Kerry Phelan ’16 Staff Writer This year marked my fourth consecutive year volunteering at the Boston Marathon at mile 17. The Wicked Running Club, partnered with PowerGel, has been at the spot for the last five years and as a member, I had always been given the opportunity to volunteer.
This year, the club member who organizes the volunteers agreed to my request to let 10 members of Merrimack’s girl’s track team volunteer with Wicked.
The tragedies that afternoon began just as we were wrapping up our assignment. Before the explosions, the volunteer station had been, once again, an awesome experience. Our team and the club worked together really well and everyone had a great time watching not just the elites, but the thousands of runners who raced for time, for charity, or for fun. Our job was simple – hold out Powergel to the runners so they could grab them as they ran by.
Each of us was assigned a different flavor, and wore a shirt that matched the flavor’s color. As a bonus, we each received an official yellow Boston Marathon volunteer jacket. By 3 p.m., we were both exhausted and thrilled by the day’s excitement. We had just taken a group picture and returned to our cars when the news of the bombing reached us.
Panic immediately swept us as I thought of all the Wicked club members, and my mother, who was running with her best friend and would be finishing right around the four-hour mark. Desperately, each person in my car began to call her. When we finally got ahold of her, she was at mile 24, completely clueless of what was happening at the finish line. No one, especially not her, had seen this coming.
The marathon was such a happy Patriots’ Day tradition, and runners and spectators looked forward to it every year. The first hours following the tragedy did not get any better. The runners scattered, cold and exhausted, without their possessions, looking for some direction, many unable to make a phone because cellphone service had been cut. Boston was gridlocked; police roamed the hospitals, major buildings, and streets.
Getting out of the city, for a long time, was nearly impossible. Looking back on the experience, I am still very shaken. My own family had been in the midst of it all, and I knew people who were injured at the finish line, some more seriously than others. However, in no way will it stop me. Despite the tragedies, Boston pulled together and reacted courageously. Not only will I continue to volunteer, I will run the marathon one day. After watching my mom run Boston twice, and running the finish with her both times, I look forward to running down Boylston, remembering the tragic day that Boston became stronger than ever.
James Callens ’14 Staff Writer
Once again, it’s that time of year! The sun shines, the beaches open, and college students rush to the exit of their classrooms. But don’t be so anxious to forget about all the work and research you’ve done over the year. Instead, take the opportunity to send in your entry for the James Dyson Award.
The James Dyson Foundation of Charitable Trust started in 2007 and every year since has awarded college students grants for their innovative ideas. In brief, the award is given for the best design that solves a problem.
The James Dyson award is open to product design, industrial design and engineering university level students (or graduates within four years of graduation) who have studied in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and United States.
This year, participants will see the prize money triple. The prize money is split between three categories. The International winner receives 30,000 euros, the James Dyson Award, and 10,000 euros goes to your university’s department. Two international runners-up will receive 10,000 euros and a certificate of excellence.
Eighteen national winners will receive 2,000 euros and a certificate of excellence. This international design award celebrates, encourages, and inspires the next generation of design engineers. If you believe this is you, then make sure to have your entry in by Aug. 1, 2013. Register at http://www.jamesdysonaward.org.
Sarah Buckwald ’14, Staff Writer
Best Buddies is a great organization on campus that combines community service, friendship, and opportunities. Best Buddies help create friendships for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
College students at Merrimack are matched one-on-one with a buddy. They need to contact their buddy once a week and meet with them twice a month. Another type of buddy that the organization has is called an associate buddy.
They are not matched one-on-one with a student, but can still come to the event parties hosted by Merrimack. Best Buddies has a party once a month that includes different themes, such as Halloween, Valentines Day or St. Patrick’s Day.
The event consists of good food and music as well as a great time with your buddy. Junior Breanna Walukevich, president of Best Buddies, says, “I love Best Buddies because not only do we make a difference in the buddy’s life, but they make a huge difference in our lives as well.” Breanna was matched with her Best Buddy, Colleen her freshman year at Merrimack. She has had so many fun memories with her buddy and will continue the friendship for a lifetime.
Many students have benefitted from this program and highly recommend this opportunity. Best Buddies is a great chance to have the experience of reaching out to others while performing acts of service.
The Beacon’s Executive Board, the governing body of the college’s newspaper, has announced nominations and offers for editor positions to six students.
