“Chinari” Brings Nepali Identity To CSU

Students from Nepal – who represent the largest international student population at Minnesota State Mankato – will celebrate their “Chinari” during Nepali Night 2018 on Saturday, Feb. 10, in the Centennial Student Union.

The event hosted by the Nepalese Student Community, or NeStCom, starts at 5 p.m. and brings Nepal to the CSU – literally – as each floor of the student union will represent one of the country’s three different geographic regions.

This year’s theme, “Chinari” translates into “our identity” and students share their heritage through food, culture and entertainment. 

Serving of food will begin at 5 p.m. with entertainment at 7 p.m. An after-party is planned for 9 p.m.

Tickets at the door are $10.

3 Things You Can Learn From Upperclassmen

by Taylor Zenz, CSU Public Relations Intern

Now that you’ve had some time under your belt at Minnesota State Mankato, reflecting back on your first semesters can be quite a shock to the person you once were. Here’s some things I know I’ve learned – thanks to the example of some upperclassmen.

1. Motivation

When I was a freshman, learning how to manage my newfound freedom was an interesting battle. My mom would call me to make sure I was on task. Though I was a good student in the first place, her telling me to get my homework done before the weekend started made me want to do the exact opposite. That mindset changed for me as I started getting to know upperclassman who were motivated and had a high standard of academic goals. I thought to myself, “I want to be just like them”. They taught me that by just doing the “bare minimum” won’t get you very far.

2. Tradition and Getting Involved

Growing up, I had no sense of tradition. I didn’t attend high school football games or attend weekly Friday night gettogethers with my neighborhood friends. This continued when I was an underclassman. Approaching graduation, I’m starting to realize that Minnesota State Mankato has given me everything I’d hoped for and more. I wish that I would have partaken in more activities and traditions on campus. You’ll soon realize how important it is to leave a legacy and being a part or something bigger than yourself. With the CSU’s 50th and MSU’s 150th anniversary, now is the perfect time to take part in those celebrations.

3. Getting Involved and Finding Yourself

It’s hard to know how to get involved on a campus you’ve just arrived at. It’s also hard to know who you are at the age of 18. Juniors and seniors have “been there, done that”. They can tell you what to get involved with on campus and exactly how to get involved. For me, this person was my CA in my Preska dorm. Never would I had thought about joining a sorority if it wasn’t for her. Because of her recommendation, I have been heavily involved with Maverick Greeks, Dance Marathon and the CSU. It also helped me find my career path. I’ll forever be thankful for my CA, who I remind her of my gratitude three years later.

Whether it’s learning how to study properly, learning how to get involved or how to find yourself, there’s upperclassman all over this campus that can help you. You never know who you’ll be influenced by on this campus. If I had one piece of advice, it would be to get the courage to ASK, ASK, ASK!

Nominations For Leadership Accepted Through Friday, Feb. 9

by Taylor Zenz, CSU Public Relations Intern

Do you or know of someone who deserves recognition for their student leadership and involvement on campus? We’ve got the perfect opportunity for you!

Every year, Student Activities seeks nominations for a number of Leadership Awards that are presented in April. The nomination process is now open. Not only can you nominate someone, but you can even nominate yourself.

In fact, half of the submissions received are self-nominations. Ashley Strom, assistant director of student activities, mentions that people should nominate themselves or others because it’s a great opportunity to formally give (or gain) recognition for extraordinary work.

“Sure, we may give praise to each other in passing for a job well done, but public recognition can really encourage the heart for some people as well,” she said.

The Student Activities Office will be accepting nominations from now until February 9. Sample nomination letters, applications, and a listing of all the award categories can be found at http://www.mnsu.edu/activities/leadershipawards/.

‘Black Lives Matter’ Inspires Three-Day Focus on Social Justice

In 2017, the Black Lives Matter movement raised national attention for social justice that spanned from the streets to NFL football fields.

That theme now calls everyone to Minnesota State Mankato campus for three days in February as national speakers join the 42nd annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference.

