ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 20, 2021) — Last month, many second-year students experienced ‘Family Weekend’, the weekend of Sept. 25, for the first time.
Last year, the school cancelled ‘Family Weekend’ due to its COVID-19 policies, which prohibited on-campus visitors. However, this year felt different because of the various activities the school planned.
“It was fun,” sophomore Bonaventure student Nolan Demitrovic said. “There was a lot of interesting activities.”
A fun walk/run on the trail around the Allegheny River began the weekend. Then, a reception took place in the Reilly Center where alumni, particularly parents of current students, gathered. A fundraiser took place outside the Reilly Center to benefit various campus clubs. Many of the clubs sold assorted items to help benefit whatever financial needs they need for the year. To end the day, the school held a mass and a hypnotist mystified watchers-on in the Quick Center.
Many also gathered on the Marra Athletic Fields Complex to watch the men’s and women’s rugby teams play. “Everything felt back to normal,” Demitrovic said. “We didn’t have to wear masks outside around campus.”
“It was good to experience a more normal college experience since we didn’t get to experience anything like that last year,” sophomore Connor Beal said. “A lot of us got to feel the sense of community at St. Bonaventure.”
The lack of Covid restrictions this year has presented a new experience for students in many ways—this year’s Family Weekend included.
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 10, 2021) — Last Friday, the university’s Board of Trustees discussed moving the Center for Student Wellness, currently in Doyle Hall, to Serra House.
“A financing strategy for moving the center from Doyle to Serra House… was positively received by trustees and the university is proceeding with a plan to relocate the Center for Student Wellness to the Serra House,” communications officer Tom Missel told The Intrepid Wednesday.
Student Government Association originally passed a Serra House recommendation to administrators in 2018.
“The logistics of the formal plan are being worked out,” SGA president Meghan Hall said Wednesday.
The recommendation addressed student needs for a welcoming location for counseling and health services. It also raised concerns about the name of the structure, due to namesake St. Junípero Serra’s evangelical practices that forced Native Americans to convert to Catholicism.
The university says the board made progress during last weekend’s board meetings but have yet to form a timeline for changes.
ST. BONAVENTURE (Oct. 3, 2021) — Sunday afternoon the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts will host a solo piano performance in honor of late university trustee and local business executive Erick Laine, who passed away last December at 87.
The event is at 3 p.m. and is free to attend. It will feature internationally renowned English pianist Phillip Edward Fisher. The Julliard-educated pianist will play selections from Beethoven and Hayden, as well as works by Finnish Romantic-period composer Jean Sibelius to honor the Finnish-born Laine.
Marianne Letro Laine, Mr. Laine’s widow and noted local philanthropist, is currently the chairwoman of the Guild of the Quick Center for the Arts and donated the new Steinway piano that will be used in the concert.
“The piano arrived shortly before Covid,” Mrs. Laine told The Intrepid. “But we haven’t had a chance to display it in all its glory.”
Mrs. Laine also spoke about her husband’s contributions to the Bonaventure community.
“One of Erick’s passions… was education,” said Mrs. Laine. “It was a good fit for him to be on their board because he really, really was very interested in the education part of it.”
“His other interest— and this goes back to being Finnish— was, for several years, he supported a tennis program that brought kids from Finland to the U.S. for college. Two of them were named a couple of years ago into Bonaventure’s hall of fame for tennis, and these two came every year for four years and graduated. Erick was thrilled to have participated in that.”
“This is a gift for everyone who loves music,” said Quick Center executive director Ludwig Brunner to the media about the donation.
“I have been a part of the Quick Center before it was the Quick Center,” said Mrs. Laine. “It’s really a treasure, and the community is very lucky to have it.”
Hello, I’m Nic. I’m going to be the news editor for The Intrepid this coming year, working alongside incoming editor-in-chief Anthony Goss.
You may not know what The Intrepid is. As far as I’m concerned, it’s better if you don’t. If that is the case, please allow me to introduce you.
But first, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
The first thing you should know about me— I’m currently sitting and writing this piece from the cluttered upstairs space that once was my childhood bedroom. I’m not sure how I ever called home this mess of a room, or how I was ever productive within its four-ish walls.
For a long time, this room was a microcosm of my life: Messy and cluttered. But I began to learn the art of prioritization. My definition of prioritization is to focus on the things that matter—and clear the mind of things (and people) that don’t.
Second— I love talking to people. One of my favorite pastimes is hearing others’ perspectives on life and learning from the stories they tell.
