Saxbys Café celebrates grand opening in Founders’ Hall

Selena Bemak | Editor

Yesterday, La Salle’s Saxbys location, which is situated on the first floor of Founders’ Hall, celebrated its grand opening, though the café held its soft opening in April.
The café, which opened at 7 a.m., allowed customers to pay what they wish for all items between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. During that time span, several “celebrity baristas” worked in the café, including Dean of the School of Business MarySheila McDonald, men’s basketball head coach Ashley Howard, SGA president Tom Sacino and Br. Bob Kinzler. There were also special appearances throughout the day from the La Salle Explorer, President Colleen Hanycz, Saxbys CEO Nick Bayer and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, ’80.
All of the proceeds from the pay-what-you-wish period will be matched by Saxbys 100 percent and will go directly to La Salle’s fund for students in crisis. The money raised will specifically go to the Basket, a program founded by Kinzler that supports students who are food insecure.
Saxbys and the University partnered last year, with La Salle becoming a participant in the chain’s Experiential Learning Program. Through this program, Saxbys opens an entirely student-run locations on college campuses. Other schools in the region that participate in this program are Temple, Millersville and Penn State, among others.
One student from each school is selected to run the entirety of operations of that location. Saxbys refers to those students as “Student Café Executive Officers” or “SCEOs.” Senior finance and marketing major Emma Schweigert serves as the current SCEO for Saxbys at La Salle.
The grand opening of Saxbys in Founders’ Hall received a warm reception from several members of the administration. Assistant Director of Campus Activities Mina Koller remarked, “I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well the opening went today. The fact that Saxbys was starting their official partnership with La Salle by encouraging people to donate to the food pantry and the emergency relief fund, and the fact they were matching whatever was donated by 100 percent really impressed me. I think that definitely set the right tone for the partnership.”
Koller also noted that the grant opening was a great opportunity for students, commenting, “students seemed really excited about it. Students that could give were giving more than they would have if they were just buying stuff, and the students that normally didn’t get the opportunity to try Saxbys were able to try things, so that was really great.”
According to Koller, the entirety of the Division of Student Affairs Leadership Team were all coincidentally at the grand opening at the same time. “It was really nice as a community to all come together and support it,” she said. “Also, their food is just really good – we all were just loving the bacon grilled cheese.”
Vice President of Student Affairs, Dawn Soufleris, was also in attendance at the event and echoed Koller, referring to the opening as “awesome…just to see the students and the staff come out, particularly because it’s for our student pantry,” Soufleris said. “We are just thrilled that Saxbys was willing to allow the proceeds to go to Br. Bob’s pantry for students who have food insecurities. And I love Saxbys coffee, so it’s great,” she exclaimed.
Andrea Naughton, assistant director for Greek life & new student orientation, also went to support the grand opening. She said it “was exciting to see a lot of staff members over there supporting. I don’t get over to Saxbys too often just because we’re on the other side of campus so it was good encouragement just to get over there. Now that I was there once,I feel like I’m going to go a bit more for lunch.”
Some students were similarly impressed with Saxbys. Senior history and political science double major Stephen Pierce thought that “this new grand opening of Saxbys was great. It was a great way to bring the Lasallian community together.”
“I don’t usually go into the business building that often, but after looking at what they have to offer on their menu, I’ll be stopping by more often,” Pierce said.
Junior communication major Elyssa Loughlin stated she was “really excited that they offered their great products but were also giving back to the Lasallian community because it shows that they’re dedicated to being a part of La Salle. And I’m always down for some cold brew on tap.”

