SBU freshman reflects on NCAA Tournament run, community’s love for Bona hoops

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By Ryan Surmay

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The typical response from someone when they hear of St. Bonaventure University is, “Where’s that?”  

For a school in Cattaraugus County, New York with just over 2,000 students, you wouldn’t expect much of a fanbase for sports.  

Unless you’ve experienced the school in person.

At SBU, you’ll find some of the most passionate basketball fans, with a massive following. You’ll find diehard fans that love and support their team like no other school. St. Bonaventure basketball is a community, and where no matter where you go, you’ll find fellow alumni and be greeted with a “Let’s Go Bona’s.” 

Since I’m a freshman, it was my first time experiencing the St. Bonaventure basketball atmosphere, other than the times I came to games with my family, since my mom is an alumnus.

I always watched the games when they were on TV, but after experiencing these moments as a student, I know why the school has some of the most passionate fans in the country, who would travel anywhere to support the team. 

So much so, many alumni and current students made the six-hour trip to UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio to support the team in the Atlantic 10 Championship game. Sitting in an arena that was only at 25% capacity, still, a majority of it was St. Bonaventure fans.

Seeing Osun Osunniyi have a monster volleyball spike-type block, or a Kyle Lofton 3-pointer that results in the crowd roar made me excited to be able to go to games at the Reilly Center next season.  

Because of COIVD-19, Bona’s win over VCU in the A-10 title game was the only contest Bonnies fans were able to attend in person. However, the community has supported the team all season in other ways.  

When the team left to go to Dayton, it seemed like the entire community stopped everything to show support.  Starting with just the students on campus standing in the parking lot outside the Reily Center cheering for the bus as it drove off, it then drove through downtown Allegany, where local businesses came outside to cheer and hold signs up for the bus parade.

Then, the buses drove by a local elementary school and saw children hold signs for the team as it passed by. That is what makes St Bonaventure so special, and is also why alumni often refer to the school as “the best place on earth.”

While the team matched up against LSU in the first round of the NCAA tournament this season, a school with an enrollment of 34,290 students (which is 13.5x more people than St. Bonaventure with 2,540 students), not a single person was intimidated by their opponent.

The people at St. Bonaventure have heart and pride for their team — but most of all, confidence. Sadly, the game didn’t go SBU’s way, and they lost. But, right after the game, SBU-backing Twitter pages and websites gave their support in saying how proud they were to be a Bonnies fan. 

Whilen being one of the smallest schools in the tournament this year, St. Bonaventure has something that beats all other teams: heart.  

Bona black out leaves students without card access

By Sean Lynch

St. Bonaventure University students were unable to access some residence halls during a 2 ½-hour power outage on Friday night after a transformer near Devereux Hall short-circuited.

ID scanners in the halls of Robinson, Falconio and Devereux malfunctioned due to errors within the system. Gary Segrue, director of safety and security, explained that this is a rare occurrence.

From time to time we experience minor malfunctions with the electronic card access. This is usually as a result of programming issues,” said Segrue.

Continue reading “Bona black out leaves students without card access”

St. Bonaventure Women’s Swim and Dive Joins in Soles4Souls

By Caitlyn Morral 

[Image courtesy of]

As the year is coming to a close, the St. Bonaventure women’s swim and dive team has put together a shoe drive to help those in need. In a campus-wide effort, shoes are being collected and donated to those who are less fortunate through the foundation Soles4Souls.

Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization, has a mission of helping those suffering from the backlash of poverty. With the collection of shoes and items of clothing, the association does what it can to reach out to those enduring the hardships of indigence on a day-to-day basis.

“In our locker room in the Reilly Center, we have a good amount of shoes that have been left over the years,” said junior and future captain of the women’s swim team Shannon Haberman. “We go from the pool to the weight room and vice versa, so we will keep our shoes in there. Some people who graduated ended up leaving them there for different reasons. No one uses them and they are not in bad shape, so we wanted to donate them.”

[Image courtesy of]
[Image courtesy of]
After realizing the potential of the shoe and clothing drive, the team decided to make it a campus-wide initiative.

“As I started to look into the company and saw that we could do a shoe drive, we decided to do a campus-wide shoe drive,” said Haberman. “All shoes are welcome and Soles4Souls will either distribute or sell the shoes, and thus use the profit to distribute shoes to those in need.”

