Saint Mary’s hosts programming for peer mentorship program

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s Belles celebrated their across-the street neighbors Monday as they gathered to view the Notre Dame Irish Football game as a part of their Big Belle Little Belle event. According to club representatives, about 289 students have signed up for the peer mentorship program. The program partners a freshman or sophomore belle or, “little Belle,” with an upperclassman “big Belle” with intentions to facilitate friendship and mentorship. The game watch party was the first event of the year for the group.For some students, the Big Belle Little Belle experience can operate as a sort of pseudo-sorority. The Saint Mary’s students often speak on the values of sisterhood, and often refer to themselves as if they are one big sorority. The EMX logo on sweatshirts, pants and t-shirts, which imitates popular sorority culture, can be spotted around campus. Members of Big Belle Little Belle is sometimes seen as a substitute for Greek life by first-years and the club’s facilitators.“I think the sisterhood is really important, because we don’t have sororities,” Saint Mary’s senior and Big Belle Little Belle co-chair Moira LeMay said. “And I think a lot of girls want a sorority, but they don’t want the dues of a sorority or the commitments of the sorority. And this is one on such a small scale — by no means is it a sorority — but it’s a way for girls to feel like they have like an inner circle with people that they wouldn’t normally have.”LeMay pointed out the absence of dues as a reason for Belles to join, but the club did recently require a 10 dollar fee.“It is to pay for t-shirts,” LeMay said. “So girls can have the nice t-shirt, and we don’t have to worry about our annual budget. And we can put more into our activities, if we aren’t concerned about t-shirts. It’s something that we’re doing different this year, just because of the amount of girls that we have.”The appeal of meeting people and getting involved was a large driving force for first-year Caroline Jakalski making an appearance at the event.“I just signed up because I thought it’d be cool. [In a] small college, you don’t have sororities, but it’s like kind of like a sorority, so you have a big and stuff,” Jakalski said. “I decided that it’s a good way to get involved, especially freshman year not knowing a lot of people.”This year, Saint Mary’s’ Student Government Association and Big Belle Little Belle is reformatting the selection process to more closely that of a sorority. In years past, the board assigned “littles” and “bigs” based on things such as majors.“We’re going to do a ‘pref’ night this year to take away from having the committee chairs and the committee decide for students,” LeMay said. “We’re going to allow the big to choose their little.”The game watch is an event aimed at allowing bigs and the littles to get to know each other to facilitate the selection process.“It’s up to the bigs and littles who attend these events to connect with one another [and] get to know one another,” LeMay said. “So then they’re like, ‘OK, this is a good relationship,’ rather than, ‘Well, you randomly paired me with somebody,’ and think, ‘I’m not happy.’”LeMay said the organizers will step in if a little does not get appropriately matched with a big. Despite the changes and the movement towards sorority culture, the motives for the organization is the same: They seek to give younger students an opportunity to feel comfortable and welcomed on campus and to provide them with guidance, LeMay said.These events led toward reveal day when bigs will pick their littles.“Yeah, we are really excited for reveal day that will be on October 6,” LeMay said. “… That’s our biggest event of the year. We put the most money towards it — funding, activities, all of that. Reveal day [is] when our bigs reveal themselves to their littles. Last year, it was a lot of fun, but we’re hoping to be bigger and bolder. And our theme this year is Disney.”Big Belle Little Belle extends beyond the structured events and into everyday life and relationships. The organization encourages the students to participate and extend their relationships beyond the bigger all-club event.“We really tell girls, you make it what you want,” LeMay said. “So like my little and I, we do homework together. She comes and hangs out at my apartment with me. We do a lot together. But we also provide non-event events. So it’s not something as big as game day or reveal day. But it’s like, ‘Hey, if anyone wants to go.’”For first-year Hannah Shoemake, this guidance is why she is seeking out a relationship with a big.“I think, when adjusting to the college life, having a big sister figure is really gonna help me through some tough times,” Shoemake said.Tags: big little, saint mary’s, Sisterhoodlast_img read more

