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.

Fitness Goes Interactive As Students Connect

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

Are you sick of your daily, strenuous routine at the gym? Switch it up and try an interactive group fitness class!

During the school year, Campus Rec offers 22 group fitness classes on campus each week. Classes range from yoga, meditation, core conditioning, Zumba, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), Thai dance, cardio-based classes, hip-hop, circuit training, strength training and stretching classes.

When speaking with Carly Hopper, fitness and wellness program coordinator at Campus Rec, she explained how unique and versatile the classes are for students with busy schedules. She says the Group Fitness classes provide an opportunity for friends to get active together and also provides an opportunity to meet new people who share the same interest.

Apart from getting socially and physically active, Hopper mentions that the Group Fitness classes are beneficial for those who don’t know “how to develop a safe and effective workout or which machine to use or for how long. It is already done for them when they attend a Group Fitness class. They simply have to show up with a positive attitude, participate, and most importantly, have fun.”

“Going to the group yoga classes on campus allows me to connect with my fellow students in a very relaxing environment,” said Mahala Wolff, MSU senior. “The class allows me to clear my mind and set my intentions for the day.”

Another senior student, Margaret Winter, explained, “I look forward to having an hour of peace after a long day and these classes are the perfect way to have it.”

If group fitness isn’t your forte, Campus Rec offers other options that are bound to get your blood flowing – intramural sports, sports clubs, adventure programs, Maverick Adventures pilot programs, indoor and outdoor climbing walls, a “Health in Every Aisle Tour” at the Hilltop Hy-Vee Monday, April 9, the MSU sprint triathlon Sunday, April 29 and more.

Hopper suggests that studies show that students who are physically active have a higher retention rate in schools versus those who are not. Studies also suggest that physically active students have a decrease in depression and anxiety problems.

“Anybody and everybody, regardless of their health, fitness level, experience or lack of experience is welcome in Group Fitness classes,” Hopper said. “We hope to see you in class!”

Campus Rec is always developing new, creative ways to keep up with MSU’s physically active and collaborative community. For a full list of offered fitness classes and events, visit https://www.mnsu.edu/campusrec/fitness/groupfitness.html and follow the Campus Rec Facebook page for event notifications.

EXTREME MAKEOVER: Field House Edition

by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

One of the Midwest’s largest free-standing (4 walls only) facilities is going to have an entirely new look in Fall 2018.

Myers Field House is set to undergo a $740,000 renovation that will bring new floors, a fresh paint job, updated artwork and new logos to the facility. Some of the renovations began over Spring Break and will continue through the summer with focus on upgrading the floors.

“This is the original floor from December 2001, and the wear and tear over the past 16 plus years requires us to replace it,” said Todd Pfingsten, MSU director of Campus Rec.

The new floors will receive an updated color scheme as well. The track, which, according to Pfingsten, sees “the majority of the wear and tear,” will be purple. The infield courts, which are lined for basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton will be a charcoal gray. The area between the courts will be a lighter shade of gray.

The walls will spirit the school colors of purple, gold and white. Pfingsten said students and faculty can look forward to seeing some new artwork and logos on the walls as well.

The painting began over spring break and is expected to be completed no later than the end of June. The floors will be installed beginning mid-June and finished by early September, just in time for the school year.

Pfingsten said the project is being funded primarily by two sources. The flooring project, which costs $737,580, is funded by a special allocation from university reserves. The painting project, which costs about $3,500, is being funded by departments who normally occupy the facility.

Myers Field House is a shared facility by human performance for classes, athletic practices and collegiate track meets, and for Campus Rec programs like open recreation, sport clubs, indoor climbing and adventure education programs.

The upgrades will benefit many people beyond those who use it regularly as Todd Pfingsten and Campus Rec host a variety of campus and community events including: Welcome Week, Family Weekend, concerts, Relay for Life, the Mankato Marathon Expo, youth and high school athletic tournaments, science fairs and more.

For more information on Myers Field House and MSU Campus Recreation, visit http://mnsu.edu/campusrec.

CSU Features Celtic Songs by Lehto & Wright

St. Patty’s Primer: Serendipity Music Series Welcomes Guitar Masters March 14

Just in time for a St. Patty’s Day primer, Minnesota guitar masters Lehto and Wright bring their traditional Celtic and American folk/rock sound to their first appearance with the Centennial Student Union Serendipity Music Series.

The duo’s free two-hour daytime performance will be Wednesday, March 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the CSU’s Lower Level Flex Programming Space.

According to Dirty Linen, the national newsfeed for folk and world music, Steve Lehto and John Wright are “.. among North America’s best practitioners of Anglo-Celtic folk-rock… wonderfully intricate, powerful guitar-driven music…”

Lehto and Wright’s accomplished twin guitar/mandolin approach features “unplugged” song sets ranging from Irish tunes to American spirituals. Their musical style, shaped by such influences as Jethro Tull, Miles Davis and King Crimson, challenges the boundaries of the traditional Folk genre.

