September 2021 • Volume 16, Issue 1
OK, so who took the “L”?
PHOTOS BY CLAIRE CRITTENDON & ALEXANDRA WHITE
Left: Seniors Nick Brown and Aster Kallman (L-R) pictured on the first day of classes. Right: Vandalized sign on Woodland Road reads “asell University” on the night of September 14. HOLLY FEOLA & JOSH WOLMER opinion editor
& 1851 staff
While on a nightly patrol on September 7, Campus Police discovered the letter “L” from the Lasell University sign on Woodland Road was missing. They sent an email to the community asking for any assistance the public could provide and assured given information would remain confidential. A photo of the vandalized sign was included in the email, reading “asell University.” Detective Lieutenant Richard Heslin said, “there’s so much pride in the university, [Campus Police] knew [the suspect] was probably a little bit concerned for the community, and that they would want to
be like an active participant in trying to make this incident right. So we reached out to the community, and we got a lot of good information from them. Ultimately, that was able to give us a timeline.” The community support Heslin referenced was integral to the timely resolution. Detective Lieutenant Heslin was asked if campus police had any evidence that led them to the vandal. Heslin said, “the cameras are all sporadically throughout campus. From the timeline that we got from the community, some people were like, ‘Hey, I remember taking a picture there on such and such a day, and it was there.’
Then that gave us a starting point.” From there Heslin said, “we were able to run the cameras. And that was a lot of legwork. And the thing with that is right when we had the people that we thought were involved, they walked through the door and said, ‘we’re involved.’” According to Parker, after the “L” was turned in, the cost to repair the whole sign would be around $1200. The culprit will be financially responsible, said Parker. The sign was repaired on September 23. The vandal’s identity is not being shared publicly to respect their privacy. When Heslin was asked what conse-
quences the suspect would be given, he said, “Student Affairs takes [Campus Police] reports. Oftentimes, we don’t find out what happens until it’s already done. As far as that goes, I wouldn’t even really be able to comment on the privacy matters around it.” On September 8, an email was sent out from Campus Police notifying the community the “L” was located, and thanked the community for the help they received. Heslin said, “We’re happy and impressed by the person’s actions [returning the sign] and we understand that mistakes happen.”
COVID-19 policies and updates
After a year of uncertainty, the community continues to adapt to the most up to date knowledge about COVID-19 amidst the pandemic. As more students on campus have been vaccinated, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs David Hennessey said a vaccinated community is allowing campus to be “a little more free and open” than it was in the past year. According to Hennessey, the mandate for the vaccine has put the university at about a 97% vaccination status. Although all students were required to receive the vaccine, there were a few medical and religious exemptions made. Due to the large percentage of herd immunity, Hennessey said the university is allowed to open up residence halls more than they had previously been opened, with four people allowed in each room. There will also be outside guests allowed on campus starting on October 1. Hennessey said one COVID-19 protocol the university decided to keep in place was the wearing of masks within a classroom. “You don’t have a choice about going to class,” Hennessey said. “You don’t have to go to the dining hall at a particular time if it’s too crowded and [if] you don’t feel comfortable going you don’t have to, so there’s a choice in those kinds of things.” In addition to classrooms, the only other
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
PHOTO BY REBECCA OSOWSKI
Testing station in the testing facility. Community members can get tested Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
places currently requiring masks on campus are the Brennan Library or indoor sporting events. Hennessey said Massachusetts currently has a mask mandate for indoor, publicly accessible
places. Since the library and sporting events are public resources, Lasell must require them. Although masks are not required everywhere else on campus for vaccinated students,
It’s a wage issue
U-Belong event unites campus community
Hennessey said community members should not hesitate to continue to wear them if they wish to. “One of the things we want to really emphasize is that people who are unvaccinated we’re telling to wear masks, but everybody can be masked,” Hennessey said. “We want people to feel comfortable wearing masks...” Along with all the other regulation changes that have taken place this year, Hennessey announced in an email to the ommunity that effective September 30 vaccinated individuals would no longer be required to test once a week. Athletes and unvaccinated students will still be expected to test weekly, but nobody else will be required to continue to test. If students or faculty members wish to receive a covid test, though, they will still have the ability to do so. President Alexander is happy the university is taking this step closer to normalcy. “I’m glad we’re moving in this direction and I’m glad that the data is suggesting we can do it,” Alexander said. “We still have to remain vigilant and we still have to remain willing to adjust on a moment’s notice, but I’m looking forward to the time when we have the virus enough under control that we don’t have to spend our time making these decisions or thinking about it all the time.”
Grellier Field & Athletic Center receive new updates Page 8
My journalistic journey
My interest, identity, and background is writing. Drafting, editing, thinking about each word to fill a blank page. Writing is in my past, my present, and hopefully my future. My career started at 16 in my junior year of high school. My school did not offer courses in journalism, nor did we have a school publication to use as my outlet for writing. Therefore, I had to take matters into my own hands. With the help of a teacher, I reached out to the sports editor of “The Brattleboro Reformer,” the local newspaper for the region I lived in. I was offered an opportunity to cover some local soccer games at my school. Of course I accepted, and thus began my career as a journalist. Hooked from the start: As soon as I wrote that first hook, I was hooked. It felt like it was meant to be, it felt right. I was finally able to do something I loved, and I was getting paid for it. How could I go wrong? The answer is, I couldn’t. I didn’t hesitate to jump on more opportunities as soon as they came up. Throughout the rest of high school, I covered my school’s varsity soccer and varsity basketball games. In my mind, I had found my calling early. While most of my peers had no clue what to pursue, I had already found what I wanted to do in life—write. When I came to Lasell in 2019, I was excited about a lot of things. Being away from home, meeting new people, seeing the city. However, nothing excited me more than the newfound opportunities I had. Writing for “The 1851 Chronicle” was one of these opportunities. I knew I wanted to write for the paper before I even stepped foot on campus, so when it came time to sign up at the activities fair, I was all in. Moving up: I began as a staff writer, staying in my comfort zone by writing sports stories. However, I was pushed to take stories for other sections, and diversify my skills. In doing so it made me a better, more rounded journalist, and it increased my confidence as a writer. My sophomore year, I wanted to take on a bigger role for the paper. I stepped up to the role of Features Editor, making me responsible for an entire section, and for once, more people than just myself. It was a valuable learning experience for me. I learned how to be a better leader, a more creative thinker, and my skills as a journalist flourished. Now, in my third year with the Chronicle, I have taken on an even bigger role; Co-Editorin-Chief. Meaning more work, more time, and more people to manage. But most importantly, more experience and more opportunities to grow and learn.
The 1851 Chronicle
Opinion & Editorial It’s a wage issue CLAIRE CRITTENDON co-editor-in-chief
Everyone in food service has cried in the walk-in this summer. Every retail employee looks stressed, tired, and 14. Waitstaff are being triple sat on a daily basis. Jobs paying minimum wage are struggling to maintain adequate levels of staffing, and to retain the overworked employees they have hung onto this far. It’s hell, but it’s not a labor shortage, it’s a wage issue. But where are the workers? Some are collecting unemployment. According to mass.gov, Massachusetts minimum wage, as of September 2021, is $13.50/hour for most non-tipped employees, and $5.55/ hour for tipped employees. Citizens enrolled in Massachusetts unemployment can receive up to $823/week ($1,234 with dependents) for up to 26 weeks, versus the $540/week non-tipped/$222/week tipped Massachusetts minimum wage amounts to. Choosing to receive $1,234/ week over $540/week isn’t lazy, it’s the smarter option. It’s also some people’s only option; among many other things, Massachusetts does not provide statewide public daycare and preschool. Additionally, per a 2021 article from Apartment List, the average monthly rent for a studio apartment in Boston is $2,635. It’s commonplace for landlords
to request pay stubs proving an income at least equal to three times the cost of rent, or a monthly income of at least $7,905. To earn $7,905 a month making Massachusetts minimum wage, it would take 585.5 hours or roughly 24, 24 hour days. It’s often argued that minimum wage was not implemented to be enough to live on, but instead for teens to earn supplemental income. However, according to Cornell Law, “The national minimum wage was created by Congress under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 . . . to create a minimum standard of living to protect the health and well-being of employees.” How can one be healthy and well while unable to afford housing and other basic necessities?