“I think this type of shoe drive is so great to do on a college campus where you can reach such a wide array of people who are able to donate to those less fortunate,” said women’s swim and diving coach Krista Carlson. “Shannon and I actually collaborated on this idea. She had heard of the organization and at my place of previous employment (The University of Chicago), we had participated in it there, and it was very successful. Shannon completely took charge and put this together for our team– and is doing a great job.”

A fundraiser is also being tacked on to the shoe drive. Each pair of shoes donated will bring in $1 to the organization. While 60 percent of the profits raised will end up going to Souls4Souls, the other 40 percent will help the team pay for the fundraiser and other miscellaneous items of team equipment.

The swimming and diving team is heavily involved in the donation process including setting up donation bins, posters and flyers. The teammates have also been collecting shoes from each donation bin which will be delivered to a Souls4Soles factory later on.

Some of the team members have also expressed their excitement for the fundraiser and shoe drive.

“As a freshman on the team, I think that it’s really cool to have everyone together and do something that can help others,” said freshman and childhood studies major Emily Wulff.

The team has also learned to appreciate what they may have taken for granted prior to the fundraiser.

“As an athlete here at Bonaventure, I feel that it is extremely important that we give back to the community and do as much as we can to make a positive change in our society,” said Bridget Jordan a sophomore sports studies major. “This experience has taught all of us a lot about how fortunate we are, especially how lucky we are to be a part of such a great athletic program at an amazing school.”

The fundraiser, started on April 7, continues until May 5. Donation bins are placed around campus in places like the chapel, the Richter Center and the Thomas Merton Center for students to take part in this campaign themselves.

Land proposed for Bonaventure Square sold to local bank

By Julia Mericle

After more than 10 years and many different design concepts, St. Bonaventure University no longer owns all of the former Castle Inn site.

Bonaventure recently announced that a 10-acre lot on Route 417 in Allegany, N.Y., former proposed site of Bonaventure Square, is being sold to Community Bank System, Inc.. A new loan operations center will be constructed at the location.

The land has undergone a multitude of plans, most of which have never reached fruition. The property was purchased in increments during the years 2001-2003 by the then-university president, Robert Wickenheiser, for prices ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 per acre. The initial intention was to build student townhouses with the space.

Continue reading “Land proposed for Bonaventure Square sold to local bank”

Allegany community continues to play part in Bonagany

By Natalie Kucko, @nkucko

The 9th annual Bonagany Festival took place this past Saturday on Main Street in Allegany, N.Y. as part of Parents Weekend. The festival, drawing community members as well as the families of St. Bonaventure University students, has served as a fun, entertaining way for families to get out and explore the town of Allegany and all that it has to offer.

The festival had a variety of entertainment to display for the community. Local businesses sold several items from hand-made jewelry, to framed photographs of the area, and even hand-painted wine glasses with Bonaventure-themed designs. Several vendors were located along the street selling all kinds of food and sweet lemonade. A massive inflatable slide and mechanical bull machine attracted the kids, while live music played and dancers performed in the street for all to enjoy.

Studio 4 East, a popular t-shirt shop on Main Street, has its most profitable day of business during the Bonagany festival each year. Peter Wintermantel founded the company with his two brothers in 1979 and it has been thriving ever since. The brothers began their business across from The Burton in their home’s garage.

Eventually, they moved to the location that the store is presently at now. Wintermantel said that he saw a need for screen printing and decided to develop a business from it. The store sells dozens of different t-shirts and sweatshirts representing the university as well as those for other organizations.

Anne Conroy-Baiter, a watercolor artist, sold paintings in all sizes of Bonaventure’s campus. Conroy-Baiter’s parents both worked at the university for 35 years; her mother worked in Friedsam Memorial Library and her father taught Spanish.

Anne’s mother was a painter and when she passed away, she insisted that Anne carried on the tradition using her own talent. Conroy-Baiter’s beautiful paintings highlight the library, mostly in honor of her mother.

Bonagany is a great event for the Allegany community to experience as well as Bonaventure families. The festival offers a taste of the community through entertainment, activities and fun. The event has been a success for almost a decade and it can be for years to come.

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 28, 1817

Many stories have been written about Nicholas Devereux, the namesake to one of the dormitory buildings St. Bonaventure University’s campus.

But many people do not quite know his relationship to the school.

Devereux was the sole person who brought the Franciscan friars to Allegany in 1848, beginning the establishment of the university.

