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fyx. volume 1, issue 1 - 2013


YOU ARE HERE. Welcome to Saint Mary’s College of California, your home for the next four years. Where you will make friends, stay up until 4am on school nights, lose your voice at basketball games, and find the best outdoor study spots on campus. Where you will study all night for that Biology exam, figure out which foods to eat in the dining hall, learn how to get along with your roommate, and spend the hottest days of spring semester at the pool. This is SMC. You’re now a Gael. And we’re here to give you the inside scoop. Think of this as a “Howto” guide to your first year on campus, from students, for students. Hear from athletes, professors, leaders, artists, and other fellow Gaels about what it takes to have the best year ever.

Get excited, because GOD IS A GAEL.

2823 1928 1863 648 420 100 50 31 21 20 16 6

undergraduate students year SMC moved to Moraga year SMC was founded in San Francisco first-year students (that’s you!) acres of campus grounds percent of first-years living on campus clubs and organizations academic majors people in an average class miles outside of San Francisco NCAA Division I athletic teams first-year residence halls




Meet the outgoing ASSMC President, KSMC Radio DJs, and check out a day in the life of Gaels on campus (filters included!).



Learn about GaelForce, SMC’s in house cheering section that takes over McKeon and gives us the home court advantage we need to dominate. Also hear from 3 athletes on how they balance school, workouts, and their social lives.



Undecided on a major? We’ll help you pick one! Check out major spotlights, learn about our famous Seminar program, and 15 classes you have to take before you graduate.


student life

Visit the Women’s Resource Center, one of the best resources for all students who need support, advice, or advocacy for their causes. Learn how to get involved on campus, and what it’s like to sing in one of SMC’s award-winning ensembles.


campus living

Okay, how do you get along with your roommate, keep your space clean, and not annoy your RA? Check out our tips, and while you’re at it, get the inside scoop on the best places to eat and hang out in Lamorinda.

RADIOHEADS words by Jazo Moises pictures by Jamie Douglas

It’s not quite Late Night or the Tonight Show, but it’s close to it. Visit the KSMC studio and see how Alex Kummert and Danielle Cordova run their show, Technical Difficulties.

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says. Cordova has learned that having a radio program takes more work than it seems. “To have a great quality show, you need to take the time to prep your songs and topics for that show in advance.”


TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES PLAYLIST We asked Alex and Danielle to choose five songs each to represent their tastes as a station. Here’s a playlist that will leave you listening to their station all year.

ALEX’S PICKS 1. Buddy Holly - Weezer 2. Dead Flowers - Rolling Stones 3. POWER - Kanye West 4. September - Earth, Wind, and Fire 5. Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second

DANIELLE’S PICKS 1. Fell in Love with a Girl - The White Stripes 2. Electric Feel - MGMT 3. Buddy Holly - Weezer 4. Peaches - Presidents of the US 5. Spiderwebs - No Doubt

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Listening to the radio may seem like an ancient concept to most, but on college campuses it’s an entirely different attitude. Students spend early mornings and late nights broadcasting over the airwaves to whomever is listening, from those on campus, to alumni in another state. At Saint Mary’s, in an office perched over Ferroggiaro Quad, are students Alex Kummert and Danielle Cordova. Wearing headphones and ready to go, they toggle the mixer, and start their show. They talk about their week and share some laughs. They keep talking, but in the back of your head, you can tell that something might be going wrong. They finally move from talk to a song. As Kummert toggles back the mixer, Cordova talks about how her computer shut down on her in the middle of the show.

a talk and music show. In the words of Cordova, it’s “all about dope indie, classic rock, electronic, and underground hip-hop artists while talking about what’s going on around campus and in our lives.”


Before getting started with KSMC, Kummert had some radio broadcasting history in his blood. “My grandfather was the president of the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound for a long time,” he says. “That led me to listening to and participating in a lot of old time radio productions.”

Welcome to Technical Difficulties.

During his first-year at SMC, he met Cordova. They became friends and talked about getting their own show on the air. After sending in a mixtape of their show and going through FCC training, they got their start in the studio.

No, the title doesn’t refer to what just happened, but it’s the name of the duo’s weekly radio show on KSMC 89.5, the Saint Mary’s student radio station. Kummert and Cordova teamed up to create a combination of

While this wasn’t their first technical difficulty, they have learned to go with whatever happens on the air. “Broadcasts won’t always be smooth, but what counts is how you respond to any issues that come up,” Kummert

Aside from all technical aspects, Kummert and Cordova mesh well on-air, creating great chemistry and entertainment. As an aspiring comedian, Kummert tries to keep the show light-hearted and fun in both its scripted and spontaneous moments. He also sees Cordova as a source of comedy for the show.

“Broadcasts won’t always be smooth, but what counts is how you respond to any issues that come up.” “Danielle is incredibly hilarious in her own right, so when you work with a fellow hilarious person, a lot of

comedy comes through organically.” The duo also uses social media as an extension of their weekly show. With a Facebook page, they interact with their listeners, and through their Twitter accounts they offer comedic takes on what their week is like. They sometimes take requests for songs over these social channels as well.


After getting used to the production and broadcasting aspect, it’s been a smooth and great experience for the two. Both plan to branch out in the future, adding more radio shows to their arsenal. In addition to hosting Technical Difficulties, Kummert plans to add a talk-based show, and Danielle wants to go more into electronic and indie music. While KSMC goes on break for the summer, the station plays a loop, but the audio production and broadcasting experience won’t stop. Over the summer, Kummert plans to start a podcast back home.

“KSMC has inspired me to go out and explore the radio medium independently by launching my own podcast this summer, ‘Lazy Susans’,” he says. The show will feature banter between him and his grandmother over Chinese takeout. As their show rounds out, they play one last song and toggle back the controls. Although there are no difficulties at the end of the program, they still laugh about what happened at the beginning of the show. As Kummert and Cordova aspire to work in broadcasting in some way, they understand the takeaways from working at SMC. “I wouldn’t change any aspect of my experience at KSMC and I look forward to being a part of the station for the remainder of my college career,” Kummert says. As they leave the station, they talk about their plans for the rest of the week before their next edition of Technical Difficulties, hopefully without any technical difficulties.

BLASTING SOUND On a Monday night, Danielle Cordova and Alex Kummert take over the KSMC airwaves, joking around and playing everything from Daft Punk to Lana Del Rey. Right above Ferroggiaro quad, the SMC studio is a quirky place, painted in bright colors and heavily decorated with everything from feather boas to music posters.

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Started at Saint Mary’s College

Started working for athletics, Weekend of Welcome leader over summer

Gael Force President, Junior Class Vice President, Orientation Leader

Helped to pass smoke-free resolution, ASSMC President

Graduated from Saint Mary’s College, Majored in Marketing

His experience with Gael Force became the root of his leadership experience on campus. “I learned things from public speaking, to leading a group, to planning events.” Van Loon was making his transition from high school to college life, becoming more comfortable with his schedule and expanding his interests.

words by Jazo Moises pictures by Jamie Douglas


ASSMC President Joey Van Loon looks back at his involvement at Saint Mary’s and at his plans for the future. It was 2009 when then-freshman Joey Van Loon stepped into the hallway of first floor Augustine Hall. Van Loon was ready to take on the challenges and adventures that come with the college experience. It’s now 2013, and Van Loon is not just a student, but also the Associated Students of Saint Mary’s College President. Elected by his peers in March 2012, Van Loon represents the student body at college events, 10 - fyx. magazine

important meetings, and panel discussions.


Although he has become more involved throughout his four years, it didn’t start off that way. Van Loon spent his free time not in the office of Student Involvement & Leadership, but in his dorm room or in the classroom. “My freshman year at SMC was

good but I wasn’t involved with very much on campus,” Van Loon recalls. “I basically went to class, worked out and did my homework.” After gaining a job in the athletic department, he was introduced to the Gael Force executive team. With an invitation from his orientation leader, he joined the executive team, which plans events to support the athletics program around campus.

Throughout his summers, he worked as a Weekend of Welcome leader and an orientation leader. By his third year, he became president of Gael Force.


The fall of his third year was also when he decided to join the Associated Students senate. A friend was a senator their sophomore year, and kept asking Van Loon to get involved on campus with the Associated Students. “I thought senate would be something new to try and a great way to transition from programming to enacting policy change on campus,” Van Loon said. As the policy-forming branch of the student body, the Associated Students senate is responsible for everything from allocating organizations to keeping rooms in Dante Hall open late at night. His junior year, he ran for vice president and was elected. That year, Van Loon and his class senate took on the task of making the campus smoke-free. Senators distributed surveys, conducted interviews, and saw a desire from students and faculty to make the campus smoke-free. While a resolution was passed

on the student senate floor, the final decision is pending. However, Van Loon saw the process leading to the resolution as a learning one. He gained important cross-campus connections, and even as a senior, is still following up with the campaign.


