Month: September 2017

Do Re Mi Fa Sol

Do Re Mi Fa Sol

If you know me well enough, music is one thing I love A LOT. It’s one thing no one can take away from me and it is something I can create beautifully. I enjoy all types of music and I think it is one aspect that is so universal, so quite literally everyone can understand and appreciate.


Instrument-wise, I play the piano and cello. I used to play the guitar since 4th grade and that was my first official instrument I played. Next, I had private piano lessons and that went on for about a couple of years. At Old Town School of Folk Music, I learned how to play the cello. At Loyola, I had cello lessons with William Cernota, the principle cellist of the Lyric Opera. On Saturdays, I play piano for evening mass and currently, I am conducting for a anniversary mass coming up.

Here at Loyola, we have an excellent music program. Even if you want to learn how to play an instrument and fulfill your art core requirement, you can do that through taking private lessons. It’s a win-win situation if you are a music fanatic like me; you get to fulfill required classes, sharpen your skills on the instrument, and get private lessons taught by someone who is well-known.

There are so many amazing music performances Loyola showcases for the community and the general public. Joyola is a Christmas event in which features the men’s and women’s choir, orchestra, and jazz bands. This is my favorite Loyola event because you get to hear great live Christmas music; you’ll definitely get the season vibes with all the decorations Loyola will have throughout campus. Every month there is also a free organ concert at Loyola’s Madonna Della Strada Chapel in which local organists come to share their talent and music to the community. On the second floor of Mundelein, we have a music hall and that’s were all the recitals happen. I remember going to these recitals freshman year and fell in love with Debussy’s music.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that Loyola has a lot of talented students. I am proud that we are a university that allows students to showcase themselves to the public and be able to produce sounds unlike anything you’ve ever heard. I am personally not a music major or minor, though I have always thought about doing it. I simply appreciate it and have always been a hardcore music-enthusiast. On my end, as you have read, I still do a lot in regards to music!

If you would like to read more about Loyola’s music events, click here for more information:


The Adventure is Happening!

The Adventure is Happening!

As I write this, I’m on a bus towards Cinque Terre, a particularly beautiful cluster of Italian seaside towns. And it’s only a part of my journey so far.

Hi everyone! I’m Jessica Xi, junior of Loyola aiming for majors in International Studies and History, and minors in Leadership Studies and Chinese. Above is a picture of my classmates and I – in class! I’m a Ricci Scholar, which means I am studying abroad this semester at our John Felice Rome Campus and next semester at The Beijing Center in Beijing, China, two of Loyola’s biggest overseas campuses. (We also have a popular program in Vietnam, and you can study anywhere else you wish, too!) Why am I spending the year abroad? Well, Ricci Scholars like myself do independent comparative research between the two countries. Mine is on expatriates, while my friend (and current roommate here in Rome) Melissa is doing Korean pop and television, and another Ricci Scholar, John, is studying underground music. Mark and Jacob, the other two, are comparing relics, icons, and religion. You can do really anything!

And ‘doing anything’ doesn’t just apply to the Ricci Scholars Program, but studying abroad in general with Loyola. For example: I’ve been here for a month, and I’ve already been to three different countries, seen the Pope, eaten gelato at LEAST three times a week, and crossed up and down Italy a few times! The Rome Center, or J-Force as we call it, does not schedule classes on Fridays so that students can have longer weekends to roam around wherever they’d like. I’m currently planning a trip to Morocco. Why not?

(Two words: pear. pasta. It doesn’t seem like it would be as delicious as it was, but something about the mixing of flavors… just prime.)

It may be cliche to say, but I love everything here in Rome. From the food, to the sights, to the people and even the classes here. Yes, the classes. I could go on and on about the food and deliciousness that is food, really anywhere I go, but the classes here I think are not always talked about. Let me tell you about my two favorite classes (and food, still.)

HIST 330 – European History from 1900-1945. There’s only three people in this class, including me, but it’s absolutely fascinating because we often have classes ‘on-site,’ which means out in the city. We can see where Mussolini stood to give this and that speech, or where this and that event happened. It brings to life history even more, and I’m a person who already loves history, so nobody had to ask me twice to take this class! Other ‘on-site’ classes include Baroque Art, where students go to museums, former studios, architecturally influenced churches and locations, and so on, as well as Fiction Writing in Rome, where you can see where stories were set, told, and written. And of course the Roman Catholicism course, where students go to important churches and see how they have changed or what they did – or hold.

