#SBUStandsWithMizzou: Alumni fire back on social media

By Liam McGurl

[Photo retrieved from sbu.edu]

Recent social media dialogue between current Bonaventure students, faculty and alumni regarding the recent events at the University of Missouri has sparked a cultural conversation on campus.  

According to the Associated Press, a series of protests ensued after university officials’ alleged poor handling of racial issues at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) was publicized.  As a result of these protests and media spotlight on Mizzou, Tim Wolfe, the university president, and Richard Bowen Loftin, the university chancellor, were asked to resign—creating controversy between both sides of the race-related issue.

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Bonaventure goes acapella with Bonacoustics

By Caitlyn Morral

“When I came to visit Bonaventure before applying, I was super excited because I did not want to lose the aspect of singing in my life,” said junior and strategic communications and digital media major Stephanie Kennedy. “Unfortunately, when I got to Bonas in the fall of 2013 as a freshman, I found out that the Bonacoustics group was out of commission.”

Co-presidents of the Bonacoustics, Kennedy and junior and accounting major Josh Apker, started the acapella group back up again in 2014 after it had fizzled out in 2013.

“Former student Conor Hynes, Josh Apker and I decided to take it upon ourselves to start it again in the spring of 2014,” said Kennedy. “Since then we have improved so much and I am so proud of everyone in the group, those who have stayed with us since the beginning, and everyone else who supports the group.”

The Bonacoustics performed what they have been rehearsing for all semester at their Fall Showcase on Nov. 18 in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

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Enough is Enough: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks to SBU students and faculty

By Jason Klaiber

[Photo retrieved from syracuse.com]

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has traveled to college campuses throughout New York to explain the initiative for the New York State “Enough is Enough” legislation signed into law in July.

According to the press release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, “Enough Is Enough” is a statewide policy designed to combat sexual violence between college students on and off their campuses through a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines.

Hochul spoke to an audience of 80 people at 1 p.m. Friday in the Doyle Hall Trustees Room at St. Bonaventure University to raise awareness of the policy.

During her 17-minute-long speech, Hochul said the legislation takes the place of the previous “patchwork,” or non-uniform, approach to dealing with sexual assault at colleges within New York borders.

“People weren’t acknowledging that [sexual assault] was going on right beneath our eyes,” said Hochul. “This is not limited to women only. If I say ‘women,’ I mean it more generically in covering both sexes.”

The first rule is to follow the conditions of affirmative consent—an agreement by both parties to “continue down the path” they’re on, she said.

“The law has changed,” said Hochul. “You cannot assume that someone wanted something without their consent. If she’s under the influence of alcohol or has been drugged, she’s really not in the position to say ‘no.’”

Hochul said the second rule is to allow amnesty toward a student’s more minor offenses against school policy, such as underage drinking or drug abuse, in an attempt to break any silence related to a sexual assault.

“Our view as a state is that a greater public good is served if we close our eyes to the infraction and look at the greater crime, which is the assaults on someone else,” she said. “You need to come forward. You need to be part of the solution.”

The legislation also contains a bill of rights—a guide on how to properly handle a sexual violence situation on campus for the victim’s comfort.

“Every single person on campus has to be trained,” said Hochul. “Everybody has to know what to do, because you don’t know who the first person is that’s going to see the victim that night, the day after or whenever she’s ready to talk. I want to make sure everybody in the infrastructure that’s built around protecting these students knows what to do.”

She said the victim’s on-campus community should empower them to know they have options.

“She may want to have [the assault] dealt with within the confines of her campus, where she feels more secure,” said Hochul.

She explained that a small percentage of serial rapists commits the majority of sexual crimes on college grounds.

“When they are penalized for this, the behavior will stop,” said Hochul. “We need to have that sense of disgust. I want to get to that point of public shame for anyone who dare cross the line when it comes to a college student.”

She expects the “Enough is Enough” initiative to be implemented in college orientation routines across New York State by next fall.

I would hope you feel that one year later, we have taken this issue, we have grabbed it by the throat and said ‘we own this,’” said Hochul.

Professor presents talk on effective communication

By Jason Klaiber

[Image retrieved from sbu.edu]

In coordination with The Competitive Edge Certificate (The EDGE), management professor John B. Stevens presented a talk titled “Understanding and Being Understood: Communicating in the 21st Century” at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Walsh Auditorium.

The EDGE, a program offered by the Career and Professional Readiness Center, instructs participating sophomores, juniors and seniors about the professional skills most desired by employers and graduate schools.

Stevens, the owner and operator of JB Stevens Organizational Solutions, outlined the presentation with a series of principles, starting off with the idea that words alone don’t convey the entirety of a person’s message. He revealed that 7 percent of what we interpret in a message relies on words, while tone of voice makes up 38 percent and non-verbal action accounts for the remainder.

“You can only really tell tone of voice and non-verbal in person,” said Stevens. “[That’s why] text messaging and emails are such delicate and difficult ways to communicate—because we can’t see a big part of talking and communicating.”

Stevens instructed the audience to split up in groups of two and three to discuss when it’s necessary to listen and what makes listening difficult. After reclaiming the room, Stevens asked everyone to recall in thought what the person to their right said during the short discussion, which he said wouldn’t be an easy task for everyone.