Recently, I’ve noticed it’s better to be positive or say nothing at all than to be negative and bring everyone down. I’m lucky that most of the interactions I have in any given day are 99 percent positive. That’s a very good thing when talking to people is your job.
Third— I’ve always had a knack for producing stuff. When I was a kid, I wanted to produce a documentary on the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, NY, so I shot footage of cows, and carnival rides, and ice cream stands. I bought stock music. I was going to produce my doc with Windows Movie Maker (throwback to Windows XP).
I still want to go back and finish it, but I can never find the time.
Other random things: I’m a struggling vegetarian. I’m a football addict. I’m an up-and-coming jazz pianist and drummer. And I don’t take myself too seriously.
However, I am serious about journalism. That’s where The Intrepid enters the chat. Let me explain.
When I first arrived at St. Bonaventure, I certainly wasn’t thinking, man, I’m going to be news editor for The Intrepid someday. Woo!
In fact, I wasn’t thinking at all about the many opportunities of which I would eventually take advantage during my first year at St. Bonaventure. That’s the amazing part about being a journalist at Bonas: there are so many options and so many ways to develop our craft.
At that point, I only knew was I wanted to make a difference.
I was introduced to The Intrepid at the annual campus Club Fair, an event where each club receives a fold-up table, some poster board, and an open mic to tell students about themselves. I, looking for journalism outlets, stumbled upon The Intrepid, and former editor-in-chief Jeff Uveino (who now works for the Bradford Era).
Jeff’s message was clear: write what you want to, whenever you want to.
And while that remains at the heart of everything The Intrepid stands for, I always felt something was missing within that message. There was some missing code that would unlock greatness in what we do.
I realize now that “What you want, whenever you want” is far too selfish an approach. That’s why the secret sauce to our approach will be to care about others as well, because that’s ultimately what serious journalism boils down to.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ll have fun. The more fun we have doing our job, the more content we’ll bring you. We’ll be creative, too. I’ll be reaching out to every single person who wants to try something new. I want to talk to them and learn from them.
But, first and foremost, we are going to care about you, the audience.
We’ll care about you as much as I’ll care about the stories I write and edit, as much as I still care about that documentary I tried to create when I was 14. In other words—you are the priority. Because you matter.
And I assure you, our writers, photographers, and content creators will feel the same.
I don’t know what this year will look like. I don’t know how big our staff will be, what types of projects we’ll get ourselves into, or what forms of content we’ll deliver to you.
But I am certain about one thing: We’ll have the secret sauce. (Actually—the secret sauce is just barbeque and mustard.)
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — St. Bonaventure University will require all residential students returning to campus for the Fall 2021 semester to receive a COVID-19 vaccination and provide documentation when they return to campus this fall. This news comes days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that virus restrictions would be lifted in the state.
Noting similar action taken by other colleges and universities in New York, the school will require all residential, off-campus and commuter students to provide proof of vaccination. More information about uploading documentation will be released after July 4.
In a statement released to students and parents, Acting President Dr. Joseph E. Zimmer stated, “We’ve carefully reviewed ways in which our community can return to delivering the unique and welcoming educational and residential experience that most returning Bonnies will recognize and new Bonnies will embrace.”
Zimmer also mentioned the university’s choice to relax and/or discontinue many COVID-19-related measures from the 2020-21 academic year. The school notes a fully vaccinated campus was necessary to take this step.
The statement also provides information for those seeking religious or medical exemptions and accommodations regarding vaccine requirements.
This story will be updated as we receive more information.
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — Dr. Dennis DePerro, the 21st president of St. Bonaventure University, passed away Sunday evening after battling COVID-19. His passing was announced in an email sent to the SBU campus community Monday morning.
“Our hearts are broken, and we send all of our love, support, sympathies and condolences to the DePerro family on their loss, especially Dennis’ wife, Sherry, and his two sons, Andrew and Matthew,” said Dr. Joseph Zimmer, acting president of the university. “Please keep them in your prayers.”
Zimmer, SBU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, has served as acting president since mid-January.
“What I’ll miss more than anything was his uncanny ability to make you feel better even on your worst days,” said Tom Missel, SBU’s chief communications officer. “He had a unique gift. I loved that man with all my heart. I know there are thousands of people who would say the same thing. His humanity, his insight, his ability to listen to all sides, his sense of humor – all of that made him a great leader.”
