Urgo Asks Governor for Additional Grant to Aid Affordability

President Joseph Urgo and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Molly Mahoney Matthews, are asking Governor O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly for an additional $5 million a year to improve affordability and increase access to St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

The College receives a block grant each year from the State of Maryland, currently in the amount of $17.5 million dollars. According to Vice President of Business and Finance, Tom Botzman, the block grant began as a deal with the state for a steady funding stream. Though the College tried to get the block grant tied to the cost of higher education, the original legislation tied the grant only to the rate of inflation.

“No one could have predicted what would happen to the cost of higher education,” said Urgo. According to the National Center for Education Statistics website, the cost of college nearly doubled in the last 15 years. “If our block grant was tied to the cost of higher education, we would be fine. [The additional $5 million] is really an adjustment to make up for the rising cost of high education,” said Urgo.

Conversations about the College’s proposed increase began during the last spring when Urgo testified in a legislative session before the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate Budget Committees: “The main issue I discussed with legislators was affordability.” Urgo told legislators, “there is a small percentage of people who want to do [liberal arts] work and when we lose one we lose a potential leader. We need those leaders.”

Following Urgo’s testimony, “the Budget Committee Chairs asked, ‘what can we do?’ Which is really a testimony to [Urgo’s] leadership. He made this a keynote issue,” according to Botzman.

The College’s response came in the form of a 20 page report due out on Sept. 1, pending the approval of the Governor’s office. A spokeswoman for the Governor said the report is currently being reviewed and could not comment on the Governor’s reaction or intentions until later in the budget process.

For the proposed increase to move forward, O’Malley must include the additional money in the budget he submits to the General Assembly in January.

Urgo and Matthews scheduled a meeting with O’Malley for Tuesday, Aug. 30 to discuss the report and increased funding. According to the Governor’s Office, O’Malley rescheduled the meeting to tour St. Mary’s County inspecting damage from Hurricane Irene.

The proposal is still in the early stages, according to Botzman, and it is too soon to tell if the proposal will be warmly received by the Governor and General Assembly. “We will know more after the special legislative session [on redistricting] in October,” said Botzman.

If the College receives the $5 million increase, the total block grant will increase to $23.5 million for next fiscal year. According to Urgo, the College would spend $2 million on reducing tuition, $2 million on increasing financial aid and $1 million on expanding the DeSousa Brent Scholarship to a four year program.

“We have one of the highest graduation rates in the state and one of the highest graduation rates for non-majority students,” said Urgo. He added St. Mary’s also has a nearly equal graduation rate between majority and non-majority students, a struggle for most colleges and universities. “The college is a success story for the state. Twenty years after the original deal, we are asking the state to recommit to the College.”

Urgo added that the University of Maryland system, of which St. Mary’s is not a part despite being a state-funded college, received money from the state in the last few years to help keep tuition low. St. Mary’s did not receive that money. “We are asking for the money we did not get,” said Urgo. With the additional money, Botzman said St. Mary’s could roll back the tuition increases from the last few years, bringing St. Mary’s tuition more inline with the University of Maryland system.

If the College does not receive the $5 million increase, Urgo said rolling back tuition increases would be difficult. Without the increase, the College will rely primarily on private fundraising to keep tuition from increasing.

The College is in the initial stage of a long-term fundraising effort to increase revenue to the College’s scholarship funds. The Office of Advancement is currently assessing the current donor base’s capacity, according to Urgo. Once assessed, Advancement will spend several years “quietly” soliciting donations before going public around 2015 with the fundraising campaign.

“The increased grant is really aimed at making St. Mary’s more affordable for all Maryland residents, strengthening the way we support students and improving the necessary supports all students need to succeed,” said Botzman.

The report from the College of the Governor and Budget Committee Report Chairs was not released in time for publication; visit thepointnews.com for the latest information.

Hurricane Irene Hits St. Mary's

This past weekend Maryland experienced Hurricane Irene in the middle of St. Mary’s Orientation. The torrential downpour and 75 mph winds delayed orientation activities and move-in for returning students. Irene’s main destruction hit Saturday night, forcing the school to push back move in day until Aug. 29 and the first day of classes to Aug. 30. To accommodate first day delay, classes will be held on Labor Day.