After the class’ resolution was passed, it was election time. Until joining senate, Van Loon had no knowledge of the Executive Team. However, after the encouragement of friends, he decided to run for the position of President. “The position was something I wanted to do. I would be able to represent the students, build relationships with staff and faculty, and extend myself as a resource to the SMC and Moraga community,” Van Loon said about running for president. In the spring of 2012, he ran for president and won the election. Van Loon turned an empty schedule from his freshman year into a busy one his senior year. Weeks filled with classes, meetings, and office hours keep him on campus from the early morning to late in the evening. However, for him, the lack of time is worth it. Though busy, he sees his position as a president not only as a way to grow as a leader, but also to expand his network. Van Loon has met many people across

SOME NIGHTS Late nights and early mornings are normal for President Van Loon, as he works in his office in Ferroggiaro Hall.

campus as well as alummi, regents, and trustees. He says that these individuals have helped him “to be a strong leader as President and have given inspiration for the future. Though he does represent his peers as president, he recognizes that he is a student as well. As a Marketing major, he is looking for jobs to keep him in the Bay Area after graduation. When he’s not busy, he spends his time as a karaoke enthusiast, watching sports, and spending time with his roommates, who have jokingly given him the nickname “El Presidente.” Starting from the ground up, President Van Loon has seen his leadership experiences around campus as a learning experience. For first-year students, his main piece of advice: “try something new!” “Your four years you have in college go fast, have fun!”

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We gave three first-year students 24 hours to tell a story about what a day is like at Saint Mary’s College. Here is April 17, 2013 seen through Instagram filters.

Ardi Samonte Vallejo, California Communication Major

Decided to run the trail today.

Nap time while the roomie is studying w/ @tdelanuez

Very important APASA meeting today

Finally a #Fab5 trip to SF tonight. @trooydizon @bigboycarlos @matthias19 @eriickreyes

Yeah yeah...

Isabella Nguyen San Jose, California Accounting Major

Quick break in my room before class

On my way to English


Dinner with friends

Accounting homework

Brendan Guirguis Bakersfield, California Communication Major


Hello from Guam, sike




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Collin Ferguson // Baseball // 6’2” // Santa Cruz, Calif. How long have you been playing/participating in this sport?: Since the time I could walk, but technically in some sort of league, since I was 5, so at least 15 years. Were college athletics always part of your plan?: Yes. It’s always been a goal of mine to play professional baseball, ever since I can remember, so playing in college was a step towards that goal. How much of your week is dedicated to your sport, practices or otherwise?: At least 40 hours of my week I spend in practice, games, and batting practice. It’s a 7 day a week commitment. With such a large time commitment, do you still feel like you got the “college experience?”: There’s a lot of normal college experience I have missed out on, like my social life-it takes a big hit. But there are a lot of opportunities I get to take advantage of as an athlete that normal college students will never get to experience. What does an average weekday (schedule) look like for you?: Class from 8 to 11:20, weights from 12-2, practice from 2:30-4:30, extra work 4:30-6, dinner, homework, and then sleep by about 11. What has been your favorite academic class taken at SMC so far?: Macroeconomics because I really enjoyed my professor and it was a good class to apply to everyday life. What is your favorite memory as a student athlete?: Hitting a homerun in my first at-bat ever as a Gael against Southern Utah. The pitcher threw me a curve ball first and then he pitched me a fastball and as my first collegiate swing I hit it over the 370 wall. It was a pinch hit to tie up the game, where we eventually won in extra innings. What’s the best part about being a student athlete?: The bonds you create with your teammates, they’re lifelong friendships. Being a part of something so much bigger than yourself is the ultimate reward. Why is SMC special to you? What makes you proud to represent the school through athletics?: SMC is special to me because they gave me an opportunity to participate in collegiate sports when no one else did. I’m proud to represent the school through athletics because it represents the strong front our student athletes have together. What are your long term goals, whether or not sports are part of your plan?: My goal is to play professional baseball and compete in the highest level I can for as long as I can. 14 - fyx. magazine

interview by Jamie Douglas pictures by Jamie Douglas

You see them around campus, rushing to practice, class, and the dining hall. So how do they do it?

Mari Irby // Rowing // 5’9” // Pleasanton, Calif. Were college athletics always part of your plan?: I’d always been an athlete in multiple sports all through school. The rowing team has a phenomenal walk-on program and as I had never rowed before, much of my start as a rower was learning how to row and how to master all the skill involved. How much of your week is dedicated to your sport, practices or otherwise?: I spend nearly 30 hours a week of time either on the water rowing, working out on our ERGs (ergometers), weight lifting, or doing extra cardio. With such a large time commitment, do you still feel like you got the “college experience”?: My college experience was enhanced by having joined this team. The time commitment is kind of killer when it comes to balancing workouts, homework and a social life, with my social life taking the biggest hit, but it’s a rewarding experience. What does an average weekday (schedule) look like for you?: 7am weightlifting, class from 9-11:20, lunch/homework/extra cardio, practice from 2:30-6, dinner, homework/socialize, lights out around 11. What has been your favorite academic class taken at SMC so far?: So far my favorite class would definitely be my business law class. The class is also taught by a previous lawyer who makes students really want to come to class and keep the material relative. What is your favorite memory as a student athlete?: I was unable to row for the first 3 months of this year and all of my muscle strength and fitness level depended entirely upon how hard I worked in rehab. When I was finally cleared to begin competing again I took a 6000 meter ERG test and completely blew my old time out of the water. Since that first PR back, I have continued to improve my times ever since. What’s the best part about being a student athlete?: The incomparable bonds teammates have will forever be something that I cherish about my experience as an athlete. There’s a definite sense of unity among us. Why is SMC special to you? What makes you proud to represent the school through athletics?: Saint Mary’s has always been a school representative of opportunities. Being at (SMC) has taught me a lot about what I really want out of life and given me an incredible shot at doing something I never thought I could. What are your long term goals, whether or not sports are part of your plan?: I hope to be able to take all that I have learned and turn it into skill sets I can show in the workplace. I’ll always stay active. I want to leave a lasting impression in what I do like being a part of this team has in me. athletics - 15


words by Jamie Douglas pictures by Jamie Douglas

GOING FOR THE SHOT A month after his “Dellavadagger� at BYU, basketball player Matthew Dellavadova goes for three-point during the Feb. 23 game against the Creighton Bluejays.

While student athletes score points on the court, their peers come together to create an intimidating atmosphere for their opponent. Meet Gael Force.


he shot goes up. 3,000 people hold their breath.  Sweat glistens on the faces of players and fans alike.  Swish.  And the Gaels have done it.

Nothing quite beats the feeling of McKeon Pavilion on game night. As players fight back and forth on the court for baskets, fans huddle together in the stands, erupting with screams every time the Gaels score.  Don’t count on a peaceful game here; Gaels are known for putting together loud boisterous crowds at every home game, and can often be credited for inspiring our

team to get the win.


McKeon Pavilion can hold a maximum of 3,500 fans, and very often is filled to capacity. But what makes basketball games here so special?  Gael Force.  As the official student section, Gael Force is the “loudest and proudest student cheering section in the nation,” says Gael Force Vice President Jazmin Terese

Saint Mary’s official student spirit club is the largest organization on campus, with over 1,500 members. Every home game, hundreds of Gael Force members crowd into the lower student section of the gym, all wearing their official uniform. “We all have the same Gael Force shirt on, so it looks really cool to see that sea of students looking uniform, as a sign of our solidarity,” says Guinto.  The sea of students support one of the best basketball teams in the country. We’re not just saying that. With seven NCAA tournament appearances, Saint Mary’s College gets a little more exciting every March.  During the 2012-2013 season, Gael Force was supported by the entire Saint Mary’s community as the Gaels fought through a tough West region, eventually falling to sixth-seeded Memphis during the second round in a heartbreaking 52-54 loss.  That night when the team pulled back into campus close to midnight, they were welcomed home by a community that could not be more proud and supportive. With such a small student body, there is something unique about the Saint Mary’s sports program that you might not get at other larger Division 1 schools.  Because our school is so small, chances are you will have a class with one or two of the star athGETTING LOUD Meet Gael Force, the official student seating section at all athletic events. At the Feb. 23 ESPN Bracketbusters game against the Creighton Bluejays, Saint Mary’s students showed up with painted bodies and signs ready to cheer on the Gaels during this afternoon game.

