Loyola week may be our version of homecoming week, but I believe it symbolizes much more.

Throughout the hustle and bustle of the events in the quad and throughout campus last week, I was able to reflect on the meaning of Loyola week.

Community, diversity, professionalism, and many other words describe Loyola, but I believe that Loyola week can be best represented by our Jesuit identity.

Jesuit ideals may appear daunting and scary from the outside, but I see them embodied in actions of Loyola community members every day.

When a professor extends her office hours to wait for a student struggling in class, two Jesuit ideals are present—critical thinking and effective communication, and appreciation of things both great and small.

When a student litters, another student quickly throws the garbage in the trashcan, regardless if a janitorial worker is in the vicinity— respect for the world, its history and mystery is present.

When a student chooses to wake up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to volunteer and serve a person in need— special concern for the poor and oppressed,commitment to service, and finding God in all things are present.

Last week, Loyola hosted multiple events including Jesus on Trial, Cookies with Catholics, Shell shocked: A documentary about growing up in the Murder Capital of America, Dear Loyola photos, and the Ministry of Presence: Being With At-Risk Children.

The events offered students opportunities— opportunities to attend, to engage, and to exemplify Jesuit ideals in their everyday life.

Do you exemplify Jesuit ideals in your everyday life?

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Dining options on Loyola’s campus have recently expanded with the Danna Center food court, but are you aware of the many other options available?

Orleans Room

We have seen the long lines to grab an entree, red bean Mondays, catfish Fridays, vegetarian options, and styrofoam dishes. Everyone that lives on campus has probably eaten here. You can love the food or hate the food, but the OR has a variety of options to accommodate all Loyola and Tulane students.

OR to go

This location is hidden in the basement of the Danna Student Center. It provides a quick option for anyone looking for a salad, sandwich, fruit, and a bag of chips. It can all be yours with a meal plan swipe.

Smoothie King

Real fruit, real fruit, real fruit is always enough to hook me. At Smoothie King, drinks are blended in a variety of combinations for any student looking to enjoy a smoothie or supplement their diet. I would recommend visiting this location after a workout or on your way to class.

The Market at Loyola

I can always find a late night snack and variety at The Market. Sometimes I am frustrated with the prices, but the convenience cannot be matched. The Market sells more than food. Items include everything from laundry detergent to paper towels and tissue.

Original Burger Company

This place can be a great stop if you are looking for a classic burger to enjoy. I have had the veggie burger, and it is something to write home about. The OBC has many options to choose rather than exclusively serving hamburgers.

CC’s Coffee

Late nights? Early mornings? Daytime stress relief? The solution can usually be found at CC’s coffee stand in the Danna Center. I am not the biggest fan of coffee, but I enjoy the friendly staff members and my favorite item is the blueberry muffins.

La Divina

Panini’s, fresh soup, and gelato on your mind? Check out La Divina to enjoy an Italian cuisine with fresh ingredients.

Broadway campus: Jazzman’s Café

With the reopening of Cabra Hall, students can enjoy the convenience of the fair-trade coffee establishment. Snacks and outdoor seating is available for students to enjoy the selection of treats at the café and bakery.

What is your favorite place to eat at Loyola?

To see a map of other on-campus dining options visit:

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Every exam, every class, every year… I always have questions to ask.

From what type of exam to how many questions to where did the time go?

Midterm exams vary by majors and professors. As a Mass Communication major, midterms are usually in the form of a project. As a Political Science major, midterms come in the form of written tests or papers. Through my experience in common curriculum courses, the type of exam can be anywhere across the board from papers to no assignment at all.

When I was a freshman, I was overwhelmed with certain types of exams. I
would study based on the format of the exam and the type of content. However, I quickly have found out that different does not necessarily mean better. In my experiences, the amount of effort and work a student has contributed to the course will outweigh any type of examination.

Timing was another question that often crossed my mind.

Some of my midterms were scheduled two weeks before other midterm assignments. I became caught up in the details of the exams rather than seeing the bigger picture.

I am shocked that the Fall 2013 is halfway gone.

Fall 2013 started my junior year in college, and I have used my midterms to push me and motivate my mind to finish the semester strong. This set of midterm examinations has allowed me to reflect on my college experience and my test taking strengths.