US and OECS establish diplomatic relations

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! The first US envoy to the OECS Christopher Sandrolini (R) presents letters of introduction to the director general of the OECS Dr Len IshmaelCASTRIES, St Lucia — The USA and the OECS established relations at the diplomatic level on Tuesday.OECS Director General Dr Len Ishmael accepted letters of introduction from the United States envoy to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Christopher Sandrolini, at a ceremony which took place at the OECS Secretariat. The formalization of relations between the USA and the OECS is expected to enhance a longstanding relationship between the United States and the region, signifying, in the words of the director general, “…the beginning of a new chapter in the long and enduring relationship between the United States and its friends in the Eastern Caribbean.” The director general, in her remarks, took the opportunity to highlight some of the historical achievements of the OECS at advancing integration and building resilience among its members to meet the profound global challenges and imperatives of the 21st Century. In response to these challenges and the geopolitical changes that came with them, the OECS has had to reposition itself both regionally and internationally in order to engage in the kinds of relationship that were necessary to pursue its strategic interests.The new relationship with the US represents a typical outcome of this repositioning, and a number of other countries have already given formal indication of their intention to establish relations with the OECS at the diplomatic level.According to the director general: “We at the OECS are indeed happy that the United States has now joined the growing list of countries which have seen value in entering into a deeper and more formal relationship with us, and appointing a special representative to manage that relationship. We received with appreciation, the letter of the US Secretary of State informing us of the decision to proceed with this level of engagement making the US the eighth country to establish relations with the OECS at the diplomatic level”. In extending her best wishes for the successful conduct of his assignment as the United States envoy to the OECS, the director general expressed her delight that Sandrolini would be taking up his assignment at such an exciting time in the historical evolution of the Organisation.Before a mixed audience comprising members of the diplomatic corps and senior OECS officials, the US envoy expressed great pleasure at being selected to represent the United States of America as its first envoy to the OECS. According to Sandrolini: “Today marks an important milestone in American engagement in the Eastern Caribbean, and underscores our commitment to addressing our common challenges together. From climate change to social development, from trade policy to citizen security, we look forward to a dynamic partnership that enhances our already strong bilateral relationships with the countries of the Eastern Caribbean.”To illustrate the commitment by the United States to promoting economic integration and increased trade and investment, Sandrolini highlighted some of the areas of cooperation currently ongoing between the United States and Eastern Caribbean countries. These include USAID projects to strengthen juvenile justice systems and build climate change adaptive capacity within all six independent members of the OECS. He also mentioned initiatives being undertaken through the regional framework provided by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, a three-year project that would focus on legal reform, capacity building, introduction of modern detention/rehabilitation processes and enhanced civil society involvement.In conclusion, Sanrolini noted, “With the United States now a formal partner of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, we look forward to increasing our cooperation on these and other issues of importance to the peoples of our countries. Relationships are important in our society, as in yours, and we are very encouraged by the regional cooperation and collaboration among the members and look forward to a long and productive relationship with the OECS.”Both the director general and the US envoy looked forward with expectation to the USA and the OECS having an enduring and dynamic partnership that is strategic and proactive, and founded on the principles of mutual respect, common interests and shared values.Caribbean News Now 22 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Tweet NewsRegional US and OECS establish diplomatic relations by: – October 29, 2011last_img read more

Holders Liverpool out of Champions League

first_imgLIVERPOOL’s hold on the Champions League was wrestled from them by Atletico Madrid after a dramatic last-16 second leg went into extra time – and a finely balanced game turned on a catastrophic blunder by goalkeeper Adrian.Jurgen Klopp’s side – seeking to win the trophy for a seventh time – thought they had overturned Atletico’s 1-0 advantage from the first leg when Roberto Firmino’s first goal at Anfield this season at the start of the added 30 minutes gave them the lead in the tie.Georginio Wijnaldum’s first-half header was full reward for Liverpool laying siege to the Atletico goal for much of the first 90 minutes.And yet, as the Kop sensed another memorable Champions League victory, Adrian – deputising for the injured Alisson – paid the price for a dreadful clearance as substitute Marcos Llorente pounced with a low finish to secure Atletico’s crucial away goal.Llorente struck again with another composed finish in the 105th minute and with the spirit draining out of Liverpool and their supporters, former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata adding insult to injury with a third in the dying seconds to send Atletico through to the last eight.This game was, in many respects, a tale of two goalkeepers.The magnificent Jan Oblak formed a formidable barrier for Atletico Madrid, his yellow shirt a colossal presence in his penalty area as he made nine saves and claimed countless crosses.In contrast, Liverpool’s mammoth effort was fatally undermined by the hapless Adrian, who also made an error that contributed to their FA Cup fifth-round defeat by Chelsea.(BBC Sport)last_img read more