During the storm the school had many students for whom they were responsible, not only first-year students who were on campus for orientation but also early returners.  The College dealt with the hurricane by utilizing the Emergency Response Team chaired by Laura Bayless, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. The team plans for emergencies and maintains a before, during, and after response protocol. “Seventy two, 48, 24, 12 hours before the event…what are you doing? What about during and after?,” said Bayless. The Emergency Response team includes the Director of Public Safety; Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life; the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs; the Health and Safety officer; the Assistant Vice President of Campus Operations; a representative from CTSS and Public Relations; the Assistant Vice President of Grounds; the Director of Bon-Appetit; Kelly Schroeder; and the Vice President for Planning Facilities. The President’s Cabinet also aided in developing the Emergency Response Plan.

In the case of Hurricane Irene, the plan was to keep the students who were on campus as safe as possible. Students were required to check in to their Resident Assistants (RAs) Saturday between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., and during this time they received food and water. At 7:00 p.m. a mandatory lock down took place during which students were to remain inside their residences from 7:00 p.m. Saturday until 3 p.m. Sunday. The college kept students, parents, and staff alerted to the hurricane precautions via e-mail, a policy which worked well until the power went down around 5 p.m. on Saturday.

While most students waited out the storm in their residences, Professional Staff, Maintenance Staff, Public Safety Staff and Residence Life staff worked around the clock to keep students safe and comfortable. “Professional Staff gave each Residence Hall Coordinator (RHC) a mountain of paperwork-fliers to post around the residence halls, roster to sign students in, and copies of the College’s hurricane protocol. The RAs headed by the RHC took attendance of everyone in the building including the “refugees” from the evacuated Calvert Hall and elsewhere on campus,” said Jon Swain, RHC for Dorchester Hall.

Not only did the RAs and RHCs check in students and hand out food but they were also responsible for keeping a nightly fire watch when the campus lost power and the residence halls lost battery backup to the smoke detector system. “The RAs and RHCs were responsible for conducting firewatch rounds every fifteen minutes from Saturday evening until Monday morning when the power returned to normal. This meant that the RAs got very little sleep for those two nights, as they were responsible for standing fire watch shifts 24 hours a day,” said Swain.

RAs and RHCs were not the only personnel getting very little sleep and maintaining nightly rounds. Maintenance staff and Housekeeping staff were also on duty for over 24 hours. They cleaned up spills, fixed leaks and help keep water damage at an absolute minimum. “Many of these people were working all night, and well into the next day. They deserve our utmost praise for their hard work during the weekend and all hours of the night,” said Swain.

After the storm passed through St. Mary’s the College had to deal with the aftermath of the storm, aftermath that was not as bad as some parts of the county but which still left a mess to be cleaned before the first day of classes. The traditional residence halls were without power for a day after North Campus and Queen Anne came back online. This left the RAs and RHCs in these halls to deal with hundreds of concerned students, many of whom were first-year students. This lead to many North Campus RAs and RHCs  coming to the aid of their co-workers and friends. “The Office of Residence Life takes pride in the “safety net” of friends it produces in its Residence Assistants and Residence Hall Coordinators. Even RAs who may not know each other still reached out a helping hand,” said Swain.

The damage done to the school’s structure was slight and a majority of the problems were dealt with quickly. “We are very pleased it was less severe than it might have been,” said Associate Vice President of Planning Facilities, Chip Jackson. “Physical plant, grounds, students, and faculty responded in a tremendous way. We had staff stay the night through the hurricane to make sure facilities were taken care of.”

“We have had rooms [flooded and] fallen trees and lamp poles. There is still data being collected on all the issues caused by the storm. I am confident damage to student  housing and academic spaces are being dealt with,” said Jackson.

Summer Sees Staff Changes

Last year during a President’s Council meeting, it was proposed that the positions of Assistant Director of Student Activites and the Judicial Affairs officer should be two different positions instead of a joint position held by one person.

Before this decision, Clint Neill held both positions; now he has decided to retain the position of Assistant Director of Student Activites so that he can better focus on the needs of the students and not be split between two positions. “It was too much for one person, ” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Laura Bayless. “We were only able to do the most basic things.”

