Freshman class presents on All Bonaventure Reads book

By Danielle Clark, Assistant Features Editor, @ddaniellee11

(ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.) Nov. 20 – St. Bonaventure University faculty, staff and students joined the freshman class in Doyle Dining Hall for the annual All Bonaventure Reads poster contest Wednesday afternoon.

Reflections on ‘In the Sanctuary of Outcasts’ challenged freshmen to express the main ideas from this year’s ABR book by Neil White, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts. Each University 101 class took central themes from the book and created various presentations.

“Some classes take it to their major,” said Abby Cohen, director of the First-Year Experience. “A psychology class is doing a presentation related to the stigma associated with people who are incarcerated, so you can see how each class would have taken a little bit of a different take.”

Various types of presentations bordered the rooms. Some groups made posters, some made floats, and others made videos.

 Steve Aprilano, a freshman marketing major, made a movie trailer with his group. Members of the group acted out essential scenes from the book, as Aprilano narrated.

 “We gained a really good understanding of the book and way better connectedness of the group,” he said. “It really helped our class to mesh.”

Professors and staff circled the room, voting on which group’s project they liked best.

Sporting ornate Mardi Gras masks, the winning group focused on the central theme of leprosy in the book.

 Carly Miraglia, a freshman education major, explained that in the book, the leprosy patients were able to express themselves only on Mardi Gras.

“When they wore the masks, they didn’t think about their imperfections,” she said. “And they had that one day every year when they didn’t have to think about them.”

The group gave out blank masks and asked their visitors to decorate the outside but write a word that described them on the inside.

“The students related the Mardi Gras masks to the way we hide behind our outward appearances to distract others from seeing the ‘real’ us on the inside,” said the group’s professor, Ann Marie Sitter-Tompkins, professor of education.

The group will have the choice between an in-class pizza party or a $5 gift certificate to Café La Verna for each student.

“It’s one of our staples in our ABR program because it’s able to bring everyone together under the same common theme,” said Cohen. “This is the first thing that all Bonaventure students had in common.”

Bonaventure and community walks together during the March of Dimes

By Danielle Clark, Assistant Features Editor, @ddaniellee11

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 16)—The crisp fall temperatures did not stop over 400 participants from walking in the March of Dimes fundraising event on the Allegheny River Trail Saturday morning. 

Upbeat music, food and a carnival-like atmosphere united local community members and St. Bonaventure University students, faculty and staff to fight for one common cause – healthy babies.

The March of Dimes is a non-for-profit charity that works to help mothers have full-term pregnancies as well as research the problems that threaten the health of babies, according to their website.

This year, the university teamed up with Olean General Hospital to become an official co-sponsor of the annual March for Babies event which was previously held in Olean.

“We recommended to March of Dimes that they considered moving [the walk] to the campus,” said Rick Trietley, provost for student affairs. “We have the Allegheny River Trail, and we thought we could get much more student and faculty and staff participation, and they were very amenable to that.”

The walk started at 11 a.m., but the festivities began long before then. Volunteers arrived as early as 6 a.m. to set up, while participants checked in one by one up until the walk. 

Volunteers shared their personal stories with the walkers, telling how March of Dimes has had an impact in their own lives.

Leah Brownstein, a sophomore history major, said that was her favorite part of the whole day.

“It was good to know that what we’re doing here is actually making a difference and hearing it right in front of us only reassures that,” she said.

The 5K walk circled the campus and ended on the Hickey Dining Hall lawn where it started. Participants stayed after the walk to take advantage of the plentiful food, inflatables, caricatures, face painting and music.

Paige Giammusso, a sophomore psychology major, said she enjoyed the scenic views along the walk.

“I thought the location was really nice,” she said. “It’s a beautiful trail so it was a really enjoyable walk.”

Julie Hall, director of field services in the school of education, said she participates in the walk every year to give back for what March of Dimes has done for her own family.

