Tagged: BU

Spotlight: The BU Castle

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
@stacyscootover

BU has it's own castle, jealous yet BC?/ PHOTO VIA http://www.bu.edu/castle.

BU’s castle is also home to the Pub where you can attempt the Knight’s Quest./ PHOTO VIA http://www.bu.edu/castle.

Well, after attending Boston University for seven months I finally learned that we have a castle… a legit castle.

Located at 225 Bay State Road, this Tudor revival mansion is used mainly for special events, wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and is also home to the infamous BU Pub.

On the first floor you can find a library, dining room, Great Hall and a music room. It has a capacity of 125 people for a standing reception, and can seat 92 for a dinner.

The construction of the castle was completed in 1915, and after the death of the owner BU acquired it in 1939. Until 1967 the castle housed the president of Boston University, but it became a primary spot for events instead.

Alongside the beautiful early Renaissance architecture, a breathtaking view of the Charles River makes the visit worth it. The castle has select open hours, though they vary due to room rentals. A call ahead would be smart to guarantee a successful visit.

The BU Pub is located in the lower level, for the 21+ crowd. With a long list of signature sandwiches and an old-world Boston pub style, it’s definitely a must see. It’s the only university-operated establishment on campus that serves alcoholic beverages.

Pub-goers can also participate in a Knight’s Quest where participants must drink 50 types of beer. Upon completion, participants get a special mug to use while in the pub and also become knighted in a ceremony.

So seniors, if you haven’t been knighted at the pub or seen the beautiful views of the river, definitely add a visit to the castle on your to do list before graduation. It’s another place that makes BU so special and you don’t want to miss it!

BU’s first spirit week is a promising start for school pride

By Ann Singer and Katrina Uy, Staff Writers
@annmsinger @katreenz

Quiz time for Mr. and Ms. BU contestants./ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

Quiz time for Mr. and Ms. BU contestants./ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

Boston University’s first spirit week took over campus last week, offering a wide array of activities including Residence Hall Association (RHA) carnival events, a pep rally and lacrosse game  and a Mr. and Mrs. BU pageant.

The RHA hosted a carnival on Thursday that consisted of nine separate events such as: pie your RA, mini golf, and popcorn and Polaroids, among others. The events were meant to foster a greater sense of community on campus and encourage school spirit throughout.

Some, like Gonzalo Zeballos, vice president of the South Campus RHA and host of the free henna and Ben & Jerry’s portion of the carnival, felt a need for such activities.

“…as you know, in BU there is not a lot of cohesion in terms of community,” said Zeballos. “We thought this was going to help people be more excited, and at the same time we serve as an envoy to tell other people what is happening because it’s really hard to get everyone at BU to know what is going on, when something is happening or not…we really want this to be a thing that’s going to increase more awareness and get bigger every year.”

Spreading the treats and the message quickly, RHA ran out of ice cream way before its scheduled end, revealing a general sense of good spirit and camaraderie.

Down the street at Warren Towers the Spring clothing swap was another event designed to boost school spirit. Residents were asked to donate clothes and for every article of clothing donated a ticket was earned to get a different article of clothing at the swap.

“I think it’s a really nice way to donate clothes for each other and for organizations like Goodwill,” said Joy Wang of the Warren Towers’ RHA. “I think [Spirit Week] is helping…You don’t have to be living in that certain place to go, and so you can get to know other people, and that’s a way to spread the spirit of BU,” said Wang.

Despite the low turnout, with about 10 people in the room at a time, those who showed up co-mingled and seemed to have had a good time.

The week’s festivities culminated with the Mr. & Ms. BU pageant on Friday night, held at the Jacob Sleeper Auditorium inside the College of General Studies (CGS). Couples from a participating colleges and student groups competed in a multitude of games, including a trivia game about Boston and a blind taste test hosted by BU’s Dining Services, as the audience cheered them on.

The night was all about fun and friendly competition, adding to the overall atmosphere of school pride. It was also the first year the Mr. and Ms. BU competition involved student clubs, instead of just school representatives.

“It was really fun, and it was my first time going to an event like this, where there was a lot of school spirit,” said Alejandra Cambonchi, a junior in the College of Engineering.

Monica Weitekamp, a junior in the College of Engineering, added, “I thought the skits at the end were really great, and I wasn’t surprised at all by the turnout at the event or the amount of spirit everyone had.”

