Sydney Snell

Why You Should Join the Student Government Association

This week I will be talking about an organization I joined at the end of last year, which is the lovely Student Government Association (SGA)! I chose this week to talk about SGA because the campaign process has begun for the individuals that are choosing to run for positions. I believe that SGA is a great organization to join because it allows you to be able to share your thoughts and opinions with various people who help run the university, even the president! People with various jobs and positions at the university also tend to gage the opinion of students on SGA first before making concrete changes to our university. 

Through SGA I have also had the ability to be on various committees including drug policy, earth week, speaker review board, DePaul TedX speaker selection, and sexual assault and mental health. Being on these committees allowed me to partake in events and decisions that brought so much change to DePaul. There are also elections in the fall so if you are going to be a freshman next year, check it out then! 

Being a part of SGA truly made me feel like I was making positive changes on DePaul’s campus and also gave me the opportunity to work with and get to know some amazing student leaders here. If you have any questions about SGA at all, feel free to ask away!


Sydney's SGA title and role



Dinner with the Vincentians

This evening, I went to Dinner with the Vincentians! This evening consisted of having conversations with the Vincentians on campus who are either priests or brothers. We had the opportunity to ask them any questions we wanted. My table discussed our favorite places to travel and our favorite stories about Vincent and Louise. Through these conversations, I not only got to know the Vincentians on campus better, but fellow students as well. Through the Vincentian mission we believe that “we form each other”, and it is through these experiences that this belief is lived out. We have the opportunity to get to know others in our community and do not only have typical small talk conversations. The Vincentians make sure that each conversation is meaningful, that everyone leaves knowing something new, and that everyone is well fed! ​


Sydney and her friend
Me and my fellow Meet Me at the Mission team-er, Erin at the Dinner with the Vincentians!


I am a part of the Meet Me at the Mission team which helped sponsor this event. The Meet Me at the Mission team has many events each quarter, which more often than not has free food! This quarter, some of the events are hosted by students who just recently returned from the Vincentian Heritage Tour with me where we had the opportunity to walk in Vincent’s footsteps. These events provide each student who went on the trip with an opportunity to share their Vincentian knowledge with the DePaul community. The dinners with the Vincentians on campus are always a hit because they provide a home cooked meal for everyone to enjoy. 

demonTHON 2019

This past weekend I participated in demonTHON! For those that are unfamiliar, demonTHON is an annual 24-hour dance marathon where all of the money donated goes straight to the kids at Lurie Children’s Hospital in downtown Chicago. This was my first time doing demonTHON, so I was very excited to see what the event was like.​


demonthon sign



​In my sorority, each member is required to participate in either demonTHON or Relay for Life. Last year I chose to do Relay for Life, so this year I decided to change it up. As of now I am graduating a quarter early next year, which would mean I would never get the chance to do demonTHON if I did not do it this year. I chose to do the first twelve hour shift from 7pm to 7am. Throughout the event, there was a lot of entertainment brought in to help us fight through all the urges to sit down and get tired. Some of the entertainment included a clown, a drag queen, djs, and more! 

Many families also came to the event to share their story with us and explain all of the ways Lurie Children’s Hospital has helped them. Each story explained how the hospital helps make even the most stressful surgeries for children and families enjoyable. They told us how they have dogs for children to pet, provide games for them to play, and in some cases even fly in a child’s favorite celebrity for them to spend the day with! One child who had almost passed away about ten years ago had his band play for us, and they truly put on such a great show. I was so proud to be a part of an event that does so much good for so many children. In the end, demonTHON raised over 200,000 all for the kids!







Vincentian Heritage Tour

sydney outside Versailles



Over spring break, I had the privilege of going to Paris, France through the Vincentian Heritage Tour! This trip occurs every year and is made up of about 18 student leaders who carry out the Vincentian mission in their daily lives at DePaul. I applied to this trip back in the fall, and I was so excited when I found out I was one of the students accepted!

