Ice Sculpture on the Mall is Becoming A Winter Tradition

by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern


A cold piece of art was designed as a warm welcome to returning students

The sculpture was crafted by Sakatah Carvers.

As students braved the cold, the chill was ideal for the new “MSU MAVERICKS” ice sculpture that will rest in the CSU Mall for the remainder of the week.

The carving commissioned by the Student Events Team is the work of Waseca-based Sakatah Carvers comprised of the creative duo, Adam Scholljegerdes and Joe Christenson. The craving duo have won numerous awards and hosted the Kiwanis Holiday Lights carving competition. For more info, visit

Warming the winter, the Student Events team also hosted an outdoor station offering s’mores, hot chocolate, free cookies and selfies with the sculpture.

“This was a great event to help build school spirit. Bringing in the ice sculpture is starting to become a tradition. Last year the sculpture was Stomper (the school mascot) and this year it is the MSU letters,” Brandon Weideman, Student Events Team Spirit & Traditions Chair, said.

This is the third time an ice carving has been hosted by the Students Events Team and the team hopes it will make students feel welcomed back and helps get them ready for a new semester.

“We found out last year students were really inspired by the Stomper Ice Sculpture. It brought them a sense of joy in the middle of the doldrums of February. It was the most snapped location in Mankato for two days straight,” Weideman said.

Being able to see this sculpture should help raise students’ spirits around campus on these cold winter days and hopefully inspire students as they take on Spring semester at MSU.


Cutting Hair for the Kids

by: BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant


MSU student-led, MAVATHON, is offering a day of free haircuts to support children in need.

The event, called Clips for Kids, will offer free haircuts by Campus Coiffures. Donations will be accepted for the haircuts as well and all proceeds benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Mankato (a donation of $10 is encouraged, but not required and any dollar amount helps).

“It received good feedback last year and a lot of the people in the community look forward to the event, so we thought we’d continue it and make it event that happens every year,” Anna Sunderman, Graduate Advisor for MAVATHON, said.

In addition to students and community members having the ability to donate to Gillette, they can also donate their hair. Greg Wilkins, Associate Director of the CSU and Student Activities, is encouraging students to donate 8 inches of their hair or more to give to an organization called Children With Hair Loss, which creates free wigs for kids who have lost their hair. It can take over 50 inches of hair to make a wig, so every chop of 8 inches is a big help!

Campus Coiffures stylist, Ken Bunde, giving a haircut at least year’s Clips for Kids event.

The fundraiser is a part of MAVATHON, a student-led group in charge of coordinating MSU’s Dance Marathon, a nationally renowned organization that hosts events on college and high school campuses to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. This will be the second year Campus Coiffures has offered to help with fundraising efforts.

“This is an event the [executive] board is really excited about,” Sunderman said.

The event is slated to take place Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Students who aren’t able to make it to Clips for Kids, but still want to donate to MAVATHON can do so by making a donation to the MAVATHON Donor Drive.

MAVATHON’s campus-wide fundraising celebration event is set to take place Saturday, Feb. 23, from noon to 10 p.m. in the CSU. Students looking to participate in that event can sign up to join a team by visiting the registration page. Any further questions about Clips for Kids or for MAVATHON can be directed to Anna Sunderman at

You can also find out more information about MAVATHON by checking out this week’s Serendipitous Moments video.


RSO of the Month

by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

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For the month of February the African Student Association will be recognized as the RSO (Recognized Student Organization) of the Month. Here is what the African Student Association President, Mindorr Sarre had to say about the organization.

1.What is your RSO?

African Student Association

2. What does it do, what makes it special, what does it have to offer?

ASA is a very special organization. It is lead by a student board of nine members. This contributes to ASA being an inviting environment, as each board member speaks for their community and the people. ASA uses member interactions and feedback to cater to what students would like to see and participate in. An example is African Night, which is our biggest event of the year that includes a lot of member participation and planning. Our committed members are the reason why ASA is so strong and continues to grow. We offer weekly meetings, as well as many events that are always entertaining for everyone! We love giving back to the community and making a real impact on the people we reach out to.

