Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Keeping Faith at Benedictine

MOSAICDo you want to grow in your faith, even in college?

When I came to Benedictine University, I moved three hours away from my home, away from my family. So, I saw it as an opportunity to become independent and it’s up to me now if I want to keep up with my faith. It is such a comfort to go to a university that supports and helps me become closer to God and involve Him in my life. I’m not only challenged to grow in my own faith but also to help lead others to become their better selves as well. As a community, we are meant to serve each other.

I’m proud to say, that Benedictine University creates an environment that one can grow and maintain his or her faith. At Benedictine, you will find Catholics (57%), Muslims (24%), Protestant Christians (15%), Hindus (3%) and others (1%).While our university has a strong Roman Catholic tradition (specifically in the Benedictine heritage), it is a part of this tradition that we acknowledge, respect, and welcome people of other religions.

Quick Info

For Christians…there is weekly at Mass on Sundays at 8 p.m. in Kindlon Hall 4th floor or weekdays at 12 noon

For Muslims…the Muslim Prayer Room is in the Founders Woods clubhouse and the prayer is on Fridays at 1:30 p.m

For Hindus…you can attend Aarti on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. in Kindlon 164

University Ministry is the place to go!

You can find opportunities for service and mission trips.

We gather groups together to help locally in food pantries such as “Loaves and Fishes Pantry” and “Feed my Starving Children”. Through our clubs such as Peace&Social Justice, Daughters of Isabella, and Education Formation you can do fun activities. For example, making dresses to donate to young girls in Haiti through the “Haiti Connection” and playing games with the residents at nursing homes. We have two mission trips per year! One takes you to Bolivia to work with children and the other to the Philippines to build houses. You can contact  Carrie Roberts at for more information or visit (look under the sub-sections for the cool stuff!)

You can put in requests for prayers.

Go to and tell them your prayer request. They will send out a mass e-mail to everyone on campus and you’ll have a whole campus praying for your request!

You can find books of religious topics and a wonderful lounge.

The lounge is a great place for a lot of things! Students use the lounge for studying, socializing, eating, and catching up on rest after those stressful exams. At most times, it is a peaceful place to just be yourself.

You can go to a Catholic focused retreat called Koinonia.

Koinonia is a Greek term for community. It is a three day retreat where one can get away from the chaos of the world to seek God and experience His Love and Mercy. It involves meeting other people looking to find out more about their faith (whether to find out what it is or develop a better understanding), praise&worship, good food, and hearing other witness to God’s love. Details and more information can be found here:

Interfaith (Mosaic) is the Movement Of Students Achieving Intefaith Collaboration

It took writing this blog and talking to one of the members for me to understand more about this organization. Harjot Sangha summed up the club perfectly, “Mosaic is a group made up of people with different faiths and non-faith who come together to celebrate and accept diversity.” Jessica Clodi also said, “We might be of different faiths and backgrounds, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t all a community. We all love and serve each other, we’re all human, and we all belong in community with each other.” The club runs a couple of events such as the Paper Drive in the Spring, and a Food Packaging Event in the Fall.

Dialogue is a great place for conversation between Muslims and Catholics.

Dialogue is a small club at Benedictine University that allows Muslims and Catholics to come together to discuss and share aspects of the Islam and Catholic faith. Usually, one will be asked to come to the meetings by the administrator, Dr. George-Tvrtkovic. On the page for the Interreligious Dialogue, it adequately describes the meetings as, “a safe space to discuss issues of understanding in a climate of loving respect” and have discussed topics such as, “home schooling, interfaith marriages, Islamaphobia, facebook messages, and easily misunderstood customs.”

Overall, I hope I gave you an exciting glimpse into the things we do here at Benedictine that increase our faith. I highly recommend you explore the Benedictine Webpage to see the details and everything else I didn’t cover. There is so much more!


7 thorough steps to playing college sports

My name is Billy. I’m a junior at BenU and I’m a three starter on the football team.

