Risky Business by Olivia Bentley

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Not my problem…these girls are not in my sorority! 

My official report to the Standards Chair after our last sorority formal was dry and clinical: “At the venue, she was caught running down the sidewalk trying to leave and get into an uber,” I wrote.  “She was sent home on the first bus.”

What really happened went down a little differently.  On one cold Wednesday night, I was the sober one surrounded by about three hundred drunk college kids trying to keep everyone safe.  This meant that I had to do things like rip off my heels and chase a freshman around the corner on some random street in San Jose just to make sure she didn’t leave an official event too early.  I have to know where all girls and their dates are at all times just in case something happens at an official event.  You see, in my sorority I can be called many names: the bad guy, the alcohol police, the sober one, or the Risk Management Chair.

I got nominated for my job on a Sunday morning last year.  It was about eleven o’clock when I was promptly woken up from my hungover haze to what I would later call the “Risk call.”  When I saw who was calling, I perked up as best as I could because I thought I was going to be nominated for something fun, like Recruitment Chair, or New Member Educator.  When the words ‘Risk Management Chair’ rolled of off my sorority sister’s tongue, by heart dropped into my stomach.

After that phone call, I did what any 19 year old girl would do, and I immediately called my mom.  About point five seconds after hearing her voice, I broke down in tears.  I didn’t know what I was going to do and I thought that my life had just been ruined (yes, I believed every melodramatic word in that last sentence).  I was terrified that I would have to become the stiff and boring girl who was a major buzzkill at all of my sorority’s events.  At the end of that talk, I decided that I was going to do my best at being Risk, using it as an opportunity to build skills and write down something pretty impressive on my resume.

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One might ask why someone would want to become a sorority Risk Management Chair and the answer is that nobody wants my job.  Other members of the chapter Executive Board use words like “hard,” “difficult,” “important,” and “authoritative” to describe the job.  It is a job that, according to the girls who voted me into my position, a “responsible, resilient, approachable and dedicated” person gets put into.  Well, in the last six months I have been forced to be all of these things and more.

We all know what responsibility is, you know, like with great power comes great responsibility and all that crap.  But I have learned what real responsibility is.  Real responsibility is having to not let a girl on a bus to a formal because if she does, you just know that she will only embarrass herself more, or worse throw up and leave it for you to clean.  People drink excessively for these kinds of events, I guess it makes them fun.  I try my best to stop people from making drunken mistakes and fools of themselves.  I am responsible for making sure that someone is looking out for them even when they are not in any state to do so.

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly.  This was really put to the test when I went to go help a girl’s date who was barely standing and grasping onto the bar to support himself.  When I went over to him, he just turned straight towards me and projectile vomited all over my dress.  In shock and disbelief, I was whisked away to the bathroom to clean off my dress.  Without any recovery time, I had to march outside and send both the girl and her date home from the event.  The girl was in tears and I was doing everything I could not to let mine fall.

One of the reasons that I was slated for this position because I am approachable. I was out one night and this girl came up to me and introduced me to her friend, saying “This is the Risk Chair, she’s super chill.  She kicked me out of a dance once, but like we’re totally chill, it’s like I was supposed to say I’m sorry but like you’re just like super chill so I didn’t.”  Now, I don’t know that being ‘chill’ equates to being approachable, buy hey, I’ll take what I can get!  This honestly came as a shock to me because I have never been told that I am an approachable person before.  Now I don’t know if is the resting look on my face or what, but being unapproachable is something that I am used to.  Funny enough, being Risk has apparently made me more approachable.

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Substitute “mom” for “risk.”

Dedication has really been the key to my job.  I have lost hours of sleep over filling out planning forms and incident reports, not to mention the hours I’ve lost actually dealing with the members of my chapter.  I have stayed in on the weekends in the event that someone needs to go to the hospital, needs some water, or needs someone to talk to.  I have to be sober at every event.  Let me repeat that, EVERY event.  Yet, for some reason, my dedication not my sorority keeps me committed.  At the end of the day, I am only here to help.  If that makes me the bad guy, I guess I’ll have to live with that for the next six months.