3. Does one have to apply for membership, how selective is the process, does the RSO focus on a specific audience? 

You do not need to apply to become an active member. Although, paid members at only $15/year receive a lot of benefits such as getting food first at meetings, free parties, and member of the month features with prizes and more. We are not selective, and welcome everyone to attend our meeting, where you’ll be able to connect with our social media and receive weekly e-mail updates. We love using ice breakers and games to increase member interaction, so you’re sure to feel welcome and meet someone! ASA’s specific audience includes everybody. We focus primarily on building relationships between students who are African, yet welcome students and the community to experience and learn about Africa and our traditions also.

4. What is your ultimate goal?

ASA’s ultimate goal is to educate people on African culture, discuss issues, and celebrate our roots all while having fun and having a broad diverse audience.

5. How many members do you have?

Around 80-100 supporting members, and more that just support through attending events.

6. How many years have you been in the University?

Over 30 years

7. What other Universities have your organization?

University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Saint Cloud State University, University of Minnesota Duluth, Saint Thomas University. 

8. Something funny: what meme would your RSO relate to? 

  “Oh my God! Wow!!”

Everyone is amazed at what ASA has to offer, how much fun we have, and our beautiful events.

Thank you to the African Student Organization President Mindor Sarre for taking the time to answer the questions and give readers some insight into what the organization has to offer.

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February Offers Celebration of Black History and Contributions

by: BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

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Across the nation, February has become a celebration of culture as Black History Month focuses attention on the contributions of African Americans in politics, entertainment, science and medicine, athletics and much more.

At Minnesota State, the Multicultural Center and Black Student Union have events plan for the whole month including games, movie screenings, panels, special events and more! For a full schedule of events, check out the calendar.

The Origin Story

The beginnings of Black History Month trace back to 1926 when Carter G. Woodson, a renowned historian, scholar, educator, and publisher of that time, created “Negro History Week.” Negro History Week eventually turned into Black History Month in 1976. The month of February was chosen because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. The month was created to celebrate the accomplishments of black people throughout history.

Black History Month is exclusively celebrated in the United States and Canada in February. It’s celebrated in United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Ireland in October.

Why It’s Important to Celebrate

There are many reasons to celebrate Black History Month, but perhaps the most important funnel down to the following: recognizing and honoring the contributions of blacks in history; learning about the treatment of blacks and how they need to be respected and treated as equals; and continuing to make progress for social justice.

How It’s Celebrated

There are tons of ways Black History Month is celebrated. A lot of celebration happens in places of education like schools. Teachers will often show students movies about black icons, read stories, share poetry, view documentaries, show them artwork, play black-inspired music like hip-hop, explore their accomplishments and more.

Outside of the classroom, the celebrations can be far more extravagant. Atlanta, considered to be a “Black Mecca,” has a big parade. The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. creates special exhibits dedicated to Black History. Nashville has festivals, musicals and more. Philadelphia hosts a Black History Essay Contest for grade schoolers.

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CSU’s “BEST Board” Spotlights MSU’s Student Leaders

by: BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

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The BEST Board is a staple feature of the Centennial Student Union, highlighting some of Minnesota State’s top student-leaders. But who exactly are these students and why did they get chosen? I had the opportunity to learn about the board in conversations with CSU Communication Coordinator, Lenny Koupal, and a few of this semester’s featured leaders.

What is the BEST Board?

The “BEST” in “BEST Board” stands for: Boasting Exceptional Student Talent and it hangs above the Hearth Lounge in the CSU highlighting eight student-leaders each semester, each of whom were hand-picked by CSU and MSU staff.

The BEST Board hangs above the Hearth Lounge in the CSU.

“It’s meant to exemplify those students that show exceptional leadership capabilities and growth, not only within the CSU, but also within student-life leadership across campus,” Koupal said.

The BEST Board is meant to serve a dual-purpose as recognition for high-achieving students as well as an inspiration for what students have the capability to do during their time outside the classroom at MSU.

“We want to spotlight those students that have made the most of their college career, ones that can serve as an inspiration to others.”

How do students get on the BEST Board?

Students are nominated to be on the best board by staff from all over campus, including areas like student affairs, Student Events Team, CSU administration, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Government, Resident Life, Campus Recreation, international student life, diversity groups and many others.

