Student Teaching Makes The Difference

Two of my best friends here at Oswego are Education majors who are super passionate about what they do and what they will do in the future. Olivia Grecco and Rachel Fogel spend a lot of their time grading papers and making lesson plans for their students.

Although the Pandemic threw a wrench in their plans for student teaching in person, they’re still getting a lot out of the virtual experience each week. Hopefully this won’t be something they have to prepare for again in the future but the way school works in person may be changed forever and they are getting experience with it now as students.

Olivia is a Childhood Education major with a concentration in English. As a Junior here at Oswego she was super excited to have her first year of student teaching, even though it wasn’t how she expected.

I talked to Olivia about her experiences with student teaching, “It provides us with real world experiences of what we hope to pursue in the future,” she said. “I am grateful for student teaching as it allows us to foster connections with both current teachers and students.”

Olivia is super passionate about all things in life and I can see her being the most amazing teacher. Whenever any obstacle is thrown at her she finds the best way to overcome and keep going. I am grateful for our friendship and so excited to see her grow as a student and future educator.

Rachel Fogel is a Senior at Oswego who plans to come back for a 5th year to complete her Masters. Oswego has given her countless friendships and memories that she wants to continue to make here. Oswego has given Rachel so many opportunities and she is so excited for what’s to come.

“Student teaching gets us more involved in a classroom,” she said. “It gives us more experience and knowledge on what a real classroom would be like. It also helps us learn about the different kinds of learners there are to help us better adapt in the future.”

I have seen Rachel get so excited about her students submitting work and just participating and trying in general. Virtual learning is not easy for anyone and it really shows when the student isn’t motivated.

Rachel is a double major in Adolescent Education and English and spends a lot of her free time writing papers of her own and preparing things for her next week of student teaching. She is so passionate about her students and how much they have improved over the course of this semester, even with all of the challenges both the students and teachers have faced.

Looking forward I am so excited to see where my friends go and believe they will be the kind of teachers to change lives and make a difference. Their passion and effort speaks louder than their words, and they will be the kind of educators that there should be more of in this world.

Student Jobs On and Off Campus

Myself and many of my friends are full-time students but we are also employed part-time. I have learned how to balance school and work while still getting to hangout with my friends. Being able to have a job when I came to college was important to me, because I have bills to pay and a car of my own.

I work off campus about 15 minutes away at a grocery store as a service desk attendant and a customer service lead. I work at the same grocery store at home so I am able to easily transfer between the two stores.

During college, I have been able to meet so many friends who work at this store too. There have been a few that are like me, that transfer from different store while they’re away at school. Most of the people I have met are actually residents in Oswego. We exchange stories all the time about how different our lives are but it is so excited to see familiar faces on campus from work.

A lot of my other friends work at the Telefund on campus at Oswego. They cold call to raise money for the campus. This money goes towards internships, study abroad programs, co-ops, and technology upgrades. Alumni can donate directly to scholarships and previous organizations that they were in while they attended Oswego.

For my friends who work here, they always talk about how much fun they have and all of the people they meet. They are now all close friends with the people they work their shifts with and spend time with them outside of work.

A big discussion for my friends and I was how important it is to us to have these friendships outside of our normal circles. Working on and off campus has given us a chance to meet so many new people, while getting paid, and attending classes.

Voting in 2020

The 2020 election will probably be the most historic and memorable election of our lifetime. I believe that everyone who can vote, should vote. This was my first opportunity to vote in a Presidential election.

Since I live in an off-campus residence in Oswego, I was not home in Buffalo to vote. I was able to send in my absentee ballot a few weeks back. Most of my housemates are from Long Island and the drive back would have been too far for them to vote, they participated in the election with their mail-in ballots too.

For most of my friends and myself, this was our first time being able to participate in a Presidential election. With the pandemic going on, mail-in voting was extremely popular and important this year. Some people chose this option just because it was safer, others chose it for convenience, some chose it for both.

It is still pretty early on Election Day, but there have already been record amounts of votes cast between the early voting option offered this election and people who were waiting at the polls before they even opened.

No matter who you voted for, your vote matters. The mail-in voting option could potentially decide this election because of the outside circumstances effecting each and every American. It is too soon in the day to tell, but there is a strong possibility we will not know who our President for the next four years is on election night.

