Odyssey Impact: A UNH Student Sparks A Viral Conversation On How Her School Spent $1 Million

Odyssey Impact: A UNH Student Sparks A Viral Conversation On How Her School Spent $1 Million

Thanks to Odyssey, national media covered UNH's controversial decision to spend $1 million of a gift from a former librarian on a football scoreboard.
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When a former librarian at the University of New Hampshire left $4 million to the school upon his death, the last thing Claire Cortese expected was $1 million of Robert Morin’s gift to be used to buy a scoreboard for their football stadium.

Cortese, a recent alumna of the university, loved her experience at UNH, but she couldn’t help but notice that some parts of campus were severely underfunded.

“When I first read the headline that this librarian just donated $4 million, I thought, oh wow, they’re going to put it toward something good, like a new library or something,” she said. “So when I saw that they were giving the money to a scoreboard, I was just shocked.”

At the time of this news, the stadium was in the middle of a $25 million renovation.

Cortese frequently creates Odyssey posts surrounding UNH and academia, like this one and this one, so naturally, she felt compelled to share her thoughts on the school’s decision and to stand up against what she felt was a massive injustice to the school and its students and staff members.

Her article on the $4 million gift, which was the first opinion piece on the topic, was not only intended to spread awareness on the administration decision, but also served to stand up for students and faculty of the neglected departments on campus.

“I felt like they had completely soiled this guy’s legacy and it spoke to me about how corrupted the higher education system can be, and how these universities pour money into sports even though they tell you they don’t, and they ignore other departments that are underfunded,” Cortese said. “They don’t cater to all students in that way.”

Within just 24 hours, the article circulated around campus, and she was receiving dozens of comments and direct messages by professors and students. For the first time, she was gaining followers on engagement on her content.

“When the article picked up momentum, I was honestly shocked. I did not expect it to pick up steam—none of my other articles picked up nearly as much traction as that one,” Cortese said.

Just a few days later, her article was starting so many conversations on social media that local and national news organizations like News Maca, Daily Mail and Inside Higher Ed picked up her story. Cortese couldn’t believe she attracted so much attention from one article.

“It was really exciting that people were actually listening to me. It made me feel validated as a writer to have so much response because what I wrote clearly had an impact, and I think that’s what every writer wants,” Cortese said. “They want to make an impact.”

Cortese strives to make clear her love for UNH, but that as a proud alumna she feels she must speak up for the whole community.

“UNH was my life, and I appreciate so much of the time I had there, and I met some really amazing professors and students, but that doesn’t change the fact that what I thought the administration did was wrong.”

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5 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Your Mondays When Coffee Isn't Enough

After all, it is only Monday.
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You've had a long weekend full of friends, family, and food, but as Sunday comes to an end, you can't help but dread the thought of getting up early tomorrow. We've all been there. Yes, tomorrow is Monday, but there's nothing to worry about! Here are five ways that you can make the most out of your Monday blues.

1. Take it slow

One of the best things you can do for yourself in the morning is to take it slow. Mentally prepare yourself and be sure to go through a checklist of things you need to do for the day. Grabbing some breakfast and a nice warm cup of coffee will also help defeat the Monday blues.

Maybe listen to your favorite song on your way to work/school, or do something else that gets you excited for the day. That way when you get to your destination, you'll be ready to get to work.

2. Talk to friends and co-workers

There's nothing better than being able to catch up with your favorite people after an eventful weekend. Socializing with your friends and co-workers is a great way to start off your Monday, as it is sure to put you in a good mood.

Not only will it put you in a good mood, but you'll also build better connections with those around you. Try talking about the what you did for the weekend or plans you have for later on in the week. Ask them about their family or if they got that assignment done.

3. Get organized

Maybe you have a test or deadline due later on in the week that you can't seem to get your mind off of. By getting organized before Monday and keeping up with your calendar, you'll be sure not to forget about important dates and events that would otherwise be guaranteed headaches.

Things such as color coding, alphabetizing, and making lists are sure ways to stay organized. Don't forget to set aside time for studying or go out to eat with your friends.

4. Set goals

If you're anything like me, nothing is more rewarding than getting to check things off of your to-do list. Setting goals for yourself throughout the week is a great way to accomplish certain tasks or better yourself in general.

These goals can be anything from getting a paper done to creating a better study routine for yourself. If you set new goals every week, you'll be sure to accomplish a lot more than you would've otherwise.

5. Treat yourself

The best part of every Monday is when you finally get to go home after what seems like a never-ending day. This is the perfect time to congratulate yourself on surviving another Monday! Sit down, make some food, play games, watch tv, and enjoy your time at home.

After all, it is only Monday.

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Onken

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You: A Poem

Holding a black velvet box in one hand / Containing every girl’s dream
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Six years ago today,
With sand between our toes
And sunburns on our cheeks,
You took my hands in yours—
Warm against cold,
Eyes glazed over,
Brown and hazel,
Dazing into days to come.
Butterflies danced in my stomach.
My heart beat as fast as hummingbird’s wings,
Reminding me to breathe
In, out, in, out.
Pulled me closer
Tilted heads
Lips drawed nearer
Blood drained.
One against the other















Today,
I see you on one knee
With sand in our shoes
And a sunset in the distance,
Holding a black velvet box in one hand
Containing every girl’s dream,
But knowing this one contains mine.
Eyes glazed over
Brown and hazel
Staring into moments passed
Butterflies ceased years ago
My heart no more
Beats as two now
Mine and yours
Together













Cover Image Credit: Ben White

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