ILLUSTRATION BY FELIPE BIDA
If Massachusetts raises its minimum wage, I believe this “labor shortage” will quickly come to an end. Employers need to pay their workers a livable wage or stop complaining about being understaffed.
COVID-19 guidelines, effective? RAYANA PETRONE digital editor
The return to campus amidst the COVID-19 pandemic means the return of on campus guidelines and restrictions, with some being seen as more effective than others. One COVID-19 guideline that has been rather inconsistent is the mask requirement on campus. At the time of print, the city of Newton has implemented an indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status for residents. As a resident student, I feel as though having the mask mandate be in agreement with the surrounding area would make sense. Another faulty guideline has to do with the restrictions regarding capacities in residence halls. I feel as though this guideline indirectly targets underclassmen who are lower in the housing lottery and in turn often end up in the smaller dorm rooms. In turn, they are unable to
have as much social interaction in their rooms as upperclassmen who commonly reside in the bigger residence halls on campus. One precaution the university has taken that I agree with was the requirement of all students and faculty to be tested for COVID-19 throughout the month of September. Being tested weekly gave me peace of mind while at school in such unprecedented times, especially after living on campus last year, it became part of my weekly routine. As of October 1, the university has decided to end this requirement moving forward, which is a decision I think was made too soon. While the university is still providing testing and encouraging the community to get tested, I do not feel as though this will be utilized well enough.
newton ma, 02466 co-editors-in-chief
Claire Crittendon Kaie Quigley art director
Mike Maruk news editor
Kait Bedell Holly Feola features editor sports editor
Rebecca Osowski Taylor Viles arts editor copy editor
Abi Brown Rachel Shepard digital editor digital editor
Bailey Klingaman Rayana Petrone 1851 staff
LJ VP LaFiura
The return of the G.O.A.T.
Tom Brady’s return to Gillette Stadium was a night to remember. When you looked through the sea of fans marching to their seats, there were groups of Buccaneers jerseys repping the number 12 everywhere. However, there were even more fans wearing the red, white, and blue Patriots jerseys as expected. A video tribute began to play as Brady made his way out onto the field, that’s when the roar of boos and cheers began coming from fans. When I started hearing these boos I thought, “How on earth do you boo this guy?” I understand he is playing for the opposing team, so that is a given. But to genuinely boo him after he won you six Super Bowl titles absolutely blows my mind. I get people are upset that he left New England, as am I, but did you think he’d be here forever? Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s relationship was not the same towards the
1844 commonwealth avenue
end of his stay in New England. Rumor has it, that factored into Brady’s decision to leave. If this is true, I don’t blame him for leaving. Why would you want to stay playing for a coach that you do not get along with and isn’t giving you the respect you deserve. For Brady to leave the Patriots and head down south to Tampa Bay and win a seventh Super Bowl with the Buccaneers, shows that he is the best. Most Super Bowl rings of all time, most Super Bowl appearances of all time, the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards. His stats just prove how amazing he is on the field. Whether you love him or hate him, there is no denying that Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. is the greatest quarterback of all time. And if for some god-awful reason that you don’t believe he is the G.O.A.T., stop watching football, because there is nobody better than Touchdown Tommy.
Samantha Vega-Torres Nico Manganiello Josh Wolmer
Karissa Gaughan Emma Ingenohl Pat Carbone
Casey DiBari Photographer
Mike Maruk illustrator
Felipe Bida faculty advisor
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The 1851 Chronicle
News Briefs FFA Weekend By: Claire Crittendon
The annual Friends, Family and Alumni Weekend will be hosted from October 15 through 17. Alumni games will take place on both fields, alongside a variety of other events. In the past, activities have consisted of bingo, apple picking, river races, club fairs, and more. Check Laser Involvement for up to date information including how to make reservations. Alumna Ruth Kehinde’s speech By: Claire Crittendon
At the annual U-Belong celebration on September 9, Alumna Ruth Kehinde (‘21) addressed the crowd. She spoke about a flag she designed with assistance from Professor of Graphic Design Ken Calhoun. Kehinde calls the flag “the United three,” featuring a combination of the LGBTQ+, trans, and the Black Lives Matter flags. A full copy of her speech can be found on our website. Arnow hosts flu shot clinic By: LJ VP LaFiura
In mid-September, the Arnow Campus Center hosted a flu shot clinic administered by professionals from a local Shaw’s pharmacy team. The clinic ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 17, and ran again on September 20. Students were encouraged to sign up in advance using a QR code on the posters or a link distributed via email. If one failed to sign up, walk-ins were still welcome. The flu vaccination is not required this year, rather “strongly encouraged,” per a health services mass communication email.
Lasell receives record donation
MIKE MARUK & BAILEY KLINGAMAN art director
& digital editor
On July 1, President Michael Alexander announced in an email to the community that Lasell had received its largest ever monetary donation. The $6.6 million donation was made in honor of Michal Longe (‘95), alumni of the School of Business, who passed away from cystic fibrosis in 2003. Alexander said the donation was originally made in 2018 in the form of shares in a private New York construction company, which he declined to identify. At the time of donation, the stock was valued at approximatelyw $2.7 million. Over the last two years, the value appreciated and Lasell was able to negotiate selling the shares back to the company for $6.6 million. To honor this donation made in Michal Longe’s memory, Lasell and the Longe family decided to rename the business school the Michal Longe ‘95 School of Business. “It’s a recognition, it’s an honor for supporting the university in such a significant way,” Alexander said. According to Vice President of University Advancement Chelsea Gwyther, having a named school “raises the profile of the institution,” and can attract new students and donors. According to Gwyther, the donation was an unrestricted gift, meaning Lasell has the flexibility to determine what to do with the funds. While the exact distribution of funds is still being discussed, Gwyther disclosed part of this donation would become part of the endowment. As part of the endowment, the school will
continue to save the $6.6 million, so long as they budget five percent of the returns each year for board-approved programs. “The endowment is that pool of money that the university has . . . we spend about five percent of that every year. With the idea that the endowment is invested in the stock market and other ventures, it will return more than five percent over time…You could look at it that each year, on average, the Longe gift will spin off about $330,000 that the university can use... and invest in students and faculty and programming. But that $6.6 million will always be there,” said Director of Communications and Stewardship David Nathan. As for programs that could potentially receive funding in the coming years, Gwyther mentioned a laptop-loaner program, the on-campus food pantry, and the new esports business major as options. “Right now, we’re thinking about looking for a space on campus where we can create an esports lab . . . but we’re looking at high end monitors, gaming consoles, innovative furniture, increased technology, and internet access...which cost money,” said Dean of the School of Business Matthew Reilly. “We would love to add opportunities for students to learn about the industry outside of the classroom, and we think that the donation is going to be able to help us to do that.” The School of Business is planning a celebration for the donation on October 18 at Dunne House from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Accord-
New testing center hours By: Claire Crittendon
On September 30, an email was sent to the community detailing new COVID-19 policies. A major change was the reduction of testing hours. Community members who are not required to test will now be able to get tested on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on a walk-in basis. Marathon Monday returning By: Pat Carbone
On October 11 the 125th running of the Boston Marathon will be held. Marathon Monday will return to campus for the first time since the spring of 2019. All classes will be canceled while students come together to celebrate the event throughout the day. The marathon will be run again in April 2022. This is the first time the event has been held since COVID-19 hit the US.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID NATHAN
Michal Longe at her Lasell graduation in 1995.
ing to Reilly, the celebration will include guest speakers, an appearance by the donor and the foundation that supported the donation, and School of Business alumni. “It’s a good time to be in the School of Business, and it’s a good time to be at Lasell,” said Reilly.
