I’ve always been told that first impressions are everything, but that can’t be true. If it were then there’s no way Residential Life would’ve picked me to be a Resident Assistant, let alone give me my own blog.

Coming in freshman year I would’ve never seen myself leading a community here, but for some reason other people did. Maybe it was my fear of meeting new people, my constant sweating and shaking in social situations or maybe it’s just that I mumble whenever I’m nervous. Even though I’m all around awkward, Res Life put their faith in me. After spending an entire semester working as an RA, most people might actually mistake me for a normal person! I don’t shake uncontrollably around new people, I don’t sweat nearly as much and I even speak pretty clearly every once in awhile.

If Res Life could do all that for me, I figure I should return the favor and do the same for my residents. Coming to college freshman year can be pretty nerve-wracking, and maybe that’s why Res Life thought I should get to watch over two floors of freshmen. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, right? This philosophy seems to be working. When the semester started my residents seemed completely lost, constantly knocking on my door and calling me before they could decide which shoe to put on first. Now I live in constant fear that Res Life will notice they don’t need me anymore and kick me out onto the streets.

Even if they did, life wouldn’t be so bad. Besides being an RA I’m a journalist. I’ve spent two years working for our student newspaper, The Maroon, and have interned at Fox News and Gawker Media.

Studying journalism has given me a great excuse to take film classes. I love to shoot, write and edit video. I’m an avid movie watcher too, though my classics would include things like The Evil Dead and Ghost Busters rather than Casa Blanca.

I’m also a musician, not the kind you’ll ever see on stage, but I like to sit in my room and play Bruce Springsteen on my guitar and give tribute to Outkast at karaoke nights.

I like to think I have a taste for fine dining as well. Of course, in my mind a fried chicken liver poboy is about as fine as dining gets. I cook whenever I get the chance, focusing on things I can stockpile in my room, mostly Spam.

Don’t let my love for canned meats turn you off though, I’ve got a pretty good view of Loyola from the top of Buddig Hall and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

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My name is Lucy Dieckhaus and I am from Rockford, Illinois. Currently, I am living in Biever Hall, and I have come to call this building more than just a place to sleep because of the people I have met. I have built relationships with a plethora of people that have allowed me to call not only Biever Hall but Loyola University­­­— home.

During my high school experience I was involved in both my community and school. I believed this integration of community service and school involvement was possible at Loyola and, because of that, was attracted here. This year at Loyola, I decided to major in both Mass Communications and Political Science. My majors say a lot about my personality. I believe I am a very well-rounded person with a wide range of interests. So far at Loyola my interests have led me to become involved with a number of activities on campus including writing for the Maroon, RTDNA (broadcasting club), student dining advisory board, and work study employee in the Mass Communications office. I also plan on joining other clubs and groups throughout my college experience to become as involved in the Wolfpack as possible.

My ultimate goal after the conclusion of college is to become a news reporter. I have always been interested in the media and various forms of communication. This blog will give me the opportunity to share my experiences and opinions with the students here at Loyola. As a student, I believe that everyone should work hard, but personal time is important as well. In my personal time, I enjoy doing activities such as exercising, spending time with my family and boyfriend, shopping, going out to restaurants, and volunteering. Last semester a volunteering experience I was involved in was Catholic Charities: English as a Second Language Program. This program taught me to practice many Jesuit values, but also to balance my time. Balance is very important in my life, and I believe it helps me succeed. Along with time management, some of my other gifts and talents are winning over others, achiever, communicator, leader, and includer. The StrengthsQuest activity at the beginning of the year pointed out some of these areas and gave me advice on how to embrace them. With my strengths, I will deliver a fresh perspective about New Orleans because of my short time here. Because I am a resident of Biever Hall, I can be informative of the experiences residents have in this building. A resident point of view will allow me to share challenges, successes, and events happening on campus, all things I look forward to sharing with you in the coming months!

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“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Join the Loyola community as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. MLK Week for Peace, January 16, 2012 – January 21, 2012 will feature a week of events which commemorate the ideals of Dr. King, one of the most dynamic and influential leaders who walked the face of the earth. His perseverance, resilience and love for all mankind left a legacy which we have the pleasure of celebrating each year. Furthermore, King’s dream of equality parallels our Jesuit ideals, in particular those of pursuing excellence, commitment to service, and linking faith with justice. As I reflect on Dr. King’s impact, I think of some the impactful quotes from Dr. King which are reflected in the events highlighted this week:

Monday: MLK Interfaith Service at Dillard University
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Khaled Badr, Loyola junior.

