Biden Announces 31 Tanks to Ukraine

Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer

On January 25, it was announced that the United States would be sending 31 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine in an effort to combat Russian forces in its ongoing war. NBC News reports that the U.S. will also provide training and supplies to operate the tanks according to President Biden. In a statement, the president said that sending tanks to Ukraine will “enhance Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.” Biden has also described the tanks as the most capable in the world. The president also holds the opinion that the decision to send over tanks is to protect Ukrainian land and not to be a threat toward Russia. Senior Officials in the White House describe the announcement as a “continuation of our effort to provide Ukraine with the capabilities that they need to continue to better defend themselves,” an NBC News report says. Senior Officials also label the announcement as a keeping of a long-term commitment that the United States has to “Ukraine’s defense needs.” 

Biden spoke with European officials on the matter. These calls with other officials included French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. A Downing Street spokesperson said the plan would be a way and a catalyst for other countries to follow suit. “The Prime Minister said it was now clear Russia was on the backfoot, and there was a window for international partners to accelerate efforts to secure lasting peace for Ukraine.” The day after President Biden made the announcement, Russia responded. Fox News reports Kremlin Moscow’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, responded by saying, “There are constant statements from European capitals and Washington that the sending of various weapons to Ukraine including Tanks in no way signifies the involvement of these countries or the alliance in hostels in Ukraine.

“We Categorically disagree with this and in Moscow, everything that the alliance and the capitals I mentioned are doing is seen as direct involvement in conflict. We see that this is growing” he told Reuters. Russian media has downplayed the decision saying that the tanks are “vulnerable” to Soviet-era weapons. A retired Russian general has described the tanks as “weakly suited” for how operations will play out in Ukraine. 

The decision by Biden to send the tanks is a reversal from previous statements the administration had made. Pressure came from Germany to send over the tanks. U.S. officials previously stated that concerns over sending over tanks included the fact that many national security team members did not believe it was a good move. These team members included: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Staff Gen. Mike Milley. When asked what had influenced the change in decision, a senior official had mentioned trying to “do the best that we can to evolve the capabilities we are providing Ukraine with the war itself.” The President had mentioned in the announcement that Germany had not put pressure on him to send the tanks, saying, “Germany didn’t force me to change my mind. We wanted to make sure we were all in this together. That’s what we were going to do all along.” 


The Legacy of Bob Grisham

Shy Yamasaki, Staff Writer

The belltower is saddened to announce that the former athletic director of SMU, Bob Grisham, passed on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 due to a sudden medical issue. A service will be held at Saint Martin’s University on Saturday, March 11, at 2 p.m. in the Marcus Pavilion. He has served as our athletic director for over 37 years, which he championed as a prominent person for athletics at SMU, the community, and the athletic conference (Saint Martin’s University, 2023). His loss will impact many individuals here at Saint Martin’s University, along with his friends and family. Within his 37 years serving as our athletic director, Bob Grisham also served as head coach of the men’s basketball team for 17 years and 20 years as the women’s golf coach. 

Grisham has left his impact by expanding the athletics program from only having a men’s and women’s basketball team to 15 sports overall. (Saint Martin’s University website, 2023) Between 1988-2008, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, cross country, soccer, track field, baseball, and softball were added. Bob Grisham also oversaw the transition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and now SMU’s athletic program is part of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). (Saint Martin’s University Website, 2023)  

Under Grisham’s leadership, our athletic program has experienced many successes wherever possible on and off the playing field. 

In addition, Saint Martin’s has seen five conference championships, 14 regional appearances, and three national appearances. We saw not only the many accomplishments under Grisham but also many other program achievements, including several All-Academic championships, All-Conference selections, all-Americans, and the first-ever NCAA National Champion in 2016. (Saint Martin’s University Website, 2023)  During the 2022 Hall of Fame/Hall of Honor awards, Grisham shared, “I am proud of what our staff, coaches, and student-athletes have accomplished with their successes in winning athletic and academic awards, honors, and championships. It represents what we’ve been striving for, and that’s raising the bar.” (Saint Martin’s University Website, 2023)  

Grisham also made many outstanding changes to campus as he served as our athletic director. He expanded the campus by adding six different facilities, which included the baseball field, the construction of the first-class soccer field, and an outdoor track with jumping pits and throwing cages. (Saint Martin’s University Website, 2023). The Charneski Recreation Center opened its doors in 2009 with full-sized basketball courts, an indoor track, a dance studio, a classroom, and a full-sized weight room. Just recently, in 2017, he added the tennis courts, replacing the open-field tennis courts. (Saint Martin’s University Website, 2023) At the same time, Bob raised the bar in our community outreach with thousands of hours of our student-athletes serving in our local community.

