate Cup, so to have my first collegiate tournament be against top teams, while also being competitive against them, was an amazing experience,” said Gervasi.

Although playing in the tournament was stressful for Alter because she did not know what to expect from her first collegiate game, she found comfort in her teammates. “It felt like a big family trying to attain one common goal of winning.  I really liked that everyone made me feel included and everyone had their own role to play,” said Alter.

The two-day tournament took place on Nov. 10-11 at the William Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, Calif.  The annual event brings together the top collegiate women’s water polo teams to complete with the USA Water Polo Women’s Senior National Team.  This year, Marist was one of three East Coast teams, aside from the University of Michigan and Indiana University, who were invited to play in the tournament.

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The team gathers in a huddle before the start of a game.

When asked about the team’s dynamic while preparing for a game, Caoimhe Whitebloom, a senior on the team, described their preparation for a game as “cohesive chaos.”  In the beginning, each team member branches off to mentally prepare themselves individually by doing things such as listening to music or engaging in pre-game rituals.  Afterwards, the team eventually comes together to finish off stretching exercises and doing jumps to “hype” themselves up.  “The energy tends to get pretty intense and people bounce off each other as we get more excited,” said Whitebloom.  “We try to be as level-headed as we can and concentrate on what we are about to do beforehand.”

On the first day, Marist fell to one of the top five seeds, UCLA, 12-3, in its first game of the tournament.  That weekend, the team also faced Pomona Pitzer, San Jose State, and the University of Hawaii.  In their final game, the team competed for a second time against Pomona Pitzer for 13th place, but were outlasted 12-10.  Nevertheless, after catching a red-eye flight from Irvine on Sunday night, the team returned to campus Monday morning feeling thankful for the opportunity to participate in the tournament and excited about the prospects of the upcoming season.

“The tournament was a good kickoff to the season that starts in January because we get to see what we need to work on both individually and as a team,” said junior Anais Mathes.

Whitebloom shared a similar sentiment about the Collegiate Cup, stating that in addition to preparing them for the upcoming season, it offers the team a significant advantage.  “Most other schools don’t play a game outside of practice until second semester so [the tournament] allows us to see how well (or not) we work together,” said Whitebloom.  “We can see what we need to fix and what works.”

According to Mathes, since the team arrived back on campus, they have resumed their daily practice schedule, starting most days at 6:45 a.m. doing strength training and ending around 9 a.m. practicing specific plays and skill swimming in the pool.  After spending nearly every day together, it comes as no surprise how close the team feels with one another.

“I like how everything is very team-orientated and it makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself,” said Alter.  “I want to do well for my team and my coach.”

“What I love about being apart of the Marist Water Polo team is our team dynamic. The team is so supportive in the water and on the bench which keeps the team momentum and energy really high,” said Gervasi.

Certificate Program Empowers Students, Develops Leadership Skills

As the sound of upbeat, instrumental music filled the room, muffled voices turned quiet and students shuffled silently inside for the Emerging Leaders Program’s (ELP) first live-stream broadcast of the semester, last Tuesday night. The broadcast was one of 19 events offered in ELP’s Fall 2018 Workshop Series aimed to provide students with various opportunities to define, discover, and develop their leadership skills.

The speaker of the hour was media personality and heart surgeon Mehmet Oz, professionally known as Dr. Oz. In his speech entitled, “Live Your Best Life from the Inside Out,” Oz spoke about the importance of mental and physical resiliency and advised students of stress management techniques to improve health and wellness. Oz also discussed his non-profit organization HealthCorps that he co-founded with his wife.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks to a crowd of NSLS society members at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

“The first telecast was not what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised to be moved by Dr. Oz on many occasions throughout his speech,” said junior Caitlyn Abrahamson. “He has generated some thoughts in my own mind about what I can do to make healthier lifestyle choices.”

Last Tuesday’s broadcast kicked off the first of three others scheduled and marked the fourth ELP event of the semester. The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) organizes the broadcasts. In recent years, the NSLS has hosted a wide variety of esteemed leaders such as Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Anderson Cooper, Emmy Award-winning television personality and journalist, and Barbara Corcoran, real estate entrepreneur and star of “Shark Tank.”

ELP first emerged at Marist in 2004 with 35 students participating in a weekend Leadership Retreat but changed to a non-credit leadership certificate program the following academic year. In 2006, after forming a partnership with the NSLS, the Marist Chapter was founded with 67 members. This semester, 326 students attended orientation as part of the induction process into the NSLS. “This is a huge increase from last fall,” said senior Brittany Hampton, the President of ELP’s Executive Board. “It is actually the largest number Marist has ever had [join in a single academic year].”

