SBU student duo brings “Olean Yard Signs” to the Southern Tier

photo: Olean Yard Signs/Facebook

By Sean Casey

OLEAN, NY — In the wake of the Coronavirus harming many businesses, two St. Bonaventure University seniors managed to start a new one locally in Olean. 

Chandler Poczciwinski and Haley Sousa are the founders of the business, named “Olean Yard Signs,” which makes customizable lawn signs for people for special events.  

The business idea stemmed from the new business of Poczciwinski’s mother in Buffalo, called “Buffalo Yard Signs”.

“Her company was a huge success, so we decided to bring yard signs to the Southern Tier,” Poczciwinski said.

He said his mother started her business in Buffalo because she thought it was great way to celebrate a birthday or special event while being in quarantine.  

“It has been a slow start, however, we expected that because Olean is a much different market than Buffalo,” said Poczciwinski and Sousa.

Although starting slow, the duo hopes that their business starts to grow, not necessarily for them, but for their plans with it in the future. 

“Our goal for this company is to build a profitable business that we could leave to the next generation of SBU student entrepreneurs,” they said.

Both Sousa and Poczciwinski are moving to California and have no plans to bring the business with them, so they would like for this to become a legacy of theirs at SBU.

“We are hoping to find some eager students to keep Olean Yard Signs going,” they said. 

Lights Out: A first-person account of the game that wasn’t

By Jeff Uveino

Walking into the Reilly Center Wednesday night felt as normal as any other game day.

The students filing in, the teams shooting around and Kodak Black echoing through the loudspeakers–just a typical pregame in the RC. At 6:30 p.m., the St. Bonaventure Men’s basketball team prepared to play the Hawks of University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

As the teams took warm-ups, I noticed that several lights above where UMES was shooting were out.

My initial reaction was that this was a tactical move: make the opponents warm up in the dark while we warm up in the light. An obscure strategy, but perhaps a slight advantage. Boy, was I wrong.

Shortly after noticing the lights were out, I got word that it was because of a power outage in the arena, quite an interesting development for my first time covering a Bonnies game.

Rumors spiraled around about the source of the outage and how it would affect the game, but it seemed as if no one knew for certain. Security guards, media personnel, and curious students searched for answers.

But one thing was for sure; we would have to wait.

The planned start time of 7 p.m. came and went, as the teams continued to shoot around. The scoreboards were now completely out, as was the jumbotron over center court.

A smiling Jaylen Adams hobbled around the floor, shooting with his team despite the boot he wore to protect his sprained ankle and the obvious notion of being ruled out for the contest.

More time passed. Still nothing.

Behind the scenes, the lights in the halls and media room flickered. There appeared to be lights on around other parts of campus, but no signs of progress in the Reilly Center.

Around 8 p.m., an announcement was made in the arena that National Grid would be testing the power in an attempt to have the game played. The Reilly Center, the crowd was told, would go almost completely dark for about 15 minutes.

Phone lights came on throughout the stands, electricians scrambled around campus, and “Let’s go Bonas” chants continued to cry out intermittently, as they had for nearly two hours at this point.

St. Bonaventure University President Dr. Dennis DePerro even tried his hand at a few foul shots to entertain the crowd.

Suddenly, around 8:30 p.m., the power flashed back on, sending the relatively quiet student section into a frenzy.

It appeared as if the problem had been fixed, and the game would be played after all. I couldn’t help but think that this game would be remembered for a long time as something along the lines of the “power outage game,” and be added to Reilly Center lore.

But it didn’t end there.

Everyone back into place, the Bonnies ran out to warm up once again. The crowd was alive, and Twitter was going crazy trying to keep up with what exactly was going on.

However, Matt Mobley barely had time to lead the team out and drop in a lay-up before the jumbotron went dark with an abrupt bang.

Next were the scoreboards on the ends of the gym, then the overhead lights.

At this point, the night was starting to feel like a nightmare.

The teams retreated back into the locker rooms, and everyone anxiously waited once again to hear a final word on what the outcome of the game would be.

The crowd was thinning, but those remaining could still be heard.

You could feel the collective frustration bouncing around the arena.

The players wanted to play, the coaches wanted to coach, and the Wolf Pack wanted to be the Wolf Pack.

At approximately 8:35 pm, the official announcement was made that the game would not be played. The arena was empty in an instant.

The decision was made that the game would be ruled a “no contest,” meaning that it would not count toward the record of either team. Rumors that the home team would have to forfeit if the game was not played were shot down in an instant, and a frustrated Bonas community went on its way.

After the game, barely a soul could be found throughout the arena.

The only people left were a few scattered security guards making sure everyone exited safely. After all—the power was scheduled to go out for another test in 5 minutes, as was announced. Leftover pizza sat under the continually-flickering lights of the media room.

After the frenzy of events was over, I had to take a few minutes to make sense of what had just happened.

After a heartbreaking loss to Niagara University last Friday night, now Bonas fans had to go through this? An unpredictable and unforgettable start to a season where many experts had the Bonnies making the NCAA tournament.

St. Bonaventure’s next game will be played Saturday afternoon vs Jackson State University at 4:00 pm. Who knows what will happen next? Bonnies fans have already had enough disappointment and bewilderment for a whole season.