 Grisham initiated and organized the start of SMU’s Athletics Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor. SMU’s Athletic Department has recognized over 100 players, coaches, teams, and supporters. (Saint Martin’s University Website, 2023) “I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the growth and evolution over the years of Saint Martin’s University and our athletic programs. Most people don’t stay or last with that type of longevity. I am proud of this and proud of our many accomplishments.” – Bob Grisham  

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.  

Tom Brady (Finally) Retires

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

Growing up, who did we think of as the best quarterback in the National Football League (NFL)? Who was the guy that even when his team was losing, you knew he still had a chance? That man was none other than Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, better known as Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time. Commonly referenced as the GOAT. While you can argue with that opinion, and there are some pretty good quarterbacks in history that you could argue for, you can’t argue with the statistics. According to, the 199th overall pick in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots played in 318 games, threw for 84,520 yards, and scored 624 touchdowns. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you he is the best; he is a seven-time Super Bowl champion and a five-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP). That alone is ridiculous, the fact that he has only been to the Super Bowl and not been the MVP of it two times. He has been to the Pro Bowl 15 times, an honor which is given to players nominated for having the best seasons that year. No other quarterback has done what he has in NFL history, and he will certainly be in the NFL Hall of Fame the first chance he can be inducted into it, in five years. If that doesn’t convince you that he is the greatest, I don’t know what will.

As of February 1, 2022, Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement from the NFL. He has decided to hang up his cleats after 22 unbelievable seasons, playing 20 seasons for the New England Patriots, the team who drafted him, and playing his last two seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There is much speculation as to why he decided to retire, with many people making the argument that he still had a couple more years left in the tank. While no one but Brady knows for sure, of course, roster injuries, upcoming contract situations, and teammate drama on the Buccaneers could have factored into his decision. It is certainly thought that he could have played for at least another year, and many agree with this narrative. 

As if Brady retiring is not crazy enough, there was some drama about his retirement going public. On January 29th, Adam Schefter, ESPN’s highly regarded senior NFL insider, broke the news that Tom Brady was retiring. This turned the entire sports world upside down. Media pages were putting together montages of Brady’s career and everywhere you looked, the news of Tom Brady calling it a career was front and center. Only it wasn’t true. News broke later that day that Brady had, in fact, not made his decision and informed the Buccaneers General Manager that he had, contrary to what the media had leaked, not retired. With the sport’s world on edge, Tom Brady finally announced his retirement two days later. This time, it was for real. All the drama was seemingly for nothing. 

Aside from Tom Brady being the GOAT, he has provided all of us with a sense of inspiration that we incorporate into our own lives. As mentioned early, Brady was the 199th overall pick in the 6th round of the draft, so it wasn’t exactly like he had the pedigree to be a starting quarterback in the league. The Patriots already had a quarterback and drafted Brady as a backup plan. Instead of getting angry that he was taken so low in the draft, Brady continued to work to be ready for any opportunity. Forced into action due to injury, the rookie out of the University of Michigan took his chance and ran with it. He never gave up the starting quarterback job.

This is what we should incorporate into our lives, the determination to never give up. In life, you need to take advantage of any opportunity, just like the greatest quarterback of all time did.

World Leaders Meet to Discuss Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Emmanuel O. Son, Staff Writer

Description: People taking part in the Unity March demonstrating Ukrainians’ patriotic spirit amid growing tensions with Russia. Photo Credit: Idrees Ali ( @idreesali114 ) on Twitter

As tensions between Ukraine and Russia continue to go back and forth, some world leaders have stepped up their talks on how to combat the conflict peacefully. Meetings come as many fear a Russian invasion of Ukraine and a potential war that would break out as a result of that. French President Emmanuel Macron has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow while President Joe Biden is hosting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington.

