One Team = 80 Events

Student Events Team Builds Memories and Traditions

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

Last years Special Events Chair, Bailey Hofmeister will lead the Student Events Team as the 2018-19 President. The team’s busy year starts with Welcome Week, Aug. 23-26, with a host of events for greeting new Mavericks to campus.

Who creates events such as Kato Ninja Warrior and the fall Foam Party? Who organizes next week’s Eric Paslay concert? Who plans Homecoming? Who schedules Stomper’s Cinema? Who brings eagles, exotic animals and live reindeer to campus? Which group is leading the way in creating memories and traditions for fellow Mavericks.

Of course, if you answer Students Events Team to all of those questions (and more) you would be correct.

Dedicated to a mission of producing “fun, interactive, educational events where students make lifelong memories and celebrate their Maverick pride,” the Student Events Team is led by a group of 12 students responsible for mobilizing student volunteers for more 80 events a year.

Among the biggest events, Homecoming is already in the works with a week of activities planned Sept 24-29 to get students and alumni into the Maverick spirit. This year’s team will also be working with the University’s Sesquicentennial Committee as the expanded Homecoming Parade moves to downtown Mankato

Another major undertaking is concert planning as the team seeks to find an artist that is both appealing and affordable. Ongoing activities include Stomper’s Cinema. A recent student survey showed free movies are the second most popular activity (behind career fairs) in the CSU

With Kato Ninja Warrior and the Eric Paslay Concert rounding out this year’s Student Events Team events, the team will be back in force starting with Welcome Week, Aug. 23-26, where activities will include Club Maverick and Cosmic Bingo.

During the academic year, students can learn and share event ideas during weekly Tuesdays at 4 sessions by the Student Events Team. Students interested in joining the Student Events Team must fill out an application and go through an interview process with a panel that includes past members and Student Activities staff.

The 2018-19 Student Events Team will be led by returning member Bailey Hofmeister, President. Other members of the team include Spirit & Traditions – Brandon Weideman; Homecoming Competition – Kylie Morton; Homecoming Promotions – Ella May; Concert Company – Alex Schauer; Stomper’s Cinema – Alex Fry; Speakers – Lydia Jagodzinski; Mavericks After Dark – Lucas Arndt; Special Events – Miranda Magnuson; Public Relations & Social Media – Abuzar Iqbal; Marketing – Brienna Schleusner; and Business Manager – Arnavee Maltare. Advisor for the Student Events Team is Bill Tourville, Student Activities assistant director of campus programs.

Newly elected Mavericks After Dark chair, Lucas Arndt, says that he can’t wait to build relationships with the new team and is excited to bring unique and fun events to campus.

“We each bring something different to the table, and I think we will be able to have well thought-through ideas,” he said. “A lot of us have been involved with the team before and understand the mission that Student Events Team brings to campus.”

If you have any suggestions or want to get involved with Student Events Team, visit https://www.mnsu.edu/studenteventsteam/

New Student Government President Plans Improvement

Inauguration of New Student Government is April 18

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

Minnesota State University had one of its highest voter turnouts ever in the recent Student Government election that seated Mavericks United’s MeMe Cronin as the new President with 54 percent of the 1,762 votes.

Cronin and her Vice President, Katelynn Ogunfolami, campaigned to understand and address student needs if elected.

“We were tabling in different locations, meeting with RSOs, taking to students in classes, promoting through social media and poster, making buttons and even baking cookies,” Cronin said. “It was a lot of work, but luckily Katelynn and I were able to keep each other accountable.”

As a Student Senator, Cronin said she decided to run for President after seeing things that could be improved.

“I see a lot of issues on campus that I want to address. When Katelynn and I came together, both of us formed a vision of what we wanted to accomplish next year and I knew the two of us could be the people to actually create that change,” she said.

Though Cronin expects new experiences as President, it won’t change who she is.

“I don’t think I will necessarily have to change the way I act or carry myself. There will definitely be new pressures I’ll face, like having to aid the senators and being a main point of contact for student government,” she said. “But I will definitely hold every senator responsible to the same standards I do for myself. Each of us that were elected were motivated to be the voice for their constituency, so we need to do our students that justice.”

Cronin said her primary goal as Student Government President will continue to listen to student concerns and seek ways to address them. She wants her senators to do the same.

