SMC blends tradition and new experiences at orientation

first_imgSaint Mary’s traditional three-day orientation for first year students kicked off Thursday with a few new activities, along with old traditions, aimed at welcoming a new class of Belles to campus.Students began moving into the residence halls at 8 a.m. and formal orientation began at 4:30 p.m.Keri O’Mara | The Observer Student body president senior McKenna Schuster said orientation is important for new students to get acquainted with their new home, new classmates and student leaders.“Orientation is where girls make their first friends, and start to discover what it is like to be away from home,” Schuster said.New this year, the Student Government Association (SGA) invited Playfair, a professional team-building group, to come Friday and help first-years get to know one another through ice-breakers and other activities, Schuster saidThe Closing of the Circle ceremony will take place Saturday evening. Schuster said the event is a highly symbolic and meaningful tradition, during which the first-year students gather on the green in front of Le Mans Hall and listen to testimony from upperclassmen. “The ceremony culminates with a candle lighting and distribution of special Saint Mary’s charms that girls can take with them,” Schuster said. “After each student’s four years at Saint Mary’s they participate in an Opening of the Circle ceremony where we are sent off into life after Saint Mary’s.”Junior Madeline Harris, a resident assistant in Holy Cross Hall, said RA’s play an integral role in orientation because they are some of the first faces the new students and their families encounter in their new home.“Since RA’s work so closely with the students throughout the year, it is important to make a positive impression in the first few days, whether it be a smile, a hello or a short conversation,” she said.Schuster said her best advice for first-years is to engage and listen, but not get overwhelmed. “Sometimes, orientation can feel like a lot of information thrown at you at once, but it is important for the first years to take it just one step at a time and hopefully learn that there are resources all over campus for them to utilize,” Schuster said.She said she hopes the class of 2018 will feel a part of the Saint Mary’s sisterhood and get involved with new activities on campus.“One of our SGA goals is to increase attendance at events throughout the year and I really want to encourage the first years to not be afraid to try something new,” Schuster said. “There’s an event, club or initiative for everyone.”Tags: class of 2018, Closing of the Circle, Freshman Orientation, saint mary’slast_img read more

No green acorns

first_imgSquirrels, birds and small wildlife are known to dine on acorns. Cows, on the other hand, can eat a few acorns, but too many green ones can cause deadly acorn—or “Quercus”—poisoning.The word “quercus” comes from the scientific, or botanical, name for oak. Quercus poisoning occurs when cattle consume too many oak buds or acorns. Most animals are susceptible, but cattle and sheep are most often affected by this malady. Armyworms didn’t leave muchIn pastures where grass is short, cattle producers should be acutely aware of the potential for Quercus poisoning. Even though Georgia has received ample rain recently, armyworms mowed down the grass in many pastures. When the forage supply is limited, as is the case with grass due to the armyworms, cows may be tempted to eat green acorns. A little forethought could prevent a tragedy later. When cows consume large quantities of young oak leaves in the spring or green acorns in the fall, clinical signs appear several days later. These signs include lack of appetite, depression, emaciation, serious nasal discharge and constipation followed by diarrhea, ranging from mucoid to hemorrhagic. The toxins can cause kidney damage that could lead to serious future health problems. Kidney damage caused by Quercus poisoning is irreversible. Since kidney damage is not easily noticeable, cattlemen should take preventative measures, including fencing cattle out of areas where they have been observed eating acorns. In fact, cost of fencing or lack of other grazing areas may force producers to risk exposure to Quercus poisoning.Take preventative measuresCalcium hydroxide comprising 10 percent of the ration may be used as a preventive measure if exposure to acorns cannot be avoided. This may be a feasible alternative for dairymen who have cattle on a controlled diet, but is impossible for beef cattle producers who have no control over their animals’ diets in a pasture situation.Calves and yearlings seem to be affected more often than mature cattle, as the effect is most likely a function of body size. An adult cow would have to consume more acorns or leaves than a younger, smaller animal to receive the same level of toxicity.Producers should make sure forage is available. If there is not adequate grazing, provide hay. Cattle who don’t have adequate forage or hay will be tempted to eat the acorns, especially after the frost kills the grass. Don’t eat the green ones!Green acorns and leaves are the most toxic. As acorns cure after falling, they will become less toxic as a function of time, requiring animals to eat more to get the same level of toxicity. Cured acorns should also be less desirable to animals than green ones. This problem will diminish with time, but it’s not going to go away overnight. Depending on which other foods are available, it could take as long as two months for the danger to pass.For more information about caring for cattle, contact your local University of Georgia Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or extension.uga.edu. Or visit the UGA Animal and Dairy Extension website.last_img read more