Annual fair promotes sale of ethically sourced goods

Elyssa Loughlin | Editor

On Tuesday, Oct. 9 during free period, La Salle students, faculty and the surrounding community had the chance to participate in what is now becoming a yearly tradition: the Fair Trade Fair. The Fair Trade Fair took place on the walkway between the Connelly Library and the tennis courts and featured crafts and goods from five vendors. The craftsmen and women whose good were featured were from countries across Africa, Asia and South America, including countries such as Guatemala, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. Among the goods for sale were beaded keychains, bags, pants, instruments, knick knacks, headbands, scrunchies and fanny packs. Handmade jewelry and carved animals, like elephants, were among the most popular.
Since its inception, the fair has been a spot for members of the Lasallian community to learn about fair trade and support independent vendors. “What makes the fair trade fair so special is not only does it benefit workers in multiple communities, but because many of the products are handmade and carefully crafted, every product has its own unique component to it,” junior communication major Emily Glycenfer said. “It’s hard to find two identical products from any one of the vendors at the fair.”
The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) sponsored the event and the University Ministry and Services (UMAS) programs had a hand in obtaining products from numerous fair trade vendors.
Since its inception in 2013, the Fair Trade Fair has been a staple event for the organization. “Going to the Fair Trade Fair was what got me involved with CRS,” La Salle alumna Sarah Lance told the Collegian. “I loved that the university was providing an option for students to shop and learn about ethically sourced goods.” After becoming a CRS coordinator, Lance had one goal “I wanted the Fair Trade Fair to be a known, yearly event that students at La Salle could count on to go to every fall,” said Lance.
Fair trade is a system that pays workers in developing nations fair wages for the work that they do. In the past few years, there has been a push to begin questioning where products consumers are buying have come from. Many products that consumers buy are being supplied by companies that outsource labor to workers in developing nations. Many of these workers are treated unfairly and are not given enough money to live above the poverty line or to even provide for their families.
Many corporations have been caught in hot water after their unethical business practices have been brought to light, and consumers have started to demand products that are sourced ethically. Corporations such as Starbucks, Primark, Whole Foods and Ben and Jerry’s have all begun to move toward supplying only fair trade and ethically produced goods. While mostly food companies have made the switch, corporations in other sectors are looking to make changes soon.
“The fair trade fair is a great way to support ethically sourced goods,” junior biology major Olivia Mowery said. “It’s one of my favorite La Salle events every year.” Many of the vendors who made the goods are present at the fair trade fair, which, according to senior education major Gabby Tavianini, is what makes every purchase so special. “Everyone there is so nice and there is a great sense of community because everything there is so authentic,” she said. “While you’re there, you get to hear stories about the products you’re buying. I bought a backpack and the woman told me that it had been made out of one of the worker’s blouses,” said Tavianini.
In one of the many educational opportunities La Salle has brought to campus to enlighten the community on the importance of buying fair trade, the event gives students and faculty the opportunity to use the information they have learned in a real world setting. “I think that the importance of the Fair Trade Fair, apart from awesome shopping, is to have a better understanding and consciousness of where the goods they buy come from, who makes them and at what cost,” Lance said. “Knowing that people are being paid fairly for the work they’ve done is really important,” Tavianini added. “It’s the reason I keep coming back every year.”

La Salle Young Democratic Socialists sponsor discussion on role of unions on campus

Bianca Abbate | Editor

Last Wednesday, Oct. 6, the La Salle Young Democratic Socialists hosted a discussion in the Holroyd Atrium on faculty unionization. Three members of the organization, David LaMantia, John Green and Yosibeth Torres, were the respective speakers at the event. Approximately 30 people were in attendance, and of the attendees, less than 10 were members of the University’s faculty or administration.
LaMantia started the conversation by speaking on the history of labor unions and examining the inverse relationship between union membership and income inequality. Green continued the talk with a look at the ongoing teacher strikes, noting that teachers generally have popular support even in traditionally red states, pointing to the partisan aspect of unionization. He stated that these strikes serve as a way “for workers to bring their complaints to the attention of people who can fix them.” However, some attendees pointed out some of the complexities of this method. Chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry, William Price, spoke on the comparable experience of his wife as a teacher: “They worked to the contract, which wasn’t going on strike…you will not leave the school with anything in your hand, you won’t write letters of recommendation…it was very unsettling to the students.”
Torres, noting that there has been an increase in organization of workers on college campuses, then related the conversation to organizing unions on a college campus and, specifically, at La Salle. She posed the question, “What do schools owe their workers?” To that point, one student remarked, “At the end of the day, everyone has their needs, their necessities…so everyone deserves that, whether they’re a custodian or a professor.”
Attendees were encouraged to work through these problems in groups and interact with the speakers. Following the discussion, the floor was opened for questions and comments by the students and faculty. Br. Ernest Miller commented on the complex relationship between the Catholic Church and unions, saying, “Despite the strengths and depths of Catholic commitment to labor rights, for some reason, there is a lot of tension when there are labor unions…we should wrestle with that complexity.” Some showed concern about the potential financial burden of faculty unionization on the University’s students. Green explained, “I can’t speak specifically to La Salle’s financial situation. The financial situation comes after the [moral aspect of unionizing on campus].”
“The Role of Unions on Campus” is one in a series of discussions about the increasingly popular topic, having been between a talk on shared governance a few weeks ago and another talk on shared governance that is scheduled for November, but with a Catholic perspective. The Young Democratic Socialists found the event to be ultimately successful. “I think the event highlighted many issues no one wants to talk about on campus,” said Torres. The group wants to promote further discussion on the issue and encourages students with questions to contact them at

