My Club by Julia Sullivan



Women’s club team celebrating a hard fought victory against Cal Poly.

Taylor Ferdinandsen believes playing club volleyball at Santa Clara is the best decision she has made in college.

“It’s quick, it’s fast, you can make mistakes and then get over it,” the senior said. “It’s a different pace than everyday college life.”

Santa Clara University offers many sports for both men and women at the club level, including volleyball, lacrosse, and rugby. These teams practice on average three times a week and play other colleges competitively. It could be described as falling somewhere in between  Division 1 level and intramural. They offer the chance to be competitive, be part of a team, and stay in shape without the commitment of playing D1.

While sitting down with Taylor, she explains how by her senior year in high school she was simply burnt out from playing volleyball. She just wanted to go college without the pressures and stress of playing volleyball as a career. She admits that it would be hard to let go of volleyball completely. College club volleyball was her golden ticket. “Even when I didn’t have the best years or good coaches, I was still so happy I did it,” she said.

Taylor smiles as she thinks back on her decision to sign up at the fall activity fair her freshman year. Just watching Taylor brighten up when talking about her experiences it is clear how much love and passion she has for the sport.

Taylor admits there are some downsides of not being  Division 1. While club sports do receive funds from the university, they are minimal and do not cover the basics needs for each sport. In addition to the lack of support by the university, there is not much advertisement done by the university of club sports. The only fans attracted to games are drawn in by players themselves through social media usually.

“Wo Knows about us?” she asked? “No one. Have they ever advertised for us? No. Do they give us any money? No.” 


Women’s team at 2016 Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky

The only advertising for games is done by the players themselves and most of the funding comes from player dues and fundraising done by the players.  While club sports do not bring money in for Santa Clara University like division one sports do, they still are a positive representation of SCU. Many clubs on campus create a budget for their needs that the school funds, and club sports should have the opportunity to do the same. If SCU wants to continue to have a positive representation of club sports more funding from the school will be needed.

While not every aspect of playing a club sport is perfect, it gives a talented, competitive athlete like Taylor a chance to keep playing the sport they love. For Taylor, one of the greatest things to come from being on a team is the camaraderie. In her opinion, no one can just join any club and have that instant bond over something so passionate as playing a sport.

“When you put a bunch of women together to work towards a common goal there you wouldn’t really expect it to work,” she said. “And then you have a team sport where everyone is so different. I’m different than my teammates but it doesn’t matter we can all work towards the same goal and get along and make it work.”

One thing, as trivial as it might seem, that creates an instant bond for volleyball players is the ability to scream. “Where else in your life do you get to yell? Tell me about the most stoked you have ever been in your life and say it wasn’t during sports,” Taylor says.

By Julia Sullivan


SCU’s Unnatural Beauty by Lisa Lieberman


Santa Clara University has been ranked among the top 5 most beautiful college campuses in the country in Newsweek, College Rank, and the Huffington Post on several occasions. At tours, prospective students and parents are guided through the sparkling new buildings and walkways outlined with roses, lilies, and pansies in vibrant colors.  When I tell people I go to SCU the first thing they say is “that’s such a beautiful campus!” Beauty, however, is in the eye of the beholder. This beholder believes there is a big difference between beauty and unnatural neatness.

At SCU the grass is always green and perfectly mowed; the rose bushes, whether they are in bloom or just a bundle of thorny branches, are always trimmed to fit into each other and around pathways. All shrubs and trees are a certain height and are shaped meticulously. Gardeners are often seen driving around in lawn mowers, pruning bird of paradise trees and rosemary bushes, planting violets, chopping down old palm trees, or removing any dead leaf in sight.

It says a lot about a university to be well groomed and maintained. It makes it look put together and cared for, which creates a very positive image. But aesthetically it seems unnatural. It feels like a house that is up for sale, sterile and staged with bland furniture and decorations; and even though it looks appealing it doesn’t look lived in, it looks fake. The purpose of having such a generic aesthetic is to ensure that prospective buyers won’t dislike the house, and that it will appeal to the majority.

This is not to say that the extreme care, planning and work put into the campus’s landscaping is a bad thing. Maintaining a good image is important for the university when trying to reel in high school seniors and their parents. And being ranked one of the most beautiful campuses in the country certainly holds bragging rights. But the image they paint is too perfect and too clean-cut to the point where it’s uncomfortable.


Despite my personal cynical feelings toward the unnatural ‘beauty’ of campus (and the spike in my allergy symptoms in the spring), there is a lot to appreciate about the work of the gardeners. In an interview with Ricardo, the gardener in charge of the area from Graham Hall to Brannan, he explained that he works eight-hour days, five days a week. His daily to-do’s include trimming, mowing, pruning, shaping, and caring for the plants and grass in his designated area.