However, now that the positions have been split, each director can focus more heavily on his or her specific field. Neill now has the time to focus more fully on campus-wide programming such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer programming, civility involvement, and leadership development.

Taking over Judicial Affairs will be Regina Curran J.D. Curran worked at Coastal Carolina University and obtained a Juris Doctorate in Public Law from Roger Williams University.

Dean of Students Laura Bayless was recently promoted to Vice President for Student Affairs, a position formerly held by Mark Heidrich and Mike Freeman. Bayless was awarded the position by President Joe Urgo after she took on extra responsibilities last year. She will be building on her responsibilities from last year.

A new Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty was named this fall. Beth Rushing was named via the Board of Trustees and began her position on July 1. Rushing was found from Isaacson Miller, a search firm employed by the college. “The search committee did a great job of putting material together to help candidates understand the nature of the job and the particular strengths of St. Mary’s,” said Rushing. “When I left my campus visit, I knew that this was the place I wanted to be, and I was thrilled when President Urgo called to offer me the job.”  She was previously at Washington State College. In a press release Rushing stated, “For many years I have admired the public honors college mission at St. Mary’s. Liberal arts institutions are unique in their holistic focus on students. They create the conditions for students to expand their skills and knowledge and deepen their understandings of themselves as citizens and stewards of the world. St. Mary’s fosters this through close student-faculty interactions and an amazing array of co-curricular opportunities for students.” Rushing plans to spend some time this year listening to what the campus community has to say and use these conversations to guide her in the upcoming years. “The results of this conversation will be a set of strategic priorities that we can all agree upon, and that will guide our work for the next several years,” said Rushing. So far Rushing says she has been “extremely impressed,” by a warm and welcoming community here at St. Mary’s. “I’m looking forward to learning how to sail, to attending our theater and music performances, to cheering our athletic teams, to classroom visits and crepes in the Great Room,” she said. Her email is brushing@smcm.edu and she is also available on Facebook.

Ciji Tidwell, formerly the Area Coordinator for International Support Studies has left the college. According to Kelly Smolinsky, Tidwell left to be with her fiance and the search for her replacement is underway.

Sharon Murray, formerly the Administrative Specialist to the Dean of Students has retired from her position at St. Mary’s. According to Bayless, Murray is enjoying her retirement by reading on her Nook, cake-baking, and making band camp uniforms for Leonardtown High School.  “She loved her job, but could retire, and so she did,” said Bayless. Murray’s position has been replaced by Lisa Youngborg.

George Waggoner, former Director of Campus Technology Support Services, has retired from his post this summer. Tom Botzman, Vice President for Business and Finance, said that Waggoner “tried to do what is best for the students and facilities but he [also] tried to do what was best in his heart and I hope that I can say that about anyone who can retire.” Currently, Michael Gass is serving as interim Director of Campus Technology Support Services. Under Gross, IT will be looking to address services that are redundant in the system and upgrading Blackboard.

Another change in the Technology Support Services Office was the departure of Erik Horton, Web Programmer and Development Specialist. Horton left to accept a position as a Network Engineer for CSC. He accepted this position, he said, because it was “[his goal] to make [his] way out of a web development field and into more of a networking role.” Horton also stated that the abrupt departure of his former boss David Emerick contributed to his sudden depature, although he states “my interest in a different field has always been there.”

Correction: As originally published, Clint Neill’s name was spelled with one ‘L’.

Public Safety to Become Commissioned Police Officers

Correction: Sgt. Brooks does not and will not carry a firearm as originally published.

All ten Public Safety officers and Interim Director of Public Safety, Dave Zylak, are currently in the process of obtaining official police commissions from the state of Maryland.

The move comes after conversations between Zylak and Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Laura Bayless. “After talking with [former Director of Public Safety] Santiago and now Zylak, [getting the commissions] made sense. It is really about getting [the officers] the training and certifications they need,” said Bayless.

The new commissions will give Public Safety Officers “the authority to enforce Maryland law on campus property and property they agree to protect,” said Zylak.

According to Zylak, currently only Sgt. Tony Brooks is a commissioned police officer. All other officers have no legal authority from the state. The officers do have “the authority to enforce the rules and regulations of the College as granted by the Board of Trustees and the Campus Regulation Act,” said Zylak.