LITR 248 – Italian Culture: Food and Wine. Yes, Loyola offers a class where we just talk about food all day. I’m a big foodie. I was so happy I got into this class, I almost cried. As you can imagine, it’s quite competitive to get in. We talk about the culinary history and influences of different Italian regions, and taste them all too. These past two weeks were about the red and white wines of Italy, and because our professor knows we are but poor college students, she brings us wines that are a little out of our typical price range to try – and dream about buying someday. Or at least, that’s what I do! We’ve tried breads, cheese, meats, and there’s more to come. I think next week is olive oil, and the week after that coffee, but we shall see. We really do learn things though, I promise, it’s not all just eating. I recently took a trip to a few cities in the Emilie-Romagna region, for example, and now that I knew what to look for, I could see the reason that some of their foods, like piedina or a particular type of cheese, came about, and how food traditions linger on today. Plus, it’s a course in the history of Italy and modern Italy too. After all, the United States is technically older than the country of Italy! Politically.


If I could change anything about my experience so far, it would only be my Italian skill level, which I’m working hard on anyway. So, in sum: I’d change nothing!

The Rome Center is only about a half-hour’s walk to the Vatican, and from there, literally the rest of Rome. I can get to my favorite place, the Pantheon, in about an hour if I dawdle! Although I love to venture out and explore the world, every Sunday evening or Monday morning when it’s time to hurry back for classes, I’m glad to be in Rome again. After all, as they say: Rome is home. I’ll tell you more next week!

Taste of Pakistan

Taste of Pakistan


If you thought Biryani Party was great, you definitely don’t want to miss out on Taste of Pakistan! Get a chance to TASTE a variety of Pakistan’s tastiest dishes from the comfort of your college campus.

When: October 6th, 5-8 PM
Where: Damen MPR

Traditional clothing is encouraged for this casual event.

Food provided by Usmania Restaurant.

Grab your friends and get your henna done by henna artist Fareha Kamran (@art.of.shades on Instagram).

Show off your squad by taking pictures in the photo booth!

Music courtesy of Tamasha Entertainment.


Hosted by Loyola’s Pakistani Students Association

Appreciating Diversity at Loyola

Appreciating Diversity at Loyola

Loyola is a institution where diversity and inclusion are valued and cherished. Here, we accept all nationalities, religions, immigration status, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status, genders, and more! On campus, we have resources available to help students feel part of the community and feel welcome during their college experience. To aid in this, Loyola has been accepting more minority groups into the school with over 40% of the 2015 Freshman and Transfer students were students of color (Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, and others. To view the full report check out: (

Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (SDMA)

Here are the three key learning outcomes that SDMA embraces (based on their website):

  1. Students will be able to express ideas, identify behaviors, and actualize practices that promote social justice and equity.
  2. Students will be able to articulate ideas and exhibit behaviors that cultivate teamwork, critical thought, and communication skills needed to function in a diverse workforce and global community.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate techniques and utilize tools to interrupt micro-aggressions and bias behaviors that adversely impact under-represented communities.

Within the office, there are many programs that students of all different backgrounds can be a part of. Sometimes, these groups hold retreats, meetings, and help find resources for students as well. Some examples of this include Brothers for Excellence which helps pair up young identifying men of color with mentors to help with curricular and out of school matters. Women also have a group called LUCES (Loyola University Chicago Empowering Sisterhood) which helps young identifying women of color opportunities for academic support, have chances to reflect, share experiences with others, as well as developing their sense of self and identity. To check the different opportunities made available to racial and sexual minorities, here at Loyola be sure to check out: ( for more information.

Campus Ministry

Loyola, even though it is a Jesuit institution, is a place where all faiths and religious traditions can come together. We offer Catholic Chaplains, a member of Jewish Life (Hillel), a Protestant Chaplain, as well as a Muslim Chaplain all on campus in the Campus Ministry Office. We also offer prayer spaces for students whether it is a call to prayer for Muslim students or the annual Puja celebration for Hindu students. There are also opportunities for students to get involved with Alternative Break Immersion trips (ABIs) as well as the first year student Loyola 360. For more info please check: (

Free this Sunday?

Free this Sunday?