Saying goodbye to Jennifer Granger Sullivan
REBECCA OSOWSKI, KAIT BEDELL, SAMANTHA VEGA-TORRES features editor, news editor
& 1851 staff
U-Belong By: Rebecca Osowski
Lasell’s annual U-Belong Celebration took place on September 14 from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Arnow Quad. The event was open to all members of the Lasell community including students, faculty, staff, and residents of Lasell Village. The event featured food, games, crafts, and a meet your major event. There was also a raising of the United three flag at the main flagpole located on the corner of Maple Street and Woodland Road.
PHOTO BY REBECCA OSOWSKI
Alumnus Laura Gunning taking a photo of Professor Golden and Jennifer Granger Sullivan.
On September 17, Jennifer Granger Sullivan worked her last day in the Office of Student Activities and Orientation after 14 years. Granger Sullivan began her career at Lasell as Assistant Director of Student Activities. Within three years, she was promoted to Director of Student Activities while serving as an adjunct professor of the first year seminar course “Exploring Leadership.” “I chose Lasell because of the community and the people that I had met and that is true still. I think that the community is special. The community changes and students come and go, but there’s a lot of similarities with our student body,” said Granger Sullivan. Granger Sullivan has been at Lasell for many changes on campus, including the construction of many residence buildings and the renovation of Arnow Campus Center. During that time, Granger Sullivan said she has one memory that stands out to her. “I think something that comes to mind is the first Relay For Life. I have a mother who is a breast cancer survivor, so when we were able to pull off the first one it was really great . . . I think we all knew we were beginning something,” said Granger Sullivan. Relay For Life is a tradition at Lasell University. According to the American Cancer Society, the event raises money in hopes of finding a cure. While studying for her doctorate of education from Northeastern University, which she received in 2021, Granger Sullivan was considering the next steps for her family. Granger Sullivan and her husband considered moving to California to follow his family but decided their next step should be to be close to her family in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She went on to share that Lasell University will always have a special place in her heart, mentioning things could have been different depending on a variety of factors. “If I could move Lasell, that probably would have been on the table, and if there were oppor-
tunities here that made sense for me to potentially move up, I would have considered it. That just wasn’t in the cards, so that played into all the decision making,” said Granger Sullivan. Senior Maggie Clukey has known Granger Sullivan for four years and worked closely with her for various different projects. Clukey said it is a hard goodbye for her. “It’s sad to see her leave but happy to see her go because she’s gonna have so many great opportunities,” Clukey said.
Professor of Journalism Marie Franklin spoke about Granger’s impact on the Lasell community saying, “Jenny Granger’s work has affected thousands of students at Lasell. The memory of her work will remain with Lasell alum for many, many years.” Junior Michael Woo has known Granger Sullivan for three years, first meeting her in his Exploring Leadership class and eventually working with her as a peer mentor, first year class president and orientation leader. “Jenny had a big role in really developing leaders to be their fullest selves and deliver their fullest potential as student leaders and I think that is definitely something we are going to miss. She impacted me in so many ways and… inspired me to be who I am today as a student leader,” Woo said. If Woo could send his mentor off with any final thought he would say, “Thank you Jenny, you impact students on a daily basis. Continue the work you do, the passion you give and the experience and knowledge you have is truly limitless wherever you go next.” Thomas Morgan, former Assistant Director of Commuter Life and Intercultural Initiatives, stepped up as the new Director of Student Activities and Orientation. The office is conducting interviews to fill the role of Assistant Director of Student Activities and Coordinator for Student Organizations.
In memory of Alysha Rentas ABI BROWN & MATT JACOBSON arts editor
& 1851 staff
After a mournful announcement on August 3, the Lasell Community found out their friend, teammate, and rising senior Alysha Rentas had passed away in a car accident in her hometown of Athol, Massachusetts at 24 years old. She is survived by her two brothers, Kenny and Julian Rentas, mother Norali Barker, and grandmother known as Mami. Alysha was born on March 7, 1997 in Lowell, Mass. to mother Norali Barker. Alysha grew up in Athol where she attended Ralph C. Mahar Regional High School in Orange, Massachusetts. She graduated in the class of 2015, with her intentions set on working and then going to continue her education at college. She started off going to school at Mount Ida College, then transfered to Lasell University in 2018 after the buying out and closing of Mount Ida. At Lasell, Alysha was a rising senior majoring in Applied Forensic Science, as she always liked to help others and was known to have a very big and kind heart. She also was on the Varsity Women’s Volleyball team where she put in lots of hard work and her efforts spoke for themselves. Alysha has been playing volleyball
since her JV days in highschool. Alysha Rentas will be greatly missed by the Lasell community, her family, friends, and anyone else whose lives she touched. Although her funeral was held on August 14, there will be a celebration of Alysha’s life held on October 7. Details such as date and time for the night of remembrance are still uncertain at this time.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNY RENTAS
Pictured: Alysha Rentas, who was a rising senior who passed away in a car accident on August 3.
The 1851 Chronicle
New beginning for Becker students
Becker College announced on March 29 they were closing after 237 years due to financial issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision left roughly 1,000 students from the Worcester and Leicester campuses searching for a new school. During the closing of Becker College, several colleges, including Lasell, created an agree-
PHOTO COURTESY OF KYLIE HILBERG
Kylie Hilberg graduated from Becker College in the spring of 2021 with her Associates degree in animal care.
ment with Becker to make the transfer process easier for Becker students. Director of Admissions Yavuz Kiremit said Lasell changed its transfer requirements so Becker students could have an easier transfer. Lasell accepted students even if they had over 90 credits, and gave students credit if they got slightly under a “C” in a course. “What we ended up doing is waiving the requirement for an essay, waving a requirement for a letter of recommendation, and so all we really needed from a student was their application and a copy of their transcript. With that, we would make an admissions decision and go from there,” Kiremit said. Out of almost 1,000 students looking to transfer, Lasell only received 22 students from Becker. This number may seem small, but Kiremit says the number is double what he expectedsince Lasell doesn’t offer many of the programs Becker offered. “We don’t offer associates degrees, or majors like animal sciences [and] veterinary sciences... Those students wouldn’t be able to transfer here with their ma-
jors like equine studies, video game design, or nursing. Becker was renowned for their video game design [program].” Junior Kylie Hilberg transferred from Becker College’s Leicester campus this fall after the closure. At Becker, Hilberg was in a dual degree program that allowed her to get an associates’ degree in Animal Care and a bachelor’s degree in Business. Hilberg graduated with her associate’s degree at Becker’s last commencement ceremony in May. “When I found out that Becker was closing I felt lost, confused, mad, and it just kinda sucked. It felt like my dream at Becker got crushed because I had no idea what to do next,” Hilberg said. With the closing of Becker, Hilberg felt ready to leave the Worcester area for a new start. She chose Lasell because of the admissions process, the business management program, and the clubs and activities. “I am really into sports and activities. I did cheer all my life so I am doing cheer here. Lasell also has so many clubs, so
I’m gonna try a lot out.” Hilberg is excited about the opportunities at Lasell and how close it is to Boston. While she is still new to campus, she is glad she transferred to Lasell. “ It was definitely different from Becker, I just felt very welcomed, it’s just been a very fresh change… here I feel at home.”