With Russia hosting more than 100,000 troops on its borders with Ukraine, many have accused the country of planning an invasion of sorts, which Russian officials have been denying. Tensions between the two countries are happening again almost eight years after Russia’s annexation of the Southern Crimea Peninsula in Ukraine and a rebellion that took place in Donbas. 

A US official has also warned Biden of Russia potentially invading Ukraine. President Biden and security advisor Jay Sullivan have advised any Americans that are in Russia or Ukraine to leave. Biden has threatened to shut down and stop Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipelines in Russia as a protest against the country. “If Russia invades again, there will no longer be longer Nord Stream 2. We will bring it to an end” Biden said. White House National Security advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with ABC News and stated that the US is currently seeking a diplomatic solution. “Putin has put himself in a position of military diplomats to be able to act aggressively against Ukraine at any time now” Sullivan says. However, neither the President nor any other US officials have stated how their solution would be done, only answering when asked, “I promise you we will be able to do it.” Concerns of the issue are also coming at a critical time as the Olympic games continue to push through in Beijing. Sullivan mentions the importance of preparation as intervention could happen either during or after the Olympic and Paralympic games. 

BBC is reporting that officials in Moscow are demanding that the NATO Military Alliance bans Ukraine from ever becoming a member, as well Ukrainian troops be brought out of eastern Europe. NATO has declined Russian requests and is now suggesting other solutions, such as lowering the use of weapons. Russia has also accused Ukraine of failing to enforce the Minsk Agreement, which is the international deal that would restore peace to the East in areas where Russian rebels control territory, sponsored by Germany and France. In 2014, 14,000 people had been killed in those areas. 

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that any confrontation with Russia would lead to a “full-scale war”. After speaking with U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Zelenskyy has warned that war that involves Ukraine would affect the whole continent of Europe. The President has stated that if a war were to break out, it would not necessarily be a war between Russia and Ukraine but of the whole European continent. “This will be, unfortunately, a tragedy if the escalation against our state begins.” “No one will give up their territories and people anymore,” he stated in a press conference. During the week, the President signed a decree which would increase the military armed forces by 100,000 over the next three years. 

The Associated Press is reporting that the Pentagon has ordered that 3,000 US troops be sent to Poland to reassure allies. President Biden and Putin are set to hopefully talk to each other in hopes of discussing the crisis together. Biden states that although troops are being sent over, there is no direct plan to go to war in Ukraine, but to serve economic sanctions against Moscow. 

The Biden administration’s plan on the handling of the Russia Ukraine situation has been met with some criticism. The Daily Mail reports that Alexander Vindman, a former White House staffer and Ukraine policy expert who oversaw the Trump administration’s handling of Ukraine, has criticized Biden for acting too late on the issue. Vindman has stated that a Russian invasion would look bad for the United States and its most important European allies. “The senior policymakers didn’t seem to come around to this threat until really quite late” he tells Yahoo news. He argues that the United States should have already been helping out the Ukraine military with advancing military capability against Russian moves. Vindman’s criticism came after Biden has threatened that there would be no Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. 


New Updated NCAA Covid-19 Guidelines

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

What do we do, or have to do now? With the start of the spring semester now upon us and in full swing, Saint Martin’s athletics are continuing or starting back up! As teams come back together for practice and competition, people are wondering how the rise of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant is coming into play and how things are being accounted for. We all need to continue to stay safe and protect ourselves and others through these unprecedented times. Right now, are all trying to figure out how to do so.

With the uncertainty surrounding the new developments of the pandemic, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released updated Covid-19 guidelines to try to bring about some ease during these anxious months. Saint Martin’s University, along with all other NCAA-affiliated schools, has adopted these guidelines and have already begun implementing them throughout the athletic department. 

A large part of this update is that the NCAA has adjusted its definition of “fully vaccinated” individuals. Earlier in the pandemic, being “fully vaccinated” meant that individuals had either received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine series, or the Moderna vaccine series. The vaccine series for Pfizer and Moderna means that individuals have had both doses of the vaccine. With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, individuals only need to get one dose, because it is different than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Per the NCAA’s update at, now to be “fully vaccinated”, individuals need to be either within two months of receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, five months of receiving the Pfizer vaccine series, or six months of receiving the Moderna vaccine series. In addition to this, if student-athletes have received the vaccine earlier than the described windows above, they must have received a booster vaccine to qualify as being “fully vaccinated.” Finally, student-athletes who are within 90 days of a Covid-19 infection qualify as equivalent to being “fully vaccinated” because they now have the antibodies and won’t get it again for a while.

