Marty Makeover: History, Why Now, and Next Steps

Kayla May, Staff Writer

As many of you hopefully saw in your emails, our Mascot, Marty, is getting a makeover. The Belltower was able to sit down with Nate Peters, the Vice President of the Office of Marketing and Communications, to discuss the details of this makeover.

First, it is important to know the why of it all. Why is Marty so important to Saint Martin’s community? What value does Marty bring to the campus? He answered by giving a brief history lesson and explaining the significance Marty has to our university’s culture.

The university’s namesake is Saint Martin of Tours, originally a soldier in the Roman army. A legend is told of Martin coming up upon a shivering beggar in the cold; he split his cloak in two to share his warmth with the beggar. In a dream, Martin received a vision where the beggar revealed himself as Jesus Christ. This experience is what inspired him to leave the army, pursue his faith, and become a monk, teacher, and, eventually, bishop in the Catholic Church.

He dedicated his life to helping others. A life full of actions that reflect the Benedictine values of hospitality, community living, and respect for persons, values we still uphold and practice at the university today.

Peters explained that when they were going through a rebranding for athletics in 2019, they used focus groups and surveys within the community to determine their new mascot. Ultimately, the community wanted to keep Marty as the remaining mascot.

Peters articulated that the history of having a Roman soldier as our mascot is a direct nod to our Catholic tradition and heritage of what Saint Martin’s is all about. He elaborates by stating, “that right there is big piece of why Marty is such an important piece of Saint Martin’s. Because again, it’s a nod to our history.”

Marty the Saint has significant meaning to the university, which is exactly why they are going through with this makeover. When asked why the marketing department decided to do a makeover now, Peters’ first question was, “Have you seen Marty?”, and then preceded to describe how the costume is practically falling apart at the seams.

Marty is a symbol of pride and school spirit and represents our school’s namesake and history, which is why he should look presentable and put together. “The number one reason why we’re moving forward is because this mascot costume just can’t keep up,” Peters told me.

The survey is just the first step in revamping Marty’s look. The survey was sent out to 8,600 people, including students, staff, faculty, and alumni, and has already gotten 350 responses as of this weekend. It is short, with only four questions, and its main goals are to A) get people excited about getting a new Marty costume and B) start asking people what kind of mascot “vibes” they want Marty to have.

This makeover is more than just giving Marty a facelift. “As we’re looking to energize our campus community, energize our students, get our alumni back on campus and really try to get people together and recognize and be proud of the Saint Martin’s University brand, one way to do that is through a mascot,” Peters explained.

The ultimate goal is to engage Marty and the community more and make his presence more prominent on campus. They are looking to get two different Marty costumes, one for athletic-focused events and the other for PR/media events and photo-ops.

Peters wanted to emphasize that although they want to make everyone happy and pleased with the new mascot look, “it’s hard to appeal to everybody.” He goes on to express, “our team is working hard to work with the majority and make sure that everyone has input, and everyone is heard, and then we make decisions based on what the community wants.”

Moving forward, the marketing department is planning on doing a second survey, hopefully before commencement and finals week, and hopes to have a new costume in hand by the time the ’23-’24 school year begins in late August.

Black History Month on Campus

Bri Lopez, Editor

As Black History Month comes to an end, what better way to celebrate and gain more understanding than from our fellow students here on campus? This month has been full of learning opportunities and events, such as the Black entertainment night on the 23rd of the month. With that being said, as we close off the month, a couple of people are hitting the spotlight this week, and they are none other than Quinci Flowers and Alisha (Ali) Saucedo. Both are very strong females of the black community here on campus, who have been recommended by their peers. They have played huge roles in leadership positions, Quinci being the president of BSU here on campus as well as being a part of the track team, and Ali being the Vice President of our new Women of Color Allegiance club as well as also being a part of the track team. 