According to the Public Safety website, “Officers, with exception, have no authority to arrest any person other than that authority deemed appropriate for any citizen. Arrest includes the temporary or permanent detainment of a person against his or her will.” Once commissioned police officers, Public Safety will have the authority to detain and arrest citizens for violations of Maryland law.

The new authority does not include the use of firearms and, according to Zylak, Public Saftey will continue to not carry firearms.

Both Bayless and Zylak said the change does not reflect a broader change in the direction or vision of Public Safety.

“Ninety nine percent of violations are and will continue to be handled through the Judicial Board on campus. We understand [students] are here for a learning experience and we are not trying to ruin anyone’s life,” said Zylak. “[The commissions] are really for the other one percent [of incidences]. For instance, if someone puts their hands on an officer, attacks an officer, they should be arrested,” Zylak added.

Though a police commission in the Maryland comes with new authority, it does not come with new training. According to Zylak, the process includes an application and background check with the local State Police barracks but does not include additional training. The commissions must be renewed every two years.

Regardless of state requirements, Zylak says officers receive “18-24 hours a year of in-service training.” The officers also just returned from a week-long college-specific basic training course in Anne Arundel County earlier this summer. “I wanted to get everyone the same training at the same time,” said Zylak.

Zylak said students should not change the way they interact with Public Safety. “I tell my officers to treat others the way they would like to be treated, with respect,” said Zylak, adding students should treat officers the same way.

College Implements Blackboard 9 Trial Run

This Fall St. Mary’s will be piloting a new Blackboard program, Blackboard 9, which will eventually become the Blackboard site used by the entire campus.

The reason that the school will be upgrading their Blackboard system is that the school’s contract with the previous/current system manager expired this past May. “[The expiring of our contract] requires that we create an evaluation and look at our options on continuing afterwards,” said Learning Technology Support Coordinator, Jennifer Wright, “We could possibly have continued with the system that we have but that would not be the system that was going to be supported in the future.” When the older Blackboard edition expired the campus saw this as an opportunity to look into upgrading their system. “The new version has a great deal more features and a lot of advantages over the old system,” said Wright.

The campus will not just be thrown out to deal with the new program – a pilot trial is in place which will allow certain classrooms to utilize the program before it becomes campus-wide. The piolt program is not the only way for faculty to become familiarized with the program. “There are various options for various ways of accessing training throughout this semester and the upcoming semester to make sure that anyone who is using the system has the availability of support in terms of developing a course and then continued support during ongoing courses,” said Wright.

What are the differences in Blackboard 9? There are a variety of features such as blogs, wikis, and journals in the system and there are different grading options. The reason for the change is to adapt the software to the college and making it work efficiently for the classes. By spring 2012 Blackboard 9 will the the only system the college uses.

News in Brief: The Pub Opens

Because of the success of the pilot program last spring semester, the Pub’s late night food option will officially open for business Thursday, September 1. Though only food will be served at its opening, the Pub will begin serving alcohol a week later on Thursday, September 8.

Over the summer, staff worked to create a sporty atmosphere to the aptly named Pub, with new furniture, walls, and paneling; the intention was to eliminate the “LQ Rec Room” feel and replace it with the ambience of a typical pub. A bar was also built – the front is paneled with barn wood and the top is made from a tree that fell in front of Calvert, according to Bon Appetit Director of Operations Dave Sansotta, and a photo of the tree will be displayed prominently.

Along with the renovations, the menu for the Pub has also been altered. Now, the Pub will also serve burgers, fries, chicken wings as well as healthier options like a garden salad with a choice for chicken, pita and hummus, and deserts like cookies and brownies. The whole menu hasn’t been revamped, though, Sansotta said. “We kept the burritos; that was a big thing,” he added.

The alcohol options have expanded, too: two taps have been installed and National Bohemian will definitely flow from one. The other is currently up in the air but according to Sansotta, will probably have Coors Light or Bud Light. The Pub will still have bottles of beer, and while the brands haven’t been finalized, Samuel Adams Octoberfest is an almost certain option. In addition to beer, the Pub will serve a white and a red wine and a non-alcoholic beer, most likely O’Douls.