PHOTO BY ALEXANDRA WHITE
Former Becker student Kylie Hilberg poses in front of the Lasell University sign.
Adjusting to the new normal on campus
SAMATHAN VEGA-TORRES & ABI BROWN
1851 staff & arts editor
As the community returns to campus, some elements look similar to life pre-pandemic, while other areas are still being impacted by COVID-19 policies and regulations. Residential Life has shifted to fit the new normal. Residents have had to adjust to new guidelines, limiting the amount of guests in their room. The Director of Residential Life, Scott Lamphere said, “You used to be able to have eight people in your room, or 20 in a suite. We’ve reduced those numbers so...if there was a spread of some sort, we could kind of contain it if we found out and not having a big group where something like that could spread,” said Lamphere. Isolation housing is still available on campus in case of a breakout, but hasn’t been used due to the low number of positive cases, and students abiding by the COVID-19 policies. The office itself is also facing a worker shortage as they are in the process of filling another area coordinator position. Residential Life currently has 38 resident assistants, a manager of housing operations, and three area coordinators, according to Area Coordinator
Amanda Smolenski. However, in years past there have been up to 50 resident assistants and between four and five area coordinators. “When you talk about ‘new normal’--it kind of feels like we’re in a new normal now, because a lot of those restrictions aren’t in place. So living on campus, I hope, feels a lot more normal than it did before,” Lamphere said. Dining services have also adjusted to fit the university’s new operations. According to emails sent out by Diane Parker, the dining hall is back to self-serve stations, offering green togo containers, and providing regular dishware and silverware. They are also providing a contactless meal swipe process when you enter Valentine dining hall or purchase from the late night menu at the 1851 grill. The 1851 grill has also shifted. Orders are still placed on the Boost Mobile app where students can add their campus cards to their wallet. Patrons are notified through the app when their order is ready. It is also used at the Starbucks in the Science and Technology Center.
The Intercultural Center and Commuter Cottage (IC3) is operating like ‘normal’ again, after COVID-19 put restrictions on how students could interact with the cottage. Alum Alanis Perez-Rivera (‘21), who is overseeing Commuter Life, was proud to announce “[the IC3] is back to holding in person events and staff meetings and it has given us a new energy.” It is also important to note although they can meet in person again, they are still “enforcing masks for groups indoors larger than 10, as well as making sure that everyone is asking the people around them what their comfortability is at all times,” Perez-Rivera said. In addition to the IC3, many students have been opting to utilize the library as a study and hangout space. Starting at the beginning of this school year, Brennan Library has brought back all of their pre-pandemic services and are open normal hours, according to Library Director Anna Sarneso. On top of this, Sarneso said, “students no longer need to wear a mask while they are working in the library, and they can again eat
and drink in the library. We are no longer socially distancing the seating, so students can again move the furniture, and more than three people can be in a study room.”
PHOTO BY SAMANTHA VEGA-TORRES
Students gather in Valentine Dining Hall without COVID restrictions.
U-Belong event unites campus community
The annual “U-Belong” event was back this year as students gathered in the Arnow quad to socialize, play games, eat foods from a variety of cultures, and more on September 14. The event was held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and featured several attractions for students to enjoy, including but not limited to: a bouncy house, an inflatable obstacle course, soccer darts, cornhole, and a diverse selection of foods and desserts. There were also free t-shirts available, and a station where the shirts could be tie-dyed with bleach. Among those enjoying the event was first-year health science major Blaise Lanou, who said the event “gives the impression that we’re a good community. [They] make sure we enjoy our time here.” According to Assistant Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Jesse Tauriac, that is exactly what the event is all about. “I think that it’s important to start the year in this way because we want everybody to be able to come together and build connections and relationships,” said Tauriac. “But we also want to send a message.” While bringing the community together is a mainstay of U-Belong, the goal of the event, according to Tauriac, “is to make sure everybody knows that they have a place on our campus, that they can bring every part of themselves here.” Two speeches were delivered to
PHOTO BY KAIE QUIGLEY
Students enjoy the festivities at this year’s U-Belong event on September 14.
kick off the event that reflected this message. Firstly, was a multilingual welcome speech that was meant to make international and multilingual students feel at home on campus. Next was a powerful speech from alumni Ruth Kehinde (‘21) on the importance of unity between the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and pride movements. “The United three screams out unity. These communities deserve to be on that flag pole at this liberal arts university,” said Kehinde in her speech. Kehinde named the flag “The United three”
because it combines the BLM flag with LGBTQ+ and transgender pride colors. While the first U-Belong event took place in 2019, this was the first time many students had experienced an in-person event on campus in over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This year is certainly more similar to the first year…,” said Tauriac. “Last year, we were dealing with social distancing, and we had to keep everybody separate…, this year is much more of a celebration, our community [has] the opportunity to be together face to face.”
Coordinator of Intercultural Engagement & Commuter Life, Alum Alanis Perez-Rivera (‘21), who helped coordinate the event, said “Especially post [COVID-19], it’s really nice to see everyone out there having fun.” Perez-Rivera, who graduated last May, was brought on amidst the planning of the event, and according to Tauriac, “did a phenomenal job … She’s actually only been in this current role for about three weeks, but she stepped in and was just unbelievable,” he said. Perez-Rivera spoke on what it was like to have now experienced the event as a student, and as a faculty member, saying, as a student, “you imagine it took a lot to plan it, but it is really heartwarming to see it come together when it’s your hard work. I put the work in, and now people get to enjoy it and have a good day. . . very full circle for me.” “I think in terms of getting the event set up and run, there were so many people who did a phenomenal job,” said Tauriac. Tauriac credited Perez-Rivera for excelling in her new role, praised senior Anna King for her graphic design work, which included designing the logo for the event t-shirts, and thanked Director of Conference & Auxiliary Services Patrick O’Connor for overseeing event management, and Michael Quackenbush of Chartwell for organizing catering efforts.
The 1851 Chronicle
Is Convocation on permanent vacation?
REBECCA OSOWSKI & KAIT BEDELL features editor
& news editor
PHOTO BY KAIE QUIGLEY
Students gather at this year’s U-Belong event, which has replaced Convocation.
