Amy Casey '18

It’s officially 2016, and I am currently home in Philly on winter break! I spent a lovely two weeks in Florida with my family and am now catching up with friends from home. My third semester at Holy Cross wrapped up nicely- I only had two finals and a paper, along with performing in a small production of Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” for my acting final. I found studying in Cool Beans 2, the cafe located in Stein Hall, to be a great spot! It stays open late, has comfortable leather couches, plays coffee house music and offers a haven for caffeine lovers (a habit I’ve been trying to curb- no more espresso for me!).

Christmas spirit was alive and well on campus this winter despite the absence of snow. Dorm rooms were decorated with tinsel and trees, cookies were baked, and Elf was watched on repeat. The annual Tree Lighting was a lovely night of carols and the Christmas dinner in Kimball served delicious red velvet cupcakes. Make sure to bring an ugly sweater for the Holy Cross holiday season- it’s the reigning campus fashion trend in December.

Celebrating with my friend Jack

Celebrating the holidays with my friend and fellow RA, Jack

After the stress of finals week, I stayed with the other RAs and attended a staff Christmas party before closing down the building. We exchanged gifts and ate a delicious meal in our common room. Below is a picture of our staff Christmas card!

I successfully enrolled in four classes for next semester, a feat which required my friends and I to wake up at 6 AM on enrollment day. We found a spot in a Beaven Hall computer lab with dozens of other sophomores, frantically clicked “enroll” when the time came, let out a sigh of relief, and got an early morning breakfast at Kimball. I’ll be taking Early British Literature, Genetics, Contemporary Italy, and Liberation Theology, four different classes I am really looking forward to. Being such a small school, I am lucky to have friends in each class!

Now for the number one thing on every sophomore’s mind this break: finding a summer internship. Career Services has been a tremendous help to me these past couple months. This fall, I set up an appointment with Megan Chester, one of the wonderful counselors who help with the search. At our scheduled meeting, I brought her my resume, which we edited a few times, and she introduced to me to the online resources Holy Cross has to find internships. Crusader Connections is a database of internships offered directly to Holy Cross students by employers. Other databases available are the Liberal Arts Career Network, which several other liberal arts colleges subscribe to, and another called Vault. Once your resume is approved by Career Services, you can start writing cover letters and applying. While students looking into finance internships want to finish their search by the fall, internship applications for humanities students like myself are usually due from January-March.

Many available internships are unfortunately unpaid or underpaid. Thankfully, Career Services offers funding through a separate application process due in late January. The Charles Carroll Fellowship which I am involved in also offers funding towards civic internships. Every Holy Cross student should stop into Career Services at some point; they’ve been a tremendous help.

Besides academics, internships, and RA duties, I’ve also made some exciting future plans with Holy Cross friends! Six of us girls will be spending spring break in Malibu, California, and we recently secured an off-campus house for our senior year. I’m already thinking of decorating- life is moving fast!

Enjoy the rest of winter break and brace yourself for the January snow!


Spring is right around the corner, and the Winter Wonderland that was once Worcester is slowly but surely melting. We’ve had some beautiful sunny days here on the Hill and, although it’s still cold, April will soon be here.
I assumed Spring break would be a welcome departure from the still-snowy conditions here on campus. Not so. Although I was hundreds of miles south of here, in Pennsylvania, the biggest snowstorm of the year hit Philadelphia the week I was home. I brought the Worcester weather with me and spent much of the break in my house. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family, though, and bonded with my dog, a pug named Chloe.

My majestic pug

My majestic pug

My arrival back on campus signaled a lot more work but also a lot of fun. Last week was St. Patrick’s Day Week (yes, due to Holy Cross’ rich Irish heritage, this holiday is celebrated all week here!), and the entire campus was decked out in green, white, and gold. I wore my green rainboots along with St. Paddy’s Day face paint, beads, and ribbons my friends and I bought at the Shops at Blackstone Valley. The free SGA shuttle runs to Blackstone a few times a day, and we were able to go to many shops such as Target, Nordstrom Rack, and Old Navy to pick up some festive gear! Kimball served Irish food and a bagpipe player serenaded students. It was a fun few days and definitely something to look forward to here at Holy Cross.