By Olivia Bentley

Photos via Google Images

Reeling in the Party Houses at SCU By Brooke Wiley

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SCU Off campus house map from The Clara 

In October 2015, the Santa Clara University Housing Department sent out an email to students living in houses a block off campus on Bellomy and Lafayette Streets. This email shared some “exciting” news that the house they were living in had been bought by the school, and for the 2016-2017 school year it is going to be run by SCU Housing as a part of their new Neighborhood Units.

Most of the students living in these houses are juniors who, at the time, were studying abroad. The email came out of left field, undeniably shocking them. Everyone tried to gather as much information as they could, which was difficult to do from halfway around the world. “I had no idea this was coming, it completely changes my plans for next year,” said Alaina Lester, a junior studying abroad in Prague.

 

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Picnic table outside of “Cloud 9” House on Bellomy Street

After receiving the email Lester heard only little bits of information from the university about the upcoming process. It wasn’t until the beginning of December, that she was told she needed to sign the housing contract attached in the email and turn it in to the housing officer no later than Monday November 30th.

Lester and all seven other members of her house decided to resign the contract, committing to live in their house again next year, even though they didn’t really know all the regulations and changes that were coming their way.

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“Cloud 9” House on Bellomy Street

Marley Miller, another junior living on Bellomy Street, lives in a house of four, and only one girl in her house decided to stay. The rest are moving to various houses that are not being run by the university. Miller is one of the three people leaving her current house after this school year ends and moving to a non Santa Clara University run house.

After seeing all these different reactions, it introduced the idea of why Santa Clara would choose to do this now, and according to Lester the answer to that is ‘the party houses’. “Party houses are those houses off campus where people get transported for alcohol poisoning, neighbors complain about noise, and parties get shut down by the police. There are certain houses that are known for constantly getting in trouble and have fines adding up,” said Lester “In my opinion this is one of the main draws from Santa Clara University, and these are the main houses that are a part of the Neighborhood Units”.

unnamedAfter hearing some of Lester’s ideas, she began explaining how her house has been moving forward in accordance with the university. Lester hadn’t received too much information about what was to come next with her house and was getting a little concerned, but she really didn’t have an option of backing out because she had no other housing option. At the end of March Lester and the rest of her housemates got an email from SCU Housing titled “Housing Cancellation” basically saying that no one from their house had attended in person room selection in the housing office or sent a representative so they were going to cancel their housing because it looked like we weren’t interested.

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“Pink” House on Bellomy Street

Her whole house went into frenzy, freaking out and wondering how they never got any notice or information about this. They emailed back right away and sent someone into the office, and it did get worked out. This lead to two more emails, one with notices about contractors and another about an off campus Neighborhood Units meeting.

 

The first email told the current tenants that the university is sending out contractors to each of the Neighborhood Units. This email was sent with very little time for the tenants to respond or ask questions. All they knew is that they would need access to every room in the house. And sure enough the contractors came in an inspected their house. The contractors ended up coming on multiple occasions and the tenants had very little information regarding each of their visits.

At this point Lester and her house had more questions than answers. Finally in late February SCU Housing sent an email out that notified all the future tenants of the Neighborhood Units they are required to attend one of two informational sessions. The girls of Lester’s house decided to go to the first.

First of all, Lester said they university really stressed that there would be minimal intervention from them, unless it became absolutely necessary such as the cops being called on a party and then campus safety would come to the scene. Lester explained some of the other changes and overall they seem fairly minimal such as the only way to get into your house and room is with your access card, you can’t bring in your own lofted bed, and the move in date is September 1st, so no one can live in during the summer due to renovations. Overall these regulations don’t seem awful but some definitely came as a surprise to Lester’s house.

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Looking down Bellomy Street

After hearing all about the changes taking place in the units for the next school year, Miller is relieved to not have to deal with it. Miller stated “The Neighborhood Units are so new to Santa Clara’s off campus living situation. It is a smart move from the school, however there has been some backlash. I am interested to see how this will go next year.”