Convocation was a welcoming ceremony for first year students and their families which took place during move in day. Faculty
members dressed in regalia and marched into the Athletic Center to listen to speeches given by various administrators including President Michael Alexander, Vice President of Academic Affairs and a keynote faculty member. Over the years, however, convocation has changed at Lasell as it has moved away from a traditional approach, ending in 2015, to a more inclusive event. Jim Ostrow, retired Provost at Lasell, had observed through personal experience, along with President Alexander and retired VP of Financial Affairs Steve Bloom, retired Vice President of Academic Affairs, the need for a welcoming event on campus. “We observed through our own kids, a welcoming event for students would drive them into campus, they would feel more comfortable, and our idea was to put incoming students together and with interaction with existing students,” Ostrow said. Associate Dean of Curricular Integration Dennis Frey said he had witnessed the event as a faculty member various times throughout his time at Lasell when the event took place. “I valued the sense of community it brought to both faculty and the first years who attended,” Frey said. “It was a nice...way to welcome first years to the college.” On the other hand, Frey said the timing of the event was “awkward” and caused difficulties in planning. Associate Dean of Curricular Integration Michelle Niestepski agrees with Frey, saying
timing is a key reason convocation has shifted over time. “Traditionally, it had been on Fridays and then it was moved to Saturdays and a few years some of the Jewish religious holidays conflicted with when convocation was,” Niestepski said. Frey said that one of the biggest takeaways for him was getting the chance for faculty to wear the regalia which is typically only worn once a year for commencement ceremonies. “Wearing the regalia brings a sense of celebration and community,” Frey said. Niestepski, who was a faculty speaker at convocation in 2015, enjoyed the welcoming aspect of convocation and how “parents were invited to say goodbye to their [children] and … it was always the official start of the semester for everybody.” After 2015, convocation took on a new meaning as students and their parents were welcomed to an academic fair where upperclassmen would present projects and show incoming students what their next four years would look like academically, while also hearing short welcoming remarks from President Alexander and other faculty. Although Frey said he valued the experience while the traditional event was still taking place, he said he liked the U-Belong event which has taken its place in previous years. “To be honest, I’m not sure that it should be brought back,” Frey said. “I think the U-Belong event does a much better job of welcoming back all students, whereas convo-
cation was only for first years.” When discussing the U-Belong celebration, Niestepski said, “the U-Belong celebration is really designed to bring everyone on campus together... [and] get everyone excited for the new academic year. The first week, that is really what students want to do, they want to be outside, they want to be having fun, connecting with other students, upperclassmen, and faculty and staff.” Despite the U-Belong celebration’s success, both Niestepski and Ostrow believe student perspectives could be interesting in determining convocation and its impact going forward. “I think it would be interesting to have a group of students, faculty and staff together to think about events before... the first day of classes that students are really drawn to and that could add meaning to their experience. Convocation should [have to do with academics] so maybe there is a way to add to [U-Belong] or tweak it but that is something for a group to talk about,” Ostrow said. Although no students currently on campus have experienced the traditional Lasell convocation, some students, such as junior Kensie Lennon, said they enjoy the U-Belong Celebration that has taken its place. “The U-Belong celebration is a great way to kick off the new year and I think it’s the perfect way to bring the Lasell community together,” Lennon said. “Even if it is a new tradition, I think it’s one that should stick around for years to come.”
Reinventing Welcome Weekend wonder
PHOTO COURTESY OF SABRINA LEBLANC
Orientation leaders group together for a photo during the sophomore boat cruise Welcome Weekend event.
Lasell kicked off the school year with an in-person Welcome Weekend after a year of COVID-19 changed how students engaged with the community. This year’s Welcome Weekend looked different from last year as masks and social distancing were no longer required and in person events returned. “Every Lasell Laser Welcome Weekend is designed to help create memories, connections, engagement, and make all
new students (and this year, also sophomores) feel welcomed to Lasell, Newton, and Boston,” former Director of Student Activities Jennifer Granger Sullivan said. “I think the weekend serves as a tradition that all students look back on fondly.” The weekend was a three day event from September 6 through 8 and included several different activities for firstyears and sophomore students including a boat cruise in Boston as well as a karaoke and s’mores night. Granger said she wanted to prioritize the inclusion of sophomores in this year’s Welcome Weekend since their introduction to the university last year was different than that of others. Due to the pandemic, the sophomore class was the first class to not have the traditional boat cruise when they first got to school. In order to keep the 15 year old tradition alive, Granger said she made it a priority to make sure the sophomores got the experience this year. “I wanted to make sure they were able to get settled, make connections, feel welcomed and or welcomed back,
and get their own boat cruise,” Granger said. “Last year was such an unusual year, I think it was a great idea to have the new students and sophomores come to campus early.” Granger said COVID-19 made the planning of Welcome Weekend more challenging than usual as her and other organizers had to deal with regulation changes and being short staffed. “In general though, I think we overcame or figured out how to handle each of these challenges,” Granger said. “The weekend was successful and was fun and safe.” According to Granger, planning for Welcome Weekend began in January when those involved began brainstorming about each of the various events. Granger said the busiest months are April through September as the events start to come to fruition and the planners make everything come to life. “There is a lot of time and energy that goes into perfecting each of our orientation programs,” Granger said. Students who attended the events
said they enjoyed the weekend and they were excited to have a more normal experience than last year. “I loved the events and the fact that we get to be in person this year for almost all of them makes me so happy,” senior Resident Assistant (RA) Melaney Jenkins said. Jenkins was an RA last year while the pandemic was at its peak and said she thought it was important for Lasell to have an active community this year. “I think that Welcome Weekend allowed not only first years to connect with one another, but also allowed the sophomores who have never been on campus to start to build their own connections as well.” Granger said she is happy with how the event went this year and hopes the Lasell community can go back to offering the experience to the same level as pre-pandemic. “I think the pandemic really showed us how to continue to evolve and be creative,” Granger said. “I think Lasell Laser Weekend has always served as a place to connect, engage, and feel welcomed.”
Marathon Monday returning to campus
To new students, Marathon Monday is described as the best campus event - ever. Now, what exactly is Marathon Monday? Every third Monday in April, runners start a 26-mile journey from Hopkinton to Boylston St. in Boston. Campus falls along this route, close by waiting for runners to pass by as students, faculty, and staff cheer them on as they continue their journey towards the finish line. Classes and activities are cancelled so the entire community can celebrate this annual tradition. However, roughly seventy-five percent of students have not yet celebrated this yearly tradition. Due to COVID-19, the past two Boston Marathons have been canceled leaving runners without the largest event in their sport and Lasell without its yearly celebration. For 2021 it has been pushed to October 11. Juniors, sophomores, and first-years are set to celebrate their first Marathon Monday.
PHOTO BY PAT CARBONE
Arnow quad sits vacant, patiently awaiting student to flood in as the Boston Marathon makes its way down Commonwealth Avenue on October 11.
“Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about it. It kinda feels like a myth as older classes talked about it my whole three
years and I never got to experience it,” says junior Ajay Ramsay who will be celebrating his first Marathon Monday.
“So I kind of feel excited but that excitement isn’t really there anymore because of the fact that it’s been prolonged for three years,” says Ramsay talking about his mixed emotions about missing out on the celebration. The current seniors have only experienced one Marathon Monday, they have yet to celebrate the event since 2019. “Everyone comes to North Quad to celebrate and it’s a great time all around,” says senior Sage Dussault. “It’s disappointing we haven’t been able to celebrate but there were bigger problems going on in the world that are more important than a college quad,” said Dussault giving his take on the situation. Now that the event is set to return to campus, students are already making their plans for the upcoming celebration. Sanuj Arora, a junior, is looking forward to “meet[ing] new people and be[ing] a part of this community as a Lasell resident” as he eagerly awaits October 11.
Arts & Entertainment
The 1851 Chronicle
Runway 2021: Recap of the first digital shows
RACHEL SHEPARD, KAIT BEDELL & CLAIRE CRITTENarts editor, news editor
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN ALLEN
Senior Brian Allen pictured in his Tailoring garment. This look was shown in 2021, and was awarded the popular choice in its category.
After the cancellation of 2020’s Runway, the excitement of students, faculty, and staff was palpable when Runway 2021 was confirmed for May 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. “The students were able to do things beyond my expectation. They decided they were gonna make this happen, that they were gonna celebrate the designers and they took it to a whole new level,” said Assistant Professor of Fashion Kristin Kinsky.
