Master Port Authority by afederoff

I know, that same old woe, Duquesne University students do not get to use their student IDs as bus passes while Pitt and CMU students experience that luxury. Over the years, I have seen students try to show their DU IDs to bus drivers, protests signed and the like, yet no action has been taken for reasons I am not educated on.

Though it is not free, I feel the Port Authority bus system in Pittsburgh is a must for students in the city. Because many of us do not have cars and though campus is beautiful, the bus system offers a great opportunity for students to get to know the city and take advantage of what Pittsburgh truly has to offer. However, a tricky question arises… how does it work?

No, I am not a master of the Port Authority bus system but I may be able to help clear a few things up.

  • The most basic thing to understand is the difference between Forbes and Fifth. These are both one-way streets; this much I am sure you know. However, here’s an easy way to know which street to pick up a bus on: if you’re going INto the city (a.k.a. downtown, a.k.a. Duquesne) you want to pick up a bus on Fifth because it has an ‘I’ in it for “in.” If you want to head OUT of town to Oakland, Squirrel Hill, the Waterfront etc. you want to pick it up on Forbes because it has an ‘O’ in it for “out.”
  • To get back to school from Oakland, the Waterfront or Squirrel Hill, the easiest thing to remember is the ones. Any 61 or 71 will drop you off at Fifth and Stevenson, with just a 3-minute trek up the hill to the residence area of campus. You can also pick up a 500, which will drop you off in the same location. I would steer clear of just hopping on a bus that reads “Downtown” because there is many areas it may drop you off, but if you are in desperate need of a bus it is usually a safe bet.
  • Try a transfer. Because, as Duquesne students, we do have to pay for the bus (just a small disadvantage in a universe of opportunities) this is a trick that many freshmen still haven’t figured out. Most bus trips cost $2.00 each way. However, you can get a transfer ($.75) and use this as a ticket for your return trip. While there is a time frame involved, in most cases a transfer gives you more than enough time for your trip.
  • If you are waiting for the bus at a popular stop, you may notice an orange sign under the usual blue “bus stop” sign. This is a great feature the city has for planning your ride. Simply text the name on the sign to the number 25252, and the system will return a text message with all the upcoming buses and departure times. This can be extremely useful for obvious reasons. If you’re feeling really ambitious, save the number and the name of the stop and you can wait for a bus without even leaving your room.

Remember, if you are traveling on a weekend, try the Loop Bus.

Good luck,


P.S. feel free to leave individual questions in comments.


Summer Update! by x3erica1037

Hope everyone’s having an amazing summer so far!  These hot days have been flying by and it’s already July so I figured it was about time for a quick post now that there’s an entire new class of Duquesne freshmen and transfer students.

If you’re new to the blog, you should know that my name is Erica, I’m an upcoming sophomore in the McAnulty College, and I write for this blog to share my experiences at Duquesne with anyone whose interested.  Right now I’m just offering a chance to get questions answered or clear up any confusions about McAnulty, Duquesne, move-in…pretty much anything Duquesne related.  If I don’t know the answer off-hand I’ll do everything I can to figure it out so everyone has as smooth of a transition as possible. Get ready everyone, because you’re gonna love the Bluff! 🙂

Please feel free to submit any questions or comments to this post and hopefully I’ll be able to get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.  So ask away!


Josh Gibson Documentary Wins Award by liberalartsduq
05.27.10, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Duquesne News | Tags: , , ,

photo courtesy of the New York Times

There is a class taught by Dr. Dennis Woytek in the Journalism and Multimedia Arts Department here at Duquesne that recently won a prestigious Telly Award. The New York Times also did a great profile of the class that created the project and background on Gibson’s life.

From the Duquesne News Room:

Besides its premier at Duquesne, the film was previewed at the annual Jerry Malloy Negro Baseball League Conference in Pittsburgh last summer and aired on WTAE-TV in February in commemoration of Black History Month.

Another Duquesne documentary crew led by James Vota, journalism and multimedia arts instructor, earned a People’s Choice Telly Award for documenting travels along the Pony Express Trail in 7days, 17 hours.

This marks the third consecutive year that a team from Duquesne’s Department of Journalism and Multimedia Arts has earned a Telly.