 

 

Photos via Brooke Wiley

 

 

The Joys of Not Drinking by Anna Patton

stay sober.jpgIt may not look like it, but Santa Clara University is a party school.

We may not have known that when applying. We may not have known that when we first stepped foot on campus. But as soon as “welcome weekend” hit, everyone found out the college campus culture they were really getting themselves into. And depending on who you are, you may have been happy or you may have been disappointed. Despite our curb appeal as a small, private Jesuit University, we happen to have made College Niche, an online college-ranking site, top 100 party schools list as number 68, two spots ahead of UCLA.

If you ask most students around campus why they go out all the time, their response is usually one in the same, they all seem to say that there is nothing else to do here. It’s an unfortunate truth; the closest source of entertainment is going to Bill’s Cafe down the street on Saturday mornings and getting pancakes to curb the nasty hangover we got the night before.

If you ask around school and talk to the social butterflies, they all say they love the party scene. They love going out on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the bars, and Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to parties.

But there is a community of people we have completely forgotten. What about the non-drinkers? Those who don’t enjoy drinking, those who were possibly disappointed when they learned that Santa Clara was such a big party school, what about them?

After talking to numerous students around campus, it was clear that there were two distinct types of people in the “non drinking” scene at Santa Clara. These two types of people were perfectly exemplified through two of the interviews I conducted on the subject.

Meet Lane Cunningham, a current freshman here at Santa Clara. Apart from his winning smile and outgoing personality, something sets Lane apart from a lot of the students here at school. He has never tasted alcohol before in his life and he says that he most likely will not drink until his late twenties and even then he won’t drink much. Lane has also recently joined one of the fraternities off campus, which usually implement a lot of alcohol into their pledging processes.

After bombarding him with many questions of, “Are you sure? No but are you actually sure? So you’ve never even had a sip at all? What about wine? No? Nothing?” I finally accepted the fact that Lane was telling the truth.

Lane has never felt pressured into drinking at Santa Clara despite being in a fraternity, “Everyone is really supportive of me.”

Lane’s decision not to drink comes from the way he was brought up and the fact that he likes being there for friends, “I got comfortable with going to events sober. I like being there for friends and I got comfortable with being the designated driver all of the time.” Lane knew what he was getting himself into when he made his decision to come to Santa Clara University, it didn’t bother him at all and the transition was easy due to the fact that he had gotten comfortable with not drinking in high school.

Lane says it’s never really been awkward for him going to events, but he did laugh and say it was a little uncomfortable when he went to a “date and a fifth” once, an event where you and your date are supposed to finish a fifth of alcohol between each other. Lane doesn’t look down on people for drinking, however, he does believe that drinking can lead to bad habits, “Scientifically, you shouldn’t drink until about age twenty-four but that’s never really talked about. I think that if you start drinking too early it can cause bad habits.But for the most part I think that in a controlled environment it’s relatively ok.”

Lane doesn’t go to the on campus events catered towards those who don’t drink because he has never heard of them and even if he had he would not go; “I still like to go out and meet people and those events are probably made for the people who don’t like going out at all even if they’re sober.”

In contrast to Lane, a Santa Clara student who would like to remain anonymous said that she had definitely heard of the events held on campus catered to students who don’t like going out because she attended many as a freshman. She thinks that the events are important to have, “I think they are a good alternative to going out. It’s nice to get free food and it’s a fun thing to do but I would say it’s not the plan for the night but it’s a good way to meet up with friends to go and do something afterwards.”

Continuing the conversation, she also commented on the fact that she thinks the University does enough to provide activities for those who don’t enjoy going out, “I think there are enough events. The Activities Planning Board and the Residential Learning Communities both do programming and if you added more it would be spread too thin. If people don’t go out they know what they like to do that’s not going out. People who want to go to these events go to them, they know about them.”

