SEaL is still going full force

By Colin Tomczak
September 25, 2023

Belinda Hedden (left),  Orientation Coordinator for the Class of 2027, during Orientation Weekend.
Photo via Cabrini Flickr.
Belinda Hedden (left), Orientation Coordinator for the Class of 2027, during Orientation Weekend. Photo via Cabrini Flickr.

Since the news of Cabrini’s closure, the school lost many students, faculty members, and even entire offices.

Despite the chaos, one aspect of Cabrini finds itself able to operate as close to normal as this year will allow: The Center for Student Engagement and Leadership.

What does SEaL do?

The Center for Student Engagement and Leadership, known as SEaL, provides many resources to students. SEaL organizes New Student Weekend, and everything related to new student orientation, including training students to be Orientation Leaders. 

The SEal Director and assistant director stand in front of an audience presenting at Cabrini.
SEaL Director Bridget O’Donnell (left) and Assistant Director Raina Johnson (right). Photo via Cabrini Flickr.

SEaL also assists the Student Government Association (SGA) and clubs with organizing activities, events, and trips. Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Bridget O’Donnell is also the Commuter Student Liaison, working to ensure commuter students feel just as connected to Cabrini as residents. 

What are SEaL’s challenges?

According to O’Donnell, SEaL hasn’t been affected by the closure. “It hasn’t really changed. We still continue to offer all those services, and have all those activities and programs going on this semester, and will continue to do that through the end of next semester,” she said.

O’Donnell added, “The only change that we’re seeing is less students at events, but even so we’ve still had some really good attendance at events. Thinking about the number of students that were on campus last year, percentage-wise, it’s the same as this year.”

Events to look out for

SEaL is going full force with events this semester. Raina Johnson, assistant director of SEaL, said, “It’s been pretty much like any other year, getting the schedule together. We’re doing it how we’ve done it every single year, and making it as normal of a year as possible. Even with the closure, it doesn’t affect the dates that we have, we just make sure we’re using our time wisely.”

The big events held by SEaL this semester include escape rooms in Grace Hall on October 4, and gamers can meet on October 14 for a Mario Kart Tournament. 

Photo of the involvement fair. People gather in the commons to see the club Cabrini has to offer.
Students explore clubs during the fall involvement fair. Photo by Colin Tomczak.

Freak Week, a Cabrini tradition, will have pumpkin painting on October 23, a Halloween movie night on October 25, a Murder Mystery Dinner will be hosted in the Mansion on October 26, and a trip to Hershey Park on October 28. 

After Freak Week, SEaL has a few more notable events planned for November, including a trip to Linvilla Orchards on November 11, and Culture Fest on November 16.

Culture Fest, which was absent from last year’s event schedule, is an event that celebrates the many cultures present within Cabrini’s student population and allows the many multicultural organizations to show off their cultures.

To conclude the semester, SEaL plans a trip to New York City to see “Wicked” on Broadway on December 2, and the end-of-semester traditional Study Slam event in the Mansion on December 7. 

Don’t forget to “Pop Into SEaL!”

SEaL also hosts a weekly event called, “Pop Into SEaL!” Belinda Hedden, a senior history and secondary education major, said “It’s an event that we run throughout the whole year. That’s an opportunity every week to come and interact with the staff in this office.”

“Pop Into SEaL!” is named after the free bags of popcorn that are given away, and it also has raffle prizes for students who attend the event. These prizes include 42” TV, Beats Headphones, and a $100 Amazon Gift Card, and will be given out at the end of the semester. 

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Colin Tomczak

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