“I want all the students of MNSU to know that Katelynn and I, as well as all of the newly elected senators are motivated to aid our students ,” she said. “Katelynn and I are always open and willing to hear any concern from any student on campus.”

Inauguration of the 2018-19 Student Government will be Wednesday, April 18, at 5 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Student Government meets Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in Nickerson Conference Room in the Centennial Student Union. For more information about Student Government, visit www.mnsu.edu/mssa

MSU Dance Marathon Continues to Make Miracles

More Than $30,000 Raised For Gillette Specialty Healthcare

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

After a record-breaking fundraising effort, MSU Dance Marathon is already starting to prepare for next year’s Mavathon.

MSU Dance Marathon set a Minnesota record by raising over $30,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare between April 2017 and February 2018. The efforts were celebrated Feb. 24 with the group’s featured “Mavathon” event.

The 11-hour event included testimonials from families benefitting from money Dance Marathon raises, mini fundraisers, games, free food, karaoke, bowling, billiards, Zumba, capture the flag, cosmic bingo and more. The event was a huge success, despite some unfriendly weather.

“We had a snowstorm the day of Mavathon, which proved to be challenging at some points, but overall the event went awesome,” said Sarah McClain, one of the 2018-2019 Dance Marathon co-presidents.

McClain and her co-president, Reggie Evenson, aren’t sitting back on the success of the event. They’ve already started accepting applications for the next executive board, which is responsible for planning Mavathon and coordinating the various fundraisers throughout the year. McClain said she’s excited for what’s to come because being a part of the executive team has been a great experience.

“Being on exec was extremely rewarding and taught me a lot about leadership,” she said. “It’s a great way to get involved and it also looks very good on a resume.”

Graduate advisor for the exec team, Travis Higgs, said Dance Marathon has made him feel like he’s made a difference in the world.

“I have an extreme soft spot for philanthropy and giving back to the community. We are directly impacting our local Gillette Children’s Specialty Heathcare,” he said. “The wonderful feeling of working hard and seeing the event come to life is extremely rewarding.”

The executive board needs a wide variety of people as the positions cover everything from event planning to recruiting to marketing to donations and fundraising. Positions on the executive board include the following chairs: operations, entertainment and events, catering, marketing and media, finance, fundraising, corporate donations and sponsorships, family relations and morale captain.

Applications can be found on MSU Dance Marathon’s Orgsync page at https://orgsync.com/65960/forms/99860. A valid Minnesota State University Star ID and password is required to apply.

Dance Marathon is a nationwide organization that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network and its affiliates. Marathons, like Mavathon, are student-planned events at colleges and high schools all across the nation. Collectively, dance marathons have raised $5 billion for the Children’s Miracle Network. Mavathon is Minnesota’s largest dance marathon and has raised more than $100,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare dating back to 2009 when it started at MSU.

57-Year History: Traditions Old and New Help Greek Community Flourish

by REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Intern

Marie Bruce, “The First Lady of Mankato State”

Despite periods of unrest and uncertainty, Fraternity and Society Life at Minnesota State Mankato continues to evolve and preserve values as new generations take the baton.

To propel the Greek community and their initiatives into the future, members are resurrecting traditions from the past.

Mavathon, a fun-filled day of dance, games and food, was revived in 2011 after an 8-year hiatus and has been held annually ever since raising over $100,000 in charity for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

This year was state record-breaking with around $30,000 raised.

“The students at MSU, Mankato are making an investment in the children treated at Gillette, because often times they have to be seen throughout their lifetimes,” said Becky DeRosia, Development Associate for Gillette in Our Chapter: Celebrating 50 years of Leadership, Scholarship, Service and Friendship by Ashley Portra. “MSU, Mankato has not only brought back a tradition on their campus but is also giving the children at Gillette a brighter future.”

‘MSU, Mankato has not only brought back a tradition on their campus but is also giving the children at Gillette a brighter future.’

– Becky DeRosia, Gillette Children’s Speciality Healthcare

Charity events like Mavathon have been crucial to Greek societies’ success and purpose. The 50-year anniversary of Greek life at MSU was monumental because it showed that persistence in fellowship and camaraderie can keep a dream alive even through a rough patch.

