Unplug and shutdown with Tread Lightly

 By Maddie Gionet, Co-editor in chief, @MaddieGNA

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 17) – The green may be disappearing from the trees scattered across St. Bonaventure University’s campus as fall sets in, but Tread Lightly is bringing the green back during Sustainability Week.

Starting Wednesday, Tread Lightly will work to promote sustainability and going green in an effort to reduce the university’s energy consumption by more than 25 percent (which it did last year).

“We would love to exceed the 25 percent energy reduction from last year, but meeting that number would be just as great,” said Alex Bulszewicz, a senior finance major.

Tread Lightly, started on campus by students a few years ago, focuses on promoting sustainability on campus through recycling and other green initiatives.

“We usually do a ‘Take Back the Cap’ initiative in which we encourage students to buy aluminum water bottles which we sell,” said Gina Shumate, a senior environmental science major.

Along with ‘Take Back the Cap,’ the group sponsors Sustainability Week with events taking place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to ultimately make students and others on campus aware of the club’s cause.

“We want people to know their little actions do make a difference,” said Shumate, the vice president of the club. “Being aware of what you’re doing and doing small things like recycling or shutting off your lights when you leave your room do make a difference.”

And a difference will be made this week with the events the club has planned.

Kicking off Sustainability Week on Wednesday, Oct. 17, the club will host the ‘Second Hand Swap’ event in the Thomas Merton Center from 3 to 7 p.m.

“You can come and drop off a piece of clothing, shoes or any other items you might have and then swap them in for something someone else has dropped off,” said Bulszewicz, the club’s president.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, there will be a viewing of the documentary Sun Come Up in Walsh Auditorium at 7 p.m. which will also be a plenary session for Senior Forum.

“The documentary is about a group of people who live on an island close to sea level and how the melting glaciers are impacting their home and where they live,” said Shumate. “You hear about global warming all the time, but this documentary puts a face to the issue.

‘Unplug and Shutdown Day’ will take place on Friday, Oct. 19, and both Shumate and Bulszewicz hope the Bonaventure community will make a conscious effort to be aware of their energy consumption on this day.

“We hope people will shut their lights off during the day and that the hallway lights in buildings will be off also,” said Shumate. “Last year, the university shut off the heat and some of the gas boilers which really helped decrease the school’s energy consumption for the day.”

Along with conserving energy on Friday, Bulszewicz said other activities will take place.

“We’ll be doing tie dying on the Hickey Lawn from 1:30 to 3:30, too,” said Bulszewicz. “It’s a free event, but if you don’t have a shirt, you can buy one of our Tread Lightly shirts to tie dye.”

Bulszewicz also said that recycling will be promoted throughout the week when club members hand out information in the Hickey Dining Hall.

“The campus only recycles 12 percent of their total waste output,” said Bulszewicz. “Our goal is to reach 20 percent by the end of the year. Tread Lightly is working to pursue a compost pile project with the Land Use Committee to increase the university’s recycling efforts.”

Although Sustainability Week will eventually end on Friday, Shumate and Bulszewicz hope students and faculty alike learn that little steps can be taken each day to help the environment.

“Shutting off lights, riding your bike to class while the weather is still nice and recycling are a few simple ways for you to make a difference every day,” said Bulszewicz. “We want to change the culture at St. Bona’s to make sustainable practices part of our lifestyles, and every little thing counts.”

The rain location for tie dying on Friday, Oct. 19 is the Thomas Merton Center. If students would like to get involved with Tread Lightly, please come to one of the group’s meetings on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Thomas Merton Center.


A reflection on Ashley Sandau

Ashley Sandau ran cross country for St. Bonaventure University. [Image courtesy of gobonnies.com.]

Co-editor in chief Maddie Gionet attended Wednesday night’s memorial service for alumna Ashley Sandau. She reflects on the night and what she learned about who Ashley was.

By Maddie Gionet, Co-Editor in Chief/Features Editor, @MaddieGNA

I use words for a living. And more recently, I’ve used words to tell stories and paint pictures.

