Quote of the Day

“Miss: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Misses (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the three most distinctly disagreeable words in the language, in sound and sense. Two are corruptions of Mistress, the other of Master. If we must have them, let us be consistent and give one to the unmarried man. I venture to suggest Mush, abbreviated to MH.”

– Ambrose Bierce


Enrollment shows influx of new students

St. Bonaventure University increased enrollment for the fall 2010 semester, Ann Lehman, registrar, wrote in an e-mail.

Total enrollment for the fall 2010 semester was 2,519, an increase of 253 students from the spring 2010 semester’s 2,266, Lehman wrote.

More than 800 new students enrolled at the university this semester, Kathryn Dillon Hogan, associate vice president of enrollment, wrote in an e-mail.

The boost in enrollment is attributed to an increase in the number of freshmen, transfer students and graduate students from fall 2009 to fall 2010.

Enrolled for the semester are 523 graduate students, with 1,996 undergrads; an increase from the spring 2010 semester’s enrollment of 1,831 undergraduates.

Bonaventure welcomed 92 new transfer students, Lehman wrote, and retained 80.4 percent of the freshman from the previous academic year.

“Retention is the result of efforts by all areas of the university community,” Nancy Casey, director of First-Year Experience, wrote in an e-mail. “On a campus such as ours, it is fostered by providing positive residential and social environments that complement and support challenging academic experiences.”

Casey suggested the First-Year Experience played a key role in retaining students.

“The First-Year Experience is continuing to support positive transition … by offering programming in academic areas, collaborating with residence life and other areas of the university,” Casey wrote.

Published by The Bona Venture on Sept. 24, 2010


Photo honor

The Defense: The War of 1812

I was chosen, among 11 other students, to have their work featured on the ‘photography’ wall located in St. Bonaventure University’s Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication building. It is an honor to display my work publicly, and I enjoy the recognition immensely. 🙂

Music moment Component: David Guetta

David Guetta is DJ gone wild, chart-topping dirty electro-beat. Already a multi-platinum selling artist in Europe, with three chart-topping albums, Guetta, according to his web site, davidguetta.com, plans to debut his new album in August.

David Guetta courtesy of 24sharm.com

Personally, I agree with the popular vote on this one.

Guetta’s underground urban club beats ensnare the human body’s love of motion. Deny all you want the everlasting ‘quality’ of his music, critics. However, stand in a club, drive your ride and/or blast the beats in the living room and your hips will end up girating all on their own.

Needless to say. I am a fan.

In fact, I’m writing this as my own hips and shoulders sway to the music.

Blaze teaches fire safety

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Members of the Allegany Fire Department set fire to a mock dorm room on the front lawn of Devereux Hall Wednesday in an effort to educate students on fire safety.

The 8-foot-by-8-foot room constructed of plywood and plaster was furnished with a bed, microwave, desk, extension cords and other legal and illegal accessories typically found in a dorm room.

The fire ravaged the room in just 2 minutes and 45 seconds; all contents were turned into a mass of charred remains and melted twisted plastic.

“Fire safety is a primary concern,” Ralph Aloia, a fire and life safety officer, said. “It just takes one minute for a fire to get out of control.”

The Allegany Fire Department, the Medical Emergency Response Team and Safety and Security volunteered personnel and materials to assist during the blaze.

The mock dorm fire cost less than $300 out of the fire and safety budget, Vito Czyz, director of Safety and Security, said.

Czyz took the time before the demonstration to explain to students the importance of fire safety. He said the loss of a life to a fire breaking out is preventable with smart choices and education.

“I report at least one fire safety hazard a day,” Aloia said. “Typically, it is an exit light out, doors propped open, but unfortunately, this campus’ No. 1 problem is the tampering of fire safety devices such as fire extinguishers. That is a life safety device, and tampering with them can get people arrested for it.”

Along with the visual of the burning mock dorm room, Safety and Security gave out pamphlets on fire safety awareness.

“Watching that fire made me so nervous, I’m going to sleep with one eye open and check my smoke detector,” said Hayley Calcagno, a sophomore.

“Many students are unaware of what will produce these flames,” Czyz said. “Alcohol, cooking, smoking and the use of extension cords are all sources of dorm room fires. I hope this demonstration educates them, and they make fire safety apart of their daily lives.”

Matt Schweiger, a freshman, said he now has the right perspective about fire safety.

“I was really surprised about just how fast it all went up,” Schweiger said. “It just took a minute for the smoke and flame to cover everything. This definitely put fire safety in perspective, and I hope they do this next year.”

Approximately 200 onlookers attended the mock dorm fire, according to Czyz.

“There are over 3,000 dorm fires a year, averaging 40 deaths across the United States on college campuses alone,” Czyz said. “Many of them are alcohol-related.

“We hope this really drives home to students how important fire safety is,” Czyz said.

Emily Magavern contributed to the reporting of this story.

Published by The Bona Venture on Sept. 17, 2010


Quote of the Day

“A female patient asked me if I thought it was abnormal that her husband lays the BlackBerry on the bed when they make love,” reported Dr. Hallowell. “I thought the fact she even asked me was more extreme than what he did.”

