Sept. 28, 2023 issue 01 Loquitur

Page 1

The Cabrini-Villanova deal: how did we get here?

On June 23, 2023, a Friday morning not long after the end of spring semester, Cavaliers everywhere woke up to a story announcing that their beloved institution was closing its doors.

The news blindsided students, faculty, and alumni. Before they received a notice from the school, outside entities knew about it and released stories that spread rampantly around social media.

“Cabrini University to be sold,” read the headline from D3sports. com. It was a stunning message that led to plenty of questions.

How long was this in the works? What happened to a merger?

Why did we find out now?

An open secret around the media

Dave McHugh, a reporter for, was initially tipped off by an unnamed source to the talks between the two schools. McHugh covers DIII basketball and hosts the internet show “Hoopsville” which airs throughout the college basketball season.

“We had one very good source who I knew had it,” said McHugh. “It was when we started hearing from sources not as directly involved that I finally decided we needed to do something.”

McHugh turned to D3sports executive editor Pat Coleman, and the two were able to get multiple sources to confirm the schools were in conversation about a deal. Other media outlets also received tips about Cabrini and Villanova in mid-June.

According to reports, the language of the talks, at first, considered a possible merger. Coleman and McHugh continued to speak with sources and soon found out that instead of a merger, there was another deal in the works, and the Cabrini community was being left in the dark.

“When we’re talking about something as monumental as a school closing,” said Coleman, “the thing that was most important to us when reporting on this is that we do every piece of legwork possible. We would never have published something like this without being 100 percent sure that it was accurate.”

Another piece of the puzzle that put them in a peculiar position is that they were told by an anonymous source that another media entity was also covering the story. The difference was that this publication reportedly was holding the story until the schools were ready to announce the deal.

“They wanted to report on their timeline and do a disservice to the student body,” said McHugh. “I didn’t agree that this was something you sat on.”

McHugh and Coleman finished their article and were confident that their reporting was accurate enough to release. Amidst the work that they had on their plate in late June, they decided to hold off on publishing the article and give time for the two schools to make their move. With days going by without a word from either party, Coleman felt it was time.

“This story was getting to the point where it was an open secret,” said Coleman.

“To actually get something out there that was as close to on the record as possible and official, rather than have people continue to spread rumors about it, seemed like the right way to go.”

Big news that drops on a Friday morning usually gets lost in everyone’s weekend plans. But with this story, the news spread fast. D3sports published the article on the morning of June 23 and it was quickly picked up by other major media outlets. Within hours, Inside Lacrosse, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Inside Higher Ed, and most local news channels began to report on the situation going along with a joint statement put out by the two universities.Cabrini quickly moved to announce the launch of cabriniuniversitylegacy. com, complete with FAQs and a video address from President Helen Drinan.

Understanding the next steps

The Inquirer’s article reported that both schools’ boards of trustees agreed on a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This is a non-binding agreement that states each party’s intentions to take action and conduct a business transaction. The details of the MOU were laid out in the joint statement put out by the two schools on June 23.

“It was upsetting,” said Zackery Donlen, junior accounting major. “I don’t think [the statement] did a good job of explaining why, but I also don’t think it necessarily had to.”events as he wants to enjoy his final days with his peers as much as he can.

With the MOU agreed upon, we remain in the waiting period for a definitive agreement. This agreement would be a legally binding contract laying out the final terms and conditions between the two entities.

Cabrini Executive Director of Marketing and Communications

Angela Buchanico says we are getting close to hearing an update on the final deal.

“At present, Cabrini is working toward completing our agreement with Villanova sometime this October,” said Buchanico. “As this is a legal process ... there isn’t anything specific that can be revealed until the definitive agreement is signed. At that point, more information will be provided to the Cabrini community.”

Cabrini’s board of trustees will sign the agreement, leaving it to Villanova’s board, which reportedly meets on Oct. 10. After that, the Missionary Sisters, who own our property, have the final say, and they can decide to take an extra 30 days to make their decision.

The Loquitur will continue to follow the status of the agreement as this process continues.

THELOQUITUR.COM Vol. LXV • Issue 1 Thursday September 28, 2023 Award-Winning Student Run Newspaper
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The Loquitur student newspaper and website are integral parts of the educational mission of the Cabrini communication department, namely, to educate students to take their places in the public media.

Loquitur Media provides a forum of free expression. All members of the university community may submit work to the editors for possible inclusion. Publication is based on the editorial decision of the editors.

Preserving a legacy and leaving our own

This year, we understand the monumental challenge we face as the Loquitur’s editorial staff. Right now, we have far more questions than answers. We are tasked with upholding a 65-year legacy of awardwinning pieces, outstanding journalists, and countless hours spent working tirelessly on behalf of the Cabrini community.

Our mission for this year is to uncover as many answers as possible, preserve the legacy of the Loquitur, and serve the needs of our community to the very best of our ability.

Our goals for the news section are to uplift the voices of students, staff, parents, and alumni. We want to amplify voices that are silent. We want to focus on the present. We want to capture the real, raw emotions. We will show the many complex feelings on campus in this last year of Cabrini. We will show the good, the bad, and the ugly. We want to show the nuance of Cabrini. Each story in the news section will be balanced and written with care and respect.

For our Talk 59 podcast, our goal is to use it as a way to showcase the behind-the-scenes work that will go into Cabrini’s final year. Not only will you get inside access to the newsroom and our staff writers’ newest articles, but we also want to highlight aspects of student life that are less talked about and deserve a platform. We want the community to hear the story of how we are sending Cabrini out with a bang.

