Top 10 events on the heights for 2014

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Molly McGuane '17, Staff Writer

Just as the leaves grow back and the temperature warms up, another semester comes to a bittersweet end. As students and staff return home for the summer to rejuvenate and enjoy the sun, they should also reflect on the memories that were made this school year. So in order to commemorate the 2013 and 2014 semesters we bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly: the top ten countdown of all the events you couldn’t/shouldn’t have missed.

10. Tom Muench’s departure from Le Moyne

Arriving to campus on the first day of school without the “smiling old guy in the admissions office,” as he often refers to himself shook the Le Moyne campus this fall. Tom Muench, who had been an admissions counselor at Le Moyne for 25 years announced over Facebook last summer that his position at Le Moyne had been eliminated in budget cuts, and he would not be returning to campus in the fall. Following his announcement, students and faculty alike expressed support and sympathy for Muench, who over his tenure had become one of the most popular and liked administrators on campus for students. Despite his departure, Muench reassured the campus that he “will always be there for [his] students.”

9. The Drag Show hosted by C.A.R.E. 

In March, the Le Moyne group C.A.R.E put on a controversial Drag Show in Grewen Auditorium with over 250 students in attendance. The event saw opposition from an organization called TFP [Tradition, Family and Property] Student Action that created a strongly worded petition against the drag show titled “Smoke of Satan Enters Catholic Le Moyne College with Impure Drag Show.” TFP tried to bring the show to a screeching halt, saying it went against the moral values of a Catholic college. However, with a lot of the Le Moyne community, including President Dr. Fred Pestello to support the event, the Drag Show continued on.

“As vice president of C.A.R.E, the biggest event for me this year was the Drag Show,” remarked C.A.R.E’s vice president, Melissa Horton. “It was amazing to see such overwhelming support from staff, students, and faculty, especially President Pestello himself. He was one of our biggest supporters when we faced all the difficulties of people demanding that the Drag Show be cancelled, so he will truly be missed by everyone from C.A.R.E next year.” The show was a success, completely entertaining the audience with jokes, dancing, prizes and most of all, proper drag etiquette.

8. Canvas

In August of 2013, Le Moyne decided to implement a new classroom management system into its curriculum known as Canvas. The online tool was first tested on freshmen in their COR 100 classes and then spread across all classes at the start of the second semester. The new website is meant to keep students and staff more organized while supplying them with an easier way to communicate with each other. The subscription to Canvas also conveniently cost the college less than their subscription to the old organization website, Blackboard.

The switch from Blackboard to Canvas was not an entirely smooth one and received mixed reviews from the student body; though a majority of comments with regard to the new site have been positive. Professors can display grades online and send notifications to students via email [usually] without the hassle and students can respond to teachers by emailing them through Canvas itself. Another positive aspect of Canvas is that students can complete assignments online and have ongoing conversations with each other as well.

“I feel like I use Canvas a lot more than I ever used BlackBoard,” said sophomore Dana Anderson. “I’m constantly on it. I check my email every day and I check Canvas every day. It was honestly a little confusing at first, but it makes sense to use and I love that we can turn things in online.”

7. The Halloween Dance and Snowball

It wouldn’t be a Le Moyne school year without the annual epic Halloween Dance taking place in the rec center. It’s a night of risqué dancing, singing, drinking [beforehand], and all around raunchy activity; but above all, it’s a night that students remember year after year as one of the best events at Le Moyne.

To sum up the events that occurred during the Halloween Dance, senior Alessandro Nieves says, “The uncivilized acts that took place throughout the Halloween Dance that led to alcohol fused fornication among other sexual acts is the reason why we literally cannot have nice things.”

This year’s Snowball was one for the books as well. This year, LSPB shook things up by hosting the dance at the nearby DoubleTree Hotel in Syracuse and pushed the dance back to second semester. Hosted in late February, students across campus put on their dresses and suits and enjoyed a classic night of dancing, entertainment and desserts.

Many students called the atmosphere “prom-like” due to the elaborate decorations supplied by the DoubleTree. Sophomore LSPB member Paul Rich had a large hand in putting together the event and tallied the end result up as a win.

“Was it a success?” Rich asked. “I would say yes. People had a great time and the dance went well. There were a couple interesting moments in the night, but I would say yes, it was a success.”

Paul also added that even though the dance went smoothly, it could’ve been made better if more tickets were available to students. Since the event was held off campus, there was a limited amount of tickets that could be sold.

“It was a good event but with the limited amount of people it is hard to brand this event a highlight.”

6. The Fisk Jubilee Singers

Matt Shaw was a 2012 graduate of Le Moyne College who was suddenly and tragically killed in Harlem shortly after graduation. In order to honor Matt’s life, this year Le Moyne sponsored the Fisk Jubilee Singers, talented singers from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in order to raise money for The Matt Shaw Fund.

The fund was created in honor of Shaw to increase education enrichment by helping to finance academic travel, as well as alternative break trips and conferences. The concert was a success and a beautiful way to bring attention the fund. The singers were extremely moving and entertaining as they lived up to their esteemed reputations. The performance is one that will not be forgotten, for it paid homage to a great cause and a great person.

