Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, Therapy Animals

By: Morgan Stolpa

Minnesota State University, Mankato is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.

A “service animal” is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. “Service dogs are allowed to go anywhere their owner goes on campus,” said Julie Snow.

However, the University may ask if the animal is required because of a disability as well as what work the animal has been trained to perform.

Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks;
  • Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds;
  • Providing non-violent protection or rescue work;
  • Pulling a wheelchair;
  • Assisting an individual during a seizure;
  • Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone;
  • Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities;
  • Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

“Owners are not required to register with Accessibility Resources unless they need other accommodations to ensure access to the University programs and facilities,” said Snow.

Emotional Support Animal:

An “emotional support animal” (ESA) is an animal that provides comfort to an individual with a disability upon the recommendation of a healthcare or mental health professional.

An emotional support animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living but rather its role is to live with a student and alleviate the symptoms of an individual’s disability to provide equal opportunities to use and enjoy housing at the University.

Upon approval, ESA’s are allowed in residence halls but must agree to the following expectations:

  1. Emotional support animals assisting individuals with disabilities are only allowed in their owner’s residence hall room and/or apartment unit and the most direct route to and from the exterior door of the building. Emotional support animals are not allowed in classrooms or any public facilities at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  2. Licensure & Vaccination: Emotional support animals on campus must comply with all state & local licensure and vaccination requirements. Dogs must wear a license tag and a current rabies vaccination tag.
  3. Leash: Emotional support animals must be on a leash at all times when outside of the owner/keepers residential hall room/apartment, unless impracticable or unfeasible due to owner/keeper’s disability.
  4. Under control: The owner/keeper of an emotional support animal must be in full control of the animal at all times. The animal must not be disruptive (for example by barking) and cannot pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others on campus.
  5. The animal must be crated when owner is not in the room: An individual with a disability may be asked to remove an emotional support animal from University housing if the animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it.  A person who has an emotional support animal on campus (including University Housing) is financially responsible for property damage caused by his or her emotional support animal.
  6. Clean-up: The care and supervision of an emotional support animal is the responsibility of the individual who uses the animal’s service. This includes clean-up of all animal waste. University Grounds/Maintenance and Residential Life may designate animal toileting areas. Those who are unable to physically pick up and dispose of feces are responsible for making all necessary arrangements for assistance on a daily basis.

Students interested in ESA’s can make an appointment with Julie Snow, Accessibility Resources Director, to discuss their circumstances and learn about the ESA documentation process. Students will need to:

  1. Provide documentation of their disability.
  2. Supply documentation from their provider verifying the ESA is part of the student’s therapeutic plan.

Therapy Animal:

Therapy animals provide affection and comfort to various members of the public, typically in facility settings such as hospitals, assisted living, and schools. These pets have a special aptitude for interacting with members of the public and enjoy doing so. Therapy animal owners volunteer their time to visit with their animal in the community. A therapy animal has no special rights of access, except in those facilities where they are welcomed. They may not enter businesses with “no pets” policies or accompany their handler in the cabin of an airplane regardless of their therapy animal designation.

Service dog owners with questions or concerns can contact Julie Snow in Accessibility Resources for assistance and/or clarification. Phone: 507-389-2825 (v) 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY) or via email julie.snow@mnsu.edu.

 

 

Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

by: Brett Marshall

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior and, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, affects one out of every 59 children in the United States. 

 This means at Minnesota State, which has an enrollment of around 15,000 students, about 250 students are affected by autism spectrum disorder. 

How does autism impact students? 

Autism impacts each individual person differently, so in order to understand each person, it’s important to understand the autism spectrum. The graphic below shows how autism varies from person to person with the most severe on the left and most mild on the right. 

Image courtesy of Harkla.co

 

 Information provided by MSU’s Accessibility Resources notes that most college student tend to be on the right side of the spectrum and have High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s or pervasive developmental disorder (PPD).  These students tend to excel in certain academic areas, notably art, math and science. Though these students may be academically gifted, their autism may hinder them in other areas like social interaction, impulse control, rigid thinking and time management. 

What can you do as a student to help your peers who have autism? 

One of the best ways to be understanding of a peer with autism is to just be patient – understand that they may process things differently than you.  In addition, make sure when working on a group project that you clearly map out their role and expectations and be sure to follow up with them to make sure they understand everything they’re supposed to do. 

What resources can autistic students receive from campus? 

