Aquinian, Fredericton, News, St. Thomas University, Students

Long Night Against Procrastination gets large turnout

Over 225 students crowded James Dunn Hall on March 31 for St. Thomas University’s first Long Night Against Procrastination.

The event which ran from 5 p.m. until midnight gave students a chance to meet with representatives from student services like the writing centre and peer tutors, but also presented opportunities to take a break and de-stress as exam season nears.

Heather MacDonald, a learning strategist at STU, said she and her colleagues began storming up plans for the event after hearing of similar events at other universities. She stressed how important it is for students to take breaks in the midst of end-of-semester chaos.

Full story here.

Photo credit: Book Saprasid/The Aquinian

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Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Refugees, Saint Mary's University, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

The Canadian way: SMU uses hockey to welcome refugees

Saint Mary’s University invited 60 Syrian newcomers to the Huskies’ first game at CIS Nationals to give them an authentic Canadian experience and make it “feel like home,” said vice president of student affairs Ossama Nasrallah.

“These refugees will soon become Canadians and stay in Canada,” Nasrallah said. “Refugees are thinking of the future here in Canada and how they will get used to the Canadian culture.”

Nasrallah said it’s important for Canadians to welcome the refugees and that these kind of events also build good student leadership skills for those who care about others and want to make a change in the world.

“A smile from a kid to those students means the world to them and makes them feel they can do better,” said Nasrallah.

St. Thomas’ athletics department could not be reached for comment on possible plans to do anything similar for the Syrian refugees, but men’s hockey team member Dillon Donnelley said it would be a great idea.

“[Hockey]’s our national sport, so in a way it gives the refugees a look at a part of our history and culture,” he said.  “I think it’s a good thing to do for sure.”

Nasrallah said SMU has no other plans to do anything else like this right now, but hopes that a football game could be used for something similar. He also hopes these kinds of events can help Syrian parents feel comfortable about their children’s future when they see the university in action.

“Sports really play a big role in getting people together, especially when you get people to a new game and teach them,” Nasrallah said. “This makes them feel really welcome and the atmosphere in the game makes them feel excited and happy.”

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Aquinian, Fredericton, News, St. Thomas University, Students, University of New Brunswick

Safety tips sent after suspected drink spiking

The warning issued to students on nightlife safety and drink-spiking is a safety message that never expires, said St. Thomas’s director of communications Jeffrey Carleton.

An e-mail equipped with prevention tips was sent to STU and UNB students on Mar. 4 after the university received reports from three students who suspected they were the victims of drink-spiking after an evening out.

Full story here.

Photo credit: Book Saprasid/The Aquinian

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Aquinian, Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Athlete of the month looks forward to playoffs

Kelty Apperson said it’s a special feeling to be named St. Thomas University Coastal Graphics Athlete of the Month for January.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for the hard work,” she said. “But I only received this award due to my team. They are always pushing me to be improving, so their support has allowed me to find success on the ice.”

Apperson, a fourth-year student and captain of the women’s hockey team is second in the Atlantic University Sport scoring race with 22 points.

Full story here.

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Arts, Feature, Fredericton, Opinion, Review, St. Thomas University, Students, Theatre, Theatre St. Thomas

The Bacchae: Lisa Anne Ross tackles gender fluidity and moral extremes

Don’t mess with the gods: advice that is heeded by humans in the latest Theatre St. Thomas production. Enter demi-god Dionysus, son of Zeus, self-indulgent and self-assured as he towers over his cult of sexually spell-bound followers who huff and puff in ecstasy with his every move. Now, enter Pentheus, king of Thebes – the city that Dionysus craves revenge over for disbelieving him as a god. Its ruler is the only one who dares to look Dionysus in the eye without being overcome with the erotic infection the demi-god has begun to spread across the land. Soon, the king will find out that his raging testosterone and prison chains hold no power over the unleashed Dionysian powers.

The Euripides tragic play is over 2400 years old, but feels revived and oddly fit for 2016 with director Lisa Anne Ross’ take on it. Even with the long, complex Grecian dialogues the actors and actresses spit out effortlessly, the audience is pulled in by more than just the story.

Dionysus, portrayed by the uncomfortably captivating Alex Rioux, walks into the first scene from behind the disarrayed walls of the Black Box Theatre. He is dressed in a skin-tight black garment and a lacy black top, embellished with a black sparkly corset, matching elbow-length gloves, Mary Jane-style platform heels, and devil horns. He summons his animalistic followers, the Bacchae, into a dance routine to M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” – something that leaves the audiences wondering how it made its way out of the strip club and into STU’s campus. We are not sure what or who he is, but we cannot look away.

