Hilbert Women’s Basketball Plays through Restricted Season

The Hilbert Hawks Women’s Basketball team won’t be playing a complete schedule of games this season due to the safety concerns around COVID-19.

Despite these challenges, the team is ready to get back out onto the court for their four scheduled scrimmages this year. The Hawks haven’t played in a competitive game in over a year, but will soon return.

When asked about the feelings about playing in a competitive game again, head coach Amy Senefelder said she had mixed emotions.

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time for our first game,” Senefelder said. “Usually we are done with our season at this time, but we are just starting our games in March. So I’m very excited at the opportunity to get some games in, but anxious because it has been over a year since we’ve played.”

The 2021 Hawks will go into this season as a very young team, having no seniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. This opportunity has created excitement for some of the team’s sophomores.

“I guess I’m just excited that we get the opportunity to play with each other, even if it won’t really be the same,” sophomore Ashley Schroeder said. “Especially considering our team is so young. Having a scrimmage season might actually be a good thing.”

The entire team is required to get rapid COVID testing three times a week in order to continue practicing and playing in the scrimmages. Senefelder said that the team continues to abide by the COVID-19 safety guidelines on and off the court. If any player contracts the virus the entire program is forced to shut down for ten days. This has made the players extra cautious in an effort to continue to participate for the shortened season.

Macy Kisner, a sophomore player, said the butterflies are already setting in ahead of the upcoming scrimmage against the Medaille Mavericks. “Every night before a game I always get nervous,” Kisner said. “I watch game tapes of the team we are playing and how I play against them and the things I can improve on, the best ways to guard players and the best ways to score. Considering I haven’t played a game in a long time because of COVID, I am nervous to play because I have no idea how the team is going to work together. Even though we only have a four game season I am ecstatic to be able to play a sport I love even if it’s for a short period of time.”

Hilbert Baseball Takes on Wells College

Hilbert’s men’s’ baseball team dropped both games in a double header against Wells College last month.

The team made their way to Wells College early Sunday morning, with the players eager to play after winning one of two of their last games against D’Youville College. Matt Kellner led off the game. Misael Guzman started off pitching for the Hawks.

In the top of the second inning, Guzman hit a 2-run homerun out to right field, putting the Hilbert Hawks at 0-2. Wells fought back in the bottom of the second inning scoring five runs, taking a 5-2 lead. Frank McCabe started off the third inning with a single, and later, a steal to second. “I was sitting on the fastball and he threw me one, so I jumped on it,” McCabe said. Kellner followed with an RBI double, making the score 5-4.

In the bottom of the third inning, Wells came back scoring three more runs, resulting in an 8-4 game. The Hawks then brought in their bullpen pitchers, Zachary Crane, Zackory Panfil, and Michael Contini. The trio was able to throw three shutout innings as well as three strikeouts. “As a bullpen, we threw strikes and executed pitches accordingly,” Contini said.  

Wells’ pitcher threw a complete game, securing an 8-4 for Wells.

The Hawks unfortunately took the loss on game 2 but are planning to bounce back Saturday March 27th at their double header against SUNY Fredonia. The first pitch is set for 12pm.

Hilbert’s BSU/MSA Club Promoting Equality

Hilbert College’s Black Student Union and Multi-Cultural Student Association Club, ran by Tyshawn Jones and Adrionna Wright are always promoting equality on campus. The clubs have an emphasis on acceptance while welcoming students of all races and ethnicities.

On a college campus, there are many different cultures and some students may feel that they struggle to fit in. BSU/MSA Club attempts to bridge that gap on Hilbert’s campus. “Who doesn’t want to feel comfortable and see things change on campus” Jones said. “The club is all about promoting and educating people on history and cultures.”

Jones and Wright said they plan to hold events students can look forward to on campus this semester. A potential movie night and guest speaker are in the works. Both Jones and Wright, made it clear that they’re always open to any suggestions. The clubs emphasis is on equality, making anyone welcome and all ideas are to be considered.

“It’s important to learn about other people; where they’re from, where they grew up,” Wright added. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, they club plans to meet again in about two weeks, while the first event is estimated for the end of March. Stay tuned for postings on meeting times and events. For more information, feel free to contact Adrionna Wright or Tyshawn Jones at any time.