MLK Week for Peace will begin with an Interfaith Service where students from each institution will share expressions of their faith. Our own Khaled Badr will be reading from the Islamic prayer from the holy Qur’an. The event will be held in the Lawless Chapel at 6:00PM. Loyola’s Genesis Gospel Choir will also be the featured choir for the evening.

Thursday: MLK Convocation at Xavier University
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

The featured speaker for this year’s convocation is Dr. Steve Perry, author of the bestseller, “When Push Comes to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve.” Dr. Perry will speak about how King’s critiques of the deficits of the American education system still applies today. Our own Margaret Vienne will receive the distinguished Community Service Award!

Margaret Vienne, Loyola junior.

- Steve Perry, author of the bestseller, “When Push Comes to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve.”

Friday: Expressions of Unity, Step Show, and AfterPARTY!!!!
“The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers”
“The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers”

This event will celebrate Dr. King through song, dance, spoken word, and stepping! Sophomore music majors Beau Autin and Shannon Briggs are two of the featured artist of this day’s event. Loyola’s step team will also be competing for the title champion in this year’s annual step-off hosted by our own Sherard Briscoe. Artwork done by Michelle Rau and Tony Fusco will be showcased throughout McAlister Auditorium. A party will be held in St. Charles room immediately afterwards.

Saturday: MLK Day of Service

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Loyola will host this year’s MLK Day of Service where over 800 volunteers will go out into our “beloved community” of New Orleans and do service projects ranging from sorting donations to beautifying the city. Sign up to serve at http://www.mlkweek4peace.com/. Registration opens on Monday, January 16, 2012. There will be a celebration held in Loyola’s Res Quad immediately after service takes place. All participants will receive free lunch and a t-shirt. Contact Joe Deegan at jbdeegan@loyno.edu for more information.

I leave you with this final thought from beloved educator, author, and activist Shirley Chisholm, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” Take advantage of the events this week to celebrate Dr. King and serve your fellow man!

We hope you are able to part This week is a collaborative effort between Xavier University, Tulane University, Dillard University, and Loyola University. All events are free and open to the public. Free transportation is available to all students. For more information, please visit http://www.mlkweek4peace.com/ or contact Courtney Williams at cwilliam@loyno.edu

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This message was sent by Physical Plant Director Paul Fleming to the University community by email on January 10, 2012:

To:  The University Community

From:  Paul C. Fleming, Assistant Vice President for Administration

Date:  January 10, 2012

Subject:  Revised Traffic Patterns for Buddig Hall Renovations

Upcoming renovations to Buddig Hall have required some changes to be made to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and to parking on the North side of Buddig, between Buddig Hall and the Freret Parking Garage.

The main entrance to Buddig Hall will remain open, and can be accessed using the new pedestrian sidewalk at the front of the building.  The Recreation Center can be accessed through the Freret Parking Garage or through the main North Road entrances.  The sidewalk between Buddig Hall and Biever Hall will remain open.

Parking on North Road will not be permitted.  Metered parking will be relocated to a nearby accessible location.

Construction fencing will allow for one way traffic to head east to west only, from East Road to West Road.  No vehicles will be allowed to enter North Road from West Road, but traffic can continue to Freret.

Vendors making deliveries can use the new loading zones created behind the Freret Parking Garage on West Road, between North Road and Freret.

These changes are necessary to ensure the safety of the Loyola community, and to minimize the impact on students and visitors at Loyola.  We urge you to avoid construction areas when possible, and to follow the newly created temporary walkways.

As always, we appreciate your cooperation and patience during this renovation project.

cc:  all e-mail boxes

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Welcome back to our dynamic campus! I hope you’ve returned from break well-rested and excited about tackling another semester.

I’d also like to take a moment to welcome you to one of my favorite times of year – Resident Assistant selection time! The application is open and available through EMPLOYOLA until January 30.

Discover the application. Develop questions. Apply if you think it’s right for you.

The Office of Residential Life offers information sessions for prospective applicants. In fact, it’s mandatory to attend an info session if you plan to apply. No need to sign up, just take a look at the list below and join us!

