The Importance of Opinions: Engage Summit On The Hill

Hello everyone-

This post is going to stray from the typical updates and high-spirited happenings here on The Hill, but I feel it necessary to touch on the events that have occurred here on our campus within the past few weeks. It is important that a college campus embodies a community that takes such issues as violence, judgement, and discrimination seriously.

Prior to Thanksgiving break, Holy Cross organized The Engage Summit.

The Summit was aimed to combat the adversity in our community as well as in  our society as a whole. It  included a variety of workshops and speeches produced by faculty and students who felt compelled to share their opinions and stories to those who were interested in expanding their knowledge in the worlds of diversity and  social justice.

Each session had its own stories, its own collection of experiences speaking of the social injustices, stereotypes, and prejudices that unjustly occur as a result of differences in beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions.

After attending two sessions, I was left speechless. To see such passionate people speaking their un-filtered, powerful opinions for the student body was truly inspiring.

One session in particular had my mind spinning.  I found myself overwhelmingly grateful to be on a campus that has such strong-willed, motivated individuals who stand up for what they believe in. Such individuals as my Psychology professor, Gary Senecal, who spoke with words that “have the potential to move mountains” (as I told my mom over the phone immediately following his presentation.)

This session showed me the importance of having a voice. It showed me the power of expressing your beliefs, even to those who may fail to understand their meaning.

Professor Senecal spoke effortlessly about corporate diffusion of responsibility, and the need to collectively work together as a community to make changes and expand upon our human connections. His words embodied the potential for us to BE the changes we want to see in our worlds, and inspire others rather than demoralize them through crude language and disheartening violence.

Overall, The Engage Summit instilled a sense of confidence in myself that I was unaware existed. It allowed be to take a step back and realize the importance of voicing your opinions, no matter how unworthy you may feel.

I realized that although college is a time to find yourself, it is also a time to gain the skills necessary to become an individual who encompasses what it truly means to be a compassionate, motivated, and inspiring human being.

I came to appreciate that although Holy Cross celebrates its perfections, it also works adamantly,through events such as The Engage Summit,to ameliorate its imperfections and create a community that fosters both intellectual and spiritual growth.

Life is not about striving to be a perfect version of yourself, but rather about recognizing the inevitable imperfections and finding the power and motivation within to intensify your own human connections. 


Fall on The Hill

Hello everyone, and happy fall!

The first couple of months of this school year have flown by, much like all of the leaves off of the trees that makeup our beautiful campus.

Fall on The Hill

As stressful as this time of year is for college students-especially those first years who are still trying to sort all aspects of the college life out-it is also the most beautiful in my opinion. Filled with vivid colors and colder weather, this season of fall has served as a time of reflection for me personally.

As I look back on the past few months I have spent here, I have realized that all of the things I was initially so nervous about-getting involved, finding my way, impressing my teachers-had completely fallen away. Not only have I found myself genuinely enjoying my classes, but I have also expanded my previously very confined comfort zone by joining the SPUD group dedicated to working with the residents in The Blaire House for Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Hospice care patients.

I cannot express enough the joy that these visits bring me, and the lessons I have learned from those who see life differently.

I have come to realize that the community here at Holy Cross is one that thrives on human connection, and the days that I work with those who are restrained by their deteriorating mental abilities, have left me me feeling extremely thankful that I have made such connections and am supported by those around me.

Joining this group has also allowed me to view the world in a different light, without the clouds of stress that midterms and sleepless nights may bring.

Sometimes the most important lessons we learn in life are from those whom never intended to teach them.

The experiences this program has provided me with have not only encouraged me to expand my horizons and get involved in the community around me, but they have also led me to feel unconditionally thankful.

Blaire House of Worcester

These fall days here on the hill are filled with high spirits and the growing anticipation for Thanksgiving break. The campus is covered with fallen leaves and trees veiled with vibrant hues, as the opportunities for involvement continue  to present themselves.

As we approach the Thanksgiving break, I encourage all of those who are interested in giving back and gaining experience that will not only enrich your social awareness, but will also lead to personal growth and reflection, to get involved.

Whether it is helping out a professor, participating in SPUD programs, or picking from an endless array of student-led clubs and organizations, the feelings of mental clarity and thankfulness that follow are undoubtedly worth the extra time and effort.

O’Kane Hall