The night ended with Bryan Cosca (ENG ’14) and Trisha Serquina (ENG ’15) of the BU Filipino Student Association winning the title of Mr. & Ms. BU 2014, with Cory Azmon and Sarah Jasper from the School of Education (SED) as runners up.

Even though a majority of students didn’t know what Spirit Week was, localized events like the Spring clothing swap and larger events like the Mr. and Mrs. BU pageant helped spread the word and change things little by little. Overall, it was a good start to foster school spirit.

Spotlight: BU Snaps: The Next Big Thing?

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
@stacyscootover

PHOTO VIA BU Snaps Facebook page

Will BU Snaps be the next big thing?/ PHOTO VIA BU Snaps Facebook page

First we had BU Crushes and BU Confessions, and now… BU Snaps?

BU Snaps already has more than 1,8oo Facebook likes after its creation on February 21st. It’s surely catching up to the other main anonymous Boston University entertaining Facebook pages. BU Crushes 2.0 currently holds 2,732 likes after joining in September.

BU students can screenshot funny snapchats they receive and message them to BU Snaps via their Facebook page, or through their twitter @BUsnaps.

School of Hospitality Administration freshman Maura Feltault sees the positive in the newest BU page. “I think it’s a good way for the BU students to come together as more of a community,” said Feltault. “It’s always fun to see what other people are up to and this is a great way for students to stay in touch.”

Some students, however, don’t feel the same enthusiasm about BU Snaps.

“I don’t like knowing that anyone could screenshot my snapchat and submit it onto this Facebook page without my consent,” said Lauren Howard, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. “I understand I’m sending the snapchat, but to people who I decide, not a portion of the BU population that I don’t know.”

The snapchats range from food arrangements and partying, to “selfies” and views of the city.

While some may use this social media outlet to embarrass friends (all in good fun) or showcase funny or pretty pictures via snapchat, BU Snaps’s main goal is for students to share their life moments at BU.

With 157 snapchats shared and counting, the future of BU Snaps looks bright. With BU Confessions and BU Crushes 2.0 starting to fade on popularity growth, BU Snaps could be the next big thing.

Throwback Thursday: Dear Freshman Year

By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
@beammeupkyra

College goes by faster than you'd think, BU freshmen./ PHOTO BY Kyra Louie

College goes by faster than you’d think, BU freshmen./ PHOTO BY Kyra Louie

I’ve interviewed 11 Boston University students and alumni and asked them, “What would you say to your freshman self?” Some people were funny about it, some people were serious, but all answers were straight up honest. Freshmen, I hope you take these quotes into consideration as you spend the rest of your semester growing into your own skin. These students have some great advice.

“Spend more time with good people and less time in SMG. Also make better decisions.” – Will Dunn, 24 (SMG ’12)

“Everything always ends up being fine in the end. Don’t have any regrets for the hard work you put in.”- Sean Marria-Nelson, 22 (COM ’14)

“Never try to finish an entire dinner portion and cheesecake slice at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s a bad idea. Some people are not going to care about the things that you care about. Some people are inherently rude or mean but there will always be loving people to combat those jerks.” – Kathryn Vaz, 19 (COM ’16)

“Pursue the major that makes you happy from the beginning, rather than trying to stick with the one that you feel like you are expected to pursue.” – Beth Whatley, 22 (CAS ’13)

“Get your ass out of bed and go make some friends. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts.” – Christina Garzillo, 21 (CAS ’14)

“Be a little more social and confident.” – Deanna Garzillo, 21 (CAS ’14)

“Break up with your long distance girlfriend. Don’t let your major mandate what you can and can’t do. Find another way to paint.” – Max Davis, 20 (SMG ’16)

“Being physically close to someone isn’t the same thing as hanging out. Remember that when you room with your best friend and keep growing in friendship.” – Doully Yang, 22 (ENG ’14)

“No matter what grade you get, you are amazing. Put yourself over your studies, your social life and your commitments because after this all that matters is that you did what made you happy.” – Avion Cummings, 19 (SAR ’16)

“Kid, you’ll never have free time like this again. Make the most of it.” – Jason Chan, 27 (CAS ’08)

“Worry less, take more risks, and stop procrastinating. Take advantage of more of what Boston has to offer.” – Isabel da Rosa, 21 (COM ’14)

As for my advice to my freshman self and current/future freshmen, you don’t have time to waste on people that don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. People come in and out of your life. Your friends and significant others will change. Let it happen. It’s their loss, not yours.