The second major part to come out of the NCAA’s update is the change in quarantining and isolation periods for student-athletes who test positive for Covid-19. Earlier in the pandemic, the quarantine time for individuals who tested positive was ten days. Per the update, the quarantine time has been cut in half, down to five days as long as the student-athlete has no symptoms or their “symptoms are resolving.” After those five days, the NCAA suggests the individual masking around others for five more days, except during athletic activities which follow a negative test. 

As for isolation, fully vaccinated individuals who have come in close contact with someone who tests positive do not have to quarantine but are suggested by the NCAA to wear a mask when not participating in athletic activities. Unvaccinated individuals, on the other hand, should still quarantine for five days if they come in close contact with someone with Covid-19.

This is a systemic change, as before student-athletes did not need a booster vaccine to be considered “fully vaccinated”, and they only needed to have the regular doses. The other big change here is the quarantine period has been cut in half, allowing student-athletes to return to the field and the classroom earlier than before.

These new updates are important to follow because the NCAA is not creating guidelines on its own. It is following the guidelines which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has laid out. The NCAA’s update is merely bringing these new guidelines to the world of college sports.

Although the guidelines have changed, the overall idea hasn’t: do what you can to keep you and others as safe as possible.


The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) logoVia:  NCAA (@NCAA) / Twitter

Inslee Electric Car Mandate

Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer

Governor Jay Inslee has signed an executive order on November 3 that will require state-government cars to all be electric by 2035. The Kent Reporter reports that the order was announced in an international submission in Glasgow, Scotland, which focused on creating ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Executive branch agencies will be required to buy battery-powered cars to replace current passenger vehicles. Light-duty trucks will also be required to be replaced by electric vehicles. 40% of the existing fleet will be required to become electric by 2025, 75% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. In 2040, mid-heavy-duty vehicles will be all a zero-emission fleet.

A spokesperson for the governor, Tara Lee, states that in total, about 5,000 state vehicles will be a part of the new changes. Inslee has suggested that plug-in vehicles be available, if not battery models. These requirements will apply to 24 agencies in the executive branch, as well as State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Corrections, and Social and Health Services. These agencies will be required to come up with their plan on being able to comply with the new order. OPD reports that the first agencies transitioning to an all-electric form of transportation are the Liquor and Cannabis Board, the Office of Equity, and the Traffic Safety Commission.

The Governor is also leading a coalition of 68 different leaders across cities, states, and foreign municipalities that are trying to cut emissions in half by 2030 and to get net-zero by 2050. Inslee has declared this coalition the “super nationals,” reasoning that they are going to set the bar for many national governments on this issue.

According to the Kent Reporter, Inslee has admitted to this plan being costly. However, he argues that while the transition will be expensive at first, the plan overall will save the state money and will be a better impact on the environment. A spokesperson states that the legislature is working to obtain funding to supply the electric vehicles and charging stations to go with them. Inslee has declared his goal of all new vehicles being sold in Washington to be zero-emission by 2035. Inslee also mentions that funding will also come from the federal infrastructure bill, which will help put charging stations along Interstate-5 from Vancouver, British Columbia, to California.

OPB reports that Inslee has stated that he does plan on putting charging stations at shopping centers and schools, saying, “We want them in our shopping districts, so they’re available when you go shopping. We want them in our schools, so you can pull up and charge while you’re at school.” Governor Inslee mentions that he feels it is important for American families to have a charging station right at their homes. The governor charges his personal vehicle, a Chevy Bolt, from his basement. Charging stations are difficult to build around specific apartments or condos, saying that it is vital to develop a charging station that can be accessible and built for any environment. He also mentioned his support of the concept of new building construction projects generating no net increase by 2030. “Together with the rest of the leaders here, and those everywhere else today who are committed to this fight, we will lead the charge on de-carbonizing the transportation sector,” Inslee said in a statement.