For our sports section, we want to highlight athletes and Cabrini athletics’ accomplishments throughout this unprecedented time. We are committed to commemorating the 56 year legacy of Cabrini athletics as well as answering all of the lingering questions the athletic community may have. But our main hope is to provide athletes, alumni, and our steadfast sports fans with stories that will capture the magic and brotherhood this community has given us, as well as memories we can carry with us long after Cabrini is gone.

Our visuals section will focus on capturing the feeling on campus. Students and faculty are all feeling the

effects of the closing, and it’s important to show how the community is impacted. However, we also want to showcase the different activities and events happening here, and show how they make students feel. We can use this opportunity to give alumni a platform to tell their stories and share why they love Cabrini.

This year in lifestyles, we want to show that even though things are far from normal, we want to make it fun. We hope we can highlight students still living on campus. Student enrollment and housing may be low, but it is still a key part of campus life. We also want to focus on using this year to its full potential.

We find ourselves sometimes thinking of how lonely this year can be, but in the end there are things that certain clubs are trying to do. We hope the Loquitur’s lifestyles section offers a little bit of light in the darkness. As the Loquitur’s last editors, we understand the history we must uphold. and honor, and we are more than ready to leave our own legacy.

Cabrini’s Last Involvement Fair

IThe Cabrini Involvement Fair took place Wednesday, Sep 13th and according to the clubs, students are still involved.

Even with the school closing, Student Engagement and Leadership (SEaL) Assistant Director Raina Johnson said, “There are a lot of students who want to join clubs, and I still get emails wondering what clubs are available.”

Business as usual

Despite the closing of Cabrini, many staff and faculty seem to be taking on the mindset of business as usual. The SEaL office is no different.

They have been preparing activities for the students and the Involvement Fair is just the latest one.


The Loquitur accepts letters to the editor. The letter should be less than five hundred words, usually in response to a current issue on Cabrini University’s campus or community area and are printed as space permits. Name, phone number and address should be included with submissions for verification purposes. All letters to the editor must be sent via email to

Johnson said, “Students are trying to be extra involved this year because it is the last year and they are trying to make it memorable for themselves,” she said. “I feel like there are a lot of people trying to stay involved, especially the freshmen.”

Johnson explained that without student engagement, college would not be fun. “You would be getting a great education, but that co-curricular side is extremely important,” she said.

Johnson also talked about how one of the main goals this year is to make sure students are involved and having fun. “Any other year we would push for that with these students to make sure that they know that they are still able to be involved and feel that Cabrini spirit and take that with them no matter where they go.”

Are the clubs suffering?

Given all that is happening this year, the turnout is better than ever. Students are creating more clubs and making the best out of their situation. Senior nursing major and Black Student Union member Precious Balogun said, “We can see it by the turnout we have today. In comparison to last year, it is a lot more and we are trying to have as much fun as possible.”

She also said “SEaL creates a good environment for allowing students to create their own clubs, even with there being fewer amounts of students they still allow a safe place for diversity and involvement.”

Abigail Flanagan, a senior health science major and President of the Student Government Association, said of her fellow students, “They are still trying to be involved.

The freshmen came here, and they are here to learn and be involved for their first year, so despite the closing, the kids that want to be will put their best foot forward to be involved and be involved and be a part of campus activities.”

Student Government Association Senator Aurora Piccione, a sophomore international business major, said, “Obviously, it is bittersweet that the school is closing but everyone here is here to make Mother Cabrini’s legacy live on and have the best year ever.”

The end is not here yet

It is not too late to get involved with activities on campus. Johnson said students are always welcome to walk into SEaL and help them come up with ideas and ways to get students involved,

The SEaL office is located on the first floor of the Widener Center, next to the Grill. Students can also locate them on their Instagram @cabriniseal.

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Navigating Cabrini’s transfer process

On June 23, Cabrini announced to the public it will close in May 2024. Cabrini administration have said they will support students with their transfer process to find a new school for next year.

The mandatory meeting for seniors

Dr. Michelle Filling-Brown, dean of Academic Affairs at Cabrini, expressed the institution’s commitment to supporting students in making informed decisions about their academic paths.

Filling-Brown emphasized the many pathways students can choose from in their transfer process.

“We have four main partner institutions: Gwynedd Mercy University, Holy Family University, Eastern University, and Ursinus College. Then we also have our affiliate school of Villanova and then we have a couple program partner schools,” she said.

Filling-Brown noted the one-on-one advisory meetings with students about the transitioning process. These meetings will take place early in this fall semester.

According to Filling-Brown, senior and graduate students will receive an email from their departments explaining whether or not they are on track for graduation. They will have a meeting to go over the classes students are taking in the fall, and what they would need in the spring to complete their degree at Cabrini.

Filling-Brown said any seniors who will not be able to finish their studies this year will have a follow-up meeting.

The meeting for underclassmen

An email requesting a one-on-one meeting will be sent to first-year students, sophomores, and juniors. Students will meet with an academic advisor from the Center for Student Success, not with their department advisors. The meetings will take place at Grace Hall.

If the scheduled meeting conflicts with any class, students will be excused from that class. If students cannot attend the meeting, they must send an email to reschedule.

During the meeting, students will be given comprehensive details about various partner schools, including information about their degree programs. Representatives from partner schools will visit Cabrini to discuss the opportunities available at their respective institutions.

What if the schools don’t have my major?

According to Filling-Brown, in instances where there is not a matching major, these schools currently may not publicly list the existence of specific programs. However, Cabrini has received information indicating that certain programs are to launch in partner schools during the fall of 2024.

Information like this has not yet been made public, but advisors will share that information with students in their one-on-one meeting.

What if I don’t want to attend a partner institution?

