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Student Government

Hello, fellow and future Fonties. I am going to start off by saying that I am super excited to be able to share my stories about my time at Fontbonne with all of you. I wrote a blog over the summer that was a little bit about me and orientation as I was a WING leader this past year. For those of you who don’t know what a WING leader is, that is our orientation team that welcomes in all of the new freshman every fall. However, if you did not read my blog over the summer, all is well because I am going to start from scratch. I am going to take your through my journey as a Griffin starting from the very beginning. (Not all in one post of course, because that would be way too much to read!). Over the course of the next three months, I hope to get you from the time I walked on campus in 2012 to the time I walked on campus to start my senior year of college. I hope you enjoy my experiences as much as I have.

My name is Danielle Ader and I have been through a handful of things that every college student probably goes through. I walked on campus for the first time in August of 2012; ready to begin my journey as a Fontbonne Griffin. I wanted more than anything to be away from my parents and finally be able to spread my wings. As a freshman, you go through the orientation program, at the time called FOCUS. Once all of your stuff is moved in, they take you to the Maybee Gymnasium for this big ceremony. You listen to what feels like a million people tell you, “Welcome to Fontbonne,” and then you break into your FOCUS groups. This is the first time you leave your parents and families to venture off and meet new students in the same boat you are. For me, this was so stressful as I am very quiet, or at least I was at the time. Fontbonne had no one that I went to high school with except one girl, who of course was not put in my group. I was alone with no friends and I was scared. High school was rough for me; I went to school with the same people from kindergarten to senior year. Once one person had a thought about who you were or what you were, everyone knew and that was your image for the rest of your time. So in knowing that no one from high school was around I thought about it for a very long time. I realized that I could be whoever I wanted to be, and I could do whatever I wanted to do. So my journey as a Griffin began.

I started classes and was eagerly awaiting the activities fair. I knew I wanted to be involved but had no idea the opportunities that were there for me at Fontbonne. I remember signing up to be in every organization that had a table in the meadow; I do not suggest doing that because the emails are overbearing. Pick a few that you think you are excited about and then join those, go to the meetings and then narrow it down to one or two. They have so many organizations on campus — currently 17 different groups. Those are just the registered student organizations, that doesn’t include different groups that are run out of departments on campus.

In all of the organizations I signed up, for I knew I wanted to be a Griffin Girl (Fontbonne’s Dance Team) more than anything else in the world. I was coming off of 6 years of competitive cheer and dance and I was adamant about dancing in college. As I was walking around the activities fair I also decided I wanted to be a senator of the Student Government Association. Fast forward just a couple weeks and I had filled out my senator application, working on it for hours to make sure it was perfect to ensure acceptance; and I received an email that the organization was looking for a VP of Finance.  I thought to myself, “Why not?” and applied; I worked even harder on this application and submitted it right away. I received an email, what I think was the following week, that they wanted to set up an interview with the advisor and current president. I was in the Dunham Student Activity Center (DSAC) getting food and while I was walking back to my room I made the decision to respond to the email with a time I was available, try to carry my food, and walk down the stairs all at the same time. I slid down the stairs and broke a bone in my foot; piece of advice, DON’T TEXT AND WALK DOWN STAIRS!  After being placed in a boot it was time for tryouts for Griffin Girls; despite my broken foot I was still going to push my limits and tryout doing as much as I possible could. Unfortunately 2 hours later I was cut from the team because I couldn’t show enough of my skills. My dreams had ended in a split second, I balled my eyes out as I headed back to my room.

I did not know what I was going to do until I had my interview for Student Government. I nailed my interview and was so excited to get an email that afternoon that I had received the VP of Finance position as a freshman. I remember thinking to myself that I was going to give Student Government my all and I was going to go far and succeed in this organization. After about a month or so into my time in the organization I absolutely fell in love and knew I had found my passion.

So aside from my involvement, let me tell you about my academics and social life. I already mentioned that I knew orientation was going to be tough since I did not really have many friends. My roommate, who was the only person I really knew, was not going on the overnight trip that was planned. So I did not go either and let me tell you that was the worst mistake of my entire life. As an orientation leader, I can say that I may be biased but… without this experience it is very hard to establish a social life at Fontbonne. Everyone really bonds during this time at Lake Williamson.  eedless to say I did not really have a social life at Fontbonne… Until I met my best friend to this day, Brooke Stochl. She really brought me out of my shell and over the years, has taught be to be a much better person.