The focus of the Feb. 7-9 conference in the Centennial Student Union seeks to build student leaders and provide an opportunity to discuss issues that affect Black people. The conference is free for University students, faculty, and staff.

“Vindicating the Suffering of Our Ancestors and Earning the Respect of Future Generations,” is the theme for this year’s Pan African Conference and features speakers who are leading the way in advocating social justice.

These year’s conference opens Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium with a stage reading of There Are Other Worlds.” Set in the 1990s, There Are Other Worlds, tells the story of Amri Akenyemi a mother serving 15 years in prison for the murder of her daughter’s molester. The performance is free to Minnesota State Mankato students.

Keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Civil Rights Movement activist and authority of the strategy on nonviolent social change. His address is Friday, Feb. 9, at 5:45 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom. 

The impressive list of speakers throughout the conference include:

  • Mawuli Mel Davis, Civil Rights attorney providing legal support to Black Lives Matter and primary organizer for the “Respect Black Life” march following the acquittal of George Zimmerman: Thursday, Feb. 8, 9:45 a.m., CSU Ballroom
  • Charlene A. Carruthers, a Black, queer feminist community organizer and writer with over 10 years of experience in racial justice, feminist and youth leadership development movement work: Thursday, Feb. 8, 12:30 p.m., CSU Ballroom.

  • Damon Davis, author of the documentary, “Whose Streets?”, which tells the story of protests from the perspective of Ferguson, Mo., activists after police killed Michael Brown in 2014; Thursday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m., CSU Ballroom.

  • Paris Hatcher, Black, queer feminist whose work leading organizations has helped amplify the leadership of marginalized communities and advance such causes as gender justice and sexual health, and M. Adams, who presented before the United Nations for the Convention of Eliminating Racial Discrimination, and also authored the intersectional theory in Why Killing Unarmed Black folks is a Queer issue: Friday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m.,  CSU Ballroom
  • Bernadeia Johnson, former Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent, Friday, Feb. 9, 5 p.m., CSU Ballroom

The Pan African Conference is named in honor of Dr. Michael T. Fagin, an emeritus professor and Pan African leader. Dr. Fagin has served and been a member of the Minnesota State University Mankato (MNSU) community for over 45 years.

REGISTER NOW: It takes less than 5 minutes to register.

Are You a RecycleManiac?

‘I think 30 percent is more than doable.’ – Erik Olson

by Laney Chmielewski, CSU Communications Student Staff Writer

Starting Feb. 4, Minnesota State University, Mankato again joins nearly 200 colleges from U.S. and Canada in the campus-wide effort for claiming best trash recycling honors. The 8-week annual spring contest has competing campuses filing weekly reports on the amount of recycling and trash collected.

Erik Olson, student co-chair of the MSU Environmental Committee, said the committee seeks a stronger campus showing than last year’s first entry into RecycleMania.

“Last year, MSU ranked 127th out of 190 schools with a recycling/overall waste rate of 25.9 percent” Olson said. “This year, we hope to get our recycling/overall waste rate to at least 30 percent. With a little Maverick motivation and teamwork, I think 30 percent is more than doable.”

Kickoff activities include a game day RecycleMania event during the Feb. 10 Maverick men and women’s home basketball games with Winona State. Participate who recycle during the evening games in Bresnan Arena will receive a ticket for prize giveaways.

Throughout the competition, the MSU Green Campus team will be tabling with info and free goodies in the Centennial Student Union. Recycling reminders will be posted around campus. Olson hopes the message will carry beyond the 8-week competition.

“We should always make a conscious effort to ‘go green. Taking the extra second to really make an effort to recycle makes a bigger difference than you may think,” he said. “Let’s all work together to make the home of Purple and Gold a little greener.”

RecycleMania concludes March 31. Results will be determined in three campus recycling categories including which school generates the least amount of trash/recycling.