But I have come to find, after tonight, that sometimes words cannot tell a story or paint a picture the way I would like them to.

Last month, 2010 and 2011 St. Bonaventure University graduate Ashley Sandau passed away after being hit by a car in California.

The St. Bonaventure family remembered her Wednesday night at 7 with a memorial service in the University Chapel.

I had the intentions of writing a news story on the event, highlighting the celebration of her, but I found myself intimidated by this task.

How does one use words to paint a picture of Ashley?

How does one do her life and her character justice?

Josh Billings, a humor writer and lecturer, once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Perhaps the answer to the question comes from Billings’ quote – in short words.


As Rob DeFazio, director for Campus Activities, Recreation and Leadership, said at the memorial service, Ashley always greeted everyone with a simple smile, whether she knew them or not.

DeFazio went on to say she could always be counted on to do the right thing.

She touched more lives than she probably imagined, he said.


Stephen Ross, a 2011 St. Bonaventure graduate, wrote in a piece, read by Elizabeth Moran, that Ashley welcomed him to the cross country team the moment he arrived on campus as a freshman.

Ross wrote that he remembers running the most difficult race of his life and almost giving up, only finishing it because he saw Ashley cheering him on.


Bob Macfarlane, current coach of the cross country team, said although he only met Ashley a few times, her character stood out.

He remembered Ashley interviewing him before being hired, and she asked him what he would do to improve the team.

Macfarlane said he was impressed that Ashley was more worried about the team and others than herself.


Teammates, peers and coaches alike, spoke of Ashley’s commitment to the cross country team even when injury made running difficult for her.

They spoke of her will to stay in shape during the off season and to keep working through any struggles she might have had.


A student and advisee of Denny Wilkins, professor of journalism and mass communication, Ashley inspired him to be more respectful, patient, tolerant and humble, he said.

In the past weeks, while speaking with current students about Ashley, Wilkins said he was able to see who she was – someone we can all look up to.

I did not have the opportunity to know Ashley. I wish I had. Maybe that would have helped me decide which words best describe her and the life she lived.

But maybe there is not a single word that does Ashley and her life justice.

Or maybe there is.



Student allegedly assaulted at off-campus residence


ST. BONAVENTURE (Feb. 9) – A group of people allegedly assaulted St. Bonaventure University freshman Edward Caraccioli this past weekend, sending him to Olean General Hospital.

A news release from the Twin Tiers radio station, WVTT News Radio, reported the altercation at the intersection of Seventh and Union streets early Sunday morning.

A Bonaventure student close to Caraccioli, who wished to remain nameless, said multiple students randomly targeted Caraccioli at an off-campus house party. He said others who separated the crowd were also assaulted.

WVTT News Radio said police confirmed an ongoing investigation to the Olean Times Herald this morning.

Bonaventure officials are cooperating with police, but no arrests have been made at this time, the report added.

At press time, no contact could be made with Allegany police or Safety and Security Services. More information on the story is to come.

Any information on the incident should be referred to the Allegany Police Department at (716) 373-0873 or Safety and Security Services at (716) 375-2525.

Maddie Gionet contributed to the reporting of this story.

Hope for the Hickey

New residential dining manager takes student opinions into account

By Mark Belcher, News Editor, @markbelcherjr and Maddie Gionet, Co-Editor in Chief/Features Editor, @MaddieGNA 

The Hickey featured a chocolate fondue bar this week.ST. BONAVENTURE – (Feb. 1) In the first St. Bonaventure University Food Committee meeting in two semesters, Hickey Memorial Dining Hall management took away a list of both criticisms and refinement points — and only two weeks later, students have already seen positive change.

“They’re really trying,” Matt Zaros, a sophomore history major who attended the meeting, said. “They did a good job at the meeting, and it definitely wasn’t for show.”

The Jan. 18 meeting in the University Club above the dining hall, is a standing meeting, to take place every third Wednesday of the month.

“There was very poor turnout last semester,” Amy Vleminckx, food service director, said. “Some of it was our fault for not promoting this.”