Living in Chicago does have it’s perks! Especially if you are a LUC student and finished all your homework on Friday and Saturday, this event at Navy Pier is something to consider attending THIS Sunday! This is a FREE event and there’s plenty of activities and entertainment to see and do!


For people who are new to Chicago, Navy Pier is one of the most iconic places the city has to offer! As the name implies, this place is right on the waters of Lake Michigan and features breathtaking views of the city skyline. It is not far away from Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, or any of the other famous destinations. At Nay Pier, there are tons of activities to do, including ride the huge (and newly renovated) Ferris Wheel, Swing Carousel, fantastic restaurants, the Shakespeare theater, Children’s Museum, and so much more!

I believe that it is wonderful that Asian culture appreciation is slowly increasing nowadays. Even at Loyola, I try to bring Vietnamese culture into community through the means of meetings, food, and events. So for Navy Pier (Chicago) to have a FREE city-wide Asian event, I am hyped up for it! I am proud that our city is bringing more awareness and appreciation to Asian culture. It comes to show how much of a ‘melting pot’ this city is.

I’m sure most of you are not familiar with Indonesian culture; I know I’m not. It would be eye-opening to all of us to travel halfway across the world to catch a glimpse of something we are not familiar with and enjoy the experience. That alone makes all of us a little bit more knowledgeable, more adventurous, and open to new things–which completely a good thing! At this event, A Vibrant Indonesia, there will be an array of things, including an exhibition, trade and tourism forum, fashion show, food demo, and traditional music and dances! Isn’t that fun? After you attend this event, there’s tons of other activities to do on the pier, as stated in the previous paragraph. To sum it up, your Sunday agenda would be so good and fun.

For the chances that you might not be able to make it to this event, do not be discouraged! Navy Pier has so many other free events for you! Especially with the Halloween season coming up, there’s a lot of exciting things available. Info on those things can be found in this link:

You’ll never have “nothing to do” when you are in Chicago because this city is filled with different things for you to do, go to, eat at, and so much more.

Family doesn’t have to be far!

Family doesn’t have to be far!


Eventually that point into the semester is coming where you are starting to feel slightly home sick but can’t really go home either because all those first round of exams are here. Did you know the variety of hotels near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus that your family can lodge at? Definitely check out the variety of selections, especially during Loyola Weekend, which will take place Sept 22-24th!

Hampton Inn-Chicago North/Loyola Station
1209 W. Albion Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: 312.265.5800

*The Hampton Inn is now filled to capacity for Family Weekend, please see below for other hotel options.

Loyola Flats (Loyola’s student run luxury guesthouse)
1216 W. Arthur Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626

Hilton Garden Inn

1818 Maple Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

DoubleTree by Hilton – Skokie

9599 Skokie Blvd
Skokie, IL 60077

There are other options as well that are closer to the Water Tower Campus if you reside there!

140 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611

The Talbott Hotel – Corporate Code 3224
20 East Delaware Place
Chicago, IL 60611

Residence Inn Marriot
201 E Walton
Chicago, IL 60611

Other options near the Loyola Campus area are:

Loyola’s Baumhart Hall Lodging
26 E. Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611

Lang House Bed & Breakfast (formerly Cat’s Cradle B&B)
7421 North Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60626

Millennium Knickerbocker
163 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611

The Hilton Orrington / Evanston
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

So no need to fear or have your parents awkwardly squished into your dorm with your roommates, Loyola has a variety of hotel options that are fairly distant and will make Loyola Weekend, or any weekend in general, an amazing experience!


Loyola’s Family Weekend 2017

Loyola’s Family Weekend 2017

College is not just an adjustment for the student, it is also an adjustment for parents/guardians and siblings. Maybe, you have not seen your parents in the first few weeks of school and they are wondering how you are doing and adjusting to college life. To help give parents peace of mind and to help allow students have a chance to relax and show off how great Loyola is, we have Family Weekend! This three day event is full of activities, bonding experiences, and meeting new faces.


Although online registration is now closed, you are more than welcome to register on-site. Be sure to check pricing for more details. (

Summary of the Weekend’s Agenda:

On Friday: Be sure to join other members of the Rambler family over light snacks and drinks at the Welcome Reception! Afterwards, join as we cheer on the women’s volleyball team as they take on Drake University. We need your Rambler spirit and energy! Wrap up the fun night with a fun family movie night. At 8 and 10pm, at the Damen Cinema, DOP (Department of Programming) is having a showing of Disney’s Moana. Relive these childhood moments with some free popcorn and family bonding time!