He can trim the plants in the area the way he wants, but they have to meet a certain standard set by the head of the gardening department. Ricardo mentioned that even though he originally did not have much interest in gardening, after 40 years on the job it has grown on him. He cares for the plants and is very proud of his work.

The level of obsession SCU has with aesthetics is slightly ridiculous. Gardeners can spend hours on a couple of bushes to get them the perfect shape. The university spends too much time and energy on aesthetics. Because the greenery is over cared for, even if they were to give it less maintenance, it would still be well kept. And the time and energy spent on it could be used on something less superficial.


All Good Things Come to an End by Jeff Garcia

The Snykes

The Snykes perform. (Photo courtesy of the band. Edited by Jeff Garcia)

Pat and I sit in a room with nearly ten other guys. Not necessarily the ideal place to conduct an interview, but this clearly doesn’t phase Pat. He lounges on a couch in the back of the room with his guitar across his body. Aside from a few requests, his playing goes unnoticed. Subtly he strums, providing background music for this hangout as people come in and out. He is in his world, invested in the music.

Pat Collins, a first-year water polo player at Santa Clara University, began playing guitar at the age of 7 after his older brother started playing. He blamed it on his competitive side and wanting to best his brother in any way possible. He continued to play and practice throughout the following years, and often he and his friends would pass time messing around on their instruments. Then, in April 2014 they formally came together to form The Snykes.

In their short-lived career, The Snykes gained a following not only in their hometown of San Diego but across the nation. People would request their music on the radio from time to time. Pat and The Snykes, after winning a radio competition, even got to open for Modest Mouse. So why did this band of friends dissipate if they were experiencing nothing but success?

For those of you who may be School of Rock fans, don’t imagine this break-up to be synonymous with the break-up of Jack Black’s band early on in the movie where Jack Black is thrown to the curb out of the blue. Austin Arthur, the former drummer of The Snykes, left on his own accord. Artistic differences can make being a band member and hard and stressful job. The Snykes were not immune to these troubles. Austin no longer felt he should be behind the drums and wanted to be a frontman and lead singer. Pat and Chris Olson, the remaining member and bassist, were not on board with this change, and early in the year Austin announced he was quitting. All good things come to an end.

But the band’s falling apart wasn’t all bad. First things first, no bad blood came from the break up, all of them remain close friends and continue to hangout during their time in San Diego. Secondly, Pat said their goodbye concert was one of the most fun concerts they ever performed. For the first time in his musical career he performed his favorite piece: the guitar smash. As their show ended Pat raised his guitar, which he had purchased earlier in the day, over his head, and in a swift swing brought down the hammer. Immediately the guitar snapped in half and pieces splintered everywhere. “It was one of the greatest rushes I have ever felt,” he laughed. “Some of the best money I have ever spent.”

Pat and Chris are still playing together in a new band called Rage Cage and have professionally drifted away from Austin, but remain close on a personal level. Pat doesn’t exactly know what the road holds for him, but he’s sure of one thing: “As long as I am writing and playing music, I’ll be good.”

By Jeff Garcia

To hear some of The Snykes’ music visit:

Risky Business by Olivia Bentley


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.


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.


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


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.



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.


“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.


“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.


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 Life of a Student-Athlete by Elizabeth Stephens


I do what I have to do, because I love the sport and I love the school. I make it work.

College Athletes. They have the best life. Everyday is Nike Christmas, their teachers bend over backwards for them, they have a ton of friends, and receive privileges one could only dream of. When asked to think about student athletes in college, many will come to this conclusion. However, I can tell you this image is far from the truth. Here is what it is like to really be a student athlete in college…

There is no ‘off season’. From the moment I step foot onto campus, everything I do revolves around tennis. Many times people assume that my season is only in the winter or spring, and that my season only lasts 2-4 months. It doesn’t. It lasts all year. In the fall we play tournaments and work to figure out our lineup. The minute winter quarter starts we are playing nonconference matches, and when spring rolls around we go straight into conference. And when we don’t have matches, we are training so that we can be our best when ‘season’ comes. We are eating healthy, working out, and practicing to maintain everything we have worked so hard to achieve.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 2.46.36 PM.pngYou have long stressful days. The day starts with 8 a.m. weights and then straight to 10 a.m. office hours and class at 12 p.m. And we wouldn’t even think to skip class because then we wouldn’t be able to practice or compete. So class is always attended, and after class there is a 20-minute window to scarf down a sandwich or a granola bar and then head to physical therapy, followed by a 2-3 hour practice. After practice there is the long sprint across campus to make it to my 6:30 p.m. class. After class ends at 9:15 p.m. and I am physically and mentally exhausted, I make the trek back home. But it isn’t so I can curl up in my bed and watch Netflix or sit in the living room and gossip with my friends, it is straight up to my room to start the hours of homework I have before finally going to sleep, and waking up in a few short hours to do it all over again.