An art piece depicting Barbara Johns famous quote “It seemed like reaching for the moon”

When asked about the things that she has learned about herself as a young woman of color, Quinci responded as such; “From being a 1st-year freshman to a 4th-year senior, I have noticed how much I bring to the table. To be transparent, I was initially intimidated as a freshman and struggled to figure out how to bring positive change to campus. I learned to use my voice in my 4 years at Saint Martin’s. After 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protests, I felt even more of an urge to start to bring change to SMUs campus. I learned that I am more than just Quinci. I am a voice and leader for women of color in stem majors and for young students of color whose opinions and frustration were never heard or considered. I learned that I am powerful.” Wise words from the queen herself on how she has changed and what has led her to become who she is now and who she will be in the future. 

Following behind, Ali responds with her role models and who has opened her eyes a little more to what life brings to the table by sharing, “My biggest role model has been my mom and my best friends Cher and Tory. They have demonstrated what it’s like to be self-less and empathetic and compassionate, even in the face of the biggest challenges. They have also reminded me of the importance of building memories and relationships amongst social justice and service lifestyle we’ve committed ourselves to.” A lot of times, parents are our biggest role models and so are the people we choose to surround ourselves with, there is a saying “you are what you eat” the same thing applies to friends and the people you hang around you tend to adopt the attitudes both good and bad from the people around you and Ali has chosen to adapt to the good and take with her the lessons she has learned and is still learning from those around her. 

Of course, we had to ask the BSU president what it’s like being an exec. to begin with. That is something that a lot of people want to do but don’t for various reasons. However, Quinci decided to take that leap of faith, and this is what she said about being SMU’s BSU president; “Being BSU President first of all has been such an honor. To be able to serve the black population of men and women on this campus has taught me that I am doing something bigger than just a club. I am leading a future community that will be here over the next successful years at SMU long after I am gone. Being BSU president has allowed me to make so many more cherished connections and memories with people of all backgrounds. Also being the president of an all-female-directed board has brought me so much pride and joy.”  It takes a lot to carry a torch, like being the president of a club, especially one that becomes a safe space for people to go and be their most authentic selves. 

When the two were asked about any advice that could possibly be given to any student here at SMU, this is what they said; “I would say that for one, do not be afraid to join clubs, go to events that interest you, and make connections.”(Q.F), “If you are a member of the Saint Martin’s struggling to find yourself, I encourage you to take a leap faith”(A.S), and  “Fighting against injustice still remains a crucial part of our social climate. Your voice matters and will always matter, you’d be surprised what can happen!” (Q.F). 

Saint Martin’s University’s Vision for the Future

Caleb Sharp, Student Writer

This past Fall, the newly appointed President Jennifer Bonds-Raacke went on a school-wide listening tour as part of her strategic plan to guide Saint Martin’s University for the next three years. The listening tour consisted of a series of meetings with faculty, students, and monks to assess and address various concerns related to on-campus operations, such as funding and barriers to student success, among other things. After countless meetings with these interest groups, President Bonds-Raacke and her staff carefully curated a list of common themes mentioned during the listening tour and presented her findings to a group of faculty and staff on January 18th. 

President Bonds-Raacke opened her presentation by emphasizing SMU’s unique identity as an intersectional blend of Catholic Benedictine values and liberal arts traditions. She makes the point that centering the school’s curriculum around these two ideologies benefits students and faculty alike. 

Photo Credit: Caleb Sharp

After establishing what she considers the core of SMU’s identity, President Bonds-Raacke dives head-first into transparently relaying issues and concerns raised by faculty and students during her listening tour. 

She first talks about issues related to the lack of equitable compensation, which has led to difficulties in retaining and hiring new faculty members. “We say that we’re Catholic Benedictine; that we value everyone, that we see God in everyone, that we treat everyone’s work with dignity. [In spite of this] we have employees who can’t afford the health insurance for their families that we offer. Or, up until the Spring semester, we weren’t reimbursing for travel at the federal rate of reimbursement.” President Bonds-Raacke defers to SMU’s adherence to its Catholic Benedictine values of treating everyone’s work with dignity, which involves being equitably compensated for that work. 

