Cultural Nights In Review
By Remy Zerber
There are so many interesting cultures in the world, it is important that everyone explores them so they can experience the beauty of diverse cultures. Learning about the various cultures makes for a more well-educated person as it also helps defeat stereotypes and racism. Put on by the Intercultural Center and different clubs, cultural nights at SMC celebrate different cultures. The cultural nights at SMC help shine a light on the represented cultures and the issues they have.
One of the cultural nights at SMC is the BASH. It is a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture. Students who identify as queer put on a show to entertain and educate people about the LGBTQ community. Students did different sets throughout the show. For example, some students showed a video, some talked about their coming out stories, and others did dances or sang songs. This year’s theme was “Over The Rainbow''.
Expressions of Blackness
“Expressions of Blackness” is a cultural night that celebrates Black students and culture. This year’s theme was “Homecoming”. I attended this year’s show and it turned out to be a beautiful event. There were students who sang songs, shared about their home countries, and performed dances. Specifically, one person who played the drums and another played the piano.
Latino Cultural Night
Latino cultural night celebrates Latinos and Latino culture. The theme this year was “The Mountains Around Us”. There was music, dancing, and even speeches. For example, there were Ballet Folklórico dancers and someone dressed like a mariachi. All the participants showed their culture through their sets.
Asian Cultural Night
The theme of Asian Cultural Night was “Discovering The World Through Our Lens”. It celebrated all Asian cultures. There were people who sang songs and did skits from their cultures. There was a cultural fashion show, showcasing traditional clothes from different Asian cultures including: Indian culture, Malaysian culture, Filipino culture and many others. Some students dressed up in a Karate Gi from Japan. There was also a Kabuki skit from Japan where a student wore a Kabuki mask.
Middle Eastern And North African (MENA) Cultural Night
MENA’s theme was “Hidden Gems”. This night had a lot of participants. There were musicians, dancers, singers, and storytellers. One student played the guitar, and a few students wore their native culture’s clothes. One of the students also read from a storybook.
All the cultural nights were a huge success. It was interesting to see everyone’s native cultures and how diverse they are. Each cultural night taught the audience something new about another culture and they got to widen their perspective of the world. Overall, it is important to learn about different cultures so we can be respectful of them.
By Benjamin Noel
Contributing from News
The sharply dressed freshman class of 1934 moved in, eager to start their undergraduate studies at Saint Mary’s, an all-boys Catholic university known for football, and a disdain for Cal. Few boys knew, besides those with older brothers, about the welcome ritual they were about to find themselves thrown into. The freshman boys were all gathered together, unaware of the fate that awaited them. All the while, the upperclassmen took to the rowing building to secure some paddles and various odds and ends to equip themselves for the night of hazing ahead. Not much is known about the specific activities that took place during this weekend of welcome, but one can connect the dots. According to an August edition of the Collegian, the orientation activities of 1930 went smoothly, for the upperclassmen that is. As the hazing drew to an end, the upperclassmen ushered the freshman class into the basketball gymnasium, the venue of the freshmans’ first smoker. A night of camaraderie ensued as a tobacco haze filled the gym, fueled by cigarettes courtesy of the sophomore class.
The mid-20th century marked an era of frequent formals, dinners, and dances for the students of Saint Mary’s. Big basketball games were often followed by dances or other events for the students to let loose. Some dances would take place at the high class Oakland Hotel, then a spot frequented by former presidents.
Later in the century, the formals gave way to semi-formals, and oftentimes, the students needed more than just music to get grooving. Enter Gaelstock, an aptly named Woodstock-inspired music festival. This event attracted flocks of students, and if the pictures do the event any justice, it was a proper Burning Man, Moraga-style. Other annual events like Oasis and Gaelapalooza drew in huge crowds with live music, DJs, and free-flowing drinks. Allegedly, these events were discontinued after many students left pale, vomiting, sometimes in an ambulance.
In the 80s, students could often be seen picnicking on their balconies in De La Salle Hall. New fountains at school were sometimes christened by students swimming laps, or splashing around rather, in the shallow waters.
This year the senior class threw a tailgate for Saint Mary’s season-ender basketball game versus the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Randy Bennett’s Gaels, aided by the electric student body section, broke away from the first whistle and held onto their lead the whole game, going on to humble the Bulldogs 67-57.
