IT’S FESTIVAL SEASON! It really is the best time to be in NOLA. In true New Orleans tradition, festival season is a time to celebrate anything and everything with music, food, drinks, and fun. Throughout my three and a half years in this city, I’ve been lucky enough to go to a lot of different festival celebrations. But this year, I have one goal: Hogs for the Cause.

Hogs For the Cause is a non-profit organization that hosts an annual music and food festival to raise money for pediatric brain cancer care. This year over 80 teams will compete to be crowned the Louisiana pork champion. Attendees are invited to vote for help choose the winners by donating to their favorite team by sampling their food. While teams battle it out on the grill, music will be playing throughout the day and into the night.

The musical lineup this year is spectacular: Rebirth Brass Band, the Revivalists, Mississippi Rail Company, and Eric Lindell, just to name a few. Teams from restaurants all over the city bring their best bbq sauce, seasonings, and grills out for the weekend and compete for the High on the Hog” Grand Champion Title.

Good food, good music, and a great cause. Will I see you there?

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Biever hall Buddig Hall
Community BathroomsBiever hall is set up to have community style bathrooms, and I remember as an incoming freshman being apprehensive about the bathrooms, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the bathrooms as a way to see a friendly face and talk with other women in my hall. Suite-style bathroomsThroughout my sophomore year, I have been living in Buddig hall, and I have been using a suite-style bathroom. The privacy is great, but with a personal bathroom comes the cleaning responsibility.
LoungesEvery floor has a space to come together, and hang out! LoungesLounge space is available on all floors, and renovations are being made to the entirety of Buddig hall.
Resident AssistantsRA’s are on every wing, and they are accessible to all students Resident AssistantsRA’s are on every floor, and they are accessible to all students
Resident ChaplainsChaplains are available on every floor Resident ChaplainsChaplains are available for all students 24 hours a day.
Laundryaccessible 24 hours a day  without the need for quarters! Laundryaccessible 24 hours a day  without the need for quarters!
Exclusively freshman residence hall Combination of upperclassmen and underclassmen.

Each of the residence halls has benefits, so get excited about the room draw process!

Have a questions or concerns? Contact the Office of Residential Life (504) 865-2445.




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Being a commuter, for me, has been a great experience. I have to admit that before I started school, I was extremely nervous that being a commuter I wouldn’t make friends and I would miss out on a huge part of college. But that was not at all the case, because I made the effort to make sure that wasn’t the case.

Things are what you make them, and you have to play the hand that life deals you … Sorry, I couldn’t resist the cliches. But in all seriousness, commuting is what you make of it. I had friends who were also commuters and they would just come to school for class and then leave. They were unhappy with their experience and wound up transferring to different schools. I, however, got involved in several things and they helped me to find my place in the university.

I think whether you live on campus or if you commute you won’t be happy until you find your niche so I strongly suggest you get involved. I got involved with the newspaper and Ambassadors and it was perfect for me. A lot of people, especially commuters, get involved in Greek Life, because it is a fantastic way to meet people and have an automatic support network. And not only did I get involved right away but I continued to get involved. I now write for the paper, write blogs for Residential Life, run the Society of Professional Journalist student chapter, work for the Donnelley Center for Nonprofit communication, and do Ambassadors. I love every organization I am a part of and they have all contributed to my college experience in amazing ways

I don’t alway enjoy having to get up an extra 30 minutes before I would if I lived on campus, but I make the best out of it. The closer you live to school obviously the less time it takes to get there, but I use that time as jam sessions for myself or to just have the 20 minutes of uninterrupted me time.

Honestly whether you live on campus or whether you live off campus, the experience is what you make of it and Loyola gives you more than enough opportunities to make it the best it can be through the commuter initiative, who provides commuters special breakfasts once a month and SGA provides PB&J sandwiches every Tuesday.

Are you thinking about living at home? What do you think about being a commuter student?

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All four years of college I’ve spent living on campus. My freshman year I lived on the eleventh floor of Buddig in the Honors living community (XI for life!) Sophomore year I stepped up in the world, sharing a suite in Carrollton with three other girls. My junior and senior year, I’ve been lucky enough to live in Carrollton hall apartments, first in a double room and now in a single. Some of my best friends have been my roommates, and some of my best memories were made late at night sitting around hanging out with other residents. I’m going to miss living so close to campus, only having to wake up 15 minutes before class, and having a maintenance team ready to help me when the sink got clogged. Living in a res hall helped my experience at Loyola be the best one it could be, and I am not quite ready to leave all of it behind.

It hasn’t all been roses, though. Living with people is hard! At home I shared a room with my younger sister, but I wasn’t prepared for the constant give and take having a roommate would require. Who gets to shower first? Is it my turn to take out the trash, or yours? Someone’s got to pick up the hair out of the shower drain… not it. I’ve struggled to find ways of bringing up these awkward cleaning conversations, of how to kindly ask roommates to not have sleepovers while I’m in the room, when the appropriate time is to bring up expenses for shared groceries. I’ve had falling outs, awkward encounters, and failed attempts at reconciliation. But I’ve also had chances to create beautiful shared spaces, engage in midnight conversations about how to believe in God, and laugh with my roommates at 7:30am about how ridiculous our hair looks in the morning.