The executive board has announced Kara-Marie Joyce ’15 will lead the paper as Editor in Chief. Schyuler Watkins ’14 will serve as Associate Editor in Chief, Jess Raver ’15, as Creative Director and Design Editor, Ashley Yenick ’14 as Copy Editor, Alex Maas ’14 as Media Editor and Patrick Bradley ’14 as Sports Editor.
“I am very excited about this talented group who will lead The Beacon and continue our efforts to provide the Merrimack College Community with a reliable and valued news source,” said Patrick Lawlor ’13, the current chairman of the executive board and editor in chief.
The Beacon’s Executive Board is made up of three members that lead the paper in policy, budget and oversight. The outgoing Executive Board members are Patrick Lawlor ’13, Chairman, Joan Corcoran ’13, Vice Chair, and Jillian Toce ’13, Ranking Member. Next year’s Executive Board will consist of Joyce as Chairwoman, Watkins as Vice Chair and Rave as the Ranking Member.
“I am very happy with this group, and confident they will continue with the momentum that we have had the last year,” said Lawlor. “I have a lot of faith in Kara and I am very happy she will lead the newspaper.”
Under The Beacon’s bi-laws, editors can either be elected by the staff or appointed by the executive board.
Next year will mark The Beacon’s twelfth publishing year as a student organization and the fourth year The Beacon has had an involvement in the academic curriculum. There are two course offerings in the Communication Arts and Sciences Department that teach aspiring communicators media production and new media application. Jim Chiavelli, an adjunct professor and advisor to The Beacon, teaches both courses. The Beacon prints bi-weekly on the academic calendar.
Click photos to enlarge. More photos and
stories to come.
COLLEGE: TWITTER FEED OFFENDED STUDENTS
Patrick J. Lawlor, ’13, Editor in Chief
Merrimack Crushes — a Twitter account that listed the fantasies and crushes between students — was taken down late last week after the college said it would punish students involved in the site.
In an email to student leaders, orientation leaders, resident advisors and athletes, college officials asked students who follow the Merrimack Crushes account “unfollow” the account as to not support or condone its tweets.
The Twitter account was taken down last week. But the attempt to control and influence the content by which a student can view on Twitter was criticized by many, raising questions as to how far the college could go in content control.
The college, however, said that students who were offended by some tweets came forward to administrators. “This is an institution that cares about people and is made up of people that care about each other,” said Jeff Doggett, President Christopher Hopey’s chief of staff.
He said the college wants people to feel safe. “The college community will always have an expectation that people are kind, and we all have a right to not feel harassed,” Doggett said.
“It’s strange when colleges resort to censorship first, when education is what they’re good at,” Adam Goldstein an attorney with the Student Press Law Center told The Beacon. The center is a nonprofit legal assistance agency devoted to educating student journalists about rights and responsibilities. “This is a mild form of censorship, but it’s legal,” said Goldstein.
Nicole Meaney, ’13, Staff Writer
When the announcement was made that The Band Perry was coming to Merrimack College, there was an uproar of excitement.
In a switch from previous years, which have included spring concert performances by LMFAO, Ludicrous, and Girl Talk, The Band Perry is a country music concert approach that will transition Merrimack into spring.
Since the announcement, tickets have been for sale on Main Street. Students have jumped at the chance to see this Grammy-nominated group. When they appear April 19 at Lawler Rink, there will be hundreds of fans in attendance. The country group is made up of the three Perry siblings: Reid, Neil, and Kimberly.
Upon signing a record label with Republic Nashville, they began recording music in 2009. Their first album, titled “The Band Perry,” hit the airwaves in 2010 and made a splash with their hit singles “If I Die Young” and “Postcard from Paris.” Since its release, the album has sold over one million copies.
In correlation with the timing of this concert at Merrimack is the release of The Band Perry’s sophomore album, “Pioneer.” This album was released April 2, and it will be a treat for Merrimack to see the Perry’s play some of their brand new songs live.
Their current single “Done” debuted at no. 23 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Jon Freeman of Country Weekly called the album “time well spent,” which leads to the band on furthering their “stadium-sized auditions.” Merrimack will be one of the first stadiums to host the band as they play songs from their new album. If you have not yet purchased your tickets, there is still time.
For students, guests and the general public, tickets are available on Main Street.
