Summit or Plummet

21 things to do before you graduate ... and 15 things to avoid


Go to South Campus and have a sandwich from Mary at the Binz

Tommies have been rewarded for eight years for finding their way to the Binz Refectory on South Campus and going to see Mary “The Sandwich Lady” Duffy. With all kinds of breads, spreads, cheeses and meats to choose from, you can create a favorite out of thousands of delicious combinations.

Don’t go to South Campus and sneak your date into the observatory on a Friday night

As great a recipe as a late evening, a full sky of stars and a giant telescope may be, it’s in your best interest to just hang in and watch a movie. Could you imagine how much bad luck you would have if you broke the 17-inch primary mirror of the observatory’s telescope?

Grill out before/during/after a spring baseball doubleheader

There’s a reason baseball and grilling have gone together for hundreds of years. It’s tough to beat a good dog, good baseball and getting to root, root, root for the home team. And when that home team is a two-time national champion like St. Thomas, if theydon’t win it’s a shame.

Don’t use all your express money on Chipotle

When you bite into that burrito and say to your friend, “I could eat these every day,” don’t take yourself too seriously. St. Thomas eXpress Card can be used at any number of food joints, both on and off campus. So mix it up, even if it is tempting to find out if you could eat a burrito every day.

Become familiar with Plums, Davanni’s, Snuffy’s, Tiff’s and Izzy’s

Whether you’re heading out for a first date or looking to grab a drink with some friends, the surrounding area has options for every kind of Friday night you can imagine. Take advantage of the shuttles and free rides if you can, but there’s always a good time just around the corner.

Don’t go to Plums or Tiff’s as a 19-year-old, even if your North Dakota fake ID says you’re 23

One of the great days in any college student’s life is the day they turn 21 and can legally enjoy a drink at a local bar. Why ruin the surprise of that first time by sneaking in early with a piece of plastic that says you were born a few years earlier? It’s like opening your Christmas presents on Dec. 11.



Attend a Tommie-Johnnie football game

The first goal for every football season: beat theJohnnies. For more than 100 years the annual football game has helped create arguably the best rivalry in Division III. After setting an M.I.A.C. attendance record this year with more than 16,000 fans in Collegeville, it’s clear the Tommie-Johnnie clash isn’t one you want to miss.

Don’t take off all your Tommie gear and run the field in your birthday suit

In the entire history ofcollege football streaking, the score is:

Security: a lot.

Streakers: not a lot.

Public Safety officers are quicker than you might think, and throughout the years they have had some well-documented hits on would-be escaping streakers. Rumor has it that being tackled on turf with no clothes on doesn’t feel very good.

Throw the football around Dowling Beach

The College of St. Thomas underwent a major change when it began admitting female students in 1977. Now, the patch of quad in front of Dowling Hall is one of the great places for male and female peers to interact. Get some exercise and get to know your fellow Tommies.

Participate in intramurals

More than a dozen leagues on campus throughout the year means you can choose from all kinds of sports to keep the competitive drive in healthy shape. Everything from sand volleyball to touch football (which attracts more than 50 teams a year), matches up Tommies and asks the question, “Who will earn the ever-sought-after ‘Intramural Champions’ T-shirt?”

Don’t demand instant replay from the referees of your buddy’s “catch” in the back of the end zone

The refs know you think he got his foot down. There’s nothing they can do about it. As big as intramurals are at St. Thomas, multiple cameras and camera operators still haven’t made it into the budget. Maybe next year.



Study abroad

Proven by its top-10 national ranking in undergraduate study abroad participation, St. Thomas gives you every opportunity for the unique experience of global learning. More than 1,000 students studied on six different continents last year, and in 2010-11, classes are offered in more than 40 countries.

Take a class totally unrelated to your interests

With more than 95 listed major fields, you should have no problem finding things that interest you. With all the different academic areas, you also have the opportunity to enlist in courses that have nothing to do with your major. Classes from Canadian History, to The Psychology of Adults and Aging and everything in between lets you leave St. Thomas as well-rounded as possible.

Don’t be afraid to change from your original major

It’s great to come into college with your heart set on a field of study and stick with it. But when classes aren’t going exactly like you thought they would, don’t be afraid to explore. Figure out what you enjoy the most, then go for it.

Visit the archives

A lot has happened since Archbishop John Ireland founded St. Thomas in 1885, and the school’s rich history is housed in the University Archives in the depths of the OEC Library. Photographs, newspapers and official records capture the stories of Tommies who have come before and help current students appreciate the living history they are a part of today.

Don’t be afraid to follow in the footsteps of the past

Throughout the years, Tommies have done all kinds of crazy stuff and most of it is documented in the archives. Find a tradition or event that seemed like fun and try to bring it back to life.

Take an ACTC class

The ACTC consortium takes advantage of five private schools in close proximity and offers students a unique academic experience only multiple institutions could offer. Why be limited to 2115 Summit Avenue for classes when four other campuses are available just a short shuttle ride away?

