Hilbert to hold Covid Informational Session

Hilbert’s Counseling and Wellness Center will host a virtual informational session on covid-19.

The session, held over Zoom at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, will offer information on symptoms, impacts, vaccines and treatment of the disease and an opportunity to ask questions of health professionals, including Kalieda Health’s Dr. Kenneth Snyder.

Hilbert’s Allison Chatley said the session is open to all members of the Hilbert community.

“The goal of this collaboration with Kaleida Health Services is to give Hilbert’s community first-hand information about the current state of COVID, the development of the vaccine and allow a space for students and staff to voice concerns or fears they may be having,” Chatley said.

Community members can access the session with the link below:

https://hilbert-edu.zoom.us/j/82579257220?pwd=ZUVnOWp3R1hFbUFmRXI4MlZ0TmlCUT09

 

Hilbert Kicks Off Unity Within Our Community Month

In an effort to promote unity Hilbert College launched the monthlong Unity Within Our Community drive earlier this week.

The campaign is aimed at providing students service opportunities while also promoting discussions around social and racial justice. Covid protocols will make for things a little different this year, but the college has daily events, programs and information sharing opportunities, with many of them being conducted over Zoom or through other digital means.

Rachel Wozniak, Hilbert’s director of service learning and community engagement, said her office is hoping to provide learning opportunities for students through service, while also fostering conversations around some of the big issues being discussed, particularly how the school community can apply Franciscan values to try to help solve problems.

“Since the pandemic began, our nation has witnessed its disproportionate and overwhelming effects felt by our communities of color,” Wozniak said. “The underlying inequities that are present in our communities became clearer than ever. As a Franciscan college, we must continue to educate, inform, and take the necessary steps to eliminate systemic racism and oppression.”

The events this week include a Stand Up to Bias information session Thursday beginning at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom. Students can learn about ways to stand up to discrimination within the Hilbert community. Sign up through Purple Briefcase.

Wozniak said the programs are designed to help students and community members recognize issues of racial inequity, understand the value of diversity and connect to God’s call for justice in the world.

“To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,'” Wozniak said. “As a Catholic, Franciscan institution, lets us learn from the lessons 2020 has taught us and continue to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy as we move forward in creating a more just community, devoted to compassion, empathy and dignity for all.”

Students can find schedules for programming on signage throughout campus, the can reach Wozniak at rwozniak@hilbert.edu or they can reach out to the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

Hilbert Celebrates Spirit Week

This week Hilbert students and staff have been showing off their Hawk pride by participating in Spirit Week.

While the events are not the same as a typical year, school administration has worked to make things as festive as ever, offering prizes to students who participate in at least four of the five spirit day events and tag photos of themselves in their outfits to @Hawktivities on Instagram, long with a hashtag identifying their class year; i.e. #classof2021 for seniors. Students can also certify their participation by showing up to the student activities office in Franciscan Hall to show off their gear.

Dan Heims, the interim director of student activities, said that his office is hoping to make important events like Spirit Week as engaging as possible while also following all safety protocols.

“We have adjusted how we do programming,” Heims said. “Rather than in person interactive programming, we have had to adjust to running ‘take and makes’ as well as more virtual programming.”

Heims said his office are trying to keep these events play out as they would in a normal year, but with a twist to keep them safe.

“We hope that it brings some fun for students, as well as some friendly competition between the different class years,” Heims said. “The students that participate in four out of the five days and are in the class year that earns the most points will win a prize.”

Spirit Week continues through Friday. The themes for each day are as follows:

Monday – comfy pajama day

Tuesday – meme day. Dress up like your favorite meme

Wednesday – flannel day

Thursday – Disney day

Friday – Hawks Pride Day

Mental Health and the Stress of College

Have you ever taken a step back and thought about the current state of your own mental health? From avoiding their problems and feelings to not ever realizing something may be wrong, billions of people suffer from mental health problems, and many  do not know there are ways to get help. 

In today’s world, it seems the people affected many by mental health problems, the most common being depression, anxiety, and excess amounts of stress, are students.

Brooke Klein, a freshman at Hilbert, previously attending Daemen College and Erie Community College. She said …

Hamm is also a freshman who transferred this year from University at Buffalo.

“Before I started college and even before COVID-19, I had experienced anxiety, which I think has only gotten worse for me since my first year of college.” Klein said.

Klein said her mental health state is influenced greatly by her workloads.

Katherine Pappas, a Hilbert Sophomore, said she has experienced similar mental health issues.

“I have experienced mild depression for a while, and even though school always affects my moods, some semesters can be worse than others,” Pappas said. “It all depends on the amount of stress pushed onto us as students.”