Her own view on drinking is that, “I personally don’t drink. I’m pretty drunk in real life I don’t need alcohol to feel crazy. I get annoyed when other people are drinking if I have to take care of them. That’s when it gets annoying. I don’t care as long as you can be responsible.” She knew that Santa Clara was a party school when deciding to come here and was okay with it. She said that on her initial tour of the school her tour guide told her that they don’t have drinking in the residence halls and the fact that the Greek system was off campus made her feel better about coming here.

Through my conversations with students here at Santa Clara, and through my interviews with Lane and she who shall not be named, it became clear that there are students who don’t drink who still enjoy going out despite the fact that they are always sober, and a lot of students who don’t enjoy going out and are happy that these events on campus are available to them. The moral of the story is, if you do not like to drink, despite being a party school, there are groups of people for you to fit in with and you are not alone.

 

Image Courtesy of: playbuzz.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Going Out by Olivia Hayes

1394342156000-2425-d005-00368rIt’s a Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. and third floor Dunne is full of loud planning for the night’s activities as the distinct smell of cheap booze wafts down the hallway. Shouldn’t students be studying or reading? Or at least pretending to be studying or reading? Maybe that’s acceptable at some schools, but not at Santa Clara. As 9:30 rolls around girls finish putting on their mascara as boys pull out one of their nicer button-down flannels and get ready to start the night. Quietly, students hide their fifths of $15 Smirnoff in their shirts and walk down the hallway to a friend’s room where the party begins.

“Pre-gaming,” defined by Urban Dictionary as “[drinking] alcohol before attending an event or social function (especially of a person who is underage),” is a crucial part of going out for any college student, ensuring that the night will be one you wished you could remember the next morning. Before leaving, students down a handful of shots, intending to drink more when the actual party begins. As 10:30 passes, students begin to pour out of the dorms ready to seize the night, unconcerned about making it to their midterm the next morning.

Victoria (who asked that her real name not be used), a first-year social butterfly who is in a sorority and lives in Dunne, was surprised by the volume of partying on campus. There is a party somewhere on most nights, and she said there’s a sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out, that compels students to participate.

As Friday rolls around, mixers between the sororities and fraternities take up a large part of the party structure. Girls are seen walking together in clumps wearing their finest cheetah print or most authentic ‘80s ski gear.

On your typical Friday night, students leave between 10:30 and 11. Unless you have a specific place to be such as a mixer or a party you were invited to, you are most likely wandering Bellomy, or Santa Clara’s very own unofficial Greek Row. More often than not you will find yourself walking into someone’s open front door, implying that all are welcome.

Worried that your buzz is wearing off, you walk to the bar and grab some jungle juice, or if you’re feeling ambitious a shot of what tastes like rubbing alcohol. Confident, that you’ve done all you can to keep up your current level of intoxication you wander in the hopes of finding someone new to talk to, or perhaps to the dance floor in order to make a true ass of yourself before the night is over.

Sometimes, for those less fortunate, you might find yourself out of luck after wandering around the street, lurking outside of what seems to be a lit up house. Once you finally feel embarrassed enough, you might walk back to your dorm, or to The Bronco, to grab a piece of pizza and curly fries in order to soak up all of that wasted alcohol.

“I think the large majority if not more than half [of SCU students] go out. I The parties are never out of control, but there is a lot of underage drinking there’s a lot of drug use, but it’s never excessive to where things get out of control,” says an SCU first year “I think people like the culture here.”

The morning after, a truly wonderful experience, where your best bet is to wake up in your own bed with only a mild headache. The worst? Waking up three blocks from campus on a couch in a house that does not belong to you, still drunk. Hoping that you didn’t do anything too regrettable last night, you walk back to your dorm thankful that it’s a Saturday and that you can sleep off the night during the day. You climb into bed, knowing that you’ll need it because you have exactly twelve hours to get it together before the whole process begins again.