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WHAT THEY SAY Looks are deceiving: what seems like a high school gym is actually one of the more challenging places to play in Division I athletics. Hear what opposing players and coaches have to say about McKeon Pavillion:

GIVE IT AWAY NOW Come early to the games to grab some free Saint Mary’s swag. During this game: foam three fingers. These were enthusiastically raised everytime the Gaels attempted (and made) a three-point shot. Also handed out were signs to cheer on the Gaels.

letes. This gives everyone a chance to get to know the players, which makes supporting the team that much more fun.  Gael Force member David Lobato says that this kind of community means that Gael Force is just “everyone that liked basketball going to a game to support our classmates.”

“We may not remember the score of the game but we’ll most definitely remember the people we shared that experience with.” One of his favorite memories was rushing the court when the Gaels beat longtime rival Gonzaga, a competition that gets Gael Force fired up more than anything. As a tour guide on campus, Lobato tells prospective students that going to basketball games is one of the best parts about college.  Also known around the gym

as ‘the guy in the blue wig’, he says, “What do you have to lose? You’re only in college for four years, why not have a little extra fun?” Calling the game time atmosphere “electrifying,” Guinto makes sure to tell new students about Gael Force in the hope that they will join the club.  “There’s nothing like being with your friends and other Gaels and cheering your heart out for our teams,” she says.   “While we love it when our teams win, we also always have a good time at the games because thirty or forty years from now, we may not remember the score of the game but we’ll most definitely remember the people we shared that experience with.” So grab some face paint, make a sign, and bring your best chants, because you’re about to become a true Gael. If you’re interested in joining Gael Force, make sure to sign up at the involvement fair in the fall during community time, or online at the SMC Gaels website.

“Is this the atmosphere that they have for every game?... It just blows my mind that they have this kind of crowd. Saint Mary’s deserves credit for having a crowd that’s that supportive.” -Bob McKillop, Head Coach of the Davidson Wildcats

“It’s loud and it’s small and they pack it in there...It feels like a high school gym with a college atmosphere. It’s probably the loudest place I’ve ever been in... Louder, and louder than Michigan State, where I’ve played...It gets crazy loud in there.” -Grant Gibbs, former Gonzaga Point Guard, played for the Creighton Bluejays

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THE ROADS LESS TAKEN While Business and Communication are some of the more popular majors at SMC, some students choose to take different academic paths. Consider these majors on your path to graduation.

words by Jazo Moises pictures by Jamie Douglas

Its two focuses (Sports Management and Health/Human Performance) allow students to zone in on a particular area of interest. Those more interested in the business and coaching side typically take sports management classes, and those interested in the training and health aspect usually choose the human 20 - fyx. magazine

The International Area Studies program allows students the opportunity not only to travel to another country during their time at SMC but also to focus on the culture and language of the area. While a majority of the courses in the major are taken at SMC, students in the program typically study abroad one or more semesters. Studying abroad is often cited as one of the best experiences Saint

KINESIOLOGY While some students want to go the route of physical therapy through a Health Science degree or management through a Business Major, some go through the Kinesiology department. Although it is housed in the School of Liberal Arts, Kinesiology majors are allowed access to courses both in the School of Science and the School of Economics and Business Administration.

More than half of all SMC students study abroad once during their time at the college, whether it is during January Term or during the normal semester. Studying abroad gives students the experience of living in another country and learning about that country’s culture. While the experience isn’t exclusive to a particular major, some students base their studies on their travel experiences.

Overall, the science and the business aspects of athletics and human action are combined in the Kinesiology major. Though the tracks of Business and Health Science seem much clearer, a Kinesiology major might be the road less taken for you to jumpstart your career.

Mary’s has to offer, and students in any program benefit from taking a personal look at cultures they study. In addition to courses in the major, students write a senior thesis based on their area of focus and a minor of their choosing. While most students make study abroad a part of their college plans for fun, some take another route and fully immerse themselves in that area for their entire time in college. With the International Area Studies program, you’re able to have the study abroad experience year-round.

Cool Classes to Take: Introduction to Anthropology Language Courses Cultural Geography Where to Travel: Spain Mexico France Italy Eastern Asia


performance track. While lectures are important, Kinesiology majors are assisted professionally with career opportunities outside of class. Sports Management track students find internships with local sports teams like the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors while Human Performance students run their own fitness testing lab with GaelFit.


THINGS TO KNOW Cool Classes to Take: Biomechanics Human Anatomy History of Sport and Exercise Athletic Experiences: Bay Area sports internships Working with the SMC Sports Medicine Team GaelFit Fitness Testing lab

THINGS TO KNOW Cool Classes to Take: PRAXIS experiences Modern Global Issues Culture & Civic Responsibility Teachers for Tomorrow: It’s a 5-year program within the major that allows you to get a multiple-subject teaching credential and a Master of Arts in Teaching

Some majors put you on a specific career path, like engineering or accounting. What if you wanted to be able to explore a large array of topics and take ownership of what you learn? At Saint Mary’s the Liberal & Civic Studies program allows students to do that, getting a comprehensive Saint Mary’s experience. The Liberal & Civic Studies curriculum allows students to take courses from many departments, from history to foreign language, performing arts to the sciences. Students in the major usually take up a minor in another subject, giving them the power of a Liberal Arts curriculum with a specialty topic of

their choosing. However, the Liberal & Civic Studies program doesn’t just emphasize a well-rounded education. Students in the program learn about civic responsibility and social justice issues. PRAXIS courses are also offered that allows students to explore first-hand cultural and community activities. The program offers many career opportunities normally found in education-based programs, like in the Teachers for Tomorrow program, social work, or even law. Wherever students end up, the breadth of knowledge and the experience gained will stay with them well-after graduation. academics - 21

CRAFTING CONVERSATION words by Jamie Douglas pictures by Jamie Douglas

Read. Think. Analyze. Speak. Argue. These simple skills are put to the test in the seminar program. Professors and students give their take about this engaging (and sometimes scary) learning experience.

Imagine you’re in a job interview. Competition is fierce. All of the candidates are smart, with great GPAs from excellent schools. What’s going to make you stand out? When you think about it, all of your peers are on pretty equal footing. And then you mention Aristotle. And Voltaire. And Cervantes. Any number of immediately recognized authors and great thinkers. This is what makes you differentyou’ve read all these pieces, and they have changed the way you think. At Saint Mary’s, you’ll have the privilege of reading selections from some of the greatest thinkers in history. The reading assignments are sometimes heavy and difficult, and yes, there are Sparknotes, but if you put in the extra effort to do the reading, the results are incredibly

rewarding. The Seminar program operates around the Great Books, an ever-changing list of powerful and meaningful works of fiction and nonfiction published at any time during history. Every year the program changes, sometimes subtly and sometimes involving a complete revamp of the curriculum. THE CORE OF SEMINAR Professor Ellen Rigsby of the Communication department, says that as part of the general education core curriculum, Seminar exists to “encourage students and faculty to be interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary.” There are no Seminar professors. Instead, professors come from all departments, so there is chance your instructor could come from the Kinesiology department or the Religious Studies. “The core idea of the Liberal Arts as a model of higher education presumes that you will think better if you can think with multiple ways of knowing,” Rigsby says. “I’m not teaching the humanities in seminar. I’m leading a seminar, which means that I am guiding students to think together about texts, in this case, texts that speak to (or are spoken to by) the Western tradition.” In the future, you will have a job

that requires you to interact professionally with your coworkers. This can be a very difficult skill if you have no practice, but Seminar will give you a chance to practice having meaningful and respectful discussions. “The ideas we work with in seminar tend to be complex, both in the way they are presented in texts and in the way we discuss them, but that’s good,” says Rigsby.

Rigsby adds, “By making the reading side more manageable, it lets students concentrate on speaking. Then as the semester progresses, the readings slowly ramp up.”

“It will make company meetings later seem like a breeze.” According to Rigsby, “The skills of literacy (thinking, reading, and writing) are all based on doing a lot of reading, thinking, and writing. The only way to get better is to practice.”

Tolcher likens the environment of a Seminar class to a book club, chatting with friends about the latest book you read. “I think when approaching your first class it is important to go in with an open mind about the whole Seminar experience. Don’t focus on the fact that participation is part of your grade, focus on just being present in the room,” she says.

SPEAKING OUT But what if you’re not much of a public speaker or participator? Unfortunately, a huge chunk of your grade in this class is based on how much you participate and the quality of your comments. But there is hope for even the shyest! Jennifer Tolcher, a TA for the Seminar program, says, “It’s normal to be a little nervous about [participating], but what is so great about Seminar is that it really helps you break that fear.” The conversations are designed to be purposeful, so often “it’s not so much about how much you talk but about the quality of what you say.”

“It’s not so much about how much you talk but about the quality of what you say.”

