More students are gathering in the Bear Cave than ever before, thanks to a few generous donations from the SJC Brooklyn community.
A swath of new recreational activities inside Tuohy Hall’s Bear Cave greeted students when they returned to campus this fall. The gymnasium-turned recreation center is fully equipped with a pool table, foosball table, televisions and other games, including Connect 4 and checkers.
“Before this, the Bear Cave was always empty,” said Gabriella Fielding, vice president of the Student Government Association (SGA). “It has completely transformed from last year.”
She explained that before the generous donors helped them buy recreation equipment for the Bear Cave, most students primarily congregated inside the McEntegart Hall cafeteria.
The push to renovate the Bear Cave began last semester.
Earlier this year, Fielding and Sashoy Milton, the former Student Government Association vice president, attended a Brooklyn Alumni Association board meeting. At the meeting, alumni asked the pair of student leaders what type of donation would be best for the student body. They were quick to respond: improvements to the Bear Cave.
Following the meeting, the SGA received a $5,000 donation from Rose Marie Borg ’76 and a $1,000 donation from the Brooklyn Alumni Association. The club additionally raised more than $2,460 on Giving Day — a 24-hour fundraiser celebrating St. Joseph the Worker Day, where donors supported a general SJC Fund and an array of other worthy projects proposed by St. Joseph’s students, faculty and staff.
SJC Brooklyn alumni, who donated to the cause, returned to campus Oct. 29 to see the new recreation equipment in use.
Bear Cave Additions Improve Campus Life
Milton said it was an impactful experience to see the full circle: within just a few months, the SGA approached alumni, the donations were received and new recreation equipment was purchased for the Bear Cave.
“It was so great to see how eager they were to give back to the students,” Milton said of the donors.
SGA President Amarfi Collado added that she thinks the additions will also help increase participation in campus events because more students are spending time in Tuohy Hall.
“I think this is a great thing for the campus because it has brought awareness to the forgotten part of Tuohy Hall — the Bear Cave,” Collado said. “Students are gathering there not only to play games but also to socialize. This awareness is giving our clubs and organizations more options in terms of where to host events. Especially since the students now know where the space is located.”
Collado added that she thinks the Bear Cave will also serve as a new way for students to take a break from studying and have a new outlet for stress relief during midterms and final exams.