5. Miranda Seeber’s arrest

One story that rocked the Le Moyne community this year was the arrest of Miranda Seeber, a 30-year- old Sodexo employee who was known across campus as the “Happy Friday Lady,” who swiped students into the dining hall. Seeber was arrested for third degree manufacturing of methamphetamine when a SWAT team raided a trailer in the town of Sullivan. The “Breaking Bad” jokes soon ensued as students tweeted and posted; but ultimately, everyone agreed that they would miss Seeber  and her bubbly personality. On the other hand, some claimed they suspected Seeber must have been on drugs all along to be that happy in the morning. Even though the scandal died down, Seeber’s legacy will not be forgotten. If nothing else, Fridays aren’t the same without her anymore.

4. Dolphy Day 

After spending a winter in the polar vortex, there was only one thing that students [and possibly some staff] wanted…and that was Dolphy Day. After several convincing scares, the seniors finally pulled through on April 14 , declaring it the big day. Dolphy Day started in the early hours of the morning as students raced outside to hear the wizard, Thomas Barrett, speak, holding their closed containers and tiki-torches. They danced into the morning, went to sleep, woke up and kept on going. All day, students hung out outside, and laughed with their friends. There was music, bouncy houses, food and the sun.

Dolphy Day this year drew up controversy among certain faculty and alumni, claiming the event was making a turn for the worse, as it became less of a student rebellion against administration, and more of a day-long event that the college actually supports. Still, the stir wasn’t enough to keep the day from carrying on.

Freshman Alex Williams described Dolphy Day this year as a “fantastic day to get to know more people, listen to great music and have a great time before the stress of finals came about.”

While the day was bittersweet for seniors and an all-out adventure for freshmen, students across campus were able to just enjoy being outside and missing their classes. Dolphy Day is one of the most important days on campus for a majority of students, which is why it can only be labeled as one of the most lasting memories of the school year, assuming that they do actually remember.

3. Athletics and Team IMPACT

In February, a new member was welcomed into the Le Moyne Men’s Basketball family. Nathaniel Henry, a six-year-old boy from Cazenovia who was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2012, signed with Le Moyne as a part of the team through the Team IMPACT project. Nathaniel could be seen at several of Le Moyne’s games wearing the no. 1 jersey and sitting on the end of the bench with the other players. Nathaniel must have brought something extra special to the team because in March, the team found out they would be participating in the NCAA DII tournament for the first time since 1997.

And it looks like Le Moyne has a new type of tradition on its hands because Team IMPACT brought another spirited young man to join another sports team. The spirit and love in the air was pungent this past Saturday during the Men’s Soccer alumni game, when James Alden was introduced to the fans, alumni and the team as the newest player for their team during half-time. The five-year-old  from Liverpool will be a Dolphin during the team’s spring season and off-season program.

2. President Pestello exits, and LeMura enters

Soon to be the former president of Le Moyne, Dr. Pestello started the new school year off on a controversial note by opening his brand new presidential suite, and ended it by announcing his departure from Le Moyne. Pestello accepted a new job at Saint Louis University, and current provost Dr. Linda LeMura has been hired to take the position of president.

The announcement of LeMura taking over was well received by a number of LMC students.

“I really, really like her,” said sophomore Dana Anderson. “I’d never heard of her or heard her speak before, but at the recent scholar athlete breakfast, she gave a speech that was both funny and compelling. I’m really glad I got to hear her give a speech and get to know her.”

LeMura will also make history as Le Moyne’s first ever female president and the first ever female lay president of any Jesuit institution.

“I also really like that the new president is a woman,” added Anderson. “A lot of students including myself think that’s really cool.”

1. Patrick Wiese Foundation 

Early in the year, our campus was shaken with news of baseball star and team captain Patrick Wiese had been diagnosed with bone cancer in his knee. Students who have known Wiese knew that this was another case of bad things happening to the good people.

Shortly after the word had spread about Wiese’s injury he tweeted, “It will touch my body but it won’t even come close to touching my mind, heart and soul #jimmyv thank you for all the support. I WILL BEAT IT.” The words didn’t just energize Pat and his close friends, but the entire Le Moyne community. Over the next two semesters, teams from almost every sport have dedicated their games to Wiese, lending him and his family their support. Even the club hockey team sponsored a game for Wiese, in which a number of students attended, despite it being almost twenty minutes away from campus.

“Pat Wiese is not only a friend of mine, but a role model and someone I look up to,” said senior hockey player Yaro Nieves. “He is hands-down the nicest person I have ever encountered while being at college. The worst things do happen to the best people. What the Le Moyne “phamily” has done in response to Pat and his situation has been phenomenal. My “Dare to be great, pray for Pat” bracelet is something that will not leave my wrist for a very long time.”

The bracelet Nieves refers to stemmed from the idea of senior baseball player and Wiese’s closest friend, Nate Reynolds. Reynolds came up with the idea to sell the bracelets to students across campus while also raising money for the foundation created in Wiese’s name. He also designed t-shirts which were purchased by an overwhelming amount of students that read “Pray for Pat.” Reynolds then surprised Pat and his family with a check for all of the money he had raised at a home men’s basketball game in November. The tremendous support by Reynolds and the entire campus turned a tragedy into a story of perseverance.