Junior year: the halfway point of college, only began to sink in after I completed these exams. The feeling can be overwhelming or motivating, the choice is yours. However, both choices take the same amount of effort.

I still have many questions to ask, but I believe the purpose of midterms is to motivate. Once, I began to embrace this technique, I was able to see the bigger picture.

So I ask you: What is your most difficult midterm exam this semester and how will you allow this exam to motivate you?

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This year is my first year living in Carrollton Hall and with the bedroom doors automatically locking behind me this would be the first time I would have ever had to call the RA on duty for a lock out. So… after a few different occasions, I started asking myself some questions.

A place to call home?
My room is my safe haven, a place to relax and distract myself from the constant hustle and chaos of everyday life. I believe the importance of having a separate space to call home and be disconnected from distractions can be vital for a person’s health and development.

From plans with friends to eating, I often forget about activities in my life. As a college student and a human being, I believe everyone forgets from time to time. The automatic locking doors can work both ways.

Worst case scenario?
One of my fears is taking a shower and accidentally locking my keys in my room, and having to call the RA on duty in a towel. My roommates and I get along great, so I am really blessed to know they would not mind that experience, but I believe this is important to keep in mind that not all roommate relationships are polished and happy.

How can this be changed?
My first thought was Residence Hall Association or Student Government Association. RHA is specific to Residential Life. Katie Cannella, area director of Carrollton Hall, agreed and said that students interested in voicing their opinions on this could bring it to RHA.

Should the automatic locks be changed?
I don’t think I can answer this question on my own. I believe this is a question students should raise with a scale concept in mind: Does the bad outweigh the good? The door can swing both ways. Some days I love the convenience the automatic doors provide and other days, (mostly the days I lock myself out) I dread calling the RA on duty.

Have you been locked out of your room in Carrollton Hall? Was this a positive or negative experience?

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Family Weekend 2011 was timed perfectly for me. I had settled into my residence hall, and I was comfortable with my class schedule. I finally felt like a college student. Because I am from Illinois, my parents were unable to make the events of the weekend, but a close family friend was able to be my surrogate family member for the events. The weekend began with registration and a Family Weekend t-shirt.

My favorite event of the weekend was the tour of the city. We went through a cemetery and saw elevated graves, and throughout the tour many parts of the city were pointed out in excitement, but our tour guide discussed Hurricane Katrina on numerous occasions. A great quote I took away from the tour was trust that in New Orleans there is always has a reason to celebrate.

Family Weekend 2012 rolled around, and I had told my parents this weekend was exclusively reserved for first year students and their parents. To my surprise, I saw upperclassmen students partaking in the family weekend events. I was so jealous and wished that my family had come!

Family Weekend sticks out in my head as a highlight of my freshman year… and my family friend still wears his orange t-shirt. What memories will you create on Family Weekend?

Click here if you are interested in attending Family Weekend or would like additional information. www.loyno.edu/familyweekend

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Attention first-year students: You have done it! You have officially started your first semester of college and on behalf of Residential Life, we are so happy and appreciative that you have chosen Loyola University New Orleans!

In addition to beginning our 4th week of classes, we are also beginning our 5th week of the PACKport program series for first-year students. As may already know, this series was developed to help you find connections at Loyola and to support your academic goals as a first-year student. Many of you have already attended the programs including late night events, faculty discussions and workshops, careers development opportunities, wellness events and many more!

Through our first 4 weeks, Residential Life has tracked more than 700 unique participants with a total of over 1,400 program attendees! You and your fellow students have given anecdotal feedback stating PACKport events are fun, a great way to meet other students,

Students gather for fresh baked cookies and conversation about their transition from high school to life as a college student at Loyola University New Orleans

and are helping you connect to our thriving campus. Not to mention you earn points for every event attended!

If you have not gotten the chance to attend any PACKport sponsored, we have 9 events remaining and are certain you can find something of interest and help to you! Grab your roommate, a friend, your Resident Assistant and catch a few more before the program ends on September 26 with the grand finale, Splatter Ball and the Silent Auction. Splatterball is dodge ball with a twist, where you will get the opportunity to spatter yourself and your friends with a rainbow of paint! We will also host the silent auction at this time where you can use your PACKport earned points to bid on prizes such as airline vouchers, movie packages, New Orleans excursions and more! Don’t let Splatterball be the only PACKport event you attend, see the full list below and take some time to stop by! Events can also be found in OrgSync, loyno.edu/packport,  and on the University calendar.