Students with autism spectrum disorder can find support and resources by visiting Accessibility Resources in the Memorial Library, Room 132, or by phone at 507-389-2825. Students can also visit the Counseling Center, located in Centennial Student Union 285 and by phone at 507-389-1455. For safety concerns or help with disruptive incidents, students can contact Campus Security at 507-389-2111.

Stuttering Support Group Aids ‘Misunderstood Challenge’

by: Brett Marshall

“If you stutter, you are not alone.” That’s the slogan of the National Stuttering Association (NSA), an organization that has a presence at Minnesota State and wants to help students and community members who have a stutter.

“Stuttering is a complex and often misunderstood challenge that can effect a person’s ability to say what they say and when they want to say it,” Jeff Glessing, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Speech, Hearing, & Rehabilitation Services, said.

The NSA campus group consists of a combination of adults in the Mankato community and MSU students that have a stutter. It’s estimated that about one percent of the adult population has a stutter, which translates to there being about 150 students at the University being affected by stuttering.

Image result for national stuttering association

Glessing says that stuttering “can hamper a person’s ability to participate in classroom activities, form relationships with peers and hinder networking for personal and professional growth.” He hopes the University’s NSA chapter can be a resource for students who are scared to confront their stutter.

“Talking with others who have experienced stutter can be valuable to taking steps to lessen the challenge stuttering often presents,” Glessing said. “As a person who stutters myself, I remember one of the hardest things was to open up about my stuttering with others. Doing so changed my life immensely.”

The support group meets once a month on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 and discusses issues relating to life as a person who stutters. He encourages anyone who stutters to consider attending an NSA meeting.

To get involved with the NSA chapter at the University, you can contact Jeff Glessing by email jeffrey.glessing@mnsu.edu or by phone 507-272-2752. Additional information about the chapter can be obtained from the Minnesota State Center for Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinic at 507-389-5224.  You can find additional information about the NSA by visiting their website www.westutter.org.

The Ultimate College Experience

by: Brett Marshall

If you came to Minnesota State seeking the ultimate college experience, everything you’re looking for may be right in front of you.

The Ultimate College Experience is the marketing campaign the MSU fraternity and sorority community has embraced for the past three years. The idea came about when previous fraternity and sorority leaders wanted to rebrand the community. They thought about the community’s values of friendship, scholarship, service and leadership and decided that those four things combined created the “ultimate college experience” for their members.

“It’s called the Ultimate College Experience for a reason. If you think about every aspect of college that would make it memorable, fraternity and sorority life covers it all,” Kevin Hines, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) Vice President of Recruitment said.

Image courtesy of MSU Fraternity & Sorority Life

Each of MSU’s fraternities and sororities have been hard at work recruiting motivated individuals who are seeking their ultimate college experience. They’ve already hosted several campus events including the Backyard Bash and Cosmic Bingo where they’ve met and interacted with prospective members.

Hines said there’s nothing to worry about when considering joining a fraternity or sorority and that it’s okay to take a leap of faith and go through recruitment.

“If you’re on the fence, go for it. You can really feel it out your first semester during the new member process. If you realize you don’t think it’s the right fit, you can always leave,” he said. “If you never try it, you will never know if it’s really something you will love forever.”

Lexi Stauffacher, the Panhellenic Council (PHC) Vice President of Recruitment, also encourages those on the fence with recruitment to give it a try.

“Even if you’re unsure about joining fraternity & sorority life you should give it a try because you have nothing to lose but everything to gain,” she said.

 

The two offered great insight into how fraternity and sorority life has given them the ultimate college experience. Hines reflected on the ability to recognize people everywhere he goes.

“I love getting to walk around campus and see familiar faces everywhere I go. I have at least one familiar face in each of my classes from fraternity and sorority life,” he said. “I also love how involved you get to be. The events we do as a community, like Greek Week and homecoming are so much fun and always bring smiles to everyone involved.”

Stauffacher said being in a sorority helped her grow individually and helped her build connections.

“Sorority life has helped me become the confident and more outgoing person I am today,” she said. “It’s also introduced me to some of the most important people in my life and I’m so thankful for that.”

Hines also touched on how the fraternities and sororities at MSU are trying to shift the conversations and stereotypes surrounding Greek organizations from negative to positive.

“We don’t haze on this campus and we are a community dedicated to giving back,” he said. “So many people just see the negative and we’re not like that on this campus. We really do emphasize all the positive aspects being in a fraternity or sorority.”