– Hal Crowther’s One Hundred Fears of Solitude

Social media can help win elections

John McCain's Twitter account courtesy of cigar-blog post

I tweet. You tweet.

Does your state representative tweet?

In a recent trend, some politicians are becoming more tech savvy in an effort to reach voters. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube make up a large chunk of the average Internet user’s time, according to politico.com.

Facebook alone reported 200 million active users as of April 2009, according to blog.facebook.com, and some politicians want a piece of the pie.

On the battlefront to save his Senate seat, Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.) updates his Twitter and Facebook daily.

Dubbed a “digital genius,” McCain hits home as the number-one ranking senator of digital skills, according to politico.com. The study, conducted by George Washington and New York universities, found the 73-year-old Republican to have the highest “Digital IQ” in the Senate.

The Digital IQ index combined senators’ use of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with the frequency they post, as well as their followings, to judge their fluency and success in social media.

President Barack Obama's Facebook page courtesy of boncherry.com

Proven successful by President Barack Obama’s online presidential campaign, social networking and digital media literacy is a powerful tool in today’s political arena.

With 47 percent of adults and 73 percent of teens and young adults using social networking sites, according to graphics.ms, it would be foolish for politicians to discount the powerful influence they could have on connecting with voters.

McCain’s current 668,606 “likes” on Facebook and the constant bombardment of Obama advertisements littering the sidebars of my Facebook homepage make apparent the changing trends.

The traditional newspaper and television advertisements are falling out of favor. Americans spend more and more time using laptops and phones with access to the Internet. Newscasts are provided by YouTube and Twitter clips, and our favorite ads grace the sidebars of our e-mail. The world is a-changing, and so must our politicians.

While Obama pioneered social media networking, making the Democrats cheer, they have fallen behind the curve. Republicans, currently a minority in the Senate, grew significantly more than Democrats in the area of social networking, with 3,000 more Twitter followers and 20,000 more Facebook “likes” than their Democrat counterparts, according to politico.com. GOP senators have experienced a 6.7 percent month-to-month growth on Facebook, compared to the 3.6 percent for Democrats.

These numbers exclude McCain, whose success skews the findings.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, was wildly criticized for being out of touch. For a man so out of touch, he now leads the pack on social media networking, and if the Democrats fail to step up their presence on popular sites, they may soon find themselves left behind.

Published by The Bona Venture on Sept. 10, 2010


Water ski teammates test skills, have fun

Published on Wednesday, September 01, 2010

HOLLAND – In a classic “Cinderella” story, members of the Holland Aqua Riders took first place at the 26th Eastern Region Water-ski Tournament this summer.

Held at the Oxbow Marina in Northampton on July 31 and Aug. 1, the tournament is one of the sport’s largest competitions.

They competed with some of the best teams and skiers, outfitted with the latest in high-tech equipment due to sponsorship, said Aqua Rider Gary E. Naples.

In contrast the Aqua Riders, who have no sponsor, use their personal equipment, some of it dated.

“Competing were some pretty big show hitters,” said Naples. “Some of the skiers performing on these teams are on the U.S. team, work for Sea World, and their teams are heavily funded. For us to win was a true David-and-Goliath story.”

Cousins Jay Drudi and Nick M. Lyman, along with Naples make up the Holland Aqua Riders’ jump team, said Karen B. Drudi, mother of Jay Drudi.

These extreme-sport athletes brought home the trophy with jumps featuring serious style and class.


They performed a pin wheel.

In the third pass, a helicopter, front flip and back flip were simultaneously performed by the team members on the ramp, Naples said.

“This is a high-difficulty maneuver,” Naples said. “It requires the skiers to know exactly what the others are doing because all three of us are on rope the same length, going at tremendous speed and trying to execute the flips simultaneously.”

The tournament was the first time Drudi, of West Springfield, Lyman, of Agawam, and Naples, of Holland, successfully completed the pin wheel, Naples said. Last year they had attempted the maneuver and Lyman and Naples suffered broken wrists.

“Truthfully? I had to be bribed into doing it,” Naples said with a laugh.

The jumping team’s practice had been none-existent the past season due to schedules, the old injuries and the teams’ personal jump needing constant repair, Lyman and Naples said.

“I don’t know how we succeeded. It must have been 70 percent skill and 30 percent luck,” Naples said. “Thankfully, the three of us have been jumping together for almost a decade so we know each other’s moves pretty well.”

“Water skiing is my favorite sport,” Lyman said. “I’ve done it my whole life and this team means a constant attempt to try new moves and perfect skills we already have.

The team’s first pass consisted of a triple helicopter where all three jumpers executed a 360-degree turn off the jump simultaneously, said Karen Drudi. Their second pass consisted of a front flip with one jumper doing a back flip while a third skier cut under the jumpers simultaneously, she said.

“We do this to go out and have fun,” Naples said. “We try and test ourselves and there isn’t any pressure to perform. That and the camaraderie of the event can’t be beat, and next year, we will go out there to have fun. Nothing will change.”

Copyright © 2010 The Republican