With the expansion of the Pub, the organization of the Grab and Go has changed, with the meals being made and packaged for students (as opposed to going into the kitchen and grabbing your own food). The menu isn’t likely to change though, nor are the hours.

Food and alcohol still cannot be purchased at the Pub with blocks or flex; only debit and cash can be used. The Pub is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 5:00 PM until 10:00 PM and late night food will be open from 5:00 PM until 2:00 AM.

What New Students Should Know About Public Safety

I think the 5 most important things new students should know are:

  1. Public Safety will be taking a hard stance on alcohol related offenses, drug offenses, and sexual misconduct.
  2. All students bringing bicycles this year will be required to have their bikes engraved (and please lock your bike when it’s left unattended).
  3. If you have a late or very early class and have to travel through some of the more remote areas of campus, you should walk with a friend or a group of friends. If that’s not possible and you are uncomfortable walking alone, please call Public Safety for an escort.
  4. If you have a car on campus, keep it locked and don’t leave valuables in the vehicle.
  5. When you leave your room, lock your door, take your key with you, and don’t lend your key out to anyone.

New students should know that our campus is generally a safe campus but they should use some common sense rules of safety, such as traveling in pairs, locking doors, not giving out PINs or passwords, and always being aware of their surroundings.

If you’re under 21 it is against the law to possess and/or consume alcoholic beverages. If you’re over 21, it is against the law to give anyone under 21 alcohol.

New students should know that parking passes are issued for a particular parking lot and they should only park in the lot for which the sticker is valid.

I always expect the Public Safety Officers to treat everyone the way they would like to be treated and I think students should live by that same rule. The officers are tasked with enforcing the rules of the College and the laws of the state and they are sometimes seen as the “bad guy,” but they deserve the same respect they give.

The Top Five Things Professors Think New Students Should Know

To most students here at St. Mary’s, this week is just the beginning of another year of classes, but to some, this is the first week ever of college level classes.  For the benefit of those new students, numerous professors from across the campus were interviewed via email about the top five things they think new students should know as they embark upon their first year here at St. Mary’s.

Surprisingly, the lists submitted from professors across all different disciplines were very similar.  The following is a compilation of the top five most common pieces of advice.

 

1.  Take advantage of office hours, ask questions, and be respectful.

The concept of office hours may be brand new to many first-year students.  Office hours are a scheduled time when a professor is required to be in his or her office to receive any and all questions from students that may not have been covered during class.  Leah Eller, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, says, “Don’t be shy about approaching your professors … The professor is your conduit to understanding, so go talk to them.”  Samantha Elliott, Assistant Professor of Biology, agrees, saying that professors are “here because we like to teach and interact with students.”

It is also important to ask questions as soon as something seems unclear.  “To those who don’t feel like they know what they should be doing or what their professors expect of them, they should ask questions. Don’t try to feel your way in the dark. If you don’t understand ask questions until you do,” says Charles Musgrove, Assistant Professor of History. Lois Stover, Professor of Education, says, “As soon as things start to fall apart, get in touch.”

A way to really show respect to all professors is to address them properly.  “Don’t call your female professors ‘Mrs.’ unless they ask you to do so. Use ‘Prof.’ or ‘Dr,’” says Joanna Bartow, Associate Professor of Spanish.  While some professors are fine with students addressing them by first name, it is important to receive permission to do this before making any assumptions.

 

2.  Read the syllabus, get organized, and don’t procrastinate.

One way that college is different from many high school classes is that homework may not necessarily be explicitly assigned at each lecture, but instead may be pre-scheduled on the syllabus. “I can’t emphasize the importance of the syllabus enough.  And reading the syllabus,” Eller says.  A syllabus can outline anything from homework assignments to class policies.  The location of a professor’s office will be on the syllabus, along with the schedule of their office hours.

Making a calendar and keeping everything organized is a great way to stay on top of things and to also stay stress-free.  “Make time for schoolwork.  If your brain works best in the morning, set aside that time for work.  If you’re most productive at night, block out a couple hours then for reading/homework.  It can really help to know that a certain time every day is devoted to being productive,” says Scott Mirabile, Assistant Professor of Psychology.

“Get a planning calendar at the beginning of the semester and enter all due dates from all your syllabi on that. Use color-coding for exams, homework, and research papers,” says Linda Hall, Professor of History.  Having all coursework recorded in one place is a great way to make sure that important assignments are not forgotten.