Image: taken from the movie: “Neighbors” http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/9a6176b313f2a6b6de1df3f3fb9b41ca92a2768e/c=0-157-6048-3568&r=x1683&c=3200×1680/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2014/03/09//1394342156000-2425-D005-00368R.JPG

 

Stephen Carroll: Profile of a Very Curious Person

Stephen Carroll has worn many different hats in his life—high-end clothing designer, Chinese chef and bartender, to name a few—but teacher is the one that really stuck. He’s been an English professor for almost 28 years, 12 of which he’s spent at Santa Clara, encouraging students to be curious.

Carroll began his college career at UC-Berkeley and loved college so much he refused to declare a major, deciding instead to take whichever classes looked interesting to him.

“At the beginning of every quarter, I would get the course catalog, which was the size of a small phone book, and I would just read through the whole thing and circle all the classes that I thought were interesting,” Carroll said. Then he checked his work schedule and figured out which classes he could take based on the times, and those were the classes he would take.

Carroll took a wide range of classes in different departments, including music, art, math, geography, statistics, linguistics, rhetoric, English and history. “I got an amazing education because I took classes in everything,” he said.

Carroll catches up with a former student, Meghan Degnan, at The Hut.

Carroll catches up with a former student, Meghan Degnan, at The Hut.

After two years, Carroll began receiving letters from Berkeley telling him he had to declare a major. He ignored them. After four years, Berkeley blocked his registration, refusing to let him take any more classes until he declared a major. So Carroll declared three majors: rhetoric, sociology and history.

“I wound up becoming a rhetoric major because I got C’s on my first two papers in college,” he said, “so I knew it was something I needed to improve. It was a challenge.”

So how did Carroll end up an English professor? Initially he thought law school was the place for him. After graduating with his triple major in 1984 after six years at Berkeley, Carroll was accepted to Boalt Law School at UC-Berkeley. He’d written a 100-page thesis on constitutional interpretation, and specifically picked Boalt because of its reputation as a more philosophical law school. But after sitting in on a few classes, Carroll realized it wasn’t for him.

“I absolutely loathed the classes because it was all about how to follow rules, and how to follow procedures, and I’m not interested in that at all,” Carroll said. “I want to know the philosophy, the theory, why it’s this way and not that way, and how do you fix these things. But they were just like, ‘Okay, this is the order you have to file forms in,’ and I decided I don’t care about any of this.”

He withdrew from the school and got a job selling suits at a men’s clothing store across the street from campus. As a back-up, Carroll also began training as a Chinese chef, which he continued for about two and a half years.

Meanwhile, within a year after he’d withdrawn from law school, a woman showed up in the men’s clothing store: Carroll’s former TA from a Shakespeare class he’d taken at Berkeley. She asked him if he’d be willing to help out with an argumentation course at Berkeley that she’d been involved in, and Carroll agreed, assuming he’d act as a TA and hold office hours every week.

“I showed up the next day to sign the paperwork, and turns out I was going to be teaching a section of this class, and class had started the previous week,” Carroll said. “So we were already a week behind and this was one of the classes I had done worst in in my college career, so I knew I needed to study a lot right away.”

Carroll rose to the challenge, studying and planning for his class’s first meeting in just a few days. The first class went well, and Carroll realized that teaching was what he wanted to pursue. He applied to graduate school at Berkeley and while waiting for his acceptance starting taking classes through the UC-Extension, which allowed him to finish his masters in just one year.

But Carroll credits another, more poignant moment as his real epiphany about teaching. He was sitting in the TA’s office one afternoon and noticed a woman walking back and forth outside. She was waiting for her TA to show up, but Carroll offered to help instead. She asked him to help her fit some ideas together for a paper on Stephen Crane’s The Open Boat.

Coincidentally, Carroll had taken an oral interpretation of literature class shortly before, and had done a performance of The Open Boat for his final project. “I knew it inside out, sideways, backwards, I knew everything there was to know about The Open Boat,” he said.

The woman said she had two ideas, and really wanted to say them both, but couldn’t figure out how to connect them. It was obvious to Carroll how the two pieces fit together, and he asked her questions to lead her to the same conclusion. After the second question, all the pieces fell into place, and Carroll said she started talking a mile a minute.