Residence Life: Getting Involved While Supporting Programs

There have been many drawbacks because of the coronavirus pandemic. Events have been canceled and rescheduled. Students feel that their college experience is being ripped away. Hilbert college, however, is doing their very best to host events. Whether they are running virtually through zoom or held in person, while following proper social distancing guidelines, there are many opportunities still going on for students to get involved in.

Residence Life hosts RA events weekly this semester including, spa nights, make your own door decorations, virtual trivia night, and so many others. Students are highly encouraged to get involve and form relationships with other students at Hilbert.

Resident Directory, Brett Kane said his department has been trying to give resident students things to do, despite the challenges presented by covid.

“A big focus of ours this semester is doing service and social justice programming … we’re trying to get more speakers, we’re trying to support other department programs, and not focus on recreating programming, but supporting programming on campus,” Kane said.

One way students can do this could be by simply attending an event you would not usually attend, just to show support to peers, Kane said.

Some other events to look forward to include scavenger hunts, where your “home” unit on campus will work as a group so we are not mixing multiple living spaces at once, more virtual trivia nights, and additional socially distanced events.

The virtual events seem to have been very popular this semester. Events that are more convenient for students to attend make the participation steady as well. Within these programs, students might be pleasantly surprised with the relationships and friendships they can form with other students as well.

“The RAs have been focusing on building strong relationships, and giving students personalized invites,” Kane said.

ResLife is continuously working to get students involved, especially during times like this. It is highly encouraged for students to get involved and participate in events and programs in their college community, RA Jordan Salomone said.

“Put yourself out there and find new people to talk to…even if it’s something you’re not interested in,” Salomone said.

It will not hurt to stop by an event or click the zoom link and make some friends in a program that catches your interest. Kane explains that the virtual events in particular focus on “a connection that is focused on similarities, focused on support, and focused on bringing residents together in a different way.”

Men’s Basketball Sees Shortened year as an Opportunity

Players on the Hilbert Hawks men’s basketball team are disappointed about another shortened season, but are keeping their heads high while playing a few games this year.

The team had their season shortened with Covid-19 restrictions in place, only allowing them to get seven scrimmage games for the whole season.

Not only was their season cancelled, but Covid restrictions were also an obstacle. Just like every team, masks have to be worn in practices for precaution. “Athletes were no longer allowed to get extra gym time whenever they pleased, unless there was a scheduled practice,” said Wendell Abellard, a sophomore guard.

However, this short season allowed for them to improve on team bonding, Abellard said.

“Our team has improved on team chemistry… this year we found ways to get guys together and do activities outside of basketball,” Abellard added.

With just these few scrimmages, head coach Rob DeGrandpre is using these games as an evaluation for next season. The team has improved in just these few games, sophomore Jessie Price said.

“Coach is trying to give everybody an opportunity so he can understand their strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities for next season,” said Price.

DeGranpere, Price and the rest of the team hope to use this year as a learning opportunity that it will make them a stronger unity next year.

 “We are making sure we truly understand the system we’re playing in such as: learning offensive sets, and different kinds of defensive plays,” Price said. “The goal is to have all played with each other and understand everybody’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Honors Program Provides Students with Opportunities

Freddie Ando has been participating in Hilbert College’s honors program since last semester. He said that he was nominated by his English teacher to be in the honors program.

“I decided to do it because I get to register first and I also get access to the honors lounge. It also looks good on a resume.”

I got in touch with Freddie Ando, a member of the honors program, to get information on what it is like. Freddie says that “This program has really changed his life and I would recommend any student to get involved with my program. At first there’s a lot of work involved but it is worth it in the end. You meet all new people, along with getting involved with the community, and learning new experiences.”

Freddie gave us a lot of information regarding the honors program, to get you more a background of what it is like. One of the first questions that I wanted to ask is what activities do you do when you are in the Honors Program.