Another recurring theme mentioned during the listening tour was that of open communication between the faculty community and the leadership of Saint Martin’s University. While SMU leadership and faculty have generally had an open line of communication in the past, President Bonds-Raacke addressed several instances of the leadership disregarding collaborative efforts put forth by faculty. 

“The University Budget Committee was one example [of closed communication]. Another example was the State of the University addresses. The community was invited together, they were given information, but they weren’t invited to give information back or collaborate or meaningfully work together to produce whatever that decision might be.”

After addressing concerns raised by faculty, President Bonds-Raacke shifted the discussion toward concerns raised by students. 

She says, “When students talk about what’s great about Saint Martin’s and what they love, it’s you guys. It’s their personal relationship with faculty and staff. However, our retention rates are not what they should be first to second year. And when we really look at the data by different groups, our students of color, our black males in particular, do not fare well in our system.” Despite positive relationships fostered between faculty and students, President Bonds-Raacke points out that many students, especially students of color, are dropping out of Saint Martin’s at an alarming rate. In order to better serve the needs of students, President Bonds-Raacke says, “Moving forward, we need to think about what we need to do as an institution to increase opportunities for our students to be successful.”  

President Bonds-Raacke’s emphasis on transparency, communication and community building is a promising sign of Saint Martin’s University’s bright future to come.  

Colored In Red: Celebrating the Lunar New Year on Campus

Caleb Sharp, Student Writer 

On January 23rd, the Asian Student Alliance, alongside the Office of Housing and Residence Life, invited students to the TUB to celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year. 

As students began filing into the TUB’s auditorium in preparation for the events to come, those who arrived early received lucky red envelopes, traditionally referred to as ‘hóngbāo’ in Chinese. These lucky red envelopes usually contain money or small gifts and are said to bring good luck to those who receive them. For the purposes of this event, the envelopes were filled with raffle tickets instead of money.

Once everyone was seated, the Lunar New Year event kicked off in full swing. The President of the ASA, Amaiya Rose-Nyugen, along with other members of the ASA, introduced themselves and prompted the audience to do the same with those sitting next to them. After breaking the ice, the ASA hosts began to tell the story of Nian, a four-legged beast closely associated with myriad Lunar New Year traditions. 

As the story goes, Nian was a mighty beast that feasted upon human flesh on Lunar New Year’s Day. In order to ward off Nian, people would hang red paper decorations on their doors, light paper lanterns ablaze and set off firecrackers on Lunar New Year’s Eve, as Nian feared fire and the color red. And thus, the Lunar New Year’s association with the color red, firecrackers, lantern making, and good luck was born. 

Naturally, after explaining some of the history behind the Lunar New Year, the ASA handed out supplies for the audience to make their very own red paper lanterns to scare off Nian and bring good luck into their lives. From here on, people were encouraged to mingle with their neighbors, enjoy some gyoza and discuss the celebrated traditions of the Lunar New Year.

While the lantern-making activity and brief history lesson were received well, the clear star of this event was the calligraphy station. In conjunction with the Office of International Programs and Development, the ASA was able to hire Jun, a professional calligraphist, for the Lunar New Year event. Jun instructed students on how to draw Chinese kanji symbols onto pieces of red paper, which is thought to promote good luck throughout the Lunar New Year.

The ASA’s Lunar New Year event went off without a hitch and gave students the opportunity to learn more about the Lunar New Year and its time-honored traditions. For some students of Asian descent, however, the event signified more than fun and games. To some, the event was an acknowledgment and celebration of a cultural tradition that receives very little recognition in the United States.

ASA Lunar New Year event organizers: Calligraphist Jun (pictured center), and ASA President Amaiya Rose-Nyugen (pictured center-right)
Photo Credit: Caleb Sharp

When asked what the Lunar New Year event means to her, Rose-Nyugen explained, “coming here [to Washington], I saw that it wasn’t really a big thing. Down here in Lacey, there’s not a big Asian community that does stuff in public. Celebrating the Lunar New Year is a way for me to connect to my family and my culture. It’s a good way for me to get in touch with my culture, especially growing up in America.” 