Big Pink brings La Salle students together while raising cancer awareness

Emily Glycenfer | Editor

La Salle students assembled in the Tom Gola arena on Thursday, Oct. 4 to play a competitive yet charitable game of volleyball. The Big Pink volleyball game is an event held on La Salle’s campus annually to raise awareness for breast cancer research. The goal was to collect as much money for the American Cancer Society as possible from participants in the tournament. La Salle’s Resident Student Association (RSA), who is responsible for helping residents adjust to campus life, achieves yearly success in planning this event by creating an environment where charity can also serve as a force that unites La Salle’s student body, whether their central purpose to participate was their passion to help a good cause, simply have fun amidst a busy semester or a combination of the two.
For an added twist of both fun and symbolism highlighting the cause that the game serves to contribute to, the game is titled “Big Pink” for its use of a giant pink volleyball as opposed to a standard volleyball. As many teams that sign up are given the opportunity to compete against other fellow students in a fun-spirited series of games at $5 per person. There was even a “free agent” team for anyone who sought to participate but couldn’t gather a group themselves to form a full team. This year, 13 student teams competed, with a requirement of at least 6 members each. Roughly $600 was raised to benefit the American Cancer Society and their efforts to mitigate the prominence of breast cancer in women across the country.
The student team that came out on top as the winner was Zo2, a group comprised of resident students from St. Katherine’s Hall in the north dormitories. Many students raved about the event, both new students who have not participated before and upperclassmen who are well acquainted with the event that’s been going on for roughly five years now. Sophomores Allie Kuprevich and Cassidy Hayden, who both participated in the tournament with their sorority sisters of Gamma Phi Beta shared the same excitement in regards to having been a part of the Big Pink volleyball tournament. Kuprevich stated that the tournament is, “an underrated event that really brings the La Salle community together for a great cause,” while Hayden echoed that sentiment, following with her satisfaction in the fact that “complimentary pretzels were provided,” making it a “10/10 experience” that she “would recommend” to all La Salle students.
Other students had just as much fun reflecting ­­on the game as they did playing it. Freshman Martin Redanauer remarked that the game was, “[a] big cause, big fun, [with] big balls.” Bill Richardson, who is also a freshman, comically stated that, “Big Pink was an inside job,” as he wasn’t fortunate enough to be on the winning team.
Rita Offutt, another freshman who participated in the event for the first time, shared her feelings. “Big Pink was an awesome experience. When it was originally explained to me, it was described as a volleyball tournament where the ball would be the size of a middle-schooler, and I was a little skeptical. However, it ended up being one of the best nights I’ve had on campus. It was really cool to see groups like RSA and SGA come out and participate, but I think my favorite part would have to be watching the participants try to serve that huge, pink volleyball,” she exclaimed.
Senior history major Adam Zipko, who is also President of the Resident Student Association, the organization that makes this event possible, is proud to be involved in Big Pink. “It was one of the first events” he attended as a freshman, and enjoys seeing it gain the same positive feedback from freshmen as the years go on. He argues that the function of the event is to bring “the La Salle community together through philanthropy and competition,” as, “everyone loves raising money, and everyone loves kicking some butt on a volleyball court.” “It also creates relationships across campus, as many Greek life groups, student organizations, student athletes, and groups from all residence halls show up,” he attested.