Filling-Brown said, in addition to discussing the four primary partner schools, the advisor will present additional alternatives during the meeting. So, if there’s a different institution a student wants to go to, the advisor will be able to talk about whether that institution is the best choice.

To determine what is best for the student, the advisors will consider all of the relevant factors, including the student’s major, location, pricing, and more. The advisors will try to find out which school would be best for students.

The difference between “teachout” and “transition”

According to Filling-Brown, four main partner institutions, including Eastern University, Holy Family University, Gwynedd Mercy University, and Ursinus College, signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with Cabrini to facilitate a “teachout” process.

“These schools have all signed MOUs that provide for Cabrini students certain assurances of what they will experience if they transition to one of these schools in fall of 2024,” said Filling-Brown.

At these schools, there will be no fee to apply. Cabrini will provide transcripts to these institutions at no cost to the student.

These four institutions will teach out certain Cabrini majors. The schools will teach the classes Cabrini students need to complete their degrees. Therefore, students’ GPA and credits remain the same and there is no transfer credit evaluation.

“So, instead of transferring, think of it as transitioning. What you already have at Cabrini can be transferred to one of these institutions, and it’ll maintain your pace to graduation. So it won’t suddenly take you longer to complete,” FillingBrown said.

These four colleges also made a commitment to match Cabrini’s tuition and financial aid package, ensuring that students’ out-of-pocket expenses remain the same. FillingBrown noted the teachout program is available to all Cabrini students who maintain a good academic standing and academic integrity and don’t have a balance or

hold with Cabrini.

Students who don’t want to attend these four partner institu tions can transfer to another institution. The student would have to pay an application fee, Filling-Brown said.

However, Cabrini students can apply to Villanova without an application fee. Villanova is not a partner school and is not a part of the teachout program. Students who want to transfer to Villanova or another non-partner institution will have to do a transfer credit evaluation. There’s a possibility that all their credits might not transfer over to those other institutions. Some institutions claim they will match Cabrini’s tuition, but they do not say if they will match a student’s financial package, so students’ out-of-pocket costs will vary.

“There’s so much misinformation on social media and so many different schools are marketing to Cabrini students right now and I want to make sure that our students understand their options, understand benefits of the partner schools, and understand the process. Going to that meeting is really, really important to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best choice for you,” said Filling-Brown.

Students speak out

Holloway said he likes that the partner institutions share similarities with Cabrini in terms of their faith-based foundation and size.

Holloway encourages students to still explore all available options while acknowledging the excellence of those that stepped up. He said, “I think there’s so many options out there, so don’t just limit yourself to the four schools that are offering teachout programs. But obviously the schools that did step up are great schools. So, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

Denisse Cruz-Cerrato, a sophomore early childhood and special education major, expressed her initial frustration about Cabrini’s communication.

“I didn’t like the fact that I had to hear it from other resources instead of the school at first and I mean, it’s pretty early now, it’s only the second week but no one personally has reached out to see what the next step is or offered to help or anything,” said Cruz-Cerrato.

Cruz-Cerrato acknowledged that most of the information about the transitioning process was included in a lengthy email sent by the school. She stated that there is a lot of information to be gained from the email if a student properly reads it, even if it is long.

However, she expressed uncertainty about the partner institutions. She feels uninformed about the partner schools and that she hasn’t gained any information about what these schools can offer her. There are also other schools reaching out to her, claiming to offer the same things as the partner schools. Cruz-Cerrato’s advice to other Cabrini students is to “just take everything one step at a time and not try to freak out or anything; just try to find out what’s best for you.”

Photo credit clockwise from top left:Photo by Jedidah Antwi; Photo from Wikimedia Commons; Photo from Wikimedia Commons; Photo from Flickr. Graphic by Paige Bowman.

Sister’s uncertain post-Cabrini future

Sister Christine Marie Baltas has been a nun with Mother Cabrini’s own Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for 64 years. She has lived, worked, and volunteered at Cabrini University for the last 16. She was also dean of students from 1982-86. Currently, she lives at the Gate House and is the only nun to live and work at Cabrini.

And yet, after all her years of service, her future is now uncertain.

Baltas requested to return to Cabrini 16 years ago because of how much she enjoyed the Cabrini culture. “I had a great time. I love being here. I love the campus. Love the people. Love being with the kids. So, I asked to come back,” she said.

She came back as a volunteer and is currently an associate of campus ministry. Her duties on campus include teaching classes, giving prayer, and being involved with the community whenever she can.

Baltas has worked with countless students throughout the years and shared many words of wisdom with them.

“Sister Christine Marie has inspired me a lot with her words, ‘Take it easy.’ Ever since I was a freshman, whenever I shared with her how overwhelmed I was with my assignments, she would advise me to ‘Take it easy,’ and that’s what I have been doing,” said 2021 Cabrini graduate Evarlyne Ndeti.

Initial shock

Baltas found out about Cabrini’s closure like many of us: through a sports article on the website D3 Sports.

She said, “I was informed enough to know that we were going through a difficult time, financially strapped, and that there will be concerns. I had no clue about that it was going to be solved. In fact, I was on vacation. Somebody on the faculty sent me the link … So, that’s how I found out.”

Later that day, Baltas was called by the Provincial, who is in charge of all the nuns in the Missionary Sisters of The Sacred Heart. “She called me and asked me if I knew. I said, ‘Oh, yes. I was on vacation.’ And I told her how I found out. She apologized and told me that the Cabrini University Board of Trustees, who were involved in this decision, signed a statement of non-disclosure, meaning they

signed a paper saying that they would not talk about this. You know, there was I guess, a set date to be announced. Somebody leaked it. And it just caused a big mess and a lot of upset and confusion.”

