First to introduce myself, I am Monika Horvat. However, most of my friends just call me Mona. Being from Wisconsin, as a freshman I was afraid of leaving to live in a new state and, ultimately, a new culture. Now as I start my junior year at Dominican University, I have fallen in love with what it means to be a part of this school. It has been more than just a place that has challenged and strengthened me intellectually—it has become a place that I call my home.
My friends and even the staff at Dominican have become a part of my extended family. As a double major in apparel design and apparel merchandising, I was surprised and pleased to find a strong support system in my classmates. Additionally, the support from professors and fashion volunteer opportunities in Chicago alone make Dominican’s apparel program great.
At the start of this semester I was pleased to be greeted by my friends with hugs and stories of our summers. Things started to move quickly, as I had to work and start planning events for Campus Activities Board, for which I serve as vice president, but I was happy to be home.
For the first few days of school, my job at the Welcome and Information Desk provided a welcome tent for students as they arrived for classes. It was exciting to greet old friends and to welcome incoming freshman. The students were able to enter a raffle, ask questions about the campus, and grab a snack to go. I was happy to continue the hospitality and kindness that was given to me when I began only a few years ago.
The welcome tent is only one of the many examples of the compassion and aid Dominican gives to its students. Which reminds me that what it means to be a student at Dominican University really can be described by the university’s mission, “to pursue truth, to give compassionate service and to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world.”