Reading the syllabus can also provide students with a way to get ahead on homework and project assignments.  It is especially important not to procrastinate.  Christine Adams, Professor of History, says, “If possible, get ahead on your reading and homework.  You will not be less busy later in the semester.”

 

3.  Be open to different kinds of people and new subjects.

Coming to a liberal arts college gives students the rare chance to take lots of different classes and learn about things that are outside of their major.  “College is a unique opportunity for personal growth.  Be open to new ideas and experiences,” says Elliott.

The core curriculum at St. Mary’s requires that students take classes across many different content areas, a few of which may be outside the interest areas of some students.  For example, some students dislike math or natural science, and dread going to these sorts of classes.  As a way to get through these, Bartow says to “maintain your interest, and a positive attitude, by thinking about how that class’s information or methodology connects with things you already like.”

“Go out of your way to meet people who are different from you. You’ve left your familiar environment, so take advantage to meet new people and do new things,” says Bartow.  St. Mary’s is a place full of diversity and different schools of thought, so be open to all these things. “Fitting in is overrated. Stop trying,” says David Kung, Associate Professor of Mathematics.

 

4. Get involved around campus.

It is important to get involved in extracurricular activities on campus, but it is even more important to find a balance between these activities and academics.  It may be tempting to join every club that seems interesting, but it is important to remember that there is only so much time in a day.  “Be a joiner,” says Matthew Fehrs, Assistant Professor of Political Science, “Studies repeatedly link participation in such groups with better grades and a more enjoyable college experience.”

As a way to stay organized and only choose a manageable number of activities, Elliott advises picking “one or two extracurricular activities that you are particularly passionate about and concentrate on those.”

Extracurricular activities are not only about enhancing one’s resumé, they are also about “building people skills, team-work skills, and leadership skills.  Joining a club, team, or other organization can be a gateway into an awesome group of friends, can expose you to new interests and possible career options, and can help you grow as a person,” says Mirabile.

Another way to gain people skills is to make sure to stay present during all activities, both academic and extra-curricular. “Put down the cell phone and stop texting once in a while. Be friendly and interact with people around you,” says Bartow.

 

5.  Work hard and embrace challenges.

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure can be one of the greatest inspirations in your life. Be afraid of giving up,” says Alan Jamieson, Assistant Professor of Computer Science.  College level academics may seem daunting at first, but it is important not to feel intimidated by them.  “High school was easy for most of the students here, but no one expects college to be,” says Eller.

Every class will be different.  Some subjects may feel easier than others, and some may feel impossible.  Different levels of work may be required for different kinds of classes, and professors may have varying expectations for their students.  “There is no formula for how much you need to study—it depends on the class and the individual.  But, you often get out of a class what you put into it,” says Elliott.

As a class progresses, material tends to build on itself, becoming more difficult and complicated.  Andrew Koch, Associate Professor of Chemistry, says, “Start studying while the material is still easy.  It makes the transition into the harder stuff easier.”

 

On top of all these things, it is also important to remember that college is a time to make new friends and have fun.  “College is a wholly unique experience in a person’s life, an experience that one cannot fully appreciate until it’s over,” says Mirabile.  Though it is essential to schedule time for extracurricular activities and all the homework assignments found on the syllabus, it is also important to make time to relax and have fun. Jamieson says, “Enjoy your college years. It’ll be one of the times in your life when you’re the most free.”  Mirabile agrees, saying, “Make time for fun!  College is, by far, the most fun you’ll ever have in 4 years… until you retire.”

Governor's Cup Sails Forward Successfully

On the first weekend of August, St. Mary’s College of Maryland welcomed students, faculty, staff, and guests from all over onto the banks of the waterfront in order to watch or complete the annual Governor’s Cup Yacht Race.

This year, a total of 155 registered boats, a ten-year high, participated in the race, which started in Annapolis on Friday, Aug. 5 and ended on the St. Mary’s River. The finish line ran between Church Point and the 17th century replica of the Maryland Dove, which sat out in the middle of the river starting Friday evening through the weekend.