The CSU’s ongoing Serendipity Music Series is a mid-day, mid-week, “street corner serenade” series that seeks to expose students, the campus and the Mankato community to a range of genres by Minnesota musicians. Lenny Koupal, coordinator of the series, said it was “serendipity” to come upon Lehto and Wright.

“Lehto and Wright came recommended by Tim Cheesebrow, a Twin Cities singer/songwriter who performed here in January,” Koupal said. “What a pleasant surprise to find Celtic music was in their wheelhouse and they were available for a daytime, pre-St. Patty’s gig. Two hours of free, top-notch tunes should help set the Irish mood and once-again expose our community to the wealth of talent among Minnesota musicians.”

 

 

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.

Alumni Memories Sought; Centennial Student Union Plans 50th Celebration Homecoming Day, Oct. 7


The Centennial Student Union invites students and alumni to join its 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration on Homecoming Day, Saturday, Oct. 7.

Highlighting CSU reunion festivities during Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming Day 2017 activities will be an afternoon reception starting at 3:30 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Other days activities will be a morning light breakfast, an invitation to participate in the Homecoming Day parade, and an evening “family friendly” event.

Mark Constantine, director of the Centennial Student Union, said activities celebrating the student union’s 50th anniversary will begin at the start of the Fall 2017 semester and continue through Homecoming 2017.

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate,” Constantine said. “We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.”

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate. We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.” – Mark Constantine

Photos and memories can be shared on the CSU 50th Anniversary website, www.csu.mnsu/50thAnniversary. Shared memories will be displayed in a CSU Art Gallery exhibit from August through the Homecoming celebration.

“Maybe the CSU is where you met your life partner, found a lifelong Greek community or discovered a personal passion,” Constantine said. “We want to share your CSU memories.”

The CSU also is creating a 50th anniversary display that will be used in the CSU throughout the 2017-18 academic year as well as with the University’s planned Sesquicentennial traveling display. The CSU display will include a video timeline featuring CSU directors, key staff members and special guests.

Trends in College Programming

What’s Trending At Minnesota State?

Programming Director Sees Millennials

As Wanting To Be ‘Part Of The Event’

By Lenny Koupal, Centennial Student Union Communications Coordinator

A recent EDM Concert hosted in the Centennial Student Union by the Student Events Team provided a multimedia production with live streaming as techno-savvy students seek more interactive entertainment.

Part of the continuing effort for keeping higher education relevant is adjusting the university experience to ever-changing trends.

University campuses such as Minnesota State University, Mankato continually seek greater diversity among faculty and staff to meet the expanding cultural demographics of its student body. Other challenges and opportunities involve responding to the needs of distance learners as online classes appeal to students across the state or just across campus.

For Bill Tourville, assistant director of campus programs, his Student Events Team within Student Activities at the Centennial Student Union must balance events between a generation of students that either wants to get an education and get out – or those that want to interact.

“The days of sitting and watching are over,” Tourville said. “Today’s Millennials and Gen-Y’ers want to interact. They want to be part of the event.”

Tourville said 15 years ago, the entire lineup of campus programming would have been performances.


“The traditional performance style is outdated. Students want to be part of something bigger” – Bill Tourville


“That’s not okay anymore. The traditional performance style is outdated. Students want to be part of something bigger,” he said.

Among the most popular traditions coordinated by the Student Events Team is the annual CSU Haunted House. Much of the entire 215,000-square-foot student union turns into Halloween Spook Central as various student organizations put together their idea of scary. Hundreds of students line-up to be engaged and engrossed in the moment.

Campus versions of game shows and cosmic bingo, exotic animal day and even organized snowball fights are on the students’ wish list of events.

Tourville said another balancing act is national name recognition versus unique experiences. Students on one hand are most comfortable with “national prepackaged stuff” whether its movies or concerts or lectures.

“Unless it’s a national name, most students are not interested,” he said. “Unless a friend is in a band or it’s a national name, they won’t go.”

On the other hand, students are drawn to unique, interactive experiences. Many of those involve some level of technology whether it’s smart boards in student union meeting rooms or spaces that are flexible, communal gathering places.

For concerts, Tourville said the trend is to direct dollars to production as well as performance. A recent Electronic Dance Music performance in the CSU blended music with a multimedia experience.

“Some schools are spending a third of their concert budget on production – lights, sound, décor – students are wanting that experience,” he said. “It’s not only about the performance but about the experience they had.”

Within those type of interpersonal events is the growing trend in live streaming. At Minnesota State Mankato, Tourville said Facebook live streaming at concerts starts in the morning and continues until they contractual must shut down the site.

“Two of the artists at our EDM concert were Facebook live streaming the entire concert,” he added.

When, where and how live streaming is allowed is now creating issues that need to be addressed.