“The March of Dimes actually helped me when I was a baby,” she said. “I was born with three holes in my heart and had heart surgery as an infant, and March of Dimes supported my family through that.”

Robbie Chulick, executive board secretary of SGA, said he thought the day was very successful.

Chulick said as of right now, the event raised over $45,000, although the campaign runs for two more weeks after the walk itself.

According to Chulick, over 20 St. Bonaventure teams participated. The team that raised the most money was “Buzzed About Babies” with $787, closely followed by “The Bona Venture” with $775.

“Getting the Olean community to Bonaventure kind of unites us, so I think from here it’ll definitely grow,” Chulick said.

Treitley agreed and said it was great to see the community come together to do something that’s worthwhile.

“It’s a joint effort,” he said. “The bottom line here is that this helps children, and I think that fits perfectly with Bonaventure’s mission and our Franciscan values.”

Ready for The Ready Set?

[Photo courtesy of]

By Danielle Clark, staff writer, @ddaniellee11

ST. BONAVENTURE (April 4) – If it isn’t impressive enough that Jordan Witzigreuter’s hobby of playing the guitar grew into such a successful career, his latest single, “Love Like Woe,” went platinum in 2010.

You know what’s even better than that? He’s coming to St. Bonaventure.

Witzigreuter, the easy-going musician and sole member of The Ready Set, started his career when he sat down in his basement and tried to write a song in 2007. After an unexpected positive response from social media websites, Witzigreuter decided to get serious.

“I wanted to see if I could do it, if I could be the one to actually make something of it,” he said.

After graduating from high school, Witzigreuter drove around the country playing in shows determined to make something happen.

“Things just started getting bigger and better since then,” he said.

The Ready Set is now with DecayDance Records, and Witzigreuter said he loves it. He admitted the coolest feeling was seeing “Love Like Woe” go platinum.

However, he doesn’t plan to stop with just one platinum song. Witzigreuter has big plans for the future in all aspects of music. He plans to continue touring, come out with new singles and hopes to have a new album out this summer. Witzigreuter also plans to start writing for a greater diversity of people.

“It’s going to be another really busy year,” he added.

As for St. Bonaventure, The Ready Set plans to “have a party on stage,” said Witzigreuter.

And if that’s not enough fun, Witzigreuter said the performance will have a crazy light show with effects.

The concert will not be as electronic sounding as the band’s regular music, Witzigreuter explained. He said that the music style differs as it moves from the album to the concert.

“It’s more of a rock show really,” he said. “It’s all guitars and drums and stuff.”

Although the band is solely composed of Witzigreuter, a backup band is used for live performances.

Witzigreuter writes all his own music and said he gets his inspiration from a combination of personal things and stuff he makes up in his head.

Witzigreuter described “Love Like Woe” as an “opposite love story” that started off as just a melody until chords started to pop into his head.

It’s easy to see that The Ready Set is one of a kind. But Witzigreuter’s lack of effort in being one of a kind makes him unique.

“I’ve never really taken any big steps to intentionally do things just to be different,” he explained. “I don’t do things to throw it in people’s face that I’m unique.”

Witzigreuter’s writing holds true to that as well – he writes what he wants to write with no regrets.

“I just write the songs that I want to write, and if people think it’s unique then that’s perfect,” he said.” If they think it’s just like everything else then I’m just as happy with that.”

Witzigreuter said he likes playing for colleges because he is playing for an age group similar to his own.

“Hopefully everyone comes out and wants to have a good time with us,” he says.

So if you’re ready to have a good time with The Ready Set and Breathe Carolina, show up at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 12 for a “party on stage.”

The Ready Set will perform in collaboration with Breathe Carolina on Thursday, April 12 at the Rathskeller. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Reilly Center Ticket Office.

Breathe Carolina ‘pumped’ for Spring Weekend at Bonaventure

[Photo courtesy of]

Danielle Clark spoke with Kyle Even of Breathe Carolina about the band’s upcoming performance at St. Bonaventure University.

