Chatham welcomes the academic year with a dance to remember

Twinkle lights hang from the trees, the scent of Buffalo Chicken Dip fills the air, and students dance the night away. This just about sums up the Welcome Back Dance on Friday, September 4, at the Athletic and Fitness Center Patio.

Students arrived sporadically, with some of the ladies wearing evening dresses and the men sporting a tie and dress shirt. The event was catered by Parkhurst Dining and featured assortments of appetizers including cheese and crackers, fruits and the crowd favorite, Buffalo Chicken Dip accompanied by warm pita chips. A Chatham event wouldn’t be complete without some sweets. Two whole platters of brownies and purple sugar cookies were enough to cure even the most stubborn sweet tooth.

The Office of Residence Life and Student Activities-Student Affairs sponsored the dance, where Student Activities student workers acted as the hosts. Late Night Coordinator, sophomore Jorjanna Smith, greeted dance attendees and offered them tasty appetizers with her counterpart, sophomore Maya Carey, who was the creative brain behind decorations for the evening.

“The lights and lanterns were really awesome. They really brought some life to the patio” said first-year Iris Marzolf.

Many of the dance attendees waited in anticipation for the announcement of the results from the Residence Hall Council Elections (RHC). Coordinator of Residence Life and Student Activities Emily Fidago delivered the news. The Residence Hall Council officials for each hall are as follows:


President: Jesse Hinkle

Secretary/Treasurer: Jacquelyn Stanfield

Communications Coordinator: Gino Peluso

Programming Coordinator: Haley Porterfield

Sustainability Coordinator: Rachael Oplinger



President: Rosemary Quintana

Secretary/Treasurer: Imani Constant

Communications Coordinator: Diamond Ricketts

Programming Coordinator: Mikayla Psenick

Sustainability Coordinator: Nichole Dahlen



President: Abby Beckwith

Secretary/Treasurer: Noah Smith

Communications Coordinator: Suzi Nanthavong

Programming Coordinator: London Pipkins

Sustainability Coordinator: Evalynn Farkas



President: Carsyn Smith

Secretary/Treasurer: Taylor Frankenstein

Communications Coordinator: Lindsey Bost

Programming Coordinator: Noah Thompson

Sustainability Coordinator: Holly Taylor

The dance had a low turn out but that did not stop those who were there from having a good time. First-Year student Derrick Robinson said the low attendance was an actual highlight of the event itself.

“It amazed me how little people were there but yet [we] still had fun and made the most out of the experience,” said Robinson.

The dance did feature a DJ who played a mixture of current songs and throwbacks, including “Where Are U Now,” “Bad Blood,” “Wobble” and “Get Low.”

One throwback in particular really got the party going: “The Cupid Shuffle.”

“It was my favorite song of the night because it got everyone up and moving and it’s just a really fun song,” said Marzolf.

At around 11 p.m., a group of students took to the Carriage House with leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip and pita chips — the perfect snack for watching “Sweeney Todd” — and the student workers began taking down the decorations. The Chatham After Hours event ended and everyone left the AFC energized and ready for the new school year.

Chatham University sends out all campus email addressing breach of Alcohol and Drug Policies

Excessive alcohol consumption, while not unheard of on college campuses, has recently become a serious problem at Chatham University, resulting in the sending of an all campus email on Friday, October 24.

“Recently, there have been several misconducts that have been rather concerning as these misconducts do not promote the residents’ safety and well-being,” the email–sent by Heather Black, Director of Student Affairs & Residence Life–said

These infractions, according to the Chatham police, include instances of marijuana, amphetamine pills, heroin, and other various drug paraphernalia being found on campus property–as well a keg being found in the Chatham apartments.

The email went on to detail elements of the Chatham University Student Honor Code, and the Alcohol and Drug Policies.

“During orientation, one critical pledge was made by each of you as a community member of Chatham University,” it said, reminding students of their promise to uphold the honor code.

In addition to mentioning the dangers of drinking to health, academic endeavors, and social enjoyment, it also pointed out that consuming alcoholic beverages under the age of 21 is against Pennsylvania State Law, and that Chatham will provide no protection for violators of that law.

Beyond that, it also said, “Chatham University prohibits excessive drinking and disturbing behaviors that result from excessive alcohol use,” which applies to all students, even those of legal drinking age.

The email then listed eight regulations specific to Chatham University regarding the consumption of alcohol. These regulations were very detailed and included several prohibited items and activities (namely kegs and party balls), alcohol in public areas like halls and student lounges, and alcoholic beverages at events sponsored by undergraduate student organizations.

It also pointed out that those who are of age may consume alcohol in the privacy of their rooms, but reminded them that they are responsible for the actions of their guests.

Finally, it reminded students that, “students shall not attend college events (on or off campus) while intoxicated and a student’s behavior shall not be disruptive to the community.”

According to the email, “Students who return to the residence campus intoxicated, whether 21 or not 21 years of age, and violate other policies (including but not limited to quiet hours, escort policy, etc.) will be sent to Student Conduct Board on charges of alcohol and/or other violations.”

Additionally, Chatham’s Drug Policy states, “Students are not permitted to use, possess, distribute, sell or be under the influence of narcotics, hallucinogens, dangerous drugs, or other controlled substances. All violations of the drug policy will be processed through the Student Conduct Board and also through the local court system if appropriate.”

Based on this, the email also pointed out the very serious consequences of conviction for a drug-offense, which included, “the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA program funds, loan, or work-study assistance.”

