Make a Difference Week
Every year during the fall semester hundreds of Iona students, staff, and faculty engage in a variety of service, advocacy, and philanthropic events on campus and in New Rochelle during Make a Difference Week. Although slightly earlier in the fall, this Iona tradition has its roots in the national Make a Difference Week that highlights and encourages volunteerism. MADW is coordinated by the Office of Mission & Ministry but is truly a collaborative effort with help from all corners of Iona.
Make a Difference Week at Iona is always kicked-off with the Best Buddies – Success Center Kickball Game. The students who participate in the Success Center afterschool program and the Best Buddy adults with developmental disabilities and their Iona buddies make up the teams of all-stars who play in the game. The teams are cheered on and celebrated by the Iona community who comes out to support our friends.
The ensuing week is full of many volunteer opportunities such as: a Midnight Run, visiting with retired Christian Brothers, park clean-ups, fundraisers for breast cancer research and other causes, the Autism Walk, soup kitchen, pillow building for the children at Montefiore Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and many others.
It is hard to think of another event which brings our campus community closer to the heritage of Edmund Rice’s deep concern and compassion for our neighbors who are poor and marginalized than the annual Thanksgiving Basket Collection. Literally every student organization and club, Athletics team, administrative office, and academic department contributes a basket of food with a personalized card for the family recipient. The Office of Mission & Ministry collaborates with local community organizations in New Rochelle, Yonkers, and the Bronx to deliver food for Thanksgiving to over one hundred families. The Iona community gathers together for the collection and blessing of the baskets before packing vans for the delivery that night.
“Were we to know the merit and value of only going from one street to another to serve a neighbor for the love of God, we should prize is more than silver and gold.” – Bl. Edmund Rice
Spring Weekend typically occurs the second to last weekend of spring classes (usually the end of April). It is coordinated by the Gaels Activities Board (GAB) with the Offices of Student Development, Residential Life, Mission & Ministry as well as many other student groups and departments.
Although each year varies based on student interest some of the highlights have been:
Gael Jam featuring Heritagefest: Beginning in 2012, this daytime music festival features our very own student performers, as well as outside bands on Spellman Steps. At the same time there is a mini-carnival including different activities each year such as photo booths, caricature artists, stuff-a-bears, and novelties. In the past we have had mechanical bulls, jousting, mechanical surfboards, and Euro-jump! Students take part in the activities, lay out on the hill, enjoy the free BBQ and hopefully beautiful weather. There is a beer garden for our Gaels that are of legal drinking age.
The Gael Guts competition began in 2005 and resurrected a lost campus tradition. Gael Guts is our annual field competition between different student teams. Typically each residence hall has a team as well as Commuter students and Off-campus students.
Some years we have had concerts (Third Eye Blind, SugarRay, Lupe Fiasco, Jason Derulo
), comedians (DL Hughley, Jay Pharaoh
), RetroDance Parties, Philanthropy & Advocacy events (Up Till Dawn
), Theater Productions, Improv Comedy shows, student musical performances, and Fashion shows.
The planning committee always welcomes student ideas and involvement. We encourage you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information on becoming involved.
April - Earth Month!
All of us at Iona are focused on sustainability and our commitment to the Earth throughout the entire year. We recognize the fact that understanding of and respect for the environment has great relevance to issues of peace and justice around the world. For the month April we focus on and highlight these issues.
Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Committee and sponsored by the Office of Mission and Ministry.
Each spring, Heritage Week celebrates the multi-layered history of the College and invites the Iona community to explore new ways of fulfilling the Founding Brothers' vision. The week starts with the Opening Mass - the Sunday evening liturgy in the Holy Family Church; at this Mass, members of the Iona community of Christian Brothers renew their vows. In the Keynote Lecture, a guest professor examines a particular dimension of the Christian Brothers' history - or the history of St. Columba and the "original Iona." The rest of the week offers presentations, films, liturgies, and round-tables, all focusing on a common theme.
Stress Free Zone
Stress Free Zone is a bi-annual program offered at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters. Office of Student Development works, in conjunction with several other offices, to create a schedule of stress relief activities that help students relax, focus, and prepare for their semester finals begin. Our partners in the past have been the Counseling Center, Health Services, Chartwells, Residential Life, and the Office of Mission and Ministries.