Greek Life Goes Virtual

Since my second semester Freshman year, I felt as if I was very hands on within the community and on campus thanks to my sorority. Greek life is known to be very involved in giving back, it is easy for us to bring organizations together and do something good.

It also feels really good to be able to give back. I have heard a handful of stories as to how organizations choose to give back to certain non-profits because those non-profits have personally helped them at some point in their lives.

Sigma Tau Chi and Sigma Delta Tau are taking their annual ΕΔΤ with ΕΤΧ virtual this semester. This event gives back to the Ronald McDonald House which personally helped a sister when she had lost someone very close to her.

Alpha Epsilon Phi, Phi Sigma Sigma, and many other organizations created virtual fundraisers this semester and were able to gather donations by promoting the fundraisers on social media.

Greek life organizations were also able to welcome new members this semester. Even though recruiting took place online, there was no shortage in students wanting to become more involved in organizations.

A lot of things have occurred virtually rather than in person, but we wanted to make sure they still happened because they are truly milestones when joining Greek life. Events such as Bid Day and Big Little Reveal all took place over zoom. These are an important time for members to meet and bond with new members and there was no doubt in our mind that they still needed to happen.

Scenic Oswego

Oswego really does have some of the most beautiful views, from sunsets to walks in the park along the lake, you can never go wrong.

The hike to the lighthouse is a work out, but its worth it. I’d say it took my friends and I about 45 minutes on the rock trail to get out to the lighthouse. It’s really important you go on a nice day since you are going pretty far out into the water and its just you and the rock trail. If you can make it out to the lighthouse and look back at Oswego it is so nice to see the park at a different angle.

From living in Onondaga Hall for my sophomore year, to just spending time on campus and at the lake with friends, I have seen some of the best sunsets in my entire life.

I live about five minutes from Lake Erie when I’m home and have seen plenty of sunsets, but none compare to the views Oswego has given me. How close we are to the lake was definitely something I considered when choosing Oswego because it reminded me of home.

Breitbeck Park and Wright’s Landing also bring great views, especially now in the Fall. These are both great places to go for a walk along the water or around the park itself.

The Flatrocks are also a popular destination along the lake. They are the perfect spot to watch the sunset or just hangout with friends. If you visit Oswego during the summer, or even the beginning of the Fall semester, you should have a lake day and claim your spot on the rocks.

The Harbor Rail Trail is located at the corner of West Utica Street and West First Street. It is a bridge that takes you up and over Oswego River and gives you views of the lighthouse and Lake Ontario.

These are only some of the many places to go and scenic views in Oswego. Having the lake so close gives you so many opportunities to do fun things with your friends and enjoy the outdoors. Places like these will help get you out of the dorms or your house and into fresh air.

Midterms

As a first semester senior I am lucky enough to not have any midterms, but they are super common here at Oswego. Most of my friends are juggling turning in assignments while making sure they take their midterms at the correct time this week. From past experience, the best advice I could have is to not stress about them.

Midterms are a way of testing your knowledge of the class at the half way point of each semester. As a Public Relations major I have only ever experienced midterm exams in elective classes. I tend to be tested by my ability to write a paper and the information inside of it rather than exams.

After realizing the less I stressed about midterms, the better I did, I soon felt more comfortable and prepared for them. I spoke with some of my housemates and they agreed, as long as they laid out a proper amount of study time prior to the midterm, they felt comfortable and confident in taking the exam.

I have always been a terrible test taker and never felt is was an accurate way to judge what information I have absorbed in a class. I have always taken the optional written exams rather than a multiple choice when they are offered. I find writing to be much easier, even though it may take a little longer. If you think you are a better writer and this option is being offered to your class, I really do suggest trying it out.

Midterms tend to come up on everyone pretty quickly, professors included. The most common realization is that it’s already half way through the semester. Especially with the majority of classes online this semester, everything has been flying by. Midterms are a good way to pace yourself for the rest of the semester. Once you get your grade back, you can figure out what you need to look back on and study more for your next exam or final.

I suggest looking at midterms in a positive way to plan out the rest of the semester and to get yourself in the right mindset rather than a hard test that you don’t want to bother studying for.

