Our Fave Five Things in Kilachand Hall

Caroline Perna (SAR’25) & Veronica McKinney (CAS’25)

#1: Chrissy

On the first floor of Kilachand Hall are the staff offices, which enable students to build relationships with staff and administration. When you first walk in, you’ll see Chrissy standing behind her desk with her welcoming smile. Chrissy is one of the newest additions to the Kilachand Staff, and she is always a light that brightens our days. Throughout our freshman year, we have had the joy to get to know Chrissy.  She is an awesome resource if you ever need to talk, get advice, or if you need a hug. Over the last few months, Chrissy has become a “mom” for us since we are physically far away from our families, and we have a lunch date with her every few weeks. Make sure to pop in and say hi, and tell her that Caroline and Veronica sent you!

Caroline & Chrissy selfie
Veronica & Chrissy twinning (accidentally)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Kitchen

We are lucky to have a fully functioning kitchen on the first floor of Kilachand Hall (one of the only kitchens easily accessible to freshmen at BU)! The kitchen is an awesome way to bring people together to cook, bake, and hangout! Our favorite cooking experiments have been: chocolate chip banana bread, brunch eggs and crepes, and a surprise birthday cake for our friend Tanvi! Although you have to provide the food and cooking dishes, the kitchen is recently renovated, right downstairs, and easy to use. You should definitely take advantage and show off your cooking skills! (Warning: don’t use anything you find in the fridge…)

Tanvi’s partially eaten birthday cake
Banana bread in progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hangout sesh
The beautiful kitchen

#3: Coffee & Snacks

In the offices of Kilachand Hall there is a lovely coffee machine (with more than 60 different possible drinks) and a box of snacks. We make sure to stop in the office nearly every day to get our yummy drink, or chips, or chocolate, or granola bar, or cookie… the options are endless. This has been a really convenient (and free) option to get some fuel for the day!  (And we were especially grateful for the steaming hot chocolates on the coldest Boston winter days.) Chrissy stays vigilant on keeping the snack box replenished, and she looks the other way if you want to stock up on some snacks for later… 😉 If you ever have the chance, you should definitely use this (did we mention free?) pick-me-up station. (Bonus: you get to see Chrissy while you’re there!)

Our favorite little coffee machine
Coffee fixings and the snack box
Veronica & Nora
Chrissy & Rick with the popcorn machine

#4: 9th Floor Study Spaces

On the top floor of Kilachand Hall is a common area and quiet study room!  The main entrance area has a dance floor and stage because Kilachand Hall used to be a Sheridan hotel.  There are tables all over for you to work or hangout with friends, and a TV is available if you want to host a movie night!  If you need to actually get some work done, there is a VERY quiet study room (where you can literally hear a pin drop).  Kilachand Hall renovations are starting this summer 2022 (more information is up on the website), so the 9th floor will be upgraded with brand new classrooms, study spaces, and windows to overlook our stunning view of the Charles River.  (Around sunset, the whole floor is aglow in warm lighting that is perfect for selfies!)

9th floor friends enjoying a late night snack!
9th floor open space

#5: 1st Floor Lounge

Our recently renovated first floor lobby and common room is one of the most active places in the building! During the day, students will work in between classes, and in the evenings, the room is even busier!  While working, you may enjoy some nice ambient music from the public piano, or the aforementioned snacks and drinks from the front office.  If you need a quick study break, board games are available for anyone to use, and the blue couches are surprisingly comfortable if you need to take a power nap!  Our monthly Kilachand Teas are also hosted on the 1st floor, where you can get free drinks and food (our personal favorites are the chocolate covered strawberries and chips and hummus!).  Co-curriculars and events like the open KHC Closet (pictured below) are often held on the first floor because everyone coming into the building will pass by!

Friends studying on the first floor
KHC Closet

In conclusion…

WE LOVE KILACHAND HALL 

and all the fun people, places, and memories made here! <3


Photos © Caroline Perna & Veronica McKinney 2022

That Moment When You Know a College is Right for You: The 9th Floor of Kilachand Hall

Gabrielle Gewirtz (CAS’24)

There’s a moment everyone talks about during the college decision making process; when you know that there’s one college that makes you feel at home and overall just feels right. Making this decision during COVID, when I could not visit any schools, was very difficult. I chose BU because it checked all of my boxes—big school, research university, in a city, close to home, but not too close—but I didn’t know if, when I got to campus, I would have that feeling of rightness.

I moved into Kilachand Hall in late August with an anxious feeling: would I fit in here? Pushing those anxious thoughts aside, I started unpacking my boxes and suitcases. After moving in and meeting my roommates, we decided to start checking out places to get more comfortable with BU campus and our dorm. Since it was already pretty late, and we wanted to stay in our building, we decided to check out the 9th floor of Kilachand Hall to see the views of the city.