Jillian Toce, ’13, News Editor
Over 380 people participated in Merrimack College’s annual Relay for Life event on April 5. Opening speaker Chris Hart ’15 shared the inspiring story of his personal battle with cancer.
According to the college, “The Relay for Life event runs through the night with the notion that ‘cancer never sleeps.’ Teams walk together to celebrate the lives of survivors, remember those who have lost their lives, and to fight back against the disease.” Becca Ryan, ‘13 said, “The American Cancer Society set a goal for our school of $35,000, which we far exceeded. We had set a personal goal of at least one year in tuition, room and board, and fees at MC, which is $45,610 this year. So far we have raised $44,859.70 and fundraising continues past the event all the way through August, so we are confident!”
The luminaria ceremony was an emotional and touching part of the event. People were able to buy luminaria bags for $5. Many of the bags included messages such as, “I relay because …” or “In honor/memory of …” The bags, with glow sticks inside, were put around the track where people walked. For the ceremony, the lights in the MPR were dimmed and Meghan Reynolds ’16 and Jess Gurka ’13 talked about their parents, who are currently fighting cancer.
Ryan said, “There was a faculty team called the “Road Warriors,” headed by Professor Warren and Nancy Kay, who ran around the track for 24 hours … This was one of my favorite aspects of this year’s Relay because it was motivating to look up and see them working hard for a good cause.”
Mackapella and the Merrimack College Dance Team performed at the event, which also featured a musical chairs scavenger hunt, zumba, yoga, and other activities to keep participants awake.
Alicia Unis, ’13, Staff Writer
As coats are replaced with cutoffs and shoes with sandals, with more furniture on the lawn than in the building, and our grassy, green grounds decorated with a spattering of red Solo cups, it is clear: Springapalooza is in the air.
The annual “Spring Weekend” tradition at Merrimack has evolved from a simple weekend into a weeklong celebration. It is a series of events commemorating the arrival of spring, and the final party culminating the last semester of this academic year.
These events celebrate the warm weather, giving students the opportunity to get out from behind those books and into the sunlight. It provides an alluring distraction and needed break in a time of increasing academic stress.
Spring Weekend chair Tyler McCarthy said, “We want people to take advantage of the events that are being offered and we worked really hard to cater them to what students want. They are ‘come and go,’ relaxing events. And food — there’s always free food.”
And to give you a little taste of what the events — and the food — will be like: Wednesday April 17 Natalie Stovall MPR, 8 p.m. Natalie and her band have a unique sound, as they incorporate the fiddle and perform covers of classic rock and country songs.
Silent Demonstration in Honor of the Day of Silence & Breaking the Silence Ceremony Sak Patio, 5-6:30 p.m. The Day of Silence is a student-led national movement to take a vow of silence in the effort to increase awareness and support for anti-bullying and harassment in schools for all sexual orientations, and gender identities and expressions.
Thursday April 18 Cash Cab Campus-wide, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The Merrimack Planning Board will be using a Merrimack van as a “Cash Cab,” re-enacting the television game show in which students can take a ride in the van and will be asked a series of questions, and if answered correctly, they win prizes. 3v3 Basketball Tournament (Merrimack Women’s Basketball Fundraiser) Volpe Gym, 5:30-6 p.m. Check-In Stereotyped 101 Library Auditorium, 8 p.m. A comedian uses humor to promote awareness of the presence and impact of varying forms of stereotyping.
Friday, April 19, 2013 The Band Perry with Joel Crouse Lawler Arena, doors open at 7 p.m., showtime at 8 p.m. This popular country band will be performing a concert with opener Joel Crouse.
Tickets are currently sold out. Saturday April 20, 2013 Softball Tournament Volpe Field, 8 a.m. In this annual single-elimination softball tournament, there can be up to 16 players on a team, all teams must be captained by a senior and made up of approximately 50 percent seniors.
Each team must also have a minimum of three women on the field at all times. Heart and Soul Night Sak Patio, 9 p.m. In this block-party type outdoors event you can spread a blanket out on the grass and listen to the sounds of the steel drum band The Gentleman’s Outfit that performs a blend of reggae/Jack Johnson-style music, with food, novelty giveaways, and the possible presence of a beer tent.
If you are interested in joining the Merrimack Planning Board, you can contact Rose Dolan at email@example.com
Joan Corcoran, ’13, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Sexual health is a topic at all universities, given the age range and common activities of students, but how it factors into Catholic colleges is another story.