During this trip, our group was able to see many of the very famous Vincentian sites. Some of these sites include Folleville, where the Vincentian mission started, a museum where the Vincent DePaul’s actual cloak is located, the church where Louise had her lumiere moment, and more. We also visited the Palace of Fontainebleau as well as the Palace of Versailles to see the amount of wealth royalty had during the time of Vincent and Louise. Being able to be present in some of the sites Vincent himself visited was such an amazing experience. I loved being able to follow in Vincent’s footsteps for a week, and I also had a wonderful time getting to know many of the student leaders at DePaul. 

Not only did I get to learn a lot more about Vincent and Louise on this trip, but I also had a lot of free time to explore the city of Paris. In my free time I visited the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Bastille neighborhood, ate a lot of crepes, sat by the Seine, took a river boat cruise, and of course, saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night. This trip was my first time to Europe, so I got to experience a new culture as well.

If you have any interest in the Vincentian Heritage Tour, do not be afraid to ask me any questions you may have! I loved every moment of this experience, and I would recommend it highly to anyone. As for the rest of DePaul, I hope you all had a wonderful and safe spring break!  


vicentian heritage tour



Engaging with the Vincentian Mission

One of my favorite things about DePaul is the Vincentian Mission! This year I was elected as the Senator of Mission and Ministry for DePaul’s Student Government Association, and was put on the “Meet Me at the Mission” Team. As a member of the “Meet Me at the Mission” Team, I, along with three other students, am responsible for planning events for the mission and encouraging a good turnout. 

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of planning an alumni event where alumni of DePaul came back for an evening and shared how they continue to carry out the Vincentian mission in their daily lives. Students had the opportunity to ask them about their careers as we all sat around tables and had a meal together. 

This past Monday, the “Meet Me at the Mission” team hosted an event for Mardi Gras at the Vincentian Residence. The events at the Vincentian Residence always begin with a short story about one of the priests, and how they ended up at DePaul University. After hearing the short story, we all go down to the kitchen and eat way too much food. At the Mardi Gras dinner there was potatoes, corn, chicken, salad, chips, and a large assortment of desserts. This event is my favorite of the year not only because of the food, but because of the great conversations I have with the Vincentian priests and fellow DePaul students! This year, the “Meet Me at the Mission” team has had a large increase of turn out at all of our events which is so exciting to me. I love to see students come to events and engage with the Vincentian mission. :)

meet me at the mission event



Dear Evan Hanson in Chicago

This weekend, I had the best surprise ever happen to me! I was canning for Demonthon (DePaul’s 24 hour dance marathon) with two other people outside of James M. Nederlander Theatre because we were trying to catch a big crowd of people to get donations. We split into groups in order to cover both entrances to the theatre. Only about fifteen minutes into canning, one of the girls that had split off from us came running up to us with a huge smile on her face. When she approached us, she told us that a woman had three extra tickets to the Dear Evan Hansen​

She saw that we were raising money for a good cause, and felt that there were no better people to give the tickets to. We were all so excited to see the show because we had all heard such wonderful things about it. I had not been to a play in Chicago for almost over a year, which made me even more excited to see it! 

The show had such a wonderful message about self-love and showed how important it is to focus on bettering yourself. I cried about three times throughout the show, and I have been listening to the soundtrack on repeat ever since. I would 100% recommend it to anyone and despite the expense believe it is completely worth it. I had a wonderful day raising money for the kids, seeing a wonderful show, and meeting two new friends!

dear evan hansen playbill



Let's Talk About Philanthropy!!!

If you do not know already, I am in Alpha Omicron Pi at DePaul. During winter and spring quarter we put on events to raise money for our philanthropies. Our international philanthropy is juvenile arthritis and arthritis research, which is what we had an event for a little over a week ago. The event was called Spike Out Arthritis, which is a volleyball tournament that we put on. All of the sororities and fraternities can sign up a team of six to eight people to compete in the tournament. Both the winning sorority and winning fraternity teams got the prize of money for their philanthropy. 

spike out arthritis tshirt


At the event, everyone in my sorority had various responsibilities. The jobs we were assigned were either score keeper, raffle floater, referee, or team coach. I had the privilege of coaching Chi Omega’s team who lost their first game, but ended up winning their next three games and became the champions of the losers bracket! Go Chi O!

