Archive for November, 2011

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Brian, Class of 2012

Although I study a science and spend much of my time dedicated to left-brained pursuits, what really makes me tick is music. This year, I managed to get a band together to start playing shows locally. This has been a goal since I’ve been at Potsdam, but not until this year have all of the pieces come together.

Back in early October, two friends and I formed Five Mile Line. We play rock music with a heavy emphasis on catchy grooves and high energy performances. It’s a great release of stress for me to express myself musically. So far, we’ve played 5 shows in the North Country, the last of which was Round 1 of a Battle of the Bands competition held by Madstop Records (SUNY Potsdam’s independent record label). We advanced to the final round, which will be held this weekend. Check us out and be on the lookout for more updates at:

Five Mile Line performing at Battle of the Bands

Five Mile Line at Backstreets for Battle of the Bands

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

Well, we survived!  This weekend was completely packed with performances for me.  After a stressful tech week that didn’t go anywhere near as smoothly as any of us would have liked, it was finally opening night.  I knew a lot of my friends were going to be there, and of course the choreographers, so the pressure was definitely on.  Just to add to it, Professor Carey gave me her own hat to wear for my solo.  I was honored, but so nervous!  Thanks to some brilliant streak of luck, the show went off without any issues and we were all proud of the performance we put on.  Even the choreographers were beaming at the end of the night!

The next two days continued in such a fashion of successful concert performances.  I also had my Theta Cabaret for Alpha Psi Omega, which is the final step of our pledging process.  It was alumni weekend, so we wanted to present a good show for them especially.  It was pretty last minute, but it all came together and was so fun!  After the Cabaret we had our annual banquet.  I was thankful for the opportunity to be able to get out of dance clothes and actually look like a normal human being for a few hours…even if it was short lived!

My parents came to the show Saturday, so my Sunday began by going out to breakfast with them.  I hadn’t seen them in six weeks, so it was great to be able to spend some quality time catching up on our lives, even though I’ll be home in just a few days anyway.  After they left, it was time for the final performance of the Faculty Dance Concert, followed by a very speedy set strike.  The final cap of the weekend was the APO Angels Fashion Show – our spin on the Victoria’s Secret Angels Fashion Show as a fundraiser for the Creative Arts Camp Scholarship Fund.  Also, it was a great excuse for us to prance around in wings and glitter.  We raised over $150, so it was a fun and successful way to end a crazy weekend on the stage!

Suite Soweto


Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Chelsey, Class of 2013

It is yet again time for break! Another month’s time has come and gone and it’s hard to believe, but the semester is almost over!

That’s how a lot of things go by in college – flying. When I was younger, adults always mentioned that time went so fast, and  that they couldn’t believe how  fast I’d grown. I thought I understood. I never truly did, however. It seems that the past two and a half years of my life have gone by in a whirlwind fashion, passing far faster than I’d ever imagined. It has taught me to really appreciate everything I get to experience here.

College is a completely unique experience. It can be a little daunting at first – believe me, I know. I started college at 16. It’s scary to leave home and to stack up debt. But when all is said and done, you’ll be left with something irreplaceable, something you won’t get in any other part of your life. As a quote I like says, “College isn’t the best four years of your life. It’s the first four years.”

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Vince, Class of 2013

Me too. We all are, especially those who are getting closer to graduation. Want to know what I’ve been told time after time about worrying? It’s natural! I couldn’t begin to tell you all the nights I’ve sat up thinking, “What will I do after I graduate? Am I making the right choices?” I could say that “everything works out” or “everyone finds their place in life,” but I feel like that’s vague and a little cliché. What I’ve found out as the years rolled by is that your future resides in how much you want to succeed. We’re all uncertain at times, forgetting how far we’ve come since high school, and get caught up in the big elephant in the room: the economy. However, this campus has quite the job placement rate and a fantastic career planning service to boot. The key word here is “placement,” and in order to get assistance for placement students have to start planning earlier on in their academic careers. For example, there are various free workshops, open seminars, and one-to-one assistance on post-graduate marketability that are held each semester. A major affair, graduate school information sessions, the internship office, guest speakers, and even the writing center are here to help the nervous
undergraduate bolster some confidence in the job hunt. For those who want to make the step towards graduate school, get well acquainted with your professors early on in your undergrad years. For instance, I’m getting a lot of advice from my English professors on what graduate programs to choose and some tips on the application process. This was because I love what I do, show interest, and have a better sense of what I want to do now that I’ve utilized Potsdam’s career resources. The SUNY Potsdam community cares about its students and it’s all right to be nervous about the unknown, but this campus will certainly never leave its students out in the dark.