Sorority recruitment begins Thursday, Sept. 6 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 10. If you have interest in signing up, you can register by visiting https://maverickgreeks.mycampusdirector2.com/landing/. Any questions about sorority recruitment can be directed to Lexi Stauffacher at Alexandra.Stauffacher@mnsu.edu

Fraternity recruitment begins Thursday, Sept. 20 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 23. If you have interest in signing up, you can register by visiting https://www.mnsu.edu/activities/greek/prospective/fraternities.html. Any questions can be directed to Kevin Hines at Kevin.Hines@mnsu.edu.

Campus Rec/Intramurals

by: Afure Adah

Campus Recreation

The Campus Rec is a great place to go if you want to workout, train, play a friendly game of basketball or compete in some intramural tournaments.

Campus recreation’s mission is to promote long-term healthy lifestyle behavior through participation in multi-faceted recreational, educational and leisure opportunities.

Intramural Sports

There are countless intramural sports here at MSU and the link will lead you to their schedules and registration forms. Get involved, check it out!

Here are the fall sports for 2018, and their informational meetings times:

  • Flag Football
    Tues. 9/11/18 @ 4pm
    Highland Center 1700B
  • Slow Pitch Softball
    Tues.  9/12/18 @ 6pm
    Highland Center 1700A
  • Volleyball
    Tues. 9/19/18 @ 4pm
    Highland Center 1700A
  • Outdoor Soccer
    Tues.9/19/18 @ 6pm
    Highland Center 1700A
  • Co-Rec Basketball 
    Tues. 10/30/18 @ 4pm
    Highland Center 1700B

 

University Policies and Protocols

By CYDNEY COFFEY, CSU Communication Graduate Assistant

For incoming students keep in mind that there are various consequences for drug and alcohol offenses. The general consequences for students for drug and alcohol are as follows through Residential Life:

  • First offense:
    • Probation for up to a semester
    • Completing an online course that covers being under the influence of marijuana or alcohol depending on the students’ offense
  • Second offense:
    • Probation for up to a year
    • Completing an online course that covers risk reduction and involves talking with other students
  • Third offense:
    • The students housing contract is terminated

The more a student racks up offenses the longer their probation will be, the disciplinary sanctions will become more serious and the educational sanctions will become more expensive as well. Dr. Mary Dowd, Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct stated “We try and make it an educational process.”

A couple of important things to keep in mind for incoming students:

  • The police provide the University with weekly lists of names of students who are cited for drug and alcohol uses off campus. This includes DUIs as well as students who were transported to detox.
  • Police are out in MASSES on campus during the first 8 weeks of school. Take into consideration that there have been situations where a student has been arrested 3 times in just one week!

Dr. Mary Dowd, stated “Bottom line, it’s all about safety.”

The University strives at having the student’s best interest at heart.

FOR ALL SAFETY MATTERS, INCLUDING CONCERNS ABOUT A STUDENT’S MENTAL HEALTH – CALL UNIVERSITY SECURITY 24/7 (507) 389-2111; or DIAL 911 IN AN EMERGENCY.

 

How the University Takes Disciplinary Action

By ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Communications Student Assistant

Minnesota State University, Mankato has made many changes to its student disciplinary process. One of the major changes happened after the landmark case Dixon V. Alabama State Board of Education.

The 1961 case allowed the establishment of the rights of students to be given notice of the allegation and an opportunity to be heard prior to expulsion. Moreover, students are not entitled to the same degree of due process as afforded in criminal and civil actions meaning that students have a different protocol when their disciplinary action is being decided.

The University has adopted the philosophy of educational discipline that promotes personal growth and accountability. It strives for fair and consistent policies and practices. For parents this means that we want students to learn from a “teachable moment” to consider consequences of their actions before acting on impulse or acceding to peer pressure.

It is important for parents to know when and how to intervene. Intervention sends a message to your students that you don’t trust their ability to handle their own affairs. Helicopter parenting can hinder the development of independence, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

The college experience strives to provide opportunities for your students to grow in the following areas:

  • Developing an identity separate from parents
  • Developing interdependence and competency
  • Managing emotions
  • Strengthening integrity and personal accountability
  • Establishing meaningful friendships and connections

To access the school’s parents’ resources CLICK HERE.

 

Types of Drugs and their Consequences

By ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU PR Student Assistant

The possession of Schedule Drugs has different consequences:

First Offense: Imprisonment of no more than 1 year and a minimum fine of $1000

1 previous drug/narcotic/chemical conviction will result in Imprisonment of 15 days-2 years, and a minimum fine of $2,500

2+ previous drug/narcotic/chemical conviction will result in imprisonment of 90 days-3 years, and a minimum fine of $5,000.