Many incoming freshman have played sports in high school, and some in fact are fortunate enough to get recruited.  However, in some instances the athlete has not received any interest from college coaches, but still wants to play at the next level.  Do not panic.  It was the summer going into my junior year, and I had not received any interest from any university throughout the country.  I thought I for sure had the talent to play at the next level, and potentially compete as quickly as my sophomore year in college.  Here are some suggestions for you to get the attention of college coaches:

1. Talk to your high school coach about getting your name out

2. Make a highlight tape and upload it to youtube.  Highlight tapes are huge because if the coach did not see you during the season this is his/her chance to see you in action.  Do not make the tape more than 6 minutes long.  Be sure to include all relevant stats and facts.

Below are good examples of a highlight tape to send to colleges.

3. Get about 15 copies of the highlight tape put on DVD and send them to whatever colleges you want to go to.  Be realistic

4. Go to the athletic page of the school, click on the ‘recruit me’ link and fill out the survey.  Coaches get hundreds of these so make sure yours stands out.

5. Email and call the coaches.  Do not be a nag, but email or call them about every 10 days.  If they do not get back to you after about a month then begin pursuing other options.

6. If you do get the opportunity to visit.  Take advantage of that opportunity.  Set up a meeting with a coach and go on a tour.  Finally, if you are comfortable with this, set up an overnight visit with a player and coach to stay at the university for a weekend.  This will allow you to see the guts and glory of the university, and will help you  in your search for the perfect school.

7. Your decision.  By the time April and May rolls around of your senior year you should be ready to make your decision on the college you wish to continue your academic and athlete career.  At this point it is appropriate to call the coaches of the schools you are not attending and inform them that you are not attending their school.  Then call the coach of the university you do plan on attending and inform him/her of the good news.

Top 10 Tips for Success

Everyone gets anxious when it comes to facing college life… especially college classes. Here’s a few tips to make acing college classes a breeze:

1. Find out what your professors expect from their students. If they like students that participate, raise your hand and answer a question! The teacher will be impressed and like you as a student.

2. Start assignments and studying early on. When juggling many classes, it can get overwhelming fast and you start to fall behind. Avoid this by working on assignments as soon as possible and NOT PROCRASTINATING!

3. Keep in contact with your professor! Email them if necessary and take advantage of a professor’s office hours. Attending their office hours will allow you to ask any questions to clarify something that was brought up in class or ask for homework help. Your professors will notice that you are dedicated to doing well in their class and like you as a student.

4. If you’re struggling in a class, get some tutoring from others that have taken that course! At Benedictine, free tutoring sessions are offered at certain hours in a wide variety of subjects. The tutors can critique and look over essays, help you out with math problems, or understanding a certain topic in a class. Use the tutoring to your advantage to succeed!

5. Find out what works for you and how you study. If you study better in a group or by yourself, with music or without music, at the library or in your room, etc. If you realize early on how you like to study and do homework, it will benefit you greatly in the future and you can be more productive.

6. Manage your time wisely so that all your assignments can get done and enough time can be put into your work. Be careful to not get sidetracked and distracted from what is most important. You will also need to manage your clubs/extra-curriculars and any jobs you might have with your homework and studying.

7. Naps are your best friend at college. You may spend long nights finishing an assignment and not get a lot of sleep before you next class in the morning. Take a quick, refreshing nap after your classes so that you won’t be tired the rest of the day. Before college started, I never took naps, but now I find myself staying up very late during the school week and need that extra hour of sleep in the middle of the day to keep my mind focused and my alert to take on the day’s challenges that come to me.

8. Dont be shy, ask questions. Ask the professor questions in class and ask for help if needed. It’s always better to get clarification on something you are unsire about so that you can do what the teacher expects and get a better grade on an assignment.

9. Review previous homework and quizzes to prepare for big tests or final exams, as well as other resources. Most of the time there are similar questions from those previous assignments or tests are built in the same format. Use those extra resources as a guide to studying, as well as study guides and descriptions from the textbook. Online sources can help as well to clarify an idea or topic.