He never saw the girl again. “She’s just a person who appeared randomly out of the blue, but that was the moment that I knew I needed to be a teacher,” Carroll said. “The look on her face when all of those things fell into place, that’s when I was like, ‘This is what I have to do.’”

At Santa Clara, Carroll’s made a name for himself as a teacher who goes above and beyond what’s acceptable into what’s exceptional.

“The reason his teaching style is so unique is that nothing we talked about in class was a waste of time,” stated Christine Pearson, a Santa Clara graduate who took Carroll’s grant writing class.

Carroll is engaging in the classroom, talking quickly and enthusiastically and constantly asking questions. He’s known for his signature Hawaiian-print shirt, colored slacks and boater hat.

Stephen Carroll grilling ribs at a class BBQ.

Stephen Carroll grilling ribs at a class BBQ.

There’s another way Carroll goes above and beyond that of the average professor: during week ten of his classes, he’ll organize a class barbeque, where he’ll barbeque Texas-style ribs and portabella mushrooms for any vegetarians. Carroll estimates he’s had about two barbeques per quarter in the past 11 years; that’s 66 class barbeques.

Carroll has three pieces of advice for students, and it’s advice he lives by.

#1: “Learn first how you learn best.” Carroll says we know a lot about how people learn and what’s effective, but the majority of students don’t make the most of their time. Carroll’s not big on time-wasting, and he says instead of highlighting, re-reading, and studying notes, students need to practice studying the same way they’re going to be tested, which usually involves asking and answering questions.

#2: “Discover what you are capable of.” Carroll says too many people look for the easy way out and never find out that they’re capable of far more. He says that when you work really hard on something you didn’t think you were capable of and you succeed, there’s no other feeling like it.

And, finally, #3: “Be curious.”

— Sarah Ebbott

Biking for the Future: A Sustainable Dream

Colleen Henn, Santa Clara sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies
Colleen Henn, Santa Clara sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies.

           Here at Santa Clara, we like to think we have a reputation for sustainability. All around campus you find separate waste, recycle, and compost bins. The eco-tray program provides reusable to-go trays for students for a mere five dining points. Santa Clara’s homepage even touts “SCU Named on the Top Green Colleges List”  a list compiled by the Princeton review and the United States Green Building Council.

           But for sophomore Colleen Henn, that is just a start. She believes there is a lot of improvement to be had when it comes to sustainability both on and off campus. Henn’s mission is to reduce the use of cars by Santa Clara students by starting bike share program. Installing a program like this is a lot harder than it sounds, especially when there are plenty of other causes vying for University support. Henn is currently in her second year as a part of “SLURP” – the Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project. “You target a behavior on campus and you try to change it,” she says. For Henn, that behavior is the use of cars rather than more environmentally friendly forms of transportation.

            Over the past two years, she has been researching current bike share programs to see what would best fit Santa Clara’s needs as a campus. Ideally, the school would fund and operate the program. “There have been ones in the past that have been student-run, but they have all flopped once those students graduate,” Henn says. She envisions a program that is run through Malley or transportation services. There would be several docks around campus where bikes would be locked up, and students could sign up for the program, pay, and reserve a bike – all online. In theory, it would be like Zipcar, but for bikes.

Similar bike share program to what Henn envisions at SCU.
Similar bike share program to what Henn envisions at SCU.

            Working as an undergraduate student to introduce a program like this is no easy task. Ask any student at Santa Clara, and they will say that the workload for any typical undergraduate student is nothing to be taken lightly. Henn cites her biggest challenge as not having a partner working on the project with her. “If I could work on this everyday, I would. But taking college level biology and calculus classes doesn’t really allow that.” Balancing her passion for this project and her desire to do well academically has proven tough, but not impossible for Henn, over the course of her sophomore year. Her main goal is to get some real momentum behind the project before she leaves to study abroad in the Galapagos Islands next fall.

