Weekly Update – Thanksgiving Edition

Have you wondered about what really happens in Room 1411? Check back every Friday for a behind-the-scenes look at the Office of Student Life!

Here are the highlights for the week of November 23…

Monday, November 23: I attended the Institutional Standing Committee on Campus Diversity and Inclusion. During the meeting, plans for several upcoming events were discussed:

December 4 from 7-9 p.m. in Kresge Hall … Performance by Omnia Hegazy

January 18 … Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 10 … International Festival

If you’d like to assist in planning any of these events or have thoughts about how to address diversity on-campus, please send me an email.


Tuesday, November 24: We had our tenth Student Senate meeting. If you’re not involved yet, join us every Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Room 1000. All students are welcome!We are starting at the very beginning and we need all students to help us determine what’s most important. We have started reviewing our governing documents and making key decisions about what the Student Senate will look like at MU… this is an important time!

Have you listened to Real Talk Radio? I checked out Nancy & Meghan’s show this afternoon and it was hilarious. If you need a study break or a laugh, check them out next Tuesday from 5-10 p.m.

How to listen: Download the live365 app & search Madonna University or go to live365.com/stations/madonnauniversity2


Wednesday, November 25: It was a pretty quiet day on-campus. We started hosting Alternative Spring Break (ASB) info meetings. During ASB, students choose to serve with the community instead of binge watching Netflix, traveling to tropical locations, or working tons of extra hours.

If you’re interested, we’ve got three more next week:

Monday, Nov. 30 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 2417

Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 4:00 p.m. in Room 2417

Thursday, Dec. 3 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 2417

Weekend Preview: Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I hope you have a restful long weekend.

Men’s Basketball will be playing at Eastern Michigan University on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. – head out to Ypsilanti to support your Crusaders! Can’t make it? Check  www.MadonnaCrusaders.com for video, updates, and recaps!

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for reading… I’ll be back next week with more updates!

–Amanda Geraci, Student Life Coordinator



Delicious Recipes to Try This Thanksgiving

Does your family seem to be stuck in a recipe rut, every year making the same things using grandma’s recipes handed down to her? Here are some recipes to mix up your holiday and give everyone a well needed change of pace.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes and Bacon


Perfect Mashed Potatoes


Golden Macaroni and Cheese


Green Bean Casserole


Sweet Cornbread


Hazelnut Carmel Bars


Blackberry (or any other fruit) Tarts


Bite Sized Carrot Cake


Carmel Apple Trifles



A Night Without a Home Recap

On Thursday, November 12th Madonna Students participated in a unique and touching activity hosted by Student United Way in which they experienced a night being homeless.The event’s goal was to raise awareness about the realities of poverty and homelessness, particularly in teens and young adults.   Students brought cardboard boxes to sleep in outside, near the Franciscan Center. This was a particularly cold and blustery night, which made the experience feel more real. In addition to the main event, a guest speaker from the United Way Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan presented about the importance of college students having the conversation about homelessness. Students also watched informational videos about the realities of homelessness and had group discussions about how their lives would be different compared to students who are homeless. Participants also donated blankets to the homeless in Detroit. Overall, it was an eye-opening experience that every college student should participate in at least once.


If you are interested in joining Student United Way or participating in future events, contact student.unitedway@my.madonna.edu.


30 Things I Am Thankful For

30 days, 30 things to be thankful for in no specific order.

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

1. Family
I truly would not be the person I am today without my family’s love and care. Mom, dad, aunts, uncles, and all the cousins, you’re the best. Thank you, all of you, for your constant love and support– don’t change.

2. Friends
Like my family, my friends have shaped who I am today. For the friendships that have been around for years to the one’s that are just blossoming, thank you for being you. I am grateful to have met and gotten to know each and every one of you.

3. Health
Something I am constantly taking for granted, Virgil had it right when he said, “The greatest wealth is health.” I am very grateful for my healthy body and strong immune system, even with the occasional bug that gets through.