Living on campus in the res hall setting has taught me a lot about myself, how to deal with conflicts, and when to pick my battles. The Jesuit ideals of education extend beyond the classroom at Loyola- it applies even to residential life. The experience of living on campus is not one I’ll soon forget, and I am so grateful for all the things I’ve learned because of it.

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I first became aware of the Polar Bear Club while watching an episode of CSI: New York. At the beginning of the episode, a Polar Bear Club stripped down to their bathing suits, ran into the ocean, and ran back out. It was obvious that it was winter, and I knew from experience that the north Atlantic wasn’t necessarily a warm place to be during the summer, let alone months when people can see their breath in the air. My dad explained what the Polar Bear Club was to me, and I loved the concept: plunging oneself into a nearly-freezing body of water on one of the first cold days of the year and running back out.

Later, the Polar Bear Club discovered a dead body lying around the ocean, and the episode continued the way that every episode of CSI: New York does. I never really forgot about the Polar Bear Club, though. I wanted to join one, but I didn’t know how I would since I lived on the Gulf Coast in Texas.

A few years later, my family went on vacation in Alaska, and I was fortunate enough to meet some members of the Polar Bear Club there. I was fascinated, and they told me about their experiences. Somehow, we decided that we were going to take our own plunge in one of the hotel swimming pools—the outdoor, non-heated swimming pool.

A few days later, I put my sweats on over my swimsuit and joined this group of people outside. One guy had dressed up as a polar bear, wearing all white with a drawn-on a bear face and everything. They had drawn attention to themselves, apparently, and a group of fellow vacationers had come outside to watch the crazy people jump into the thirty-four degree water. I questioned my sanity—standing outside was cold. I couldn’t imagine what the water would be like. When I did jump in, the water felt nearly paralyzing. I swam to the other side of the pool. I was probably only in the water for a minute, but for some reason, I felt extremely accomplished. I’d taken a small risk and felt stronger for it.

I haven’t had many chances to jump into freezing bodies of water since then, but I’m always up for opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and do something a little bit strange, something the Polar Bear Club clearly appreciates. If the opportunity arises again, I’ll most definitely take it.

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Passion is often behind the food in a city like New Orleans.

Are you curious about who is making your food at Loyola? Do you have suggestions regarding the improvement of the dining facilities or  your overall dining experience?

Your opinion does matter.

As a member of the Loyola University Dining advisory Board (LUDAB), I have been in a position to make suggestions and communicate issues. We are your food representatives on campus.

What we do?

LUDAB members meet biweekly to discuss incentive programs, past problems, and new ideas. We meet with Sodexo, Loyola University’s dining services, employees, and they take notes and give reports about the changes happening throughout our campus food establishments. I have always felt like my voice is heard, and I believe the focus for the Loyola’s dining services are the student’s wants and needs.

A brief statement summarizing the Loyola University Dining Services responsibility to students includes:

“Your Sodexo dining team is committed to offering you a wide range of options for a healthy dining experience.”

Check out their website at: for more information.

How you can help?

The annual survey contest is an upcoming event that will be taking place across campus! Your answers on these surveys will allow dining services to evaluate and make changes to their dining experience. As a student, I know 15 to 30 minutes can be a long survey, but it will be worth the time and effort.

Remember surveys will be coming to a place near you.

Also, LUDAB members are always looking for advice from students. From food allergies to food preferences, we want to talk to all types of students about their lifestyle choices.

All students have to eat to survive the papers, exams, and projects, so we welcome any and all advice.

Although I never imagined I would be a member of LUDAB before coming to Loyola, I love contributing in a unique way that will affect the Loyola community.

How are you involved on Loyola’s campus?



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The start of each semester brings new hope. New friends, new classes, and perhpas most exciting, new clubs and activities. LUCAP hands out tshirts like candy, hoping to inspire students to commit to projects. The Invisible Children table in the Danna Center is crowded with Loyola people wanting stickers to put on the back of their shiny silver MacBooks. Greek organizations start to recruit potential new members and raise awareness for their philanthropy. This period of excitement and eagerness lasts for about two weeks…and then student organizations spend the rest of the semester trying to foster as much hype as they had at the beginning of school.
No one faces this challenge quite like the honor societies on campus. Every major has their own honor society, and when you try to name them all, it ends up sounding like some sort of Greek alphabet soup. Last August I took over as President of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society. To be honest, I didn’t know much about ASN when I signed up to be a member, and I was equally in the dark when I agreed to President. ASN, while boasting of membership 50 strong, has struggled to make a name for themselves on campus. Aside from the initial bouts of enthusiasm we saw from members, it was hard to sustain the drive. My task as President this year has been to make it impossible for our membership to forget they belong to ASN, and difficult for the general campus to ignore us. There are three steps any organization needs to follow if they want to become known on campus, and I’m going to share them with you.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA. A Facebook page, a Twitter account, an email listserve. These are essential. Get the Executive Board to promote your various outlets and watch as other members follow suit. Pretty soon, even people not directly involved will be liking, retweeting, and replying!
2. CO-PROGRAMMING. So many ideas, plans, and events overlap at our small school- take advantage of that! If you partner with bigger, more well-known organizations, you will be able to reach a wider audience and drum up support.
3. A RECOGNIZABLE LOGO. Every organization needs a logo. It should be simple, clean, and easy to recognize. Once you have a design, put it everywhere!
There are so many clubs, societieis, and organizations at Loyola, but too many of them fall between the cracks because their information just isn’t readily available. But club leaders, do not fear! There is a cure! Take some risks, get your organization’s name out there, and actively search for new members!
How do you promote your club? How do you keep members involved? What is your favorite organization to be a part of on campus?
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I actually began Lent by attending my aunt’s funeral, which was held on Thursday, February 14, the day after Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, which put a strange spin on the occasion. The funeral had been planned quickly, just two days before, and a lot of us in the church had just taken off work or gotten off planes in order to get there.