I’ve recently gotten into sampling all the delicious restaurants Worcester has to offer (Worcester is a HUGE foodie spot). Last night we ate at 7Nana, a fancy hibachi restaurant on Shrewsbury Street, and had dessert at Sweet, a trendy dessert bar that has been featured on many Food Network Shows. My other favorite spots are Via, Volturno, and Mezcal. I brought my parents to the Flying Rhino Cafe, also on Shrewsbury Street and owned by a fellow Philadelphian, and it may just be their new favorite restaurant. If you’re not sure what to do on a Friday or Saturday night, I highly recommend all of these spots!

Shrewsbury St.

Shrewsbury St.

Next year is shaping up to be a busy yet rewarding year, both academically and socially. I plan on declaring my double major, English and Italian. I’ve really enjoyed my upper level classes in these subjects this semester, “Dante” and “Poetry & Poetics”, and fully intend to pursue these languages as my majors. Luckily for me, the Holy Cross English major was recently named one of the top 10 programs in the country! I have also been chosen to be a Fellow in the Political Science Department’s Charles Carroll Program. Fellows are enrolled in a sophomore seminar devoted to principles of American government and hold panels and speeches regarding American politics. I will be in “Education, Authority & Democracy”, a seminar about the importance of civic education in the United States. I’m excited to further pursue my interest in American politics through this wonderful opportunity.

I was also chosen to be a Resident Assistant next year for sophomore girls in my current dorm, Mulledy! Although it’s a further walk to get to than other dorms, Mulledy has a great sense of community and camaraderie, especially among girls who have lived here for two years. As an RA, I’ll be living in a beautiful suite (a nice perk of the job!) and working with my peers to make our hall a fun and safe place to live. I’m honored to have been accepted and look forward to working with Residence Life!

Until next year, I’ll be spending this semester planning spring events such as Mr. Mulledy, our dorm’s male beauty pageant, trying new restaurants in Worcester, and as always, writing and learning a lot.

Have a lovely few weeks!

Anchorage, Alaska? Buffalo, New York? Erie, Pennsylvania?

Surprisingly not.

You heard that right: our beloved home of Worcester, Massachusetts was today officially named the snowiest city in the United States.

With 90.1 inches of snow already having fallen, and (not one, not two, but) THREE more snowstorms set to arrive this week, the Holy Cross campus is rapidly starting to look more and more like the windswept tundra of Antarctica. There’s even an igloo outside my window.



Walking to Class

Walking to Class

The myth of Holy Cross’ never-cancelled classes has been shattered. We have already had several snow days, and even a “shelter in place” during which we weren’t allowed to leave our dorms. Students celebrated the days off by sledding down the hill to Kimball and skiing down to Freshman Field (which before the snow served as an outdoor ice skating rink). After a big snowstorm, the campus looks like a ski resort. To get a glimpse of what we do on snow days, watch this video some guys made with a GoPro during Blizzard Juno:

Surprisingly, no trace of the Winter Blues seems to be affecting the campus. The tall blanket of white only makes the school more beautiful, and we spend just a little longer in Kimball chatting to friends instead of braving the cold. We may be a bit behind in classes, but we are certainly ahead of all other schools in terms of winter fun.

It’s a common mantra at Holy Cross: the “freshman fifteen” doesn’t exist. This, of course, is due to the intense leg workout required just to travel from Kimball to your dorm. The hills here are steep, the calf muscles defined. It’s not uncommon for even the fittest of athletes to lose their breath on the trek up to the Hart Center. And anyone who has been off-campus knows the hilarious struggle of trying to walk up Boyden or College Street.

But what if you get injured?

A few days before Christmas, I had surgery on both of my legs for a running injury I developed over the summer. When my surgeon, a funny and quick-witted doctor with a thick South African accent, told me I’d have to walk with medical boots and crutches for six weeks, all I could think about were the steep, snow-covered hills of Holy Cross and how I could possibly manage them with all that hardware. When I told him my dilemma, he shrugged and laughed. “Not the best school for your situation!” he replied.

My surgery thankfully went well and I spent my break quietly recovering in Florida and Pennsylvania. I arrived back on campus to confused stares, sympathetic “What happened?”‘s, and, from my close friends, uncontainable laughter. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s a pretty funny sight watching me attempt to trek down Easy Street on crutches. They’ve even given me the affectionate nickname “Boots”.