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Tanasia, Class of 2013

College is an experience that is enlightening and allows me to explore worlds that were once unknown to me. I had never heard of Black Solidarity Day until two years ago during my freshman year at Potsdam. The Black Student Alliance (A.K.A. BSA) celebrates Black Solidarity Day each year with the SUNY Potsdam campus & the community. Black Solidarity Day is a day filled with rich history. It was started in 1969 by Dr. Carlos E. Russell at Brooklyn College.  Dr. Russell was a professor, playwright, community activist and author.  Many campuses nationwide celebrate Black Solidarity day. It always occurs the Monday before elections. One could very well say that this day serves many purposes. It creates a safe and creative space to empower one another to live right and engage in conversations about political topics that reflect on our history and future.

This year at Potsdam the Black Student Alliance did a great job and the program was truly moving. There was a vocal & dance presentation performed by current students. Clarkson University Step team also performed as well. The keynote speaker was Dr. Youngblood; he is currently a communication professor here at Potsdam. His message gave the history of African Americans tribulations and the battles of the family unit over time. At the end of the ceremony we had a home cooked meal prepared by current students.  Just to tease you there was jalofi rice (African dish), yellow rice, white rice, collard greens,  fresh salad, baked macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, bar-b-que chicken, jerk chicken, and curry chicken.

Needless to say this event was definitely beautiful. All the students, staff and community members that attended were in for a treat.  The event would not be possible without the TEAM effort from the members of the Black Student Alliance as well as volunteers. My first year I read a poem and this year I decided to help cook.  On a college campus there is a niche for everyone. If you like to perform, whether its dance, singing, playing an instrument, rapping, or poetry, there would be a part for you. If you like photography, technology, planning events, and making programs there would be something for you as well.  A lot of effort went into this event and it wouldn’t have been possible without willing, creative, and dedicated students to put it all together.

Tanasia and friends at Black Solidarity Day

home cooking for Black Solidarity Day

dance performance at Black Solidarity Day

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Becky, Class of 2014

Since Friday afternoon, my life has been consumed with rehearsals and performances of all varieties, just as it will continue to be until around 10pm Sunday night.  It’s a mix of faculty concert rehearsals, lighting rehearsals, student choreographer rehearsals and CariDanco rehearsals mostly, and they have taken up every free moment that I have.  Luckily, I absolutely love the people in the dance program and there are few people that I’d rather be spending my week with.  Downside (if you can call it that) is that we’ve all already gone completely insane from exhaustion, proving that this is going to be a looong week.  Our CariDanco performance at the CLASS Pageant went really well, so it was a great kick off performance to our tech week.  Hopefully the Faculty Choreographers’ Concert next weekend goes off just as well!  I’m in three very diverse pieces about everything from robots to polygamy to breast cancer, so it’s sure to be an interesting show from the audience’s perspective.  Here’s to hoping that we can all keep our sanity enough to give a killer performance this weekend!  …And so it begins.