The main activity that honors program students participate in is mainly Volunteer work. Each year we must complete a total number of 20 service ours to be in this program,” Ando said. “When you take the entry level honors course, the class participates in a food drive where we must donate food to a local food pantry. Majority of the money for the food comes from either a GoFundMe account or on campus fundraiser. As a class we also went to both Resurrection Life food Pantry and Feed More WNY to help those that are in need of food. To me I love fun activates and it keeps me more involved. So, when I found out that there is a lot to do and that this program keeps you involved it got me more intrigued.”

There are a lot of people hurting right now regarding Covid, many families are struggling and every scholarship helps.

Ando said that the Honors Program has recently acquired a scholarship of $1,000. He also said that he wished that, “the scholarship should be worth more based on how much work it takes to stay in this program.” Even though the honors program is a lot of work, Ando says that he likes it. He also said that when you are involved in the Honors Program you get to be with the Honors Lounge. He said that “The Honors Lounge is a big room with computers, a printer, couches, with a conference style tables and chairs. It is a nice quiet place where I can complete assignments. The Honors Lounge to me is very rewarding because it symbolizes all the hard work that I have put into my schooling. The Honors Program has really opened my eyes to the world through the volunteer work. When I was completing my 20 service hours at Resurrection Life Food Pantry, I realized how many people need help in our community. This has made me internally grateful for the life that I have today.”

Right now, it is hard to get involved on campus because of Covid-19 but the campus is having more and more zoom meetings to have on campus so students get involved. The Honors Program is another way to get involved at Hilbert. Freddie Ando says “Our impacts from volunteering outside of college really show how powerful Hilbert really is. It shows that the students who attend classes their have big hearts full of passion to help the community through both law enforcement and community service. I have created many new friendships from the honors program. I have mainly acquired these friends through the honors course. We have worked together for the greater good of our community and I believe that it makes our friendships stronger.” I also wanted to ask the director of the honors programs, Dr. Smith, some questions regarding the program. Dr. Smith says that there are approximately 50 total students in the honors program. Dr. Smith says “The Honors Program is designed to develop the skills that employers and graduate schools are looking for, including problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills.  Participating in the program is a way of setting yourself apart from your peers when it comes time to apply for a job or graduate school and showing that you have the skills employers are looking for. The Honors Program provides students with opportunities to grow personally as they challenge themselves academically and to develop leadership skills as they give back to their communities.”

Hilbert Lacrosse Adjusts to Covid Restrictions

Preparing for a lacrosse game is no easy feat. Coaches spend hours designing practices, going over film, and creating the perfect roster. The players are constantly working out, watching what they eat, and still balancing schoolwork and a social life. But, with COVID-19, sports needed to take a backseat to health. In the spring of 2020, the season was cancelled four games in.

Fast forward to the spring of 2021, nobody knows if they will be able to finish the season, but the players and coaches are adjusting and trying to follow the new COVID-19 procedures set upon them by the school and the NCAA.

In multiple interviews the three captains on the Hilbert Men’s Lacrosse team, Brandon Bitka, Tony Cappola, and Liam Doyle, they helped shed some light on what the team is going through this season.

When asked about how COVID-19 has affected the team and himself in terms of camaraderie, Brandon Bitka, a junior Attackmen, said that because of the restrictions set in place by the school, it has been difficult to bond with teammates outside of lacrosse.

“COVID-19 has affected me personally by being able to be around teammates outside of practice,” Bitka said. “A big part of being on a team, being a leader on a team is also being able to connect with teammates outside of lacrosse. Due to COVID rules and restrictions this has limited our overall team bonding.”

It is safe to assume that for most who have ever played a sport, can admit that the best teams they have played on, are the teams where each member feels like a brother. As a freshman coming in college can be daunting and it is up to the upperclassmen to welcome them in and help them get adjusted from the transition from high school to college.

Tony Cappola, a fifth year senior Midfielder, stated that because of COVID-19, practices have changed drastically over the past couple months. In the beginning of the season, the team was allowed to hold practices with groups of ten players or less. Then with the introduction of three tests a week, practices have gone to what they normally were. Tony also states that when practices were held in groups of ten or less, it was difficult, and the team had to get creative with their drills and practice plans.