On the other hand, Alesia Hamm is a freshman who transferred this year from University at Buffalo tells us she is able to deal with her stress easier,

“I have definitely experienced mental health issues in the past, but I think I am much better now,” Hamm said. “I do not think college has too much of a negative effect on my mental health.”

As the years go on there is a continuous increase in rates of mental health issues,  especially since the ages affected keep lowering, schools have tried to make counselors and resources more accessible.

Hilbert offers help to students such as counselors and comforting teachers.

Klein said she was surprised to learn the Hilbert offers mental health counseling services.

“I was not even aware that Hilbert offered mental health resources to students,” she said.

Even though these resources are offered, they may not be advertised enough to the people who need it the most.

 Pappas said she would be more like to use the services if the hours were more expansive.

“I knew about the resources offered, however the office hours of the counselor on campus are very limited.,” Pappas said. “I am not even sure when he is around.” 

When it comes to mental health, everyone is different because everyone thinks and feels differently. While one student may be super stressed about a project due in a week, another student may be able to schedule their time out and calmly deal with it. Others avoid their stress and just get things done, even though they may have some feelings bottled up. This means everyone does something different to cope with stress, depression, anxiety, etc.

When these students were asked what mainly contributes to their mental health issues, the only common answer was stress from school. 

Klein said getting away from school can help her feel better.

“When I’m feeling stressed or having a bad day mentally, I like to take a day off and really focus on myself,” she said. “When I have a day off it brings me to a more peaceful, happier mindset.”

Hamm said writing and going on drives alone are helpful for her. Pappas said driving is also helpful for her. “Sometimes I just drive around randomly, and it clears my head completely.” Pappas said., “I also like going on drives alone, but also love walking, reading, seeing my friends, or listening to music. Anything to take my mind off the stress or anxiety for a day or two really helps me.” 

Election Causes Added Stress During Strange Semester

As the semester begins to wrap up, college students are finding themselves more stressed than usual due to the ongoing pandemic and current presidential election.

The fall semester of 2020 has been a semester like no other. With students transitioning to online classes, and some already fully online, it has been a challenging semester. Before there was even talk about the presidential election, students were already beginning to stress about the changes in their learning. “Since the beginning of the semester in August, things have been so different from last Fall”, Forensic major, Claudia Wrate, said.

Since March, the corona virus pandemic has continued to change almost every element of a college students’ life. In March, students were abruptly moved to virtual learning, where they would struggle to finish the semester as they had no idea how to learn completely online. “My grades dropped significantly towards the end of March because my professors and I were not used to online learning, and struggled to adapt”, Criminal Justice major, Mia Sanchez, said. “The professors and students were hardly given any notice, and professors had no time to create an effective learning platform online”.

Along with COVID-19 adding stress to an already busy semester, there has been a lot of political controversy regarding the presidential election. Whether you choose to follow politics or not, there is no way to completely avoid the stress of the election.

The presidential election has created many more divisions when compared to previous elections. The controversy between the candidates and their supporters seems to be increasing, especially right now, while it looks like Joe Biden won, but it isn’t indefinite. Most students attending Hilbert College experienced this election as their first and it brought a lot of stress upon them, considering the importance of this election.

As Erie county moves into yellow zone, and chances going back into lockdown, most college students resort to panic mode. Finals will be coming soon, a new president, and students may have to return to virtual learning at any time. This semester has definitely been one for the books.

“Beginning move heavily around the middle of October, wherever you looked, there was something pertaining to the election,” Wrate said. “Personally, I do not share my political views with anyone, because I understand that most people struggle to see others’ views. I continually noticed people openly sharing their political views and opinions on social medias, which seemed like it was just asking for an argument”.

Hilbert Celebrates Life of Student

Cori Shearing, a cybersecurity major at Hilbert College, passed away unexpectedly on April 14, 2020.

Everyone at Hilbert College can agree on one thing:  Cori was a fun, loving and outgoing person, who was never afraid to be herself.  Cori touched so many people in the short time she was with us, and we all miss her dearly.

I first met Cori during my freshman year of college. I remember the first time she sat behind me in class and introduced herself. She talked about longboarding and some of her other interests. The minute I heard her speak, I wanted to get to know her better. The way she talked and carried herself made her different from everyone else, in the best way possible.

My sophomore year of college, my roommates and I were looking for another roommate to fill our suite. One of my roommates, Claudia Wrate, a forensics major at Hilbert College, was very close with Cori and immediately thought of her. We began talking with Cori about dorming with us, and although it never happened, it helped bring all of us closer.