10. GO TO ALL YOUR CLASSES! Even if you feel as though you are not learning anything from a class, attend the class. Sit through your lecture class and doodle if you have to. Just stay awake and pay attention to what you teacher says. Most of the time they give insight to what will be on the tests or what is very important to know.

Follow these steps and you will be on a set schedule to succeed in your classes and ace those tests! If you have any further questions about college classes, I am only one comment away!

The Scholar’s Program

Since my roommate is in the Scholar’s Program, I thought it would be a great chance for me to give those of you considering applying some insight of what it entails. So, I went ahead and prepared an interview with her and I hope this gives you a better idea of what it’s like and if it is something you are interested in!

Q: How did you hear about the Scholar’s Program and what are the requirements in order to become a member?                                                                A: ” I heard about it through my adviser,  but I also came across it on the Benedictine website. The requirements to get in are a GPA of at least 3.75, an ACT of at least 27, a SAT of at least 1210, and being in the top 20% of your high school class. If you meet these requirements and want to apply you must submit an application with an essay, attend a Scholar’s Program orientation, and complete an interview. ”

Q: What does being in the Scholar’s Program entail?                                                                                                                                                                           A: “Every semester you are required to take a certain course called a seminar. This seminar replaces the general humanities you would otherwise have to take were you not in the Scholar’s Program.You must also complete 40 hrs of community service by the end of your sophomore year in activities that promote the common good in society. You must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language for 6 semesters in a college study, earn mathematical proficiency in either college trigonometry  business calculus, intro to calculus 1, or analytic calculus.  Lastly, you need credit in an ethics course. Throughout this time, you will need to make an electronic portfolio that showcases everything you’ve done as being a part of the Scholar’s Program and you will be required to present a paper at either Benedictine or an Honor’s Conference. It’s necessary to keep your GPA at a 3.2 or higher in order to stay in the Scholar’s Program.”

Q: Is there something in particular that you enjoy about being a part of the Honor’s Program?                                                                                  A: “I like the fact that the topics we discuss in my seminar allow me to talk about more than what I get to see in my usual, everyday life. I also like the fact that I’ve been able to meet so many people from different backgrounds.”

Q: Are there any benefits you would like to point out?                                                                                                                                                                   A: “In the future, I know it will be a good experience for me to have had due to the curriculum and the experiences I’ve encountered or will encounter in academics and through community service. Community service has really allowed me to learn many new things about the world as a whole. ”

Q: Would you like to give any advise to those considering applying for the program?                                                                                                     A:  “I would like to say that if you meet the requirements and it sounds like something you’re interested in, you should definitely take the time to apply. There are so many benefits to getting involved in the Scholar’s Program and it’s an overall great experience to have!”

Different Backgrounds

For everyone, college means something different. It can mean scary, exciting, overwhelming, challenging, demanding, costly, or world culturessurprising! New things will come your way as you start college, but it’s just a matter of how you handle everything. When attending the college of your choice and you’re located in a new area, you will be encountering new people who share different cultures and are different nationalities. You can learn a great deal about new cultures and make new friends that are different from yourself!

Even though I was born and raised in Chicago, a city of culture and diversity through and through, I was still introduced to people of different cultures that I have never met before. The diversity we have at Benedictine is amazing and ranges from people of cultures from all around the world. There are people from Egypt, Mexico, China, India, Europe and Canada to everything else that wasn’t mentioned. I’ve  met and made friends with a lot of  people with different cultures than mine.

A friend of mine who lives in my dorm building is one of the smartest, hardworking, and nicest person I have ever met and she is Muslim. Before college, I had no idea what the culture and religion entitled. I was oblivious to any Middle-Eastern culture until I started making new friends that belonged to that culture.  I ask her questions about her heritage and she has no problem telling me about her family customs or why she wears her certain clothing and what it represents. Learning  someone else’s background does make people closer  and they can gain respect for those that have different customs than they do.

Throughout everyone’s life you will encounter people that are different from you. If you stay positive and give others your respect, you will ultimately recieve respect back. Yes, the saying your mom always told you “Treat Others as You would Want to Be Treated” is true! You can really learn a lot about others with a positive attitude as you enter the college life!