Overall, the ASA’s event was an insightful experience for students who weren’t familiar with the Lunar New Year while also giving other students the chance to reconnect to their culture. Here’s to the Lunar New Year; may it bring good luck and fortune to all!

Pacific Exhibition

Phoebe Young, Staff Writer

There is a vast array of wonderful clubs and organizations here at Saint Martin’s, one of them being the Pacific Islanders Club. The Pacific Islanders Club is an organization that aims to bring students from the Pacific Islands together and allow them to express and embrace their true identities. They also work to educate Saint Martin’s students about the culture and traditions of the Pacific Islands, as well as to share this culture with those who may not know about it or be a part of it. Furthermore, the Pacific Islanders club functions as an affinity space and motivates and encourages club members to strive for their fullest academic potential by providing them with the resources and assistance they need to achieve academic excellence.

The Pacific Islanders Club has put on a multitude of fun events in the past, such as; the Holiday Hangout that occurred at the beginning of December in 2021 dedicated to making gingerbread houses, eating Panda express, prizes and raffles; the Halloween Spooktacular that the club put on in October 2021 including a costume contest, food eating contest, game booths, prizes and more; the Pizza and Painting event held in October of 2021 for students to paint, study, hang out with one another and eat pizza; and many other exciting and inclusive events for students of all kinds at Saint Martin’s to participate in. 

This March, the Pacific Islanders Club is going to be putting on an event called the Pacific Exhibition. The event will occur in the Norman Worthington Conference Center (NWCC) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30. At this year’s Pacific Exhibition, the theme will be Stories of the Pacific. The Belltower spoke with club President Ligi Saolotoga, who told us that this theme was chosen with the intention of introducing people to stories and information about the Pacific they may not have known about before.

Saolotoga also went on to explain to me that the event will focus predominantly on displaying a collection of some of the incredible art that comes from the various Pacific Islands.

We chose this theme to showcase the different and unique stories of each Pacific Island that people may not have knowledge of. This event also mainly focuses on the showcasing of a mixture of dances and songs that originate from the different pacific islands.

President Ligi Saolotoga

The event will also be providing amazing Pacific Islander foods that you definitely do not want to miss out on. It is going to be an exciting event full of the beautiful culture of the Pacific Islands.

If you are interested in attending and experiencing the Pacific Exhibition in March, you can purchase a ticket later on. Spots are limited, so if you are planning on attending, be sure to get your ticket as soon as possible. Ticket sales will be advertised on the Pacific Islanders Club’s social media, so stay on the lookout and do not miss out on this wonderful event! You can keep up to date on this event and any others the club puts on by following the club’s Instagram, which is under the handle: @smu_pacificislandersclub. Make sure to stay updated and pay attention to the club’s posts so that you don’t miss out on the Pacific Exhibition or any of the other fabulous club events!

Who Takes Care of Our Campus

Emmanuel O. Son, Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Danyka Nebel

Taking care of a private Benedictine university is a blessing, but not an easy task. In order to take care of Saint Martin’s University, many departments must work together to make the campus a better place. New Assistant Director of Public Safety, Daryl Henry, talks about who exactly takes care of our campus. Henry served for 20 years in the Security Forces in the Air Force, 15 years as a Security Supervisor at the Tacoma News Tribune, and two years at the University of Washington Security. 

Henry states that everybody takes care of campus and plays a role in that duty. However, Public Safety is mostly responsible for overseeing the campus and looking out for students, faculty and staff, guests, and buildings. Some of Public Safety’s main duties on campus include assisting with escorts at night, given the department runs 24 hours a day. Officers can escort students and faculty to and from their vehicles or buildings at any time of the day. Officers can also assist with transporting students or faculty members who need medical assistance to other parts of campus. Throughout the day, officers are also performing security checks by doing a number of patrols throughout the day, such as walking around buildings and looking out for anything out of the ordinary that might be happening on campus. The Communications team of the department is responsible for making student and staff IDs, as well as taking phone calls. They also serve as the SMU Visitor Center, making sure to always be welcoming towards newcomers to campus. 