I had so much fun at this event because I got to know some of the lovely ladies of Chi O better, and also got to watch all of the sororities and fraternities get very competitive. Believe it or not, people get really into the tournament each and every year. The event was a big success, and I am excited to be a part of it again for the last time next year. 

alpha omicron pi sisters






Keys to Successfully Registering for Classes

This week was a big one for many students at DePaul, because we picked classes for Spring Quarter! When I first started college, I was very worried and overwhelmed with all of the classes I had to get done. As time went on, I realized all of the resources I needed in order to stay on track for my degree and make sure I was taking the best classes possible.

1. Meet with your advisor.
I try to meet with my advisor each quarter before I pick my classes. I do this to make sure I am still on track to graduate on time, and that all of the classes I am taking count as either a core class or towards my major.

2. Make sure you are comfortable with Campus Connect (the website we use to pick classes).
Before my sophomore year, I always dreaded picking classes because Campus Connect really confused me. I began to play around with the website a little more, and realized how to pick classes more easily so that they would fit my schedule. I recommend making sure to mark what times or days you would like a specific class to be, and also what campus you would like it to be on. 

Campus Connect Main Screen
3. Take some core classes first, especially if you are unsure of what major you want to pursue. 
During my freshman year, I was sure to take my two math classes right when I began at DePaul so I could get them out of the way. I remember hearing my friends complain about still having to complete their math credits last year, and I was so grateful that was not me. I also suggest taking other core classes first because it is best to focus more on your major as your time at DePaul comes to a close.

4. Create a schedule that works best for you. 
Make sure you pick classes at times you are ready to learn. You have a lot of flexibility to pick classes as early as 8 in the morning, or as late as 6 at night. I also suggest not being afraid to pick classes at a lot of different times, because then you can figure out what works best for you.

5. Make sure you know your registration time!
In order to assure you get all of your preferred classes, you should be sure to register as early as possible! On Campus Connect there are different sets of registrations times for students, so make sure to check yours.

I hope everyone is enrolled in all of the classes they wanted, and are excited to begin Spring Quarter (arguably the best quarter) very soon!

girl at computer



Getting Around Outside Chicago


Hi everyone! If you are reading this, you somehow made it through those truly awful cold days. After the polar vortex, the Midwest was treated with some great weather!

This past weekend, I left Chicago and visited a friend at University of Iowa in Iowa City. One great thing I have found about living in Chicago is the Megabus system. I took a Megabus from Chicago to Iowa City, and it went very smoothly. If you are considering coming to DePaul but are worried about missing your friends, I highly recommend taking a Megabus to go visit them. The Megabus is a cheap way to get around when you do not have a car in the city. It is also a great substitute for a plane because you can save a lot of money. The Megabus can take you anywhere around the United States, and it is great for a student on a budget. I have also taken a Megabus to Madison, Wisconsin as well as to my home city Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Sydney in Iowa
Sydney and friend on the Megabus
While I did have a fun time seeing my friend and getting to explore a new city, I missed Chicago a lot. It reminded me of how cool it is to go to college in the middle of a big city with so many opportunities and things to do. Now that the polar vortex is over, I will be sure to spend this next week enjoying the (mostly) warm weather. 

Remembering Warm Days


I hope everyone is staying warm! Here at DePaul, we have already been given Wednesday off class and potentially Thursday. In honor of the cold weather, it seems right to look back on this past summer I spent in Chicago living with my friends in our apartment.

This past summer was the first one I spent in Chicago, and I had so much fun living in an apartment with my friends. One of our favorite fun and free things to do was go to Millennium Park almost each Tuesday. Every week there was a new movie, and they showed some of my favorites such as Coco and Get Out. All of my friends worked 9-5 shifts during the week during the summer, so we typically all met at the park and had a picnic dinner while watching the movie.
Coco at Millennium Park
Another highlight of my summer was going to Lollapalooza. This was my second time going to the festival, and I had so much fun. I saw some of my favorite artists such as Brockhampton, Allie X, Bruno Mars, Jaden Smith, and more. It is so crazy for me to think back to this festival, because my friends and I were SWEATING. One great thing about Lollapalooza is that they have free water fill up stations, which was my saving grace during each of the hot days during the festival. Having a music festival just minutes from my apartment is something I found to be super fun and exciting. My sister and her friend drove down from Minnesota to come to Lollapalooza for their first time, and we all had a blast. 
Lollapalooza 

Being able to live in Chicago for the summer was such a unique experience. There are so many fun things to do each day like going to the beach or simply walking around the city. There are also many street music and food festivals each weekend during the summer. I loved being able to live in the city over the summer and not have to focus on the stresses that school may bring.  