BU Student Bands Battle For $500 and Bragging Rights

By Negin Taleb, Video Staff
@ntaleb8

Music Enthusiast? Battle of the Bands could be your calling.

BU Central welcomed eight bands to play original music and compete for a $500 prize. If you’ve been at BU for a few years now, you may recognize some of these names:

Honey Bee Dance Language, Houseguests, The Orphic Blues, Caleb and the Carlton St. Blues Band, Paul Cappola, Palm Springs Life, Snarknado, and Titans of Industry were all on the set list. Ring any bells?

Among these bands, a few really stuck out to me. Not only does Honey Bee Dance Language have an epic name, they also have an instrument you don’t see very often with younger bands: the cello. I have been to my fair share of concerts, and no instrument has been quite so pleasing to hear live. Though there were two singers, three guitarists and a drummer playing along, nothing could overpower the heavenly chords of the cello.

What else does a band need, besides an awesome cello, to really make its mark on someone? Some would say impeccable style, flawless riffs and killer vocals. While those are important, there’s one thing that makes it all come together: passion.

The lead singer and guitarist in Houseguests represented exactly that. During my interview with the talented musician, Noah Yastrow, he was eager to talk about his band as much as he could. His passion and commitment to his band triggered some anticipation in me for his set. Once Houseguests played their set I knew it was worth it to hear what their band had to play.

While watching their set, I couldn’t help but wonder what bands Houseguests is most influenced by, and when I asked Yastrow about it afterwards, his vague answer fit really well.

“I don’t really know,” Yastrow said. “We sound like everything. Nothing and everything.”

Fusion Presents: ELEMENTS XIV Dance Competition

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

UPro performs at Fusion's ELEMENTS XIV/ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

UPro performs at Fusion’s ELEMENTS XIV/ PHOTO BY Katrina Uy

Static and electrifying – that was what the energy was like on Saturday night. The audience screamed their support as dancers threw themselves across the stage with flips and stunts.

Fusion, Boston University’s leading on-campus hip hop dance troupe, hosted ELEMENTS XIV, its annual dance competition in Metcalf Ballroom. Some of the best dance crews from all over the east coast performed, including The Mooks, Northeastern’s Kinematix, and UFP.

The night’s winners were Static Noyze, Capital Funk, and PROject Nailz. All three crews have competed at ELEMENTS before.

Using a blend of contemporary dance and hip hop, Static Noyze, a group known for its visionary themes and story-lines in its sets, earned first place with its unique telling of a power struggle between an Egyptian queen and king.

Capital Funk and PROject Nailz also performed sets that stood out from the line-up of competitors. PROject Nailz had arguably one of the funniest and most memorable sets of the night, and highlighted some of its dancers by dressing them as various characters from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”.

Many of BU’s own dance groups also competed. Aside from Fusion, who opened and closed the competition with two separate sets, Unofficial Project (also known as UPro), an Asian hip hop dance troupe that “combines elements of Asian and American hip hop culture,” and Vibes, BU’s only all-female hip hop dance group, also performed in the first half of the show.

Beau Fournier played host to the event once again this year. Fournier is a dancer and choreographer of the Los Angeles-based crew, Fanny Pak. His commentary and antics served as transitions between the competing crews’ sets.

In addition to Fournier, Vinh Nguyen, Pat Cruz, and James Alsop served as judges for the competition, all of whom are dancers and choreographers with stunning credentials. Alsop has even worked and choreographed for the Queen of Pop herself – Beyoncé.

Crazy impressive, right?

It was definitely a night to remember for the dance community. The atmosphere was so intense that even non-dancers were sure to have a good time. And if you missed out on getting tickets for the show, don’t fret. On Sunday, Nguyen, Cruz, Alsop, and Fournier will hold workshops all day in Metcalf Ballroom. Prices can be found on the ELEMENTS XIV Facebook event page.

Getting a Job Post-grad is Easier Said Than Done

By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
@katreenz

Many recent college grads are avoiding complete unemployment by taking on internships./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user James Lee

Many recent college grads are avoiding complete unemployment by taking on internships./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user James Lee

Spring semester is going by in the blink of an eye (how are we halfway through February already?) and BU is racking up the events for senior semester, like a trip to Foxwoods Resort Casino this past weekend, and an upcoming on-campus Matt and Kim concert, as well as parties counting down to graduation.

It’s all fun and games until someone asks the dreaded question feared most by seniors: “So, do you have any plans for after graduation?”