5 Benefits of Online Classes

The Coronavirus Pandemic has turned the world upside down and we are all living in a time like we have never seen before. For college students, the normal on-campus lifestyle has completely changed. One of the most prominent changes are remote classes. This might put some students in a panic, but taking on online class isn’t always so bad.

  1. Flexible Schedule

Taking an online class means you don’t have to commute to class. If you’re on campus this saves you a walk in the bad weather, if you’re off campus it saves you driving time and gas.

Only some classes have a set Zoom time and even if they do it really doesn’t change much. You can still be sitting on your couch having a cup of coffee and relaxing rather than running around and getting ready in the morning.

For the classes who don’t have a set meeting time, your work revolves around whenever you’re free. If you feel like you get more accomplished at night then you could have a free day and save it until then. Or maybe you’re a morning person and can have all of your assignments done by lunch. Either way, there is a lot more flexibility in your daily schedule.

2. Improve Self-Motivation and Time-Management Skills

Online classes allow you to do a lot of things on your own time. Since you’re out of the classroom, you won’t have a professor to remind you in person when things are due. It’s up to you to keep track of due dates.

You will have to motivate yourself to do the assignments, watch the lectures, and actual absorb the information you’re learning about. Self-motivation and time-management are great life skills and would even look good on a resumé.

3. Change of Environment

When taking classes online, you have the ability to choose the learning environment that fits your needs. It could be your bedroom, your kitchen table, your living room couch, or maybe the library.

This helps you get out of the normal classroom environment. Sometimes the classroom can be dreary or even distracting. Now that you have the choice to decide where you learn, this might help you improve your focus and ability to learn.

4. Improve Technology Skills

If you’re that person who has never been good with technology, online classes will force you out of your comfort zone. You will have to learn how to use various programs and ways to access the materials to your class.

You will learn how to download materials, communicate with others online, and navigate through the lectures and assignments online. These skills may seem like a breeze for some students, but could be out of other students comfort zones. Either way, these skills will come in handy in the future whether it be more online classes or a job.

5. Improve Class Attendance

The ability to attend classes no matter what is a huge benefit to online learning. If you aren’t feeling well you don’t have to worry about the walk across campus to class or the drive in.

You will not fall behind on assignments because you won’t be forced to miss class. You can stay on top of your work while caring for yourself or someone else.

Who says you can’t attend your Zoom meeting from bed? No one. Your own health is so important in times like these and now you can focus on that while getting your work done.

Greek Life Gives Back

I believe the easiest way to describe Greek life at Oswego is that even though we are small compared to most schools, we make a big impact on each other and the community around us.

On the anniversary of 9/11, Kappa Sigma delivered baskets filled with a variety of goods to local first responders. Every Greek organization can agree it is important to give back to the community around us.

The brothers of Sigma Gamma took the time they had in quarantine to repaint their house on one of Oswego’s buisiest main streets. They paired up with the Oswego Renaissance Association and Bullseye Paint to get the project done. The men hope this is a huge step forward for not only their organization, but for the Oswego community.

The brothers also took time in mid April to deliver lunch to the Oswego Hospital to show their appreciation for the medical staff for their handwork in the midst of the pandemic.

Sigma Delta Tau and Sigma Tau Chi get together for a yearly event called, “ΣΔΤ with Sig Tau.” All of the money the organizations raise from selling breakfast food goes directly to the Ronald McDonald House. Even though both organizations host a handful of other philanthropy events, this one is extremely important to them.

Alpha Epsilon Phi hosts a yearly event called “AEPhestival.” Unfortunately this event is held annually in the Fall, and was cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus. All money raised from selling festival foods and raffle tickets is donated to both of the philanthropies.

Even though I only touched on a few of the Greek organizations on campus, there are many more who are so involved in the community and giving back. For me, giving back was a huge priority when joining Greek life and it is something I get so excited to talk about.

After holding the VP Philanthropy position on our executive board for a year I found even more opportunities for my organization to give back and get involved. Greek life gives us all so many opportunities and giving back is one of the ones we all hold close to our hearts.

Why Join A Sorority?

Since joining a sorority on campus in Spring 2018, my college experience has changed completely. My grades have improved, I instantly became more organized and motivated, I met so many new faces and most importantly have created so many lifelong friendships.