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Handouts/note guides provided during ELP workshops.

Included in the line-up of speakers this fall is Marist President Emeritus, Dr. Dennis J. Murray and key executives from Target Corporation, many of whom are Marist alumni and former ELP members, as well as other faculty, alumni, and administrative presenters.

Senior Lauren Vecchio, who attended three workshops so far, claimed that each provided valuable skills for different facets of life ranging from implementing “practical financial issues” and preparing for the workforce and professional life to understanding and formulating our individual narratives.

Students who complete five or more workshops throughout the academic year receive an Emerging Leaders Certificate, which can be earned on an annual basis. Those seeking to become an Inducted Member of the NSLS can learn more here. Last spring 2018, 217 students received ELP certificates and 112 were inducted into NSLS.

Students can register for the remaining workshops and telecasts within my.Marist.edu, subject to availability.

“One thing I’ve learned from being a general member of the ELP/NSLS is that you never know when or where you’ll encounter something that will change the way you think forever, so get out there and experience as much as you can!” said Vecchio.

Hampton shared a similar sentiment stating that although sometimes it may be easier or harder to connect with some speakers than others, “it is important, and interesting, to hear each speaker’s story so that you can decide which leadership styles you like best and form your own style. Hearing their stories also makes you aware of all the different types of leadership styles that are out there,” said Hampton.

Fall Semester Generates Mix of Emotions for Freshmen and Seniors

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Almost a month since move-in day, the Fall 2018 semester has sufficiently sunk in and so have emotions about the school year ahead. Between moving into Marist for the first time as a freshman and preparing for the last year at college as a senior, both underclassmen and upperclassmen alike experience an array of emotions.

For freshmen, it is the adjustment process to a new school in an unfamiliar place with a different environment. For seniors, it is the thought of stepping out of the “Marist bubble” after getting accustomed to it for three years.

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Student volunteers help out on move-in day to transport student belongings from campus parking lots to their on-campus housing. 

Making the transition from high school to college can seem daunting for most first-year students. In order to help assist incoming students, various parts of the Marist community are involved from move-in day to student orientations and welcome week events. Marist sports teams as well as the Marist Band traditionally help the incoming freshmen members to the team/organization who move in early due to summer camp/training. “I would definitely say that the water polo team has helped me the most adjusting. The other girls on the team have been so helpful and supportive.  They made this process 100 times easier for me,” said incoming freshman Gabrielle Gervasi.

As for the graduating seniors at Marist, the start of the fall semester ushers in a range of feelings from happy, sad, and everything in between.  While some are planning to further their education by applying to grad school, others are seeking out employment opportunities as they prepare for the final lap before entering the working world.

“I want to go to grad school to get my PhD in toxicology, but if not, I’ll probably take a year off to get more research/lab experience,” said senior Beatrix Bradford.

“If I don’t have a job, I already have a possible internship for May,” said senior Niccole D’Arco. “I’m just going to play it by ear and try not to let it stress me out too much,” D’Arco added.

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A countdown device on display in Donnelly Hall serves as a visual reminder for senior students as graduation day approaches. A similar device can be found in Dyson Center.

“I will be working full-time and I plan to live in Manhattan,” senior Victoria Fetzer said, beaming. Despite her enthusiasm, Fetzer still feels anxious thinking about life after Marist. “I am lucky to have a job for after graduation, but I’m a little nervous to go into the real world.”

When asked, students were not short of words to describe their feelings of starting the fall semester. Nervous. Scared. Excited. Anxious. Overwhelmed. These five words were reiterated by both freshmen and seniors alike.

“I was most afraid of the workload,” said freshman Avery Homer.

Though D’Arco spoke of a similar sentiment about the school year, her uncertainties were directed elsewhere. “I’m scared of not being prepared enough for post-grad life.  I feel like I need an extra year of student experience,” said D’Arco.

Like a majority of college students everywhere, Gervasi cited overcoming homesickness as a huge part of the adjustment process. “I was most worried about being so far away from my family. Texas to Marist is over a thousand miles away, so that kind of freaked me out in the beginning,” said Gervasi.

Marist seniors knew those feelings. After reflecting on their own experiences, they shared advice for their freshman self in hopes of calming current freshmen year college fears.

“I can’t believe how fast college went. I feel like I was just a freshman,” Fetzer said with a laugh. “I would say don’t worry too much and just enjoy every second because it goes by so fast,” added Fetzer.

As students continue on the course of the semester, one feeling seems to resonate with Marist freshmen and seniors alike: excitement for what is to come.