Monday, 1/9 – 5:00pm – Octavia Room, Danna Center
Tuesday, 1/10 – 12:30pm – Buddig Hall Mushroom
Wednesday, 1/11 – 7:00pm – Octavia Room, Danna Center
Thursday, 1/12 – 12:30pm- Octavia Room, Danna Center
Monday, 1/16 – 5:00pm – Octavia Room, Danna Center
Tuesday, 1/17 – 12:30pm – Octavia Room, Danna Center
Wednesday, 1/18 – 7:00pm – Octavia Room, Danna Center
Thursday, 1/19 – 12:30pm – Buddig Hall Mushroom

For more information, including the RA job description and more detailed application timeline, please visit our RA Selection website. Additionally, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for the most current updates on the process.

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The message below was emailed to all campus residents on January 8, 2012.

Welcome back to campus! As students filter back to campus from all over the country, I am reminded of the reason that we are here: You.

This is an exciting time to be at Loyola. Some of you have already made it back to campus,

New windows are being installed in Buddig Hall.

This is one of two test windows installed in Buddig Hall. Soon, every window in Buddig will look similar to this!

others are in transit as I type this message. Loyola’s progress will be no more visible than what you will see when entering the Res Quad. A new (temporary) sidewalk has been constructed and fencing placed around the South side of Buddig Hall in order to ensure student safety during the Spring semester. Also, large scaffolding has been established on the exterior of the South side of the building, which will hold crews as they begin work on the ‘skin’ of the building at the twelfth floor and work their way down.

Throughout this process, your safety and security are our primary concerns. Window louvers will be adjusted as crews progress to maintain privacy for residents inside the building.

The Office of Residential Life is working closely with Loyola’s construction managers to minimize noise throughout this process. Crews will be working daily throughout the Spring semester and have agreed not to begin daily work until after 8:00 AM.

As always, your questions and feedback are important to us. I invite you to connect with us

A temporary sidewalk at Buddig Hall

This temporary sidewalk has been installed in the Res Quad to ensure a safe walkway for students and visitors.

through social media outlets and via the Livin’ Loyno blog. We’ve posted photos of the progress on both our Facebook Page and blog.

Also, RHA meets regularly and is a powerful voice for students living on campus. I’ve included links below and invite you to connect and learn more.

May the new year bring all the peace, prosperity, and progress that you deserve!

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Our beloved Buddig Hall has been home to thousands of amazing Loyola students over the years, and I am proud to say that we are moving forward with much needed renovations to the tallest building on Loyola’s campus.

The forthcoming major renovation will bring with it a new HVAC system, new mechanical/boiler room, the removal of all hurricane shutters and replacement of all windows, new paint and flooring throughout, replacement of all stationary (built-in) furniture with updated (moveable) furniture, and renovation of all lounges and common areas, including the addition of kitchens to all floor lounges! This ambitious project will

Renovation work on Buddig Hall at Loyola University New Orleans

Trees in front of Buddig Hall have been removed to make room for contractors to begin work on the South side of the building.

occur over the course of the next two summers, and the building will be open for occupancy during the 2012-2013 academic year.

To keep in touch, we’ll be posting updates here on our blog. We’ve also created a photo album on our Facebook Page that we’ll be updating regularly during the Winter Break and beyond with images of the progress. Students can also expect to receive emails regularly via their Wolfmail account.

Until Phase 1 of the major project begins in May 2012, students can expect many preparations ongoing in and around Buddig Hall. Exploratory work began during the Fall semester, mostly on the back (North) side of Buddig. Asbestos abatement projects also prepped two storage rooms for their conversion to being the building’s new mechanical/boiler rooms.

Now that we are at the Winter Break, prep work has ramped up, and this preparatory work will be much more visible to students when they return to campus in January 2012. Buddig Hall will remain 100% open during the Spring semester, and students will not be required to relocate. Student safety and security are our top priorities, and all work will be managed in partnership with Loyola’s Physical Plant and contractors every step of the way.

When students return to campus in January 2012, here is some of what they can expect:

Renovation work on Buddig Hall at Loyola University New Orleans

Equipment has been staged along North Road, which will take several parking spaces offline for Spring 2012, and may require the closure of North Road in the Spring.

Parking and Transportation
Parking spaces along North Road will be off-line for Spring, including metered spaces along the side of the Freret Street Garage. Campus vans will be relocated to other parking spaces on campus. It is likely that North Road will be closed altogether to street traffic. In this scenario, the Freret Street Garage, Mercy Lot, and West Road will all remain open. Loading and unloading of vehicles for move-in and move-out will continue to occur at the Carrollton Turnaround, near La Divina.