This week The New York Times tackled the issue of how, in a suffering economy where jobs are few and far between, many recent college graduates are feeling trapped in an endless cycle of internships that neither pay nor lead to permanent jobs.

For college students, landing an internship is a great way to boost your resume and learn valuable skills outside of the classroom. But many graduates, especially those aspiring to break into the fashion, film, or magazine industries, are finding themselves at a point where it is becoming increasingly difficult to break free from the cycle of unpaid work.

According to The Times article, post-graduate internship opportunities are far more abundant than job openings these days, making them easy bait for those fresh out of college. But some question whether it’s worth taking the time to work as interns, thereby delaying real employment, and if there’s even a light at the end of the tunnel.

The overall job economy is a major part of the reasons why most companies cannot afford to hire their interns. The overall unemployment rate was 7.4% in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, though it has decreased to 6.6% as of Jan. 2014.

And of course, the unemployment rates vary depending on what your major is. Those studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are probably better off than those studying liberal arts. A 2013 study conducted by Georgetown University shows that there have been lower unemployment rates for recent graduates in education (5%), engineering (7%) and the health sciences (4.8%), all areas that are “tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations.”

The future seems bleak for students. While it never hurts to build your resume and gain experience and add to a growing network, for some there may come a time when you’ll have to settle for an office job outside your desired field.

Party hard while you still can, seniors. But don’t let your last hurrah distract you from the “real world” you’ll be entering in a few months.

The Single (Dorm) Life

By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
@annmsinger

Ann and her roommate, Allie Wimley, enjoy the experience of living with someone./ PHOTO BY Laura Verkyk

Ann and her roommate, Allie Wimley, enjoy the experience of living with someone./ PHOTO BY Laura Verkyk

Housing, much like opinions on politics or the best Girl Scout cookie, can be a sensitive topic. Drama can arise out of just about any situation from whose rooming with who, why this person doesn’t want to live with that person, where the best place to live is and about a thousand other issues.

Luckily, there is a way to avoid the drama, and many are finding the solution in the form of a single, or the now trending super single (a room big enough for two yet used by one).

An Atlantic article released Tuesday discusses how many colleges, in competition to provide the most comfort and convenience on campus, are accommodating a rising demand for single rooms. College of Arts and Sciences freshman Disha Wagh chose a single to avoid being put with a random roommate.

“I was really worried at first because my sister kept telling me, ‘you’re not going to make friends, everyone’s going to hang out with their roommates,’ but then I really like it because I can have my own space,” Wagh said. “if I want to hang out with everyone else there’s always the common room, but if I need to do my own work or Skype people I have my own room to go to.” 

But is being in a single really as nice as it seems? College of Communication freshman Alex Siracusa isn’t sure.

“I hate my roommate. I’m living with roommates next year, but I prefer to live alone,” Siracusa said.

So why bother with roommates if he prefers his space?

“You just gotta do it. A part of it is money, but another part is in a lot of dorms a single would be too lonely,” Siracusa said.

Some find it fine to live in their own space and seek out others when feeling social, while others find the prospect of going back to a room every day to a party of one too secluded. But does the singles dispute really come down to a matter of personal space versus human interaction?

College of Communication junior Linsay Kopit thinks it may be the constantly changing trend in living situations.

“With the increasing use of social media and talking to others online, people are much more afraid of face-to-face, interpersonal interactions,” she said.

With the number of people per household dwindling and the increasing role of technology in everyday life, the need for personal space may just be another side effect of 21st century advancements. However, some basic life lessons — like how to deal with other people — are a learn-by-experience deal, no matter what century you live in.

Housing really is a deal that differs person to person. But whether the trend of singles continues on its way or not, the general consensus seems to be that roommates, good or bad, are a helpful learning experience for becoming socially acceptable, suitably tolerant human beings. And that’s something to seriously consider when debating what to do next year.

After all, isn’t college supposed to be a boot camp for the “real world”?

Trident Café Hosts Launch Party for BU Literary Magazine

By Heather Goldin, Multimedia Editor
@HeatherGoldin

The launch party for "Coup de’Etat."/ PHOTO VIA Heather Goldin

The launch party for “Coup de’Etat.”/ PHOTO BY Heather Goldin

Trident Booksellers and Café is the ideal location for a literary magazine launch party. Lined with shelves upon shelves of colorful books, the Newbury Street bookstore’s dim lighting is perfect for a poetry reading, and their menu has everything a college student needs to convince their friends to show up (namely beer and Trident’s deluxe grilled cheese).

