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Staff from Facilities enjoyed ice cream during an ice cream social held by Class Council 2014 .

Class council meets Junior year! This year feels much different than the last two, though. Why, you may ask? Well, as first-years, class council is responsible for planning Winter Wonderland, described on the college website as: "Before students leave for winter break, Bartol Dining Hall is revamped for a community feast. Faculty and students fill the dining hall, as the College president cuts the turkey. The residence halls are decorated with lights and ribbons by their hall councils to complete the winter wonderland feeling".

As sophomores, class council directs their efforts toward putting together the May Day celebration: "Simmons's oldest annual student tradition, when sophomores serenade the seniors at the break of dawn with pots, pans, and noisemakers. Festivities include a maypole dance at dawn, tree planting, and a strawberry shortcake breakfast".

Senior year is usually filled with the most events, such as "Octoberfest", the "Senior Faculty Toast" and senior week events. However, Junior year does not have any traditional big event, but class council 2014 is thinking about creating one! And even though we do not have a "traditional junior class" event to plan, we are going to have a lot of other events throughout the year.

In fact, we have already hosted our first event of the semester - a welcome back ice cream social for all Simmons students! It was held on Thursday September 13th on the Residence Campus Quad. It was a sunny day, with a high of 82 degrees - the perfect day for ice cream. My favorite part was that not only did Simmons students cool down with ice cream, but so did Simmons staff!

Above: Helen Drinan, President of Simmons College.

I was so honored and excited to have been invited to our college President Helen Drinan's home for dinner this past Monday, March 27, 2012. Myself, along with 15 other students, and Dean Sarah Neill, boarded shuttles at 5:00 p.m. and were on our way! Helen Drinan and her husband warmly welcomed us into their beautiful home in the South Boston. While enjoying a delicious dinner, we all discussed our majors, extracurricular activities, likes, and suggestions for improvement at Simmons with President Drinan. The evening was a wonderful opportunity for President Drinan and students to get to know each other better. We are so lucky to have such a friendly, caring, and dedicated college President! It was an evening I will always cherish!

I had an amazing spring break! Simmons' Scott/Ross center once again set up a great program to spend spring break volunteering around Boston. The name of the program was Boston Immersion, and I got to work with students of the Colleges Of the Fenway, including Emmanuel College and Wheelock College. We were a group of ten this year, and slept over at Emmanuel.

During the day we were volunteering and getting to know the area better and at night, we would lead reflections about our experience. The theme this year was Children in Poverty. We worked with non profit organizations like Nazareth House, the Tobin Community Center, Jumpstart, and Cradles to Crayons! The experience was really eye-opening.

Continue reading Alternative Spring Break: Boston Immersion.

Through the Scott/Ross Center, I am the Student Director of Gateway, which is currently a tutoring and mentoring program for a selected group at the John D. O'Bryant School. Gateway is a pilot program founded in New York that offers college access workshops and academic assistance. Incoming high school freshmen apply for this program and out a pool of applicants, fifty students are chosen. The partnership between Simmons College and the John D. O'Bryant allows me to be the person who recruits the tutors and mentors for our program.

Last year, Gateway was more focused on the tutoring aspect of the program and we sort of let the mentoring part of it just happen. Because I had origninally wanted to create a new mentoring program, Dr. Steve London, the Supervisor of the Scott/Ross Center and also a Professor of Sociology, thought, why not do it through Gateway? About this time last year, the Gateway Team and I decided to meet weekly to come up with a proposal for a mentoring program. Through numerous revisions and multiple meetings, my team and I was able to get our proposal approved by the site supervisor of Gateway at the O'Bryant! The Gateway facilitator, Danielle Ehrnstein, and I worked together to complete a grant by the Simmons Centennial Grant funded by the Simmons Board of Trustees. We successfully received funding for our mentoring program!

Mentoring means a great deal to me. I can honestly say that without my mentors in my life, I wouldn't be able to achieve all that I have today. I had a great mentor throughout my high school years, who is still one of my great mentors, Mr. Richard Vaughn, that guided me towards my goals and helped encourage me when I needed it the most. Mr. Vaughn introduced me to new opportunities, and he challenged me to take a risk with what I wanted to do. He was my inspiration in creating a mentoring program like Gateway Mentoring.

I know what it is like to feel lost and want to succeed and if I can ever have an impact in another student and be even a small percentage of what Mr. Vaughn was to me to another student, then this program would definitely have been successful and worth all the hard work! Maybe someday, they too can help another person and guide them to their goals. :)

Mentees Visit Simmons!
This week my mentees were on their winter break and they decided to shadow me in my classes and activities! I am very excited for them to see what college life is like. I feel like it gives them something to look forward to and work towards. I asked my mentees to prepare a reflection on their experience at Simmons and one of my mentees, Jennyde, agreed to let me share her experience on my blog!