Nominations are taken every March and October and that begins the selection process. A committee consisting of a four-member panel including Koupal, Mark Constantine (Director of the CSU and Student Activities), James Ball (Associate Director of CSU Operations) and Greg Wilkins (Associate Director of the CSU and Student Activities) review the nominations and then pick eight students to be featured for the upcoming semester.

The committee looks for students who have shown continued growth since coming to MSU. This growth could be things like starting off as a student-worker and progressing to graduate assistant or a student holding a small position in an organization and working their way up to become president.

Koupal said they also try to find different kinds of leaders, citing Amanda Johnson as an example saying she is a “quiet leader who worked her way up from CSU Operations staff to Graduate Advisor.” He also mentioned Austin Hassebroek, a former CSU student graphic designer, as someone who he thought was a great example of a BEST Board student because of all the pride, effort and passion Hassebroek always put into his work.

“It’s about students that are successful and help other students be successful,” Koupal said. “They show leadership qualities and Maverick spirit.”

What does the BEST Board mean to the students on it?

Getting on the CSU BEST Board carries a high level of recognition and it’s not taken lightly by the students who get to see their face on the 55-foot long display. Take it from me as someone who’s had the honor of being featured on it.

It served as an affirmation that my hard work and dedication to leadership and growing the organizations I was apart of was worth it. It also served as a motivator for me to continue working hard and trying to make the people and organizations around me even better.

In addition, I’ve been able to witness first-hand how being a leader impacts others. In my fraternity, new members are assigned mentors, or “Pledge Fathers,” to help them through the fraternity and through college. My Pledge Father, Carl Vagle, was on the BEST Board in Fall of 2015. I looked up to him a lot as an inspiration and found myself on the BEST Board in Fall of 2017 as a result of his mentorship and leadership qualities.

Now in the Spring of 2019, two of my Pledge Sons (members of my fraternity who picked me as a Pledge Father) are now on the BEST Board, Graham Waitt and Wallace Pope. It’s incredible to see the impact one person can have on organization and how that can translate into many years of success for that organization.

But don’t just take my word for it. It’s had a far-reaching impact on so many students who have been on it — both past and present.

“”For me it really helps me understand who I’ve become as a student leader since coming to MSU as a shy freshman,” Lydia Jagodzinski, Speakers Chair for the Student Events Team, said. “I always saw older students up there and never thought I’d see myself there someday too. It’s so unreal to me.”

Pope said the BEST Board was reassurance of representing the organizations he was a part of, “Being among some of the most distinguished leaders on campus is a great testament to the hard work and effort that has been put into being not only a great representative of this University but also a great representative of the RSO’s and groups I am apart of.”

Waitt thinks the BEST Board is one of the ultimate forms of representation for non-traditional students like himself.

“As someone who is not only a non-traditional student, but also a member of the LGBT* community as well as in organizations like Fraternity and Sorority Life, being up there shows different intersections that people are able to see and connect with,” he said.

In addition to Jagodzinski, Pope and Waitt, the other students featured on the Spring 2019 BEST Board are Amanda Johnson, Emily Christensen, Ana Leyva, Supreme Shrestha and Valerie Stocking. Mini displays of past BEST Boards can be found on the back wall of the Flexible Programming Space in the lower level of the CSU.

The BEST Board’s Impact Beyond MSU

The BEST Board’s impact and legacy have begun to spread beyond MSU as well.

“It’s one thing that’s really started to spread outside MSU,” Koupal said. “Other schools have seen what it’s done asked us about it. It’s kind of infectious to see the ability to recognize students in that way that we are.”

Koupal hopes the BEST Board and its legacy continue to inspire students to be more involved, to reach higher and achieve more and that its far-reaching impact continues to create leaders and a better campus for the years to come.

Maverick Holiday Carnival Tradition Continues on MNSU Campus

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Upon returning from break, Minnesota State University, Mankato is preparing for a tradition of


Photo by: Temi Adeleye, KEYC News 12

their own.

Starting back in 2015, the Community Engagement Office created the Maverick Holiday Carnival. An event that offered an opportunity for college students, holiday fans and organizations to interact with children and families in the Mankato area.

Those interested in hosting a fun event, will create booths with activities/games for elementary students in the Mankato area and their families. Elementary students will attend,play games and win prizes at each booth, which will consist of carnival games for children up to 12 years old.