Future plans

Baltas doesn’t know yet how the closure will impact her future. She doesn’t know what this means, or even where she will be next year at this time. She has some ideas of what she might want to do but isn’t ready to share them.

“I have some ideas. I’m not ready to retire. I’m not ready to say ‘that’s it.’ I’m not doing it.” she said.

Leaving behind a legacy

Baltas would like to see Cabrini’s legacy live on, even after its doors close.

“I would hope that, whether it’s students, faculty, or staff, that people who were here will take away with them something positive that they gained from being here,” she said. “Whether it’s a desire to be of service for other people, to help people to make the world a better place, and know that they will have gotten something special, or that they can take wherever they go. That’s what I would hope.”

Baltas also connected Cabrini’s closure to a tradition celebrated in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, Italy, on Mother Cabrini’s birthday. In the town where Cabrini was born, every year on her birthday, July 15, residents perform a reenactment during which a flock of white doves is released around her house.

“During the reenactment, they release these doves, and they fly off. I kind of think that’s what we’re being asked to do: go off in different directions. But bringing something that we’ve gained from this experience, to wherever we go in our lives, helps us to become better people and maybe help the world become like that,” she said. Baltas wishes the best for both Cabrini students and faculty during this uncertain time.

“I’m praying for everybody, that students will find happiness and, in the future, that wherever they go, whether they’re alums going on to grad school or going out to the world to start with a job, or whether

they’re faculty or staff, if people are looking for jobs, and they will find good jobs and they can be happy,” she said.

“I’m saying, Lord, you got to help these people. I’m praying because there are so many good people, and I’m going to miss them terribly. Over the years, people come and they go, but then there’s a core group of people … and they’re still here.”

Cabrini honors State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara

On Thursday, Sep. 14, Cabrini honored Pennsylvania State Representative Jennifer O’Mara was honored at a ceremony in recognition of her service to her community. O’Mara received the school’s Ivy Young Willis and Martha Willis Dale Award.

The ceremony took place in the Woodcrest Mansion foyer. Dr. Courtney Smith, chair of Cabrini’s history and political science department, and Dr. Michelle Filling-Brown, dean of Academic Affairs, facilitated the event.

History of the award

The Ivy Young Willis and Martha Willis Dale Award is given out annually to a woman who makes significant contributions to civic life. A small glass plaque is presented to the recipient. The prize was established in 1992 by John G. Willis to honor his wife, Ivy.

Past honorees include Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke and CBS 3 anchor Pat Ciarrocchi.

“Martha Dale sent a memo to six of the departments in the college, and said ‘We want to do something for my mother,’” explained Dr. Jolyon Girard, professor emeritus of history and political science.

“We submitted a proposal. We said ‘We’ll bring a woman every year to give a talk, and she’ll be a woman of substance.’ [Dale] gave us the project.” Dale served as Cabrini’s alumni director for 26 years.

Meet Rep. O’Mara

On Nov. 6, 2018, O’Mara won her seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 165th district. Her constituency includes Springfield and Upper Providence Townships, and Media, Morton, and Swarthmore boroughs.

In the House, she serves on several committees, including Transportation and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness.

The event began with opening remarks from Smith, followed by a reflection from junior history, political science, and secondary

education major Emma Law. Afterward, Filling-Brown introduced the award and gave a brief background on O’Mara before introducing her.

Fr. Fidelis Olokunboro, a professor of philosophy and theology at Cabrini, gave final remarks.

In her acceptance speech, O’Mara spoke about her academic background and involvement in civic life from an early age, as well as what drove her to run for office.

She also expressed her gratitude to Cabrini for recognizing her.

Recognizing the good

“It’s important to recognize people who are extraordinary in their public service, because that’s overlooked,” Smith said. “People who gain the most attention are people who do something bad or scandalous, so I think it’s important to show the extraordinary people who are doing great things in their communities.”

Girard spoke highly of O’Mara following the ceremony.

“She’s a good example of all the other women that have been honored. She knew what she was doing, was effective, and she seemed sincere,” Girard said. “What more could you ask? I had nothing to do with selecting her, but I’m glad somebody did.”

Dr. James Hedtke, professor of history and political science, shared the same sentiment.

“She really has the best interest of society. What I like about her

the most is that she’s truly not Democratic or Republican. She’s for the people,” he said. “I lived in her district for a while, and she was the best representative we ever had.”

O’Mara shared some advice for those who are considering going into public service or running for office.

“To anyone interested in going into public service, that you should do it. There is a role for you. If you don’t want to be the candidate, you could run a campaign,” she said. “Campaigns need people who are good at graphic design, data analysis, all sorts of things. If you want to impact policy through campaigns or government, there

Photo by Andrew Stovenour. Editor in Chief Photo courtesy of Cabrini University.

Olivia Rodrigo’s love letter to girlhood

On her second album, “Guts,” twenty-year-old songbird Olivia Rodrigo sings a love letter goodbye to her teenage years. Collaborating with old and new friends, Rodrigo’s mainstay musical support, pop-producer Dan Nigro, sonically encapsulates angry and heartbroken lyrics with heavy drums, electric guitars, and screams.

One relatable sentiment echoed throughout, “love is never logical,” comes from track seven. A piano ballad written partially by pop singer-songwriter Julia Michaels, the sentiment captures Rodrigo’s broken naïve perception of love: “Cause loving you is loving every / Argument you held over my head / Brought up the girls you could have instead / Said I was too young, I was too soft.”

The album was written at ages 18 and 19 with a precocious understanding of heartbreak. She explored heartbreak on her 2021 debut album, “Sour,” but closed each song feeling hopeful. Whether it’s feeling embarrassed by who she lied to her friends about or feeling jealous towards someone she deems better than her, Rodrigo’s new perspective on love unlocked new levels of storytelling.