Boston College’s current disagreement with some students over distribution of condoms on campus could be happening at any Catholic college in the nation.
When a group of students wanted to spread awareness about sexual health and safe sex, they knew the school would not be cooperative — contraception is forbidden by the Catholic Church.
The students claimed space on a sidewalk that is not technically BC property, but is owned by the city of Newton. These students not only passed out condoms and information there, but also would go to certain dorms.
These students are now prohibited from passing out safe sex materials in the dorms, and only occupy the sidewalk on Fridays.
Molly Rather, a BC junior, said the campus has been buzzing about this topic. “The college has to evolve with the changing times and cannot restrict safe sex practices. Not everyone who goes here is a practicing Catholic,” said Rather. “They should be able to cater to their diverse student population” Clashes between a modern college lifestyle and Catholic values are becoming more prevalent.
Students who attend state and even private universities have free, easy access to birth control, condoms and testing for STDs. Students at Catholic universities cannot get contraceptives from their college — at Merrimack, contraception is not permitted at Hamel Health Center — and are encouraged to abstain from sex in order to have good sexual health.
When opting to attend these Catholic institutions, students may be opting out of an open and realistic college community. On one hand students get all the benefits of Catholic values and commitment to education; on the other they are restrained from openness to safer sexual health, unless they take to the sidewalks
Patrick J. Lawlor, ’13, Editor in Chief
On Sunday, Apr. 7, at 12:03 a.m., Police Services was notified of an attempted robbery of a Merrimack student at knifepoint. The student, according to a campus-wide statement released by Police Services, was able to defend himself and described the assailants as three white males and one black male.
The primary assailant, who was brandishing a knife, was described to police as six feet, one, wearing jeans and a grey hooded sweatshirt. The knife he was carrying was described as six inches in length.
A black male at the same height was also described, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. Two other white males were involved and reportedly sustained facial injuries in result of the altercation.
On Tuesday Apr. 9, at Lone Star Community College’s CyFair campus in Cypress Texas a student allegedly stabbed up to 14 people on he campus.
The suspect, who was subdued by campus police, was described as someone who normally carries around a stuffed monkey, according to one witness who spoke to CNN Tuesday afternoon.
The incident comes just two months after a shooting incident at another Lone Star Community College site.
Molly Canyes, ’15, Staff Writer
On Apr. 7, seven Merrimack College students received the Sacrament of Confirmation while others received their First Communion.
These students met 20 times since last September and worked with Fr. Bill Waters on completing their long journey of faith. They have met on Sunday nights and worked with Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, for the Rite of Election in Boston this past February.
On Apr. 6 the group met for six hours for a day of recollection. Maria Arzu ’15 and Hannah Morley ’13 had already been baptized. Morley was baptized as a Methodist and Arzu as a Catholic.
Both students received their First Communion and Confirmation. “After being confirmed and receiving my First Communion I know that I have created a personal relationship with God and that this whole process has been very informative, rich, fun and we’ve all became friends since September,” said Arzu. “I have always wanted to be confirmed and receive my First Communion and I had no idea that we could get an opportunity to do this here on campus.
“I took it upon myself to sit down and speak to Fr. Bill about it. I encourage others to invest their time to do this because you learn a lot and build relationships with others who are going through this process as well,” she said. However, “it is a process that you have to commit to,” she said.
Morley chose to become a Catholic because her father’s family is Catholic. “I have been asked this question before and for some reason and it’s hard to put in words why I chose to become Catholic,” she said.
“For much of my life, I haven’t been religious but I believed in God. Coming to Merrimack, taking religion classes gave me a feeling that this is the right time.” Morley said she has been excited throughout this process and that Apr. 7 was always the end goal for her and for the other six students.
“It’s been an educational experience and one that I am truly thankful for — this process has educated me on what it really means to be Catholic and what the Catholic Church stands for.
Even though this process is long and overwhelming at many points, I am truly thankful for the experience and the knowledge because I know that it will make me a better Catholic,” she said. Kerry Phelan ’16 and Maegan Cote ’16 were also confirmed.
Phelan said she was finally be able to embrace her Catholic faith. “It means that I am officially a part of the Catholic Church and the community I have always grown up with.