My latest accessories

My latest accessories

And so, while I am faced with (literally) insurmountable odds of crawling up and down Mt. Saint James, the Office of Public Safety has been helping me tremendously. For two weeks, I’m getting driven to class by the hard-working Public Safety officers. I’m not the only one who utilizes this service- all students recovering from sports and leg injuries (being a school with an affinity for skiing, there are a lot!) are driven to prevent further injury. A big plus: no walking through snowstorms!

The experience has also shown me how thoughtful and close-knit Holy Cross students are. My friends and neighbors have looked out for me, and throughout break I received calls asking how I was doing. Thanks for checking up on me, Holy Cross friends!

And so, even with the most precarious of injuries or disabilities, you can still attend Holy Cross and not have to worry about conquering the Hill.

As a new year begins, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on my new life as a college student. I’ve met wonderful people, read beautiful works of literature, and learned invaluable lessons in the classroom. But on a cold December day in downtown Worcester, I learned a lesson more meaningful than any I’ve experienced on the Hill, and I’d like to share that story here on the Holy Cross website.

I had just arrived back on campus after my weekly volunteering at a Worcester public housing development. It was cold and dark outside. As I walked down Easy Street towards my dorm, attempting to shield my face from the freezing rain, a troubling thought hit me. “I left my backpack there,” I suddenly realized. “Today couldn’t get any worse.” After a few days of calls and searches, the inevitable became clear: my backpack was nowhere to be found. While we tried not to jump to any conclusions, we all assumed, being in such an impoverished neighborhood, that the backpack was probably stolen. Thankfully nothing of value was inside, and the $89 book bag was easily replaced with a few clicks on the North Face website.

Nevertheless, when I returned the next week to once again tutor the neighborhood’s children, I was a bit annoyed that such a crucial belonging of mine was lost with no explanation. In admittedly a bit of a bad mood, I quietly helped a little girl with her math homework and tried to ignore the sound of screaming elementary schoolers playing Twister in the next room. Then two of the program’s girls, aged eight and nine, entered the center after a quick run to the corner store. They had bought treats with coins their mothers had given them; one held a box of Nerds candies, the other a miniature strawberry ice-cream bar. All of a sudden, the other children gathered around them in amazement. “That ice-cream costs 35 CENTS!” yelled one little boy. The kids were astonished that she was regularly able to afford the treat that cost a quarter and a dime. “Your momma must be rich!

Watching the scene, I sat in ashamed silence. Any thoughts of my missing backpack had completely vanished.

35 cents.

I was reminded at that moment that my problems pale in comparison to those of the poor and marginalized. Those kids needed help, and even if it was just correcting their homework for an hour each week, it was my duty to offer any assistance I could.

In high school, I spent my summers working in the courts of inner-city Philadelphia. Every day, I encountered laid off workers struggling to keep their homes amidst foreclosure, mothers who lost sons to streets plagued by gun violence, and children forced to sell drugs in order to pay for lunch. Yet my most profound witness to poverty was that day in the projects, watching the children’s faces as they gathered around the $0.35 strawberry ice-cream bar. Wonder shone in their eyes as if it were a diamond ring.

Social justice has long been a tenet of a Holy Cross Jesuit education. As former Director of Speechwriting for President Obama and fellow Crusader Jon Favreau ’03 poignantly noted, “Holy Cross challenged us to think about how we could help change the social, political, and economic structures that contributed to the persistent poverty and inequality that so many of us witnessed just beyond our college gates.” In fact, his job interview with then-Senator Obama was spent comparing their shared experiences working with the poor in Worcester and Chicago. Furthermore, as Pope Francis recently stated in his Evangelli Gaudium, the poor “have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them…none of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice”.

As we start a new year on campus, I encourage both current and future Holy Cross students, if you haven’t already, to explore opportunities to serve the Worcester community in your spare time. It is a humbling and moving experience, and one you will never forget.

This past month has probably been the busiest one of my life! Multiple papers, four trips to Boston, Thanksgiving break, enrollment, and preparation for finals have all kept me very occupied over the last few weeks. In this blog, I’ll briefly highlight how I’ve been wrapping up my first semester at Holy Cross.