With the majority of young people in the 1960s and ’70s opposed to the Vietnam War, a wall was built between some of the nation’s youth and their pro-war elders. Political movements and disagreement between students and administration during the 1970s nearly brought an end to MSU’s Greek Life as we know it today. Club members weren’t displaying their letters and mostly operated behind the scenes. With time things began to recuperate and the growth is still ongoing.

“When arriving on campus in 2007, I did not know there were fraternities and sororities,” said Erik Heller, Lambda Chi Alpha alumnus in Our Chapter: Celebrating 50 years. “Now it’s hard to go around campus without seeing Greek letters, members, events, or posters.”

On its 50th birthday in 2011, the Greek community reached 400 members for the first time with help from John Bulcock, assistant director of Student Activities for Greek Life and Off-Campus Housing. His contribution has helped to boost community size and enthusiasm with members and non-members. Bulcock’s success in growing Greek interest parallels one of his predecessors—Marie Bruce.

Bruce, “The First Lady of Mankato State,” acted as the main driving force behind Greek development and pride at MSU. As Dean of Women, she worked to gain accreditation from the American Association of University Women and established a strong interest in Greek life on campus with help from Dr. Margaret Preska and Dr. Clarence Crawford.

“In 1957, 13 men founded Alpha Beta Mu, the first social fraternity on the Mankato State College campus, under the ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, service, and development of leadership and social qualities,” Portra writes in Our Chapter: Celebrating 50 years. “Originally students and administration opposed officially recognizing the group as an organization however because of their persistence and interest in community service, Alpha Beta Mu was granted recognition as MSC’s first local fraternity on campus by the Student Senate on February 4, 1959.”

Bruce’s vision for a more cohesive campus and Alpha Beta Mu’s determination to be recognized as an accredited entity paved the road for a total of 10 nationally recognized fraternities and sororities at MSU today. Tens of thousands of Mankato brothers and sisters have had the opportunity to develop leadership, friendship, scholarship and service skills with help from their peers and alums.

As Bruce said, “to be Greek is to be involved and to learn the necessity of cooperation.”

 

 

Shining Light on the Reality of Greek Life

by REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Intern

Movies like Animal House and American Pie paint a fictitious picture of what it means to be in a fraternity. There is no shortage of fun in fraternities and sororities, but togas, hazing and chapter houses overflowing with empty beer bottles are traits of a fantastical Greek lifestyle.

Black robes and candles and chants might lead an uninformed citizen (like myself before this column) to think of this society as some type of witchy cult. Knowing that there was more to the story, I made a quick google search and had a chat with some members at MSU to get educated.

“We are the same as any other college kid,” said Brett Marshall, Phi Delta Theta member. “We hang out at peoples’ houses, play and watch sports, play video games and go out on the weekends. But on top of that, we like to host and coordinate events that get us involved in the community and with charities of causes we’re passionate about.”

Sports? Video games? They really do sound like any other twenty-something, so why are there so many stereotypes surrounding Greek Life?

“Most of these stereotypes exists because of movies and the media,” Marshall explained. “On the fraternity side, there’s often a connotation that we don’t treat women with respect. There’s also just the generic ‘Brad the Frat Guy’ stereotype, which is usually someone who drinks all the time, isn’t respectful and coasts through everything. The problem is the only time we get press coverage is when something bad happens, which obviously that needs to be heard, but they never cover the good things.”

Fraternity and Sorority Life’s MSU Dance Marathon had a record-breaking year as the event raised $30,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. In addition, the Greek community will have raised nearly $10,000 for other charities including: Huntsman Cancer Research, Live Like Lou Foundation and CADA (Committee Against Domestic Abuse).

“Within the community, we support the CADA house downtown, which is the domestic violence shelter in Mankato,” said Taylor Zenz, Alpha Chi Omega member. “In supporting them, we make monthly donations of basic necessities, such as soap, toothpaste and deodorant for victims.”

Self-indulgence isn’t a common characteristic of the community—in fact, it’s the polar opposite. Zenz helped drive the point home by citing the four core values of Greek members:

  • Friendship
  • Leadership
  • Scholarship
  • Service

While there have been cases of illegal hazing and sexual misconduct in some fraternities and sororities throughout the country, that behavior has no place in a bona fide Greek society. After peeling away the societal misconceptions built by Hollywood and other media, I was able to see that this community’s focus is on being the best you can be through personal and communal achievement.

