Your guide to DeSales, the place everyone loves to hate, as told by a Junior.
A- Avoidance. DeSales is a tiny school. We have one cafeteria, two main academic buildings, one science building, a handful of residence halls, one gym, everyone goes to the same parties, etc. If there is someone on campus you do not want to see, I guarantee you will see them, probably all the time. You can only avoid so many people on a campus this size (hint: that number is zero).
B- Bethlehem, or “B-Hem” is the nearest “city”, its where most of the bars and parties are. Bethlehem can be a very sketchy place, especially late at night, but that’s ok, because most DeSales parties wrap up by 1am anyway, so you’ll rarely find yourself there that late. Those of us who are old enough remember Poop Mountain and the old Lacrosse house, both of which through some serious parties (yes new kids, better than Track House) those were some good times.
C- CharacterU. The DeSales version of “orientation leaders”, freshmen are assigned CharacterU Mentors during orientation, they will then meet their mentors throughout the year. Mentors have a variety of styles of mentoring their freshmen, from the conventional to the not so conventional.
D- DUC Food*. DUC Food is, on average not great, but the more years you spend eating it, you’ll learn what is good, and what is not.
E- Exercise Walking. Aka, the best P.E. activity. Taught by Coach Crampton, our very Irish soccer coach, you will walk around campus for 20-40 minutes. I took it twice; it’s always a good time. Fair warning however, you do need to keep up with Coach, or he will absolutely leave you behind.
F- (Saint) Francis DeSales. Otherwise affectionately known as “Frank” by the student body, Frank is the namesake of DeSales. There is a statue of Frank in the center of the mall, which gets dressed up by students for various holidays. The Administration does not like this, but we do it anyway.
G- Gossip. Remember high school? Well welcome to DSU, high school round two. Everyone is going to be all up in your business. There is no such thing as an “anonymous hookup” at DeSales. Chances are any person you’re with, even if you just met them, you probably know a handful of their friends, one of their exes, and possibly a family member. People will know what you did sometimes before you know what you do. It’s just something you have to accept, there isn’t any real anonymity on campus.
H- Hooking Up. For anyone unaware, at DeSales, “hooking up” means making out, not having sex. This throws some people off when they first get here. Keep in mind, DeSales is a Catholic university, with a lot of practicing Catholics, so, yeah. There is not really a “hookup (sex) culture” the way there is at other universities, so if that’s what you’re looking for here you’re pretty much SOL. Having a series of one-night stands with other DeSales students will get you a reputation so fast your head will spin, because as previously mentioned, everyone knows what happens to everyone.
I -Inspirational Janitor*. There is a Janitor at DeSales who will give you an inspirational speech especially if you’re in Dooling late at night. I’ve never actually seen this in person, but I understand from tweets from the Nursing and PA Majors that he does indeed exist.
J- Jesus Statue. At some point on the Mall in the center of campus, an enormous Jesus statue is being put up, at an alleged cost of $750,000. This project has been continually delayed since it was started. They broke ground on the landscaping & pedestal May 2015, and as of writing this (March 2016) there is still no statue. Classic DeSales, come up with an iffy idea, execute it poorly, overspending the whole way.
K- Killing Time and Drinking Beer. This is the campus-wide pastime. DeSales doesn’t really have parties, a lot of weekends there’s not really anywhere to go or anything to do. So a lot of weekends will consist hanging out with 5-10 other people (all of whom are over 21 of course) and some drinks.
L- Linda & Chelsea. Linda and Chelsea work at the Grill at the DUC, they’re homies. Get to know them and they will hook you up with the good stuff at the grill.
M- McShea Café. Aka “Sandella’s”, aka “McShea”, aka where drunk people get food. This is the only place on campus where you can get food at 1am. Two years ago, “Café McShea” underwent a major renovation, being transformed into Sandella’s, which actually serves real food, and is now open during the day as well as at night. While I do like new McShea, the French bread pizza & tornados they used to make at old McShea will always have a place in my heart.