One can only hope that as the current pope eases up on the doctrines of the Church, so will the faculty of Saint Mary’s. However, to all you students, take some initiative!
Make Saint Mary’s yours. If any of these traditions inspired something in yourself, make it happen! Rally your peers, talk to a brother, bring up ideas to your class president
Juniors, organize a senior formal.
If this article has piqued an interest in Saint Mary’s history, take a look at the yearbooks on the second floor of the library, on a shelf facing the Dante quad. The books date back to the 1920s, chronicling Saint Mary’s student life every year till the last edition of the Gael from 2008.
I’m graduating in a few short weeks, but in the upcoming years I hope to hear news of some old Saint Mary’s traditions making a comeback. Maybe not a smoker, or freshman hazing, but hearing about a semi-formal, or a senior class prank would make my day.
By Jenevieve Monroe
Culture and News Writer
Lights, sarcasm, and anecdotal humor: “Keeping It Real” will keep you laughing at just how relatable the student experience can be at Saint Mary’s.
The festival opens with its first act “Uprooted,” a satirical commentary on the challenges that international students face in academic settings. Actor and scriptwriter Sejal Bahl stars as the protagonist, Samaira Bhattacharya, a young immigrant who learns to navigate the “new, scary, tiring, and alienating” social dynamics found within American culture. “We wanted to show the lives of people our age,” said the closing Directors’ Note. “Writing our own plays, directing them, and designing for them allowed us to do this in a way that was accessible to audiences while still being true to ourselves.”
These values can be seen in the festival’s second act, titled “An Awareness of Eccentricity” by Thomas Bradvica. Talk about relatable! The playwright protagonist, played by Ryanne Biernat, struggles to maintain her sanity while accomplishing an “all-nighter” assignment. The dialogues between cast members were witty, eccentric, and on the verge lucid; however, I couldn’t get over the dramatic performance of Lydia Miller’s “Man 2.” The mustache and scatterbrained nature of Miller’s character were riveting to watch.
Following the second performance was one just as chaotic, witty, and well-orchestrated. The act “Sweet Expectations” encompasses a complex web of different identities and how they interact with each other. Writer Grace Clinton fabricated a storyline of family chaos that will leave you either empathizing or in awe of the protagonist’s resolution (played by Kendra Eisenmann). “Our experiences overlap in a complex web,” wrote the festival’s directors. “We, as playwrights, directors, and designers are excited to share our work with you.”
The festival shifted to a more serious, musical commentary on the challenges of social conformity in the fourth act. The screenplay “Unmasked” tells a student’s journey of self-love and acceptance in the face of familial and peer judgment. You’ll hear some classic Disney favorites sung by screenwriter and actor Aero England, whose voice was a phenomenal asset to the plot.
The final act received roaring laughter from the crowd. Written by Sarah Shaughnessy, the fifth act “Seminar 103” is a painfully relatable satire on how unpredictable Socratic dialogues can be in the classroom. Each character brought their own flavor of chaos, particularly Weston Wheatley’s portrayal of “Finance Bro.” Prepare to hear humor at its most unfiltered!
Overall, this festival unites diverse stories of our student body through the creativity and passions of Saint Mary’s Theater Program. “There is no one way for every individual to experience the same reality,” wrote the directors. “From plays that challenge and subvert our expectations, whether that be about class or life itself, to ones that reflect truths about our identities, we all hope that you can find ‘our’ reality.”
The New Twilight Movie Reviewed
By Madison Sciba
Amateur Vampire Investigator
R-Patz has a new movie and boy he is looking good. The new Twilight movie was just released in theaters and I have some major questions. First, I thought the Twilight vampires couldn’t turn into bats, yet that seemed to be the whole theme of the new movie. Second, did Ed and Bella break up? Like where was she? And who’s this cat chick? Was this a situation where you have to read the book first? Because there is no way I am going to do that.
Edward apparently decided to change his name after his and Bella’s breakup in New Moon. Bruce Wayne? Apparently, he couldn’t think of anything cooler. He did have a nice new ride, although I would never have pegged Edward (sorry I mean Bruce) as a motorcycle guy. His new hairstyle really suits him, much better than the 2008 spiky hair he had in the other movies.