John Sheehan, president of the university’s board of trustees, also expressed condolences to the DePerro family. Sheehan noted DePerro’s strong connection with SBU alumni.
“Our alumni adored (DePerro), and the relationships he forged at every college he’s worked run deep, especially at Le Moyne, where I know his loss will be deeply felt,” Sheehan said. “Please keep Sherry, Andrew, Matthew and the entire DePerro family in your prayers. The university will do everything it can to support them.”
The university’s flag will fly at half staff through March, according to Zimmer.
DePerro tested positive for COVID-19 on Christmas Eve before being admitted to a Syracuse hospital Dec. 29. DePerro assumed the presidency on June 1, 2017, and led the university through the admission of its three largest freshman classes in 11 years.
Funeral arrangements will be announced when they are available. Cards and letters can be sent to the president’s office.
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — St. Bonaventure University announced on Monday that Dr. Joseph Zimmer, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, was named SBU’s acting president in place of Dr. Dennis DePerro.
DePerro has been battling COVID-19 since being admitted to a Syracuse hospital on Dec. 29, where he was recently placed on a ventilator. In a release, the university said that DePerro is in serious but stable condition.
“It’s important that we have, during Dr. DePerro’s absence, a leader overseeing the business of the university,” said John Sheehan, chairman of the university’s board of trustees. “The (board) has complete confidence in Dr. Zimmer.”
Zimmer told the campus community that his priority is to continue DePerro’s work until the president is healthy enough to return.
“My role now – in collaboration with our senior management team and faculty leaders – is simply to keep us moving forward in the positive direction we have been headed since [Dr. DePerro] came on board as president in 2017,” Zimmer said.
Dr. Anne Foerst, chair of the university’s faculty senate, said that the senate will continue to work with Zimmer achieve this goal.
“Dr. DePerro is in the thoughts and prayers of the entire university community, including the faculty, and we look forward to him making a full recovery,” Foerst said. “The faculty senate has and will continue to work constructively and productively with Dr. Zimmer, for the benefit of the university and its students.”
Zimmer also conveyed a message to the campus community as it continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With COVID-19 still consuming our thoughts and plans this semester, and the president working hard to recover, I’m asking every member of the Bonaventure community to support each other during this challenging time and to continue to keep our students’ needs at the forefront of everything we do – and, of course, to keep Dr. DePerro in your prayers,” Zimmer said.
As of Tuesday, no further updates have been given on the president’s condition. Cards and well wishes for DePerro can be sent to the president’s office.
That is exactly what the St. Bonaventure University Medical Emergency Response Team juggled over the course of the fall semester.
According to MERT chief and SBU senior Maggie Cole, the club is made up of 50 volunteers, and approximately 25 are New York State certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certified. Although the number of calls was the highest call volume since 2014, Cole said that only about 10 of them were potentially related to COVID-19.
For Cole, the craziness began behind the scenes, long before students returned to campus in August.
“It was absolutely chaotic by the time Bona’s had us go home for the semester (in the spring),” Cole said. “We did not even have the new officer coming in.”
In a typical year, the new officer crew will accompany the outgoing officers on Spring Weekend in late April, or until the new officer is cleared. However, that was unable to happen, and the outgoing officers set up individual meetings with the incoming officers. Despite that challenge, Cole gave credit to Gary Segrue, the club’s advisor and SBU’s associate dean for campus safety, for preparing the team with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to enter a potential COVID-19 call and care for a patient.
“Mr. Segrue and safety and security were able to help us out a lot, they were able to get us the PPE we needed and were able to supply us for the whole semester,” Cole said.
Each year, MERT offers the EMT certification course to those who are interested. Despite the aforementioned challenges, 30 new members were able to become trained in stopping blood and administering CPR, as well as completing any necessary paperwork on the scene and taking vitals.
According to Cole, things were “pretty regular” until the middle of the semester. She said the biggest difference was the number of intoxication calls, which drew the number of calls higher than normal.
The higher call volume brought Cole fear of burning out her fellow MERT members.
“Working with the same 20 to 25 EMTs for the whole semester, especially in a semester like this where we had no fall break,” she said.
Despite being shorthanded, and even losing a majority of their members near the end of the semester due to quarantine protocols, Cole believes the team held itself together quite well.
“I can’t believe we actually did this,” she said.
Since fall semester has come to an end, Cole and her fellow officers have began to secure PPE and complete any other preparations that are needed for next semester.