Sunday, March 30, 2014

Housing Renewal Update

The Residential Life Office is happy to share that housing renewal is near completion for current residents -- upperclass students have been placed and current first-year students received their placement order for selection on March 28.  It is an exciting time (and a privilege) for our office as we begin to help students think about their living/learning environment for next year.

At this time, there is a wait-list for upper-class housing. However, the Residential Life Office is committed to providing on-campus housing to all students who wish to live on campus. If your student missed the opportunity to participate in the housing renewal process, and would like to submit a housing application for next year, they can access renewal applications via their OneStop Page in Cor.

We are also happy to share that all residential buildings on campus will be considered co-ed during the 2014-15 academic year. Individual apartments, rooms and suites will remain same-gender within the housing unit (e.g. an apartment will have just men or just women). The buildings impacted by this change include Cedar Hall and Pine, Willow, Maple and Birch Apartments. Kerst, Scanlon, and Groves will continue to be co-ed. Somers will continue to be co-ed by wing.

The Residential Life Department at The College of St. Scholastica believes that it is important to provide on-campus building options that are equitable to all students regardless of gender. We also believe that co-ed buildings provide students a healthy, safe living environment that reflects the real world and better prepares students for living off-campus. Our Benedictine values guide our decisions and our community expectations. Students who live in a co-ed building will continue to experience a supportive living environment where both genders have the opportunity to become stewards of their community through respect and hospitality.

These beliefs motivated our exploration of changing sophomore housing to become co-ed. This fall, when we began to consider this decision, we conducted a survey of current apartment residents to gain their feedback regarding this proposal. The results of this survey indicated that the majority of current residents felt this would be a positive change.

Current first-year students now have access to view which apartments are available and will be able to choose from these openings on placement night (scheduled for April 8th). If you have questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me or view our resources via the link below.

Thank you,
Joelle McGovern
Residential Life

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Graduation Day Planning

Things You Need To Know About Graduation by Anita Greden

Graduation will be held May 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m., at the DECC Amsoil Arena.  It is a busy time, not only for the graduate, but for his/her family as well. Here are a few tips to minimize the stress and help make your son or daughter's graduation an exciting experience for everyone.

*      Get a headcount of your relatives and friends you would like in attendance.

*      Make dinner reservations EARLY if you plan to go out to dinner after the ceremony.

*      Make hotel reservations EVEN EARLIER!
Call to make reservations.  Discounted rates may be available from the following Duluth hotels: 
Country Inn & Suites
4257 Haines Road
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 740-4500

301  East Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 733-5660

 Inn on Lake Superior
350 Canal Park Drive
Duluth, Minnesota 55802
(218)726-1111 or (888) 668-4352

*      Baccalaureate Mass
Saturday, May 10, 9:30 a.m., in Mitchell Auditorium

*      Parking
o   There is plenty of parking at the DECC in the ramp and its skywalk connects to downtown Duluth.  A daily pass for a regular vehicle can be purchased at the parking booth for $5.00, and guests receive a ticket for re-entry all day. There is also surface parking.
o   The 3rd floor of the parking ramp is the skyway level.
DECC Parking Ramp link:

*      Seating
o   Seats fill up early.  Arrive 1 hour early at the DECC/Amsoil Arena.  The number of seats is not a problem, but you will want to get there early for the best seats and to get enough seats so your entire party can be together.
o   If you have family arriving separately, arrange to meet ahead of time if you want to sit together.
o   Arrange a meeting place for after the ceremony.  It is very difficult to find family after the ceremony.
o   If you want to avoid stairs, stay on the top floor where there are folding chairs.
o   Grandparents:  There is plenty of handicapped parking right outside the DECC and in the parking ramp. It is a long walk from Amsoil Arena to the reception and may be challenging for the elderly.

*      Graduate Seating
All the graduates are on the floor of Amsoil Arena with the stage at one end.  Scope out the arena for the best seat to see your graduate.  Graduates walk in and out on one side of the arena.  Undergraduates walk in first with the Doctoral students last.  Undergrads are announced in alphabetical order, not by major.

Once the graduate arrives at the Arena, you will not be able to see him/her until after the ceremony. They line up in the DECC Arena where no one other than the graduates can access.  They then walk in line to Amsoil Arena.

*      Be prepared
Graduation lasts about 2 hours. Keep this in mind if you are bringing little kids or the elderly. Concessions are sold in the concourse.  Bring reading material.

*      After the ceremony
There is a reception, but it is difficult to meet up with the graduate. It is even more difficult to get to the reception with an elderly relative. Your best bet is to have an arranged meeting place and time, perhaps at a restaurant.

*      Ask the graduate what he/she wants to do.  Does the graduate want to spend time with classmates at the reception and meet up with family later at a restaurant?  Faculty will be present as well; your graduate may want to say thanks and/or good-bye to them. Maybe the graduate wants to skip the friends and just be with family.