Approximately 25 students attended this meeting, and Vleminckx said the 180-degree turnaround is important.

“We can’t make changes if no one comes,” she said.

Junior elementary and special education major Kaleigh Drew attended the meeting to get her word in to help spur change.

“It’s always the same food,” Drew said. “I’m constantly looking for other places to eat.”

Others shared Drew’s thoughts. Throughout the meeting, management received roughly 20 suggestions, six criticisms and only three compliments. Suggestions ranged from different proposed foods to replacement of removed foods and many suggestions for less repetition.

Vleminckx attributed the repetition to being forced to use the generic ARAMARK menu distributed to all its dining locations.

“I thought there was too much repetition on the last menu,” she said. “We sent in exception forms to report our changes so that this semester we can bring back food options student want to eat — less Mexican food and more variety.”

Students voiced complaints about the quality of the food consumed as well, especially in comparison with food at catered events.

“We feed about 2,300 students a day,” Vleminckx said. “Our biggest challenge is keeping food hot and keeping the counters clean.”

Vleminckx explained the process of taking the temperature of foods at the buffet lines, and she said sometimes workers are concerned with waste.

“Some people are afraid to throw things out,” she said. “I say if there is a bad head of lettuce, throw it out. A lot of people eat first with their eyes.”

Although people have questioned appearance and quality of foods, Zaros said a change in management has prompted improvements.

Until Dec. 4, the Hickey was running with no permanent residential dining manager in place, after Donald “Doc” McClure quit suddenly earlier in the fall semester. That’s when Orman “Topper” Clemons, the current residential dining manager, took over.

Vleminckx said one of the best things about Clemons is he doesn’t like to be in his office, he likes to be in the dining hall helping out.

“I’ve noticed ever since the change in management, things have been a lot better,” Zaros said.

While talking about positive points to expand on, Vleminckx sought student advice. She asked students an array of questions from if they like the specialty bar sometimes set up for lunch hour, to what kinds of food they’d like to see and if different foods should be displayed at different times.

Students gave feedback in what was an open dialogue.

Advice provided by students is already being implemented on a daily basis. At press time, student suggestions like a more open cold stone station, a warm cookie station, more frequent specialty bars and a chef’s choice table, an idea proposed by Zaros, have already been implemented.

“It’s touching to see them take my idea to heart,” Zaros said. “My hobby is cooking, and I know from experience you have to like what you’re doing to really make it good.”

In addition to simple changes, Clemons said within a few more weeks, food suggestions should be implemented as well.

Despite positive changes so far, Hickey management has an expanding Facebook page and a suggestion box for further student comment.

Clemons and Vleminckx encourage student-staff interaction.

“We deal with criticism on a daily basis, so we are used to it,” they said. “We want you guys to be comfortable enough to come up to us.”

The meeting closed with a promise of coming change and flexibility.

“There’s always a happy medium,” Clemons said. “That’s what we try to work with.”

Q&A with Elyse Kosakowski

[Photo by Tony Lee]

It’s an honor no St. Bonaventure University student has been recognized for before this semester – being named a finalist for the Most Promising Minority Award given out by the American Advertising Federation. But now, senior Elyse Kosakowski can proclaim she is the first St. Bonaventure student to receive this recognition. 

Named one of 20 finalists for the award, Kosakowski, a journalism and mass communication and integrated marketing communications dual-degree major, sat down with The Intrepid’s Features Editor Maddie Gionet, @MaddieGNA, for a Q&A.

Gionet: How does it feel to be the first Bonaventure student to be honored in this way?  

KosakowskiIt’s such an honor. Not only as an individual but also as part of the Bona community that makes up AAF. This shows that Bonaventure can be nationally recognized for its students’ hard work. 

Gionet: Can you give a little bit of your story? How did you get to the place you are now? When did you decide you wanted to do advertising?