Some other departments and offices that contribute to taking care of campus are facilities, grounds, and maintenance. Because of the areas where they do work, those departments also contribute to doing security checks for the campus, since they are also constantly going around campus, Henry states. Workers for grounds do work by edging, grass and field maintenance, trash pickup and campus clean up, and whatever it takes to keep the campus looking clean. Workers at facilities are mainly in charge of making sure that buildings function properly. This includes doors, sinks and restrooms, walls and ceilings, and the overall internal and externals of the buildings. 

A department of campus that Henry is thankful for is Bon Appetit. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he mentions that they do a great job in feeding members of the community. He also is thankful for Monk’s Bean being a convenient stop for a cup of coffee. Because of the early mornings and long hours he and other officers work, Bon Appetit’s breakfast serves as a quick and convenient meal, he says. 

Other departments such as the Abbey, Campus Ministry, and the Counseling and Wellness Center do a good job of checking in with the students and their well-being. They both serve as guidance to members of the community. He mentions that many college students are facing a number of difficulties and are often overwhelmed, so it’s always important to have people who can guide you through tough situations. “If you’re dealing with more than your capable of, it is always good to have someone to speak to,” he says. “The Monks are some of the nicest people that I have ever talked to.” 

Henry states that there are also some ways that students and staff can help take care of campus. One important thing to remember is compliance with either a student or full-time staff public safety officer. For example, always comply with an officer when asked to show identification and answer honestly. If there is anything out of the ordinary that is seen, one of the first steps that should be taken is to call Public Safety or the correct department in charge and not just walking past it. Always have the Public Safety phone number saved and be prepared to call it. Henry mentions that despite the patrols done by officers, Public Safety cannot always be everywhere so, “keep your eyes and ears open to unusual situations or people in the area and calling that information in.” “Instead of having ten sets of eyes out there, we’ll have hundreds of sets of eyes,” Henry describes it. 

Volunteering for the Greater Good

Shy Yamasaki, Staff Writer 

Volunteering and Service are some of the many Benedictine values at Saint Martin’s University. It is taught through some classes and through the ways of the community here on campus. That is why volunteering, leadership, and service are very important here at SMU, and highly recommended to volunteer and serve whenever it’s available. There are many different ways you can serve here on campus as well as off-campus. There are ways you can find out more information about volunteering and service on campus through ASSMU, different clubs posting their connections with volunteering opportunities, or posters through campus on ways you can volunteer and serve. Volunteering helps fill the service credits and fills up your heart in the process making you feel like you have made a difference around school or off-campus. 

Volunteering and serving on and off-campus helps make you understand why small changes can really make a difference in a community so close like Saint Martin’s or the Lacey and Olympia community. It has the amount of uplift and a beat to volunteering since it does affect others around you and seeing that changes are possible even though you start small then work up towards bigger changes. Volunteering with friends is always a good day because you can set goals for you and your friends to accomplish throughout your volunteering opportunity. If you are doing it with a club, you can always challenge them to see how many records they break with collecting canned foods or the number of times they have worked at a shelter for women and children to support what is needed for them.

Many ways you can serve here on campus is by working for the Admissions office since you are serving the students by showing them around campus and getting them comfortable with what they are seeing on campus. Another way you can serve, or volunteer is helping with clothing drives that are held on campus along with being an AHANA or Incipio Leader at the beginning of school. It makes you feel good about helping someone that you have been in the shoes of and making sure they feel comfortable with the campus and showing them the friendly faces, they will see around. Some other ways you can be volunteering are at Our Common Farms, Boys and Girls Club, and at the Thurston Food Bank. The Thurston Food Bank is always looking for volunteers to help distribute canned foods or even donations for the long winter days or for holidays where families and individuals need it the most. One volunteer opportunity that is coming up soon is through our Community Kitchen. The Community Kitchen holds volunteer opportunities every first Friday of each month. CRS does participate in helping and volunteering options at the Community Kitchen. The next volunteer opportunity for the community kitchen is on March 4th, so if you want to join in this opportunity contact Krystal Cardona for more information on how you could join and volunteer for this opportunity.