Stevens said that getting distracted by one’s surroundings and especially thinking about one’s own end of the conversation can disrupt listening.

“When you’re thinking about what you’re going to say next, you can’t be concentrating on what someone else is saying to you at the same time,” said Stevens. “It’s difficult for the brain to do two things at the same time. You have to make a conscious decision to decide to listen to someone else.”

Stevens added that there’s a distinct contrast between listening and hearing.

“As I’m talking, my vocal cords are creating sound waves that are being emitted,” said Stevens. “Your eardrums are hearing those sound waves. The brain says, ‘There’s a sound out there, and it sounds like words.’ That’s called hearing. Listening is taking the words when they come into the brain and saying, ‘I’m going to do something with that—I’m going to try to interpret it, I’m going to try to understand it, and I’m going to try to do something with it.’”

Stevens’ second principle details that effective listening can provide one with valuable information and a level of involvement with others.

“If you listen to somebody, and you really pay attention to them, it can provide a level of involvement that can help you with your relationships at work or at home or with friends or with anyone,” said Stevens.

Stevens acknowledged the usefulness of listening in the business world, such as in negotiations with customers about products they order.

Stevens said that demonstrating interest with eye contact and a nod, asking questions and repeating back what you heard are ways to improve listening skills.

“You need to engage other people and really pay attention to what it is they’re saying,” said Stevens. “This will help you to reduce ineffectiveness in listening.”

Stevens ended his talk by zeroing in on email etiquette and showing examples of poorly written emails.

“In the working world, you have to think about how you’re addressing people,” said Stevens.

Stevens said that proofreading for spelling and grammar, filling in the subject line and including a signature at the end of the email are characteristics of proper email etiquette.

Stevens also stressed the importance of correctly using the “to” and “Cc” features.

“We need to be careful when we send an email,” said Stevens. “You need to think about who’s going to read this, but more importantly, who will read this.”

Stevens said that opening the email with a greeting, stating your purpose, relaying the facts, incorporating a recommendation—such as “have a nice day”—and including a conclusion are the five steps to crafting the proper email.

Junior sociology major Courtney Brinsky viewed the talk as informative.

“It’s useful for when we’re in the business setting,” said Brinsky. “Sending emails is how a lot of businesses communicate.”

Junior English major Luis Rodriguez believed the talk was helpful.

“It was interesting to learn about how much we actually focus on non-verbal communication,” said Rodriguez. “You think about it, but you also don’t think about it at the same time.”

SBU celebrates Spirit Week: Day 1

By Caitlyn Morral @caiterthot

As Spirit Week begins at St. Bonaventure University, students have the opportunity to show their Bona pride and participate in dressing up to match a new theme for each day of the week. On Monday Nov. 9, some chose to partake in “Jersey Day,” a day that they could wear jerseys in support of their favorite teams.

Today, The Intrepid asked students why they chose to come to Bonaventure, and their responses related back to the university’s community.

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‘White People’ documentary plays at Bonaventure

By Sarah Waychoff

Image retrieved from newsbusters.org

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, St. Bonaventure University hosted one of many talks on the subject of “Race Matters”. The program #RaceMatters was designed to start a dialogue with students on the difficult discussion of racial issues on campus.

The event on Wednesday was a viewing of the MTV documentary ‘White People’. The film follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker, Jose Antonio Vargas, as he travels across country to speak on racism.  Vargas calls to question what is fair when it comes to affirmative action, if colorblindness is a good thing, what privilege really means and what it is like to become the “white minority” in a neighborhood.

The documentary focuses on how younger whites view matters of race, including those afflicted by a sense of victimization regarding affirmative-action policies and those who favor a color-blind society. As one of the people interviewed in the film says, whiteness is too often seen as “the default”.

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SPECTRUM reflects on LGBT+ awareness month

By Michael O’Malley

The word “spectrum” may have a few different meanings to you, but during the month of October, students and faculty were paying attention to SPECTRUM, St. Bonaventure University’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and asexual alliance.

SPECTRUM promotes acceptance of all LGBT+ individuals and raises awareness of issues facing LGBT+ individuals, the group is part of St. Bonaventure’s Damietta Center and Pride Center, an association of gay-straight alliances in Western New York.

Additionally, SPECTRUM provides peer support to LGBT+ students and has organized and participated in “Day of Silence” and “Coming Out Week” events, open forums and discussions about current events. SPECTRUM hosts various events throughout the school year to educate the campus community about LGBT+ topics such as coming out, community acceptance and health and wellness concerns.

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Exonerated death row inmate speaks at Bonaventure

By Jason Klaiber

Image retrieved from huffingtonpost.com

In 1985, the state of Alabama convicted Anthony Ray Hinton for first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree murder—charges punishable by the death penalty and crimes that the court later ruled he didn’t commit.

“I was sent to death row because I was born black and because I was born poor,” said Hinton.

The All Bonaventure Reads keynote for the book “Just Mercy” by lawyer Bryan Stevenson took place in Dresser Auditorium at 7 p.m. Monday, discussing  the personal experiences of Hinton and the work of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).

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