On Saturday: Start the morning right with a cup of joe and/or some hot tea with the Jesuits! Also in the morning is the reception for multi-cultural students, LGBTQIA students, and first generation students with their parents. Here, you will be able to meet and greet other peers. Other fun activities you might be interested include rock climbing at the Halas Sports Center, exploring the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA), Chicago’s South Side Screening, and more! Be sure to stick around the rest of the night since Second City is coming to Loyola! Have a night of good fun and laughs!

On Sunday: Join us for mass at either Loyola’s main chapel at Madonna de la Strada at the Lakeshore Campus or St James Chapel at the Water Tower Campus! After mass, enjoy a lovely brunch!

For more information:

Pakistani Students Association at Loyola!

Pakistani Students Association at Loyola!

What is Pakistani Students Association?

Pakistani Students Association (PSA) is a student led organization that strives to recognize and alleviate the struggles endured by those in Pakistan, while raising awareness about its culture and beauty. We want to provide as much fundraising as possible to provide for students in Pakistan with uniform and school supplies.

Our mission statement:

Our mission is to recognize the struggle and hardship facing Pakistan today and help alleviate these hardships through fundraising events, while simultaneously raising awareness about the culture and beauty of Pakistan. We hope to create a diverse group of members through our outreach and fundraising efforts.

The 2017-2018 E-Board:

President: Mahira Athar

Vice President: Sumair Sheikh

Secretary: Husna Afzal

Co-Treasurers: Aimun Naeem and Sofia Ali

PR director: Shehrbano Aamir

Communication Chair: Mahnoor Bhatti

Historian: Shamayam Bhatti

CAN Representative: Sarah Javid


We are a Service Based Organization and are not limited to Pakistani students. PSA enjoys having a diverse group of students within the organization.


Upcoming Events:

Taste of Pakistan

Mock Wedding

Pani Puri Competition

Explore Pakistan

Halwa Puri Breakfast

Fashion Show


Movie Night

**all events are created in effort to raise funding and bring an education experience/awareness about Pakistani culture.**


Currently we are looking for a Freshmen Representative! If you believe you have the following qualities:

  • social & friendly, good communication skills, see a future on the PSA E-board, organized, and in line with our mission statement
  • There is an application that is due Wednesday September 20th! Contact for any questions.


And as always, please be sure to follow us on our social media!


Instagram: @luc_psa

Twitter: @luc_psa

Our first event of the semester, Biryani Party, was a hit! With 5 types of biryani and a new creation of SUSHI Biryani, Loyola students were astonished! Make sure to follow up on our next events and check out the pictures on our social media!




Vietnamese Student Association

Vietnamese Student Association


The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) at Loyola University is about to have an awesome event called VSA Meet and Greet! It is a fantastic group for students to want to explore Vietnamese culture and socialize with other students! I am a part of EBoard of VSA and wanted to take this opportunity to share some info about this event as well as acknowledge Vietnamese participation we have at our university!

VSA Meet and Greet will be from 6:00PM-7:30PM at Cuneo 002 and it is a open invite to all Loyola students! 


VSA is one out of a few Asian organizations we have on our Loyola campus. This organization allows for the celebration and awareness to Vietnamese culture (open to other Asian cultures too!) through the leadership of current students such as myself and others. Unlike other organizations, our meetings and events are often known for having good food! We try our best to promote our Viet culture by bringing to the community a taste of Vietnam; whether it is spring rolls or eggs rolls, you are assured to have fun exploring the cuisines at every meeting.

Our group is open to everyone, not only those of Asian ethnicity. We encourage culture mixing and embrace people of all backgrounds! VSA is one easy method for people to come together to socialize, celebrate Asian culture, and bring the community together. Fortunately, LUC VSA is not just a university group, but a nationwide group. With that being said, we do have affiliations and partnerships with other VSA’s. Currently, we are interacting with UIC’s VSA and hope to have many good and beneficial connections with them for this academic term!

Obligations for membership into this club are quite relaxed as we try to make this organization more manageable and easy for all students to be a part of. With that being said, VSA EBoard strives to create and plan events that can really highlight Vietnamese culture and draw people in through engaging and interactive methods, such as DIY Spring Rolls and DIY Che (popular dessert). With exciting events, we hope to serve the greater community of Loyola with an awareness to Vietnam in terms of traditions, culture, language, and cuisine.