The Telly Awards, founded in 1979, are a prestigious distinction honoring outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film productions.

Dr Woytek talks about Gibson’s life for the NYT:

“He was generally a happy, well-liked guy,” said Dennis Woytek, an assistant professor of journalism at Duquesne University, whose documentary production class put together the film. “But I don’t think he talked with anyone other than his family about what he was experiencing with his health. As a result, maybe he had a little bit of odd behavior, drank too much, and the rumors start. Then, how do you stop the stories from growing?”

The 50-minute Duquesne production, “The Legend Behind the Plate: The Josh Gibson Story,” was made over the past year by 12 students, with the help of Woytek and Mike Clark, an adjunct instructor who is a local ABC news anchor.

Woytek said he believed this was the first documentary to focus solely on Gibson, who played primarily for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays from 1930 to 1946. (Homestead, a small steel town, is about seven miles southeast of Pittsburgh.)

Congratualtions to Dr. Woytek, Mike Clark, and everyone that worked on the documentary!  If you’re intersted in obtaining a copy, please contact Sally Richie in the JMA office at (412) 396-1311.

2010 Video Contest by liberalartsduq
05.17.10, 8:09 am
Filed under: video | Tags: , , ,

This semester we had some great entries to the video contest and here are the first and second place winners.  Eric Formato won $300 for his video and Becca Kopcie won $200 for hers.  Thanks for the videos guys!

Duquesne students helping in local communities by liberalartsduq
05.10.10, 4:19 pm
Filed under: events | Tags: , , ,

Recently Associate Dean, Dr. Evan Stoddard, and his honors college class completed a community service project at the Hazelwood YMCA.  Together, they helped to build an outdoor classroom.

Their project was recently featured in the Post-Gazette:

The Honors College devotes a semester every year to a neighborhood-based service project, and the students contribute their results as a gift to the neighborhood.

In getting to know the neighborhood, the students researched it and spent hours at a time for several weeks walking around, talking to merchants and preachers and people on the street, attending meetings and going to church.

In their class summaries, several wrote that the experience made them a little more worldly.

“This class has opened my eyes a lot more to the world around me that I normally don’t see,” said Kyle Wiltsey.

“I feel that I have a much greater awareness of the situations and conditions that disadvantaged people in poor communities have to deal with,” wrote Spencer Heaps.

You can learn more about service learning at Duquesne here and more on the Honors College here.

All the accompanying photos are courtesy of Dr. Stoddard.

Guest Post: New Registration Policies by liberalartsduq
05.04.10, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

This semester, the College of Liberal Arts changed the way that undergraduates register for classes.  There have been some questions on the new process and advisor Bill Klewein wrote a guest post explaining them:

Changes to the registration policies for the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts (and rationale for doing so)

There are several changes to the way in which students in the College will be registering effective Summer/Fall 2010.  There are several reasons for doing so, some system-related, some are more philosophical in nature.

One change that is occurring in the system is the introduction of an automated waitlist.  This means that when a student is waitlisted for a class and a seat becomes available, the system will send a message automatically to the student giving them a 72-hour window for only that student to register.  Since there are numerous break periods and long weekends where that 72-hour window could come and go without our offices being open, we needed to make sure that all of our students were able to make changes to their schedule via DORI, even populations who had not been able to do so previously, like those with fewer than 30 credits earned.

The other reason for doing so is more philosophical, as advisors, we want to make our interactions with our students as personal and productive as possible.  While we would normally meet with more than half of our students to actually register them for classes, a good portion of these meetings were spent searching for open sections, doing data entry, each taking away from the face-to-face time with the student.

So the issue then becomes one of accommodating both our desire to make that advisement appointment more a chance to actively engage with our students instead of peering into a computer monitor and to make sure that all of our students have access to make changes to their schedule via the web – all while ensuring that students are remaining on track with their academic programs.