By Danielle Clark, staff writer, @ddaniellee11

ST. BONAVENTURE (March 19) – It’s no secret that St. Bonaventure is ready for the arrival of Spring Weekend, but Kyle Even of Breathe Carolina wants us to know he’s just as excited to perform.

 Breathe Carolina will be playing in the Reilly Center with The Ready Set on Thursday, April 12 to launch the onset of festivities that will take place at the end of the month.  

The electronic rock band composed of Even and David Schmitt includes three more members who make up their live band: Eric Armenta, Joshua Aragon and Luis Bonet.

Even said the energy of the live show is what sets it apart from their recordings.

“It’s just a different feeling with everybody involved,” he said.

He described the music at their live show as “rave at a rock show.”

Even said the band is still evolving, with a total of 12 people already along on tour, along with a one-year-old French bulldog named Kevin which the band picked up along its journey.

Breathe Carolina started writing songs in 2007 on their computer as a hobby and has since come a long way. Performances at the 2011 Winter X Games and Van’s Warped Tour are only a small indication of the band’s glory. Kicking off 2012 with continued success, the band performed at the LA Kings game in January and is currently on tour.

 “We just kept writing, and the rest is history,” he said.

Breathe Carolina writes all its own songs, and Even said the band gets its inspiration from everything it’s gotten to see and do along with their vast array of experiences.

“We have a lot of fun and crazy stories, and we’ve met a lot of fun and crazy people, and I think that’s one of the biggest things,” he said.

Even said their newest song, “Bang It Out,” is his favorite song so far.

“That was ridiculous,” he said about the song which has yet to be released. “It’s going to be something special.”

Even talked about the band’s unique style of writing and recording simultaneously.

“We’ll take one sentence from a beat, and we’ll be like, ‘Alright that sounds good,’ and we spawn off that,” he said.

He explained how they try to create the skeleton of their song by asking what the vibe of the song is, and what the song is saying. Even said once someone knows it’s right, they just know it. Even said the band has written some songs in a day while others have taken them a week. 

The band’s Facebook page said that their most recent album, Hell is What You Make It, will grab you by the hand and drag you to the dance floor.

The concert at Bonaventure will have a similar sensation, Even assured.

“The album is so eclectic in terms of vibe. It varies from bang your head, to move your feet, to shake your ass,” he said. 

The band will play music from their whole catalog for the concert, along with some new songs from their next album.

According to Even, the band plans on being anything but restrained during the concert.

“We get rowdy; I get in the crowd ,” he said. “ There’s just no restrictions. That’s kind of our rules.”

Even was confident the concert is going to be a blast.

“I hope people are coming to have fun ,” he said. “We’re pumped,”

Even said the only thing the band needs is a pumping system and their gear, and they’re ready to play.

“We’re just real folks, we’re just trying to hang out,” he said.

So, get ready St. Bonaventure, because Breathe Carolina promises to be a raging kick start to Spring Weekend.

A crazy name with a cool concept

By Danielle Clark, staff writer, @ddaniellee11

ST. BONAVENTURE (March 5) – Plassmann 304 transformed into a cultural getaway for the ethnopoetics performance on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Randy John, a retired professor of sociology, invited Dr. Sid Horton, a cultural anthropologist, and Felice Brooks, a junior English major, to present on cultural pluralism.

Both performers held the attention of students for an eye-opening event. John brought his SOC 413 class, Minorities in America, to experience the event. In addition, Lauren Matz, professor of English, brought her ENG 371 class for the first half of the presentation.

Horton shared his extensive understanding of ethnopoetics with the audience. He described it as a way of recording text versions of narrative performances using poetic lines, verses and stanzas to capture the oral elements that would otherwise be lost in the written text.

“When you go from oral to written word things change,” Horton said.

Horton spoke with a focus on Native American storytelling. He explained that the oral aspects of these stories did not get the justice they deserved once they were put on paper.