Songs like “pretty isn’t pretty” and “lacy” show the pop star struggles with the same intense jealousy her fans may feel. Track one, another pop-rock album opener from Rodrigo, sounds like it belongs in “Clueless,” and it introduces another theme in the album: the emotional conflict she felt when finding herself went against who society said she is.

On “lacy,” she describes a girl who is everything she wants to be and by the end whispers, “Lacy, oh Lacy, I just loathe you lately / And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you.”

The guitar loops while she compares herself to “Lacy,” providing consistency as Rodrigo rants about the ways “Lacy” is better than her. As in “Sour,” Rodrigo shines brightest on slower, more emotional pop ballads, but her storytelling remains spectacularly honest across the project.

Spilling her “Guts”

Rodrigo puts the worst parts of herself on display in “Guts” without the positive twist she tried to leave on “Sour.” The emotional ballads on her sophomore project realistically portray how she feels without searching for the bright side.

This concept may be more relatable to fans who feel life’s hardships withoutan upswing, though the album’s pop-rock moments tell some parts through rose-colored lenses. This balance shows Rodrigo’s

“making the bed,” lyrically and sonically. Giving up hope, Rodrigo screams “Each time I step outside, it’s social suicide/It’s social suicide, wanna curl up and die” on “ballad of a homeschooled girl.” She expands on “making the bed”: “Every good thing has turned into somethin’ I dread/And I’m playin’ the victim so well in my head / But it’s me who’s been makin’ the bed.”

Though the former is more upbeat, the latter song opens with lone guitar similarly played at the end of “ballad of a homeschooled girl,” indicating the story continues.

Making her mark

“Making the bed,” track six, seems to be Rodrigo’s first acknowledgment of how her seemingly overnight fame impacts her personal life.

Rodrigo debuted in an American Girl Doll movie, traveled through the Disney circuit, and finally charmed audiences with her voice on the Disney Plus original “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” Her first single, 2021’s “driver’s license,” opened the celebrity gateway, and she reached trapped-in-her-house–level fame.

In “making the bed,” she acknowledges how being a young girl in music puts a target on her back, but it’s the life that she worked for, so she accepts the challenge: “They tell me that they love me like I’m some tourist attraction /They’re changin’ my machinery, and I just let it happen/I got the things I wanted, it’s just not what I imagined.”

Rodrigo represents the next phase in pop music, cemented by her relevant influences and age. Yet, unlike other pop stars of her generation, Rodrigo made it this far by being exactly like other girls. This trope punishes teenage girls for liking “frivolous” things, but Rodrigo embraces her commonalities with her fanbase.

personal and musical maturity since her last effort. On “Guts,” she no longer needs to prove her vocal ability. With three Grammy wins and seven nominations from her debut album, she settles into her storytelling. “Ballad of a homeschooled girl” describes her social woes and flows beautifully into the next song,

SEaL is still going full force

Since news of Cabrini’s closure, the school lost many students, faculty members, and even entire offices.

Despite the chaos, one aspect of Cabrini finds itself operating as close to normal as this year will allow: The Center for Student Engagement and Leadership.

Since releasing her debut album, Rodrigo remains in the public eye, attending red carpets, and is known for building relationships with other pop stars her age. “Guts” takes a deep dive into a teenage girl’s mind, full of stories of nights out with friends, awkward social interaction, and heartbreak.

What does SEaL do?

The Center for Student Engagement and Leadership, known as SEaL, provides many resources to students. SEaL organizes New Student Weekend, and everything related to new student orientation, including training students to be Orientation Leaders.

SEaL also assists the Student Government Association (SGA) and clubs with organizing activities, events, and trips. Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Bridget O’Donnell is also the Commuter Student Liaison, working to ensure commuter students feel just as connected to Cabrini as residents.

What are SEaL’s challenges?

According to O’Donnell, SEaL hasn’t been affected by the closure. “It hasn’t really changed. We still continue to offer all those services, and have all those activities and programs going on this semester, and will continue to do that through the end of next semester,” she said.

O’Donnell added, “The only change that we’re seeing is less students at events, but even so we’ve still had some really good attendance at events. Thinking about the number of students that were on campus last year, percentage-wise, it’s the same as this year.”

SEaL is going full force with events this semester. Raina Johnson, assistant director of SEaL, said, “It’s been pretty much like any other year, getting the schedule together. We’re doing it how we’ve done it every single year, and making it as normal of a year as possible. Even with the closure, it doesn’t affect the dates that we have, we just make sure we’re using our time wisely.

”“It only feels right that I now come together with my fellow classmates in the class of 2023 to partake in as much of these events as I possibly can, and to just have fun and live in the moment during my final week in college.”

The big events held by SEaL this semester include escape rooms in Grace Hall on October 4, and gamers can meet on October 14 for a Mario Kart Tournament.

Freak Week, a Cabrini tradition, will have pumpkin painting on October 23, a Halloween movie night on October 25, a Murder Mystery Dinner will be hosted in the Mansion on October 26, and a trip to Hershey Park on October 28.

Culture Fest, which was absent from last year’s event schedule, is an event that celebrates the many cultures present within Cabrini’s student population and allows the many multicultural organizations to show off their cultures.

To conclude the semester, SEaL plans a trip to New York City to see “Wicked” on Broadway December 2, and the end-of-semester traditional Study Slam event in the Mansion on December 7.

Don’t forget to “Pop Into SEaL!”

SEaL also hosts a weekly event called, “Pop Into SEaL!” Belinda Hedden, a senior history and secondary education major, said “It’s an event that we run throughout the whole year. That’s an opportunity every week to come and interact with the staff in this office.”

