World Kindness Day with Random Acts of Kindness

Wednesday, Nov. 13 was World Kindness Day. To share kindness with the school community, the club Random Acts of Kindness gathered on the first floor of the DeNaples center with a variety of activities for students to take part in.

The group had a bowl of “kindness cards.” People would write a card, drop it in the bowl, and then take a card. This kindness exchange was a great way to spread positivity. The group also set up a photo booth to encourage members of the community to spread kindness online. They also had a rock painting station, where the rocks would eventually be placed around campus to spread kindness in unexpected ways. The club also provided information about World Kindness Day, and ideas to make others smile. These ideas included buying the person behind you in line coffee, using flex to buy toiletries for outreach and holding the door open for someone.

Random Acts of Kindness also provided a big sign with the question, “Why is it important to be kind?” Throughout the afternoon, members of the community could add to the sign their own personal reasons for being kind. Responses included, “Kindness is free! We all need to try it!”, “Because you don’t know what people are going through,” and “You never know what small gesture can make someone’s day.”

Being kind is a simple way to make the world a better place, and that is what Random Acts of Kindness strives to do. For more from Random Acts of kindness, check out their Instagram.



Panel Reminds Students to ‘Fail Forward’

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, the University held its inaugural Fail Forward Panel for faculty, staff and students. The panel featured Christine Black, J.D., Bobby Davis, Ph.D., Michael Fennie, Ph.D. and Billie Tadros, Ph.D. They were vulnerable in sharing their stories of adversity, failure and resilience to the 300-person audience.

Often times people only share the good in their lives. This panel acknowledged the bad to help others understand that they are not alone in their struggles. In addition, the panel’s shared stories were great examples of how failure can lead to success.

“If we are willing to be authentic with one another, sharing our struggles and not just our joys, we are able to develop more meaningful connections which can sustain us through challenging times in our lives,” Dean Lauren Rivera, a moderator on the panel, said.

Sometimes failures can feel like the end of the world, especially for students. The Center for Health Education and Wellness (CHEW) set up “Fail it Forward” boards around campus for people to share their failures with the school community. This public display helped students come to the realization that they are not alone, and that everybody fails at some point in their life. The responses on the boards ranged from sleeping through classes and failing exams to car accidents and tripping in public.

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Student Spotlight: Daniel Piazza ’21

Daniel Piazza ’21 is a strategic communication major who has taken his love of film to the next level. His short film, Fever Dream, was shown at the Circle Drive-In on Friday, Oct. 11.

“I’ve always loved film for as long as I can remember,” Piazza said. “There’s something I admire about how a film can use every visual and auditory detail to make you feel a certain way. No matter the genre, it always puts me on the edge of my seat in a way no other artistic medium can.”

Fever Dream originally started out as a class project for Advanced Television Production (COMM 322). Piazza had the idea of a supernatural phone, and the story only grew from there. “The synopsis would be — a man finds an antique phone, but gets more than he bargained for when he discovers its true nature,” Piazza said. The film was influenced by the works of Dario Argento, John Carpenter, and the original Twilight Zone series. Continue reading

Mid-semester Advice from Dr. Tadros

This article was originally published in October 2018, but we are running it again because Dr. Tadros provided invaluable advice!

Billie Tadros, Ph.D., teaches poetry and first-year writing at The University of Scranton.  She has completed bachelor’s degrees in creative writing and in music at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and a doctoral degree in English and creative writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  She previously taught at universities in Alabama and Louisiana. This is Dr. Tadros’s second year teaching at Scranton. In addition to teaching, she is also a published author.

What are some helpful tips to avoid a mid-semester slump?

Make sure you’re taking care of your body, not just your brain. Eat real food. Hydrate. Sleep. (Do as I say, not as I do.) And, as far as your brain goes, be sure you’re addressing your mental health—not just your grades. Take advantage of the resources available to you on campus, including the university’s Counseling Center, and recreational sports and the fitness center.

If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself, or if you’re stressed out, talk to your friends about it. Though people often present a façade that suggests they’ve totally got it together (especially on social media—some of y’all still use Facebook too, right?), the likelihood is that you’ve got friends who are stressed or struggling too. Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone in that can helpful, and what’s even better is when you’re able to support each other—maybe just by chatting and checking in, or maybe by having accountability study sessions where you sit together for two hours in the library or in DeNaples and work separately on what you need to get done in each other’s company.

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La Festa Italiana

By Lauren Earnshaw

Labor Day weekend is many Scranton students’ favorite weekend of the year because of La Festa Italiana.

Students walk down past Leahy and Hyland to go somewhere other than Dunkin’ — all the way to the square lined with tents.

These tents are filled with Italian food as far as the eye can see, as well as other types of food.

We talked with some students at La Festa to hear their opinions of the festival.

“I love that it’s a great last hurrah of summer/beginning of the new school year, and I love trying a different flavored cannoli each year!” Devin Limper ‘20 said.

Cannolis are definitely a hot ticket item for those at La Festa, but there are endless possibilities to eat before you get to dessert.

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Urban Beats Crew at Scranton

By Lauren Earnshaw

Did you know that there is a hip-hop dance group on campus?

Urban Beats Crew is a dance group at Scranton who performs mostly hip-hop.

Besides hip-hop, there is an opportunity for dancers to perform other styles of dance.

“We have done step before and our End of the Year Showcase allows team members to perform any style of dance they want!” Urban Beats Crew (UBC) President Lauren Hughes said.

Besides their End of the Year Showcase, the group performs at an array of events on and off campus.

“We have performed at multiple events on and off campus including Family Weekend, Midnight Madness, flash mobs, Relay for Life, Take Back the Night, Festival of Nations and our End of the Year Showcase that we host each school year!” Hughes said.

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