She continues, saying, “just as much as seminar needs talkers, it needs listeners as well.” Sometimes it just takes a leap of faith to make that first contribution, and you’ll find that your peers are respectful, fun, and genuinely interested in what you have to say.


Art Spiegelman’s Maus Comic books? In college? A childhood pastime might define your final grade. Read the story of the Holocaust told through animals.

Homer’s The Odyssey A classic in the Seminar program, it’s one text that all SMC students have had to read. This ancient epic will get your mind working.

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Debate about ethics and justice using Aristotle’s seminal work on morality.

Seminar 1 Reader Because many of the texts in the course are shorter, some of them can fit into this compact booklet. Reading from Galileo to Cervantes can be found here.

Epictetus’s The Handbook Because it’s the Handbook.

and fun. “The open discussion really opened me to the type of collaboration each person has in them,” says Drake. “I found that seminar greatly developed my conversation and deep questioning skills.”

THE SEMINAR EFFECT So how do students feel about the Seminar program? Even though students complain about how much reading there is, and how tough it is

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT In a first-year seminar class, students think, analyze and speak about a Seminar classic: The Odyssey.

to extract meaning from texts so far removed from our daily lives (who even is Voltaire?), opinions are very positive. Alex Drake, a freshman who completed a Seminar class during his first year on campus, says, “I didn’t find much difficulty with seminar last semester, and actually found it to be one of the most engaging learning experiences I have ever been apart of.” Surprisingly, once you get used to the style of discussions you will be having, things become more natural 24 - fyx. magazine

While the amount of reading and the difficulty of reading has changed for the first seminar, the great conversation never changes. Here’s a peek at some of the reading that you’ll encounter during your first semester in the Seminar Program:

There’s a lot that students get out of Seminar, if you make sure to contribute and put in the effort. “I really think that Seminar helps develop public speaking in students, especially in those that initially were terrified of it,” says Tolcher. As a TA, she’s seen the development happen in the class she co-leads with a professor. “We have several students that have barely said much all semester if anything at all, and the last few classes we have seen them slowly start to come out of their shells and bring ideas or questions to the table that

many of us hadn’t even considered.” Seminar creates an incredibly unique classroom environment that facilitates relationships with your classmates. As you discuss Galileo’s relationship to the world around him and how that affected his relationship with the Catholic Church, discussions might get heated, but you will come out on the other side, a more cultured and intelligent person. “It was one of my favorite classes,” says Drake. “It helped me to become a better and deeper thinking student.” So, don’t get too discouraged by the big reading list. Do your best to keep up, and it will pay off in the long run. “Seminar provides an opportunity to learn about western history and its critics, but it also builds thinking skills and the ability to think on one’s feet,” says Rigsby. This quick thinking will be invaluable, not to mention your new expertise on Galileo, Austen, Hobbes, Locke, and other great thinkers. academics - 25



TO TAKE BEFORE YOU GRADUATE words by Jazo Moises pictures by Jamie Douglas

You’re at your Gaelxpress screen, but you’re unsure what to take. Here’s 15 classes recommended by upperclassmen that you should pencil into your schedule before you graduate. From astronomy to literature, these classes are bound to change the way you see the world, and are also a little fun along the way. Intro to Women’s & Gender Studies

Take a look at what it means to be a woman in a sex- and gender-divided world. Professor Denise Witzig uses the media and current events to explore these issues in an empowering and discussion-filled course.

ies of the world. Overall, the course will help you to learn how to accept and appreciate the cultures and worldviews of others.

African-American Literature

Take a survey of African American literature through the centuries. Read about oral tradition in African American literature or the Harlem Renaissance, and learn about the lives of this ethnic group of people.

Money, Finance & Economic Crisis

Learn about trends in the financial market, inflation, and what your bank actually does. It was an eye-opening class for one senior, helping them understand how our economic system really works.

Wealth & Poverty in the Bible

After you take Bib Lit, try this class as your upper division TRS course. Look at how the Bible approaches issues of wealth, poverty and justice, and how these play out in society in a fun and engaging way.

Latino/a-American Literature

Let Professor Norrie Palmer take you through the world’s Eastern traditions, from Buddhism to Confucianism. Professor Palmer also takes students to India to learn about culture and religion there as well.

Introduction to Anthropology

While it is an introductory class, it is an eye-opening one to take. Learn about the cultures and societ-

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Discovering Astronomy

Let Professor Olowin take you around the universe in this class. While you may think you’re registering for Monday afternoon labs, get ready to spend late nights and early mornings looking at the stars and planets on our observatory pad.

Jesus and His Teaching

While Jesus is present in the stories of all four Gospels, they each say different things in different ways. Learn the different interpretations of Jesus’ messages, from his sermons to his parables.


Take a crash course in the advertising industry. With an instructor who was in the industry, learn about brands, the world they

live in, and how to stick out. You’ll also get to come up with your own product and an advertising campaign for it.

Race & Ethnicity

With an open classroom environment, it becomes a lot easier to talk about this somewhat tough topic. A favorite among sociology majors, the course looks at how we construct our own identities, socially and culturally.

Creative Writing: Screenwriting

You’ve always watched movies, now it’s time to write one. A boot camp of sorts, learn the skills to conceptualize and write a script, from beginning to end. Learn from the greats as you watch a different film each week of the course.

Human Anatomy (Biology)

While this class is intimidating, and only open to health science, kinesiology, and nursing majors, the lab is what to look forward to in this class. Learn from some one-on-one time with a cadaver, and take a look inside a human body.

In January, our campus becomes a human Wikipedia page. In one room you’ll hear students talking about statistics in baseball. In another, you’ll hear about the history and culture of the disco era.

Talk about learning in action: while discussing crime control and the prison system, students in the course visited the San Quentin and Solano prisons to talk with prisoners firsthand.

Eastern Religions

While law might not seem like the most fun topic to study, it’s definitely one necessary for those pursuing a business career. The confusing can become fun and engaging, with a passionate professor and exciting lessons.


Justice & Community

Paying attention to prose and poetry from the Latinas and Latinos writing in English from Cisneros to Rivera, you’ll read about themes of memory, displacement, and family.

Business Law

Welcome to January Term. For four weeks, four days a week, and 150 minutes a day, you’ll gain a crash course in a topic of your choosing – from the history of rock music to the ALL AROUND THE WORLD While the Bay Area is a natu- anthropology of cafes. These rally diverse place, January Term experiences offer stu- are classes you won’t be able to get during the normal semester, dents the opportunity to go all around the world. Travel courses including trips to Spain, Mexico, the Amazon, but challenge you academically and Park City, Utah are offered year to year for students and help you look at the world who want to take their academic expereince outside of from a new viewpoint.

However, these classes won’t just keep you on-campus. Venture out of Moraga and into Ireland for the history and literature of the country, or Park City for the Sundance Film Festival learning about independent film culture. While these classes are a mini-vacation, you’ll also learn the history and culture behind the places you are traveling to. So get your minds ready for this unique academic experience. From sports, to music, to film, and science fiction, the possibilities are endless. Who knows, maybe you might find your niche through your class?

the classroom.

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While you’ll come to find Saint Mary’s to be a secluded and safe place to live and study, our campus is not immune to many of the unfortunate crimes we encounter in society. While this is troubling, you’ll find that none of our students are alone in any struggle, and the Women’s Resource Center on campus is one of the strongest resources you will have during your time at Saint Mary’s. Located on the ground floor of Mitty Hall, the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) offers a variety of services to students. While their core mission is to empower women, the WRC is an inclusive space, where students of every gender, body type, sexual orientation, racial, and spiritual background are welcome and encouraged to participate in the ongoing

dialogue about the most important topics you will encounter in college. Director Sharon Sobotta works in the WRC to encourage a climate of respect for all persons. This core belief helps staff and student volunteers focus on their mission and program effectively to make a statement on campus. Part of that mission is making the WRC available to everyone, including men. This means helping students to not be afraid of the big “F-word”- Feminism. “Our operating definition of feminism is the belief that men and women are equal,” says Sobotta. “When looking at gender based issues we know that we can’t really solve gender inequity or gender based violence without including men in the movement.”

Programs are targeted to be totally inclusive, and as a result the WRC is one of the biggest support groups on campus.