Kinsky said a lot of students were “leaders” in class and stepped up to help everyone adapt to producing a virtual show. “We had some students who had never touched any kind of digital editing and they learned how to do that and then we had some that were amazing and they helped the others and we ended up with this project that was just gorgeous,” Kinsky said. According to Kinsky, having the digital aspect of the show allowed more people to watch the events and created a larger portfolio for students’ resumes. “We are dreaming in our hearts that there’s a way to bring people together to celebrate because I think we all miss the traditional fashion show,” Kinsky said. Senior fashion design major Brian Allen was fully remote last spring semester, but he doesn’t feel as though that held him or his process back. “I really believe that when you’re boxed in, that’s when true creativity comes out,” said Allen. “Because you’re like, well, I don’t have the resources that I need, so it’s like, you’ve got to think on your toes.” Allen enjoyed the virtual platform, stressing that anything was better than what happened the year before. “Anything at that point was exciting.” Design students with approved garments were asked to film their looks on models and
submit video clips as well as photos. “I didn’t have any crazy editing friends, like everything was filmed on my iPhone,” said Allen. “I live in the sticks, so I had access to some pretty cool scenery, which was nice.” Allen continued to explain how no matter where someone is, the only thing that matters when filming is the frame of the shot, saying to “make your world in that frame.” A key member of the digital aspect of Runway was Noor Lobad (‘21), the lead graphic designer for Runway 2021. She was the leader in growing awareness of the event through campaign promotions. “Since ours was the first virtual show we wanted something kinda futuristic, a little abstract, and we wanted to use the color purple because it symbolizes unity,” said Lobad. However, the Runway production class didn’t officially know what the final version of the show would look like until the day of the show. “When it was showtime, we were looking through and we were just amazed at what was in front of us. It all really came together in ways we hadn’t thought,” said Lobad. Converging technology and in-person skills for the fashion show last year allowed for new changes in the way the School of Fashion (SOF) will be approaching the upcoming Runway 2022 show, according to Dean Kathleen Potter. Specifically, emphasiz-
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN ALLEN
Allen pictured in his menswear look which, like its tailoring counterpart, won the popular choice award in its category.
ing the collaboration of disciplines within the SOF through digital media that wasn’t previously utilized. “We know there will be some digital content. That is sort of a given, and we have already reworked curricula and processes around that to an extent. Now we’ll set out to do the challenging but exciting work in the next several weeks with what that looks like,” said Potter.
Style Corner: The essentials Coming this November: RENT
REBECCA OSOWSKI features editor
The leather pant- Just like the leather jacket, the leather pant is another fall staple to whelp elevate your wardrobe. Any outfit you would wear with jeans can be switched out for the leather pant. Pair them with the leather jacket for a full-leather look, or add a graphic tee on top for that rockstar look. ASOS has great options for all genders and styles. The chunky boot- Whether Dr. Martens or Naked Wolfe, chunky boots are an inescapable part of fall fashion. There’s nothing more powerful than stepping out in a pair of boots that make you look and feel GRAPHIC BY EMMA INGENOHL good. Rock them with a classic pair of Finally fall fashion is here, and we fashion lov- straight leg jeans, or a sweater and mini skirt comers could not be more excited. Fall is the time for bo. If you’re not a fan of the platform, Dr. Martens layering, neutrals, and lots of faux leather. One’s also has plenty of flat boots too. If you’re looking style can be flaunted in the fall by mixing pieces for a cheaper option, check ASOS or even your to create the ultimate outfit. No matter what mi- local thrift store. crotrends may be in style this fall, there are certain The sweater vest- Are we surprised? The staple pieces that you need in your wardrobe in sweater vest has had us in a chokehold for the order to create the perfect fall ‘fit, and lucky for you past year now. This functional piece can be worn I will give you all the juicy details on what to buy over a t-shirt or even a silk button-down to create and where to buy it. You’re welcome! a more interesting fit. Go to a thrift store or search The leather jacket- The leather jacket is the Depop or Poshmark for the perfect sweater vest. perfect example of a versatile fall item. It is usuThe matching lounge set- Possibly one of ally light enough to wear even on the occasional the only good things to come out of this pandemhigh-sixty degree day, but can also provide warmth ic is the normalization of wearing loungewear in when paired with a sweater on a chillier day. The public. If you don’t already have a matching set, best place to find a leather gem? You already know this is your sign to get one. It creates a put-togethit’s at the thrift store. Oftentimes these pieces will er-looking outfit without having to do any of the be priced far below their original selling point and work. Target and Entireworld have the coziest are still in great condition. sweatsuits.
Changes are hard to navigate; the past two years have bred feelings of uncertainty and unease. Here’s some advice from the community to help students, staff and faculty thrive nonetheless: Michael Alexander, President of Lasell University: “Get involved in an activity or organization on campus that you are passionate about. It can be a club, a team, a job. It will help you become a fully connected member of the community and will help you with your coursework. Get to know people who are different from yourself, and learn about what goes on inside their heads. It will expand your horizons and add to your learning.” Dalton Conran, senior, entertainment media communications major:
After a fully virtual performance of “Just Another Day,” a cabaret written by local playwright Kevin Micheal Morrin, Lasell University’s Drama Club returns to the stage alongside Regis College with the production of the Fall Musical “RENT,” by Jonathan Larson. The musical follows seven friends over the course of a year, living in lower Manhattan. “RENT” touches on many controversial topics of the 1990s including the HIV/AIDS crisis and homelessness, with an overall theme of acceptance. Director and Lasell 2015 alum Jamie Imperato, describes the musical as “the Hamilton of the 90s,” as it has had a strong impact on musical theater. Imperato has a variety of emotions about being back in the theater after COVID-19 and directing “RENT,” a show that relates to issues still being faced today. Imperato is honored and intimidated to take on the challenge of directing “RENT” as it is a classic show and has a large following called ‘Rent Heads’, fans who spent nights on the streets of New York City when the show first opened to get front row seats. “[RENT] is such a staple. If you are going to do “RENT,” you’re going to do it the right way,” Imperato said. On the other hand, she is emotional as she can reconnect with students who she has not seen in person in over a year and bring the arts back to campus. “The arts community is so inclusive and it’s a safe
space… Just to see these students … come in here and do what they love for the first time in a long time, it’s very emotional,” Imperato said. For the first time ever, the Lasell and Regis community invited alums and graduate students to audition and be a part of the fall musical. One of Imperato’s goals with coming back to direct the musical was to get people back into the theater and welcome them back into something that was predominantly for undergraduate students. Not only will the alums help provide an adult presence in a musical with very mature themes, but they are also able to finish what they started as most of the alums returning to the stage graduated in 2019 and 2020. Cassidy Phillips, a junior in her third year with the Drama Club is excited to be back on stage. “I am really grateful for [the alums]…I think they are going to help bring the maturity this show needs and help lead the way,” Phillips said. Despite the intense themes, both Imperato and Phillips believe this show presents topics we all can connect with. “This show deals with a lot of issues… people can relate to. I think it is something that will bring everyone together,” Phillips said. The fall musical will open at Regis College on November 17 with evening shows on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and close with a matinee performance on November 20. Shuttles will be available to bring students to Regis on show days at no cost.