Greek Week April 9-13 Goes Beyond Fun Events

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

 

Next week’s Greek Week is more than just fun competition among chapters. Rather, the tradition stretching back to 1966 holds a special place in the hearts of the Fraternity and Sorority Life at Minnesota State Mankato.

For many, the week is starting to take on a new meaning.

“Greek Week is so important to our community because it’s the one week a year that we get to come together to celebrate each other and the hard work that we do throughout the year,” said Emma Thole, Panhellenic Council president.

While the week focuses on traditions and unity, it also spotlights the community’s values of friendship, leadership and service. Events during the week include a clothing drive where all donations collected go to the Salvation Army. In past years, over 1,000 items were collected. Other events include a cardboard boat regatta, a cookout, a lip sync competition and a Greek God/Goddess competition.

These are all events that have long been a part of Greek Week — traditions that will continue to live on in the spirit of togetherness.

“Traditions bring people together. They create a sense of unity and accomplishment between the organizations involved,” said Christian Brollier, vice president of Public Relations and Marketing for the Interfraternity Council.

Brollier says much of the community’s accomplishment comes from leadership.

“Fraternity and sorority life has many opportunities for you to get involved and become an effective leader—not just within our community, but also on campus,” he added.

That campus leadership is prominent as fraternities and sororities are one of the most involved groups on campus. Each year, they raise thousands of dollars for charity, complete over 5,000 hours of community service and achieve a GPA higher than the undergraduate average. Many of them are involved in other prominent campus organizations like dance marathon, student government and residential life.

Greek Week begins Monday, April 9 and concludes Friday, April 13. All of the week’s events are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of events and updates throughout Greek Week, follow @MaverickGreeks on Twitter and Instagram.

‘Embrace Your Voice’ Is Theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Taken from March 28, 2018, University Media Relations News Release

Focusing on the national theme of “Embrace Your Voice,” a month of programming during Sexual Assault Awareness Month is planned for April by the Violence Awareness and Response Program at Minnesota State Mankato.

According to Laura Schultz, VARP coordinator, a series of events throughout the month are planned on campus to raise student awareness about sexual violence and prevention of sexual violence. Programming provides tools and resources needed toward ending sexual violence.

Recognizing the power of one’s voice can range from practicing or providing consent to speaking out against stereotypes or gender biases, she added.

All the events are free and open to the public. Events that require an RSVP are noted on the month’s schedule. For more information, contact Laura Schultz at laura.schultz-1@mnsu.edu or 507-389-5127.

Otto Rec Electrified for Group Workout

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

Earlier this month, The Student Events Team collaborated with Campus Rec for an event that made students rave: Cosmic Otto Rec.

Cosmic events on our campus have grown extremely popular in the past few years. Events like Cosmic bowling and cosmic bingo have been popular in the past, but nothing like this. Cosmic Rec transformed Otto Rec Center into a 2-night energetic party decked out with animated lighting, special effects and loud music.

Alex Weiland, concert chair for the Student Events Team and the brains behind the event, wanted to bring a different and unique atmosphere to Otto Rec. He also hoped that the event would encourage more people to visit Otto Rec and give something extra to those who are regulars.

Apart from the special effects, there were special activities that included Zumba classes, hip-hop cardio, a “Just Dance” competition and 1K running races around the track. Both nights were electrifying, but Weiland’s favorite part was “Seeing the reactions of everyone when they first walked in and saw the concert-style lighting and music filling up the Otto Rec Center.” He said the student reaction was very positive and it was a successful

“Everyone at Campus Rec was great to work with. Everyone was very helpful and encouraging of trying something new and creative in the space,” Weiland said. Campus Rec was happy with the event and plan to host again in the future.

Building Teamwork Part Of Adventure Education Program

by REED CARR, CSU Public Relations Intern

Mavericks are finding that classrooms are only one of many sources for cultivating knowledge on campus. Team climbing and high-ropes courses can be just as beneficial.

Sam Steiger, director of the Adventure Education Program at Minnesota State, Mankato helps foster leadership, teambuilding and self-motivation through experiential learning.

“Sometimes people shorten the program into just running the ropes course, but we actually provide way more,” Steiger said. “If we are able to have multiple interactions with a group in experiential learning as a team, it really solidifies that learning effectiveness, and we feel it’s a great way to compliment any topic.”