We took the elevator up to the 9th floor, and as soon as we got off, I was hit with that feeling. Around us, people were either doing work at tables or playing card games and talking to friends. Everyone looked at ease, and some people were even wearing pajamas. I immediately liked the feel of the 9th floor; you could go there to get work done, or even to be unproductive, and no one would care.

My roommates and I went to one of the big windows to look at the view, and again I was hit with the same feeling. I’ve always loved the nighttime, but Boston at night is especially gorgeous with its bright lights and zooming cars. I could easily picture myself up there on another night, playing games with friends or working on a late night project. At that point, looking out the window into the city, I knew I had chosen the right school.

Since coming to BU, I have gone up to the 9th floor more times than I could count. I’ve been to game nights with friends and have worked on group projects with people also in the honors college. Going to the 9th floor has been a great way to meet up with friends, and even meet new people. It’s also a place that has given many people, including myself, that indescribable feeling of rightness; that you know you chose the right place to be.


Image © Gabrielle Gewirtz 2022

Four Core Memories in Kilachand: Freshman Edition

Iffany Zou (CAS'25)

I’ve just about completed my first year here at Boston University in the Kilachand Honors College and to say I’ve loved it is an understatement. Through Kilachand, I have created so many unforgettable memories. However, my memory is bad, so before I forget, I’d better write a few of my core ones down:

1. Hiking Monadnock 

In chronological order: first up we have hiking Mount Monadnock. It was October 23rd, 2021 and I had just met the group of boys from down the hall. Because of Kilachand’s living and learning community, I encountered what became a tight knit group of friends. A zipcar, a collaborative playlist, and a few breakfast sandwiches later, we were off to the misty mountains. What I love about Boston is that you can get the best of both worlds: you live in the city, but you aren’t too far from the exact opposite. The two hour drive and the lack of sleep was completely worth it. Once we began the hike, we could barely stop. Each spot higher than the previous one unveiled a more and more beautiful view. If you love a good hike, I definitely recommend Mount Monadnock in October. At one of the peaks, we could see miles of orange and auburn leaves and this is a view I will never stop missing. We sat there a while, unable to fathom the breathtaking view. Just look at this photo…Boston might be the place for you!

Iffany1

2. Friendsgiving

On November 20th, 2021, my friends and I celebrated Thanksgiving with a home-cooked dinner at Jacob’s. All of us gathered around the kitchen counter was truly a sight to see: Dan reaching over me to grab the string beans, James playing with the fire on the stove, Shea mashing an absurd amount of potatoes, Jacob showing off his card tricks, and everyone singing, screaming, and laughing. It was only a few months into our first semester at college, but I was immensely grateful for the people I had met. As the night went on, my homesickness finally began to ease.

Friendsgiving

3. Fancy Marciano Dinner

One day of no particular occasion, my friends and I decided to have ourselves a fancy dinner at Marciano Commons (the best dining hall on campus). We dressed up, brought a bed sheet/tablecloth (same thing), and claimed one of the circle tables. We had a three course meal, starting with appetizers and ending with desserts. The night was so fun, we decided this was only going to be the first of many themed dinners. Next up: Adam Sandler Night (stay tuned)!

Iffany3

4. Ultimate in the Rain

In the middle of second semester, my friends and I really started taking advantage of the warmer weather. On Tanvi’s birthday, we gathered everyone together on a rainy Thursday night to play a big game of ultimate. We ended up staying out for hours playing ultimate, volleyball, soccer, and football. It was extremely slippery and multiple of us did fall, but I wouldn’t even hesitate to do it again (go team river rats!). On our walk back to Kilachand Hall, we jumped in puddles, sang Pitch Perfect, and continued to throw the frisbee around. By the time we got back, we were wet, sweaty, and a little bit muddy. We ended the night in the Kilachand 1st floor common room eating Veronica’s homemade cake and wishing Tanvi a Happy Birthday (Happy Late Birthday, Tanvi)!

Iffany4

It sounds cheesy, but these are the memories I know I’ll always hold close to my heart. Thanks to Kilachand, I’ve had an amazing year with a beautiful community. And thanks to this blog, I was able to share the best bits with you (and I’ll actually be able to remember it!).


Images © Iffany Zou 2022

Club Spotlight: SVSN!

By Nicole Chiulli (CAS'23)

Coming into college, there were some things from my life in New York that I knew I wasn’t prepared to give up. Throughout high school, I spent a lot of time working with individuals with disabilities - I interned with a child psychologist where I met kids with varying forms of neurodivergence, and I worked for an organization which provided recreational programs for adolescents and adults with physical and mental disabilities. Through these experiences, I made so many genuine connections with amazing people; I had the opportunity to learn from individuals who see the world differently than I do, and I knew for sure that I wanted to continue this during my college career. To any prospective student who’s looking for something similar in their own future college, or any incoming freshman just looking for a fun and rewarding club to join, this post is for you!