I was not going to class being mommy and daddy could not tell me I had to, if I had a headache I was not going, if my stomach hurt a little bit I was not going and so on. I had excuse after excuse as to why I was not going to class.  Let me tell you that people will say “go to class” and you will think, “well duh” but once you decide not to go to one it is easy to miss another and another. I got straight C’s my first semester here. And some of you will think, “well C’s do get degrees” and that my be true but guess what?  C’s DO NOT GET YOU JOBS! Go to class and study hard because it truly does make a difference.

Surprisingly enough, that is about all I can remember from my first semester.  Those are at least the big memories that truly impacted my life forever.  I hope you enjoyed my first semester as much as I did!

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fontbonneandyThis semester, I have been not too much involved with the dedicated semester as much as I would like to be.  I am very interested in the goals for the millenium.  But this semester has been the most fun for me, I was a FOCUS leader, in other words, a freshman leader.  I am the President of Student Government and I never thought that I would have the opportunites that I have received in the past 4 months.  This year so far has been one of my best ones and I believe that the semester coming up will be even better.  With the Leadership Banquet and the elections, yeah, it is going to be a blast.

What could you do in student activites at Fontbonne? Apply today to find out!

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I have many favorite things about Fontbonne University. First, I love how the school plansfontbonnemike lots of exciting activities for all the students. For example, there was a free haunted house tour on Halloween and movie nights once a month for free. The students can have good clean fun without spending money. Next, I enjoy the extracurricular opportunities, including student government, campus ministry, and multicultural organizations. These all offer students the chance to make a direct difference in the community. Third, the employees at Fontbonne are wonderful people who always lend a helping hand when you need it.

So far at Fontbonne, I have loved running cross country and being involved in a variety of clubs and organizations. The friendships I have built so quickly are remarkable and special. I enjoy the chance to live on campus and develop more independence and time management skills. The people in my residence hall have truly been awesome and have come from many different places. I have learned so much about people, education, and personal skills at Fontbonne University. It has been an excellent place for me throughout the first two months

For more on student organizations and residential life, check out the student life page.

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fontbonnemaryHmmm…what’s my favorite thing about Fontbonne? I have about a million answers to this question, but I think they can all be summarized in one word: opportunities. I would have never in my wildest dreams thought that I would have so many amazing opportunities at Fontbonne. Because of the close-knit community here and the number of faculty and staff who’s number one priority are the students, I’ve learned and grown in more ways than I could have ever imagined. 

       From week one of my freshmen year I was introduced to so many things that have grabbed my attention and gotten me involved. I went to an interest meeting and before I knew it I was a starting defender on the first ever NCAA Women’s Lacrosse team in the state! I had never even touched a lacrosse stick, and here I was traveling all over the country playing teams that had been established for years. Speaking of travel, my freshmen year took me to Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas for lacrosse, and down to Georgia and Mississippi for service trips through FISH, rebuilding houses from Hurricane Katrina and building relationships with the people of that community. All of the sudden my freshmen year was over and I was honored with the Outstanding Freshmen Leadership award by SGA at the annual awards banquet, something that I never expected, but was an incredible honor.

      Before I knew it, it was my sophomore year I was the service trip coordinator for FISH, planning trips and recruiting people to go on three different and successful trips. That year took me to Tijuana, Mexico as well as Biloxi once again. I led a team of dancers at the St. Louis Area Dance Marathon held at Washington University every year, which raises money for Children’s Miracle Network. After the amazing event that I experienced, I decided to apply to be a part of the Executive Board at Wash U and was chosen as the first ever student from outside of their university to be a part of all of the planning. That event took place two weekends ago and the whole process and the skills I attained on the board will last forever. My sophomore year also took me to Rome on Easter Sunday with Campus Ministry, a once in a lifetime experience that I will remember forever. This year I’ve been leading FISH as President and overseeing the awesome events that we’ve been having and am also in the process of starting to plan Freshmen Orientation 2009. From leading retreats and having fun on campus, to teaching my very first lesson as an education major by my sophomore year, Fontbonne has provided me with more than I could have ever imagined, and I still have a while to go before I leave.

       As simple as the word “opportunity” is, Fontbonne has been anything but a regular college experience for me because of the opportunities that I have been provided with. I’ll carry the skills and memories I’ve made from these opportunities with me forever….they’re all my favorite.

What opportunities can Fontbonne offer you? Apply today!

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.