I only recommend watching this movie if you are Team Edward, Team Jacob fans will be greatly disappointed with the severe lack of our favorite werewolf. Also, who is this new Riddler guy? I don’t remember seeing him in any of the other movies.
This movie does have a lot of dark tones, and no classic, quotable lines. Like “Hold on tight spider monkey”? That was Oscar worthy. This movie does not even compare to the cinematic masterpiece that is the original Twilight movie. First with no Bella and then no other vampires??? How is this supposed to be a Twilight movie if there are no vampires and no Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle? Although he was shirtless quite often, there were no sparkles. I was highly disappointed; that was not the skin of a killer.
By Remy Zerber and Isabelle Delostrinos
Culture Columnists/ Fortune Tellers
Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
You will rebel against your homework this week and go out almost every night. Be careful with your time management and don’t let your homework pile up or you will be up all night doing it.
Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
Dream up something great for this week Pisces! You will go swimming with your friends this week. Even better, you guys will plan something great for the summer thanks to your genius ideas! Water always gives you the best ideas!
Aries (March 21 - April 19)
Aries, you will book a spontaneous trip to Greece for spring break. I hear it is beautiful there. Make sure to take pictures and soak up the sun!
Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Hey Taurus! Don’t be too much of a perfectionist! Everything will work out. A mysterious stranger will also come around to help you. Could this mean a new friendship, partner, or enemy? Can’t wait for you to find out.
Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Gemini, the stars are not aligning for you. You will have a really big midterm this week and not do so well. Oh well, look at the bright side! One less test to
study for! You got this.
Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
Things are looking up if you are a Cancer this week. Funny things will happen to you. You will meet a crazy new friend who will take you on new adventures. You two will play hide and seek all throughout campus and ignore all of your responsibilities. It will be the best time ever!
Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Okay, we get it, you’re a Leo. This week is looking like a great week for you. But if you mention your zodiac sign to anyone, you bring upon instant bad luck for the rest of March. The stars said it, not me!
Virgo (August 23 - September 22
Virgo, loosen up a bit. You’re frustrated, annoyed, and always irritated with how things have been going and it’s taking up a lot of your energy! Well good news are in store for you and it looks like you’ll be getting a surprise party within the next few days. Keep a lookout!
Libra (September 23 - October 22)
Hey Libra. The stars are aligning and they want me to let you know that not everything is about you. It’s okay to share the spotlight! Sometimes the supporting actors end up with the greatest stories. Don’t be afraid of the sidelines. Take this week to relax, reset, and hype up your besties!
Scorpio ( October 23 - November 21)
The past few weeks have been some of the best of your life. Elements of your life are starting to align and you can finally see yourself thriving. Well, unfortunately it looks like we’re approaching a road block here. Don’t worry, the things you have worked for won’t go away! But to make it through, make sure you hit a cartwheel on Chapel Lawn. It’s a symbol of persistence and the stars will reward you for it.
Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21
Sag, life’s been a little boring for you recently. There’s been nothing to look forward to and it’s bringing you down! Things will start picking back up soon. Patience is a virtue.
Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
I know you probably dread reading these because your outlooks are never as intriguing, but I’m here to tell you not today! Something great this week is coming. The good news you have been waiting for is finally on the way, so be ready to claim it!
How a new mascot will better represent the current and future Saint Mary’s Community.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
Culture Columnist/ Potato Enthusiast
Let’s face it, school pride can be a bit tough when no one knows what your mascot is. University of Oregon has “Go Ducks”, USC has “Fight On” to go with their trojan, and even Stanford somehow finessed “Fear the Tree” out of their Christmas tree mascot. But what happens when we need to caption our Instagram selfies on Chapel Lawn? Or the enthusiastic photos with our friends at basketball games? #GoGaels? #GaelsRise?
After months of updating family members on my attendance here at SMC, someone always has to pose the question, “what’s a gael?” And you know what Uncle Greg, I wonder the same thing. This isn’t 1492, an updated mascot is necessary! Imagine how much easier defending our stomping grounds will be. No more questionable faces and scoffs at our unknown mascot. And for our marketing department, wouldn’t a more relatable mascot be better to draw in prospective students? I’m sorry Gideon but I think it's time for a new captain in this place. As a favor to the future generations at SMC, I propose a bigger, better, more Instagrammable, hashtag friendly, and well known mascot: a potato.