Advice for the community “Participate in as many on-campus events as possible because you never know when something like this can happen again.” Professor Stephanie Schorow, Communications Adjunct: “I know it’s difficult to come back into a live classroom, since you are used to seeing people as little squares and turning off your video, used to being distracted by your phone or other things and the professor not noticing. Fight that tendency, be bold, speak up and out, and make the most out of the discussion because that is where a lot of college learning happens.” Amanda Miller (‘21), psycholog y major, Assistant Track and Field Coach: “Be gentle with yourself. Especially after nearly two years of being isolated
by a pandemic, it’s hard to expect things, and us, to go back to the normal we remember. I think we all have to continue to recognize that this was a collective trauma and it is still impacting folks in different ways. So, whether you’re a first year student, a student who wasn’t on campus last year, or a faculty member, I think it’s important to carry that humanity as we navigate Lasell in this transition.” Sodna Jules, junior, 19 years old, global studies major: “Keep on track with your assignments, make sure you ask for help in advance, go to the AAC if you need help with homework, get as much done as you can because you never know what tomorrow will be like. Reach out to your professor if you don’t understand something. Social-
ize with your peers. Learn as much as you can, and manage your time.” Kaitlyn Hennessy, senior, 21 years old, hospitality management major and marketing and event management minor: “My sophomore year I lived off campus and I remember it being so hard to make friends. But then one night I went to a basketball game and was standing next to a group of girls and I just said hi and started talking to them- they invited me to 1851 after and we hung out all night. Two years later here I am living with them in a suite! This is the perfect time to meet new people because everyone is looking for them, too!”
The 1851 Chronicle
Gameplay resumes for Lasers
PHOTO BY MIKE MARUK
An excited crowd watches over the women’s soccer team on Taylor Field.
On March 13, 2020, Lasell University announced the cancelation of in-person classes, asking students to head home until COVID-19 was under control. Two days prior, the men’s volleyball team hosted Springfield College in what would become the last on-campus sporting event for over a year. “It’s hard to believe it’s been that long,” said Director of Athletics Kristy Walter. Sporting events were able to return to the playing surface halfway through the spring semester. This was due to good communication between Lasell’s COVID-19 task force, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), and other conference schools to create a plan to safely allow athletes to play, according to Walter. The return to play wasn’t without stipulations and extensive guidelines. Masks were required to be worn both on the bench and during gameplay, athletes were tested three times a week (as opposed to twice a week for other students), fans were not allowed at events, locker rooms were not able to be used, and players were required to maintain social distancing on buses, on the bench, and in meetings. Each team finished the season, proving it was possible to compete in the climate.
Over the summer, vaccines overtook the headlines and the country slowly became vaccinated. The introduction of the vaccine was key for returning to normalcy in the country and on-campus, allowing Walter to bring her sports department back in full force for the fall semester. “We’re 97% vaccinated across the board and probably 99% with athletes, I don’t know that for sure…but it makes people feel a little more comfortable,” said Walter. Because of the vaccination status of the Lasell campus, many of the guidelines for athletics required in the spring season have been removed for this fall. Masks are the most noticeable change. The difficulty of playing with masks was detailed in the May 2021 issue of The 1851 Chronicle. Players said the blockage made it harder to breathe especially when they were exerting the amount of energy needed to sprint. Mask use by athletes is only required this fall if a student hasn’t been vaccinated. “A lot of schools in the GNAC are requiring masks indoors even to play,” said Walter. “We are not [requiring them] to play [or practice]...except for the unvaccinated.” In the gymnasium, only spectators are required to wear masks.
Fans are allowed on the sidelines for the first time since that fateful March game. According to Walter, there are no capacity limits. Only a negative test or a vaccine confirmation is required for fans inside the athletic center, besides the mask mandate. There are no guidelines for fans outside. The extra sense of caution used in the spring semester won’t be necessary this year. Walter explained that last semester if one student tested positive, it would affect the whole team’s ability to compete. But now that nearly the entire department is vaccinated, this fall only the infected athletes will be removed from gameplay. The rest of the team, although monitored, will be able to continue to play. For fall student-athletes who haven’t taken the field/court since 2019, this fullfledged season is extra special and proves to be a comeback opportunity for many of them, explained senior field hockey player Kait Duarte. “I think me and the other seniors feel that it’s our last chance so we just want to leave it all out there,” she said. Allowing gameplay to return to full capacity wasn’t easy for Walter to coordinate, especially when the Delta variant began to take a stranglehold on the country (particularly in Massachusetts) over the summer. “[We had] constant meetings with the [COVID-19] task force and constant meetings with the GNAC,” Walter said. She explained President Michael Alexander was adamant that students had endured harsh guidelines in the spring semester and deserved the situation to be relaxed for the fall. Although sports were included in the plan to return to normalcy, Walter wasn’t confident that it was going to be possible during the summer. “I thought maybe we were going to go back to where we were in the spring,” said Walter. “A lot of schools are doing a lot of things differently [this fall], but it’s just our comfort level and a risk that we’re taking. We’re four weeks in and every week you kind of feel a little bit better, like we are doing the right thing.” The regular season for fall sports will continue until the end of October.
Boomer’s back: Return of the torchbearer LJ VP LAFIURA
Boomer. But now that the fans are back, it’s Boomer’s time to shine. “It feels great to be back,” said Boomer. “I took a break for COVID-19, right. I couldn’t really interact with people throughout the pandemic. That was a bummer.” Since 2009, our torch-bearing friend Boomer has been shining light all over campus, particularly at our athletic events. After such a trying school year, Boomer has their work cut out for them. “I’m really trying to make my rounds,” said Boomer. “I’ve been to a couple of soccer games, I went to the opening volleyball game, and that was a great time. A lot of the community, the Lasell community, was really there for that.” For Boomer, these events aren’t just about riling up the crowd. Instead, these events are about representing the best parts of the Lasell community and everyPHOTO BY LJ VP LAFIURA thing this school stands for. Boomer excitedly waits for the women’s volleyball “I’m wanting to not only show off game to begin. Lasell, but show off what being a Laser is and why it’s important,” said Boomer. It was different during the pandem The friendly face of Boomer is a ic-altered 2020-21 school year. While groups welcome sight in any setting and sets the across campus had to change how they tone for campus events. Director of Athletics worked, so did the athletics department, which could not have fans in attendance Kristy Walter says that having Boomer back at last year, and with that, the disappearance of games with the fans is exciting and helps to lift the athletics atmosphere. “I think that this
has boosted morale and support for the student-athletes,” she said. Boomer’s focus isn’t just on the Lasers, but the “little Lasers.” Children see how important values of empathy, respect, and kindness, that Lasell stands for are Boomer explained. “Mascots are about the kids,” said Boomer. “Yeah, I’ll high-five a few students and whatnot, but it’s really for the kids.” As the school moves out of the pandemic, Boomer hopes the audience for these games will continue to grow and be filled with even more spirit. Boomer’s presence is pulsing through the campus and the stands. Students across campus are taking notice. “I feel like the collegiate support for our home games needs to be there so the players feel appreciated and the fans feel like they can join in. I think it’s great to have Boomer back,” said sophomore Larry Abbiati. With all of this campus support, the athletes are beginning to notice. “I think both Boomer and the fans being back is a great boost for home matches, but also for the general atmosphere of the campus,” said junior men’s soccer player Michael Palumbo. “Our school has the advantage of being a nice homey size, and it’s great to have people supporting you during games.” Make sure to give Boomer a fist bump when you see them at upcoming home games and get a picture with the longtime mascot.
Coaches Corner: Ricky Igbani NICO MANGANIELLO & LJ VP LAFIURA
PHOTO BY LJ VP LAFIURA
First year head coach Ricky Igbani in the track and field office.
