Thisness is more Bonaventure than students think

By Emily Steves, Staff Writer, @SeeEmilyPlay

A search of thisness into Google may reveal what the word means, but it can’t communicate the word’s unique connection to St. Bonaventure University.

The first result in a Google search of thisness is a Wikipedia page mentioning a man named Duns Scotus. Here lies a direct correlation to the required CLAR-207, Catholic and Franciscan Heritage Clare course.

“If you took Cath-Fran, there’s an important Franciscan theologian and scholar called John Duns Scotus,” said Chris Brown, coordinator for residential education and housing. “The term talks about the ways each individual person is unique and gifted, and, in the Franciscan tradition, that’s a gift from God.”

According to Brown, thisness is derived from the Latin word haecceitas. Scotus referred to someone’s thisness as qualities that make the person who he or she is. St. Bonaventure adopted this idea and ran with it -– but with a somewhat different approach.

Each student is an individual who contributes to the university as a whole. Nichole Gonzalez, executive director of residential living and chief judicial officer, and junior Joe Fagan, designed the puzzle pieces to fit the theme.

“It also talks about how we are all unique and gifted but in relation to one another,” Brown said. “Thisness started because there was a student who was concerned about a lot of the recent suicides that have come from bullying.”

Jacob Witter’s concern with the nation’s bullying problem snowballed into the puzzle pieces seen around campus. When the Bona junior approached Fr. Francis Di Spignio, O.F.M. with his concern, Fr. Francis decided to do something about it.

“There was a group of people called together by Fr. Francis from the University Ministries,” Brown said. “(The group consisted of) faculty, staff, students, the student government association and administrators from all over the campus to start talking about what we could do on campus to proactively address the issue of bullying.

“Even if it’s not a major problem now on campus, what we know is it’s a major problem in junior high schools and high schools, and those are the students coming to Bonaventure,” he continued.

There are nationwide anti-bullying organizations, but Brown said, using thisness makes this campaign very Bonaventure.

Counselors available for community

The university’s Counseling Center will offer more walk-in appointments to aid in a time of need

By Tony Lee, editor in chief, @sHecKii

ST. BONAVENTURE (April 18) — Roger Keener recommends connecting with people after experiencing a tragedy like John Gilbert Watson’s death is the best way to heal.

As the director of the counseling center, Keener said St. Bonaventure University’s Counseling Center’s doors will be more open than ever, giving the entire Bona community another avenue for healing.

“In times like this, it’s not just about the incident that happened with John Watson,” Keener said. “This stirs up a lot of thoughts. I think there are about other people’s family members that have died. Anytime there is a death of a prominent person, it brings up a lot of emotion.”

The Counseling Center is located on the second floor of The Reilly Center in room 231. Keener said anyone from students to alumni could come in for a walk-in appointment couple times a week.

However, Keener said you don’t need to seek out a counselor to talk things out. St. Bonaventure has other resources the community could take advantage of.

“Try to connect with another person, whether that’s a friend, relative, faculty member, residence assistants, Student Life” he said. “I think it’s important in a time like this that people come together.”

Residence assistants, RAs, said students are welcome to come talk to them. However, RAs cannot give official counseling sessions. 

Nichole Gonzalez, director of Residence Life, knew Watson as a student and as a professional. She said it’s still sad to think about it, but talking about it helps.

“My heart goes out to them, the whole family,” she said. “It’s got to be rough. And their father was loved by everybody, but they all know that.”

Kenner said he has witnessed the Bona’s community come together well in a time of tragedy.

And it really shows why St. Bonaventure has a reputation of foster a caring atmosphere.

“The strength doesn’t come from individuals; the strength comes from the community,” he said. 

Keener said he wants to remind students that they can support the faculty members in a time like this, too.

“Everyone around the university knew John. John was a fine gentleman, very caring, very much involved with Bonaventure,” he said. “A lot of people knew him. It’s a great loss for the St. Bonaventure University and its community.”