Restaurant Review: Pizzeria La Gitana

Phoebe Young, Staff Writer 

The Olympia and Lacey area is bursting at the seams with an incredible variety of different cafes and restaurants, many of which offer an array of good foods. In particular, there are many wonderful Italian restaurants throughout the area. If you like authentic Italian food in a classy, modern setting, you need to check out Pizzeria La Gitana in downtown Olympia. Pizzeria La Gitana was recommended to me by a friend who told me that it was highly underrated and not super well known. I love Italian food, so I went to try it out over the weekend with a few of my friends, and I was very pleasantly surprised. The environment there is very romantic and classy. There are lots of warm lights that illuminate the tables from the ceilings and walls, lots of vines hanging from the ceiling, paintings and miscellaneous art along the walls, and we even had a real rose in a vase on our table. They have a huge, authentic pizza oven behind the counter, and you can actually watch as your pizza is being made, which definitely adds to the experience of Italian cuisine. The building is very spacious and clean, and overall, a very aesthetic place to enjoy your meal.

A picture containing food, dish, pizza

Description automatically generated

Photo from twitter @ThurstonTalk

Our waiters were very kind and helpful, and they seemed genuinely pleased to serve us, even though we arrived a little less than an hour before they closed for the night. They were patient as we decided on what to order, checked up on us often, and very willingly answered all of the questions we had about different menu items. The food was wonderful as well, although a little pricier than I had anticipated. Our meal started off with complimentary flatbread covered in sea salt and rosemary which was delicious. We ordered a side salad as well, which came with mixed greens, balsamic vinegar, mushrooms, olives, olive oil, and artichokes, which was very refreshing. I also ordered a breve, and I was very pleased with the quality and flavor of the espresso.

We ordered Carbonara over fusilli and a Fresca pizza as well, which both arrived very quickly and tasted great. The Carbonara was creamy, and the bacon was savory, although we felt the sauce itself could benefit from a little more seasoning. The portion size was not large enough for the price, but it was still filling, and we definitely did not leave any leftovers. The Fresca was delicious and had a wonderful balance of heartiness from the cheese and refreshing lightness from the tomatoes and basil. 
For our dessert, we ordered both the tiramisu and the affogato, both of which we felt were very good. The tiramisu was one of the best I have ever had and was super light and fluffy. It had a perfect balance of sweetness and lightness from the ladyfingers and mascarpone cream, and bitterness from the espresso. I had never had affogato before, but it was very good as well. The gelato was sweet and creamy and complimented the espresso very well. As with my breve and the tiramisu, the espresso was delicious, and of very good quality. Overall, Pizzeria La Gitana is definitely somewhere I would go again and recommend to others. The food is very good and worth spending a little extra money on, the workers are great, and the restaurant itself is beautiful. If you are in need of a date spot and want to check out some new restaurants in the area, or just enjoy Italian food, Pizzeria La Gitana is definitely worth checking out.

The History of Black History Month

Gilbert Smith, Staff Writer

Black History Month has not always been around, in fact, it is a relatively new thing. It all began as recently as 1915, half a century after the abolishment of slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment. In the September of 1915, Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian, and the minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the, “Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent,” explains HISTORY. Today, the association is known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). HISTORY continues, “the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926”. The group had decided to choose the second week of Feb. to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. This event led to the inspiration of schools and communities nationwide to organize celebrations, form history clubs, and host performances and lectures. Since the beginning of this event, the main focus was to encourage the teaching of the history of Black Americans in educational institutions with a focus on primary education. 