Thanksgiving was a short but welcome break from the happy chaos of college. After our final classes, my roommate and I exited Mulledy, suitcases and pillows in hand, and started the long journey back to Pennsylvania. Our friend from home, Pat, has a car on campus and graciously drove four of us back to Scranton, where I’m originally from. There I stayed with my grandmother (her husband, four of her children, and two of her grandchildren have all attended Holy Cross!) and caught up with my many cousins. I then travelled to Philadelphia to have a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with my parents, brothers, and grandparents. Break went as quickly as it came, and before I knew it I was back with my friends on the Hill.

While in Scranton, I enjoyed looking through the Holy Cross yearbook belonging to my grandfather, Robert P. Casey ’53, and realizing just how similar the campus looks today. The main difference (which I’m very happy about!) is that now girls are allowed to study here as well. The daily sights of Kimball Dining Hall, Dinand Library, and Fenwick Hall look exactly the same, over 60 years later!

Now that it’s December, Christmas spirit has swept across campus. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” blasts from seemingly every shower stall, wintry door decorations adorn each hall, and there are an abundance of Ugly Chrsitmas Sweater parties to attend.
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony at O’Kane was a beautiful night of caroling, hot chocolate, and candy canes. And perhaps the most rewarding experience was when the members of House Council walked through Mulledy collecting money for Dreams & Wishes, a charity which gives presents to poor children. We raised almost $300! If you haven’t already, stop by the Cantor Art Gallery before break to visit the “The Italian Presepe: Cultural Landscapes of the Soul” exhibit, showcasing nativity art from Italy. Volunteering as a docent at the gallery allowed me to learn all about this wonderful Christmas tradition.

Of course, I have not forgotten about the reason I’m here- academics. Last night I completed a ten page paper comparing the views of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and tonight I must finish a six page paper discussing the supposed holiness of Michelangelo. This weekend, I’ll be studying for my two final exams and packing for Christmas break. I’m excited to relax before another fun-filled semester!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year again- Election Season!

Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, engaged or apathetic, there’s no escaping the excitement that leads up to November 4th.

I grew up in a very political environment and spent my youth attending campaign events with my family. Now, having moved from one Commonwealth to another, I’m in the process of learning all about the great state of Massachusetts.

This week, through my involvement with the College Democrats, I helped out with a special get-out-the-vote event on campus. Congressmen Joe Kennedy, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, and Jim McGovern, a well-known human rights activist, visited Dinand Library to give an inspiring message to Holy Cross voters.

Talking with Congressman Kennedy

Talking with Congressman Kennedy

From experience, I know how stressful setting up for a political event can be. I offered my help hanging signs, moving chairs, and putting out coffee. The entire event was a great success!

Political activity resumes Saturday; I’ll be cavassing in Worcester with Massachusetts State Rep. Dan Donahue, a 2009 graduate of Holy Cross. Until then, it’s time to celebrate my favorite holiday.

Have a wonderful Halloween!

Happy Fall!

After a shuttle to Worcester’s Union Station, a train to Boston’s South Station, a bus to Logan Airport, and a flight to Philadelphia, I finally arrived home for my ten-day Fall Break. Upon arrival, I greeted my family, ate a sandwich, and went straight to bed. Five weeks of college were exhausting!

I’m currently en-route to Worcester on a Greyhound bus, a much less comfortable yet far more economical mode of transportation. Thankfully, I have some Plato to keep me occupied. A short piece by a well known Jesuit author comes to mind. Father James Martin, S.J. of America Magazine, a progressive Church figure who I’ve come to admire greatly, offered a bit of wisdom ( about being graceful and grateful while taking “the Dog.” (P.S. Follow Fr. Martin on Facebook and Twitter- his posts are frequent and oftentimes funny!)

As the New Jersey Turnpike rushes past my window, I’ll briefly highlight my favorite parts of break.

Seeing family

My brothers, parents, grandparents, and dog were all sorely missed. Sharing home cooked meals and spending time with them are some of life’s simple pleasures.

Visiting friends

My lovely friends from home hosted me at Swarthmore College, Saint Joseph’s University, the University of the Arts, and Temple University. It was great to explore the city and experience life on different campuses. Thank you for your hospitality, Philly friends who are reading!



The ultimate freedom. I’m unable to have a car on campus this year, so my time behind the wheel is limited to breaks. I drove through Valley Forge Park quite a few times to gaze at fall foliage and catch some beautiful sunsets.


Living close to the King of Prussia Mall (the biggest mall in the country) has its perks. I stocked up on boots and coats for the fast-approaching New England winter.