It’s round, brown, and comes in all shapes and sizes. So many good things come from this one root vegetable. Mashed, fried, baked, thinly sliced, diced, cubed, you name it. And don’t even get me started on the family of fries. A potato as the SMC mascot will be representative of all who walk through our campus. It’s a universal object that many can see within themselves, making it a perfect mascot.
Can you see the headlines? SMC Potatoes Win NCAA March Madness Tournament! Rolling Admissions: Become a Potato Today! #SMCPotatoes #MashEmUp. We’ll be paving the way for a new generation of mascots and will truly bring our luck to the table with this new mascot. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a potato?
Via shutterstock.com, Idaho Potato Bowl
For 50 years, The Ruth Bancroft Garden has showcased the collection and works of Bay Area native, Ruth Bancroft. It is home to a wide array of succulents and has become the finest garden of drought-tolerant plants.
As the weather gets warmer and the sun shines longer, outdoor activities are appearing back on our radar with the return of spring. What better way to decompress on the weekends off-campus than at a dry botanical garden in Walnut Creek? The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a three-and-a-half acre dry garden showcasing the beauty of succulents and drought-tolerant plants. The garden and nursery have showcased the beauty of plants through art and design for over 50 years. It not only upholds the legacy of Ruth Bancroft but has become one of the finest botanical gardens in the Bay Area.
Ruth Petersson was born in 1908 and grew up in Berkeley. She studied as an architecture major at UC Berkeley but quickly switched to teaching once the stock market crashed. As she grew older, Petersson met her husband, Philip Bancroft Jr., in Merced where she taught home economics. After the two married, they decided to start their family in Walnut Creek. Not only did they start a family, Ruth Bancroft instantly found her love for plants through gardening and discovering new species. In 1971, the last orchard tree was cut down, and the three-acre lot was open to new life. Her husband immediately offered the land to her as their home garden was overflowing. With this large space, Bancroft’s knowledge and appreciation grew as she learned landscaping design and plant care throughout all seasons. Ruth Bancroft lived up to 109 years old, but her spirit still fiercely lives through the garden and within the community today.
The Ruth Bancroft Garden is a nonprofit organization, raising funds to preserve the garden and create communal space for Walnut Creek. The garden features plants from all around the world. It is a display of Bancroft’s plant collection that has grown for over 60 years. It still even has the very first succulent she purchased. Check it out the next time you’re in Walnut Creek for a chance to walk through the art, design, and natural beauty of plants and Ruth Bancroft’s passion.
(Image Courtesy sfgate.com)
Winning Women in the Industry
A short recap on a few of women who have been winning in the entertainment industry. Highlighting Zendaya’s dip back into music, Zoe Kravits’s Catwoman, and Rihanna’s iconic maternity looks.
After Spiderman: No Way Home, Dune, and Euphoria, Zendaya’s talents and abilities have solidified her place in the entertainment industry today. Her versatile acting skills and gravitational energy through big screens have built her reputation as a force to be reckoned with. But her work doesn’t stop there. Following the season finale of Euphoria, Zendaya released the full-length song, I’m Tired, which was featured in episode four of the series. In collaboration with British singer Labrinth, Zendaya makes a small debut towards the end to close out the expressive song. Her soft, delicate voice ties together all of the emotions felt. The response from fans has been nothing but positivity and appreciation for her return to music. In a recent tweet, Zendaya expressed her gratitude explaining that her love for music has always been there, and support of her “tiny toe-dip” back into music was everything to the star.
The Batman reboot has fans raving and a large part is owed to Zoe Kravits in her role of Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman. Her interpretation of the comic book character has caused a stir in the industry but could be the creation of an added face to the LGBTQIA+ community. Catwoman in the original comics has always been portrayed as bisexual. After eight movies and Catwoman’s later, Kravits finally brings Selina Kyle’s sexuality and true form to the big screen. In the most subtle and sultry way, her reference to her friend, Anika, as “baby” was all that comic book fans needed to hear. Kravits’ take on Catwoman may have been the most intriguing and accurate yet, playing a big role in the movie’s immediate success.