It is my way of sealing my faith with God and saying yes to the mission he has set for me,” she said. Phelan considered that this journey has been really interesting since September but also not what she had expected. Cote said she is excited to have been confirmed.
“It is a way for me become a more active member in the church. Being confirmed gives me the chance to choose for myself and so I took the initiative,” she said. She recommends this process to anyone who is interested in receiving any of the Sacraments of Initiation. Andrew Suttle ’15, and Benjamin Knox ’13 both received First Communion and were baptized.
Suttle said he was not religious by any means while growing up, and being a part of the Catholic faith did not really occur to him until beginning this journey.
“It is a huge commitment and the process since September has been very difficult but worth it,” he said. “With soccer and homework it has been difficult and I knew this coming into this process that meeting every Sunday night would not be easy.”
Suttle noted he was never baptized or confirmed when he was growing up, though he had wanted to be for quite some time; he never knew the process for doing so until coming to Merrimack College.
“I felt like something was not complete and so I chose to do this now because I can put the pieces together,” he said. “At this age I feel like I can gather more knowledge and know more about the religion.”
Sarah Buckwald, ’14, Staff Writer
Paulina Amato, who recently graduated from Merrimack, had the idea last semester of opening a student run art gallery. This month, that idea will become a reality.
The gallery will reside in Augie’s Pub, which will give students many opportunities to get involved. “I believe that this gallery will be influential in attracting new students to the school as well as help promote and celebrate the diversity and talent of our peers,” Amato said.
Students will be able to hold art workshops as well as create their own pieces of art without having to worry about the price of materials.
The pub not only has a wonderful atmosphere, and will also give students a sense of community while browsing the artwork. The art gallery will be open during lunch and dinner for students to view exquisite displays of art by their talented peers.
Amato describes her goal as promoting the collaboration of students with different majors within the visual and performing arts department, while giving students a chance to experience and learn about the workings of an art gallery.
This gallery will be a great opportunity for students to advertise their work in a gallery setting as well as interact with peers, Amato said.
The gallery will be accommodating to new ideas from the students and alumni who contribute their art as well. Amato earned her bachelor’s degree in art history.
Since her graduation last semester, she has passed along the gallery idea to Merrimack students Jaclyn Caruso, Rachel Mueller and Molly Caynes.
Kerry Phelam, ’16, Staff Writer
This year, 40 Merrimack students and eight advisors were given the opportunity to provide service over Spring break, in the college’s annual Alternative Spring Break program.
The students split into four different locations in Bronx, N.Y., Camden, N.J., Durbin W.Va., and New Orleans. Services included building houses, distributing meals at local shelters, providing childcare, and serving the elderly.
According to Brian SuehsVassel, assistant director of campus ministry, the department that facilitates the service trip, the goal of Alternative Spring Break is “to provide students with the opportunity to serve others and grow spiritually while experiencing the joy of the community.” From the feedback of the students, the trip did not fall short of these goals.
“The NOLA [New Orleans] group worked really well together and managed to laugh a lot while we were working,” said ASB New Orleans leader Chris Provost, ‘13. Along with his group of 10 students, the group was able to work with Habitat from Humanity in building a home with a family affected by Hurricane Katrina.
In New York, ASB co-leaders Courtney Gray and Claire Wisley described their time as an “amazing experience.” Stationed in the Bronx, their group of 10 was able to serve at multiple locations including an immigration center, a shelter for women and children, a soup kitchen, daycare center, and even a popular food bank.
“We had a great time interacting with the staff and serving over 400 hot meals to the people of the Bronx” said Gray. With another successful spring break trip completed, SuehsVassel would like to remind all students that all Campus Ministry trips are open to everyone.
Despite the work, Provost and other students explain that these trips are not only fun, but also meaningful for all involved. “Hearing how appreciative they were of our service made everything worthwhile,” said Provost.
James Callens, ’14, Staff Writer
Those studying biology and psychology might already know that neuronal development is characterized by a period of exuberant synaptic growth. In other words, the juvenile brain is much more malleable than the adult brain.
Thus, it is able to recover more quickly from trauma than the more stable adult brain. Obviously, a slower working brain gives clarity to reason why there is such a decline in mental acuity as we age.
But, wouldn’t it nice to “flip the switch” and be young again? Over recent months, Yale Medical School students were able to identify the gene responsible for suppressing the high level of plasticity of an adolescent brain. They declared that the Nogo Receptor gene 1 (NRG-1) is responsible for brain maturation.