 

They are all illegal:

Drugs are illegal in the state of Minnesota. The only exception is medically prescribed marijuana; however, it is against University policy for students to possess any type pf drug including medically prescribed Marijuana.

The possession and use of Marijuana is a violation of federal law and since the University belongs to the State and accepts federal dollars for financial aid it must follow the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act.

There is no exception on the use of drugs and they are classified in five Schedules.

 

According to the DEA, these are the different schedules and drugs:

Schedule I.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals are not currently accepted in any medical use and have a high potential for abuse.

Ex: Heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote.

 

Schedule II.

These include drugs, substances, or chemical that have a high potential for abuse potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence and are considered dangerous.

Ex: Vicodin, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, dilaudid, Demerol, oxycodone, fentanyl, Adderall, and Ritalin.

 

Schedule III.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Ex: Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone.

 

Schedule IV.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Schedule III drugs have a higher risk of abuse.

Ex. Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Tramadol.

 

Schedule V.

These include drugs, substances, or chemicals with a lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consists of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes.

Ex. Lyrica, Parepectolin, Motofen, Lomotil.

 

The previously named drugs are just some examples, this is not by any means a full list of drugs that are considered illegal.

 

 

 

Alcohol and its Effects

by: Afure Adah

People often drink alcohol to celebrate, socialize or relax. But alcohol can often have strong effects. These effects vary from person to person and they depend on many different factors, including:

  • How much you drink
  • How often you drink
  • Age
  • Health status
  • Family history

The effects of alcohol can appear in about 10 minutes and as you continue to drink, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, increases. The higher your BAC, the more impaired you become. These effects include:

  • Slurred speech
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Motor impairment
  • Confusion
  • Concentration problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Coma
  • Death

Some other risks can include:

  • Accidents and car crashes
  • Violent and risky behavior
  • Suicide and homicide

Long-term effects can include:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Health problems
  • Increased risk for certain cancers

REMEMBER: The legal minimum drinking age in the United States of America is age 21. In Minnesota, it is a misdemeanor violation punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.  The penalty typically starts out with a fine that is increased each time you get caught. Stay safe and make good choices!

 

MNSU Campus Security: Familiarize Yourself with Our Security Services

 

Afure Adah

by AFURE ADAH, CSU PR Student Assistant

 

 

Safety has always been an issue but in today’s day and age, things like, theft, assault and even human trafficking are becoming more prevalent. So here I will give you some info for staying safe on campus.
To stay safe on campus it is important to know the school’s security services. Here at MSU Mankato the security services that are specifically aimed to keep you safe and comfortable are:

Emergency phones
• Safe walk service
• Patrol & EMT

Emergency Phones
All over campus are emergency phones for easy communications with university security. They are bright blue and well lit, so they are easy to spot. If you would like to see a map of all their locations, I have one linked.

http://blog.mnsu.edu/csu/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/emergencyphones2015.pdf

Safe Walk Services
Our safe walk services provide a walking escort 24/7, year-round, to and from any university building, parking lot, or residence community. To request a Safe Walk, call University Security at (507)-389-2111.

I live off campus, about a 15-minute walk, and sometimes I am on campus super late and my bus isn’t running anymore, so I have to walk home. Not everyone has to walk all the way home, but there are students that park their cars in the lots that are a bit of a walk from the school and are often in a similar position as me.
I haven’t used this service yet, but during summer classes when my friends are not on campus or in town to walk with me or pick me up, I’ll probably give it a try. Better to be safe than sorry!

Patrol & EMT

As a student here, I have always noticed Security patrolling in the evenings, checking classrooms, and locked doors, making sure no one is where they are not supposed to be.
But the University Security Patrol unit is available 24/7, 365 days a year to perform the following duties:

• Provide 24/7, 365, vehicle and foot patrols
• Investigate theft, vandalism, and other crimes
• Security for campus events
• Help faculty, staff, students, and visitors
• Compile info for MSU incident reports
• Act as a liaison with the Mankato Department of Public Safety

EMTs and First Responders are employed by the University Security to respond and provide care for injuries, or illnesses on campus. In addition, they work closely with Health Services, and Gold Cross Ambulance Service.

If You would like more information, Campus Security’s page will be linked below.

https://www.mnsu.edu/security/services/