The solution that we, as a group, came to (with Dean Duncan’s and Associate Dean Stoddard’s input and advice) was to encourage students to make a pre-registration plan and submit it via a web-based form to begin the discussion during registration appointment.  With advisors approving courses or requirements, and often, more than students would likely take, it is hoped that students will have more freedom to generate a schedule that is to their liking, and to make changes to the schedule if need be, all while feeling confident that their schedule is getting them closer to graduation – without having to schedule another registration appointment.  We also started seeing students well in advance of the first day that they were eligible to register, so that instead of a few people getting the benefit of having that “first” registration appointment when they are eligible to register, that many more can have the best chance at getting the classes that they want.

The problem is in making sure that we see all students, and as many before they are eligible to register, we have to put registration holds on students’ accounts until they have met with their advisor and made a registration plan.  This hold does not prevent anything except registration.   Once students have met with their advisor, their advisor will lift the hold and students can register the first day that they are eligible.  When we open up DORI so that all students can register, we still have an obligation to make sure that our students are taking courses that make sense for their academic program, so it didn’t seem that there was another way to serve as many students as possible and still allow students the freedom to make their own schedule.

Thanks, Bill!

Major Decisions and More by afederoff

After twenty-four full hours of totems, charisma (as in “deep truth revealed by cosmic order, recognized by social adherence”), and modernity, I thought I would officially commence the summer with one last blog as a freshman at Duquesne University. Finals sucked, I’m not going to lie. Luckily, I only had four finals (instead of the dreaded five) and I think I did well on all of them. My classes were awesome, my professors helpful, and my experience wonderful!

Let me tie up some odds and ends:

I think I’ve finally decided on a major… sort of. I entered Duquesne as a journalism major, enrolled in the Narratio learning community. Although I have decided to not pursue a career in the journalism field, I could not be happier with the path I took. Besides the obvious elements (such as making great friends, having awesome professors, and fun opportunities…like blogging!), I have found many of the classes I have taken this past year will be helpful in building my future curriculum. For example, Media and Society has been a great stepping-stone to future classes I will be taking. So, without further ado, I have decided to make my own major. The liberal arts college offers this incredible program in which a student literally makes a major of their own. With the help of my adviser, I decided this was the best path for me because of my future goals (to go to NYU and get a MSW/JD). If you have your heart set on Duquesne, but the liberal arts college does not have the exact major you are looking for, I would suggest looking into the program. In order to do this, I must compose my curriculum plan to our dean along with my reasoning for this course of study (major summer project). What do I plan on studying exactly? I like to call it a degree in feminism… it will be a unique combination of media studies, sociology, women studies, and conflict resolution.

That brings me to my next point: you’re never too new to get involved. Though countless advisors, interviewers, and peers have told me I am way ahead of the game, I think I am just trying to stay on the right path, following my passions. So, as my summer plans shape up, I will be working for an OB/GYN Monday through Thursday, and Fridays and Saturdays will be devoted to my internship, the first exciting leap into my career path. I briefly mentioned it before, but since it began in January, I have hardly had the time to blog about it. Anyway, I will be an intern for Ms. Courtney Martin, feminist activist and author. The Women’s Center Therapy Institute, in NYC, has asked to be the frontrunner for their international campaign against distorters of body image. The campaign, entitled Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body, is scheduled to occur in March of 2011 and I am ecstatic to announce that I have currently been working on the guest list!

In terms of getting involved on campus and in Pittsburgh, I would encourage new freshmen to step out of the comfort zone and just try everything. Organizations I have become heavily involved with are CONTACT Pittsburgh, Strong Women Strong Girls, the Liberal Art blog, and Residence Life, as well as Phi Eta Sigma (the freshmen honors fraternity) and Lambda Sigma (the sophomore honors fraternity). Becoming involved was one of the best decisions I have made all year. Sure, it took guts to attend all those initial meetings, but luckily I have them. J If you don’t, please, please take me up on this offer: email me, comment me, ask me questions etc. Being involved is key, especially as a Duquesne student!

Thinking back to high school, I still don’t enjoy being a freshman a.k.a. “fresh meat” and the like. But at Duquesne, faculty and peer leaders somehow manage to make it less scary then James Caldwell High School did. In fact, it’s not the kind of scary where you want to go home or eat lunch in the bathroom; it’s more like scary before a performance, a date, or a speech. Oh wait… I think the word for that is excitement.

Happy summer, see you all in August!