“In the beginning of the season and in our fall season we were only allowed to practice in groups of 10 or less,” Cappola said. “Starting two weeks ago we started getting three rapid tests a week and are able to practice like we normally would.  When we were in our groups of 10 it was a very different type of practice and the coaches had to get creative with our drills and practice plans.”

Liam Doyle, a junior Attackmen, was asked about the team’s overall skill this season. He said that last year’s team was “sick” and has some big shoes to fill. This current team’s roster is not the biggest, so everyone is going to have to step up, including the young guys.

“Our team last year was sick but for us to get to that same point this year, were going to need guys to fill some big shoes,” Doyle said. “Our roster size isn’t the biggest, so we are going to need everyone on the team to play a role. Young guys have to step up and ball out as best they can to help us out.”

The 2020 Hilbert Men’s Lacrosse team graduated or lost five starters on the team. Three being offensive attackmen. Gauging the three captains during the interviews, I would say this team has a lot to work on however, if anyone is capable of doing the work it is those guys. Hopefully, the team can stay healthy, and the 2021 college lacrosse season does not get cancelled.

Campus Activity Board Helps Students Stay Active

Hilbert students looking for something to do have a centralized resource they can use, the Campus Activity Board.  Located throughout Hilbert College’s campus, be sure to check with them to keep updated on current and upcoming events. 

The campus activities board at Hilbert College is a great way to get involved with student activities.  The campus activities board, CAB, helps with the student activities to organize and advertise events.  The Hilbert College community is always welcome to attend the events. 

“I always attended the school events with friends, and I really enjoyed them, I thought it would be cool to organize and advertise the events,” said junior Jackie Pope. 

CAB is a social club at Hilbert College which is open to all Hilbert Students.  CAB coordinates the marketing and production of many events.  Some of the past events that CAB put together in the past were comedians, casino night, bingo, balloon artists, holiday events, and more. 

There has also been many on-campus arts and crafts and off-campus trips.  Some of the on-campus arts and crafts include stuffing a hawk, Halloween skull making, painting, and more!  Some off-campus trips include the haunted houses, Holiday Valley, and Lasertron.  Often, they will have desserts and refreshments throughout the campus.  Every year the club will have events for commuter appreciation week, midterm week, finals week, giving day, and campus move in week. 

Flyers are posted throughout the campus to advertise the events.  Club members also advertise on various social media apps such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  For on-campus events anyone is welcome to attend. With off-campus events, students must sign up on Hilbert College purple briefcase.  CAB is always open for new event ideas.  CAB is a great way to hangout and have a great time with your friends. 

Students gain valuable leadership experience through the planning and implementation of all events.  “I joined CAB to get involved with student activities,” said Pope.   Anyone looking to go into the marketing/advertising field should consider joining the campus activities board.  You can contact the club leader Jessica Todd who is the director of student activities. 

Hilbert Receives Largest Grant in College History

Hilbert College was awarded a $500,000 grant from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation early this year.

This is the largest foundation grant in Hilbert’s history and will be used to create the Hilbert Franciscan Advocacy & Resource Center. This new center will be used to help students overcome life issues and support their ability to transition and thrive in an educational setting.

“I am extremely grateful to The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for this record-setting grant. The creation of this new Franciscan Advocacy & Resource Center at Hilbert will truly be transformative for the students we serve and the community at large.” Hilbert President Michael S. Brophy Ph.D. said in a prepared statement

The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation was created to honor of Mother Cabrini, a nun who worked with the poor in 19th century New York City, and continue her legacy of helping those in need.

“We intend these grants to have a significant impact in ameliorating food insecurity, helping providers as they deliver care and services in this challenging environment, offering mental health services, and sustaining other essential resources,” said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health foundation in the statement.

This new center will be led by Jeffery Papia, Vice President of Mission Integration and Campus Ministry. The creation of the Center will include five separate intervention strategies to ensure student success. These interventions include:

  • Wellness Center
  • SOAR: Success, opportunity, Advising, and Retention
  • Campus Ministry Outreach Program
  • Adult Services Initiative
  • Learning commons

This grant will also support the creation of a new position to support diversity and inclusion initiatives at Hilbert.