Don’t miss your registration time

Put it in your calendar. Set an alarm. Tape a giant poster on your wall. Do what you have to do, but be ready when your registration time comes. Getting stuck in the 8 a.m. section of that class you have to take is avoidable if you’re on the ball with registration.

Take a nap in the leather room of the library

Few students actually know it’s called the O’Shaughnessy Room, but this room named for the library’s benefactor is one of the great destinations for tired Tommies. Tucked into the corner of the library’s main floor, finding the leather room and taking a midday snooze remains a rite of passage for all St. Thomas students.

Don’t forget to set an alarm on your phone before you doze off

The leather room gets used for speaking events, so it’s easy to fall asleep alone and wake up to someone giving a talk on archeological findings in Ecuador. Check the room schedule to guarantee the uninterrupted nap you so desperately need.

Take the shuttle downtown on a Friday night and check out the Minneapolis nightlife

The downtown nightlife is one to behold, and St. Thomas students can take advantage of the free ride to get them there. After getting dropped off right in the heart of things at the Minneapolis campus, students are within walking distance of all the great things this urban center has to offer.

Watch SportsCenter with Zac Pease at Hairworks while getting your hair cut

Pease took over the oncampus barbershop in 2005 and has been trimming Tommies ever since. You can get a haircut and your daily dose of sports talk all at once thanks to the conveniently placed television in the corner that, more often than not, is tuned in to ESPN.

Study on the top floor of the library

The library’s fourth floor is one of the great underutilized places on the St. Paul campus. Many students spend their whole time at St. Thomas without setting foot there, but those who do know a premium spot is only three simple steps away: Get in the elevator. Go up as far as you can. Study.

Don’t tell freshmen about the Tuesday night cookies in the library. Leave more cookies for you

Hypothetically, of course, there could be a tradition in the library that rewards late night studiers with cookies, juice and milk. There could be a mad dash down the stairs to get in line. There could be delicious cookies and cold milk and juice on the main floor. Hypothetically, of course.



Check out a performance by one of the many musical organizations

On-campus performances offer a great opportunity to view students’ abilities to perform the fine arts on stage. Throughout the year you can catch clubs showing what they can do when the spotlight is on and all eyes are on them. Dress to be impressed.

Don’t yell for the orchestra to play “Freebird” at the concert

It’s an awesome song, but it probably doesn’t fit between “String Quintet in E Major” and “Pie Jesu.” Instead, politely suggest it to the director after the show and be sure to come back for the next performance. You might get your socks rocked off.


St. Thomas is right in the heart of the Twin Cities communities, the Minnesota community and the world community. Whether it’s helping with a local fourth-grade class through the Tutor-Mentor program, working at a hospital through Volunteers In Action or going on a mission trip with VISION, St. Thomas facilitates the opportunities for you to make a difference.

Get involved in a club

Nothing brings people together like common interests. More than 110 clubs (and growing) organize those interests and help you find fellow students who are into the same things you are.

Attend a religious event

Growing in your faith can be a major part of your time at St. Thomas. Exploring the different faiths and beliefs that come together on campus can help you determine where you came from, who you are and what you want to be.

Don’t miss a Father Dennis Dease sighting

You would be surprised by some of the places you might run into St. Thomas’ big man on campus, so always be ready. Say hello if you get the chance and try not to be star struck. He’s kind of a big deal.



Kiss a fellow Tommie under the Arches

One of the great St. Thomas legends says you’re not a “true Tommie” until you kiss a fellow Tommie under the arches at midnight. There are only two arches, but luckily there are more than two choices of possible kissing partners on campus. Find one and pucker up.

Don’t drive your car through the arches

The annual March Through the Arches helps kick off every school year and shows new students how welcome they are at St. Thomas. It also shows them how wide the arches are. History has proven they’re wide enough, but even when it seems impossible to find a place to park, the quad probably isn’t your best bet.


Get to know someone in a different residence hall

Although it’s going to take someone letting you in with their ID card, it’s worth the journey. Don’t let the physical boundaries of the different residence halls keep you from making and growing friendships with fellow students.

Don’t call your mother every day

Even though she loves to hear from you, a major part of a college education is learning how to live on your own. So try to save the “phone-a-mom” lifeline for special circumstances and work on figuring out the rest on your own. You’re probably better at it than you think.

Take a date to the Grotto on south campus by BEC

Flowers? Sculptures? A waterfall? All of those romantic ingredients are right on St. Thomas’ south campus, waiting to host you and a special someone. A blanket and picnic basket wouldn’t hurt the cause either.


Don’t take a date to south campus to play roller hockey on the top level of the Anderson Parking Facility

The roller hockey scene from “D2: Mighty Ducks” is definitely worth reenacting; however, doing it 40 feet above the ground on top of the parking ramp definitely isn’t the best spot.

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