Seattle Seahawks vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Eric Bell, Staff Writer

Stepping into the enormous, enclosed, well-lit press box was like entering a whole new world. Writers feverishly typed away on their various devices, desperate to get their voice out to fans following along for updates and inside access on the contest. Sunlight, a rarity in Seattle on the final day of October, is shown through the large, clean, glass windows that looked out onto the field. Numerous wide-screen televisions displayed other games around the league taking place in the earlier 10 AM PST slate. Fans start to pile into the stadium and find their seats. Here comes the noise. Seahawks fans are nicknamed the “12s”, as they have become the 12th man for their defense, as there can only be 11 players on the field at one time. They are out in full force today on this Halloween afternoon despite their team’s rocky start to the season.

The fans became even louder when the Seahawks took the field. The roar became deafening, even through a sealed-off and supposedly sound-proof press-box. Everyone in the stadium then rose to their feet and removed their hats for the playing of the national anthem. The voice ran out through the only momentarily silent stadium.  After the anthem, the decibel rate rose even higher, with almost all of the fans having made their way into Lumen Field. The build-up to the kickoff was a feat, with the bright blue with white “12s” block letters being raised and fired up the fans even more than they already were. People were trying to talk between rows, and it was impossible to hear even at that short distance. The atmosphere was electric. Honestly, words cannot justify how loud, and crazy the environment became throughout the game. If you ever have the opportunity to come to a match and witness this extraordinary setting, it is definitely a worthwhile experience

Seahawks Versus Jaguars

Now to the game: After a Jaguars punt on their opening possession, the Seahawks started off on the ground, then got a 27-yard pass to Tyler Lockett to set up a Geno Smith 1-yard rushing touchdown to cap off their opening drive. The Seahawks then got another big play with Quandre Diggs picking off rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. After the interception, the Seahawks marched methodically down the field, setting up a D.K Metcalf touchdown. After making an unbelievable catch over former Seahawk’s cornerback Shaquil Griffin, the Seattle star receiver ran to the padding on the goalpost stand and climbed on and hugged it, like a bear hugging a tree. He got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for the celebration, but the play stood, and the Seahawks went up 14-0 with nine minutes to play in the second quarter. The Seahawks seemed to move the ball on offense as well, with little resistance from a struggling Jacksonville defense which picked up their first win just the previous week. The Seahawks added a 31-yard field goal just before halftime to make it 17-0 at the break. In the third quarter, D.K. Metcalf caught his second touchdown pass of the game, making it a 24-0 Seahawks lead. The Jaguars finally got on the board near the end of the game, with a five-yard touchdown, breaking the shutout Seattle was hoping for. After the score, the Jaguars tried an onside kick which was recovered and returned 43 yards for a touchdown by Seattle’s Travis Homer, capping off a successful day at the office. That’s how this one ended, with the Seahawks winning 31-7 over the Jaguars.

Thanksgiving and Saint Martin’s Values

Hillary Thompson, Staff Writer

As November ends, many students and staff are looking towards the Thanksgiving break, and many students discuss their plans. Senior Annika Briggs says, “My plans for Thanksgiving are to drive to my hometown and spend time with my parents and cousins.” Junior Rhea Herradura explains that over break, “My family has decided to have our regular/traditional get together with our close friends and family here in Washington. Every year we always think about what we’ll do, such as traveling or going on a road trip, but it usually ends up staying close to home”. Sophomore Alexandria Parsons shares with us her plans for the holiday break, “My plans this Thanksgiving are going to Utah to spend it with my sister and her family!” Saint Martin’s is known to throw amazing events for students to enjoy.

Director of the campus ministry, Colleen Dunne, informed us about Saint Martin’s upcoming plans for Thanksgiving: “So we don’t have a lot because so many of our students are close by and they go home. For our students who can’t go home, we are doing a Thanksgiving dinner! It is going to have more like a home-cooked potluck feel. It will be in the residents’ halls, and any student is welcome to come. There have been sign-ups that have gone out, and some of the food is coming from Bon Appetit. We are also reaching out to faculty and staff and asking anyone close by if they can make extra food or dishes and bring them! We are just trying to create a community feel with the dinner, and Janie Sacco, Sara Haugh, and I are working on it together. Thanksgiving is a holiday known for being centered around families and food. Students and staff share how Thanksgiving relates to Saint Martin’s values.”