Since her pregnancy announcement last month, Rihanna has been glowing. After successes with her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty and beauty line Fenty Beauty, the iconic singer is entering a new era as a mom-to-be. In true Rihanna fashion, carrying a growing baby doesn’t stop the fashionista from serving looks. In the words of Maddy from Euphoria, “I wouldn’t wear any of the nast maternity clothes. I would just be me, plus pregnant.” To start off Women's History Month, Rihanna was spotted at Dior’s runway show in Paris sporting a sheer lace slip, leather coat, and pointed leather heeled boots. Within the next few days, the star posts yet another OOTD showing off her Stella McCartney blue cut-out jumpsuit, peeking out her round belly, paired with pointed heels and layered gold jewelry. Who can do it like Rihanna? Her confidence and glow during this pregnancy inspire many and are rewriting the norms for maternity fashion.
(Images Courtesy The Today Show, Fashionista, Glamour UK)
Remy Zerber and Benjamin Noel
“Being in The BASH was an incredible experience. For those who don’t know, The Bash is the LGBTQ+ cultural night. It celebrates gay pride and all different forms of expression. This year’s theme was “Over the Rainbow,” which highlighted the history and power of the LGBTQ+ flag. Being in this performance made me feel proud of who I am. I enjoyed researching all the disabled queer people for my video. I didn’t know there were other disabled queer people, so it was exciting to get to find and research them.” - Remy Zerber, Culture Columnist
All the other performances were amazing too. Everyone presented a unique display of their experience as a member of this community. There were paintings, songs, journal entries, and even a clown! Aero England’s song was really inspiring and beautiful. It was “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Lauren Smith told her touching story of coming out, and the importance of queer spaces that allowed her to express herself freely. Tyra Thompson also shared a powerful coming-out story. She bravely shared her most vulnerable moments. Tyra’s and Lauren’s stories of coming out were very inspiring to me. Saumya Khanna expressed the importance of the Intercultural Center to her. It felt like home in a sometimes hostile community at SMC. Everyone who was in the show did an amazing job, including the crew members. I am glad I met the people I did in this show. The show displayed the community’s strength and showed LGBTQ+ students that they have a home.
Latinx Cultural Night Coverage 2022
The 22nd annual Latinx Cultural Night took place in the Soda Center on March 9th, 2022. With over 100 audience members, the show was a complete sellout. In addition, Saint Mary’s very own Ballet Folkloricó Guadalupano group appeared three times throughout the night between the other SMC students’ performances. Each performance presented different talents, personal commemorations to family, connections to culture, and appreciation for the diverse cultures within Latin America and Latinx communities in the United States.
Christian Ramirez Rodriguez questioned “¿Qué es un Santo?” which translates to “What is a Saint?” which recognizes the significance of the Catholic faith within the context of Latin America. The SMC Merengue group performed an exciting dance choreographed by Teresa Martinez and shared that the merengue song and dance originated from the Dominican Republic but has become popular amongst other communities. The @Smcmemes22 Instagram page creator did a comedic segment on “The Roast of SMC,” stressing SMC’s most relatable and controversial characteristics.
The video titled “Ellas,” put together by Stephanie Ramirez, honored the influential female figures within her own family, such as her grandma, mom, and aunt. What followed was the reading of a personal poem written by Isabella Gutierrez in memory of her late grandmother, and how much of an impact she had on both her childhood and early adulthood. José Miranda, both a dancing member and serving as the co-fundraising chair of Ballet Folkloricó Guadaluano, performed a solo dance in the show’s latter half.
Maya Diáz-Villalta shared a poem written by Gloria Anzaldua titled “La Prieta,'' which describes the pain derived from views on colored skin and feeling alienated from the society they live within. Finally, Cecelia Estrada shared the “Senior Video” commemorating hers and her friend’s time at Saint Mary’s to end the show. It described the good, the bad, and the memorable moments they each experienced, ending with advice for incoming and current students at the institution. Executive team members Co-Chair Stephanie Ramirez, Set Director David Garza, Event Planner Athena Wise, and Publicity Coordinator Cecilia Estrada Navarro put together the event, which the Intercultural Center hosted. The event could not have been accomplished without their dedication and time coordinating the show and set.
(Images Courtesy Writer)
Ryan Ford '23,