Ricky Igbani (‘14) has taken over the reins as head coach of the cross-country and track and field teams. Igbani took the job after being made aware of it by his former Lasell track and field coach James Martin. “I love this program. [It] really shaped where I am with my life,” said Igbani. Igbani was a regular face within the athletic department of Randolph High School. From 2007 to 2009, Igbani was a three-sport varsity athlete lettering in football, baseball, and indoor track and field. When he came to the Lasell campus, Igbani initially played centerfield for the baseball team. However, when he decided to give baseball up following his sophomore season, Martin approached him about joining the track and field team. Igbani continued as a sprinter for the track and field team until he graduated in 2014. “A lot of people said early in my career that they could see me doing something like [coaching],” said Igbani. “I never actually believed them until the opportunity presented itself, and I got the position.” In addition to being a three-sport athlete, Igbani was also a captain in all three sports when he was a senior in high school. “When you’re put in a leadership position at 15, 16 years old, you always have that expectation to be [a leader]. So whenever I’m in a job, that’s my mindset,” said Igbani. He continued to practice these skills working in athletics positions at his high school, including as an assistant coach and physical education teacher. During the pandemic, Igbani set out to start his own venture— his own athletic training company. The company was soon known as “Ije,” which is Nigerian for movement. Many of the basic principles that Igbani works with at Ije are at the forefront of his cross country and track and field programs. “We’ve been going to the gym a lot more,” said Averie Greeley, a senior member of the cross-country team. “He knows what to do for us. He knows when we need a hard day or an easy day or a good workout, we do core every day. It’s really good for us.” Another emphasis of Igbani’s tenure is building a coaching staff that cares about the sport and the university itself. Igbani has surrounded himself with assistant coaches Benjamin Biello (‘21) and Amanda Miller (‘21). “It’s been great, especially because I don’t have any experience coaching,” said Miller. “So to be able to learn from him, see how he coaches students and how he leads students has been really inspiring.” Igbani said his goal is to make his athletes successful beyond athletics. He also mentioned building a new culture, an idea echoed by Greeley. “He’s trying to bring the team together as a family,” said Greeley. The women’s cross-country team has found early success under Igbani, finishing first in a meet on September 17 and third on September 25. Igbani and the team will look to carry that momentum into the second half of their season.
The 1851 Chronicle
Grellier Field & Athletic Center receive new updates
KAIE QUIGLEY & PAT CARBONE co-editor-in-chief
& 1851 staff
PHOTO COURTESY OF RAYMOND BRUNO
PHOTO BY PAT CARBONE
Women’s Volleyball prepares for a game against UMass Dartmouth on the new gymnasium floor.
Over the summer, Lasell was busy renovating the gym floor in the Athletic Center and installing stadium lights on Grellier Field. These new looks for the athletic department debuted as the fall sports season got underway. Director of Athletics Kristy Walter says these changes are being made to “improve the experience for the student-athletes.” According to Walter, the gymnasium floor’s age started to show, and the new lights give students and athletes more time to use Grellier Field. “We can get 200 more programmable hours with the lights on the field,” said Walter, discussing the advantages of the new stadium lights. These stadium lights were not seen as a positive by everyone though. Some neighbors of the Lasell campus were very public with their anti-stadium light opinions. Walking around the streets of the surrounding neighborhoods, one could see “Stop Lasell’s Stadium Lights, 70-foot
lights don’t belong in Auburndale” signs along the streets. To get the project approved by the city of Newton, Lasell needed to have these neighbors on their side. “Their issue really is, it’s their home and they feel like they’re being disrupted by parking and sound,” said Walter explaining neighbors’ issue with the new stadium lights. Lasell needed to find a compromise with their neighbors if they wanted to see this plan through. To get an “okay” from neighbors, Lasell had to agree to some terms and conditions. “We agreed to turn the lights off at 7 p.m. on Sundays, but we’re going to go till 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. We’re not going to use them in the summer… They wouldn’t be on at all in mid-December because everybody’s gone.” said Walter. The university also worked on creating a strict parking policy to help prevent any illegal parking on neighborhood streets.
Lights shine brightly on the turf of Grellier Field at night.
Now that the lights are up and ready, Lasell athletes eagerly await to step onto a bright Grellier field and begin competing. “I’m really excited. I’ve never had lights, even at my high school field. So the thought of having a home game at Lasell with the lights actually makes me very happy,” said sophomore Lisa Ortiz, playing her first season of field hockey after losing her freshman year to COVID-19. The field hockey team has yet to play under the new lights. However, Ortiz said they are looking forward to the more intense action out on the field and the lively crowd cheering her team on in the stands. “I think anytime there’s a night game under the lights, you just get in the zone; it feels more cinematic to me,” said Ortiz. Over at the Athletic Center, Lasell was also busy installing the new gymnasium floor. According to Walter, “dead-spots” were showing up around the floor, making it more difficult to play on. After multi-
ple repairs, it was deemed time to remodel the entire floor. The Lasell women’s volleyball team played their first game on the new floor on September 23 in a 3-1 win against University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The gym floor and stadium lights are not the only projects the Athletics Department planned to make. For upcoming projects, athletics plans to add rooms to the Athletic Center for recruiting and teams. They have also purchased strength and conditioning equipment for the dance studio, which will allow athletes to perform workouts in the space. Walter also discussed a major project that would see huge changes to the program. “Long term, we really want to do a new athletic center,” she said. “We’d have to do a lot of fundraising for that so I don’t think it’d be immediate, [but] it’s on people’s radar. We’ve just kind of outgrown this space.”
Laser fans finally return to the sidelines
TAYLOR VILES sports editor
Fans attend recent women’s soccer game versus Rivier at Taylor Field.
Lasers were able to return to competition in the spring semester, but there was one notable excitement factor missing from the action— fans. The significance of “home-field advantage” was no longer advantageous to
PHOTO BY MIKE MARUK
the home team. The sidelines were quiet, except for the occasional cheer from a member of the game day staff. But this fall, the Laser faithful were able to return to Grellier Field, Taylor Field and the athletic center, making the
atmosphere come alive. “We’re playing and there are fans and it feels normal,” said Director of Athletics Kristy Walter. Lasell’s fan base is part of what makes the sports atmosphere feel normal to players and spectators. Walter said bringing fans back to the sidelines was one of her goals for the fall semester. The longtime Laser leader admitted she had received pressure in the spring from athletes’ families to allow them to watch games live but conference rules prohibited their attendance. “Especially when people got vaccinated they said, ‘why can’t we come?’” Walter recalled. The introduction of the vaccine was the main reason for allowing fans on campus. When at a game, fans are held to the same COVID-19 standards as students. At outdoor games, masks are only required for unvaccinated fans and at women’s volleyball matches (the only team currently playing in the Athletic Center). Masks are required indoors as well as either a negative test or proof of vaccination to be able to attend a game. Lasell sports fans have descended upon the community for games during the semester and have shared their excite-
ment. “The energy from the players is so much better when the fans are here. You know, it was almost a little lonely for them to play a game. Of course, they love the game and they wanted to play but it was just so quiet they don’t have that excitement factor,” said fan Andrea Zahnlauter, a family friend of one of the players. It’s no secret that players can feed off of the crowds’ energy. Fans see that all the time in professional sports events. For example, when a team is in a “crunchtime” situation, the noise created from the home crowd is off-putting to any team they are rooting against. Senior field hockey player Kait Duarte says the difference between fans and no fans is notable and says this current fan section is extra special. “The fan section this year has been great, I think even better than it ever was pre-pandemic,” said Duarte. “They bring great energy and it definitely brings our morale up when we are feeling down.” As the world recovers from the last year-and-a-half, sports fandom will be important to help people remember life’s joys. At Lasell, that started this fall. “I’m really glad they let us come in this year,” said Zahnlauter.