Category Archives: Campus

(May 1, Lakewood, N.J.) —  When Covenant House President Kevin Ryan visited Georgian Court last year and spoke about the myriad problems associated with teen homelessness, GCU students did more than just listen.

They decided to sleep outdoors for a night as a show of support for the 2 million young people in the U.S. and Canada who run away or are kicked out of their homes each year and ultimately end up homeless and hungry.

“On Friday, May 2, Georgian Court students will be supplied with a cardboard box to sleep on overnight on the Great Lawn,” said David Schenck, a 19-year-old biology major from Manchester. “They are allowed to bring a blanket, but no pillow, as we really are trying to emphasize what it is truly like to be homeless.”

The effort is one of many affiliated with Covenant House, the largest provider of services to homeless and trafficked youth throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Also called a “solidarity sleep out,” the activity is intended to underscore the plight of homeless teens and their daily struggle for basic human rights.

The event, which will include only GCU students, begins with a 7 p.m. talk by Covenant House Ambassador Jennifer Williams of South Jersey. A candlelight vigil will be led by GCU Campus Ministry Director Jeff Schaeffer, followed by poetry readings and group discussions in the North Dining Room.

The evening concludes with GCU students sleeping on the Great Lawn. Participants are asking for donors to contribute resources—from money to toiletries to clothing—to help homeless teens.

“Every little bit helps, and even raising awareness will help this issue get the attention it deserves,” said David.

When a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet speaks, GCU listens

A night to remember at Georgian Court

Guest post by Charlee Bassillo  ///  Photos by Amanda MacPhee

On April 23, 2013, thanks to diligent preparations made by students and faculty of the Georgian Court University Department of English, Massachusetts native Tracy K. Smith visited for a poetry reading in the Little Theater, an evening event that will surely be held near and dear to the hearts of English majors across campus. GCU’s Dr. Russell McDonald ushered in the visiting poet with a warm welcome and introduction, echoing the pleasure shared by the entire audience to have had the distinct opportunity to meet, greet, and speak with such a highly-esteemed literary voice as Tracy K. Smith, whose 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning Life on Mars is preceded by the James Laughlin Award-winning Duende and The Body’s Question, a Cave Canem Poetry Prize-winner.

Poet Tracy K. Smith Listening
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The night’s readings primarily focused on material from her 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winner, Life on Mars, but Smith also surprised guests with a brand new selection, dazzling attendants with her poetic artistry, invigoratingly fresh insight, and meditative prose. ​Explaining that her poetry has blossomed out of life’s perplexing quandaries, both big and small, Ms. Smith’s writing encompasses even day-to-day ponderings, which are, of course, juxtaposed neatly and meaningfully against “big ticket” questions, revealing uncanny connections between unlikely pairings – such as the cosmos versus ordinary, everyday life. Many poems were designated by Smith as being largely elegiac to her father, a retired Space Hubble engineer, though Tracy also discussed the impact of a unique blend of political, personal, and spiritual influences on her writing of Life on Mars, citing a sundry of inspirational sources – from the gassing of geese at JFK airport and seeing her father’s reflection in the impressive stance of a tiger on a magazine page to the contemplation of dark matter – as she demonstrated by sharing the collection’s title poem, Life on Mars,” which begins:

Tina says what if dark matter is like the space between people
When what holds them together isn’t exactly love, and I think
That sounds right – how strong the pull can be, as if something
That knows better won’t let you drift apart so easily, and how
Small and heavy you feel, stuck there spinning in place.

Not only was the audience given a chance to procure a much-coveted autograph, but they also received a precious behind-the-scenes pass to the poet’s mind at work. During the reading, and in this post-reading question and answer session, audience members were afforded the privilege of seeing through the eyes of Tracy K. Smith – as the award-winning author, David Bowie lover, daughter of a dearly loved, but lost, father, and as the new mother. She was witty, approachable, and a master of her trade – her poetry probing for profound meaning and reflecting upon all of life’s significance, wonder, and beauty, however big or small.

Charlee Bassillo is an English and Education major at Georgian Court University where she expects to graduate in Spring 2014 to pursue a career in secondary education.


Smith, Tracy K. “Life on Mars.” Life on Mars. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2011. 37 – 42. Print.

Wash your hands

New Jersey is experiencing widespread influenza (flu) activity. The strain of flu that is circulating this season is more severe than usual. Although public health agencies cannot accurately predict the peak and duration of the flu season, Georgian Court University is committed to the health and safety of its community.

The latest “Superbug” spreading across New Jersey is the Norovirus or Stomach Flu.

How do you distinguish between Norovirus and the flu?

The flu is an upper respiratory infection that causes sore throat, chills, body aches, runny nose, and coughing. Norovirus is a gastrointestinal illness that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Both can lead to severe dehydration if you don’t drink enough fluids.

Usually the body doesn’t come down with two infections at once, but it can get infected with one bug right after the other if the immune system is weakened.

Both conditions can be prevented by washing your hands (especially before eating), avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used objects.

Both conditions should be managed by getting plenty of rest, taking over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce fever and aches, and avoiding close contact with others for the first few days. Drink plenty of fluids, and if you aren’t able to eat much solid food, make sure those fluids contain some salt and sugar — juice, soup, sports drinks, for example — to keep your electrolytes in balance.

Here’s more on how to manage your flu symptoms and here’s how to deal with norovirus by Ms. Cynthia Mattia, RN, Director of Health Services, Georgian Court University Health Center

Take Care!

Open House!

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet and greet potential new students at today’s Open House—-everything gets going at 9:30 a.m. in the Wellness Center and students/parents eventually will move on to the Casino as well as A&S. See you there!