First annual Raven Talks held March 19

By Danielle Sabolik, The Circuit.

Around 30 people gathered in the O’Malley McAllister Auditorium on March 19 for the first annual Raven Talks. The event was hosted by Benedictine Student Government Association and organized by Audra Burke, junior and Academic Committee chair.

The presentation was designed to mock the venue of a Ted Talk, a nonprofit organization that promotes ‘ideas worth spreading’, according to their website.

“One of our senators and committee members, Phil Davis, was inspired by various Ted Talks that he had seen,” Burke said. “[Davis] had the idea that we do something similar as a way to both allow speakers to speak on topics that they were passionate about, but also to give students the opportunities to hear unique and interesting presentations.”

Three talks were given: “Are Teenagers Really Aliens From Another Planet?” by Dr. Karen Wood, sociology; “Helping Survivors Heal” by Elsie Huntley, senior and member of Ravens Care; and “Grammar: the Humblest and Most Foundational of the Liberal Arts” by Dr. Mulholland, world and classical languages.

In order to organize this event Burke said that they reached out to speakers that they thought would be engaging and represent a good variety among departments and areas of interests.

Wood spoke about the generation gap and teenage culture.

“Biology alone cannot account for culture,” Wood said.

Using examples from history like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga, Wood analyzed the evolution of youth culture.

“[We are a] product of our own American values and how we value individualism over family and the community,” Wood said. She ended her speech by suggesting a of couple solutions to an overgrown generation gap, “Building bridges and dismantling the current generation gap.”

Huntley’s talk addressed supporting victims of sexual assault. “Being a good friend is one of the most essential parts of helping a victim cope,” Huntley said.

Huntley served as President of BC’s Ravens CARE organization, a sexual assault and dating violence prevention program, in 2014-2015.


The program helps provide education and develop initiatives for student body related sexual assault.


Sexual assault is not only cases of rape or molestation; it includes verbal harassment, Huntley said.


Mulholland spoke about grammar and it’s essential role in scholastic thought. “It’s not only about words, it’s about things,” Mulholland said. “To speak is to say something.”


He explained how grammar grounds people in reality and teaches them basic rules. Mulholland spoke about grammar’s essential role in Catholic education specifically, “Faith and reason are not truly what they are without the other.”
SGA was satisfied with the event. “We are extremely grateful to all of our presenters, all of whom were phenomenal,” Burke said. SGA hopes to continue Raven Talks annually.