          Why make such a push for a project that has yet to really take root on campus yet? “I just really like bikes!” she laughs, “I just thought of it one way and it just made so much sense to me. It’s flat, we’re in Silicon Valley – an innovation center- I don’t understand why we don’t already have one [a program]! It’s good for environmental health, human health, and it makes sense financially as well.” Not only are bikes much cheaper than cars, they do not require expensive gas to run – just your legs and a little bit of willpower.

Solar panels on the roof of several buildings here at SCU - an example of the commitment to sustainability.
Solar panels on the roof of several buildings on campus – an example of the commitment to sustainability at Santa Clara. 

          Bikes may also provide benefits that one would not expect, “my best friend from home over last summer had an internship in Boston and she didn’t want to bring her car, so she biked around the entire city. That really inspired me. She can literally draw out the entire city – and that is a huge city.” That kind of awareness would be good for Santa Clara students, to help them understand the area and appreciate all that Santa Clara is.

          Henn also found inspiration from another friend who didn’t get into a car for two months. It may not be the most conventional way of getting around, but it creates a culture of sustainability and habits that are mutually beneficial to us as students, the community, and the greater environment.

          “In 2100, scientists predict that the world is going to be one scary place if we don’t change our environmental footprint. Choosing to ride a bike is a small change that makes a huge difference.”

–Alli Kleppe

 

From Culford Academy with Love

Daniella Silva- SCU Tennis- 2013

Daniella Silva- SCU Tennis- 2013

Many athletes claim that college makes up some of the best days of their lives, but not Daniella Silva. For Silva, the best days of her life happened at a castle in England, where she went to boarding school.

Silva currently claims the #1 doubles and #4 singles spots at Santa Clara University.

Silva has a good life here at SCU, but her life before college was just as successful. She attended boarding school in Cambridge, England. This is where she stepped out of her older sister’s shadow and took her tennis performance to a whole new level. Her school, Culford Academy, has been a huge and important focal point of her life. With stories such as meeting Olympians, wearing dreaded quilts, and attending school in a castle, nonetheless in a different country.

Silva played on a tennis team that was ranked number two in the entire country of England. In my interview with Silva, she told me many happy stories as she reminisced about her life in Cambridge.

Daniella Silva- SCU Tennis- 2013

Daniella Silva- SCU Tennis- 2013

In terms of Silva’s athletic success, Dani chooses to remain quite reserved about her record despite how great of a season she just had for Santa Clara. I immediately asked Silva how she felt about me interviewing her senior teammate, Steph Skaras. Silva claimed, “Not Steph. She doesn’t take me seriously.” With this relationship between Dani as a freshman and Steph, a senior, I decided to go ahead and do the interview anyways.

When I first spoke to Skaras and brough up Silva, she immediately snapped her fingers and said “Fierce Competitor.” These two words that came out of Skaras’ mouth formed one statement that every athlete craves to hear from their teammate. Steph went on to list many attributes about Silva, such as, “Heart, she has a ton of that. As well as courage, she’s not afraid. Loyalty, dedication, energy. Overall she was a great addition to the team this year. She made me want to play better. She really affected me, she became not only my teammate, she became my friend. So yeah, Dani is a great Tennis player.”

Despite Culford Academy being her previous home, Silva’s new home is here at Santa Clara University. She left behind a life in another country where she made a successful name for herself, but without doubt Silva is more than capable of surging ahead and becoming even more successful, here at Santa Clara U.

—Veronica Ybarra

Commuter Chronicles: Delaney Bantillo

Major: Mathematics; Urban Education minor, Theatre Arts minor

Commuting From: South Central San Jose

Approx. Commute Time: 30-50 minutes depending on traffic

1. Describe a day in the life of a commuter.

Long! Early start, late finish–9:15am classes became 6am classes, to beat traffic (or be stuck in it), and I spent long nights in the library for not being able to focus on school work at home. I’d even bring toiletries and a change of clothes to the library sometimes.

