What’s Up with the 154’s: All About the SJU Big 3 Courses

Students at Saint Joseph’s are all required to take three special courses that are signature to the university. They are Theology 154: Faith, Justice, and the Catholic Tradition; Philosophy 154: Moral Foundations; and History 154: Forging the Modern World. Even though all students take these courses, few know why they have these special number assignments. So why are these GEP signature courses all 154? The answer is that Pope Paul III approved Ignatius’s plan of organization for the Society of Jesus in 1540, and because these courses are apart of the SJU Jesuit education, they are called 154’s.

Let’s tackle these mysterious courses one by one.


School Pride: the Door-Holding Edition

The time has come for another edition of school pride! Last time I talked about the awesome professors on campus. This time I’m going to comment on the totally weird, but ridiculously cool, door-holding culture we have at SJU.

Haven’t noticed it yet? Don’t worry, you will.

Everyone on campus, students and faculty included, seems to have an unspoken agreement to hold the door open for the person behind them. Yes, it’s a pleasant little action of goodwill but it is fairly notable. But, believe it or not, not everyone in the world will hold the door open for a stranger who is several feet behind them when they don’t have to! 


Manayunk Mayhem

There is a quaint little town in Philadelphia, which is known here at SJU as the place where all the upperclassmen live. This eclectic up and coming neighborhood positioned near the Schuylkill River is Manayunk. There are a number of amazing things to do here, and with its close proximity to campus it makes for the perfect weekend getaway.


What is so great about Manayunk is the convenient location, the great events that are put on, and the new shops that are always opening up, but this town wasn’t always as popular as it is today.


There’s No Place like Home!

What does it mean when you go home and it doesn’t feel like home? Obviously, it’s your home, but it doesn’t feel right. Maybe you felt the same way. Maybe your home didn’t feel the same and you can’t figure out why. When you’ve been at college for a month and the only thing that got you through midterms week was knowing that you would be back home for a few days to unwind, eat some home cooking and procrastinate doing the work that was assigned during break until Tuesday night. What happens when you walk into your bedroom and you don’t recognize it?


Midterm Grades

So by now everyone has gotten their midterm grades. (If you haven’t looked at them yet, then you should go do that!)

The thing about midterm grades is that they let you know exactly where you stand, which is helpful, but sometimes they are misinterpreted. Just because you have an A in the class after midterms does not mean you’re free to slack off for the rest of the semester. The amount of work you put in the first half is the same amount you should continue to put in.

On the other hand, if your grade is a little lower than you expected,


Cheese Curds and Kinship

I had the honor and privilege this past weekend of representing SJU at the Alpha Sigma Nu Centennial Triennial Conference at Marquette University, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alpha Sigma Nu is the international Jesuit honor society, with a chapter at every Jesuit university in the United States, as well as in Canada, Korea, and now Spain. Membership in Alpha Sigma Nu is based around three tenets: scholarship, service, and loyalty to Jesuit values.

As Chapter President for Saint Joe’s, I and two other members of our executive board of the SJU chapter were able to attend the conference this weekend.



At some point in your college career you should definitely go on a retreat. I am currently in the Poconos for the OML (Office of Multicultural Life) Retreat and it is the highlight of my semester so far.

The thing about retreats is that you already know that its going to be good time, but afterwards it ends up being ten times better than you originally imagined.

Retreats can be a time to reflect, a time to meet and connect with new people, a break from school work or just an escape from campus for a weekend.


Welcome Home: First Fall Break

You’ve made it past your first round of midterms (or maybe still have more to tackle when you get back), you’ve endured the long hours at the library, the repetitiveness of going to class, grabbing lunch, going to class, chatting with your suite-mates, going to dinner, and making sure your prepared for the next day ahead. After much effort so far this year, your reward has finally arrived: fall break.


My first fall break started out with a tad bit of sadness, but soon transformed into an absolute perfect time away. I think colleges and universities really know what they’re doing when assigning the breaks in the semester.


Bad News in a Good Way

“No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.” ― Sophocles, Antigone

I hate bad news. I mean, who does?

Bad news is something that could ruin you day, or your week, or your month, or your life in some cases. Unfortunately, for most of us, bad news cannot be forever avoided. Because if all you got was good news in life, it wouldn’t be good, it would just be news. You need some bad to balance out and appreciate the good.

As such, bad news should always be delivered with good news. Obvious,


What it means to breathe Philly sports

If you are new to the area and just starting your life here at Saint Joseph’s University, you know that a trip to the city is a must-do. When visiting the city, you may have noticed that Philadelphia is different then other cities. Philadelphia, being a large metropolitan area, offers the visitor an array of entertainment options. Philadelphia is a town known for its rich history, from the Liberty Bell to our professional sports teams. There is something for everyone. Besides our rich history there is something uniquely different about our city. Something very special. Philadelphia is a city full of passion–specifically a passion for its sports teams,