If one thing is for sure, it is that November 15, 2017 in the Reilly Center is a day that will be remembered around the community for years to come. A decade from now, alumni and staff will reminisce:

“Remember the night when the power went out? Twice?”

I certainly won’t forget.

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”

Trietley named vice president for Student Affairs

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[Image courtesy of sbu.edu]

By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93

Rick Trietley has worn many different hats in his ten years at St. Bonaventure University. Through different job titles, one thing was always certain: his commitment to Bonaventure students.

Trietley, an Olean, N.Y. native and 1986 Bonaventure graduate, has been named vice president for Student Affairs, where he will report directly to university president Sr. Margaret.

“I view the new position as an expansion of my previous position as vice provost for Student Life,” Trietley said. “…With the change in report structure I will now have regular and consistent communications with Sr. Margaret which will provide her with a more in depth understanding of the issues, trends and best practices that are important to our student body.”

“Having more regular and direct engagement with Rick will enable me to better understand and articulate the opportunities for support as I interact with our alumni, donors, and external funding organizations, as well as a better understanding of the trends, issues and best practices that are important to our current students,” Sr. Margaret said.

Trietley’s past jobs at Bonaventure:

  • U.S. Army ROTC Professor of Military Science (June 2003-June 2008)
  • Director of Safety and Security (July 2008 – February 2009)
  • Vice Provost for Student Life (February 2009- August 2013)

Trietley’s wife is also a Bonaventure graduate.

Additionally to reporting directly to Sr. Margaret, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is now under the Student Affairs Division, Trietley said. Student Affairs now consists of the Career and Professional Readiness Center; Safety and Security; Center for Student Wellness; Center for Activities, Recreation and Leadership; the Damietta Center; and Residential Living and Conduct.

“The vast array of services, educational opportunities and co-curricular opportunities provided by all seven of these departments will enhance the overall student experience and contribute greatly to student success,” Trietley said. “The Student Affairs staff and I welcome the Athletics Department to our team and look forward to the opportunities that this change provides.”

Trietley’s colleagues praised the promotion.

“In all of the roles he has played at the university, he has demonstrated tremendous leadership and collegiality,” said Emily Sinsabaugh, vice president for university relations. “He is highly organized, extraordinarily student-focused, and eager to take on a challenge.”

“I was particularly impressed, while he was director of safety and security, by the way he brought together our region’s law enforcement and emergency response personnel and organizations to create a Memorandum of Understanding that established an unprecedented level of coordination and support for St. Bonaventure University in terms of crisis management, training, and preparedness.  We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for that and for his leadership in creating our crisis response plan.”

Sinsabaugh said Trietley either created or helped create various organizations such as the CPRC and the Wellness Center. He also co-chaired the team that created Bonaventure’s strategic plan, Your Teams – Our Extraordinary Future.  Sinsabaugh also praised him for his work in strengthening Bonaventure’s Student Government Association.

Trietley attends every SGA meeting.

Abby Harrington, SGA’s executive vice president, has worked closely with Trietley.

She said Trietley often goes out of his way to be helpful to students and if she emails him, he almost always gets right back to her. She said she believes he truly has the students’ best interests in mind.

“Our university should be thankful having such a great person working alongside its students,” she said.

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 30, 2001

Considered by many to be one of the oldest student-run soup kitchens in the nation, the Warming House started as a drop-in center for lonely adults in 1974. In the early 1980s, it began offering one meal a day to those less fortunate. Today, it serves more than 12,000 meals annually.

The Warming House, in cooperation with St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Center for Social Concern, is open six days a week, year round, with more than 300 students and nearly 100 community members volunteering to serve meals and help run the kitchen.

It was on this day that the Warming House moved to W. State Street in Olean, N.Y.

However, in March of 2011, it moved into a newly renovated storefront in downtown Olean at 164 N. Union St. Its new, larger location is able to offer expanded services such as a classroom for related workshops.

In addition to giving food to the needy, the Warming House offers service and internship opportunities for St. Bonaventure students.

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 16, 1938

Merton first came to Olean, N.Y. with Robert Lax who was an Olean native. The two met at Columbia University where Merton and Lax quickly became best friends.

Lax became an internationally renowned poet and writer, while Merton became one of the most highly regarded writers and theologians.

Lax and Merton stayed at a friend’s house in Olean until Merton was hired to teach at St. Bonaventure University. It was on this day that Merton was baptized, officially converting him into a Roman Catholic.

Merton stayed at Bonaventure for a few years until he had a vision that he believes came from God. This vision took him to a monastery in Kentucky in 1941.

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu

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 www.onlineredkettle.org. 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.

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 1, 1948

By the 1850s, the Vatican realized there was a problem in Western New York. They thought the solution should be to expand the churches in the area and have an organized, structured service. It also wanted to build a school that would produce clergy members. However, this would not be fully completed until the next century.

By the mid 9th century, Rev. Thomas Plassmann, O.F.M. traveled to Rome and spoke to Pope Pius XI to get permission for a new seminary—the Christ the King seminary. Plassmann thought “Christ the King” was as fitting a name as he could think of.

He received permission, and a seminary was built in Olean, N.Y, in 1933.

However, a decline in Catholic followers forced the church to reorganize itself. The seminary was moved to East Aurora, and it was on this day that groundbreaking for the new Christ the King seminary was held.  

pinterjo11@bonaventure.edu