The priest’s homily focused on Lent and the idea of “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”–a fairly appropriate concept for a funeral. As he continued his homily, though, he encouraged all of us to see my aunt’s life as something that was cyclical rather than linear, something that did not end but was rather fulfilled by returning to its beginning. It really made me stop and think. Just the day before, I’d been reading Facebook statuses about the different things people were giving up. The Lenten season appears to be a season of endings, which isn’t true at all. The word “lent” actually translates into “spring,” which is the opposite of a season of ending. Lent is a season of renewal.

I began to look for the cycles within my own life. What endings did I see that could actually be fulfillment, a cycle closing only to start again, endings that were really beginnings or continuations? I looked around the room and realized that I was sitting among some of the people who had first known and shaped me in my life, the people that had taken care of me when I was younger and helped raise me. These people had gathered every night after my aunt had died and prayed for her. These people had such commitment and faith, and they had helped shape my own faith life. In the middle of my aunt’s life ending, I felt inspired and renewed: a renewed commitment to faith and such gratitude for the community that had helped me grow.

This Lent, I challenge you to find beginnings in endings. I hope that you not only see the sacrifice in Lent but also the hope and renewal of the season.

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After the Mardi Gras parades have finishes their route and the beads fill the trees on St. Charles Avenue.  I find myself asking what comes next? Mardi Gras was never meant to stand by itself. The Mardi Gras season was created as a predecessor to the season of Lent. Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, and Fat Tuesday is the day before Lent begins. Many people especially in New Orleans use this season to “splurge” before Lent. However, Mardi Gras would be obsolete without Lent.

Do you have as much enthusiasm about the season of Mardi Gras as the season of Lent?

Lent is not a commercialized season, but it is a very important part of the Christian calendar. The 40 day fast in the wilderness by Jesus is supposed to be remembered during the season of Lent by Christians.  Sacrifice, fasting, and reflection are on my mind during Lent, but in the past, I have felt that I never am able to capture the true essence of the season. In the past, I have looked at Lent as a time to give up something, but I believe this Lenten season, I will focus on the small things, I often overlook. During the 2013 season of Lent, I will focus on the Jesuit value, Appreciation of Things Both Great and Small. I hope to gain a new appreciation of the way God shows Himself in my life.

How will you celebrate the season of Lent?


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Realistically, there’s no way you’re giving up chocolate. Sure, you can do it for 40 days and life will be just like a Cathy comic strip! But once Easter hits the Cadbury cream will flow.

For some people Lent is a time of fasting and spirituality, but for most of us it’s a time when we realize we’re doing something we shouldn’t and decide to see what life is like without it in the name of religion. It’s shameful to say it, but I’m with you “I’m giving up chocolate” folks and your dreams of hot fudge drenched decadence. But if we realize that something is wrong with our habits that we can fix then why are we only stopping for Lent?

If you’re doing something that you honestly believe needs to happen then keep it up! It might not be the most spiritual thing, but if it’s good for you or for others why let it stop with Easter?

A lot of people say the same thing about other holidays. Why are we only so generous on Christmas? Why don’t we go the extra mile to express our love when it’s not Valentine’s Day? Because Reese’s cups aren’t shaped like hearts for the other 364 days of the year! That’s why (though if they were I’m sure I’d be much more loving).

Unlike heart shaped candy, we’re always available. If we can recognize that we could improve or do something to help others regularly we should be doing it, especially if we’ve already done it for 40 days straight.

For some reason, the anniversary of Jesus’ resurrection is reason enough for people to start breaking their newly found good habits. I hate to break it you, but unless you see Jesus rise up this Easter and walk through the Res Quad, it’s up to us to take care of things down here. We should be using Lent as more than just the exception.

It can be a starting point for a better self and a better world for the rest of our lives.Don’t let your Lenten commitment be arbitrary. Embrace bettering yourself and the world around you year round.

And stock up on Reese’s Easter Eggs. They’re better than the hearts anyway.

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