*      Pictures
This is a perfect time for family pictures.  There is a professional photographer at the ceremony. The pictures are excellent and PROFESSIONAL!  Take advantage of this. Your graduate will get information on how to purchase these and how to preview the proofs.  There are multiple shots to choose from and multiple packages.  You may also want to set up a place and time for family pictures (say outside with the Arial Lift Bridge in the background).

*      Dress Code for Parents at the Ceremony
You will see a variety of dress; your best bet is shirt and tie for men, dress or dress pants for women.  This is a large arena; you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket to put on if needed.

*   BE FLEXIBLE! HAVE FUN! This only happens once for the graduate.  Take it all in.  It is an experience that you and your graduate will never forget!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Creating a Professional Portfolio

One of the items that is becoming more and more important for all students is to build a professional portfolio with volunteer and work experience related to their future career.  Where this comes into play is getting into relevant internships and professional schools.  It is never too early to start.
These experiences can take many forms, from club memberships, leadership position in clubs or other organizations, shadowing professionals in their chosen career, working in labs, summer jobs, etc. 
As an example: a CSS chemistry graduate, worked in a research lab the summer after his junior year.  From this he received partial authorship of a scientific publication as well as a great letter of reference.  This all helped him get into Graduate school.  I recommend you really encourage your son or daughter to visit with their advisor to talk about this.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

FEBRUARY 27, 2014 is Give to CSS Day!

FEBRUARY 27, 2014 is Give to CSS Day! 

Make a gift or pledge on Give to CSS Day, and through challenges set forth by an anonymous donor, for every dollar you give that's new or an increase from your last gift, CSS will get an additional $2.  That means a $1 gift becomes $3, a $10 gift becomes $30, a $100 gift becomes $300.  Make your gift online at, or call 218.723.5980.

Testament:  Our son has traveled to both India and China with St. Scholastica. In his travels the school generously paid for extras and unforeseen expenses. We have no doubt that fundraising has helped with these expenses. We will continue to donate to CSS even after our son graduates because we feel that support is so necessary for these two wonderful programs. Our son will always remember and appreciate these two trips all his life.
-            Dana and Joe Hackbarth, Parents from the Parents Council

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dear St. Scholastica Families,

As you may have heard by now, CSS is closed today (Feb. 21st) due to another winter storm.  Below is an update on some important reminders that were just sent to students living on campus.
  • Food Service: The Greenview will be open regular hours both today and tomorrow, so food will be available for students (however, the menu may change due to food delivery issues). Please be sure to thank our Food Service staff for their hard work - some may have been "stuck" on campus well past their normal work schedule. Storm's Den and Beakers will be closed.
  • Be Prepared: Know where your flashlight is located, along with any personal emergency items such as medications. We also recommend filling your water bottle and making sure phones, etc. are fully charged.
  • Resident Avisors: Your RAs will be present on campus to support you as needed. In case of an emergency, please contact:
    Somers Duty Phone: 218-310-0789
    Apartments Duty Phone: 218-310-0787
    CSS Security:  218-723-6175
    All normal policies and procedures still apply. Please make responsible decisions for both yourself and your community members.  
  • Snowball: A final decision regarding Snowball will be sent later today - it will likely be cancelled. Please check you CSS email or talk with your RA.
  • Facilities: Please make sure all windows are shut, and external doors are pulled closed. Shovels have been delivered to various entryways for each building. When you are finished using a shovel, please return it for the next person.
  • Snow Removal: We are still waiting to hear from Facilities Services when the back parking lots will be plowed. We will send updates via CSS email as we learn more.
  • For your safety: We strongly encourage you to stay on campus and off the roads as much as possible. Safety is the main priority at this time. If you do go outside, please dress warmly as you never know what may happen in these conditions.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Joelle McGovern at for additional information.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Housing Renewal for 2014-15

Housing Renewal is underway at The College of St. Scholastica and the Residential Life Office has been working with students to identify ways we can improve the renewal process for our upper-class students.  This fall we developed a Four-Bedroom Lottery Proposal and surveyed all current apartment residents to gain their feedback.  The results of the survey indicated that current apartment residents were in favor of eliminating priority placement for terms lived on campus and also supported the implementation of co-ed housing for sophomores.

This year, the College implemented a new online renewal application.  Our upper-class students were very gracious through this implementation as we identify several ways to improve technology for future students.  Today, upper-class students received the results of the four-bedroom lottery.  Similar to past years, we continue to have a wait-list for students who want to live on campus.  We would like all families to know that we are committed to housing all students who desire on-campus housing.

The renewal process for current first-year students is scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks.  Please encourage your student to read all of the resources we have prepared for them. 

If you have questions, or would like to learn more, please feel free to contact Joelle McGovern at or 218 733 2269.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Deadline to apply for Fall 2014 Commencement

Just a reminder, January 31, 2014, is the deadline to apply for Fall 2014 Commencement (graduation).