Jennyde Dessius
February 23rd, 2012
Shadowing at Simmons College

I personally think that the gateway Mentor and tutoring program is a great opportunity for young students like me to get ahead and stay ahead. On Wednesday, I had a chance to shadow a fellow student at Simmons College. To get a feel on the college life was an excellent experience for me. I'm glad I took advantage of that day and asked questions that seemed to be bothering me about the whole college process as well as what I can do as a sophomore in high school to begin to prepare myself for the near future.

Who knew I would ever step foot in a few college classes as a high school student. I got to sit and observe students as they reviewed for an exam. Their note-taking, study habits and different ways of preparation was impressive. The ambition that each student had was clearly visible and truly skillful. One class that I really liked was Student Government Association. What I liked most about it was that I was able to hear the concerns from the students, their thoughts and what seemed to bother them as well as ideas and new ways to maybe improve their stay and education at Simmons. What really caught my attention was their "Hot topic". They spoke about stress and different ways to solve the issue. I really enjoyed that because it was all so real. I kind of understood what the students were saying and was able to relate.

Would I do this again? No doubt about it. In fact, I think that every student should be able to participate in some kind of experience like this one where they can familiarize themselves with their future, so when the time comes, they will not only be ready but they would already be given the knowledge and guidance of refinement.


Over the past week, during my Spring Break, I had the privilege to travel to Waynesburg, PA to build a home for a family in need alongside Habitat for Humanity. My friend and I led 12 other women on a successful week of putting up siding, building air vents, putting up wiring, and drilling electrical boxes in, just to name a few things. I don't think anyone knew how emotional this trip would be, though.

On the second to last day of work, the new owner of the home we were building, Cheryl, showed up to the site. She was in her late 60's, and had just broken her knee in the snow a few weeks earlier. Tears immediately flooded to my eyes as she struggled to walk on the gravel to bring us lunch. Talking to her during lunch made everyone smile, and made us have a greater connection for what we were actually doing for Habitat.

This family had been living in a trailer with seven people, and only two rooms. The following day, the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) team was able to meet the son and daughter that were also receiving this home, Carol and Bobby. I have never seen someone be so thankful for what they were receiving, and this family truly truly deserved the home.

On the flip side, Wednesday, and some of Thursday, the ASB group headed to another work site for demolition of an old house that was going to be re-built. When we arrived, the owner of the house we were tearing down was there, and said to us, "Thank you for taking out my trash." But, as we took everything out of the house, we found children's toys, army outfits, and memories that really should not have been thrown out, but we were doing as we were told, and tried to keep in mind that this man and his family were going to receive a better home.

For many of us, the army outfit, the toys, and the fact that the children were only six and seven years old, and at least one had Autism, really hit home and made us emotional. On the second day of demolition, only half the group went to help out, and we tore down walls, and watched as the house turned into a hollow home made of wood. It looked like a tornado had just blown through, but it was just us that were using crowbars and hammers to tear everything in site down. It wasn't fun.

On the last day of the trip, and while we got back on the plane to head back to Boston, each one of us had a new sense of ourselves, and of humanity, and why helping our community should be a huge part of everyone's lives. Simmons College was a huge help this year in supporting us, as they helped us reach our fundraising goal, and allowed us to go on this journey, and learn more about each other, ourselves, and the Greene County in which we were in. It was truly a life-changing experience that I would recommend to everyone.

I have officially started working at BOTH of my internships. I love them both, and I'm sure the work-load will be a bit stressful to start off, but I know I can handle it! Another exciting thing is that I am in the Vagina Monologues, which is this weekend. I'm so nervous, and I have never really been on stage before, so this is me trying something new. So wish me luck! But other than that, school is busy, life is busy, and overall I just miss my family, and wish I had a weekend that I could go home and spend time with them, even if it was doing nothing but watching tv. Anyway, back to my essays. :)

(Picture on page 10 from the Febuary 9, 2012 issue of the Simmons Voice)

My roommate can attest to the fact that I truly enjoy sitting at my desk and catching up with the Simmons Community by reading our weekly newspaper, The Simmons Voice. I enthusiastically grab one wherever I see it, and am sad that I have not had too much time to read it this semester. However, this week's editorial piece attacking the annual Simmons formal event filled with dinner and dancing, Simmons Soiree, caught my attention. The figure (that I posted above) accompanying the editorial piece summed up the article pretty accurately since the article expressed negative views about the event. Not only did this piece address last years Soiree, but it also bashed this year's Soiree - primarily about its theme, the ticket price, and ignorance towards the opinions of the student body while planning the event.

This article seemed too harsh to me, especially since this year's Soiree has not even happened yet!!! It is ignorant to judge a book before you've read it; a movie before you've seen it; a place before you've been there; and an event before you've attended it.