Sept. 16 4-5 p.m. Sexuality in the Hook Up Culture Buddig 12
Sept. 16 7-7:45 p.m. OMG t*EchNO~loGy Buddig Mushroom
Sept. 17 12-2 p.m. Wellness Expo St. Charles Room
Sept. 17 12:30-2 p.m. Modern Slavery &
Student Abolitionists
Library Living Room
Sept. 18 5:30-6:30 p.m. Dourmét Biever Kitchen – 2nd Floor
Sept. 19 8-10 p.m. Glow Play Res Quad
Sept. 23 6-7 p.m. Pub Quiz: Know Your NOLA Buddig 12
Sept. 24 4-5 p.m. Dollars & Sense Library Living Room
Sept. 26 6-8 p.m. Splatter Ball: PACKport Finale   Residential Quad
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Returning student Chris Backes writes a blog for us this week about transitions. He attended Loyola for two years, spent two years as a Jesuit novice, and now returns to Loyola to complete his degree.

“I have made a lot of transitions in my life: going to high school, going to college, leaving college and going into the seminary, and then leaving seminary and going back to college. Transitions aren’t easy. And I know I am not the only one. My class, the class that I was in before joining the Jesuits, I just graduated and my friends all have similar transitions coming up: moving to a new place, living a different lifestyle. Throughout my times of transition, I have noticed that transitions tend to resemble the seasons.
Fall begins by the life slowly appearing bleaker. The prospect of moving way and beginning something new can be frightening, especially when we can’t know what’s coming. Going to college where you know no one or moving to a new city without having a decent job; both make the transition hard.

Winter creeps along and things can seem desolate. Old friends are hard to keep in contact with, or maybe you are struggling to get by. New friends are not always easy. At this time we tend to have moments of desolation: when the comforts of love offered by those around us are all to absent.
But then, spring catches us almost by surprise: Life begins to get easier. New friends are made, classes might not seem so daunting anymore, and work is finally paying the bills. Consolation, the love and support we need from those around us, begins to take hold of our lives.

The length of these seasons varies in every transition we make. Sometimes, it looks like there no end in sight for winter, and other times we are fortunate to land a job right out of college. Here are few tips I have for myself every time I make a transition:

1. Have hope. It makes the winter shorter, even non-existent. Hope is what allows us to continue on through the difficult times.

2. Don’t make any life-changing decisions in winter. This piece of advice is ripped right from lines of a book I had to read. St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits and man of short stature located outside the Danna Center, advises never to make decisions to change while in desolation, or while the love from God appears to not be there or decreasing. Transitions have those times.”

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Today, a guest post from RA Jasmine Barnes!

“After the spring semester ends and residents go home for their summer vacations, we are just getting started. Graduate interns arrive. Room Condition Reports are written. Keys are checked. I’m talking about Summer ResLife. I’m talking about being a summer RA.

RA. It stands for a lot of things: Readily Available, Relationship Adviser, and not to mention Really Awesome. We wear lots of hats to ensure that residents are fully acclimated to their Res Halls, Loyola, and their community.

As of this summer, I have been an RA four times, twice during the school year and twice during the summer. I have worked with on the up side of about 50 other RAs, had four different supervisors, had over 100 residents, planned multiple programs and gave out countless rolls of toilet paper.

My first time as an RA was for the Summer Bridge Program the summer after my freshman year. I will never forget that summer. That was the time when I met some of my current friends, grew as a leader, and discovered pancakes at midnight was a very good idea.

Whether a summer RA or school year RA, rules still apply. The seasons have changed but these four rules still ring true:

1. No complaining

This is an easy one. The summers here in New Orleans are very hot. We all know. Complaining doesn’t make it cooler.

2. No complaining, especially about free stuff

During the summer dining options are limited due to the fewer residents living on campus, so if you get something free be appreciative.

3. Be on time

The summer heat tends to get you moving a bit slower but you should still be respectful of other’s time.

4. Be positive

Once again, it’s hot here in the summer. Wear smile and some flip flops with your positivity.