Students react to employer diversity at career fair

Elyssa Loughlin | Editor

On Thursday, Oct. 4, La Salle held its biannual Career Fair in the Tom Gola Arena located in the TruMark Financial Center. This was the first career fair since the implementation of Handshake. The new student employment website was launched at the beginning of the fall semester and replaced Explorenet, the previous website that offered only local internships and job opportunities.
With the advent of Handshake, students were given a better idea of employers that were present. By going onto their personal Handshake account, students could filter employers by their major, grade and job-type. The students could then click on specific employers and favorite certain companies that they would be interested in speaking with. When they arrived at the career fair, regardless of whether they utilized Handshake prior to coming, students were directed to employers seeking their major.
Out of the 93 companies in attendance, only 49 of the employers advertised that they were looking for students of all majors. According to an Instagram post, 40 of those employers were looking for liberal arts majors. “I was anxious and also a little underwhelmed by the scene before me,” junior biology major Olivia Mowery said. After arriving at the career fair, Mowery was directed to a meager three tables, despite the 93 companies in attendance looking to “hire explorers.” “One of the companies I was told to visit was a financial advising company,” Mowery said. “Why this company would be listed as specifically seeking biology majors, I had no idea.”
“I decided not to go to the career fair this year, as in years past I have been sorely disappointed,” senior political science major Jon Mains said.
Junior communication major Nick Skiles was also disappointed by the number of potential employers for students like him. “There was little opportunity there for anyone besides business or finance majors. In fact, I only found two tables that applied to my major.”
While many first-time visitors were discouraged by the turnout, veteran career fair-goers think it has more to do with the type of employers in attendance than the fair as a whole. “This year’s fair was a lot smaller than previous years,” said senior marketing major Nathan Enslin. “I was able to find a lot of options for what I want to go into that weren’t here in years past…Personally, I thought it was a really good fair, but I realize that there were also a lot less options for people who aren’t business majors.”
Despite the lack of encouragement Mowery gained from her potential employers, she said “The career fair wasn’t a complete waste of my time.
“I was able to get a free headshot for my LinkedIn from a lady who wanted $35 dollars for retouching, and I received a lot of compliments throughout the day on my business-casual attire,” Mowery said. The concerns of the students are not going unheard, and it is important that those with grievances make them known to the administration.
“Nothing about this lack of diversity is going to change unless students become more vocal about these issues,” senior history major Selena Bemak said. But speaking up is not as hard as some may think. Mowery said that Career Center employees were asking students for feedback, both positive and negative, in the form of surveys as they exited the Gola.