Being a part of Class Council where a bulk of our efforts are spent in planning and organizing events for the Simmons Community, I understand the time, energy, and effort that goes into planning such a large scale event. Thus, it is important to be careful not to criticize when you do not know all of the behind the scenes logistics and need for executive decisions to be made.Yes, some people were not satisfied with last year's Soiree, but I am fairly certain that more students would be disappointed if CAB did not put together large events such as Soiree.

I think it is great for the Simmons Community to come together at large events and enjoy each others company outside of the often stressful college environment. Yet, I agree with the editorial image that more can be done to make Soiree a more fun event. Maybe having some raffles, a dance-off, musical entertainment by Simmons professors, different activities, or cute (free!) event memorabilia would make Soiree more enjoyable and attract more people to go.

Although I think it was unkind to dampen the mood of all the people involved with planning Soiree who were also so greatly looking forward to it, I am glad to see Simmons students fearlessly taking the initiative to express their real opinions.

Yesterday was the last swimming and diving dual met for the Sharks. We played against the talented Plymouth State University's team. It was a great fight and we ended up winning. It was a great way to end the season with an amazing overall record 8-4 for us. Now, the swimmers who qualified for the New England championship are still preparing for the upcoming event. I joined the swimming team this semester, and I have to admit I think it was one of the best choice I could have made. I met great and passionate girls. The coaches are amazing, and getting back to a sport I have loved since I was little was enriching. I hope I will be able to cheer for my teammates during the New England championship, and otherwise I will be back on the team next semester!!!! I cannot wait! Besides that, it is the Superbowl weekend and a lot of events are going to be on campus with free food, refreshments, and the Superbowl on TV. Don't miss out, Simmons and Mesick first floors will be packed. GO PATRIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Quote of the day : " Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is" Zig Ziglar

On Wednesday, February 1st, I attended the 20th Annual Clothesline Project after the SGA forum. My friend, Sasha P (who was also in the Simmons World Challenge class) helped organize this event. It was such an emotional event and I wanted to take the time to share this with you if you missed it.

I feel that it is important to acknowledge that violence is still occurring in society today and it should not be avoided nor should it be ignored. For you and me, it may just be another headline in the news but these stories are real and the people who are hurting need help. Some people suffer every day, whether it be physically or mentally, and I think that it's important to support events like these to let the survivors and people who are struggling with domestic violence know that we are working towards moving forward to educate each other and end violence one person at a time.

Below is a description of the Clothesline Project:

"The Clothesline Project is a visual display which bears witness to domestic violence and sexual assault. it is comprised of a series of color-coded shirts hung on a clothesline. Each shirt is decorated to represent a person's experience of rape, incest, battery, or homophobia; or as a tribute to someone who has been murdered. The shirts are decorated by the survivors themselves or by their loved ones. The Clothesline Project was initiated by a group of women in 1990 on Cape Cod , and it has grown throughout the country."

Yellow or Beige- For people who have been battered or assaulted
Red, Pink, or Orange- For people who have been raped or sexually assaulted
Blue or Green- For survivors of incest or child abuse
Purple or lavender- For people attacked because of their sexual orientation
White- For people who have died in violence

Pictured above is the T-shirt Raising where they add new shirts to the collection.

Wow! I don't know about everyone else, but this fall semester has really gotten me beat! I honestly really feel that I learned and grew so much as a person this year. I learned things about myself that I truly value and I also know not to study on my bed anymore. I am going to take all the things that I learned and apply it positively to next semester.

I feel like often times, I have to look back at the person I was when I was a little girl because that girl I knew, had so much passion and determination. And it's not to say that I don't have motivation, it's just that sometimes, I lose sight of what I really want and get distracted. My older sister, Chaoy, told me that college is an experience that I can use to learn how to put distractions aside and just focus. I believe that is something I have been struggling with this semester and I hope I can learn the tricks on how to do it soon!

My plan for next semester is to stay more organized. I plan to make a huge poster of my goals to remind me everyday what I need to be focusing on. I mean to you, it might seem like I'm all work, and no play, but for me, this is fun! I enjoy working towards my goals and I love school and all the great opportunities that come with it!

Like many people I know, I won't be actually taking time off to relax during winter break. I am trying to obtain 60 hours of shadowing my dentist and orthodontist in a week and a half before I go back to Simmons. I am also enrolled in the two-week World Challenge; Living on the Edge of Poverty winter course at Simmons in January! (I will blog more about this in another entry.)

I am applying to many pre-dental summer programs and summer research experiences for undergraduates during the winter; I wanted to try this new thing where I don't do too many things at once, but I don't think I'm making much of an effort to really do that. I really hope things work out!

Upcoming school-wide events in the Spring Semester 2012!

SGA: Student Affairs Officer

  • Plan & Host Connections Carnival, student organization fair (January 25th, 2012)

  • Plan & Co-host with Academic Affairs Officer: Molly Maiden Student Leadership Recognition Ceremony (May 3rd, 2012

  • More Judicial Cabinet meetings!

What are your plans for the winter?

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