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Marissa Cecala

More by Marissa Cecala

Summer: Keeping a Relationship Alive Long-Distance


Many collegiettes face the inevitable, bittersweet dilemma of going home for the summer where they will be away from their significant other. As someone who has had to do this, I feel that I may be able to offer a little advice.

Keep in touch, but be present
It’s great to text, skype, call, facebook chat, and so on with your boyfriend or girlfriend over the summer when you are not living within a few hundred feet of each other, however, make sure that you also enjoy your friends and family at home and don't spend every minute glued to your cell phone or computer.


Pick a day to check-in

Picking a day to check-in can be really helpful. This will be especially true if either or both of you have a busy schedule. Select a day and time that you can both commit to checking in with one another on a weekly basis (i.e. Saturday at 1p.m.). This way you have something to look forward to!


Don’t worry!
Trust in your relationship, and don’t worry if your boyfriend or girlfriend takes a couple of hours to respond to your text or to call you back. Give him/her the benefit of the doubt!


Brandeis and Waltham over the summer


I’m sure many of you are curious about what Brandeis/Waltham is like during the summer, especially those of you who are finishing up freshman year. As a rising senior who is about to spend her third consecutive summer in Waltham, I feel that I can shed some light on life here in the summer!

What it’s like

One of the major differences about Brandeis in the summer is that there are so few people here! One thing that I was warned about, but I still was surprised when I saw for myself how few people there actually are on campus during the summer. The library is usually quite empty as well as the SCC.

Living off campus

Many people opt to live off campus during the summer since it is so much cheaper than living on campus. It is possible to get a place off campus for about $500 – $600/month, whereas housing on campus is $2,350 if you plan to stay from June 1st – August 8th (even more if you want to stay longer), which is so much more expensive than living off campus. If you’re planning on living off-campus this summer, then I highly recommend checking out the facebook group “Brandeis Housing” where people offer summer sublets to Brandeis students staying in Waltham over the summer. A couple tips for off campus housing in the summer: 1) find a sublet early, 2) make sure that you actually visit the room you may rent before you agree to live there, and 3) make sure you like the people you will be living with.

Dining Hall

Easy Weeknight Dinners, with or without a Kitchen


Many of us get bored with the food at school and occasionally want to change it up a bit! Even if you live in a dorm and are on the meal plan, you can still whip up a quick and delicious weeknight dinner. If you are not on the meal plan and you have a kitchen, it can be difficult thinking of good meals to make during the week when life is stressful and busy. I LOVE to cook, so hopefully you’ll enjoy some of these ideas!

All of these recipes serve one person; however, feel free to double or triple the recipe in order to share with friends! Also, each of these recipes can be made vegetarian or vegan.

Cooking is about having fun with food. So even if you make a mistake at first (I have made many myself), keep trying! With a little bit of effort, you’ll be making delicious, easy weeknight dinners.

Recipe 1: Burrito (Chicken or Veggie)

This recipe is great because the ingredients are very inexpensive and versatile!

What you’ll need:

1 flour tortilla

¼ cup canned refried beans

¼ cup cooked rice (can use leftovers)

2 oz. pre-cooked chicken OR 2 oz. sauteed mushrooms

2 tbsp. shredded lettuce (optional)

2 tbsp. guacamole (optional)

2 tbsp. sour cream (optional)*

2 tbsp. cheddar cheese (optional*

*Whole Foods sells delicious dairy-free cheese and sour cream!

To assemble:

HC Brandeis’s Favorite Fall Classes


You will find none of this here!

Maybe it was the wacko-brilliant professor, the inspiring lectures or perhaps the rousing, intellectual discussions. We all had that one class that we really, really enjoyed—and here’s why!

Jess’s favorite class is French 32 with Prof. Hollie Harder.  Jess calls Hollie a “fantastic professor” who “was really understanding of any problems” and says that the topics covered “were actually really interesting and sparked conversation.” To top things off, the workload was “really manageable.”