My break was relaxing and fun-filled, but I am definitely ready to be back on campus. I share a similar sentiment towards Holy Cross as my friend feels towards Swarthmore. She said this about her school: “It’s a great place. And it’s slowly becoming my favorite place.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Hi everyone!

This week, I’ll be highlighting some of the dining options at Holy Cross and my favorite meals from each.

I was admittedly freaked out about the college food situation- I’m a nutrition enthusiast! For the past year or so, I’ve cooked most of my own food and done my own grocery shopping. Although I can no longer drive to my beloved Trader Joe’s, I’ve found a way to eat a healthy and balanced diet here on campus. With unlimited Kimball swipes and $425 Dining Dollars per semester to use elsewhere, it’s easy to find options that work for you!

Kimball Dining Hall
Favorite: Stir Fry with tofu, veggies, and spicy sauce

As a protein-craving vegetarian, I often brave the long lines of the custom Stir Fry Station. Students fill their bowls from a salad bar of vegetables and tofu, and are then given the option to add noodles, meat, and sauce. The wonderful Kimball employees cook it right in front of you. It’s a great way to get vegetables and lean protein into your diet! The fresh fruit bar is another favorite of mine (and I’d be lying if I said the trip to the ice cream machine was a one time thing).

Lower Kimball
Favorite: Chalupa

I treat myself to this Chipotle-esque lunch about once a week. The best part? It counts as a Kimball swipe!

Favorite: Whole Wheat Pasta with Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

After a late night of studying, Crossroads is often the only option open. While they offer traditional grill fare of burgers and pizza, I opt for the lighter, more home-cooked taste of pasta and sauce.

Cool Beans
Favorite: Coffee and Zucchini Bread

I attribute my rapidly depleting amount of Dining Dollars to my coffee addiction. Cool Beans and CB2, the campus coffee shops, are my favorite spots. If I’m in a rush, I order an iced coffee and zucchini bread on the Holy Cross “Tapingo” app- it’s ready by the time I get there!

There are many other dining options on campus, including the popular (and supposedly delicious!) Science Cafe- I’ll have to stop by there this week! As far as snacks go, protein bars, oatmeal, and peanut butter are my dorm room staples. It’s easy to eat well at Holy Cross!

I can’t believe my first month of college is almost completed! My name is Amy Casey and I’m a freshman from Philadelphia. I live in Mulledy, the largest (and best!) dorm on campus. Now that I’ve navigated the wonderful chaos of moving to Massachusetts and adapting to college life, I’d like to reflect on my first few weeks at Holy Cross. Here are some highlights:

 1) Making new friends

I’ve already made some great friends at Holy Cross, and I’m constantly meeting new people. Even though it’s only been a few weeks, we’re having a lot of fun. Weekends at Holy Cross are always a good time!

2) Volunteering in Worcester

As a member of SPUD, or Student Programs for Urban Development, I volunteer every Monday at Plumley Village, a public housing development located in downtown Worcester. We help younger children with homework and mentor teenagers on job skills at the community center’s after school program. Afterwards, we play games with the kids and have dance parties. It’s an incredibly rewarding and fun experience!

3) Interesting Classes

I’m currently taking an English class, Intermediate Italian, Political Philosophy, and my Montserrat class, a combination of art history, drawing, and theology. They are certainly tough, but I’m learning deep concepts and exploring new ideas. I’ve already read works by Aristotle, Hemingway, Machiavelli, and Joyce.

4) Going to Boston

I’ve gone to Boston twice this month. My roommate and I went to the Boston Calling music festival, and last weekend a bunch of Holy Cross fans travelled to Harvard University for the football game. Although we lost, it was great to hang out with a bunch of Crusaders in Cambridge! The free shuttles and the $10 commuter rail make getting to Boston easy and affordable.

5) Sunday Night Masses

After a long week of classes and a weekend of fun, I stop by the Mary Chapel’s Sunday Night Mass with my friends. The beautiful service is a perfect opportunity to pause and reflect at the end of a busy week. The homilies given by the Jesuits are always thought-provoking.

So that’s a quick glimpse of my September- I can already tell I made the right choice by coming to Holy Cross. I can’t wait to blog more about my experiences here on the Hill!

Off to brunch!

Off to brunch!

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Amy Casey '18

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