KosakowskiI wanted to go into PR since I was little. I came to SBU as a junior in high school and fell in love with the campus and the journalism school. My freshman year, I heard about the IMC program, got some information and decided I’d stay on a fifth year to do the program. And then last year, when I was in professor (Michael) Jones-Kelley and professor (Shelley) Jack’s advertising campaign class, I realized I no longer wanted to do PR but advertising instead. I liked controlling the message and controlling what outlets the message was sent out of.

Gionet: How did you come up with the personal tagline “Made in Korea. Imported to America. Branded Polish?”

KosakowskiI struggled with it. It’s so easy to come up with a tag for a brand, but it’s much harder when you’re doing it for yourself. I was actually sitting in the basement of Francis, doing laundry with some friends and my mixed heritage of being born in South Korea, adopted and brought to America when I was six months old and then growing up Polish came up in conversation. Each ethnicity emulates the values I live by and then the marketing jargon speaks to what I want to do in the future.

Gionet: What are some of the most beneficial things you have learned to help you excel in IMC and AAF?

KosakowskiAll the writing skills the J school teaches, the cases from the media ethics class — they’re all building blocks I’ve used ever since I learned them. The concepts carry through whether I’m in AAF or IMC. They help get the message across; they help with the planning side of things; they help with everything.

Gionet: Who has helped you the most to get to where you are today? 

KosakowskiI don’t think I can choose one person. All the professors I’ve come across here at school have taught me something and helped me achieve my goals. The J school professors, the IMC professors and some of the business professors have shown me it’s OK to dream as big as I want.

Gionet: What is one thing in advertising you struggle with?

KosakowskiBeing creative. I’m much more strategic than creative. It’s hard for me to go out on a whim. I’m always over thinking things.

Gionet: What advice can you give to students who want to work hard and want to make a name for themselves?

KosakowskiAlways try. Always keep your head held high. Take criticism with a grain of salt, and never let anyone tell you no. I believe that every one of us here at St. Bonaventure is the future of whatever industry we decide to get into which means we can exceed all boundaries.

Gionet: What are your hopes for your future?

KosakowskiTo have a job. I dream of working for an established ad agency, but as long as I’m happy, I really don’t care what agency I work for. As long as I’m immersed in the advertising industry, I’ll be happy.

To read St. Bonaventure’s press release on Kosakowski, click here: http://www.sbu.edu/About_News.aspx?id=37219


From Zero to Hero

Women’s rugby team completes a dramatic two-year turnaround by capturing State title

By Maddie Gionet, Features Editor, @MaddieGNA

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Nov. 8) — It was a decision Kayla O’Keefe never expected to make.

“My freshmen year, I tried out for cheerleading, and the next day I was so sore,” she said. “I asked myself, ‘What am I getting myself into?’”

O’Keefe never found out what she was getting herself into. She gave up cheerleading and went to rugby practice with a friend the next day.

“It has seriously changed my life,” the junior journalism and mass communication major said.

O’Keefe’s life is not the only thing that has changed since her freshmen year. The St. Bonaventure’s women’s rugby team improved from a winless 0-5 record to an undefeated 7-0 in a two-year span.

Not only that, the Legends’ latest victory, a 12-0 shutout against Plattsburgh (4-2) on Oct. 29, was for the New York State Rugby Conference Division III women’s title.

“I can’t put into words how amazing this transformation has been,” said O’Keefe, a co-captain. “Everyone has stepped up, improved beyond anything we expected and really put their hearts into making this season great.”

On Saturday, the women move onto the quarterfinals of the National Small College Rugby Organization tournament in Northampton. The four regional winners advance to the Final Four in Cherry Hill, N.J., Nov. 19.

The Legends, consisting of approximately 20 female students, now has a chance to go even further than its predecessors did.

“I didn’t play rugby my freshmen year, but our team lost to Albany by one kick,” said Jess Misiaszek, a senior journalism and mass communication major and a co-captain. “Fall 2008 was the last time we went to states.”

Catherine Aranyosi, a junior education major, said winning state may have been one of the greatest accomplishments of her life. Aranyosi added she never expected to play a contact sport like rugby, but it has been great to see the team progress to this level within two years.