N- No Penetration Policy. Does DeSales have one? Did it used to? This is one of the best pieces of DeSales lore along with the Dooling Deer.
O- (Fr.) O’Conner. Everyone knows Fr. O’Connor the University President. He enjoys long walks around campus, chatting with students, professors, and parents, and of course, the occasional whiskey.
P- Printing. Need to print something? Good luck, the McShea printer has been broken for two semesters, and as of the Friday before break, two of the four Gambet printers were broken.
Q- Quiet Hours*. A time when everyone is expected to be relatively quiet. Due to the layout of some of the dorms, this can be very difficult. The walls in many of the residence halls are famously thin, and you can often hear everything going on in the rooms next to you. Fun Fact: RA’s can write you up for noise violations, but we really don’t want to, so for everyone’s sake, keep it to a dull roar.
R- Resident Advisor. Your RA, is a resource for you if you live in the dorms and is also responsible for enforcing University Policy. Rule of thumb for dealing with your RA: you’re not as clever as you think you are and your RA is not oblivious.
S- Storms. The rain on campus will come on fast, and hard. You need to commit to either dressing as if you’re making a cameo on the Deadliest Catch, or accept the fact if you walk anywhere you will be wet.
T- Teams. DeSales is a Division 3 school, with all your standard NCAA teams (except football) and a good number of club / intermural teams. Some of our athletes forget that they’re D-3, and some of our club teams forget that they’re club teams, but we love them anyway. You haven’t really lived until you’ve been called a NARP (Non-Athletic Regular Person) by someone who plays a club sport (I mean… come on). DeSales has a few good teams, a bunch of alright teams, and a few bad teams, and our school spirit is terrible. What we as DSU lacks in spirit, the athletes make up for in pride. Talk crap about DSUWS or DSUSB, seriously try, it’s a small school, they will find out, and they may hurt you. Heaven forbid if you’ve sat down at the Soccer Team or Track Team’s tables in the DUC when they get back from practice, they will not be happy. Athletes, even the club sports, take their teams very seriously.
U- University Heights. This is generally, where the “bigger” parties are on campus, because each height has a decent sized common room. Fall Semester upperclassmen like to tell freshmen looking for parties that there’s a party at Height 21 (which doesn’t exist). You know the new semester has officially started when you see a group of freshmen behind the Heights looking for Height 21.
V- Villas. These are the newest housing accommodation on campus. They feature apartment-style living, a kitchen, and walls so thin you can hear anything and everything going on in the villa next to you.
W- WiFi. The WiFi is terrible, not really much else to say here.
X- (E)xtra Long Walks*. DeSales is big, and spread out. Walking from the Heights or Donahue to Gambet or Hurd can take 15+ minutes, and is straight miserable in the rain and snow. Upper Classmen will regularly “commute” from Donahue, Heights, and Villas to McShea to cut 5-ish minutes off their morning walks.
Y- Yuppies. Aka, preppy white kids. The type of people you would expect to find at a small, expensive, catholic, University. In reality, that’s way more Lehigh kids, at DeSales you’ll find mostly hard-core Catholics, kids from alright Philly suburbs, and kids from rural PA.
Z- Zilch. The amount of patience DeSales students have for other people talking crap about our school. I’ve painted a picture of a school that people love to hate. The DeSales Student’s favorite pastime is complaining about DeSales. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t love our school. The DeSales community is really like a family. Much like a family, we can complain about our own family, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love em, and it doesn’t mean that someone from outside can talk crap about our family. DeSales is at the end of the day, a great place to be, full of great people.
Author’s Note: This was inspired by a post by Steph Spero published on The Odyssey Online. I have borrowed some of her letters, because well how could D not be DUC Food? Any ones that I borrowed are noted by an asterisk. I would recommend checking out her post as well.
This post is meant to be humorous. It should be taken as such. Don’t be that guy who takes something too seriously.
The views expressed above are not that of DeSales University, the Office of Residence Life, DeSales EMS, or any other department, organization, or individual with which I have a relationship.
Nothing above should be taken as condoning behavior in violation of the law or any University Policy.
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