“Our operating definition of feminism is the belief that men and women are equal.” One of the more serious issues addressed by the WRC is sexual assault and dating violence. Gillian Cutshaw, Coordinator of Sexual Assault Awareness, Outreach, and Education, is available for students who have been affected by sexual assault. “We will listen to students, give them support for whatever they’re going through, provide advocacy services,

TAKING ACTION The Women’s Resource Center promotes student activism around campus in events like the Out the Hate rally and Take Back the Night, signs around campus, and support through pins on backpacks.

words by Jamie Douglas pictures by Jamie Douglas


Take a look at the Saint Mary’s Women’s Resource Center: a place for activism, support, and community WALKING TOGETHER Students Hannah Friedman, Gabriela Fernandez, and Emmett McIntyre lead the march around campus during Take Back the Night, an event sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

and that can look like anything from a roommate conflict to body image issues, to sexual assault or dating violence, and kind of anything in between,” says Cutshaw. Not only can you get help from the WRC, there is also a Sexual Assault Crisis Response team that can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These resources are here to help students safely navigate the consequences of dating violence and sexual assault by offering advocacy, support, and healing. The Women’s Resource Center itself came about through student led activism, something Cutshaw says was critical in establishing this resource on campus. Students camped out and insisted on some changes on an institutional level to make the campus more inclusive to

students of different backgrounds and women, which now is referred to as “Our Struggle.” Cutshaw says, “I love that aspect of it, so much activism and passion, that students are really interested in conversations around privilege, oppression, healthy masculinity, rape culture. They want to talk about the hard stuff, the heavy stuff, which is very cool.” Students are encouraged to get involved by working and volunteering to help run programs, facilitate discussions, and become leaders in the SMC community. Programs put on during the year address a large array of issues; the Catalina Torres Night To Remember is an event put on in memory of an SMC student, who was tragically killed in a domes-

tic violence incident, and Take Back The Night is an emotionally impactful event put on during April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) for survivors, friends, and significant others of sexual assault victims.

“I love that aspect of it, so much activism and passion, that students are really interested in conversations around privilege, oppression, healthy masculinity, rape culture. They want to talk about the hard stuff, the heavy stuff, which is very cool.” One of the most popular programs at the WRC is The Body Posi-


tive. This weekly support and activism group’s goal is to help students love and accept themselves just as they are, and encourage them to fight against the messages doled out daily that tell us we’re not good enough. This program is so popular because of the supportive and fun community it creates. Students learn to move and eat intuitively and how to love their bodies and themselves. The WRC is supportive of the LGBTQIA community, and is working to create programs for minority communities. The WRC also provides outreach services, so you may see them in classrooms or residence halls doing prevention work around sexual assault and dating violence, and talking about healthy relationships. Cutshaw attributes student interest in these topics to their success; “They’re passionate, they’re

interested in learning more, and that inspires me.” The WRC will constantly move forward to provide the best support and resources to students in all kinds of experiences. “There’s a lot of work to do,” says Sobotta, noting that there is no limit to how much progress can be made.

GET IN CONTACT For more information on the Women’s Resource Center: The Women’s Resource Center is located on the Ground Level of Mitty Hall.

“We try to empower students,” says Cutshaw. “That’s a really big goal, to empower them to make their own choices and know what elements are in their control as they’re moving forward through whatever the issue is.” By making sure first year students aren’t afraid of feminism, providing a pillar of strength for sexual assault victims, and encouraging students to be leaders in the face of challenges, the Women’s Resource Center is changing the culture on campus to be safer, more inclusive, and incredibly supportive.

Phone Number: (925) 631-4192 24-Hour Anonymous Sexual Assault Hotline: (925) 878-9207 Gillian Cutshaw, Coordinator of Sexual Assault Awarenes, Outreach & Education (925) 631-4193

5 2 1

3 4

While the WRC provides a 1 Handouts/Pamphlets handful of ways for students to live activism on campus, it also provides a lot in terms of support and resource. Aside from a sitting area Whether you’re in the WRC or (with comfy couches!), here’s on the go, grab some resources a few resources available to on issues like sexual assault or phone numbers for hotlines all students in the WRC. around the area.

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2 Gillian Cutshaw

As the coordinator of Sexual Assault Awareness, Outreach and Education, Gillian is available to talk to about any issues in her office.

3 Meeting/Viewing Room

In-between or after-classes, stop by to hang out in this cozy lounge area or watch a movie on the flat-panel television screen.

4 Resource Library

Browse through the library full of hundreds of books or use the computers to browse the internet or work on a project.

5 Sharon Sobotta

Sharon is the Director of the Women’s Resource Center, working to organize events and providing advocacy and support to students around campus. student life - 31

GETTING INVOLVED From the Intercultural Center to CILSA, there’s a place for everyone to be a part of the community at Saint Mary’s.

words by Jazo Moises pictures by Jamie Douglas

Walk past Oliver Hall and it’s likely that you’ll find a bountiful amount of f liers on the walls right outside – an event here, a club meeting there, and maybe a Campus Activities Board event. Although Moraga is tucked away into the Contra Costa hills, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on around campus. The events around campus show the interests of the student body, from cultural dances to movie showings. However, it’s not all just the staff running the show – it’s the students themselves. As a small college, the tight community makes it an easy place to get involved. Drop into CILSA, the Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action, and they’ll find a place in the community that needs 32 - fyx. magazine

you, from an inner-city school to a community garden. Go to SIL, Student Involvement and Leadership, and they’ll match you up with a club you’re interested in, from the Lumberjacks Club to the Middle Eastern Club. Drop by a Campus Activities Board event or a Women’s Resource Center event and see what they have to offer. It’s good for a campus to have activities, but they are nothing without the students who help to get involved with them. For Andee McKenzie, it’s all about getting to know people and giving them a helping hand. “The most rewarding part about being involved is the feeling that through your contributions you are making someone else’s experience better,” she says. McK-

enzie continues, “whether you are making them feel safe, feel accepted, or feel open to be themselves are all extremely rewarding.” As an Executive Chair for The Bash and a student ambassador in admissions, McKenzie sees the importance of being involved on campus. By getting involved, it makes it easier to create a tightknit community on campus. “It is nice to know that those whom you admire are also your friends,” she says. While the results of getting involved on campus are positive, it is always a little nerve-wracking to start getting involved somewhere new. Everyone starts somewhere, so find out what you’re interested in and go from there. Like music? Join the sports band. Interested in

social action? Go to a Support Justice meeting. There’s always something for everyone to get involved with oncampus. But if there’s ever a club that you want to see, the easiest way to make it happen is to start it! Grab a group of your friends and a willing advisor, and you’re on your way to getting involved on campus. In the end, it’s all about jumping in and getting started. McKenzie’s advice to those who want to get involved: “Be open to different sorts of activities, even including activities you do not think you will be successful at, because you never know until you try.” “Take it all in and it will be worth your while!”


Associated Students Vice President for Organizations Natalie Franzini was selected as the Student Leader of the Year for 2013. Here are tips from her to get involved and stay involved on campus. 1. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know until you try it! 2. Make connections. Whether with fellow students or staff, these connections you make as a student leader will continue until after you graduate! 3. Be organized and remember you are a student first. Learn how to say no. It’s better to be strongly involved in a few things, than kind of involved in a million things. 4. Create opportunities for others. Once you’ve gained a leadership position, give back. Wish something was different? Change it! Listen to what the campus needs and inspire others to change things like you! 5. Admit when you make a mistake or are wrong. There is no “ideal leader,” everyone is different, everyone makes mistakes and everyone has their place! It’s okay to step back and take a break! student life - 33

LISTEN TO THE MUSIC At the May 6 concert in the chapel, both the Saint Mary’s Glee Club and the Chamber Singers performed for the SMC community. Songs from both the classical and the contemporary era were performed, from Brahms to Earth, Wind, and Fire.

JOYFUL NOISE words by Jamie Douglas pictures by Jamie Douglas

For the Saint Mary’s choral program, there’s more to the music than just lyrics and notes.

The chapel on campus is home to many activities- mass, celebrations, convocation, and even weddings. There are a few nights each semester when the hall fills with the voices of students, climbing octaves and dipping into harmonies, when Saint Mary’s gets a chance to showcase its vocal performance programs, including the SMC Chamber Singers and the Glee Club.

Business Administration and Vocal Performance. She credits the supportive faculty and wonderful resources on campus for the success of the program, and she says “music rooms, the piano lab, and performing arts rooms are almost always available for students.” With so many musical outlets on campus, there’s no shortage of talented artists who hone their skills at SMC.

Emily Wallace is a member of the vocal performance groups on campus, and is a double major in

Saint Mary’s students have many resources, including having faculty members who are “always finding

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opportunities for us to perform in the area or on campus for various events,” Wallace says. “They are also helpful in finding opportunities in the Bay Area for us to see performances or preview future job opportunities such as at the Opera House.”

“It’s that grin that starts in your heart and takes over your face and eyes when you all hit that difficult chord just right.”