Spring 2020 Recruitment

After talking with my housemates and some of my closest friends, I came up with a list of why you should join a sorority based on our experiences in an organization here at Oswego. We are all sisters of Alpha Epsilon Phi, but have many friends and housemates in other Panhellenic sororities on campus.

Networking

Before heading to college my parents always told me how important it would be to make strong connections during my four years at Oswego. Little did I know, some of my strongest connections would be from people I met in Greek life.

The connections gained through your organization can have great long term benefits. Greek life has helped not only myself, but so many others when looking for internships and employment.

My organization has had countless alumni reach out looking to hire interns or to help out a sister trying to find an entry level position. I feel as if the connections I have made in Greek life are extremely valuable, especially in the professional world.

Academic Assistance

The general stereotype of Greek life is that we all have bad grades from being focused on social events. To be honest, that couldn’t be more wrong.

Since becoming a sister, I have been able to meet so many girls with the same major and same classes that have been able to help and guide me through my time here at Oswego. Older sisters have always been able to give me advice on which classes to take and who the best professors are to go to for help.

I’m sure anyone in Greek life can agree, you know someone in every class. This comes in handy when there is a big group project, presentation, or paper. You already feel more comfortable knowing at least one person in the class to pair up with.

Most sororities also have a minimum GPA requirement. This keeps members on track and focused to be the best they can be academically.

We also strive to keep each other on track and organized. I live with four other girls who are in my sorority, we are always motivating each other to get out of bed and do something. We always go to the library together, hangout in the living room to focus on schoolwork, or even just sitting down at the kitchen table for a few hours to plan our week ahead.

Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities

Since joining AEPhi, I have held a handful of postions, including two on our executive board. Im currently serving as our Chapter President, but I’ve held other positions such as VP Philanthropy, Social Media chair and Arts & PR.

AEPhi’s Biggest Philanthropy Event: AEPhestival Fall 2019

Not only have these positions helped me grow as a student, but they’ve also helped me build my resumé. I’ve sat in multiple interviews where the first thing they ask is something about what I do for my sorority. Luckily, Greek life gives you so many opportunities to stand out and get involved.

Joining a sorority has allowed me to give back to the community around us and our national philanthropies. We have also paired up with other fraternities and sororities to raise money for both of our philanthropies. This helps draw a bigger crowd and more involvement in the event.

Lifelong Friendships

As cheesy as it sounds, AEPhi has helped make Oswego my home away from home. I always have a sister I can go to for any advice I need or problem I may have. They are truly my biggest support system and I’m not sure I could have made it four years away from home without these girls.

Joining a sorority has allowed me to meet so many people with the same interests and values. Even after girls graduate, we all still stay in touch. Our friendships are so strong while we are on campus, it’s not something you can drop and forget about after graduation.

Fall 2019 Recruitment

All sororities have something unique to offer you, and joining one will help you grow as a member of the Oswego community. Becoming a member of a sorority will add a new dimension of leadership, academic involvement, and fun to your time at college.

Virtual Sorority Recruitment

The five national Panhellenic sororities on campus are currently full swing in virtual Fall recruitment. We all knew this semester was going to be one for the books, and nothing we have ever experienced before, but I definitely didn’t prepare myself for two weeks of Zoom recruitment.

Don’t get me wrong, I love talking to and meeting new girls. This semester gives us all a different feeling in a Zoom meeting rather than setting up our in person recruitment rooms in Campus Center. Face-to-face recruitment gives both sisters and potential new members a different sense of comfort.

When I went through in person recruitment, I was able to scan the room and see a lot of faces, excitement, and so many pictures of sisters and memories they had made in their time with their sorority.

Virtual recruitment has basically been an interview of why we picked our sorority and what it means to us. The meetings usually last about an hour or less and everyone is trying to get to know each other as much as possible in the time we have.

In person recruitment is usually an entire weekend and about 5-6 hours a day. Although the hour we have to meet each other isn’t a lot, it is better than nothing at all and we were so excited to meet all of the new faces.

Virtual recruitment has been so important to both the sororities and potential new members because we want to keep growing our organizations and people want to get more involved.

This was the safest way to recruit and get girls involved. We were so excited to have this opportunuity and can’t wait to bring a new class of girls into our sorority.