4. Co-workers
I am proud to say I love the people I work with. They actually fit into the friends category but I am amazed to have such a strong bond with my co-workers. On and off the job, they keep me sane. I am grateful for your eccentric personalities and how we work out; teamwork makes the dream work!

5. Pets
Pets have taught me a lot of things, most of all they have taught me to appreciate the simple things in life and to find joy in them. So whether it be my two little birds or someone else’s dog, cat, guinea pig, etc., thanks for always being there.

6. Food
Food is a constant blessing. Not readily accessible for everyone, I am extremely fortunate to have options.

7. Modern heating and air conditioning
Winters would be unbearable without heating and on the reverse summers would be excruciating without air conditioning. Thank you Mr. James Watt and Mr. Willis Carrier for these absolutely wonderful inventions.

8. Hot running water and modern plumbing
My dad tells me stories of when he was a young lad in the Philippines he would have to go fetch water for a bath or to wash the dishes. In addition, if he had to go to the bathroom he had to go outside to the out house to do so. I am privileged to the point where I cannot even use porta-potties, I would rather hold it. Thank you hot running water and modern plumbing for always being there.

9. Computers… technology in general
School, work, and much of my communication would be extremely difficult without the help of computers, phones, tablets, etc. Shout out to Siri for having an answer for my sometimes ridiculous questions.

10. Fuzzy socks
With winter approaching fast, these are a necessity. Much gratitude to the different colors and “fuzziness” variations.

11. Dessert
Ice cream, cookies, cake, creme brulee, I am a sucker for desserts. Thanks for being there to fill my sweet tooth.

12. College and Professors
Madonna is small, but it has a big heart. Professors and staff truly care about their students and want to see them succeed. All the people I have met thus far in my college career, thank you. You are all wonderful people, and you deserve a nice, big shiny medal for all that you have done for students like me. Really, thank you. I know students are a lot to put up with, and it means a lot that you continue to do so each day.

13. Education
I am thankful I was raised with expectation, and ability, to attend college, equally important and vital to my pursuit of an undergraduate education. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had growing up and the subtle and explicit reminders of how school is the route to success.

14. Oversized sweaters, boots, and scarfs
It is that time of year and these are my winter staples. Thanks for always being a go to.

15. Coffee
I have recently taken up the habit of black coffee to get me through my days, without this boost of energy, I would not be awake right now, so thanks (insert coffee brand here)!

16. Name tags
In the Office of Student Life, we got name tags. Sometimes I wear my name tag when I do not need to… but on the plus side, people know my name! Shout out to all the workplaces who have name tags to avoid the awkward “What is your name again?” conversation.

17. Target
Ms. Amanda Geraci, Student Life Coordinator, shouted out this one. I, along with many others, would have significantly more money in our pockets if it weren’t for Target, yet, I have no regrets. I am a Target die-hard for life, thanks for always having my back.

18. Cookie dough
This was the first thing Ms. Lauren Nobles said when I asked for “obscure things to be thankful for.” I personally am indifferent to cookie dough, but I am thankful for the happiness it seems to bring to Lauren’s life.

19. The Cricut
This is a machine that magically cuts out letters and shapes in wonderful ways. We have been through quite a few ups and downs, but for those days where there have been little to no fights, you da best.

20. Butterfinger peanut butter cups
Thank you to the wonderful company who sent our office seven (filled with approximately 15 boxes) of these Butterfinger peanut butter cups. It never gets old handing someone a whole box to take with them. I think it would be fair to compare it to watching a child open up a gift on Christmas Day.

21. Perfectly ripped paper
Odd? Yes, but it is the little things that count. You know those big rolls of paper that have to be ripped? That is what I am talking about here. There is an art to rip the paper without having jagged edges and I am grateful for the individuals who have mastered this skill.

22. Overhead projectors
Anything is possible with overhead projectors. You want to draw all the characters of Inside Out? Done. You want to write in cool fonts? Done. Overhead projects are the dream.