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Vince, Class of 2013

Also known as “the WAIH,” our college’s radio station is highly regarded in the industry of on-campus radio. The station has won numerous national recognitions from college music associations and has a huge presence here on campus. The WAIH broadcasts from Potsdam’s very own air studio and shows can be heard on our 90.3 FM transmission all across St. Lawrence County. The station also streams live online at our website (listed below) and features music programs for all tastes. The WAIH also is involved on campus by DJing dances and collegiate club events, even hosting a few major events ourselves. In the past I’ve done an all-nighter gig for the Greek Life council, worked with the Rocky Horror Picture show presentation, and set up various dances held by the station. Our station is an excellent avenue for students hoping to start a career in public relations or music business, you get a lot of hands on experience with how a radio station operates and meet some pretty cool DJs. I have a show on Friday nights at 9 playing a mix of what major record labels, some indie artists, and small label promoters send to the station. Sometimes during my shows I’ll conjure up a fine selection of vinyl tunes from our LP vault. My favorite pieces to dig up are the station’s Ramones LPs. The station is an awesome way to get involved with the campus and a fun gig to have your voice heard on the air. If you happen to be on campus in the fall, check out our meetings every Sunday at five!

Here’s our website:

part of SUNY Potsdam's LP collection

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Tanasia, Class of 2013

Halloween weekend was a blast here in Potsdam. I volunteered for “Night At Madstop,” which was an event filled with games, food, performances, and a Haunted House. All monies raised were for the Potsdam Humane Society.  I was one of the actors for the Haunted House. It was truly a blast. The committee for the event built a small house in the back of our field house.  The field house is a recreational gym where different events and activities are housed. There were several rooms in the haunted house. The rooms in the haunted house represented halls and offices on campus. Hosmer hall, health services, a dorm room, the college store, Lehman dining hall, and the Crumb library were all included. All the actors were stationed in different rooms and we had the best job on the block. We got to scare people all night.

I was an orientation leader for the haunted house. My job was to lead people through the rooms and get them out in one piece. This experience was rewarding to me because I haven’t been in any theater productions in so long due to the commitment that is necessary to assure the best performance possible. Night at Madstop was a walk down memory lane and I can’t wait to help out again next year.

Pumpkins from Night at Madstop

Tanasia & friends dressed for Night at Madstop

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Chelsey, Class of 2013

Many students worry about safety on college campuses, but that is something you definitely don’t have to worry about at Potsdam! Our college puts a lot of effort into protecting our students.

University Police:
We have University Police that make rounds constantly. Many residence halls have an officer on call nightly to make sure everything is running smoothly.  Something unique about our campus’ policing system? University Police are trained state-official officers!

Educated Staff and Student Population:
Our staff is sure to notify us when there’s something we should be looking out for. We get urgent messages to our school emails and brightly colored notifications are hung on many doors throughout the campus.

Campus Rescue Squad:
We have a group on campus that looks out for our medical safety! Campus Rescue Squad is constantly available for anything you may need – from a sprained ankle to a concussion! They are heavily trained, and many have even taken EMT courses!

Night Guide Team:
Potsdam has very recently instituted a Night Guide Team. This is a team of students that operate between the hours of 8pm and 2am. In groups of two (one female and one male) they are on call every night to deliver students to their destination safely. They walk into town as well.

Blue-Light System:
There are blue lights across campus. These are stations where you can contact campus police should you feel you need them for any reason. They are easy distinguishable by the glowing blue light on top!

Potsdam has an incredibly secure campus and we are constantly developing new ways to ensure safety! The best part? Students can easily become involved in protecting themselves and their peers by joining the volunteer systems like the Night Guide Team and Campus Rescue Squad!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Brian, Class of 2012

Early this week I had an opportunity to travel to SUNY Binghamton to use their electron microprobe as part of my research project through the SUNY Potsdam Presidential Scholars program. In short, unscientific terms this machine is an analytical device that can take qualitative and quantitative measurements on an extremely small scale by bombarding the sample with a beam of charged particles called electrons.

My research advisor and I worked with a geochemistry professor from SUNY Binghamton to take readings and images of my samples with a level of detail we can’t reach with the more conventional methods we had been using. The ability to conduct undergraduate research is just one more thing I’m grateful to SUNY Potsdam for, and I owe everyone at Presidential Scholars a big thank you for helping to make it possible. Now to crunch some numbers!

Brian using the Electron Microprobe