Winning schools in the national competition receive an award made out of recycled materials and claim the right to host the special traveling trophy. Winners in each category also will be displayed on the RecycleMania website and recognized in a national press release.

For any additional information, visit www.mnsu.edu/greencampus/recyclemania

Helping Children Is Ongoing MAVATHON Goal

Annual Fundraiser Culminates Saturday, Feb. 24

An annual day of dancing, laughing, free food, games, music, friends, family and – most importantly – fundraising for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare returns to campus Saturday, Feb. 24.

“MAVATHON,” the culmination of a year-round fundraising effort by the Dance Marathon student organization, goes from noon  to 10 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union. All proceeds support the Gillette Mankato Clinic.

Feb. 24 events include free food from local restaurants, cosmic bingo, karaoke, billiards, bowling, a petting zoo, caricature artist, performance by the Maverick Machine Pep Band, a scavenger hunt and more. Registration for the event is $32 and can done by visiting www.msudancemarathon.com.

“This year the group is hoping to raise $32,000 for Gillette. So far, they’re at about 10 percent of that goal and have hosted numerous fundraisers around the city of Mankato,” said Abby Streetar, fundraising chair for the MAVATHON executive team. “I’m excited to see everyone come together and celebrate all of our hard work and reveal how much money we’ve raised this year.”

Gillette Children’s serves families with children having medical conditions that are permanent and require lifelong care. It is affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network, which funds critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care to local hospitals.


Are You Among the 3500? CSU Conducts Student Survey

The Centennial Student Union seeks opinions, complaints, ideas and suggestions from 3500 Minnesota State Mankato students selected to participate in the CSU’s online 2018 Student Survey.

Participating students were notified Monday by email when the survey officially launched. Reminder emails will be sent to encourage remaining students to voice their opinions before the survey’s March 1 conclusion.

Survey participants could earn a GoPro Hero 6 camera being given away through random selection following the conclusion of the survey.

In the opening email, CSU Director Mark Constantine shared a link to the survey and expressed the important role survey responses have in advancing the student union’s role as the students’ House of Serendipity.

“As the only facility at Minnesota State Mankato supported primarily by student fees, the CSU works to spend your dollars wisely to create an environment that INVITES, INVOLVES and INSPIRES students,” Constantine said. “Your honest evaluation does make a difference. Several CSU initiatives started as student comments expressed in past surveys.”

Of special importance is students’ response to questions crafted specifically for CSU services and programs.

Celebrating its 50th year, the CSU seeks record student survey response in helping advance the future of services and programming within the CSU.

Now Serving: The ‘STOMPER’ Only in the CSU

Stomper joins recipe creator Jacob Kuhlman and Mike Steindl, Erbert & Gerbert’s franchise owner, in unveiling the Stomper sandwich. The signature sub will be served exclusively on the Centennial Student Union E&G’s menu.

Now Serving: Stomper…well, so to speak. And Jacob Kuhlman, a Preska Hall CA, is largely responsible.

On Thursday, Erbert & Gerbert’s in the Centennial Student Union announced a new signature sandwich – the Stomper – served exclusively in the CSU.

E&G’s official MNSU Sandwich was Kuhlman’s winning concoction from hundreds of recipes submitted in last semester’s “Create the STOMPER sandwich contest.” Mike Steindl, E&G’s franchise owner, said Kuhlman’s recipe – a chipotle citrus BBQ chicken sub complete with cherrywood smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and jalapenos – topped the list of three finalists in a student taste test conducted in the CSU.

For his winning efforts, Kuhlman, a senior from Fairbault, Minn., receives free food for a year from E&G’s.

Steindl said the Stomper is now part of the E&G’s CSU menu.


5 College Student Horror Stories from a Snow Day

Brett Marshall is a Public Relations Intern with the Centennial Student Union Communications Office.

by Brett Marshall

Snow days are usually days when students celebrate and rejoice, but sometimes they don’t play out that way. Here are five horror stories college students have had on a snow day.