“Come out and join us, everyone is welcome”

Annika Briggs shares, “Thanksgiving ties into the SMU values because of the respect for persons, and the time to reflect on who we are grateful for. It is also a time to give to those in need, which is a key part of hospitality. Doing things for others is an important aspect of the Thanksgiving season.” Alexandria Parsons shared that Thanksgiving values relate to the values of SMU because, “I think the community is a key part of both Thanksgiving and St. Martins, the two focus on togetherness!” Rhea Herradura discusses how values and the holiday are related. She said, “How I see Thanksgiving tying into the values of Saint Martin’s University is how we build a sense of community with those we love and care about, around us or even far away. It’s almost a celebration of gratitude where we appreciate our relationships, in which we gather and enjoy each other’s company. We relish in the greater understanding of service towards others and letting go, with our trust in one another I would associate that with faith. Of course, the last value is reason. I believe this is self-explanatory through the years of loving memories and stories. Sure, there are other holidays such as Christmas where you could argue we celebrate one another, but those times are different in the sense of where our focus is. Thanksgiving is around family and friends, while Christmas is more about the birth of Jesus Christ and/or a day of rest.”

Sister Raphaela Cady shares her insight on the values of SMU and how they relate to Thanksgiving, “For me, the Benedictine value of simplicity comes to mind. Inclusiveness, gathering people together, and gratitude are important aspects of the holiday. Thanksgiving has traditionally been about people being together and sharing what they have. Hospitality is a Benedictine value at Saint Martin’s encompasses as well. There are many opportunities for people to participate in Thanksgiving at Saint Martin’s to engage in the Benedictine hospitality of creating space for people to gather. This is essential to who we are so we can continue to create hospitality and give ourselves room for simplicity.” Overall, Thanksgiving is seen as a time for students to spend time with loved ones and reflect on what they are thankful for.

Upcoming Events

Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer

It’s a new school year and with midterms passed and the semester drawing to an end, it’s time to destress and celebrate with some school activities. Now that classes for the most part are back to in-person learning, the games at the TUB are open again, and the community is large again. There are now a number of events that are coming back, continuing to follow COVID-19 protocols. Campus Activities Board (CAB) member Erin Luong and new Campus Life Activities assistant director Shandra Witke talk about some upcoming activities to be on the lookout for.

Some upcoming campus life events to close off the semester include a movie night for international week, the annual Christmas under the canopy, and a number of other events that will be hosted by the clubs on campus. While many events for next semester may not be official yet, many of them are in the planning stages. Some usual events will include commuter lunch every first Wednesday of the month where it includes an opportunity for commuter students to win raffle prizes.

International education week is an opportunity for students across campus to meet international students on our campus and learn about new cultures around the world. At the end of the week, a movie will be played. The week will consist of Campus Life partnering with the Office of International Programs and Development. The movie night will be at the Worthington Center on Friday November 19 at 7 PM. “The movie that’s chosen will hopefully give a good viewpoint of the international experience and give students a good idea of what it might be like in other countries” says Witke.

On November 8, first generation college/university students and alumni at Saint Martins will have an opportunity to speak their stories and thoughts at a first gen lunch event hosted by Campus Life. The event will feature a Q&A panel where attendees can ask different questions and share their stories. On the 9th, ASSMU will be hosting a coco social at the TUB from 3-5.

With the Christmas season coming up, campus life has events planned out that will help celebrate the holidays. Christmas under the Canopy celebrates the end of the Advent season as the Saint Martin’s community prepares themselves for the coming of the Christmas season before the month-long break. The prayer service is followed by the tree lighting as well as music provided by the choir and the band. One of the largest events that is yet to come is the campus’s annual Winter Ball which will close off the Fall 2021 semester. This event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 protocols. The event will be in its usual venue at Indian Summer Country Club and Golf Course.

CAB is in the works right now planning an event for the week of Veterans Day. That week will feature an event that will honor both veterans and active military members for their service.

For Spring of 2022, some events that CAB has planned out are its annual Welcome Week. Just like the beginning of the fall semester, Welcome Week is meant to celebrate the return of students for a new semester and an opportunity for new students to get to know the university better. While the weather in January might be different from a sunny and warm summer in August, events such as games and other activities are being planned out to be indoors following COVID-19 protocols. CAB is also working on throwing another destress event for the spring semester.

Homecoming week is another annual event that is in the making. This week will consist of the Men’s annual homecoming basketball week where students can have an opportunity to win prizes. It is also a great opportunity for the alumni to come back. Most club events are still in the planning process. Dates and times are subject to change.