La Salle receives suicide prevention grant

Selena Bemak | Editor

The University recently announced that it is the recipient of the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant, a federal grant worth approximately $300,000 over a three-year period. La Salle is one of ten schools selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to receive the grant this year.
Although the University did not make an announcement until recently, La Salle is nearing the end of the first year of the three-year period, having spent the past several months preparing the initiatives created with the grant. Grant manager Serita Reels told the Collegian that the grant “is given to universities for them to develop comprehensive as well as innovative programming to overall reduce the rates of death by suicide of college students and improve the overall mental health of college students.”
Regarding what direction the University is taking with the grant, she remarked, “We have taken a very comprehensive approach that really reaches everyone on campus. Regardless of whether you’re a student, faculty or staff, we feel like everybody plays a role in addressing suicide prevention and overall mental wellness of our students, so students can really actualize their full potential while they are here.”
Some of the services created through the grant money that the University is employing are programs such as Kognito, ProtoCall and QPR. Kognito, an interactive role-playing simulation, is a program targeted toward students. Reels noted that the simulation is useful in educating students on how to identify and respond to a situation in which a peer may be in distress.
According to Reels, the program “teaches students how to recognize when something is unusual in a friend’s behavior and how to have a conversation with that friend, because a lot of times people know that something might be going on, but they don’t know what to say.”
“It’s very important that we all have the right language so that we don’t offend people or come off as too judgey,” she stated. “The goal is that after you have that conversation, then you refer that friend to help, whether it be on campus resources or even off campus resources.”
RAs, RCs and CCs have all been trained in the program. Students in the public health, social work, Summit and ADP programs are also going to or have been trained in Kognito as well. According to Reels, learning and using Kognito is even embedded into the curriculum for some of these students.
The University also plans on having student leaders in UMAS and on the executive boards of student organizations use the simulator.
Another initiative to support mental health on campus is ProtoCall, a 24/7 behavioral health phone service geared towards undergraduates that can provide students with immediate support. “We thought it would be great to have this counseling service for students because the counseling center is not open after hours, but students might still need help,” Reels stated. “ProtoCall allows students to receive counseling services when the Counseling Center is not open.” If students call the Counseling Center number after hours, they will be redirected to someone from ProtoCall.
To support students’ mental health, faculty and staff members are also being trained in QPR, which stands for “Question, Persuade, Refer.” According to Reels, QPR was designed specifically for faculty and staff “so they know what to look for and they know what to say when they are approached by or see a student who might be in distress.”
So far, 10 faculty and staff members have been selected and will be trained in November in QPR. They, in turn, will train other faculty and staff in the program.
The University is also in the process of distributing crisis response folders to all faculty and staff, which Reels described as a “quick guide” that they can have on hand at all times so that they can “recognize, respond and refer.”
The crisis response folders will provide faculty members with “how to determine what steps they take if a student is in danger to themselves or others, or if a student needs assistance.”
The folders also categorize the various types of distress, including but not limited to academic, medical and misconduct, which will enable staff to pick up the warning signs that a student might emit.
Reels also noted that the University soon intends to partner with the Reflect organization, commonly referred to as Reflect, a nonprofit founded by a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Through Reflect, universities can create monthly forums where students can openly discuss their mental health in a safe space. “We are working with Reflect to possibly start a chapter here at La Salle.”
“Providing the opportunities for people to just be in a safe space and share what’s going on and really recognize that they’re not alone is so important and can be so impactful in improving one’s mental health,” stated Reels.

Campus initiative attempts to register students to vote

Jacob Garwood | Editor

Last Wednesday, Sept. 26, two fully functional voting booths spent the day in the La Salle Union outside of Starbucks. The voting booths were on campus as part of the larger Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) that has been going on at La Salle since the beginning of the semester. The project has been making its presence known around campus at various events by providing a convenient way for students to register to vote or change address or party.
CEEP is a national organization that has fellows on over 300 campuses. Their website says that they are “a national nonpartisan project that helps administrators, faculty, staff and student leaders at America’s colleges and universities engage students in federal, state and local elections.” The CEEP also maintains bipartisan election guides on a multitude of different races — including the Pennsylvania Senator race this November.
Integral to the La Salle arm of CEEP is Campus Election Engagement Fellow, sophomore history major Nicholas Syrgabaev who has been staffing many of the CEEP events on campus.
CEEP has been present at other events on campus, including a number of panels and discussions. They have also been tabling in the Union. Their most prolific presence was their set-up last Wednesday, Sept. 26, when they had assistance from the Office of the City Commissioners. Special Assistant to Commissioner Deeley Trina Bodnik was present, as were two voting booth technicians. They brought with them the two voting booths that students were able to step into and practice voting for next month.
Bodnik also brought the official pamphlet on all things election related in Philadelphia — the “Election News You Can Use” brochure that was published by the City Commissioners. The pamphlet contains a myriad of information for candidates and voters alike. This November, Philadelphians will be voting for a US Senator, US Representative, Governor and Lieutenant Governor. State Pennsylvanians will also be voting for senators for even districts and their State Representative. This is why there has been such a push to get students to register to vote. The pamphlet also contains an exhaustive list of elected officials in the city, including contact information for said officials. The City Council Members, who published the brochure and oversee all elections in the city-county of Philadelphia, are themselves elected officials.
If students have not yet registered to vote, there is still time to register as a citizen of Pennsylvania by using 1900 W. Olney as their address. The final date to register in the state of Pennsylvania is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Students who have already registered but need an absentee ballot must apply by Tuesday, Oct. 30. Absentee ballots must be subsequently submitted to the County Board of Elections of their respective town by November 2. The general election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6 for most La Salle students, including all who registered using 1900 W. Olney Ave. as their address; their polling place is the Weidner Memorial School.