Winter Fun in Chicago

The true winter season has hit DePaul, but I am here to try to keep the winter blues away! Being in a big city like Chicago makes it a lot easier to find fun things to do in the winter instead of being stuck inside your dorm or apartment. Some things I recommend to do are going to a play, a museum, or a local coffee shop.

When you are a student at DePaul, you get free access to the Art Institute of Chicago which has amazing art from all around the world. Some of my professors have made it extra credit to go to this museum and look at all of the beautiful art work and exhibits, but I have gone for fun numerous times. I also recommend checking out the Chicago Cultural Center, which is also free to the public and is right across the street from the art institute. One museum I recommend with paid admission is the Museum of Contemporary Art. The art is rotated in and out fairly regularly, so it is worth visiting multiple times during the winter season! There are also many “free museum days” during the winter months, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.
Sydney and friend at the Art Institute
​During the winter, I also love going to new coffee shops and cafes. Some of my favorite places to grab a warm drink and a snack are Colectivo Coffee, Floriole Cafe & Bakery (this one is very close to the Lincoln Park campus!), Goddess and the Baker, and Dollop Coffee Co. With Chicago as your campus, there are countless cafes and museums to enjoy.
Camera, winter hat, latte


From Colombia to Minnesota


Hi everyone! I just want to wish a big welcome back to everyone at DePaul after our six (!!!) week break. This six week break is one of the things that I love the most about DePaul because it allows students to not be worrying about finals over Thanksgiving. DePaul provides countless programs and experiences to students over breaks. These experiences allow students to go on a short-term study abroad trip or a service immersion trip.

Over my break, I had the opportunity to go on a service immersion trip to Bogotá, Colombia with eight other students. On this trip we learned about the issues of the education system, displacement, and armed conflicts. Having the opportunity to hear stories from individuals who have experienced these issues first hand was so amazing, and I am forever grateful for their determination to spread awareness of what is going on in their country. One thing that I take away from this trip is the importance of community. Wherever my group went, we were welcomed with open arms. Despite the language barrier, we were still able to make a connection through laughs and smiles. One day while we were volunteering at a school, one boy in second grade named Oscar was determined to teach me Spanish. He found it hilarious that I did not know what basic things such as ‘cement’ meant in Spanish. While he was teaching me Spanish, I also taught him some words in English as well.

Bogota, Colombia 
Once I returned from this trip, I was lucky enough to spend time with my family and friends in the arguably best state ever, Minnesota. One thing I miss the most going to school in Chicago is nature. While I was home, my mom and I planned a day trip to Duluth, Minnesota. While we were there we hiked through the snow and saw some beautiful sites.

Nature in Minnesota
​I hope everyone had a wonderful break, and I hope everyone has an even more wonderful winter quarter. :) 


Thankful!

I can’t believe it is week ten already here at DePaul!  Finals are already well underway at DePaul, and our winter break officially starts on Wednesday.  The past week has been filled with studying and writing papers, but this weekend I went to two Friendsgiving celebrations!  On Friday I celebrated with some friends in my sorority, and on Saturday my roommates and I hosted one at our apartment.  Both nights I was responsible for making apple crisp, which is my favorite fall dessert.  For each Friendsgiving, everyone invited was required to make an appetizer, a plate for dinner, or a dessert.  Surprisingly, everyone brought such great food and made everything from scratch.  Since DePaul is not in session during the Christmas season at all, I found it to be especially necessary for us all to spend this time together before the holidays.  
I am so grateful for all of my amazing friends I have met at DePaul.  I came here freshman year not knowing a single soul and somehow got to meet some of the best humans I know.  Both Friendsgivings I went to this weekend allowed me to look back on how I met each of my friends, and most of them were simply by chance.  Whether it be having a dorm room right next to my best friends, choosing to room with a girl I met through the DePaul Class of 2020 Facebook page, or simply meeting someone through a friend of a friend, I am so happy to have all of these wonderful people in my life.  What are you grateful for? :)