2. What are the biggest pros and cons of commuting?

Biggest pro: Raiding my mom’s refrigerator when I got home; biggest con: never having a private space to myself on campus. I could go to friends’ places, find a spot under a tree or in the library or MCC or Benson, etc., crash on a couch, but anywhere I went was public. I couldn’t drive back and forth to my house during the day, so I had to eat all my meals at SCU, and sometimes I just wanted a place to eat myself and relax; I didn’t want to be ‘on’ all the time. Also, having limited freedom to shower at any time of day; having to stay presentable from start to finish when I’m on campus but not having a bedroom to stop in for a midday nap, quick change, meal, or shower.

3. How has commuting affected your involvement on and off-campus?

Commuting made socializing challenging–driving back and forth kept me away much of the weekend; outings happen spontaneously, so by not living near my friends I missed activities (dinners out, trips to the mall, park, Palo Alto, etc.) when they arose in the moment for the friends who lived on campus and could just pop over to each other and hop in a car and go.

4. What advice would you give new commuters?

Find clubs and activities on campus and build a close social circle; make a group of friends who live on campus, to have a dorm to go to, couch to crash on, bathroom to borrow, meal points to share. Get friendly, and get comfortable asking for what you want–don’t be shy about mooching (people have food, beds, and showers to share). Get as much sleep and water as possible to power through the day and to drive alertly.

5. What is your most memorable “commuter” moment?

Five of us commuters studied for a math final exam in the basement of O’Connor long into the night, noticed the time at 3:00am, and realized driving home and back for an early morning exam was not a feasible option. We collectively decided to stay in the Sussman to sleep. I didn’t claim the couch or a tabletop quickly enough, so I curled up under a desk in the corner of the room. I felt very cold that night, and didn’t sleep much, but the greatest part was the ‘next’ day when one of the professors, and later the department chair, arrived to open up the room and found us lying there, some of us still asleep!

— Christina

Commuter Chronicles: Cassy Montell

Major: Communication Major; Studio Art Minor

Commuting From: Danville

Approx. Commute Time: 45 mins – 1.5 hrs

1. Describe a day in the life of a commuter.

Being a commuter student is actually really fun! I get to have my hand in two worlds at the same time, drive through the beautiful hills on 680 and have my own car. On a usual day, I’ll wake up and get ready, drive for about 45 minutes to an hour 30 (depending on traffic), go to class, hang out and then go home or chill out on campus. That sound really boring when I say it like that, but I always throw in random adventures that keep things super fun!

2. What are the biggest pros and cons of commuting?

Being a commuter student, your days are a lot longer than everyone else’s and sometimes its hard to meet people, but you save tons of money and have the opportunity to have your hand in your home town as well as your campus. I’ve definitely gotten better at scheduling and being more honest with myself about what I can and can’t do since you have to balance both areas of your life.

3. How has commuting affected your involvement on and off-campus?

Yes, it definitely takes effort to get connected, when you’re bouncing between two places. Back at my home town I had a job, babysat, was an assistant teacher at an elementary school and was involved in various events at my church. On campus, I had time in between classes to socialize and hang out with friends that I’ve made there and would occasionally stay late. It’s definitely takes an efforts to balance these two scenes.

4. What advice would you give new commuters?

-BRING LAYERS! One of the hardest things about commuting is figuring out what to wear. Sometimes the weather changes unexpectedly and you’re stuck in the same clothes all day.

-Don’t feel anxious about being alone on campus sometimes. It’s really healthy to have time to yourself where you have some downtime. During these times I love to read, journal or work on homework while I’m jamming to some sweet music.

-Put yourself out there! Since you don’t live on campus, it can sometimes be a challenge getting to meet new people. Sometimes I’ll walk around campus randomly handing out popsicles or whatever and talking with people. Food is a fun way to bridge the gap, meet some really cool people and have some rad conversation!

5. What is your most memorable “commuter” moment?

I keep reintroducing myself to people all the time. Since I don’t see them on campus all the time sometimes I’ll introduce myself like 5 times… it’s bad. I’ve definitely gotten better though!

— Christina