There is no break. I had two days off for my spring break. These two days were not graciously given by our coach, but they were instead days required off by the NCAA. There is no such thing as days off. If we aren’t on the court we are in the gym, and if we aren’t in the gym we are in the training room. It’s all tennis, all the time.

There are no special privileges. Attendance at every class is required and excellence in each class is expected. Missing practice or team events is not an option and don’t even think about missing workouts. Sure we get priority registration but it’s only to ensure I am at every single practice and weights.

It is hard work. The endless hours on the court and in the gym on top of class and office hours make college that much harder. There is no room for failure. You show up late to practice the entire team has to run. You make a mistake, well, you better start running. And, yes, school comes first but that is no excuse to slack off at practice.

So that’s what it is really like to be a college athlete. It’s hard work. It’s time and dedication that is sometimes hard to find at the end of a long day. But we do it because the feeling of representing your school is something unlike anything else. It is a sense of pride and accomplishment. So to the people who think student-athletes are taking the easy way out, I beg to differ.

Playing tennis for Santa Clara was the best decision I ever made. The hard work and stress seem so little when I am able to represent my school doing something I love.

Dani Silva and Madison Clarke reflect on their favorite moment from the 2015-2016 tennis season.

By Elizabeth Stephens

Photos via

Art at an Artless School by Owen Huelsbeck


Pop music blares from the courtyard as crowds shuffle on to their next classes at Santa Clara University. This group has spent its time dressing up for class, wearing the brands – Patagonia, Lulu, Vineyard Vines. There’s a band playing (probably) at the next quarterly Love Jones, and there sure is plenty of art on campus, though it might take an unusually keen eye to appreciate the paintings hanging outside the Benson bathrooms which have become scenery enough they have started blending in with the beige wall paint.

Nobody has seriously considered Santa Clara University an arts school. At SCU, we have 42 studio art majors, making them roughly 1 in every 105. Chances are you aren’t one of those majors and aren’t close with one of those majors, making enthusiastic support for the arts rather sparse. Without studying art in the classroom, creating art requires free-time, which can be hard to come by. It’s much better to have the class to push you. But without this being a realistic possibility for various reasons including parents who cry, “Study art? Maybe when you start paying your own tuition!” Or maybe you’re an engineer carefully contemplating your only elective for the next two years and really just want to get down and dirty with an archeology class.

At some “artsy schools” around one in three students are majoring in some kind of art, be it studio or performing. On these campuses, even if you aren’t the one creating art, a friend is, making extracurricular participation in the arts easy and supporting the arts even easier. Support and practice are complimentary; those who don’t participate, support, which encourages those making art to continue, while those making art actively encourage those only supporting to jump into the mix and get creative; it’s circular.

There are plenty of reasons why the arts might not be practical for you to study within a classroom but it’s undeniable that there is a lot to learn and gain from the arts. There’s a high degree of therapy to it. Getting lost in the moment while creating art can be a liberating escape from the everyday anxieties of college life. Your mind will constantly be flipping over and playing with new ideas and imagery in a positive way. It has health benefits as well. Drawing or painting can improve depression and burnout, and making and listening to music activates the same area of the brain as chocolate, opium and orgasms.

If you look down upon the arts, I challenge you to admire those artists bold enough to shape the world through their own creative expression for your own benefit. Don’t let yourself get too caught up in the serious business of life. Taking the time to experience art is essential. Start by showing support for the arts – go see the spring play; get a team together for the student film festival this spring; go to one of our student band’s concerts; go to the museum on campus; or organize your own arts event.

There are so many ways to show support, and perhaps once you’ve uncovered the joy in that, you’ll find the inspiration to participate.


The Reluctant Super Bowl City by Tyler Chace

sup broIt was a beautiful and busy Monday morning in February at the foot of Market Street in the city of San Francisco. The hustle and bustle of the city was cranked up a notch as workers began to take down “Super Bowl City” in the wake of Super Bowl 50. The weeklong affair that lead up to the big game featured a fan village center, an interactive expo, and a Metallica concert at AT&T Park. Despite these epic events and activities taking place in San Francisco, many locals were left unhappy about how all of this went down.