Service Immersions

In honor of applications being open for spring break service immersion trips, I thought I should talk about the two trips I have had the opportunity to go on.  During the spring break of my freshman year at DePaul, I went to Bladensburg, Maryland.  During this trip, we went to D.C., as well as Baltimore in Maryland.  The focus of this trip was healthcare, which we learned a lot about when we visited many different sites in D.C..  When we went to Baltimore for a day, we learned about human trafficking, which was an issue I had hardly been exposed to before.  Human trafficking is rarely discussed in the media, so I was very grateful to learn so much about it. 

My second service immersion trip was to Los Angeles, California during my winter break last year.  The focus of this trip was homelessness, and we stayed in the heart of skid row.  This experience is something I will always remember, as well as all of the people I met.  The highlights of the trip for me were sitting with those who were homeless over lunch, and getting to know them.  One man I was talking to said he was so proud of our group for spending our winter break this way, and said he sincerely believes our generation has the power to change the world.  Another highlight of the trip for me was going to a site called Homeboy Industries.  Homeboy Industries helps many individuals who were formerly in gangs or incarcerated.  Their purpose is to help these individuals find a place back in society.  They do this by offering tattoo removals so it is easier for these individuals to get jobs, offering mental health services, workforce development, educational services, and more.  Homeboy Industries also has a bakery as well as Homegirl Cafe, which hires individuals who have come to Homeboy Industries seeking help.  Having these jobs that give them hands-on experience when many other places have turned them down due to their criminal record is a very important step in their road to success.

Both of these trips have allowed me to meet wonderful people at DePaul, as well as all over the United States.  Over winter break I will be going on a service immersion trip to Bogota, Colombia and I am so excited.  I cannot wait to write a blog about it. :)


SigEp LipSync

This past weekend, a few girls in my sorority and I participated in Sigma Phi Epsilon’s philanthropy event: SigEp LipSync.  The event consists of multiple sororities and fraternities coming up with a dance to a mix of songs, and then lip singing to the best of their ability.  This year the theme for the event was Halloween, so every sorority and fraternity that competed in the event made a mix of different Halloween songs and/or wore costumes.  My sorority had a mix of songs for our dance that included the intro of The Purge movie, “Heads Will Roll,” “Somebody’s Watching Me,” “Disturbia,” “Look What You Made Me Do,” and “Time Warp.” Everyone who attended the event was asked to give a five dollar donation at the door, and all of the donations were given directly to Erika’s Lighthouse.  Erika’s Lighthouse is present in many states, but has a location close to Chicago, in Winnetka, Illinois.  Erika’s Lighthouse is a non-profit organization that promotes and educates people on mental health and has the purpose of making sure no child feels alone during their depression. This is a cause I was truly grateful to support.  My sorority ended up getting second place in the competition, which we were really excited about!  We all worked really hard on the dance and practiced multiple times per week.  I was also so happy that many of my friends came to watch my sorority perform, whether they were in my sorority or not.  I had such a great time at this event and would encourage everyone to either participate or observe the event next year. :) 


Service with SGA

This morning, I had the opportunity to raise money for a local women’s shelter called Deborah’s Place with Student Government Association (SGA).  One new requirement for everyone with a position on student government is that they have to do at least five hours of community service a quarter.  In order to make this easier for everyone and more fun, we decided to do it all together.

We all met in the student center and broke off into two separate teams.  Each team went to a Jewel-Osco grocery store near DePaul’s campus.  Once we arrived at the Jewels, we set up a table with a sign and handed out flyers to people as they went inside to grocery shop. These flyers had a list of things the women at Deborah’s Place would like. 