23. Random snacks (free things!)
As a college student, I come running when I hear the word “free.” I also work in an office where we have plenty of random snacks thus I never go hungry when I am working. So thank you for keeping me fed and excited for free things.

24. Umbrellas
Today it is raining, people stay dry with umbrellas, my umbrella is in my car… I am thankful for the lovely stranger who let me squeeze in under her umbrella to avoid getting drenched as I walked from my car.

25. Twinkle lights
Lights are being put up everywhere! This is my favorite part of the holiday season, it never gets old.

26. Running
A good habit to keep up to stay healthy, I am grateful for the ability to run (though not fast). Shout out to the cross country team for being great at that.

27. Warm November days
Can the weather stay like this year round? Whomever is watching from above, thank you for keeping snow off the ground for a little bit longer.

28. Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle
If you’ve never had it, you have to try it. Imagine getting that corner piece of a brownie, that is every bite of Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle. I am grateful for you, Sheila G.

29. Pixar movies
The trailer for Finding Dory was just released, Inside Out is now on Blu-ray/DVD and The Good Dinosaur is going to be in theaters soon. I am thankful for the creative minds of Pixar and for always bringing a smile to my face.

30. Music
It is everywhere. Whatever mood I am in, I can find something to listen to. Spotify even creates playlists based off of moods. Thank you for the multitude of artists for sharing your stories and expressing yourselves. And thank you to Youtube, Spotify, and Pandora for letting me access these things with just a few advertisements.


Weekly Update -Spirit Week!

Have you wondered about what really happens in Room 1411? Check back every Friday for a behind-the-scenes look at the Office of Student Life!

Here are the highlights for the week of November 16…

Monday, November 16: Homecoming was a huge success. With more than 250 students and guests in attendance, we danced and had a great time!

Also on Monday, the University celebrated Founders Day with an Interfaith Luncheon and recognized several award winners. If you see any of the following people, be sure to pass along a hearty congratulations:

St. Catherine’s Medal (awarded to a junior student) – Blanca Lopez Garcia

Faculty Award (from graduating seniors) – Dr. Bart Miles, Social Work

Franciscan Values Award (to staff members who exemplify the four Franciscan Values) –

First Place – Nickie Hampsher, Financial Aid

Second Place – Beth Hoffman, Help Desk

Third Place – Mike Modelski, Information Systems

Tuesday, November 17: We had our ninth Student Senate meeting. If you’re not involved yet, join us every Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. in Room 1000. All students are welcome!We are starting at the very beginning and we need all students to help us determine what’s most important. We have started reviewing our governing documents and making key decisions about what the Student Senate will look like at MU… this is an important time!

It was Appreciation Day, so we passed out tootsie rolls (you’re on a roll!), cans of Mountain Dew with bags of chips (you’re all that and a bag a chips.. thanks for all you dew!), packs of gum (thanks for always going the EXTRA mile!), and popcorn (you make us POP with appreciation). Proceeds benefit MU Helping Families at Christmas. If you’d like to adopt a family for the holidays, please visit our office.

I took a group of students to Eastern Michigan University to visit their Student Government meeting. We met with the Vice President afterwards to learn more about how their student government works.

Thursday, November 19: Updates are being made to Graduation Information on MyPortal and the website. Stay tuned for more updates.

Friday, November 20: We scheduled some info sessions for Alternative Spring Break and started making travel plans. Check out flyers around campus and on our Facebook page for dates/times.

Weekend Preview: Student Performance tonight in Kresge Hall at 7:30 p.m. The Office of Student Life staff will be there to support Viviana and others.

Volleyball made it to the National Tournament! See you tomorrow in the Activities Center to cheer them on at noon! Can’t make it?Check  www.MadonnaCrusaders.com for video, updates, and recaps!

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for reading… I’ll be back next Friday with more updates!

–Amanda Geraci, Student Life Coordinator


Spirit Week 2015

We are on to day two of Spirit Week! Appreciation Day treats are being delivered today and a Just Dance Competition took place in the Take 5.

Join us for the rest of the week for more fun!

Spirit Week 2015 Flyer