Modifications to the Res Quad
The sidewalk in front of Buddig Hall will be pushed back about 30 feet and a new sidewalk constructed across the Res Quad. The Buddig Hall entry and patio will remain, but foot traffic will be re-routed along the new sidewalk.


Noise is inevitable with any renovation project, and we are working closely with our contractors and Physical Plant deparment to minimize any inconveniences to residents of Buddig and Carrollton Halls. We are currently negotiating the hours during which daily work will take place, with a goal to allow for reasonable sleep hours for students and also to allow sufficient work hours for crews to complete the necessary work in a timely fashion.

Renovations of Buddig Hall at Loyola University New Orleans

Bike racks along the West side of Buddig Hall have been relocated for the Spring 2012 semester.

Safety and Security

Residence hall desk staffing will continue on its existing 24-hour schedule. Approved members of work crews will have access to the interior of the building, and will be monitored at all times when working in residential spaces. Student safety and the security of our buildings are our top priorities!

Keep Posted!

More information, updates, and photos will continue to come regularly! Make sure to keep posted via our blog. All photos will be posted to a new album on our Facebook Page, and follow us on Twitter for short, timely updates.

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Do you know that feels like? I went to a Catholic high school and graduated with a class of 143 students and I would venture to say I was a BWOC (big woman on campus). I knew EVERYONE and that kept me confident and engaged in my academics and social life. Like you might expect, all of that changed when I went to college.

I am a first generation college student. For me, that meant at the time of entering the University of Central Florida in 2002, I was the only person in my immediate family (including my grandparents) to ever attend college. I was excited to open this pathway for my family and to be an example and inspiration for my younger siblings to follow. It was again, like so many other times in high school, my time to shine! This feeling rapidly diminished within my first week as a college student. Allow me to set the stage for when things got real…

I walked on to campus feeling like it wouldn’t be much different from high school. I even knew a couple of my high school friends who were also attending UCF. That perception was quickly challenged when I went to my first class with over 250 of First-Year students! Our campus welcomed over 50,000 students total, so running into friends or familiar faces was a thing of the past and I was quickly regretting my decision of leaving home and attending a large school. I remember feeling lonely, frustrated and completely confused.

Then there was my love-hate relationship with the Financial-Aid office. My family couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket for my education so I stood in a 45 minute line almost every day for the first couple of weeks to make sure my loans, grants and awards were in order. Even after I knew I had finances managed, I would still stand in line to “make sure”, or ask another question or just to feel secure that I was doing something productive. One thing was certain in my mind, if I didn’t get the money stuff right I would be heading back home and that was just not an option! I would call my parents to ask questions, but they didn’t have the answers; the three of us were learning at the same time. I became envious of my friends who would tell stories of the great advice an older sister or father had about being successful in college. It seemed they all just had it figured out. Weren’t there any other students like me? Was there anyone else who had to go it alone, make their own decisions, and come up with their own money? It sure didn’t seem like it.

"Proud Family"

Family photo at my college graduation in 2006

So here is the thing with hindsight….it’s perfectly clear! Looking back I truly appreciate the struggles I faced with being financially independent from my parents, making new friends and the feeling of being ‘just a number’. Those experiences have laid the bricks for the fulfilling life I have to today. I want you to know, if your story is similar, don’t give up and never stop asking questions. Your family may not understand what you are going through but they love you so much and are so proud of your accomplishments already! Keep learning together; continue growing as an individual; and reach out to your peers, RA’s and University staff for help when you need guidance. While I love my alma mater, Loyola is a special place that provides much more support than I could have hoped for at my undergrad.  Take one day at a time and celebrate the little victories; they are all leading to your dance across the stage in just a few short years!

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“I’m starving!” – A common figure of speech in our culture.

When a person chooses the phrase “I’m starving”, one generally interprets that the individual must be hungry. Then again, why wouldn’t the person use the words “I’m hungry”? Use of the verb “starving” is a dramatic cry not for food, but rather, for attention. These hyperbolic words, when interpreted mean something more like “Let’s eat together”, with a subtle subtext of “Hurry up”. As I said, “I’m starving” is really a request for attention, companionship, and haste.