“It’s a crazy sport,” she said. “It’s fun to go out there and tackle people three times your size. To see the change since freshmen year – we’ve come from nothing.”

“Everything we learn is either from the girls on the team, our adviser or the men’s team,” O’Keefe said. “My sophomore year, we ended the season with a 3-2 record. It was better, but we still wanted to win. We really used these past two years to rebuild the team to get where we are now.”

No matter how far the team advances in nationals, the women are proud of what they’ve created – a family and a new legacy.

“The rugby family we’ve created, the friendships and connections are forever,” Aranyosi said. “Everything we went through as a team was worth it. Truly great things take time.”

And according to Misiaszek, the Legends will continue working hard to keep its undefeated record intact.

“We will be practicing every day,” she said. “It’s going to be a whole new, different experience. I want to take home a win.”


Meet the Professor: Fr. John Coughlin, O.F.M

The St. Bonaventure University and Mt. Irenaeus communities welcomed a new friar to their families this year.

Fr. John Coughlin, O.F.M., sat down to give The Intrepid an interview on how he became a friar and where this journey has taken him.

By Maddie Gionet, features editor, @MaddieGNA

Gionet: You entered the Franciscan Order in 1995. But describe your journey of becoming a Franciscan priest before that. 

Fr. John: Well, religious life runs in my family … Some of my family members saw the priesthood in me before I even saw it! When I was at Hunter College as an English major, I really began to get into my faith. I wasn’t a practicing Catholic after I made my Confirmation at age 13, but somewhere in my 20s I began to get interested. I took some religious classes, and over time my personal reading became more and more Christian.   

Gionet: After entering the order, where were you placed? What did you do?  

Fr. John: I did an internship between my fourth and fifth years of theology in Anderson, S.C., where I did a lot of ministry with the Hispanic community. After that year, I was ordained as a deacon and considered working with the Latino community. I was attracted to one of the most Hispanic and poorest parishes in the country, St. Anthony of Padua in Camden, N.J. Utilizing my Spanish, improving on it and working with the poor were all things I wanted to do. When I was ordained as a priest in 2002, I became a parochial vicar at St. Anthony’s for nine years until I moved here to Mt. Irenaeus. While I was at St. Anthony’s, one of my favorite ministries was teaching English as a second language. I started an ESL class once I arrived, and it had a lot of success. 

Gionet: What caused you to move to Mt. Irenaeus after nine years at St. Anthony’s? And what attracted you to the Mountain? 

Fr. John: I’d been coming to the Mountain for years, trying to get there once a year for a personal retreat. I also came there with one of the ministries I was involved in — Franciscan Volunteer Ministry — which works with young adults right out of college looking to volunteer. Going with them on retreats throughout the year really helped me to know the Mountain and the friars. 

Gionet: Was it a hard transition to life at Mt. Irenaeus and St. Bonaventure?  

Fr. John: It was difficult because it was a total change in the rhythm of my life. In many ways, though, it was very pleasing and exciting with wonderful new things and people to enjoy. I’m still finding my way, but it’s both exciting and challenging. There is so much support, though. I have the friars at the Mountain, and down here, I have Br. Kevin (Kriso), Fr. Dan (Riley), Fr. Bob (Struzynski) and Fr. Francis (DiSpigno). All of them have been extremely helpful to me in growing into campus ministry. I consider myself a freshman here with teachers all over campus. 

Gionet: What are some of your roles on campus? 

Fr. John: I help with MCL (Mountain Community Leaders), which meets on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the Thomas Merton Center. I work with RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), and I’m beginning a prayer group called Kingdom Quest which will meet on Monday nights at 7 in the Thomas Merton Center.

Gionet: What are some of your hopes for your future here at Mt. Irenaeus and St. Bonaventure? 

Fr. John: I hope to excite people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, about belonging to something greater than just the society they live in. To help people understand that they belong, that they’re loved, and to be part of the educational process that goes on here.