The email closed by saying, “We aim to provide a safe and healthy environment for all residents and want to continue to trust that you will abide by all policies and make good choices for yourself and also your fellow residents”

Information on Chatham’s Drug and Alcohol Policies can be found at

Chatham celebrates Holi with a splash of color

Thursday, March 27 was one of those special days that Chatham students enjoy quite often on campus. Those who came to Anderson anytime during lunch hours on Thursday probably felt the Indian spirit that filled the dining hall.

Holi, the special Indian event held on campus on Thursday, was a celebration of the Festival of Colors–an ancient Hindu festival celebrated primarily in India, and which has become more popular throughout the world.

“It’s literally a festival of colors, and so to celebrate, people get water guns filled with water and colors and they just throw them at each other all day. You go visit your family, eat and spend the evening with them and relax” said Ciarra Karnes, a Graduate Assistant for the Student Affairs Department in an interview.

Colorfulness was brought into the lunch room as colored balloons were hanging on the chairs across the dining hall. Obviously, the celebration did not stop here. The cafeteria offered traditional Indian food that people “would eat in India to celebrate the Festival of Colors,” according to Karnes.

On the booth that Karnes had set near the back entrance of the dining hall, along with her colleague, they offered pamphlets that included more information about Holi, in addition to some pictures of different things that happen on Holi that people could come over and color with markers.

According to Mitali Purolit, an Indian Masters of Arts and Psychology student at Chatham, the tradition is a North Indian one. “Holi represents the onset of spring. But it is mainly celebrated in Northern India because they have four seasons there, as opposed to the West Coast, where I come from and where it barely rains for three months and for the rest of the year it’s humid and hot.”

According to Purolit, Holi is celebrated on the beginning of the spring season in the Hindu month “Phalgun Pumima” (Full Moon), which is translated into the end of February or sometime in March according to the Gregorian calendar.

“There’s many ancient stories behind the Holi festival, but it mainly signifies the victory of the good over the evil, the arrival of the spring and end of the heavy rain and sometimes snow in the North part of India,” said Purolit.

The one most commonly used colors in Holi is “gulal”, the pink color, according to Purolit. In previous times, Indians used authentic Indian colors to throw at each other (dry color powder to paint at each other’s faces), but now it has changed and became more chemical, thus created a whole new picture of it.

Another part of the Holi celebration is the music. Purolit points out, however, that music is a recent addition to Holi, as some Bollywood music is played and people dance as in any “DJ party.” “Things have changed a lot over the time, there’s been a twist to it, but in ancient times the whole meaning to it was to get together and celebrate spring with a lot of colors.”

Music was missing during the celebration at Chatham because a group of students who were supposed to be in charge of the music could not make it.

The idea to have the event came from the Student Affairs Department, to celebrate different cultures on campus. “We hold these events so everyone feels welcome and knows that this is a campus where wherever you come from, everybody wants to learn and celebrate whatever is traditional for you,” said Karnes.

Student Affairs came up with the recipes by talking to students who actually celebrate Holi who sent out some recipes, and in cooperation with Chef Dan, Chaat, Tandoori Chicken, Bibimbap and Jalebi and Frijoles Negros, all Indian food was served during lunch time. Also, Samosa and Jalebi were served as Indian dessert.

Sherin Sabu, an Indian Psychology Exchange Student at Chatham said: “This is a North Indian Festival. I’m from the South, and people from the South know nothing about those celebrations.” She expressed her contentment with Chatham’s tradition of accepting different cultures and trying to make students know about them, but added she wished they had some South Indian festivals too.

“Because of the diverse culture here, we’re trying to keep everybody happy. There is a lot of different ethnicities and it’s important for other students to experience Indian and other kinds of foods,” said Patricia Malloy, the General Manager of Anderson Dining Hall.

Chatham’s Student Affairs celebrates students’ birthdays

Zauyah Waite, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, always finds ways to reach to her students. She said their goal is to, “let them know that [we] are glad that they are here at Chatham University.”

This time the recognition and appreciation Student Affairs is showing to students is by inviting them over to the Carriage House to pick up some treats for their birthdays. “What happens is that once a month we send an email to students who have birthdays all throughout this specific month, and we say that this is our time to recognize all of these birthdays, and ask them to come and pick up their treats” said Kathleen Ayers, Executive Secretary to Dean Waite. According to Ayers, it is also a way to get new students to come to the Carriage House and meet the people in the Student Affairs Office who they do not always get to see.

Students’ birthdays have not been celebrated by Student Affairs before. However, according to Dean Waite, every year she finds a way to reach out to students. In the past, for example, she has had a series of activities, such as Dine with the Deans, Tea with the Deans, and last semester she facilitated a few activities in the residence halls.

The Student Affairs Office normally plans the activities for each semester beforehand, and last semester was when Dean Waite came up with the idea, in preparation for this semester. This makes February 20 the second Birthday Special of the semester, after the January birthdays being celebrated on January 16.

The treats for January were Soft Pretzels from The Pretzel Shop on the Southside, while the treats for this month were cookies from Nancy B’s. “It’s also a way of trying to highlight some of the good snacks and treats that Pittsburgh has to offer” said Ayers.

The Birthday Special is a “first come first serve” kind of operation. The students come in and pick up their treats depending on their schedule. The email goes out in the morning around 9 AM, so they are made aware of it the same day in a personal invite email, in addition to the previous advertisement usually put on MyChatham Happenings and the student calendar.

The treats were picked up from the front desk at the Carriage House from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on February 20 by about 10 students.

“The New Birthday Special activity is a small way for us to celebrate our students on their special day and we will be doing this for the entire year of 2014” said Dean Waite.