To make an appointment, students, faculty, staff and alumni can call (716) 375-2310 or email

The hours of services listed on its website are Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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SBU avoids co-ed housing, Canisius refines it

Male and female Bona students have lived on the same floor, but only on rare situations

By Kelly O’Dell, guest writer

ST. BONAVENTURE (March 24) – On the last selection day of their freshman year, juniors Marissa Morill and Cassie Stubbs entered The Reilly Center, thinking they would be choosing their housing.

With no more rooms available, Morill, Stubbs and about 30 other St. Bonaventure University students wrote their desired roommates on a list.

“We didn’t know where we were living until August — when bills came out,” said Stubbs, a journalism and mass communication major.

Morill and Stubbs lived on Falconio Hall’s first floor — on which both men and women lived — last year.

If it would better utilize available space, the university should implement co-ed floors, said Morill, an education major.

The Residence Life staff creates co-ed floors when necessary to ensure all students have a room.

 “The decision is made strictly based on the numbers (students needing housing) and the space available,” said Chris Brown, St. Bonaventure’s coordinator for residential education and housing.

Matthew Mulville, Canisius College’s director of Residence Life, a university Bonaventure competes with for enrollment, implemented co-ed housing in 1996, creating more flexibility when housing freshmen.

Yearly housing damage fines have decreased, he said.

“Prior to 1996 we averaged about $25,000 in damage fines per year,” Mulville said. “Now it’s more like $3,000.”

Nichole Gonzalez, St. Bonaventure’s director of Residence Life, said the first floor of Falconio, the university’s only co-ed floor, has fewer housing issues than the other single-sex floors.

“I don’t want to say there’s less documentation because it’s co-ed,” she said.

Mulville said women’s behavior influences men’s.

He said the women on co-ed floors do not tolerate immature behavior. Mulville added the men, not wanting to look foolish, do not cause housing damage, decreasing yearly fines.

Andy Malpiedi, ’10, agreed.

“All-guy floors can just be obnoxious,” he said. “If there were girls living on the floors, I think they’d keep it cleaner.”

Sophomore Jessenia Andujar said all-women floors have too much drama.

“I think guys would mellow things out,” the physical education major said.

Freshman Carrie Wozniak agreed.

“I think I would’ve made more friends faster because girls tend to be standoffish when it comes to meeting other girls,” the undeclared major said.

Canisius sophomore Abby Formella said she loved living on a co-ed floor her freshman year.

“This year I am on the only all-girls floor, and I don’t like it as much,” she said. “It’s a lot quieter and cleaner, but it’s not as fun without the boys.

“The guys on our floor watched out for us girls, and sometimes the girls would bake cookies for the guys,” said Formella, a marketing major. “We became like a family.”

Formella said she never felt uncomfortable living with guys.

Stubbs agreed.

“It was so much fun,” she said. “I was never worried about anything.”

If St. Bonaventure implemented more co-ed housing, Brown said bathrooms would never be co-ed.

“We also will only consider making a floor co-ed when we can separate the areas and create distinct male and female wings, like in Rob/Fal,” he said.

Brown said Robinson and Falconio halls have doors separating each of the buildings’ three wings. Each wing has its own bathroom.

Gonzalez said students would have the choice to live on a co-ed floor.

“I would hate to see all floors go co-ed,” she said. “I would want to preserve (single-sex floors) for first-year students and upperclassmen.

When Canisius implemented co-ed floors, Mulville said it received grief from some conservative Jesuits only — but none from students or parents.

Gonzalez said the idea of co-ed housing has not been explored at St. Bonaventure.

St. Bonaventure sophomore Mike Terry prefers it that way, too.

“Because we are a Catholic school we are just more conservative,” the political science major said. “No one has felt strongly enough to push for some sort of change.”

Even though it’s not in the immediate university plans, Gonzalez said co-ed housing may happen at St. Bonaventure.

“I don’t want to say it will never be explored in the future,” she said. “It’s not something that’s just mine or Chris Brown’s decision. It would need to go through a lot of different channels.”