Of Family and Funny: The Story of SJU Improv

By: Justin C. Russell

How do you see your foundation when the top of the building crumbles? How do you feel pride when faced with disappointment and embarrassment? How do you remember the laughs when surrounded by silence?

It was a chilly January morning when the SJU Improv team was voted out in the first round of the National College Improv Tournament in Philadelphia. In a Shake Shack on Sansom Street, the rowdy group of performers ranging from sorority girls to Division 1 Athletes, sat reading the judges’ critiques.

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Community Service: Helping the Community or Helping You?

There’s art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy…what about community service therapy?

 

One of the biggest characteristics about Saint Joe’s that set it apart from my previous university are all of its amazing community service opportunities. At my old school, any sort of service program was done primarily through Greek life, and if you were very non-Greeky like myself, then you would not be able to participate.

 

Being Jesuit, SJU promotes the help of others. This is done through multiple programs such as APEX, Collegiate Challenge, Weekly Service, and a variety of service learning courses.

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PSIP: The Start of Something New

Philadelphia Service Immersion Program or PSIP is a four day experience prior to move-in freshman year. The program allowed me to become acquainted with Saint Joseph’s community as well as the “City of Brotherly Love.”

After I received my acceptance letter and sent in my deposit to Saint Joseph’s, I was eager to get on campus as soon as possible. When I received an email about the Philadelphia Service Immersion Program, I was given the opportunity to move in a few days prior to everyone else.

There were around 100 freshmen that participated in the program.

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“You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.”

– The Beatles, ‘Two of Us’

APEX has just recently come to an end. After spending my spring break doing service work in Hazard, Kentucky, I set foot once again on St. Joe’s campus this past Saturday evening. I was exhausted (I still am) after getting around a collective 20 hours of sleep during the weeklong trip. My muscles were sore from tearing up boards, hammering nails, swinging a sledgehammer, and crawling under a house to fix leaky pipes. I spent my break physically drained, hyped up on coffee and sugary cereal.

And it was one of the best weeks,

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PSA: Requesting Club Funds

This past weekend I traveled to New York City with seven fellow students to attend the Intercollegiate Broadcasting Systems (IBS) Radio Conference. We spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the city attending informational sessions and talks about web design, marketing brand, managing large staffs, and programming. During the mornings and evenings we explored the city, taking in the sites. We visited famous landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Times Square, the Stardust Diner, and 30 Rockefeller Center.

It was an amazing educational experience and we learned a lot of applicable concepts to help improve our campus radio station,

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“Lookin’ for a home in the heart of the country.”

– Paul McCartney, ‘Heart of the Country’

Spring break is only five days away. Last year at this time, I was thrilled over the idea of heading home, hanging out with my family, indulging in home-cooked meals, sleeping for outrageous spans of time, and watching every movie I could think of starring Jeff Goldblum.

This time last year, I was also envious of my freshman classmates who were zealously planning and packing to go on APEX. For those who don’t know, APEX is a common abbreviation for the Appalachian Experience, a program that allows St. Joe’s students to volunteer in the Appalachian region during spring break.

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The Maine act

“And now…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…THE MAINE!” The crowd goes wild!  “Heeeellllooo Philadelphia!”

First they hear the drums, then the bass, the guitar, and the vocals. After the first beat, everyone in the room can tell it is going to be a night they won’t forget.

Saint Joseph’s University offers a lot of really amazing activities, which are advertised during the annual club fair in the fall. The Student Union Board (SUB) plans and executes events for all undergraduate students attending St. Joe’s and I am lucky enough to be a part of the Executive Board during my freshman year!  

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My Favorite Club on Campus

Saint Joseph’s University is known as a stellar institution of higher learning, providing students with a well-rounded education. But, what is there to do outside of obtaining an education? The number one answer from students is to join a club or organization. Hawk Hill provides hundreds of opportunities to get involved.

Many of my friends ask me, “What clubs or organizations are you involved in?” For me the answer is easy, Radio 1851.

The station began in 1922 as WSJR. We were the first college radio station to broadcast on AM, and later to move to FM in the 1980s.

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