“The theme this year is Candyland Holiday Carnival, so we plan to incorporate lots of Candyland themed decorations as well as holiday decorations,” said Kennedi Alstead, Community Engagement Office, Graduate Advisor.

The Maverick Holiday Carnival will take place on December 9th in the Centennial Student Union, Ballroom from 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. However, organizations that are having an activity will have access to the ballroom starting at 11 a.m. and should be ready to go by 1:15 p.m. The actual event will take from 1:30-3:30 p.m. for the actual event and no later than 5 p.m. to take down.

The Community Engagement Office is looking for organizations, chapters, offices, and departments to host a booth for their event. Mavs in Action will pay for $50 of supplies for each group that participates. Groups that sign up before November 16th, will have the privilege of Mavs in Action getting the supplies for their game for them. The form will include, supplies needed and a description of their activity. If groups want to be a part but do not have an idea for an activity, we have many ideas available to offer.

The sign-up form will be available on engage for groups to sign up until the end of November. But those who sign up after November 16th will be in charge of getting their own supplies.

“Additionally, there will be a competition where kids can vote on their favorite booth! The winning group will receive a special prize,” said Alstead.

Organizations interested in being a part of this fun tradition can apply here and  contact for more information.

RSO of the Month: PRSSA

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  1. What is your RSO?

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a student-run group dedicated to expanding personal and professional development beyond the classroom.

  1. Why should students join your organization?

Join PRSSA to build your resume, learn about the many facets of public-relations/communications and meet your fellow classmates. After all, in the fields of public relations and communications your classmates today will be your colleagues in the future.

  1. What do you do, what makes you special, what do you have to offer?

PRSSA is not only a recognized RSO but, a national student organization for students interested in the public relations or communications fields. Our RSO is special because we build real connections with professionals in our fields by touring public relations and communications firms such as Weber Shandwick, Padilla CO. and Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, as well as having professionals attend our meetings to speak about their experiences.

  1. Do you have to apply, how selective are you, do you target a specific audience? 

Anyone interested can join PRSSA and attend meetings. However, to become a recognized member, students must pay a fee. For one semester it’s $50 and for both semesters it’s $80. As recognized member, students will have exclusive access to the PRSA Job Center, PRSSA Internship Center, career resources and a directory with access to broad network of professionals.

  1. What is your ultimate goal?

The ultimate goal of PRSSA is to prepare members for their future occupations by building upon the foundation of their education. Most students have the knowledge they need to succeed but how do they apply those skill sets? Attend PRSSA meetings and learn about writing press releases, social media strategies, pitching ideas, building your resume, expanding your network, internships and more!

  1. How many members do you have?

We currently have 20-30 paying members.

  1. How many years have you been in the University?

Minnesota State Mankato’s chapter of PRSSA was started in 2002 by Dr. Jane McConnell.

  1. How often do you meet?

We meet every other Wednesday at 6:45 pm. In the Heritage Room.

  1. What other Universities have your organization?

PRSSA is made up of more than 10,000 students and advisers organized into 300 plus chapters in the United States, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.

  1. Something funny: what meme would your RSO relate to? 

RSO of the Month

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by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant

This month we look into a recently established Organization on our campus. This is AIESEC’s first semester and they might seem appealing to many of you, so make sure to check them out.

What is your RSO?

AIESEC is the largest youth-run organization in the world. We develop leadership through challenging cross-cultural experiences and we do that across 127 countries and territories.

What do you do, what makes you special, what do u have to offer? 

We’re a leadership organization that facilitates cross-cultural experiences for youth to unlock their leadership potential. We’re in consultative status with the United Nations; we represent youth in the UN. The UN looks to us when it comes to youth-related matters.

Do you have to apply, how selective are you, do you target a specific audience?

The application process is as follows: Fill an online application form, attend an interview, find out your result and then attend your induction day.

What is your ultimate goal?

Provide more challenging leadership opportunities to the youth of Mankato and help them unlock their potential.

How many members do you have?


How many years have you been at the University? 

Less than a year

What other Universities have your organization?