1. I forgot to check my email and ended up going to school.

A truly horrifying realization. You put in the effort to get ready for the day and make your way to campus only to realize it was a ghost town. Now you must trek back through a blizzard and crawl back into your warm bed that you could’ve stayed in in the first place.

2. I still had to go to work.

No school is great, but some people are unfortunate enough to have to go work. And aside from the extra cash in your bank account, it’s four to eight hours of maybe one to two customers coming through the door.

3. My snow blower didn’t work.

There’s nothing worse than having a snow day and having the one thing you need to clear the snow break down. Usually a snow day means copious amounts of white fluff piling on up on your driveway or in your parking lot. You can’t ignore it, so instead, you have to  invest all of your energy in shoveling in hopes that you’re able to get your car out, which leads me to the next horror.

4. Chipotle had BOGO, but my car was buried.

The Madison Ave Chipotle had a BOGO Snow Day Special, but many students missed out on it due to their cars being buried under 13.5 inches of snow and treacherous road conditions. It was a rare occasion where Chipotle just wasn’t quite worth it.

5. I went into a ditch.

Yep, it can happen to anyone. Sometimes you think you’re superman or you really wanted that BOGO Chipotle or had to slump your way into work. Whatever the reason, you found yourself in the wrath of Mother Nature’s blizzard. You’re taking extreme caution, but your car doesn’t care. You start to go around a curve and the next thing you know your car is in the ditch. You sob softly wishing you had just stayed home today wondering why you live in a place that gets so much snow.

Memorial Service Honors Kenya Student & CSU Grad Student

A candlelight memorial service honoring Patricia Miswa, a native of Kenya and Centennial Student Union Communications graduate assistant who died Jan. 4, will be Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge.

All are invited to attend to share in remembering the 32-year-old creative writing graduate student and globally-known “story-teller.” The memorial will offer time for personal reflections and placing of flickering candles around the Hearth Lounge fireplace. Anyone with photos of Patricia that they would like to share for viewing at the memorial are encouraged to send them to csuinfo@mnsu.edu or share on the Centennial Student Union Facebook.

Arriving to Minnesota State Mankato this fall, Patricia joined the CSU staff and the Communications GA. Lenny Koupal, CSU communications coordinator, said Patricia’s graduate assistant application was a pleasant surprise.

“Her application as I was about to give up hope for a qualified GA candidate for this academic year seemed like a godsend,” Koupal said. “The expectation that my office and our students would gain from two years’ experience with someone with Patricia’s maturity, experience and wisdom was an outcome I looked forward to fulfilling. But life can spin on a dime and leave us dizzy, off-balance and drained. What we seek to do now is honor her spirit and example.”

Patricia’s pursuit of a master’s degree in creative writing sought to fulfill her dream of being a “story-teller.” She had already made great strides toward that goal with her successful online magazine, AfroElle. Through her magazine she sought to illuminate the lives of African women who could serve as beacons of hope and inspiration for others. Her magazine’s global audience was evident by her Instagram account with more than 200,000 followers.

“As an hommage to Patricia, we hope to create an online magazine with shared photos and stories about Patricia to share with her family, friends and followers,” Koupal said.

According to Patricia’s mother, Josephine Ouma, an educational fund is being established in Patricia’s name.

“The family has decided to support her vision of helping young people,” she said, “particularly young, disadvantaged women acquire skills that would help them be economically independent by setting up a Patricia Miswa Education Trust Fund.”

Koupal added that Patricia will continue as the inspiration and driving force for a new CSU Communications initiative.

“We planned to start ‘You Got This,’ a program seeking student success stories that would encourage fellow students struggling through various aspects of college life,” Koupal. “It was to be Patricia’s graduate project modeled largely after her empowering work with AfroElle. In memory of Patricia, that initiative will continue. I have to believe that somehow she will be telling us all, ‘You Got This’ as we move forward.”

Anyone seeking more information should contact Lenny Koupal or the Kearney International Center at Minnesota State Mankato.