Honors Convocation recognizes outstanding students and alumna

Jacob Garwood | Editor

On Friday, Sept. 28, La Salle hosted its annual Honors Convocation in the Tom Gola Arena. This annual tradition honors academic excellence among undergraduate students in all three of La Salle’s academic schools. In addition to honoring students, the University also presented the Br. Teliow Fackeldey, F.S.C Presidential Medal of Honor to an individual who, according to La Salle’s website, has “distinguished them-selves professionally, socially, or civically in the guiding mission and principles of the University.” This year, Paula Krebs, ’80, was awarded the medal.
Any student who received Dean’s List recognition in the previous academic year was invited to attend the Honors Convocation. The event featured a reception afterward for students and their families. Honors students and faculty formally processed into the Tom Gola Arena to open the ceremony.
All attending students had their names individually read, at which point they walked across the stage to receive congratulations from both President Colleen Hanycz and their academic dean. This year saw the return of a previous tradition in which all students in attendance received a pin to commemorate the event. The pin included the compass logo, which students will be allowed to wear as part of their graduation regalia. Sophomore Nick Puleo was happy he attended the event. “The Convocation was a nice way for myself and my classmates to be formally recognized by the University for our hard work and dedication over the past two semesters. Although at times, classes and work in general can seem overwhelming, this night reminded us that hard work and dedication will always sow the seeds of success,” said Puleo.
Krebs was introduced by president of the Alumni Association Jerry Lezynski, ’82, and member of the La Salle Board of Trustees. Lezynski spoke of Krebs’ professional achievements after graduating from La Salle with a degree in English. Most recently, Krebs was named the 14th executive director of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). In accepting the award, Krebs spoke at length about what her career has focused on and what the MLA aims to do. According to Krebs, the MLA promotes the humanities and everything that they encompass. Krebs elaborated upon the broad facets of the humanities but summarized them briefly as being anything that humans create. They do not include, she emphasized, the social sciences like psychology, and most other “-ologies,” as she called them. Beyond that, Krebs reflected upon her time at La Salle as an Honors student herself, as a member of the University Honors Program under the direction of John Grady Sr., and as a sports editor for the Collegian.
Krebs even empathized with students who endure the MLA citation guideline, which is updated annually by the organization now oversees, jokingly taking blame for student frustrations. Sophomore Karen Kerwick appreciated that, as well as her overall wit and humor, saying, “I really appreciated the way she related to students in her speech and the bit of sass that she shared.”

Explorer Café discusses evolution of communication

Renee Olivett | Staff

Last Wednesday Sept. 26, James Mancinelli presented an Explorer Café on the origin and evolution of human communication. Referencing Michael Tomasello, who said, “If we want to understand human communication, therefore, we cannot begin with language,” Mancinelli focused on the earliest forms of human interaction.
He began by discussing the evolutionary history of mankind, scientifically referred to as homo sapiens. He explained that humanity stems from the family Hominoidea. Different “splits” from this family led to different species — including orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees — which can explainsthe close relationship between humans and these species of animals. Because of this, in order to best understand early human communication, it is important to study the communication methods utilized by primates.
Using a video of bonobos, a relative of the chimpanzee, Mancinelli introduced one of the earliest forms of gesturing. The clip showed that whenever a bonobo wants to have sex, it signals to other bonobos in the area; Mancinelli defined this as a very primal form of communication. Mancinelli also discussed chimpanzees, which are known to use various “attention getters” in order to communicate with other chimps.However, Mancinelli noted that there is a stark contrast between this and human s’ communication, as primates lack shared intentionality. In order to create meaningful communication, it is important that there is joint attention and joint intention. In other words, both communicators must be aware of the situation and know that they are talking about that situation. It seems simple, but primates lack the ability to do this as all of their gestures center around the individual. They use communication to signal questions or desires but not to solve problems as humans do.
Ultimately, this development of intentionality was imperative to human evolution because it allowed people to work together, even in the most basic ways. For example, Mancinelli discussed the task of removing meat from a carcass and how communication is necessary to do so efficiently. He pointed out that questions such as “Which piece is mine?” and “What piece is the good piece?” can only be answered using shared intentionality.
He then finished the Café by discussing the attributes necessary to create effective communication. He noted that characteristics such as a rounded tongue, control of respiratory functions and a properly shaped vocal tract (Supralaryngeal) are imperative to speech. Without these traits, humans would not have been able to develop the language they currently have.
Mancinelli will be teaching this topic as a freshman seminar in the spring. He believes the course will touch on interesting topics such as patriarchal versus matriarchal societies, as females likely developed different communication methods than males. Additionally, Mancinelli addressed his personal interest in the topic. He noted that before researching this, he had never felt as if he was part of a lineage. Understanding the origins of communication creates connections beyond one’s family– something Mancinelli found was important for him, and eventually students, to learn.