Appalachian State University Georgia Institute of Technology The University of Texas – Austin
Suffolk University The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill The University of Texas – Dallas
The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire The University of Georgia The University of Wisconsin – Madison
Minnesota State University, Mankato University of Maryland Florida International University
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
The University of Missouri – Columbia CUNY Baruch Northwestern University
Ohio University San Jose State University The University of Washington – Seattle
St. Edwards University Texas A&M University The University of California – Los Angeles
University of Southern California The George Washington University Yale University


Something funny: what meme would your RSO relate to?


Student Political Groups Weigh-In on Midterm Elections

by: Alejandro Reyes Vega, CSU Communications Student Assistant

Elections are just around the corner and it is important to step back and take a look at which candidate represents your values and goals the best. We asked the College Democrats and College Republicans two questions each to get some thoughts and opinions on the upcoming election. Our questions were as follows:

  1. What’s at stake with this year’s election?
  2. Why should people get out and vote?

The president of College Democrats, Emma Fuhrman, had this response,

  1. “There are many things at stake in this years election. For one, this will evaluate who will run Minnesota for the coming years. Our future leaders will use their voice to advocate for the people of Minnesota. We want someone who will represent our core beliefs and values. The College Democrats view our public education (k-12 and university) budgets at risk of getting cut, decreased diversity, action against women’s choice with regards to reproductive health and the imminent destruction of our environment as some key issues. For MSU students, this election is particularly important, as the Minnesota government sets tuition rates for our university.”
  2. “People should get out and vote not only because it is their civic duty, but also because it will set a precedent for the incoming generations. Millennials have fairly low turnout rates in elections, which is surprising given the current political climate. The most important reason for people to get out and vote is that things need to change. Voting is one of the simplest things one can do to initiate change on a local, state and national level.”

The president of the College Republicans, Aaron Eberhart, had this to say,

  1. “The future of America is at stake. The Democrats want to be elected to resist the President.  Republicans are running to support the President and keep the country moving towards how the Constitution outlines it to be run. The Republicans have a track record of lowering health care costs and improving it at the state level as well as President Trump exhibiting a booming American economy among his many accolades in less than two years on the job.”
  2. “Citizens should get out to vote because the future is decided by those who show up. Republican voters are energized by President Trump’s tireless work.”

No matter where you stand on any issues or whose party you align with, you should let your voice be heard and vote during the midterm election Nov. 6. If you haven’t registered, check out our guide that provides you with all of the information you’ll need for education, registration, ballot information and voting location!


Fans DO Have An Impact

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By: Morgan Stolpa, CSU Public Relations Intern

Fans have an impact on the environment, atmosphere and energy of sporting events.

Student-athletes balance being a college student as well as being a collegiate athlete. In addition to their balancing act, student-athletes are pushed to extreme levels both mentally and physically during their practices and games. They are pushed hard to practice and compete because the bar is set high at their collegiate level and although their physical abilities cannot be changed by a cheering crowd, their mindset can be.

The size, volume and attitude of a crowd can positively or negatively impact the environment of the sporting event. If there’s an engaging, cheerful crowd it will build up the energy of the athletes. On the other hand, if there’s an uninterested, bored crowd the athletes energy won’t be as built up. As fans, theres an opportunity to set the bar for the overall energy of the athletes.

“I believe that The Herd impacts the overall game environment of sporting events for both the athletes and the supporters. Increasing attendance and engagement will make the competitions more fun for those competing and those in the stands. I believe that sports can have a huge impact on student’s college lives both among athletes and non-athletes,” said Isaiah Pitchford, Head of the Herd.

At Minnesota State University, Mankato, The Herd is a student-run group focused on increasing student pride, attendance and participation at Maverick sporting events. The Herd is open to all current students at Minnesota State Mankato.

“The goal is to increase attendance and game day engagement across all sports in order to improve the overall experiences across the athletic department and University,” said Pitchford.

In addition to creating more engagement and increasing attendance at sporting events, the Herd also provides an opportunity for students to get more involved. If you’re not an athlete but you enjoy sporting events you have the option to join this group and find more sports fanatics.

There are also internship positions associated with The Herd through the athletic department in Marketing and Operations available. Students can apply at: .

For more information on The Herd follow their Instagram: @msu.theherd and Twitter: @MSU_TheHerd. For those who want to get more involved and have a more hands on role, contact Isaiah Pitchford at