Faculty will frequently go out of their way to ensure success in the arts and showcasing talents, as anyone in the arts is able to do every month at the Student Recital Series. “This is for all music students to play their instrument, sing solo, or sing in choir,” says Wallace, noting that this is one of many opportunities students have to perform. Choir member Eliot Jackson says, “the choir is a family, a team to work with as a part of something greater.” She continues saying the program “is about learning to work with and appreciate many different people.”

JOIN THE CHOIRS! Glee Club meets: Tuesday and Thursday 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Chamber Singers meets: Tuesday and Thursday 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

This family atmosphere is part of what helps the choir to be so successful, and Wallace recommends choir for anyone who loves to sing and try new things. Most choir members agree that there is something special about performing with your friends in a way that is more than simply singing. “Choir at SMC is where I’ve met my closest friends and has allowed me to participate musically and grow as a performer,” says Michael Blackburn. Events include the Chamber Musicians Concert, Voice of Broadway, and the concerts for the two choirs on campus, Glee Club and Chamber Singers. Students of all disciplines are encouraged to attend these events and support their classmates, for they may go on to perform on much bigger stages. “I absolutely love the people in my program,” says Wallace. “We are all supportive of each other and go to each others concerts to cheer everyone on.” With such a tight knit community, it’s no wonder the groups excel in their performing arts. They are helped by “absolutely phenomenal” faculty, says Wallace, noting that the whole performing arts department is very supportive, no matter what the

art. “Each section supports the others,” she says, and “the professors are always available to help with music or with life in general. They are close friends and mentors as well as teachers.” You have to experience it for yourself, but to hear the vocalists perform is to understand their passions. “We make the strongest connections with each other doing the things we are most passionate about,” says Wallace. “Together, we completely embody the concept of community which is one of my favorite things about Saint Mary’s,” she says.

“Choir at SMC is where I’ve met my closest friends and has allowed me to participate musically and grow as a performer.” Blackburn says there is no better time than now to join the choir ensembles. “We’re at a point where we’re growing and improving rapidly as a group and gaining a bigger reputation on campus and in the surrounding area,” he says. If you love to sing, take a chance and join choir – chances are you will grow to love performing, and become close friends with those who share your passion. student life - 35

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words by Jamie Douglas and Jazo Moises pictures by Jamie Douglas

Not everything you learn in college will be in the classroom; you’ll probably learn just as much from living in a space smaller than a closet with a total stranger. You’ll have great moments (movie marathons on Sundays) and bad moments (you want to watch your favorite show but your roommate has a midterm). Here’s some tips (from a resident and an RA) that will make the transition to close quarters much smoother. 36 - fyx. magazine

Jamie Douglas: There is no rule that says you have to be best friends with your roommate. If you end up close,great. Otherwise, make sure your roommate is someone who will have your back in an emergency, go to lunch with you on Wednesdays, and help clean up their half of the floor. Jazo Moises: Don’t come in with expectations. As an RA, I’ve seen somewhat-hostile roommate relationships because they think that they will be best friends. Let the friendships happen, and it’s easier to live harmoniously. JD: With that being said, exchange phone numbers with your roommate as soon as possible. One friendly face on day one is a nice feeling. JM: Or Facebook – social media is a good way to get to know your roommate. However, don’t judge them by their Facebook profile. Though they may look different on the Internet may actually be a pretty cool person! JD: If being organized is important to you, consider arriving on move in day as early as allowed. That way, you get first choice of beds, can set up on your own, and set the standard for cleanliness right away.

make a set of “Roommate Rules” before you even know each other. Your RA will try to encourage this, but the main things you should cover are cleanliness expectations, noise during studying/sleeping, visiting hours, and personal boundaries. JM: I’m definitely on the other side of that one. While the roommate contract is weird at first, it’s a starting point for talking to your roommate about what you’re comfortable (or not comfortable) with. If anything, you are more than welcome to change the contract, as long as everyone you’re living with agrees. JD: Don’t bring too much stuff! Once it’s in your room and your parents pull away from the curb, making room for yourself amongst all your high school stuff is going to suck. The less you bring the more comfortable you will be. JM: Another tip – pack light. Chances are, you’ll accumulate stuff throughout the year. When you move out, you’ll find that what fit into two boxes will now have to fit into five. It’s okay – that’s normal. However, the last thing you want is

a last minute struggle to get everything squared away and packed up before you move out for the summer. JD: Get out of your dorm every once in awhile. While it might be convenient, your dorm might not be the best place to study, get ready, sleep, and socialize. Pick your favorite spot on campus, find a special coffee shop, and make sure to take your books there sometimes. JM: It was a struggle telling my mom this, but the college experience is not all about academics. There’s a social element as well. Join a club, find a job, and enjoy where you are! You’ll do a lot of learning in college, and trust me – not all of it is in the classroom. JD: When you have that first fight with your roommate (it’ll happen, trust us) make sure you behave appropriately. The way you handle your first disagreement will set the tone for the future of your relationship. Remember that effective communication should be honest, but polite and controlled. Say how you feel, and let the other do the same. In the end, compromise.

JM: You can figure it out beforehand as well. Definitely set the stage for your roommate relationship before you come to SMC. Know what side of the room you want, if you want the top or the bottom bunk, and what you want it to look like before you even get there. That way, you’ll have an easy transition coming in. JD: It’s awkward to campus living - 37


Here are some of the halls we’ve found to be the best on campus: Quietest Place to Study: Assumption Hall - While it is away from the rest of campus, it makes for a conducive study atmosphere. Best Lounges: De La Salle Hall - Newly renovated, both lounges come with couches and a TV. Best Bathrooms: Aquinas Hall - Can you say “suite style?” Best Hall Culture: Justin Hall - A fun place to be around, Justin hall knows what’s up. Best Location: Mitty Hall - Smack Dab in the middle of campus, it’s easy to find your way around from here. Best Rooms: Augustine Hall - The tall ceilings and Triscuit wall give you the space to make it your own.

JM: Definitely. Also, if something ever arises, talk to your roommate first. 90% of the time, it clears up whatever problem has been happening. However, you also have your RA who has been trained to help with conflict mediation, and they can help you out if you ever feel uncomfortable. JD: Find the laundry machine, and scope out the best times to do laundry. There aren’t enough machines for everyone to wash and dry at the same time. Try Sunday mornings, or Wednesdays after dinner. Chances are there are high and low traffic times. JM: Oh, the laundry situation. Know that it won’t be perfect and that the one time you need to do laundry, you may find most of the machines to be broken. Know some backup places around the area (or around campus). Although they are a bit further, and may cost a little more, they still do the job. JD: If you share a bathroom with

the whole floor, get a pair of showerapproved flip flops. Three months into the semester, the showers won’t be as clean as on move in day.

duce yourself. It’s awkward at first but later when you know all your floormates it will make it that much more fun to come home every day.

JM: Oh yes. After going into the bathroom once, I understood the necessity for flip flops. Another trick: put your towel over the screen door. It gives you another little bit of privacy while you take a shower.

JM: As an RA, I have an opendoor policy for the hall in the first week, and I have everyone prop open their doors when they are there. It’s an easy way for people to meet each other in the hall. Don’t be afraid to invite someone new to dinner each night of the week, that way you’re meeting more and more people during your first few days.

JD: Speaking of showers, take some time to put together a shower kit. You can purchase a waterproof shower caddy that will make hauling your stuff to and from the shower much easier. JM: Another cool thing about most shower caddies are that they have crevices that fit over the shower door. That way, all your stuff can fit in one place and you don’t have to worry about forgetting your things in the shower. JD: Prop open your door! This is the best way to meet your hallmates. Wave hello to everyone and intro-


Baked Goods Grab a quick brownie, cookie, or a donut that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. 38 - fyx. magazine

Pizza and Pasta With a new brick oven to be installed soon, this Italian-themed section will offer some of the freshest food on campus

Sandwich and Salad Station It’s okay to be picky in Oliver Hall. Choose exactly what you want on your sandwich or salad and they’ll make it.

JD: Be considerate. If you’re going to the grocery store, ask if your roommate needs anything while you’re there. JM: Another good one. While you’re there, pick up some air fresheners or some paper towel rolls, two things that come in handy that people usually forget to bring with them. JD: Get to know your RA (Resident Advisor). They’re incredibly helpful resources if on your good

side, but if you fall on their bad side, they’re also the people who can get you in trouble. Don’t suck up, but make sure to be a good resident, and they’ll return the favors. JM: We take bribes (in the form of cheesecake). But on a serious note, get to know your RA. They’ve been through the first year before, so they have some helpful things to tell you if you take the time to listen. JD: Figure out the best waking up schedule. If you can’t stand someone hitting the snooze button 15 times, say so. If you need a cup of coffee before anyone can talk to you, make that clear. It’ll only help you under-

With the remodel of Oliver Hall in 2009 came a larger space and more dining options. Take a look at the different selections that Oliver Hall offers, from the sweet and decadent to the hearty and savory.