While the beginning of the day was slow for my group donations wise, I was so surprised with how much we accumulated during the day.  People were so willing to give, whether it be dollar bill or multiple bags of toiletries.  One woman who gave us multiple boxes worth of supplies told us that Deborah’s Place had helped her when she was in a toxic relationship.  She explained how Deborah’s Place got her back on her feet, and how thankful she was for all of the work they have done and continue to do.  She even posted on her Facebook page and encouraged her friends to come stop by and donate items to us.  Today made me so happy to see how many people in our community are willing to give to others.  I also had a lot of fun spending time with everyone on SGA.


Sounds of Cinema

Beginning in my freshman year, one of my friends and I decided to have a radio show on Radio DePaul.  The process of getting a show was very easy.  We simply contacted Radio DePaul and presented them with an idea for our show.  We were then each trained and taught how to work everything in the studio.  We got to learn how each piece of equipment works, and what it was for.  For our show, we wanted it to be about movies.  Our show is now called Sounds of Cinema, and we have a different theme each week.  My favorite theme we have had and will have again in just a few weeks is Halloween.  This is my favorite because we get to play songs from the soundtracks of our favorite Halloween movies.

Today, we started a new trend of themes: Astrology.  Our playlist today consisted of songs from movies with famous Libras.  For example, we had Hugh Jackman for The Greatest Showman, Will Smith from Men in Black, and Josh Hutcherson with a song from Bridge to Terabithia.

Radio DePaul has received many awards for being the best college radio station.  I feel so lucky to have this unique experience, and get to combine my love of movies and music!  I love getting text messages from my friends and family, who are able to listen to the show from across the country by simply going to the Radio DePaul website.  My parents listen every week, and love being able to hear my voice even though I am hundreds of miles away from them.

If you would like to listen to the show next week, tune in at 6-7PM on Sunday!


Student Organizations

Welcome back to all the DePaul students!  I am so excited for the school year to begin because I not only missed many of my friends who went home for the summer, but I also joined some different organizations this year that I am thrilled to be a part of.

The first new organization I chose to join is Student Government Association (SGA).  I ran for Senator of Mission and Ministry last spring and was so excited I got elected.  Everyone in Student Government is so driven to make change happen on campus, and I am so eager to work with each member this coming year!  One big initiative SGA is trying to achieve this year is to stop the use of plastic straws on campus.  Before the year began, every place to eat on campus agreed to not give plastic straws to students, unless a student specifically asked them to.  At the involvement fair this past Friday, SGA gave away every single reusable metal straw we ordered to students.  I am so proud to see we are already making a difference on campus less than one week in!

To all my fellow DePaulians, I hope you have a wonderful school year!  I hope to see you around campus this year or specifically at any of the MMATM events.  


Bid Day 2018

Hey DePaul!  I would like to start off this blog post by saying happy bid day to all of the women who went through recruitment this year! 

During my freshman year of college, I had no interest in going through recruitment whatsoever.  I thought all of the typical stereotypes about sorority girls applied to everyone at DePaul, and let me tell you I was 100% wrong. 

My friend went through recruitment freshman year and convinced me to go through formal recruitment during the fall of my sophomore year.  I decided I would give it a try, and if I hated it I would simply drop the process.  I told myself if I didn’t at least give it a try, I would have many “what if” moments down the road.

I was so surprised by how many genuine women I talked to during recruitment.  Each woman I interacted with was so passionate, driven, and simply the opposite of all the preconceived notions I had.  When it came down to picking what sorority felt right for me, I thought back to the sorority where I felt most welcomed.  This sorority for me was Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII).

This week, I was a recruiter for AOII and met so many amazing potential new members (PNMs) going through recruitment.  While being a recruiter was very time consuming, I appreciated getting to know many of the women going through the process and hearing things they were passionate about.

Today, 31 new members ran home to AOII.  Along with these 31 new members, many members of AOII were recruitment counselors this year, and they ran back home to us as well.  Being a recruitment counselor means one helps PNMs pick what sorority they think is best for them.  In order for the PNMs to not feel any bias from their recruitment counselors, recruitment counselors have to disaffiliate from the chapter they belong to.  Many of my best friends in the chapter, including my big, were recruitment counselors.  This meant I was not able to talk to them or be seen in public with them since the end of August.  I was so happy to see my big run home to AOII and finally be able to hug her.  I am also so excited to get to know each one of the amazing new members better throughout the year, and potentially make one of them my little.