The Bacchae constantly grunt, moan, and sway their hips rousingly at the sight and sound of their beloved Dionysus. Clad in lace, chains, fur and lipstick – though not much else – they look like they’re on their way to a burlesque show or a gothic-themed rave. They murder to the sounds of remixed-Fleetwood Mac and perform rituals to “The Sound of Music.” The group lures in outsiders via sexual summoning and sing and dance in ways that are reminiscent of a tribal cult. They are bad but, for whatever reason, no one can overcome them.

Though the Bacchic frenzy and exploration of movement can be distracting, it doesn’t take away from the messages the story offers. Obvious tones of gender fluidity and homoeroticism reveal themselves. The relationship of religion and sex – and how they overpower or seduce in similar ways – is out in the open for all to see. The riff between Dionysus and Pentheus demonstrates law and order, but also extremes of morals and the ambiguity of madness. The Euripides-meets-Lady-Gaga play suggests that too much madness and excess cause chaos, but not accepting it or maintaining moderation is just as bad. Basically, they’re trying to tell us that extremism of any kind never leads to any good – something that is just as relevant today as it was 2400 years ago.

The Bacchae is not for the faint of heart. It is not for those who are uncomfortable being made to feel uncomfortable. But it is for those who enjoy distorted views of reality and answers to questions they don’t want to ask.

Originally written for a class at St. Thomas University.

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Aquinian, Canada, News, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Track and field team prepares for Montreal

St. Thomas’ track and field team is headed to Montreal Jan. 29-30 for the annual McGill Team Challenge.

The regular indoor track meet will see a variety of events in the heptathlon and pentathlon categories, such as different-length runs and hurdles, pole vaults, relays and high jumps. Because it is an indoor meet, throw events will be restricted to weight throw and shot put.

But with pressure coming down on the team, each athlete from the men and woman’s team is finding their own way to cope with the stress and are looking to beat their personal bests.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Provincial and STU records broken

Two Tommies got-off to a record-breaking start this season at the 2015 Gagetown Indoor Track and Field Meet Nov. 28.

Jonathon Gionet broke the New Brunswick shot put record with a 14.86 meter throw, while Sarah Hickman broke St. Thomas University’s record in the 60 and 200 meters race.

Gionet, a fourth-year student from Bathurst beat the 21-year-old former record of 14.85 meters. This was also a personal-best performance for Gionet that earned him the 2015 Atlantic University Sport title.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Lauren Henman named athlete of the month

Lauren Henman said that it’s a huge honour for her to have been chosen as October’s Coors Light Athlete of the Month.

“I owe all of my success so far this season to my team and coaches,” she said. “I’m just really happy we’re doing so well this year.”

In October, Henman averaged one point per game with four goals and one assist in five regular season games. She is leading the team in scoring and is second in the conference with seven points.

Full story here.

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Aquinian, Canada, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students, University of New Brunswick

STU loses battle of the hill

The University of New Brunswick Reds beat previous undefeated St. Thomas University Tommies 14-5 during the ACAA Women’s Rugby Championship at the Scotia Bank Park Field on Nov. 1.

STU’s head coach Meghan McAfee said that she believes the game ended the way it did because the Tommies didn’t adjust to what UNB was doing.

Full story here.

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Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, St. Thomas University, Students

Students who live at home compromise independence?

An editorial published in the Oct. 13 issue of The Aquinian suggested that learning to budget can help students step into adulthood, but many have disagreed.

Those who have made the decision to stay at home while attending university have said their convenient budgeting plans have only made them more dependent.

Lyle Robichaud and Becky Morrell are second-year students at St. Thomas University who travel together. Robichaud says that while he’s been able to save money, living with his parents has kept him from being completely independent.

“We’re still pretty independent, we can come and go as we please,” he said. “But if we want to do something up here, we have to find a place to stay, where we’re going – it is difficult.”

A 2012 study conducted by Sallie Mae, an American financial services firm specializing in student loans, reported that about half of college students lived at home in that academic year to cut education costs, an increase over the previous two years.

Similar statistics don’t exist for Canada, but an Ipsos Reid poll for ABC Life Literary Canada found that 55 percent of Canadian parents agree that without government savings their child would not be able to pursue post-secondary studies at all.

Robichaud said that his decision to live at home primarily based around saving money.

“For me, it wasn’t necessarily having the money, but it was the fact that I don’t want to have any debt when I get out of here,” he said. “For me, [it’s been effective] because I’ve got no debt… It’s worked so far.”

Morrell agreed, saying that, more than anything, living at home is inconvenient.

“I’m in the process of trying to move out,” she said. “It didn’t bother me until this year – last year I was fine [living at home], but now I just want to be on my own and be totally independent.”

Robichaud said he doesn’t regret living at home either, but currently has no desire to move out.

“The pros weigh out the cons,” he said. “Like, yeah, I’ve got to plan a little bit before I come up here, but it’s only a half an hour drive… So, for me, I don’t regret living at home, I just wish there was another way to get through university without debt and not have to live at home.”

Originally written for a class at St. Thomas University.

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