Alright, unfounded conclusions and minor diatribe aside, let’s chat briefly about starvation. Since many Americans have never experienced it, myself included, I went straight to the favorite student source to find a definition of the word – Wikipedia. “Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient and vitamin intake. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death.” Surely, this is not what we mean when we choose to use the word “starving”.

Reliable access to a safe and nutritious food supply is truly a gift. In light of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, I encourage Loyola students to take a moment to think about what we have, what others do not, and how our words do not always convey what we truly mean. Additionally, as Thanksgiving draws near, may we all reflect upon what we are thankful for and grow our sensitivity to and compassion for those less privileged than ourselves.

And when you’re hungry, just say that. No drama necessary.

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I’ve been a Netflix member for a few years now. I love that for the price of about two rentals from the local DVD store, I can have almost any movie or television show in the world mailed right to me, and I can take as much (or as little) time as I want to watch it and return it. This service revolutionized the movie rental industry, and certainly changed the way that I watch movies and TV-on-DVD.

Recently I took a leap and bought a nice big HDTV with the Netflix app built right in. Switching to Netflix’s streaming service again changed everything! For half the price I paid for DVDs via mail, I now have access to more entertainment than I can ever hope to consume for about the price of a tub of popcorn at the local movie theater every month.

Netflix recently announced significant changes to its services, including higher rates and the separation of its mail-order and online/streaming services in to two distinct companies. Confusion and anger ensued, and soon Netflix announced that they were taking a ‘do-over’ and returning to their original service model (though keeping the new, higher service rates.

Long story short- This post has nothing to do with Netflix’s new service. As I’ve read the news and various blog posts, it is clear that:

1.) Netflix made a major investment in the changes that it implemented and the roll-out of those changes to their subscriber base.

2.) The subscribing public was very vocal about their disapproval of the changes. Specifically, the increase in rates despite no discernible improvements in service, and the added confusion for users of now having to navigate two contracts with two companies for what had previously been one single service.

3.) There is a lesson here somewhere.

Dr. Joshua Kim has a nice blog post on the Netflix debacle and its lessons for higher education. He makes some great points and sums up the complexity of the issue nicely. But I was most struck by one of the comments left by a reader. A poster named Brian Reid closed his comment with this thought:

“Don’t separate something that combined is more than the sum of its parts.”

In 13 little words this commenter summed up the entire issue! Netflix, for all of their knowledge, research, and expertise, failed to recognize that the service that they offer is more then just a solitary, transactional tool for watching moving pictures. They brought the world a whole new way of experiencing film, television, and technology. Even more, Netflix created a community of people who were unified in one common interest: Having access to a practically unlimited library of information in the form of movies, television shows, documentaries, and so on.

At the end of the day, the blowback against Netflix highlighted that, as Reid states in his comment, the service was more than just the sum of its parts. Taken together, Netflix offered an identity, something that people had bought in to. Taken apart, it became little more than two unrelated and uninspiring rental programs.

I hope that members of our Loyola community will consider the Netflix lesson. College, especially at a Jesuit, liberal arts institution like Loyola, is much more than the sum of its parts.

You’ve only got four good years at Loyola. Soak it all up. You can join a sorority or club. You can play a pick-up game of basketball at the Sports Complex. You can take an internship conducting research with a faculty member. You can live on campus and join the Residence Hall Association or apply to be a Resident Assistant.

But here’s the thing. Do it all!!! You’ve got one shot at this thing called college. You’ve got four short years at Loyola. Do everything! I know it feels like you’ve got too much on your plate already, but this is important.

Think about the morning after your graduation day. Really sit quietly and think about what that moment is going to be like for you. What do you wish you had done in your time at Loyola? What is the program that you wish you attended? Or the organization you wish you joined? Who were the people you wish you’d met and the memories you wish you’d made sitting in the residence hall chatting with your floormates late into the night?

When you are preparing for your 10 year reunion one day, you won’t remember how great your commute to campus was, or how interesting the people-watching was as you sat on a bench waiting for another class to start. You probably won’t even remember your GPA, as important as it is to earn a good one. You will, however, remember the things that you didn’t do. Maybe you were too tired that one day to attend an SGA info session, or too worried about living with a roommate to register for a room on campus.

All these pieces might seem disparate right now, when you’re in the thick of it, stressed out about tests, trying hard to maintain a social life, probably balancing a work schedule on top of everything else. But college is a time when the whole- the experience and the memories- add up to more than the sum of its parts.

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