Tourville adds that social media continues to be a trend that needs constant attention. Even then, organized programs or departments are viewed as outsiders in students’ social media circles. Snapchat is the latest trend in the social media landscape.

“Snapchat is not going away,” Tourville said. “It’s how (students) are connecting with their friends. That is how they are communicating on an interpersonal level.”

While Facebook is a popular communication tool, it doesn’t reach into a student’s inner circle.

“Facebook is your public persona, Snapchat is more private,” he said. “Today’s students seek a place where they can just be personal and we can’t reach them. They can be private on Snapchat.”

Tourville said the trend is to take a different Facebook approach by providing good content that they can use personally.

For student life professionals, these changing trends for the Millennial generation means – perhaps now more than ever – the continuing trend of vigilance, flexibility and creative ideas that keep the college experience fresh and memorable for a diverse, individualized and interactive array of college students.

Maverick Bullpen’s manager: Kyle Bischoff

Maverick Bullpen manager, Kyle Bischoff, has a knack for bowling.

Before transferring to Minnesota State, Mankato, he bowled competitively at Wichita State University.

“I bowled there for 2 years and won one national title my final year, which is one of my biggest accomplishments in my life sportswise,” said Kyle. “I eventually ran out of money and decided to transfer to Minnesota State University, and they have the only competitive program in Minnesota, so it was an easy choice.”

His love and knowledge of the game has helped him to coach the men’s and women’s bowling league at MSU, which is one of his dream jobs. He jumped at the chance when he was informed that Scott Anderson was leaving.


“It is kind of a bowler’s dream job to be a bowling coach at a bowling alley.”
– Kyle Bischoff


“I never thought Scott, the guy before me, would leave because it is kind of a bowler’s dream job to be a bowling coach at a bowling alley,” said Kyle. “He said he thought I should give it a try, and I was like, ‘yeah of course.’”

Working with students and coaching them in the sport has made his dream reality. In the future, Kyle hopes to host a collegiate bowling tournament in Mankato.

 

 

Bullpen – What’s New?

Students playing ping-pong left, Saujanya Kafle and right, Saroj Bhetawal

The old pizza was good. The Maverick Bullpen’s new pizza is the popular perfect treat between study sessions.

“It’s one of the best pizzas I’ve personally tasted,” said Kyle Bischoff, Bullpen manager. “I can say I would personally buy it and I’m proud to serve it. We just introduced a brand new cheesy garlic bread with marinara dipping sauce that’s been a hit too. We are still looking to continue to grow and get new things as we keep expanding.”

In addition to the menu upgrade, there are new things to do on the gaming floor. There is a ping pong table, an extra foosball table and a new video game system.

“We just got a PS4 put in yesterday,” said Kyle. “We have FIFA 2017 which is our number one biggest hit game. I won’t say exactly what I’m going to buy, but I’m aggressively looking to purchase lots of new recreational gaming systems along with more hands on games to add to the Bullpen. That’s my goal. Get as much fun activities in this place as I can.”

If video games aren’t your thing, you can grab one of their 30+ board games from the front desk.

The Bullpen also hosts a variety of different events throughout the semester, including concerts.

“The Mocktail parties are ongoing,” said Kyle. “They actually bring a band and it’s free for anyone. Free billiards and free drinks for students. They can play billiards and listen to live music in the background. That happens every semester usually once a month.”

The Bullpen is the perfect place to have a snack and drink between classes. Or, if you closed down the library the night before, the TV room in the back is a great place to catch some z’s.

All information regarding the Bullpen hours, food, prices and events can be found at csu.mnsu.edu/MaverickBullpen/.

 

 

 

“OPA!”

“OPA!”

Among the various definitions listed in the online Urban Dictionary for the Greek exclamation, “OPA!” , the one I like the best is “a word or pronouncement of celebration; the celebration of life itself.”

I find that especially fitting and true for the group of students that claim OPA as their acronym.

Each summer, these students comprise the cluster of shining stars that brighten campus and the futures of new students arriving for summer orientation sessions running June 5 through July 21.

Orientation Peer Assistants – OPAs – represent the team of outgoing, charismatic and energetic Minnesota State Mankato students assembled by Mel Iverson, assistant director of orientation, and the professional staff in the New Student and Family Programs office. These students serve as peer guides, mentors, and motivators as new students get a sampling of the college experience.

Where this is all leading is that recruitment of the Summer 2014 OPA crew will be starting in January. On Thursday, Jan. 16, at 8:30 p.m. in Preska Room 126, New Student and Family Programs will host an OPA information session. Benefits for becoming an OPA include:
• Helping welcome new student to campus
• Earning up to $3,600
• Gaining transferable leadership skills
• Free housing and meals during orientation
• Making lifelong friendships
• Earning university credit.

Students interested in becoming OPAs may submit their applications until 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30.

So if you have that certain “joie de vivre,” a paid summer on campus spent sharing, helping and growing may be an application away. OPA!

– Lenny Koupal, CSU Communications Coordinator