The Adventure Education Program is often used by RSOs, sports teams and some special needs groups in the area. They’ve even worked with corporations like Target and Taylor Corp.

“We like to work with groups who integrate what we do into their curriculum,” Steiger said. “The college of business uses our program at the beginning of their integrated business experience. Their first interaction together is in our program learning team skills and how to communicate. That’s a great example of how the program can be used for learning.”

Steiger was the inspiration for the rock-climbing walls that boast over 20,000 climbers each year. Growing community interest in climbing has led to The Whipper Snapper Spring Climbing Competition—an annual event hosted by Campus Rec. There are plans to push the program even further to offer a wide range of rental equipment.

“You could rent outdoor equipment like tents, sleeping bags, paddle boards, kayaks, bicycles, rollerblades—there is a huge demand for it,” Steiger said. “Students are very excited about the potential of using expensive equipment for cheap on their own adventures.”

The Adventure Education Program, brainchild of Dr. Jasper Hunt, has come a long way since it began in 1982. Dr. Hunt built the outdoor challenge course as a lab for MSU’s Experiential Education majors. The program continues to expand as Mankato students and residents seek new ways to achieve mental and physical strength.

Thanks to those who work hard to maintain and propel the program, tens of thousands of people utilize and learn from the facilities each year.

The outdoor ropes course and climbing wall will be available starting Sunday, April 15. Contact the Adventure Education Program office to schedule a group or solo session—no fee for students.

Healthy Eating: A Way of Life, Not Just a Fad

Photo credit: Medical News Today

by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

As healthy eating and active lifestyles continue to sweep the nation, Minnesota State University, Mankato is doing its part to help its students and staff lead healthier lives.

“Nutrition and eating habits play a large role in your overall health,” Lexi Cournoyer, MSU campus dietician, said. “I think it is important for college students to develop healthy eating habits that they can carry throughout the rest of their lives.”

According to research conducted by Havard Medical School, eating healthy food can contribute to not only better physical health, but also mental health. This is due largely in part to a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which is lined with nerve cells. These nerve cells produce the serotonin and they function better when good foods and “good bacteria” pass through them. They send signals throughout body and help your body and brain to feel better.

Cournoyer says that some foods that people should try to consume more of, if they’re trying to eat better, include whole grains, lean proteins such as chicken, fish, turkey, beans and legumes, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

“It’s important to that everyone finds a positive relationship with food and understands that everything can be enjoyed in moderation,” she said.

Good nutrition can also help students succeed academically.

“Having a good breakfast can help increase your concentration and focus in class,” Cournoyer said. She also added that smart snacking can aid in memorization.

Food shouldn’t be consumed whenever someone feels like it either. Cournoyer said that everyone is different when it comes to how many times a day they eat. Some people can eat three larger meals and some snacks, others benefit from five to six smaller meals and less snacking.

“To find out what works best for you, try and really listen to your hunger cues and eat only when you are hungry. This can help you figure out how often you should be eating throughout the day,” she said.

MSU has expanded health food options it offers both in the University Dining Center (UDC) and in the MavAve food court. The UDC has expanded the salad bar and added a cold vegan bar, which has lots of plant-based proteins. Cournoyer said that each day a lean protein, hot and cold vegetable options and fresh fruits are offered. She added that Sodexo, the food provider for the UDC, has a wellness platform called “Mindful,” which features healthy entrées that the UDC incorporates into their menu cycle.

“Our campus also meets ‘Mindful Gold,’ which is a standard set by Sodexo focused solely on healthful options. Our campus now having a dietician is a great step forward as well,” Cournoyer said.

MavAve is ramping up their efforts for healthy options as well. For entrées, Cournoyer said places like Toss, Star Ginger and Garbanzo offer great options with things like fresh vegetables and lean meats. She also highlighted the various healthy snack options ranging from fruit and vegetable cups to Baby Bell Cheese to Kind bars. These products are all listed under “Dietician’s Choice” labels indicating they’re a great option for people who are watching what they eat.

MSU is also working on increasing programming that focuses on nutrition and wellness. Cournoyer said MSU expands the number of events each year that focus on health. National Nutrition Month, which takes place in March, is one of the major events. She said they have lots of things planned that students and staff can look forward too.

To stay up-to-date on things happening with Cournoyer and university dining, you can follow @rdmnsu_ and @maverickdining on Instagram.