It was during one of his first trips to New York, however, that he met the family of Dr. Benjamin Butler. Devereux especially liked Butler’s daughter.

It was on this day that Butler’s daughter, Mary Dolbear Butler, married Devereux.

SGA meeting recap, November 16, 2012

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Nov. 14) — While it may not be the holiday season quite yet, during the St. Bonaventure University Student Government Association’s biweekly meeting last night one may have realized the campus community is getting ready for it. 

Bill Lynch from the Salvation Army started the meeting by giving a quick talk about the “Call for Red Kettle Volunteers.” The “Red Kettle Volunteers” are people who donate their time to ring the bell above to gather donations for the Salvation Army.

“It’s that time of year where we get a lot of our fundraising by ringing the bells at different locations; in Allegany, Olean Portville,” said Lynch. “There are Thanksgiving baskets as well as Christmas baskets. We would love to have you get involved.”

Lynch noted that in addition to being able to donate money at one of the red kettle sites, one can also donate online at All proceeds go right back into the local community in the form of financial support and services.

Donations are accepted right up until Christmas Eve, Lynch said.

The next item on the SGA agenda was Sr. Suzanne Kush, director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, who spoke about the St. Bonaventure University Presidential Challenge Campaign.  

Last year, three Bonaventure representatives attended a workshop at the White House to understand exactly what the White House Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge was about. Sr. Margaret, university president, Br. Ed Coughlin, dean of the School of Franciscan Studies and interim director of the Franciscan Institute, and Lana Benatovich, trustee, all attended, said Sr. Suzanne.

“We have the full support of Sr. Margaret and the cabinet, as well as Lana who is very active and always asking questions about where the challenge is going,” she said. “She is a very supportive board member.”

Sr. Suzanne spoke about how when the Damietta Center was opened in 2006, it did not have anywhere near the support or programming that it now has.

One of the main goals of the Presidential Campus Challenge is to promote interfaith awareness and service and attempt to make a difference in how we view other religions.

The challenge is already underway. Intervarsity is a new club at Bonaventure that helps gather Protestants together. The campus also had a Muslim student association.

“Service is at the core of this university,” said Sr. Suzanne. “Because of SGA club’s services projects, we were able to help 10,000 individuals during the last epidemic year.”

The organization’s goals for the 2012-2013 academic year include:

                *exploring ways of holding interfaith dialogue on campus

                *increasing service opportunities with various cultural and faith groups

                *improving the reflection process for both short-term and long-term service experiences

One of the biggest shortcomings of the group is the lack of a student committee to assist with these goals, said Sr. Suzanne.

A very brief overture of the ASGA Chicago Student Government Training Conference followed.

Six SGA members attended the conference. The main focus of the conference was to share with other schools how each individual organization is run.

Abby Harrington, SGA vice president, said after speaking with other school’s officers that SGA is considering, among others, moving the elections to November. This way, incoming officers can shadow current officers.

She also spoke about hosting either monthly or bi-monthly meetings with officers and the executive board about reorganizing the club’s finances.

Figuring out a way to get student attendance up was also discussed.

The floor was then opened to presentations. Pep Band, Psych Associates (Psi Chi & Psychology Club), College Republicans, Model United Nations and Mock Trial all shared what they have done so far and what they have planned for the future.

Afterwards, a sheet was passed around the room for to sign up for the constitutional review committee. This committee exists every two years and meets twice a month during the spring semester to vote on changes to the SGA constitution, said Robbie Chulick, SGA executive secretary.

 The Angel Tree Gift Drive and the success of the Andrew Nicholson shirts were the last two items of discussion.

Next Monday or Tuesday, anyone can donate toys or cash for the gift drive. All the proceeds go to Olean Child Day Care.

The junior class announced that around 98 Nicholson shirts have been sold thus far. Sr. Margaret would like the students going on the bus to Toronto for the Orlando Magic game to wear the shirts in support of Nicholson.

The sale has been considered a huge success, making nearly $1,000. Shirts are still available in Reilly Center 208 or outside the ticket office during the basketball games. They will also be sold outside the bus this Sunday.

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

October 26, 1931

After a fire on campus, the St. Bonaventure church was built in Allegany as a new home for the Franciscan parish.

Built in the English Gothic Style, the church is located across the street from the old church of St. Nicholas.

The church underwent massive renovations in 1978, altering the exterior and interior.

It was on this day that the church was opened and dedicated to St. Bonaventure.