Originally, the overall reception was lukewarm, but Woodson considered it a great success. In the Feb. of 1969, the idea for Black History Month was brought up and promoted by Black students and educators at Kent State University. The next year was the first celebration of Black History Month on campus and local areas. Six years later, in 1975, Black History Month was being celebrated across the country, both in and out of schools, colleges, and community centers. In 1976, President Gerald Ford was the first president to not only recognize, but praise, Black History Month. Since then, every American president has proclaimed Feb. as Black History Month. Other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom dedicate a month to acknowledging and celebrating Black history. 

With each year comes a new theme that is given to Black History Month, this year being “Black Health and Wellness.” This year’s theme is dedicated to examining how the American Healthcare system has over-served and harmed the African American communities. The historical abandonment of the communities within the healthcare system goes back centuries and is still not fixed. Even today, the US chooses to stay behind the forward movement of the rest of the world in providing affordable medical care for its citizens. This puts African Americans and other minorities among the country’s most vulnerable communities, especially if they are poor. 

There are many people who are celebrated in Black History Month. There is Martin Luther King Jr. who is well known for his “I have a dream” speech and is celebrated for his efforts in the fight for equal rights and the end to segregation in all walks of life. There were also many firsts to celebrate with Thurgood Marshall being appointed to the court in 1967, Mae Jemison in space in 1992 and Barack Obama in the 21st century.

Black History Month Events 

There have been events on campus that talk about topics related to it that will have happened by the time this goes up like “Liberty and Justice for All? African-American History and American Democracy” on Feb. 9th in Cebula Hall. There most likely will be more events that will celebrate it on campus.


Athlete Spotlight: Noah Boyd

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

As the second semester is off and running, we have moved along into a new sports season! Spring seasons are gearing up and before they get completely underway, The Belltower decided to catch up with a student-athlete on the Saint Martin’s track and field team, Noah Boyd. 

Noah Boyd is a freshman on the team. Before he was a Saint, Noah attended Olympia high school where he played football, track, and was also a member of the basketball team. Way to go Noah!

Currently, Noah has found an event he is very passionate about, competing in the 400 hurdles. With being so busy, he was gracious enough to take some time to share a bit about his first year as a Saint. 

“It’s been pretty good”, said Boyd, “I’ve had decent grades as far as school goes and track has been pretty good.” Boyd then got into more about being a student-athlete here at Saint Martin’s. “Honestly, just everyone has been really friendly.” This is a common theme from students about being here. With such a small campus, everyone seems to know everyone, and the people seem to be able to develop pretty close connections here. Maybe it’s because people have a better chance of getting to know each other, but everyone is friendly and welcoming. As a lot of Saint Martin’s is comprised of student-athletes, many people here understand what each other are going through and respect the time and effort it takes to juggle school and sports. Even for people who don’t play sports here, the school does a good job at getting people involved, so much that many people do some sort of extracurricular activity.

“A lot of people on the track team have been very talkative and been really open to me,” Boyd said. It is awesome that freshmen especially feel like they have a place here, as we all know transitioning into college from high school can be very difficult. 

Teammates being communicative and open are important because they can help answer any questions new student-athletes on campus may have. These types of teammates can also help others feel comfortable just being themselves. People should feel all they need to be is themselves, and it is great if others can help them get there. This is a lesson to all of us, whether we are teammates or not, is to be able to appreciate people for who they are.

Finally, when I asked Boyd about what he is excited for in the future here, he replied with, “Competing, honestly.” That is a great answer, and an answer that resonates well with many student-athletes. I think I can speak for the majority of athletes on this one: we just want to play. It is truly a blessing to be able to play the sport we love at this level, and we are all truly grateful to be where we are today.

Boyd then goes on to say, “I’m a walk-on so I haven’t got to go to any meets yet, but I look forward to getting better and hopefully getting a scholarship soon.” That is a great mindset to have, and I am confident that his goal of getting better is what will help him going forward. I wish him all the best. Good luck Noah and enjoy your time here. 

Saint Martin’s University Track and Field/Cross Country logo

Via: Saint Martin’s XC/TF (@SMUSaints_XCTF) / Twitter