Horton included the audience in the presentation by passing around several books throughout the lecture including a Mayan book which is one of four left in the world.

Horton said he hoped to bring minorities into the light and get people to think differently.

“The university is here to enlighten people and to help them understand the great diversity and tactic stream of cultures that we have,” he said.

John said he believes an appreciation for diversity is essential for success in a college-aged generation.

“The anthropological field of ethnopoetry is a little known perspective that challenges the mainstream culture to examine a different world through different eyes,” he said.

Horton’s lecture on ethnopoetics and explanation of how elements are lost in the written text made for an easy transition into Brooks’ part of the presentation.

After a brief introduction of herself and of slam poetry, Brooks began the first of her three poems.  

“I feel like slam poetry is the most effective way to talk about something slanderous or controversial,” she said.

The audience fell silent as Brooks read the non-traditional poem to the class. The performance was laced with winks, eye rolls, laughs, hand motions and a whole lot of attitude. The theme of the poems varied from racism to love.

Brooks said she loves that she can put so much expression into her poems and that her facial expressions help people interpret the poem.

 “In slam poetry, you have the chance to help the audience interpret what you mean by your words because you’re actually delivering it to them in the manner that you wrote it,” she said.

Brooks has been writing slam poetry since she was 11 and performs for several groups on campus including the Black Student Union of which she is vice president.

John said he hoped to provide his students with diverse experiences to help prepare them for a career in a diverse future.

“Both experiences are excellent didactic events for my class to reflect upon ‘minorities in America’ and cultural pluralism,” he said. 

The Loft opens for Bonaventure students

[Photo by Justina Ekibena]

By Danielle Clark, staff writer, @ddaniellee11 

ST. BONAVENTURE (Feb.23) – The quiet floor of the library is full, you can’t concentrate in your room and you have a five-page paper due in the morning.

Sound familiar?

Responding to the requests of students, administrators of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts have aimed to provide an additional multi-purpose space.

The third floor of the Quick Center has recently been remodeled into a study friendly area. Administrators ran a naming campaign where students were able to vote for the name of the space.

Open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., The Loft, the new official name, is available for anyone as a study place, a meeting area or a creative space.

Ludwig Brunner, the interim executive director of the Quick Center, described The Loft as a multipurpose place for students’ creativity.

“We see it as a space for student-initiated instillations,” he said.

In addition to a study and meeting place, Brunner described the space as a place for mini recitals, mini performances, poetry readings or slams, artwork, art instillation or play readings.

“I envision it for a place for art students and non-art students to come together,” he said.

Brunner described the atmosphere as vibrant with a beautiful view.

Miranda Earley, a museum educator at the Quick Center, said the space was previously used for storage and as a prep room for gallery exhibits.

Now, bean bag chairs and large wooden tables occupy the room. SBU student artwork scattered throughout, a graffiti board and a piano add to the “creative” space, as Earley described it.

“You’re sort of away from the campus; you can make it home,” Brunner said.

According to Brunner, students are able to move around the furniture to fit their needs or liking. The administration plans to get more furniture for the space including bean bags and carpets.

Earley said there were not considerable costs put forward for the space, just a lot of elbow grease.

“It was a group effort; everyone at the Quick Center kind of came together, and we had a clean-up day,” she said.

Lauren Morris, a senior international studies major who uses the room frequently, described the space as having all the benefits of the quiet floor of the library without all the people.

“I like it because it’s really quiet. There aren’t too many people, which is good,” she said. “Sometimes, there are even people playing piano or doing art.”

Earley said there will soon be art supplies which students can rent out.

“It’s meant to be a creative space,” she said. “We’re just working on getting a cabinet to regulate the materials.”

Brunner said the staff also plans on getting louder speakers for the projector in order to show movies.

Quick Center officials welcome new ideas and said they will accommodate to students’ wishes.

“It’s all initiated by the students,” said Brunner.