VSA Meet and Greet is the chance for YOU to finally join an organization that requires little obligations yet you still get a full experience of the group through the events.

At this event, you will get to meet other excited students such as yourself and meet the Executive Board members, which I personally believe are very amicable, down-to-earth, wise, and helpful people. Meeting E-Board is awesome because you get to see the people who get to plan these fun VSA events coming up! Internships to our club is available to anyone as well! You will work alongside us and get a full view of how event planning is done as well provide inputs and creativity along the way.

Besides meeting and greeting, we will go into depth about our VSA group and the future events we are considering doing. Best part is, you get free pizza too! Please consider attending this NEXT THURSDAY at Cuneo 002 at 6PM. You’ll get to see me too and we can talk more in person with any questions you may have about anything related to VSA (or even admissions)!

Tips for Enjoying your First Year at Loyola

Tips for Enjoying your First Year at Loyola

Congratulations! You have survived your first three weeks of school and have hopefully become acquainted with your new home here at Loyola University Chicago! Yes, you have a homework, projects, and papers, but hopefully you are able to take time for yourself, some “Me-Time”. College is not just about the academics (which are very important), but it is also about exploring your passions and pursuing your interests. Here are some suggestions to help you have a academically successful as well as a well-rounded, balanced first year at your new school.

  1. Do not spread yourself too thin: After coming from the activities and organization fair in the fall, you may become overwhelmed and wonder how you are going to balance your school load as well as your extracurricular life. This is a perfectly normal feeling! Know and have a feeling of your stress level and how much you can take, then plan accordingly. I realized this hard way the first semester of my sophomore year. I thought that taking on a 21 credit hour load, with a job on campus as a Peer Advisor with three UNIV courses, a bass trombonist for the Wind Ensemble, prepare for a recital, be a Kuya (peer mentor) for Kapwa (the Filipino Student Organization), and work at the Undergraduate Admissions Office; would be doable and manageable. Oh, how was I wrong! After the first week of classes, I was highly stressed and could hardly have a chance to relax. That’s when I realized that I had spread myself too thin. To counteract this, I cut down my academic load to 18 credit hours. It was after this decision was I able to relax and fully evaluate my school balance. To teach my students the importance of knowing how much you can take, I told my UNIV students the same thing I am telling you. You know yourself better than anyone else!
  2. Get Involved: Was there a club, organization, sport that you truly enjoyed during high school? There is almost certainly a club like this and more at Loyola! And, if you do not find something but want to start it, Loyola always welcomes new ideas for clubs/activities for its students to join and be a part of. There are also plenty of events to allow students to get involved with service and charity. When coming to Loyola I looked for clubs that I was interested in and also fit my hectic commuting schedule. After being a part of my high school’s Filipino Tinikling Group, I knew I wanted to be a part of Kapwa (Loyola’s Filipino Student Organization) and be a part of their mentoring program. I was fortunate enough to have wonderful mentors (three wonderful Ates) who I am still in touch with. Additionally, I knew I wanted to be part of Loyola’s Wind Ensemble. In high school, I was highly involved in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, Marching Band, and Musical Theatre. Being in the Ensemble allowed me to relax while doing something I enjoy, playing music! Whatever club/organization you end up choosing, be dedicated and be a leader!
  3. Take Advantage of Chicago: You are in Chicago, the third most populated metropolitan area in the United States behind New York City and Los Angeles! What are the perks of a city like Chicago? There is always something for you to do! Whether you want to go to the world renowned museums, watch concerts at Millennium Park, or hang out in Chicago’s small towns and neighborhoods; it is all doable in a city like Chicago. All of these attractions are within a swipes reach? Yes, you heard that right, part of your tuition to Loyola includes something called a U-Pass allowing students access to all CTA Trains and Buses. Take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
  4. Take Time For Yourself: This one is self-explanatory but be sure to give yourself the time to relax and enjoy and not get too stressed. If you need help in managing stress and getting adjusted to college life, there are always those who can help you out. From a therapy dog to counselors, there are always people who want you to take care of yourself!
  5. Take a deep breath and fully appreciate the experiences and opportunities that Loyola University Chicago and the city of Chicago has to offer you! Adventure is out there!