Lauren’s favorite fall class is Sociology of Body and Health taught by Prof. Sara Shostak, whom she describes as being “extremely knowledgeable, friendly and organized in her lectures.”  Lauren summarizes the workload as “one or two larger papers and a handful of response papers. One assignment requires you to make a change in either your physical appearance or behavior.” For that assignment, Lauren went vegan! Click here to read about her week as a vegan.

Clarence Lee '15


The Mr. Brandeis Pageant is sponsored by Brandeis Relay for Life, Student Events, and SAAC, and will take place on Thursday, April 11th at 7pm at Gosman. This week, I had the privlidge of interviewing Clarence Lee ’15, who is a contestant in the Mr. Brandeis Pageant!

Hometown: Champaign, Illinois
Major: Economics

Her Campus: Tell us a bit about how you are involved in the Brandeis Community.
Clarence Lee: I am a member of Tron (Brandeis Men's Ultimate Frisbee team), and I was a member of the Big Siblings program but my little sibling had to drop out of the program so I won't be an active member again until next year.

HC: What would you say has had the biggest impact on your college experience?
CL: Joining Tron has had the biggest impact on my college experience. It's a pretty big commitment, but it's exciting to be a part of a nationally competitive team. I also enjoy getting to travel to different places such as Virginia with the team.

HC: Why do you relay?
CL: During my junior year of high school, my friend Keegan passed away because of cancer. It was the first time I had lost someone in my life so it had a great impact on me. I relay for Keegan and everyone else fighting against cancer.

HC: What are your goals following your studies at Brandeis?
CL: I would like to go to graduate school and get a doctorate in economics

HC: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
CL: I see myself being a professor somewhere and having a beautiful wife/kids.

New Club! Brandeis Alex’s Lemonade Stand Chapter


As many of you know, there are hundreds of clubs at Brandeis! And sometimes, incredible new clubs are formed without many students realizing it. I certainly think that the Brandeis Chapter of Alex’s Lemonade Stand falls into that category. Co-founder Annie Ciu (who etablished the club along with Riayn Rosenstock) was kind enough to agree to an interview with Her Campus!

HER CAMPUS: What is Alex's Lemonade Stand (for HC Brandeis readers who have not heard of it before)?

ANNIE CIU: It all started out with a young girl named Alex, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma before the age of one. She started holding lemonade stands in her neighborhood in order to raise money to give to doctors to help other kids like her, but she was so successful and her cause attracted so much attention that she raised $1 million before she passed away at the age of eight. It's truly an amazing story, and her parents then started this foundation after her death to continue her legacy. Now, it has grown into a national foundation and has raised over $60 million toward pediatric cancer research. Also, the foundation focuses on raising awareness and empowering others to get involved and help out toward the goal of finding a cure. 

HC: When was the Brandeis Chapter of Alex's Lemonade Stand founded?

AC: Riayn and I started talking to the foundation about starting a Brandeis chapter in the spring of our freshman year. Riayn was involved in the club at her high school and really hoped to bring the cause to Brandeis. Together, we talked to the Senate and other students on campus, and this fall, we were able to get the club recognized and have held our first few events. 

The Quest for Off-Campus Housing


Right now on campus, one of the main things on students' minds is housing. All over campus, I hear students saying:

"What's your number?"

"Where are you living?"

"Who are you pulling in?"

"Are you moving off campus?"

"If I don't get Rosie, I'm literally going to transfer."

Here’s a little bit of advice in order to keep you sane while you're trying to manage the chaos that the housing lottery encourages.

Brandeis Housing Lottery

In case you're not aware, here's how it works: You got your number on Feb. 22 as long as you checked the "Room Selection" box on Sage, and now you have about a month to figure out what your options for housing are. First-years get numbers 1 to 1000, sophomores and juniors get numbers 1001 to 3000, and those who are studying abroad in the spring get numbers F1 to F300. You have the option to withdraw from the room selection process prior to the date of your housing appointment in March without being charged a fee of $100. Keep in mind: If you do not show up at room selection or send a proxy, you will be charged $100.