In response to these findings, the researchers were able to recreate youthful brains, in adult mice, that facilitated learning and healing. The NRG-1 was previously known to just block axon regeneration following an injury and stabilize the neuronal wiring of an adult brain.
But researchers realized that it is also found in dendrites of postsynaptic neurons acting as a barrier to limit the number of excitatory potentials in the synapse. When researchers used mice in their study that had no NRG-1, the mice were able to retain their juvenile-like brain all through adulthood.
In older mice, the NRG-1 was inhibited and researchers received the same results. Also, the NRG-1 was found to slow the loss of memory. Mice without the NGR-1 lost stressful memories more quickly than mice with a normal functioning NRG-1. Yale student and primary researcher Feras Akbik stated that “…this raises the potential that manipulating the Nogo Receptor in humans might accelerate and magnify rehabilitation after brain injuries like strokes and even PTSD.”
The study was funded by the National Institute of Health and the company Strittmatter is currently investigating applications of NRG-1 to repair spinal cord damage.
Hopefully in the future many people, especially sports players and the elderly, can look forward to a faster recovery process from an injury.
Patrick J. Lawlor ’13 , Editor in Chief
Pope Francis I was elected the 266th leader of the Catholic Church on Wednesday.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, is the first-ever leader of the Catholic Church to come from Latin America, where roughly 40 percent of the Catholic Church’s following lives, and the first since Peter, Christ’s apostle, to come from outside Europe.
“This represents a real acknowledgment of realities about the world and the Church. We are truly a global Church, not just a Western or European Church,” said Fr. Ray Dlugos, vice president of mission and student affairs at Merrimack.
The Catholic Church has wavered on its core beliefs very little in the last 2,000 years, which some critics say has been a reason for the decline of active and practicing Catholics. “For the Church to call a citizen of the Southern Hemisphere to its highest leadership position is a sign, I think, that the Church is ready to look at the world from a very different perspective. I find that very hopeful,” said Dlugos.
With social issues so present in our world today, Catholics, especially young Catholics have become very outspoken on issues like women’s rights, homosexuality and birth control. “Pope Francis has a reputation, according to NBC News, of being a compassionate conservative who also helped the Church of Argentina become more modern and progressive after being the most conservative in South America,” said Dlugos
“I am very struck by his reputation for being very humble and living simply and that he chose the name Francis. That tells me that he wants to renew the Church spiritually through humility and attention to the poor and vulnerable of the world rather than preserving its grandeur and power. How that translates into his direction on issues that Americans think are important, like sexual morality and the role of women, remains to be seen,” Dlugos said of the new pontiff.
With Merrimack’s strategic plan calling for the institution to become a “contemporary Catholic college,” it remains to be defined how a small Catholic school in the Augustinian tradition could do just that. Leadership within the Catholic Church, and the vision and mission of such leadership, will no doubt profoundly influence the college’s mission.
“What Merrimack, as a Catholic college in the 21st century, must do is always to take the teaching and reasoning of the pope seriously and to respectfully engage in dialogue with that teaching from the perspectives of all of our academic disciplines,” Dlugos said.
Pellegrinaggio, the student, alumni and faculty pilgrimage to Italy will be at the Vatican for Pope Francis’ first Easter mass.
Due to inclement weather, the delivery of the 3/8/2013 print edition is delayed. Readers can access an electronic version of the paper under the “e-editions and archives” tab at the top of the page. Thank you for your cooperation.
Merrimack students’ free ride at the YMCA of Andover/North Andover has ended.
Students who previously were allowed access to the Y with their MackCards are now being turned away unless they are members through another source. In 2012, the college announced a partnership with the Y, located about a quarter of a mile from campus on Peters Street.
The deal gave Merrimack students the opportunity to use facilities at the Y such as the swimming pool, sauna or gym facilities. It also gave Y members the opportunity to use the rink in the Lawler Arena during open skate times.
The deal, according to Y Executive Director Alex Turek, is no longer in existence. “We have a young adult rate that is for ages 19 to 23 that costs only $26 a month and is half the cost of our adult membership.
“This category was created with the college student in mind as well as others in that age range.” Turek said. Turek is new to the Andover/ North Andover Y and was not employed at that location when the deal was made with Merrimack, he said.