In order to improve race participation for this 38th season, a Cruising class was implemented in order to allow those who did not wish to be particularly competitive to take part in the race. The informal classes had a start time from Annapolis of 3 P.M. while the competitive classes left exactly three hours later. This way most boats would still arrive at the finish line around the same time.

Live GPS tracking was displayed online for everyone on shore to track friends and family, or to keep up with the entire race. Those that waited on the banks of the St. Mary’s River enjoyed a weekend full of swimming, music, vendors, and sun.

“The race ran beautifully,” said Senior and Governor’s Cup intern Mark Snyder. “Really everything ran according to plan and even the weather cooperated.”

Every boat in the race was placed in separate groupings, and the rankings were split into their respective categories. Each of the seventeen divisions had its own champion, which was not decided by the time at which they crossed the finish line, but by their time based on their handicap.

One overall winner was also awarded the Joseph Waldschmidt Best in Fleet Trophy, while the Bickell Award was given to the skipper and crew that best improved their time from the previous year. Approximately twenty-eight boats competing did not finish the race.

Last year the Governor’s Cup was known for having lost $20,000 instead of gaining any revenue from the event. This year, some changes were made in order to save more money, which helped the event break even.

“We eliminated a dinner that cost the college about $9,000,” said Associate Vice President of Planning and Facilities Charles “Chip” Jackson. “More food vendors were brought in to replace the dinner. We also increased a number of fees: race registration was increased from $75 to $100 and we increased the cost for overnight housing.”

While rumors had been previously flying that the 2011 Governor’s Cup could be the last, due to monetary issues, Jackson is confident that St. Mary’s College will be keeping the annual race in future years and that fixing a few of the financial details for this year were crucial.

Whether participants in the 38th Annual Governor’s Cup Yacht Race spent their time sailing from the new Maryland capitol of Annapolis, or spent the weekend soaking up the sun, music, and fun at Maryland’s old capital of St. Mary’s City, all parties seemed pleased with the event.

“It was a lot of fun and was relaxing to come back down to school for a weekend in the summer,” said Sophomore Tira Valkanas. “I got to see friends that I haven’t seen in a while and it was awesome watching all of the boats sail in.”

Spring Sports Reflection

While it may be hard to find time in a busy school schedule for other things, the beginning of the school year promises to have lots of events for students to participate in. And while you might find yourself going to hear guest lecturers, seeing plays with friends, or hanging out at the waterfront, there will also be plenty of sports to go to (schedule provided in this issue) throughout the fall semester. However, before looking forward to the games of the coming season, here is a brief reflection of last semester’s spring sports.

The Baseball team, coached by Lew Jenkins, finished 4th in their conference with 19 wins and 16 losses. Two of their Infielders, Corey Napier and Matt Baden, earned Second Team Honors at the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) All-Conference Baseball Teams. The baseball team was knocked out of the CAC tournament after losing to Salisbury 6-5 after 12 innings. The team won it’s last conference game against Randolph-Macon with a score of 9 runs to 8.

Both Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse, coached by Chris Hasbrouck and Lisa Valentine respectively, ended their seasons in 5th Place. The Men’s team had 6 wins and 9 losses, while the women’s team had 12 wins and 6 losses. In their final game, Men’s Lacrosse lost To Stevenson, who ended up being the conference champions, with a score of 16-7. Three players from the men’s team became part of all conference teams, while 4 players from the women’s team were named to all conference teams. The women’s team won their last game 16-12 against Christopher Newport University.

Men’s and Women’s Tennis, both coached by Derek Sabedra, finished in fourth place in their respective conferences as well as were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Teams. Student Athletes Andrew Gear, Jay Guzzone, and Arvin Wong played for All Conference teams with Gear playing singles for the first team. Guzzone and Wong both played for the second team, with Guzzone playing singles and Wong playing doubles. The Men’s Tennis Team played it’s last conference game against Lancaster Bible College, winning 9-0. The Women’s Tennis team won its last match against Hood College 6-2, and senior Kathleen Ramsey became the tennis program’s leader in total singles wins.

It may feel odd when a season ends, but before you know it Spring will be back with all the same sports. And even though it sad when seniors leave, there are always new students that change the way a team works. This allows for change from season to season and makes the competition more interesting. Feel free to try out for teams for next semester if you want to play.