Being an RA truly is Really Awesome. There are so many opportunities to meet people and establish a sense of leadership. Here are a few of my favorite memories and the best parts of being an RA:

  • When a resident shows you a paper you help edit with a big red A on it.
  • Working with a fantastic team. It’s totally ok to be weird and silly.
  • Realizing there is always someone to talk to.
  • Establishing a community much like a family.
  • Decoration your floor for the Christmas holiday.
  • Friendly competitions.

The thing that remains the same between being a summer RA and a school year RA is the unpredictable excitement. Some of the funniest stories I have ever heard have come from my time as an RA –summer and school year RA.

I have had the time of my life being an RA. Even though I will not be returning in the fall as an RA, I think I will never forget the lessons I have learned from this wonderful experience of being a summer RA and a school year RA.”

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Finally, the season the Krewe Leaders and incoming first years have been waiting for- New Student Orientation! The New Student Orientation Coordinators, Blaine and Sarah, are guest posting this week about the upcoming orientation season, providing some information for our new students that will be essential to their time at Loyola. Read on!

“Hey y’all! We’re Blaine and Sarah, your New Student Orientation Coordinators. For many students coming to orientation, there are so many questions to be asked in just a short amount of time. When do I find out my roommate? How do I pay my tuition? When are we going to eat?! If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, you’re not alone! But don’t fret; we’ve been working hard to make sure everyone is prepared to answer all your questions and more.

Even though these questions are important, we’ve come up with a few things that might not get covered during your first few days at Loyola!

1.     Restaurants in walking distance: Urbanspoon has a great feature to find restaurants by neighborhood, so a quick search for restuarants uptown will bring you enough options to last a whole semester!

2.     Utilize Tulane’s services! Tulane has a barber AND an Apple store. Explore our neighbors’ campus and maybe even make some friends!

3.     There’s ALWAYS something to do in the city, but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to know when and where things are happening. Luckily, http://www.neworleansonline.com/calendar/ has a comprehensive calendar for us to enjoy!

4.     LUPD is really helpful: Have a flat tire? They can help. Locked your keys in the car? Call them! Scared to walk back to your car or res hall at night? LUPD will send someone to help.

5.     Monroe Library has an on-call librarian: http://library.loyno.edu/help/ask_librarian_live.php log on 24/7 to have all your library-related questions answered.”

Orientation is a great time to make new friends, explore campus, and see all the great things in store for the next four years. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and see what’s going on! What are you most excited about?

From myself and all the Orientation staff, we can’t wait to see all the new students! Welcome to the PACK!

2013 Krewe Leaders!

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The average temperature for June in New Orleans is 90. With humidity levels soaring in the summer, some people might be tempted to crank the AC and stay inside. But never fear! There are ways to beat the heat: going to the pool, catching the breeze by the Mississippi, or my personal favorite- snoballs!

There is much debate about where the best snoballs can be had. Every neighborhood has their own stand, and there are definitely some city favorites. Here’s a list of some of the coolest snoballs in town.

1. Plum Street Snoballs

Located conveniently close to campus at 1300 Burdette St, right on the corner of Burdette and Plum, Plum Street is a favorite among Loyola Students. The stand opened in 1945, making it the oldest one in the city. Their hours of operation are Sunday-Friday 2-8pm & Saturday 12-8pm. They also have a new Metairie location for everyone living outside of the city! Be sure to try their “Pink Lemonade” flavor- its my favorite!

Here’s a link to their website and their Facebook page!

2. Hanson’s Sno-bliz

Hanson’s is a true New Orleans landmark. Founded in 1939 by the Hanson family, the business is still family owned and operated. It’s easy to get to, located at 4801 Tchoupitoulas St. right on the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Bordeaux. In the summer, the lines get long, but the wait is worth it! All their flavors are made in house. Be sure you try a cream flavor or the condensed milk as a topping!

Check out their website here!

3. Pandora’s Snoballs

This snoball stand is located in the Bayou St John neighborhood at 901 N Carrollton Ave. While it’s a bit of a trek, the streetcar will take you pretty close and it’s even a nice bike ride if you’re in the mood! They don’t have much of a presence on the web, but that just points to their home-grown attitude. Try the wedding cake flavor- its divine.

These are three of my favorite snoball stands- what are your favorites?

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