“Pop Into SEaL!” is named after the free bags of popcorn that are given away, and it also has raffle prizes for students who attend the event. These prizes include 42” TV, Beats Headphones, and a $100 Amazon gift card.

Lifestyles THELOQUITUR.COM 5 Lifestyles
Photo via Instagram. Photo via Cabrini Flickr. Photo via Cabrini Flickr.

The Cabrini we never saw

With Cabrini closing its doors after this school year, many people are reflecting on their time on campus. They tell stories of different parties and events, and a place where people go to relax and gather with their friends.

When my father and I originally toured Cabrini, we wandered onto the campus without any appointment and were given a tour by a freshman advisor who worked in admissions. This tour sold me on the school. The tour guide was very nice, showed us everything we wanted to see, and made everything seem spectacular.

That spring the campus was vibrant and full of life. But soon COVID-19 hit and no one could go to class in person, let alone hang out around the quad. This was the campus that I and everyone else in the 2020 freshman class entered, one that was cold and empty.

Covid College

My senior year of high school ended by graduating in an empty auditorium, with only family as an audience. This became the new normal; no one could go to class, there were few events on campus, and you couldn’t even go into someone else’s dorm room. I didn’t even meet many of my classmates, and certainly not in person. Nothing felt normal, but we all remember it, and it changed our daily lives.

COVID did a lot of damage to Cabrini’s campus, damage that it never bounced back from.

This created an environment on campus that felt almost uneasy, you would go outside, and you wouldn’t see anyone no matter what time of day it was. This was a big contrast from what I saw before I was a freshman. The full-of-life campus had became desolate and lifeless.

Even after COVID restrictions were lifted, the campus wasn’t the same. Students weren’t hanging out in the library, no one sat on the lawn, and students just went back to their dorm rooms.

The campus then became a “suitcase school,” a campus where people went home during the weekend. Today you can walk to class and not see anyone else, even when it’s a nice day.

The problem also stems from the number of commuter students on campus. In 2022, 54% of undergraduate students were commuters. Cabrini has become a shell of its former self, especially this year,

with fewer and fewer people on campus. Cabrini never recovered from COVID, and now with its closing, it never will.

Community on campus

In my sophomore year I changed majors from psychology to communication, and for me that changed everything. I have been able to meet some amazing people and make lifelong friends in the communication department. Thankfully, being a part of this community has given my college experience meaning. Going into the real world is very daunting, but being in the communication department has taught me so much and prepared me for the real world.

My hope is that my fellow senior classmates had similar experiences in their majors.

I will forever cherish the long nights in the communicationdepartment, as working past midnight on a group project can be more fun than you would think.

Cabrini certainly has its faults. However, this school has certainly given me the opportunity to learn so much from professors who truly care about what they teach.

After this year, Cabrini will be no more, and even though we never got to see the school alive again, that does not mean we cannot carry on the memory of the campus for as long as we can.

The eye of the storm

Listen to the first episode of Talk 59 A Loquitur Media Podcast

On this week’s episode of Talk 59, Jason Fridge sits down and talks with senior Belinda Hedden, SEAL representative and Orientation Coordinator, as well as Perspectives Editor Jake Rader

Belinda touches on what it takes to pull off freshman orientation and the differences between 2022 and 2023 move-in day.

Jake gives us insight into his recent article highlighting freshmen on the women’s soccer team and talks about some of the details that didn’t make the final print.

Check it out on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!

Photo by Andrew Stovenour.

The Cavaliers’ last dance

Cabrini is a community built around comradeship, and its athletics program is an integral part of the university. But after 66 storied years of tradition, Cabrini athletics faces its last dance.

Cabrini announced its closure in a joint statement with Villanova University, which plans to purchase the campus.

The university struggled mightily with its finances and could not recover from the pandemic and declining enrollment. Cabrini will remain open during the 2023-24 academic year for incoming and current students and then close its doors.

In 2022, of the approximately 1,250 undergraduate students enrolled at Cabrini, 25% participated in athletics. For these athletes, this news hit especially hard.

Blake Weinstein, sophomore baseball player, said, “I was devastated. I vividly remember waking up to about 15 missed calls and a ton of texts. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I would not be a part of this program for all four years.”

Evolution of Cav sports

Cavalier sports have grown tremendously since the school’s inception. Cabrini was founded as a female-only institution in 1957 with just 37 students. A decade later, the athletics program was born; its first athletic teams were women’s basketball and field hockey.

A new age of Cabrini athletics started in 1970 when the then-college opened its doors to male students.

Cabrini quickly became a strong contender in Division III athletics and had consistent postseason success across several sports, including lacrosse, basketball and softball.

Men’s lacrosse participated in the NCAA Tournament every year since 2002 and clinched Cabrini’s first NCAA Championship title in 2019. Men’s basketball advanced to the title game of the 2012 NCAA Championships, finishing in second place. Women’s softball has won seven conference championships and advanced to the NCAA tournament seven times since the 2000 season. Women’s lacrosse also enjoyed a long string of postseason success, with an impressive 19 NCAA tournament appearances.

During the 2022-2023 season, Cabrini university hosted 20 varsity teams and holds an impressive 146 conference championships under its belt.

Moving forward

Over the summer, many Cabrini athletes faced a weighty decision: should they enter the transfer portal or play one final year as a Cavalier?

Many underclassmen, the main group affected by the closure, already entered the transfer portal and announced commitments to

play for other universities. This has left many teams struggling to maintain enough players to have a season.

