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  • Writer's picturePAYTON HEBERT & HANNA BABEK

Woodland Hall Council creates community for first-years

16 teams of students participated in the Council’s bar trivia night last April. Photo courtesy of Kevin Castiglioni

Woodland Hall Council is an organization for first-year and transfer students that focuses on building campus community through student run events. The Council was created in 2021 and consisted of five members, but has since grown to about 30 students.

Members meet weekly or biweekly to plan monthly events, with past events including cupcake decorating, planting a tree for Earth Day, and a bar trivia night with mocktails and Late Night at 1851. The events are planned and put on by club members with the goal of connecting the freshman class, but students of all years can attend.

Area Coordinator and advisor Kevin Castiglioni says, “The goal of the council is to get first year students connected and set them up for success in terms of leadership positions at Lasell. I think the goal of our programs is to get students connected together and have conversations that can help them be friends outside of them.”

The Council hosted an Irish Soda Bread and mug decorating event in March 2023. Photo courtesy of Kevin Castiglioni

Resident Assistant (RA) and junior hospitality management major Izzy Woods, who works under Castiglioni to oversee the club, says the goal is “To get the first years to know each other, to create community and get them out of their rooms and doing things.”

Junior secondary education and history double major Sydney Morgello is currently in her second year of being on the council. She was not a part of the council as a first year student, but is now involved as an RA and stresses what an important experience it can be for underclassmen. “The first year of college sets the tone for your whole college experience, and it is important to find a community on campus so you find that sense of belonging. The council provides its members with a community of upperclassmen mentors and peers with whom they can bond and talk,” Morgello says.

Woods says because the club is student run with the first-years leading the event planning, “It gives them the idea that they have a say on this campus, they can do whatever they want. Say, if they wanted to go on a field trip somewhere, we could make that happen because we have this club that's designated to them.”

Sophomore elementary education major Mylena Bovo was also a member of the council her first-year. She got involved with the council through Castiglioni, who invited her to join a meeting as she walked by the common room. Though her joining the council was coincidental, she speaks very highly of the experience.

“It was really fun. I got to have an opportunity to plan some fun programs and ease myself into other clubs,” said Bovo, “ It’s a great way to collaborate with other students and build your experience while finding out how to do different things on campus.”

One of Bovo’s most memorable experiences on the council was the bar trivia night, which was held on the bottom floor of Arnow on April 7. “We got to get 1851 to open, which was cool because it had not been open and a bunch of people showed up, so it was really cool to see.”

A total of 150 students passed through Arnow during the three hour event, with about 100 students participating for the entire night.

The Council planted a cherry blossom tree to celebrate Earth Day in April 2022. Photo courtesy of Kevin Castiglioni

Castiglioni saw the bar trivia night as a success for the club, saying, “I wanted an event that students could really enjoy, over the past few years with the pandemic…And that was really hard for the students. So I wanted a program that really brought people together.”

Castiglioni says he hopes to see more growth within the program in the future.


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