This is Christine's former roommate Sarah updating from campus! I know it's probably not as exciting as hearing about Christine's adventures around Europe, but she didn't want her readers to be without a new blog post this week. (By the way, last time I heard from her, Christine was in Ireland and absolutely loving it!) So things have been quite busy back at SMC lately with midterms last week and Halloween this week. I had a midterm in American Protestantism, a take home essay for Personality Theories, and a presentation for Cultural Anthropology, but it's all done now so I can finally breath. As for this week, the St. Mike's community is getting ready for Halloween! On Friday all of our different mentoring programs are hosting a Halloween party here for their mentees. The kids are coming here in the early evening, with their costumes on, and they get to go around to the townhouses for some trick or treating. After that, mentors take the kids to the Harvest Carnival in the Tarrant Gymnasium. This event is hosted by the M.L.K. Jr. Society and it's a chance for kids to get dressed up, play tons of games, and eat lots of candy in a safe and secure environment. Another Halloween event, sponsored by the M.O.V.E. Office, is happening on Saturday evening. A group of students are going out into the surrounding towns to trick or treat for canned goods. All of the food collected will be weighed and an equal amount of food will be donated by Sodexo (our dining service). Then the food will be given to the Vermont Food Shelf to help feed many people throughout the community. In addition to these opportunities to give back around Halloween, St. Mike's also hosts a dance every year. It only costs $5 to go and everyone wears their costume and dances in the gym all night! So, as you can see, Halloween is a big deal at SMC and it's making me miss Christine even more than usual because it's her favorite holiday!
Aside from school work and Halloween preparations, I've also been busy with cross country. I run on the varsity team here and we just hosted the North East 10 championship meet this past weekend. All 16 teams from our league came for the race on Sunday, which was followed by an awards banquet. We had a tough race because 10 of our 22 runners were either injured or sick (yes, the swine has hit us hard), but we fought to an 11th place finish. Our season is winding down now with just one race left, the NCAA Regional Qualifier in Boston on November 8th. Only our top 7 runners get to race so I won't be there, but I encourage anyone who lives in the Boston area to think about attending. If you do, you'll see hundreds of the fastest runners in all of the Northeast compete for a spot at the NCAA Championship race (held in Indiana this year).
One last piece of my life that I'd like to share with you guys is about a new program at St. Mike's called Fix It With Five. This is a student-led initiative that will take $5 of each student's activity fee, pool the money together and donate the total sum (roughly $10,000!) to an organization in our community. The goal of this program is to bring about systemic change by getting to the root of a problem rather than by simply providing temporary relief. I've been really busy with this new program because I was chosen to be on the committee (made up of 8 students, 2 staff members, and 1 faculty member) that writes the grant application and reviews the entries. Our committee has been meeting every week this semester and we have written a mission statement, designed a grant application, developed a website, and educated the student body on our program. If you're interested in Fix It With Five and want to learn more, check out our website (which is still in the process of being edited) at http://classweb.smcvt.edu/fixitwithfive!
I hope you enjoyed this update from campus, and check back next week for a fun and exciting post from Christine! If you have any questions or comments about anything I talked about, don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.