Senior field hockey player Julia Malle said, “Sadly, we did lose a few girls, but it was what was best for them and their academic journey. Our team isn’t the same size as it was last year but we still have enough girls to get it done and have a great season.”

The teams that do come back will be predominantly comprised of upperclassmen, and this will be the last collegiate athletic season for most of them. This season will be the culmination of years of hard work and dedication for these remaining student players, and they will have the honor of representing the blue and white one last time.

Play with purpose

“Live with purpose” has always been the Cabrini motto. But Cavalier athletes plan to follow a new motto this last year: “Play with purpose.”

Senior men’s soccer player Griffin Rogers shared his team’s newfound motivation for the upcoming final season. “As sad as it is, it’s kind of exciting to be part of this last run. Being one of the last players to go through Cabrini athletics is something special,” Rogers said. “We have a lot to prove and it gives us giant motivation. People are going to be counting us out because of the closure, but little do they know we want to win more than anything to bring pride to the Cabrini name one last time.”

Special is the only word to describe this season. Facing such news would seem to divide many, but it is abundantly clear Cabrini’s athletic community has never been more united. The athletes share the common goal to make history one last time.

“I heard athletes calling this the last dance. I couldn’t think of a more fitting title,” Rogers said. “This is the last time we get to represent Cabrini and show not only the conference, but the world, just what Cabrini means to us and the community.”

Ethan Emery, senior men’s soccer player, agreed. “Sometimes you don’t realize that you are a part of something special until it’s gone, or in this case, almost gone. I am so grateful and excited to be a part of Cabrini’s last dance.”

Madison Gugel, senior softball player, summed it up. “It is sad that this is it. But once I got over the shock of the finality of this season, I came to realize that this season is an opportunity to celebrate Cabrini Cavaliers’ 66 years of tradition in athletics,” she said. “Every Cabrini team should make the most of this occasion and reach out and include as many alumni as possible in this celebration. It is our chance to turn a negative into a positive and I am really looking forward to a memorable year.”

One last time, Roll Cavs!

Cav rosters: small but mighty

It is still a team even if it’s small.

After the shock hearing of the 2023-2024 academic year being the last for Cabrini University, athletes are now coping with a season of small rosters.

The start of a small season

The women’s field hockey and lacrosse teams are playing through the changes.

There are 16 players on the field hockey team now, losing eight players from the 2022 season. Lacrosse lost two players from the 2022 season, with 23 players on the team now.

Women’s field hockey and lacrosse head coach Jackie Neary said, “That was the big unknown this summer when the news came out: the size of the squad.” Despite the changes with both squads, Neary sticks to her motto, “Little team, big heart.”

But rather than being worried about the size of her team roster, she is excited about the season ahead, field hockey also leaves reason for excitement, as their record is currently 4-1.

Teams’ awareness

In this final year, athletes are focusing on the good rather than the bad.

Abigail Fenton, senior women’s lacrosse goalkeeper, said, “We all want to play out this last year for each other and especially for Coach Neary, who has worked to build the women’s lacrosse team from the ground up.”

Daly Ewing, senior women’s field hockey forward, said, “We all know it’s the last year and all we want to do is do well for ourselves, the team, and the coach.”

Neary agreed. “The awareness is that it is coming to an end,” she said.

That awareness is strong, but the competition and wanting to win are stronger.

Challenges and advantages

Neary explained how practices and games changed now that she has a small roster for field hockey. “We shorten up practices since it’s only 24 players on the team. We don’t want to wear the girls out. A good thing about a small squad is a lot of girls are getting more touches, and getting more time with the ball.”

Fenton said, “Having a smaller team allows us to get more reps at practice and benefits us because we are all able to become close.

We tend to be a really close team and have fun hanging out with each other oon and off the field which is a big factor to our success.”

“The challenges are going to be assets at the end for us when it comes to playing the game,” Ewing said. “The team’s mentality is definitely different, but we are working our way through it.”

Athletes’ futures

Ewing’s future plans changed when she learned this would be her last year of playing for Cabrini. “I will not be continuing my athletic career after Cabrini’s closing. My plan was to do a fifth year before the news broke out. After this year, I am not sure. I will be making the best of it for the last time,” she said.

Fenton spoke on her plans as well. “With this being my senior year, I do not plan on continuing my athletic career after this. I do have an extra year of eligibility that I could use but I can’t imagine going to a new school to play lacrosse with a different group of girls or for a new coach,” she said.

“The culture that Coach Jackie Neary has built here at Cabrini is one of a kind and that cannot be replicated anywhere else,” she continued. “There is only one way that I want to end my lacrosse career and it is playing for coach Neary with my best friends next to me wearing Cabrini across our chests.”

Photo by Samantha Taddei.

Freshmen athletes seize the year

As Cabrini University begins its 67th and final academic year, there is an empty feeling around the once bustling campus. A recent Philadelphia Inquirer article noted at least 250 students already transferred to other institutions since news broke of Villanova’s purchase of the property.

The noticeable lack of enrollment translated to the college’s athletic programs as well, leaving women’s volleyball and basketball with canceled schedules for the 2023-2024 athletic season.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding students’ future plans, sports such as field hockey, men’s basketball, and men’s and women’s soccer will still field teams for the 2023 fall sports season.

Additionally, the freshman recruiting classes have suffered, with just 13 freshmen participating among the institution’s fall sports teams.

Women’s soccer alone makes up over half of this number, with seven freshmen joining the roster for this final season. Five of the seven freshmen on the women’s soccer team spoke with the Loquitur about how they are handling this difficult situation.

An unthinkable situation

The mood among the five freshman athletes is bittersweet, as the news of the university’s closure was something none of them thought possible. Kiara Soto, freshman women’s soccer goalkeeper said, “My mouth dropped when I read the article. My heart was set on this school, and it’s still set on this school.”