But why, you may ask, would the people of San Francisco be unhappy that such a monumental event was hosted by their city? Well, you see the actual Super Bowl, the game itself, did not take place in “Super Bowl City.” The game was a 90-minute trek, 50 miles south in the small town of Santa Clara.

“I was late to work almost everyday last week because of all the traffic, and the game didn’t even taking place here,” said Carlie Nevels, a 25 year-old resident who works in the Financial District.

Nevels is not alone. Many other San Franciscans were scratching their heads at the sight of drunken football fans and assault-rifle wielding guards lining their streets. “It would be a little different if the game took place in “Super Bowl City,” Nevels added.

Aside from the increased levels of traffic, noise, and overall congestion, there seems to be something else going on here in the heads of San Franciscans. There is clearly an under-the-surface anger that goes beyond traffic congestion.

The San Francisco 49ers moved from Candlestick stadium to Levi Stadium in 2014. The primary reason for the move was lack of state of the art amenities and traffic problems on highway 101. Anyone who has been to a game at the new stadium knows that these pull factors to move the stadium, turned out to be a hoax. The only thing that re-locating the stadium and team has done is diminish the fan base and create a misrepresentation of San Francisco.

Photo: shanand/Twitter

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.


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Anything but Ordinary-A volunteering Experience by Salma Ferdowsi

It was a cloudy, windy January afternoon. I walked into Capernaum hesitant, but also excited to see everyone. Young Life Capernaum is a nonprofit Christian ministry serving people of all ages and faiths who have physical and/or developmental disabilities. Inside, I sat beside Rebecca, a bright, ridiculously funny fifteen-year-old who is visually impaired. We talked about her day at school, and if she had any plans for the weekend. As more kids came rolling into the club room, I noticed the loud exciting conversations about the basketball game that was on the previous night.

“Did you watch the game?” I asked Rebecca, immediately regretting my choice of words and my entire question.

She laughed. “I listened to it, but it got boring so I stopped halfway,” she said.

It was one of the many encounters, both small and momentous, that I experienced as a volunteer through the Santa Clara University Arrupe program. Like many students, I was wary of the program at first, but I came away with a better understanding of the world around me and a belief that volunteering reduces the marginalization of the disabled, the homeless, immigrants and other groups. In addition, it enables students to get outside the classroom and the SCU bubble and truly immerse themselves in their community.

In order to graduate from Santa Clara University, at least one session of the Arrupe program is required. The program is a community based volunteering that is connected with certain courses at the university. For the ten weeks of the course, typically students are required to complete 20 hours of volunteering with an organization.

IMG_0547Young Life Capernaum is a place for friendship, fun, and self-expression. The Capernaum high school club is held every Tuesday from 2 to 4 PM. In addition to living with a disability, these children often face neglect, isolation, and bullying at their schools. Most of them only have relationships with service people — physical therapists, doctors, teachers, and others who primarily function as a caretaker. Besides the lack of social life, these individuals face obstacles that most of us are unaware of and most likely will never experience.

“We are acting as a bridge by which kids with disabilities can find life,” said Capernaum founder Nick Polermo. “It is a being a friend and helping them get to places they cannot go on their own.”

Picture1Approximately 10 percent of the world population lives with a disability, according to the United Nations, including more than 56 million Americans. Yet, in a survey with 50 SCU students, only 15 thought it was necessary to have contact with the poor, and just 19 thought volunteering was necessary. (When the same survey was given in East San Jose at a public school, almost all students said it is necessary to volunteer and help people in need.)

Danny Hartman, a senior political science major, was “skeptical” about volunteering at Capernaum as a requirement for his Religion and Society course.

“I felt kind of forced,” he said. “My mindset after one session changed toward the requirement. It was more fun than I expected. Once I got to know the kids and they get to know me, it became something I looked forward to.”

Like Hartman, many students are not pleased with the mandatory volunteering requirement at SCU, but they often find it fulfilling in the end.”

“My overall experience at Capernaum taught me so much about myself and also about the marginalized society in our communities” Hartman said.
IMG_0391.jpgVolunteering lends support to those in need, and provides a personal sense of hope and fulfillment.

“It was one of the most memorable experiences of my time at Santa Clara University,” Hartman said.

Taneisha Figeuroa, a senior communication major, completed two Arrupe placements. Her first was at the Senior Home for her Anthropology of Aging course. She taught older adults how to use tablets, phones and computers. For those who spoke English as a second language, she helped them pay bills and make appointments.

“Life doesn’t end once you hit the age of 60 or 70,” she said. “I understand my parents and grandparents way of thinking much better. I don’t judge as much.”