Boston University’s Literary Society came to the same conclusion when they decided to book Trident for the launch of their lit mag, “Coup de’Etat.” BU Literary Society President Abigail Clauhs explained that the lit mag title translates to “overthrow of the government.” Putting a creative spin on the French motto, Clauhs said that they chose the title to symbolize an “overthrow of literary forms and traditions.”

The lit mag’s message comes across loud and clear, the logo of their lit mag featuring a grenade topped with the head of a fountain pen.

At the launch party, Clauhs introduced several contributors from near and far, without which the publication would be nothing but blank white pages. Several of the contributors — including a man from Michigan— took turns reading excerpts from “Coup de’Etat,” from humorous prose to heartfelt poetry.

Although it is hard to pinpoint my favorite contribution, one of the most entertaining entries had to be a prose piece submitted by Graduate College of Arts and Sciences student Kyle Jepson. His fictional story involved an enraged man who lost his love to someone else, a knife and a picnic (I know, I wanted to know what the ending was too). Sadly, Jepson stopped reading just when it was getting good, and everyone in the room was left wondering what would happen next.

Pop Culture Countdown: Jimmy Fallon, Pitch Perfect 2, and Snowbrawl 2014

By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
@thedanosaurus

6. Britney Spears Saves “How I Met Your Mother”:

We’re starting this week off with the Princess of Pop. After guest-starring on the popular CBS comedy, Britney Spears has been credited with saving “How I Met Your Mother” from getting canceled in its fourth season, according to HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. She portrayed Abby, a stalker-eque, crazed receptionist in love with Ted Mosby. Her appearance came right after the writers’ strike, and HIMYM was teetering on the edge of getting the axe. Luckily, Spears swept in and boosted ratings that have been high ever since. Now the show is nearing the end of their ninth and final season, with the last episode set to air on March 31.

5. Justin Bieber:

By now, everyone’s eyes are on Justin Bieber. From peeing in buckets to posing for pictures with ladies of the night, he is one train wreck that we just can’t give up. But his latest legal woes have a bit of a new development.

Police pulled Bieber over  for speeding late last month but it turns out he wasn’t actually speeding at the time he was pulled over. Although, according to his rented yellow Lamborghini, which has a built-in GPS system that recorded the car’s speed just hours before his arrest, Bieber was going over 136 mph at one point in his joyride. That, paired with the alcohol and drugs in his system, could have had serious repercussions. On the bright side, no one was hurt, and the pop star hasn’t become another prison cautionary tale (yet).

4. Jimmy Fallon’s last show:

Moving on to big and better things as the newest “The Tonight Show” host, Jimmy Fallon wrapped up his last episode on his “Late Night” show. In true Fallon fashion, he went out on a high note with jokes and music, saying he would really miss his 12:35 a.m. time slot and competing for viewers with a “vegan chopper commercial.” He ended his show with The Muppets — because of course why wouldn’t he — and got a little emotional in his monologue.

Fallon will replace Jay Leno as “The Tonight Show” host, as Seth Meyers moves into “Late Night.”

3. Sage Kotsenburg:

American Olympian Sage Kotsenburg won the Winter Olympics’ first gold medal by utilizing a move that he had never used before. And that’s all fine and dandy, but what I think the real story here is just how much of an awesome bro Kotsenburg is. He has a brother named Blaze, and he uses words like “mega” and “stoked.” It’s nice to see an Olympian with a real, honest personality. I’m not afraid to admit that I want him to be my best friend.

2. Pitch Perfect 2:

Pitch Perfect 2 is happening and I am getting all of the feels again. Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson have signed on, and Kendrick even signed on without reading the script. I don’t even know if the movie even needs a script. In my opinion it only needs Kendrick reading her Tweets, Wilson speaking words, and a capella versions of “We Can’t Stop,” “Young and Beautiful” and “Timber.” You heard it here first, readers.

1. BU SnowBrawl 2014:

Okay, this might not be worldwide pop culture news, but it sure has a big impact on our little community. Wednesday, Boston University declared a snow day for the Charles River Campus, as I’m sure you are all aware. And if you’re not aware, then seriously what were you doing?

Anyway, in true snow day spirit, a Facebook event was created for one fantastic, gigantic mega-blowout snowball fight on the Esplanade. It was epic and beautiful. And — shameless plug — if you check out BU Today’s Instagram account and look up their SnowBrawl picture, you’ll see me. You’re welcome, world.