Cori always had a smile on her face and it was completely genuine. “Cori just always wanted to make the world a better place and everyone around her happy”, Wrate said.  “She was very interested in cyber security and wanted to help people that way”.

Former Hilbert student, Reta Savory, also met Cori freshman year. The first night Savory met Cori, it made a lasting impression on her. “Hanging out with Cori that first night was enlightening for me because I learned about myself as a person and how to be a friend to someone from a different world than me” Savory said. “She taught me that life is hard but you smile through it and that’s all you can do”.

Cori was also very proud of her family, especially her mom. Savory and Wrate both vividly remember Cori sharing stories about her family. “Cori was proud of her family for sure” Wrate said. “Her mother and her were very close, and she talked about her so highly”.

“I think Cori was most proud of the people in her life” Savory said. “From the moment I met her, I could see that. She loved her mom”.

Political Science Department Offers Students Perspective

Hilbert College is an institution known for three major factors: the Criminal Justice Program that helps to teach the next generation of Police, Security and Federal Officers;. the Forensic Science program; the small student to faculty ratio that creates an engaging and person experience allowing the student to feel like an individual not like a number. 

Unlike some colleges that have giant class sizes where the professor does not know your name, at Hilbert the faculty cares about each and every student, and how to make the learning easier for that student in particular. 

While Hilbert is known for its Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Program there is other majors on campus beside these which are the obvious ones, one of the great major programs on campus in the Political Science program.  Political Science is the study of how people form together to change the situations in which they live to make those situations equitable and how those systems fight against or work with these movements of people. 

While not as popular as the Criminal Justice major, the study of Political Science should matter to students studying Crimal Justice.  

“CJ and other disciplines are inter-related , so how people are treated  is a political question,” Dr. Andrew Kolin said. 

Politics effect each and every one of us in some way matter shape or form, it is what creates each and every situation in the world, he added.  

“If one is to understand decision making and ‘who gets what?  Political science is essential’ meaning that while things may seem dismal and dark there is ways to change the matter of who gets what,’” Kolin said. 

Kolin, is an academic who has taught and studied Political Science for many decades and takes a lot of pride in giving his students as much detail as possible, allowing them to strive and succeed. 

John Brandle, a Political science major at Hilbert College, said he is a political science major because he wants to help solve problems.

“I chose to study political science because I wanted to help my community,” Brandle said. “I thought that pursuing a degree in the field would help educate me on the ins and outs of our society and how we function both on a legal and political level. My personal end goal is to get involved in the field of politics, and try to make a change through that.” 

That is what many Political Science majors want to accomplish is to better the world they live in. However, to gain that perspective one doesn’t have to be a Political Science Major. They can merely take a course or two as part of an elective.

Brandle said he believes that Political Science matters on campus.

“I think political science should matter because we are becoming more and more of a society that refuses to look at our flaws,”Brandle said. “In doing so we also forget the accomplishments we have made fixing those flaws.”

Dealing With Midterm Stress

Midterm week is stressor for many college students, and the impact it can make on ones semester can be massive. Oftentimes, these mid-term exams account for 20 to 30 percent of a student’s final grade.

David Gullo, a sophomore here at Hilbert College, said most professors on campus do a good job of warning and preparing you, which is necessary as the first six weeks of the semester tend to fly by.

“We’ve only been in class for a couple weeks it feels like,” Gullo said when interviewed prior to the exams. “My professors have been stressing that we need to prepare for these exams, as it can put us (students) on track to succeed this semester.”

But, midterms can also put a student in a huge hole for the rest of the semester. Preparing for potentially four to six of these exams after being in class for just over a month can sometimes overwhelm and cause major stress and anxiety for students.

On top of the fact that these students are stressing about the exams they are taking, the adjustments to protocols in place for the pandemic have made for a difficult semester. Although school work has to be a main priority in order for a student to succeed, these are topics that can certainly not be ignored. Stephen Houghton, another sophomore here at Hilbert, spoke of his experience what it is like to attend college during the crazy events of 2020.

“With everything going on with the pandemic and trying to stay up to date on what’s going on in the election, sometimes it is hard to keep focus and give the attention I need to school work,” Houghton said.

He also said that this sometimes leads to major anxiety for him. Anyone that has ever dealt with anxiety knows that it is extremely difficult to be productive while experiencing it.

“Even getting a little bit behind on my work causes major anxiety for me,” Houghton said. “When that happens, unless someone is there who knows how to calm me down, it is a wasted night of studying for me.” 

During midterms a wasted night may be detrimental to a student’s chances on a mid-term exam.

Thomas Wolstencroft, a career guidance counselor who is speacializes in dealing with students that struggle with stress and anxiety at Gannon University and Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, on how students deal with stress and how they can overcome it.