The Grill With grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers,, and their daily special, don’t forget to make your meal healthy - add a salad!

International Section With rotating choices, you can be eating food from East Asia for dinner one day, and from England the next!

Legacy Garden With the studentrun garden, students are able to eat some healthy food grown in their own backyard! campus living - 39


Bunked beds and stacked drawers are an easy way to conserve space in a cramped room.

If you can fit a couch in your room, go for it! While it may take up space, its a nice place to chill out.

Posters are crucial. Your room is your home for the year, don’t be afraid to make it your own!

While an education is the reason you move away to college, it’s nice to have little toys to play with.

With free cable (and On Demand!) bring a TV along to help you relax from your stressful day.

stand each other’s routines quicker. JM: On that note, lamps are key. Bring a desk lamp to college, and if you and your roommate want to split the cost, you can probably find a bigger one that you can get at a store nearby. That way, you’re not turning on fluorescent lights while one of you is sleeping. JD: Respect your roommate’s things. Don’t take anything without asking, because you don’t know what’s personal. Better to be safe. JM: Another good thing to put down on your roommate agreement. Be clear in what is shared between all of you. Have a share area or a “share box” that you all can agree is fair game for the both of you. But once something runs out, replace it! 40 - fyx. magazine

JD: Take your new freedom with a grain of salt. It can be easy to live on the edge, and not come home at night, but behaviors like that will catch up with you. Try to hang on to some kind of routine.

JM: Less class means more free time. More free time means more free time to either do well in the social and classroom environment, or to slack off. The first few weeks are indicative of what the rest of the se-

mester will be like, so hold on to those good habits from high school! JD: On the other hand, stay out late one Tuesday night! If a rare opportunity for adventure comes up, take it. You’re in college, and you should make memories when you can. JM: Spontaneity has been my friend in college. Sometimes, it’s good to be random. That one night out to Berkeley or that 2 a.m. trip to Denny’s that wasn’t planned might be one of your favorite memories of college. JD: Think about things like power strips, extension cords, TVs, and other light appliances that are tough to get once you get to campus. Even better, coordinate with your roommate over the summer with who should bring what so you don’t overlap. Two microwaves makes for a crowded room. JM: This is where the phone number and social media come in handy. Let your roommate know what’s up before you move in. Be open and welcoming, and they’ll do the same. JD: Bring TWO sets of sheets for your bed. Chances are you won’t get laundry turned around real fast, so having a backup set will be helpful if you don’t get a machine right away. JM: Dirty sheets are gross. Another thing to pack extra of: towels. You can never have too much of them. Same goes with socks. JD: Be careful about what you use on the walls. A lot of advertised materials will rip the walls apart, so when in doubt, use the safest option (scotch tape). JM: Those in Mitty, Justin, and Augustine will learn the beauty of Triscuit wall. While it makes it easy

to hang stuff with tacks, it is quite uncomfortable. Cover it up with some fabric, and it makes for a cool wallpaper-looking cover.

seem studious, it’s not exactly the quietest place on campus. Slap ‘em on and you can get into the homework zone.

JD: Keep a hidden snack stash! When you’re up studying late, and it’s raining, and you don’t want to walk down to the dining hall, it’s best if you have some granola bars handy.

JD: Be careful about what you post on social media. If you have a problem with your roommate, don’t post hostile things about them on Facebook.

JM: Food is handy when you’re up late, but don’t forget about drinks! If your friends have Costco cards, take a trip and stack up on some soda, water, and energy drinks if you’re into it.

JM: Basic rule. Be direct. Let your roommate know how you feel. Don’t keep it in and get frustrated. By letting them know, you’re creating a more open and more communicative atmosphere between you and your roommate.

JD: Bikes aren’t super popular at SMC. Unless you’re an avid mountain biker, walking will get you everywhere you need to be on campus. JM: Speaking of walking, take some time to visit the trails, especially on nice days. Not only will you get a workout, but also you’ll be get to see the nature of Contra Costa County. JD: Invest in a nice pair of headphones. Nobody wants to listen to your reruns of The Bachelor at 2am. JM: Headphones also come in handy in the library. While it may

JD: Call your family occasionally. When things get busy on campus, you have three midterms, club meetings, and a get together with friends, it can be easy to forget about home. It means a lot to call and say hello! They will always miss you! JM: After all, they are what helped you get to college. But don’t forget to set up a support system at school. They’ll be able to help you with your problems and celebrate your successes, especially in times when you can’t squeeze a phone call home. campus living - 41



(almost everything you need to know about SMC without leaving your bed)

Sure, college is confusing. But we did our best to let you know what goes on at Saint Mary’s. Here are some little snapshots about places to go, food to eat, and things to do at Saint Mary’s and beyond. They’re the things you need to know to really survive in a little place called Lamorinda.

FIVE PLACES TO WATCH A CONCERT The Bay Area knows how to rock out. With bands like Green Day forming in the East Bay just across the tunnel, you might see the next big thing at one of these venues. 1. Greek Theatre Located at the top of the Berkeley campus, the Greek Theatre has become an iconic part of the Bay Area music scene. With artists like Jason Mraz and Mumford and Sons performing at this location, space is limited, so be early.

A lot of Lamorinda closes after 9pm, but that shouldn’t limit your food choices. Here’s some easy places to grab a not-so-late-night meal (not at late night) when you’re about to pull an all-nighter or hanging out with friends.

1. Jack in the Box The late night Jack in the Box experience is all about the Munchie Meal, a $6 box that includes two tacos, half curly and half regular French fries, and a main entrée of your choice, from loaded nuggets to a grilled cheeseburger.

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2. C.R.E.A.M. CREAM’s original location in Berkeley has students coming from Moraga on weekday nights to grab an ice cream sandwich. With a new location opening up in Walnut Creek it will be popular, especially on warm nights.

3. 7-Eleven It’s your normal 7-Eleven, a one stop shop for all of your food needs, from chips, to microwavable pizza, nachos, and Slurpees. Go if you ever need a late night pick me up in the middle of finals week or just some late night munchies.

4. House of Chicken and Waffles Roscoe’s fans: you’re in luck. Tucked on a side street of Walnut Creek is the House of Chicken and Waffles. Open late seven days a week, you’ll always have a place to grab a bite of both savory and sweet.

5. Denny’s Sure it’s out of the way, but there has to be somewhere to sit down and eat 24-hours a day. With a gourmet menu including steak & eggs and “Pancake Puppies,” you can’t go wrong with a late night bite to eat at Denny’s.

3. The Fillmore Made famous by concert promoter Bill Graham, the Fillmore was home to some of rock’s greatest names. While it is a place for music, the Fillmore is known for its collection of music posters from the psychedelic era.

4. Sleep Train Pavilion A large, outdoor space on the outskirts of Concord, the Sleep Train Pavilion hosts big name concerts, from Maroon 5 to Drake. Try lawn seats to get a full concert experience for a more affordable price.

5. The Warfield While the name might sound intimidating, the Warfield may blast your eardrums with a hard rock sound. With rock’s biggest names playing at the Warfield, don’t leave your ear buds at home for concerts at this venue.


The Bay Area landscape is beautiful, from ocean waves to towering trees. Here’s some great places to relax and enjoy the view.

words by Jazo Moises pictures by Jamie Douglas


2. Fox Theatre Making a return in 2009, the Fox has been home to artists like Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Bob Dylan. The Fox is also home to Oakland’s School for the Arts who frequently perform in the space.

1. Fish Ranch Road After a scenic drive, prepare yourself for a view of San Francisco from Berkeley that includes many Bay Area landmarks. Look for the logs and take a seat as you experience the beauty of the Bay Area.

2. Mount Diablo You can either take the drive up to the peak, or a scenic hike up to the top of this mountain. As an added bonus if you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to rent out a camping spot there!

4. Marina District On the ground, the Marina district touches the water, giving great views of Alcatraz Island and the ocean. Find the right spot and you’ll be able to get a close side-view of the Golden Gate Bridge that makes a great photo opportunity.

3. Twin Peaks While it’s quite a drive into San Francisco, Twin Peaks is definitely a great lookout spot during the day. Come back at night, and it’s sure to be packed. The stunning display of city lights amazes everyone who visits.

5. The Cross It’s only a short walk up the hill from Ageno East, but the iconic view from the cross overlooks the entire Saint Mary’s campus and the hills of Moraga. For some students, it’s a tradition to go up to the cross during the last night of the school year. campus living - 41


A Saint Mary’s staple, Late Night is the fourth meal that students look forward to. There’s five food items that you should be ready to add to your diet, from sweet to savory.