If you decide that living on campus is no longer for you (especially if you're currently a sophomore or a junior), I highly recommend that you search for off-campus housing!

Jump Off Campus

Low Calorie Alcoholic Beverages


Many women worry about gaining weight from drinking too much alcohol in college, so here’s a bit of advice about how to drink without packing on the pounds. Keep in mind that “while alcohol doesn’t contain fat, it contains 7 calories per gram” (


Higher Proof = More Calories

As described on WebMD: It's the mixers, syrups, and sodas that really get people into calorie trouble, because most drinks start with 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits that only have around 96 calories, but mixologists can easily turn that into a drink with hundreds of calories," says Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD, co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous.

The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories, says O'Neil. For example:

·       80-proof vodka (40% alcohol; the most common type) has 64 calories per 1 oz

·       86-proof vodka (43% alcohol) has 70 calories/1 oz

·       90-proof vodka (45% alcohol) has 73 calories/1 oz

·       100-proof vodka (50% alcohol) has 82 calories/1 oz


Consider Fruit Juice!

Valentine's Day Date Ideas


Hey ladies! Are you and your cutie looking for something fun to do on Valentine’s Day? Well, you’re in luck, because I have a few ideas!

The Dorm Room Date

Last year, my boyfriend and I were so exhausted on Valentine’s Day that we opted to stay indoors, order sushi from Baan Thai, and watch a movie on Netflix. It was amazing! I highly recommend the Dorm Room Date this Valentine’s Day to those of you who have a busy week ahead as well as to those of you sans personal transportation (i.e. a car).

The Romantic Dinner Date

If you’re anything like me, you’re likely to agree that it’s always nice to get off campus and away from Brandeis. Whether you’re interested in staying around Moody Street or venturing a bit farther, there are many great options for getting off campus for a Romantic Dinner Date with your Valentine.

To name a few that you can get to by walking or BranVan from campus:
Biagio Ristorante & Bar – Waltham (near Moody & Main St.)
Elephant Walk – Waltham (Main St.)
Bombay Mahal – Waltham (Moody St.)
Solea Restaurant & Tapas Bar – Waltham (Moody St.)

To name a few in Boston and Cambridge:
Upstairs on the Square – Cambridge (Harvard Square)
OM Restaurant & Lounge – Cambridge (Harvard Square)
The Capitale Grille – Boston (Boylston St.)

Solea Restaurant & Tapas Bar

Brandeis Vegan/Vegetarian Club


Hey ladies! Have any of you ever thought about going vegetarian? If you're interested in learning more about what it's like then you should come check out the Brandeis Vegan/Vegetarian Club (the Veg Club). The Veg Club’s goal is to provide vegan and vegetarian students with a community of like-minded individuals as well as to allow those who feel passionate about the benefits of reducing the consumption of animal products to organize and participate in events on campus. You do not need to be a vegan or vegetarian to enjoy club meetings and we would love to see you there. If you were wondering what changes we have already made on campus and our goals for the future, read on! Make sure to stop by our meetings in the SCC Art Gallery on Wednesday nights from 7-8pm.

What happened last semester?

•We became an Official, Recognized club in Early October 2012!

•We held our very first event as an independent club in Mid October 2012 where we sold Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes in the SCC for 50 cents per cupcake, increased our club membership, and educated students on the benefits of reducing meat consumption.

•We enjoyed Vegan Desserts at our General Meetings where we discussed important Vegan/Vegetarian issues.

•I had meetings with the Vice President for Administration – Mark Collins, the Director of Dining Services – Aaron Benoz, the Usdan Food Service Director – Mary Grand, Nutritionist on campus – Lara O'Gara and the Dietitian on campus– Kate Moran. 

•We held elections in early December where we ate Vegan Queso and Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes!

•We got chartered through the Student Union in Mid-December, 2012!

•Lastly, we were asked by the Student Union to provide a Vegan Option at the Midnight Buffet!! It was a hit, and everyone loved the Vegan Vanilla cupcakes (even the omnivores!)