Soto, a nursing major, was forced to weigh her options when Cabrini announced significant changes to its nursing program this year. However, the NCAA granted a waiver to Cabrini nursing majors allowing them to attend Eastern University’s nursing program. Additionally, this waiver allows student athletes to compete for Cabrini’s athletic teams.

“I walk over from Eastern every day, and despite this, Cabrini feels like home. Even though it’s only a home for one year it’s better than not having a home at all,” Soto said.

This freshman class also has personal connections to the university. Soto’s cousin is a member of the field hockey team, and freshman women’s soccer forward Erin Ewing’s parents are Cabrini alumni.

“This is the school I wanted to attend for four years, not one,” Ewing said. Freshman women’s soccer midfielder, Erin Speak, also joins

her teammates in her sadness about the school’s closure.

“My heart was broken when I found out the news. Cabrini was one of the first schools that reached out to me,” Speak said.

The announcement of the Villanova takeover left Speak extremely stressed as she did not have a backup plan. With only one month before the start of fall semester, Speak chose to stay.

“I eventually decided to stick it out at Cabrini, and figured if I hate it it’s only one year. But I love being here, and it’s really annoying that we can’t stay here, and it’s also annoying that everyone else going to other schools will have the four year experience,” Speak said.

A few silver linings

Even with the sadness and uncertainty surrounding this season, there are positives.

Soto said, “I feel like the upperclassmen have really stepped up to make this one year feel like we have three more seasons left. We aren’t talking about how the school is closing every day.” Soto also said the upperclassmen are making a point to include freshmen in social functions.

In addition, the consensus amongst the players is that the Cabrini athletic department has been very supportive in helping the girls plan out their next move. All of the players were put into the transfer portal on day one of their attendance.

The athletes feel as though Cabrini athletics is doing everything they can to help guide them into the best situation for the remainder of their college experience.This season also provides an interesting opportunity for freshmen athletes to find their next school.

“In a weird way it was kind of an easy decision to stick with Cabrini because every school in the area will be watching us play, and reaching out to us because they know we won’t have a team next year,” Ewing said.

The players also said women’s soccer head coach Ken Prothero gives all the players a chance to play to help increase their visibility.

“Coach hasn’t talked about the school closing at all. Every practice, every game, we know we are getting closer to the end, but he does not act like it,” Sam Terry, freshman women’s soccer defender said.

Prothero’s players love his positive coaching approach, as he is notorious for doing fun things such as playing little soccer games with his players, and providing his team with homemade smoothies and popsicles.

Despite the clouds hanging over this season, it is clear Cabrini freshmen are making the most of their experience as Cavaliers. Soto said, “I’m probably going to take pieces of turf with me. Everyone here is so wonderful. It’s a curse, but it’s also a blessing in disguise because we still get to be with each other every day.”

Nursing student athletes balance between two universities

Student athletes already struggle with balancing their classes and practicing their sports. Now, they must face the additional struggle of their university’s shutdown.

Cabrini’s closure caused much disruption for its nursing students, especially those who are also student athletes. Nursing credits do not transfer easily to other schools, but Eastern University, one of Cabrini’s partner schools, allowed nursing students to take classes there while still competing as Cavaliers.

Initial shock

The news did not come easily to junior soccer goalkeeper Hailey Bond. “I was in full-on panic mode. I was upset because I was thinking toward the future about graduation,” Bond said. “I’m not going to be able to graduate with my friends. I’m going to have to be a new face at a new school. I thought I was going to be able to do my junior year at Cabrini,” Bond said.

Amid the initial confusion and shock of the impending closure, nursing students were concerned about how their credits would transfer and if they would still be able to play their sport at Cabrini University.

Dr. Melissa Terlecki, associate dean for Cabrini’s School of Arts and Sciences, said, “The nursing students in particular are a unique case because we had a lot of nursing athletes and they wanted to continue playing, but they’re being forced to transfer.”

The main priority for faculty was getting their students into a nursing program where their credits would be accepted, and they would still graduate on time. “We were trying to find partners immediately that would take all of the credits, not add time to the degree completion, have their sport, and allow them to do both simultaneously,” Terlecki said.

“For the first two weeks of the news coming out, we had no idea if we had to leave or if we were allowed to stay. There’s also two of our advisors and head of nursing that helped us throughout the whole two years of us being there,” junior softball outfielder Dorian Ilyes said. “They were in every one of our classes. We just really trusted them, we requested them, and they basically ghosted us.”

Finding the balance

Finding the balance between school, athletics, and personal life is a struggle. Nursing student athletes travel between two campuses each day for classes and their sport. “Honestly, it was a big change just because now I’m going back and forth between two schools and time management has become a big part of it,” Ilyes said.

Some student athletes don’t live on Cabrini’s or Eastern’s campuses. Students also reside in off-campus housing, adding more time out of their day for commuting. “I would say it definitely is a little bit

of a challenge because usually, I’m going to Eastern in the morning, coming home for three hours, and then running right back to Cabrini for soccer practice and then coming back home,” Bond said.

Nursing courses are rigorous and it takes significant effort to be successful. “Junior year of nursing is already hard enough, and then doing it with a sport is hard. Now I’m trying to do it between two schools. I’m taking extra classes here at Cabrini and an extra class at Eastern to catch up. It definitely puts a lot more pressure on my day-to-day life.” Ilyes said.

This will be the last season for many of the student athletes, and they plan to go all out. Even though these nursing students don’t take all their courses at Cabrini, Cavalier blood will always be a part of them.

Photo by Cabrini University. Photo by Jake Rader.
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