“Every student is different” Wolstencroft said. “There is no one solution in overcoming your problems dealing with anxiety. But there are some things worth trying that in many cases do help people a great deal”.

A few things he suggested for helping to deal with or avoid the stress altogether were to reward yourself after the completion of a homework or studying session, get enough sleep and eat healthy, as the better you feel, the more likely it is your work will get done, and most importantly keep an agenda. He said it is an absolute must for college students to keep a planner or agenda and write all big tests and due dates in it.

Coming from high school, everything is very structured and lined up for you to succeed. In college, this is not the case at all. If you have all of your assignments written down and accessible, you are much more likely to complete them, according to a study done Educational Leadership

Wolstencroft also said that the key is not to deal with the anxiety when it occurs, but to try and avoid it from happening all together.

“If you can minimize the anxiety from your school work, suddenly things such as the pandemic and the election seem more manageable as you have hopefully already taken care of that huge stressor,” he said.

College Students Hope to Avoid Another Covid Shutdown

As COVID-19 cases start to increase again, it’s apparent that a second shutdown is likely.

Most of Erie Country has been split up into yellow, orange and red zones, which identify the severity of cases in that town.  Almost all of Erie County has turned orange, leaving just a few towns in the yellow zone. 

Sophie Loschiavo, a freshman at Daemen College who started her first year mostly online, said she has not been able to get the fullest experience of college.  She now is fully remote as all the other schools and colleges are and is frustrated about the start of a second shutdown.

“I can’t believe we are about to go into lockdown again” Loschiavo said, “I really hope this doesn’t last as long as the last one.”

Daemen College sophomore Gianna Baia said she has felt outrage and sadness of the start of the second shutdown.

“I wish people would just stay home and follow the procedures put in place so we could all have things go back to normal,” Baia said. “I hope Erie County or towns in Erie County don’t turn red.” 

Baia had high hopes that if people stay home that the world will return to normal again and that she will be able to go back to playing soccer and her job, being a hostess at a local restaurant. 

Its clear that many people don’t like the second shutdown, but it is clearly needed with rising COVID-19 cases in New York State.  Baia stated,

“Hopefully 2021 is a better year,” Baia said.

Students’ Express Concerns About Covid Protocols

Quarantine has become a main process for preventing the spread of covid-19 for many colleges, with remote learning options put in place at most schools across the United States.

For some students have quarantine guidelines and remote learning have been in place since the pandemic started. Most colleges, including SUNY schools, are transitioned to remote learning after the Thanksgiving break. Schools established protocols in an effort to stay open until the start of Thanksgiving break, but many, including Hilbert College, were able to make it that far with cases rising across Western New York.

These precautions include limiting class sizes, wearing masks and sanitizing.  Colleges also prepared for outbreaks of covid-19, by designating certain locations on campus for students who need to quarantine.

Last month the Chancellor of SUNY schools Jim Malatras stated annouced widespread testing requirements for the state school system.

“All students who are living on campus, taking at least one in-person course, or utilizing campus facilities must test negative for COVID-19 before leaving campus at Thanksgiving break,” Malatras said.

This test was required to be taken 10 days before students left for break. Students who test positive were mandated to quarantine for 14 days, ultimately making them stay on campus for thanksgiving break instead of going home.

Since some classes are strictly online, some students did not step foot on campus this semester, making them exempt from testing.

Buffalo State College Junior Keke Scott, who takes online courses and lives off campus, said she has not been impacted by this new policy.

Scott stated she felt bad for students who may possibly have to quarantine.

“I don’t have to worry about having to miss thanksgiving with my family, since I have my own place, she said.”

Another student at Buffalo State College, Bryanna Wilson, said she didn’t feel like students’ feelings were taken into consideration when the decisions were made.

“I understand the Chancellor means well, but I just wish they would ask for students’ opinions first before making a decision about us,” Wilson said.  

Since the pandemic has started institutions have been forced to make drastic decisions. Niah Price, a Junior and student athlete at Buffalo State, said she is fed up with this school year. Not only did the cost of tuition increase but her softball season was cancelled. Schools have taken away traditional breaks and now she had to miss celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with her family.

Overall, students from SUNY schools believe this new protocol is unfair and their opinions and thoughts should have been taken into consideration.

Private schools such as Hilbert College have not made testing mandatory for students. If Hilbert were to make testing mandatory before the Thanksgiving break, students would likely have the same reaction and thoughts as SUNY student, Malik Abdus-Sabr, a Hilbert student, said

“I believe we have been put through a lot this semester and school year as a whole, and to make students stay on campus to quarantine instead of going home is unfair,” Abdus-Sabr said.