Habitat chapter raises awareness and donations for World Habitat Day

Elyssa Loughlin | Editor

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the Habitat for Humanity campus chapter hosted a reusable straw sale for World Habitat Day. In fall of 2017, UMAS announced that they would be starting a Habitat for Humanity campus chapter that would be completely separate from the L.I.V.E programs and would add another weekly service opportunity to the already extensive list of service activities for students to take advantage of. Since then, the chapter has grown exponentially, thanks to their numerous and diverse fundraisers and the hard work of the coordinators.
Habitat focuses on carrying out their four pillars, to “advocate, educate, fundraise and build.” In line with their mission, Habitat has previously sponsored a Gingerbread House crafting competition, a succulent sale and a t-shirt fundraiser to raise money and awareness for the organization. Most recently, Habitat sponsored the reusable straw sale where students and faculty could buy an eco-friendly straw for $1. The nearly $100 raised will go directly to Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. According to senior accounting major and campus Habitat coordinator Meghan Green, the coordinators were inspired to sell reusable straws because of the theme of this year’s World Habitat theme: wastewater management.
“Wastewater management is not something that is super sexy, nor is it a hot topic, but is something that affects every single person around the globe’s day to day life, whether they realize or not,” Green said. “Those who go without an adequate way to remove waste from their water have a much poorer quality of life. Something Habitat stands for is that everyone should [be] living in a home that is safe and provides them with a sense of dignity and that is what sufficient waste water management can do.”
Students who bought a straw from Habitat saw two-fold benefits: they were supporting their fellow students’ organization and making an investment into reducing their plastic waste, something that has become increasingly popular in the news and media recently. This summer, after news of the Great Pacific garbage patch went viral, Starbucks announced that they would be completely eliminating their use of disposable straws by 2020. Many global citizens are already taking steps to reduce their plastic waste, and the Habitat sale helped them to do just that. “We are depleting our natural resources needed to create disposable products faster than they are naturally forming,” said senior geology major Ben Rottler-Gurley. “So I think it’s important to take steps like this to reduce this waste.”
Most customers of the sale are extremely happy with their purchases, especially senior communication major Brian Gelbach. “My reusable straw is really great. I’m very eco-conscience, so the ability to eliminate plastic straws from my life really takes a burden off my mind. I hope they become more mainstream, personally,” the senior told the Collegian.
While many are excited that an organization at La Salle is encouraging students to diminish their carbon footprint, some think it is not doing enough. “I’d like to see La Salle take bigger steps to eliminate a substantial amount of the waste created on this campus,” junior chemistry and biochemistry double major Jake Garwood said. But others think that this fundraiser could be the push the campus needs to start making environmentally conscious decisions with regards to numerous different aspects of energy and waste. “I think it’s a great step toward eliminating plastic waste and I would love to see more of it on campus,” senior political science major Jon Mains said.
Green encourages all students interested in getting involved with the local chapter to visit the Presence page or to reach out to one of the coordinators. She hopes everyone will come out to support Habitat’s next fundraiser, the second annual Gingerbread House Building Competition, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 2.