Merrimack athletes often used the pool for cross training when trying to give their legs a rest. The pool at the Y offered student athletes that alternative training method. However, many students also used the Y gym when the Sakowich Gym is overcrowded.
According to Jeff Doggett, President Hopey’s chief of staff said the agreement with the Y was a “gentleman’s agreement” that gave the Y members access to the Lawler Arena ice. When the Y members no longer found a need for the ice, the agreement between the Y and Merrimack ended.
Kali Tudisco ’15, Staff Writer
Ganser a Star, On and Off the Court
On Feb. 25, senior Katie Ganser will have an opportunity to speak to the entire Merrimack community as she delivers the fourth annual First Lecture
. Ganser, who will be the first active student-athlete to give the First Lecture, has an exceptional resume at Merrimack. A four-year player and two-year captain on the women’s basketball team and president of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, Ganser also boasts an impressive academic record.
Majoring in biology/pre-med with a minor in psychology, she has spent four years on the Dean’s List and the last three semesters on the President’s List, and she now assists in research with professor Janine Leblanc-Straceski. In addition to all of her other commitments, Ganser is a Student Ambassador, a member of the ODK honor society, and is deeply involved with Alternative Spring Break and the Campus Ministry.
After graduation she plans to work for a year before attending medical school. “I am really excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Merrimack community all that it has done for me,” says Ganser.
“I hope to give a lecture that will be interesting and inspiring to everyone who hears it, to get involved in their own ways and follow their own dreams.”
The First Lecture is designed to give a student a chance to deliver a formal message and have people listen, an opportunity usually only given to professors and scholars.
The idea developed from a more common tradition known as the Last Lecture, in which a faculty member is selected to deliver a lecture as if it is the last that he or she will ever give.
The Last Lecture was brought to Merrimack in 1999, but it was not until 2010 that the First Lecture was conceived. When the Mission Effectiveness Committee was searching for ways to help the college bring to life its new mission statement (“To enlighten minds, engage hearts, and empower lives”), a group of four students suggested the idea of a student-given lecture, as students were given many opportunities to be spectators at events, but were rarely the active participants.
Therefore, the First Lecture, a tradition entirely unique to Merrimack, was created. This year, Ganser was selected by SGA from among 10 willing nominees, each with their own enthusiasm for the lecture and their own message to communicate.
The committee interviews each nominee to see what kind of experiences and passions he or she could bring to a potential lecture. Father Ray Dlugos, who was involved in the creation of the First Lecture and is now involved in the interview process, stated that this year’s decision was the hardest so far, but that Ganser stood out not only because of her many accomplishments, but because of the great variety of her achievements and the passion with which she pursues her goals.
“Katie, as a Merrimack student, really has embraced the values that we claim are so important to us. She’s a leader, she’s a terrific teammate and friend, and she is very committed to service to others,” says Fr. Dlugos. The First Lecture will take place on Monday, Feb. 25 in Cascia Hall.
Kerry Phelan ’16, Staff Writer
The signs gave the heads-up: Over winter break, new security cameras were installed in the residence halls. With them came the question: Is the added measure really necessary?
In all, approximately 45 cameras are now located throughout the campus, in residence hall lobbies, quad areas, parking lots, and the campus center.
According to Police Chief Michael Delgreco, the extra cameras are meant simply to add of the safety and security of the campus. He said the cameras can be an investigative tool for police, useful to investigate thefts or other student complaints. The cameras record continuously but the tapes are only viewed when an incident has occurred, and already they have helped police identify suspects.
“Some of these incidents may not have had a positive result if it were not for these cameras, and we also have received positive feedback from those victims,” said Delgreco.
Student reactions to these cameras were mixed, with some undergrads concerned that the new measures are not only an invasion of privacy, but unnecessary given the size of the campus.
However, police noted the cameras are mounted only in public areas and will never be used in residence hallways, rooms, or other private areas.
Said Delgreco, “The decision to add additional cameras around campus was a proactive one. Though the college is a safe environment, as we grow in population and number of buildings, we continue to look for ways to guard and maintain the overall safety of our residents, staff, and visitors.”
“If it’s for my safety, I can’t really complain, I guess, as long as they are not abused,” said freshman Kathleen Mooney. As Merrimack continues to expand, students should expect to see more cameras being added to public areas. Other students suggested they be placed near the fire alarms to combat the number of alarm pulls taking place this year on campus.