1. Burger Bar It’s Saturday night and you’re craving some food. Instead of venturing offcampus to grab a bite to eat, stop by late night to make your own burger. From grilled onions to bacon, you can make exactly what you want to eat. Not a bad deal at all!

2. Chicken Wings Move over Wingstop and Buffalo Wild Wings! Instead of paying $10 for 8 wings, swipe your card and get unlimited access (for the night) to hot wings. Add to that bleu cheese or ranch dressing and now that’s a great deal!

3. Tacos Essentially the same thing as the burger bar, but with tacos. On a regular night, they’ll have ground beef and chicken, but on some nights they’ll go all out and have marinated steak. Now that’s a great taco.

4. Sunday Sundaes After Sunday Masses in the chapel, stop by late night to make your own Sundae. Start with ice cream and slap on some chocolate syrup, strawberries, and whipped cream, and you won’t need to drive down to Coldstone to grab a refreshing treat.

5. Breakfast Breakfast. At night. Bacon, scrambled eggs, pancakes and toast always make for a delicious combination when you’re tired from studying for your 8 a.m. test. Why eat breakfast the morning after when you can get it right now?


We will admit that the library isn’t the most conducive place to study. Bumping into people you know and a noisy atmosphere make it sometimes difficult to concentrate. However, there are other little-known places to go, both on-campus and off, when you really need to get down to work. 1. Filippi Academic As the newest building on campus, Filippi Academic was built with extra study rooms all over, making it easy to find a place to study. It has become a frequent study spot for some students.

2. Dante Hall When the library closes at 1 a.m., hop on over to Dante Hall. With classrooms open at all hours of the day, you’ll always be able to find a place to study or work on a group project

4. Cassin Student Union A “hidden gem” of SMC, the student union is full of couches and tables that make it easy to stay in one place to study. With vending machines, have snacks all night long. 44 - fyx. magazine

3. Café Louis It’s always nice to grab a coffee or a smoothie and hang out. In the fall it will be remodeled with an all new look and dining selections. While the inside is cozy, students move outside on nice days.

5. Starbucks While it is off-campus, the Starbucks on Rheem is always a friendly place to go. Add in a gold card, and for every 12 drinks you get one free. Who said coffee shops couldn’t be productive?


While the dining hall makes a mean Panini, there’s places around that can also make a great sandwich, both hot and cold. 1. Morucci’s Si Mangia Bene Italian sandwiches at its finest. While there’s usually a wait and it’s difficult to find seating, it’s definitely worth it. Get anything on ciabatta, and you’ll be in love with these sandwiches.

2. Bianca’s It’s a close drive to Bianca’s, but make sure you bring cash with you when you go. Known by many for its famous grilled chicken with jack, Bianca’s has been a lunchtime hotspot for both students and the community.

4. The Cheesesteak Shop While the exterior makes it look like a fast food place, this sit down joint offers cheese steak sandwiches of different sizes. With a stamp card program, keep going back to get a free cheese steak.

3. Ike’s With sandwiches named after San Francisco Giants players and celebrities, the Ike’s sandwiches make a delicious meal. Don’t forget to enjoy the complimentary caramel apple lollipop after you eat!

5. Europa Hofbrau Come to Europa for a delicious and hearty meal. Their handcarved meats make for delicious sandwiches and sides. With a huge dining area, there’s always somewhere to sit. The drive may seem out of the way but the result is worth it.

AND THE WINNER IS... Morucci’s. Why?

- It’s in Walnut Creek. If you ever need to go grab something at Target around lunch or early dinner, you might as well grab a bite at Morucci’s. The weather’s also a little better in the WC - I always order BLTs. Add in ciabatta bread, complimentary avocado, and some Pepperjack cheese, and you have a sandwich for the ages. - For beverages, they have Orangina which goes exquisitely with italian-style sandwiches.


Every college has their own lingo. It’s all about being immersed in your college community. Dartmouth has “blitz,” Duke has “K-Ville,” and we have these:

1. The Fishbowl Home to Student Involvement and Leadership and CILSA, the Fishbowl is also the location of a central meeting room on campus. Chances are that if you’re involved on campus, you’ll have a meeting in this spot.

2. GaelXpress The central hub for all things SMC, GaelXpress not only has your academic record, but also is a place for you to look at your bill. It’s usually the busiest during October, November and May during class registration.

3. Lamorinda A portmanteau of neighboring cities, you’ll hear Lamorinda used not only as a location, but also as an adjective. See “Lamorinda bikers,” “Lamorinda high-schoolers,” and “Lamorinda moms.”

4. FAH While Filippi Academic is the new building, everyone doesn’t want to confuse it with the administrative building that is Filippi Hall. FAH is not only easier to say, but also it sounds hip!

5. “Hella” Infused in Bay Area culture, it’s likely that you’ll probably hear someone say the word “hella” within an hour of walking onto campus. Learn it. Love it. Get used to it, because it’s probably not going away anytime soon. campus living - 45

EDITOR’S NOTES I came into Saint Mary’s in 2009 as a Biology major wanting to be a doctor. Four years, three majors, and one switch later, I’m graduating as a Communication major at going off to graduate school. Talk about change. The road to making this magazine was difficult. What initially started off as a joke between Jamie and I turned into a serious project that we decided to pursue. Going into the first week of our Spring semester, we got to work. What font do we want to use? What is the look and feel of our magazine going to be like? Who do we want to cover and spotlight? Looking back at everything, the logistics mean nothing. This capstone project is more than a grade or a project for me. It’s a way for me to look back and think about what has helped me out the most in my experience at Saint Mary’s. It’s a way for me to recognize and remember all of the people I’ve met and all of the friends I’ve made. In a few words – it’s a love letter. In a few months, I’ll be moving to Oregon to start a master’s program up there. And while I’m excited for the new possibilities and the opportunity, there are a lot of things I’ll miss about this place. I’ll miss the rings of the bell that wake me up at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. I’ll miss driving into campus in the spring when all of the trees have blossomed in the front. I’ll miss being able to walk around campus and always see someone I know. So savor your moments. Make friends. Go explore the area that night you wanted to lock yourself in your room. Connect with faculty and staff – some of them are the most friendly people you’ll ever meet in your life. Go to a basketball game, and when we beat the Zags (because we will), rush the court and celebrate. Volunteer when you can, and give back to those who have given to you. You’re a Gael now. Make every single second count. I’ll leave you with the words of my favorite television teacher Mr. Feeny: “Do good.”

- Jazo Moises

For a student who has had an unconventional college experience, it seemed only fitting to create an unconventional senior thesis project. I began my college experience by committing to three universities simultaneously (something the admissions offices were not pleased about). When I was forced to decide, I made a random choice and ended up at the University of Arizona, 14 hours from home. 2 weeks into the semester, the 40,000 students on campus, the miles wide distances between classes, and the awful social scene overwhelmed me, and I knew I wanted to leave. Not wanting to disrupt my transcripts in the future, I stuck it out through the semester and transferred in December to Chapman University in Orange County. After a year and a half attending classes and touring Los Angeles, I suppose I got restless and wanted to return home. At this point, I transferred to Saint Mary’s as a junior, where I finished the remaining two years of my college studies. Like I said, rather unconventional. A lot of people ask me why I made these choices, why I was so restless and what caused me to keep changing my environment. I would like to think it had something to do with fate, that Saint Mary’s was the place I was meant to be all along, and it just took me a while to get there. More realistically, I think I was just looking for something in my college experience that I was lacking at the first two schools, and never one to settle, I pursued my options. I can say for certain whatever was missing from my experience my first two years, I quickly realized was attainable at SMC. I have been cared for by faculty, exposed to innumerable opportunities, and explored a campus pulsing with academic innovation. I hope that this magazine eases the nerves and excites you in a way that shows you just how special your experience at SMC is going to be. Realize the potential you hold and all of the ways that you can change yourselves, the school, and the world by simply being a student. While my journey to graduation was not a straight path, in the end, I am now graduating as a Gael, and that is something I will be proud of for the rest of my life.

- Jamie Douglas

Thank you to: The Communication Department - all of the professors, especially Ed Tywoniak and Fr. Mike Russo, our Capstone advisors. You’ve given us the inspiration, support, and push to help us complete the project. Anyone who we photographed - your experiences are partly why we made this magazine. Anyone who asked us how our captstone was going you really kept us accountable for finishing this up. You - thanks for reading. Go Gaels. fyx. magazine 2013

46 - fyx. magazine


Saint Mary’s College of California Department of Communication 1928 Saint Mary’s Road Moraga, CA 94556

produced for COMM 196 - Senior Capstone Spring 2013

fyx. Magazine, Issue 1  
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