SVSN stands for Student Volunteers for Special Needs, though I will add a disclaimer that the name may be changing soon. The student-run organization was founded at BU around 15 years ago; we are aware that the terminology is rather outdated, and are in the process of hopefully selecting a new name for our group. The goal of SVSN is to provide support for individuals with disabilities in the Boston area in a number of ways. Our primary activity is hosting Friday Night Club (FNC), a social event which happens a few Friday nights each month. We invite individuals with disabilities from around Boston to join us on campus to play games, listen to music, do arts and crafts, eat snacks and chat! We alternate hosting responsibilities with our sister club at Harvard, which means that some weeks we travel to Harvard to have FNCs there, which is always a fun excursion.

Beyond FNCs we are also currently working with Perkins School for the Blind, a school in Watertown, MA that provides all types of services for people with visual, auditory, and multiple impairment disabilities. We’ve helped out with a variety of things there, from painting one of their buildings and doing green space clean-ups to organizing their Braille library and assisting at their fundraising/awareness 5k walk.  These larger events are usually on the weekends, though there are additional volunteer opportunities with Perkins during the week for anyone who is interested!

Our club is pretty small, and with the pandemic over the past few years we’ve definitely faced challenges in finding ways to safely make a difference in our community. Now that things are moving back towards normalcy, we are excited to hopefully expand both our number of members and our volunteer opportunities. SVSN is low commitment - we send out a list of events happening each month, and our members can sign up for as many or as few as they want; it’s a very easy way to get involved with the local community and meet some fantastic people. Volunteers who attend our events regularly are also able to apply for any open executive board positions at the end of each year, so if you’re someone who wants to hold a meaningful leadership role during your time at BU, SVSN might be for you! If you’re interested, you can check out our instagram page (@svsnbu) or email me (nchiulli@bu.edu) with any questions. For incoming freshmen, you can also find our table at Splash next September in the Community Engagement section. We always have tons of fun, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to make even a small difference in the larger Boston community. If you’ve read this far and SVSN seems like a group for you, I hope to see you next year!

New England Aquarium Walking Tour

By Richie Boylan (COM’22)

As I waited by the ocean-themed Ben and Jerry’s stand outside the Aquarium I grew a little nervous. I’d never led or even gone on one of Kilachand’s Walking Tours. For that matter, I’d never even been to the New England Aquarium before. How could I lead a group of nine freshmen expecting an exciting excursion and ensure that they weren’t giving up their Friday night for nothing? Of course seeing sealions, penguins, and water dragons up close is always breathtaking, but would COVID dampen the fun?

Easily, one of the best aspects of Kilachand is all the events the Honors College hosts throughout the year. From the Back-to-School BBQ, to Study Breaks, to screenings in the Common Room there’s always a chance at KHC to connect with friends (or make new ones) and enjoy some of the best food Boston has to offer. With the introduction of walking tours, KHC found a way to keep students connected with one another with the added benefit of getting to explore the city. Usually led by upperclassmen in the mentor program or KHC faculty, these tours offer a great way to escape the BU bubble and meet new people outside of your classes. Walks along the Esplanade, trips to J.P. Lick’s, and even tours of the New England Aquarium are only a sampling of the walking tours KHC students embarked on over the course of the last year.

As I mentioned, I’d never been to the Aquarium before, but I figured for my first walking tour I might as well go big. The Friday we went, the New England Aquarium hosted a special events night in which divers interacted with the 900+ species of animals held in the 200,000 gallon salt water tank that serves as the building’s centerpiece. Any worries I had dissipated with our stop at the first exhibit: The Manta rays. From there the entire event became an intoxicating blur of amazing sea-life, laughter, and pure awe. There really is nothing quite like meeting the eye of a 90 year old 550lb green sea turtle as it emerges from the water only feet away from you. Or looking down through the skeleton of a 35ft-long right whale to see penguins playing below. Of course no trip to the Aquarium is complete without a stop at the gift shop. Between stuffed penguins, whales, sea lions, octopi, and flamingos, with a few more walking tours KHC will likely be able to open its own faux-Aquarium. Even though walking tours were created as a solution to the limit the pandemic placed on in-person events, there’s hope that they will continue well into the future.

KHC freshmen watching the penguins at the New England Aquarium
KHC freshmen watching the penguins at the New England Aquarium

Fun Fish Facts

A collection of the most interesting facts we learned at the Aquarium.

1. Octopi have nine brains: a central brain and one in each arm. They also have three hearts: one heart circulates blood around the body while the other two pump blood specifically to the gills.

2. As reptiles, sea turtles breath air, but they are able to hold their breath for 4-7 hours if necessary.

3. Penguins’ tuxedo-like look is attributed to a camouflage technique known as countershading. When hunting for food in the water other animals looking up will have a hard time discerning a penguin’s white stomach from the sun. Meanwhile potential predators from the land and air will miss a penguin’s black backside in the dark ocean.

Photos credit Richie B.