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

Back to October 17 inSIDER

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

For the Love of the Game

Back to October 17 inSIDER

by Brett Marshall: CSU Public Relations Assistant

Pressure. High expectations. Busyness. These are just a few words and phrases that two Minnesota State students used to describe their lives as student-athletes.

Katlin Sannan is member of the MSU Tennis team and though she loves being a student athlete, she says it isn’t always easy.

“There is a tremendous pressure that I feel as being a student athlete. I am not just representing the University by just academics, but by being an athlete too.”

The pressure comes from a variety of different people, all holding athletes like Sannan to high expectations.

Katlin Sannan (right) gives the “Horns Up” sign alongside her teammate, Camila Ojeda.

“Your parents, teachers and coaches are expecting you to have good grades, your friends want you to make time for them and you are expected to participate in practice, lifting and conditioning,” Sannan said. “And if you have a job on top of all that, the pressure builds up.”

Ashley Reed, a member of the Women’s Basketball team, echoed Sannan’s feelings.

“There is definitely a standard that is expected for student-athletes on campus. You have to be on top of your school work when you frequently miss for road trips, have long practices and sometimes multiple workouts a day and have the responsibility to represent not only your team, but also the university in a positive manner,” Reed said.

Unfortunately when that pressure builds, it can take a toll on the people it’s affecting.

“I feel like people don’t realize how much student-athletes go through and how busy of a schedule they have. Mental health is a big concern with student-athletes and it’s important to be mindful of that,” Sannan said.

Sannan has a few ways of combatting the pressure, most often by simply taking each part of her day “one thing at a time.” Additionally, she likes to get into a groove by preparing herself on game days and before her matches.

“On game days, it’s definitely not like a normal day. I’ll make sure that I go to bed early the night before and get a goodnight’s sleep, no matter how much homework I have,” Sannan said.

Sannan said she also likes to do her hair and makeup on game days to increase her confidence through the “look good, feel good attitude.” Prior to her matches, she preps by simply listening to good music and focusing in on what she needs to do to be successful.

Reed said being appreciative of the opportunities she has keeps her morale up.

“I try to have fun and be positive. There are definitely ups and downs when it comes to stress, school, basketball and everything else a college student has to deal with, but remembering all the great things helps you relax and be grateful.”

The pressures aside, there are some great things about being a student-athlete, one of which Sannan said is the connections.

“I love being a student athlete because of the connections and the environment. MSU has a very warm student-athlete environment,” she said. “Every athlete supports each other and I have built so many bonds with a lot of them.”

Reed loves playing in front of the fans.

“They make playing basketball so much fun because of their genuine love and support for Maverick Athletics. They are there to celebrate every victory but also be right by your side during those hard defeats, and fans like that are truly unbelievable,” she said.

In the end, the life of a student-athlete isn’t always easy, there are a lot of pressures and long days, but the thrill of representing yourself and your university every time you take the court, field or rink, is something only an athlete can truly appreciate.

The Best Weekend Yet

by: Brett Marshall

Homecoming weekend is usually one of students’ favorite events of the year and that’s largely due to the exciting events that take place.

You’ve probably seen the event names all over the place, but what exactly should you expect? Luckily for you, this is my fifth homecoming, so I’m here to provide you with a little rundown of the week’s remaining events.

Lip Sync & Coronation

By far one of my favorite events of the year. During the last two or three weeks, RSOs have formed teams and have been practicing a full-blown dance routine. The routines usually last five to six minutes and include props, flips, lifts, one person always lip syncing and much more. Thursday at 7 p.m. in Bresnan Arena, the teams perform their routines live in front of a panel of judges and students and are scored on certain criteria including, but not limited to, originality, creativity and incorporating the homecoming theme.

After each of the teams has performed its routine, the Student Events Team reveals the MSU Homecoming Royalty. Two people are crowned and win based on interviews and votes from MSU students. Following that, the judges announce the winners of the Lip Sync competition. The atmosphere of this event is electric and the performers always put on dazzling routines. If you only make it to one event this weekend, make sure it’s lip sync!

Homecoming Concert

Fetty Wap comes to Kato as one of the biggest names the campus has seen in recent memory. He’s sure to put on amazing show, which will begin with a performance from Silento. The concert is always packed, loud and exciting. Grab some friends and catch a one-of-a-kind concert in Myers Field House Friday at 7 p.m.

Homecoming Parade

This should be one of the best parades MSU has ever had. Saturday’s Stomping Through the Decades Parade will be downtown for the first time in years. The parade, which begins at 10 a.m., is packed full of Maverick pride including royalty, handmade RSO floats, local law enforcement and fire vehicles, Maverick Machine pep band, city officials, academic clubs and many other entries. RSO’s compete by trying to create the best float and are again scored by a panel of judges. They go all out for these and often have jaw dropping setups as they stroll down the street. To find out more details and to find transportation information for the parade, check out last week’s article.

Football Game

The rival Huskies of St. Cloud State University come town for the Homecoming Finale. The Mavericks enter the weekend ranked as the #1 team in Division II setting the stage for a terrific matchup. Grab your friends, pack Blakeslee Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m. and cheer the Mavs to victory.

Your First College Homecoming: Competition to Shape Your ‘Mav Fam’ Experience

By Brett Marshall, CSU Communications Student Assistant

Undoubtedly, some of your fondest high school memories came from your homecoming. You shouldn’t expect that to change as you prepare for your first college homecoming.

Though both are homecomings, the way the weeks are constructed are vastly different. High school homecomings tend to be more “themed” and involve things happening between classes. Remember dress-up days? College homecoming is nothing like that.

In college, no one cares if you’re a freshman or a senior – when homecoming hits, we’re just one big Mav Fam! That said where competition does heat up is between RSOs. MSU homecoming has teams that are formed by RSOs who compete in a variety of events such as a food eating contest, lip sync battle, parade float building, dodgeball, school spirit and more!

Each event awards the RSO points and at the end of the week, the RSO that accumulates the most points receives a cash prize. Most high schools don’t have cash incentives nor do they have events throughout the week.

Another highlight of homecoming is the concert. This year, the Student Events Team is bringing in world-renowned rapper, Fetty Wap (with special guest Silento – you know, the Whip-NaeNae guy). The concerts are always high-energy and this concert should be no different! Be sure to visit and get your ticket if you haven’t already.

It’s a week filled with opportunities and memories! If your RSO isn’t participating as a team, you should still try your best to make it to as many events as you can! I’ve taken the time to outline a few of my favorite events below.

  1. Bonfire and Fireworks – see how fast a tower of wood palates goes up in flames – Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. behind Blakeslee Stadium
  2. Lip Sync – perhaps the most popular and most fun competitions during Homecoming Week ends with the crowning of new royalty – Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. in Bresnan Arena
  3. Fetty Wap Concert – one of two major concerts each year – Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. in Myers Field House
  4. 150th Homecoming Parade – the downtown anniversary parade is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. in Downtown Mankato
  5. Football Game – what’s Homecoming without a football game – Saturday Sept. 29 against St. Cloud at 2 p.m. at Blakeslee Stadium. GO MAVERICKS!

Those are all events you don’t want to miss! Click HERE to view a full schedule of events. Homecoming is one of the best weeks of the year, so be sure to make the most of it!



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 Any questions about sorority recruitment can be directed to Lexi Stauffacher at

Fraternity recruitment begins Thursday, Sept. 20 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 23. If you have interest in signing up, you can register by visiting Any questions can be directed to Kevin Hines at

New MSU RSO Aims to Solve Some of the Internet’s Most Heated Debates

Are you very passionate about whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich or if water is actually wet? If so, the Pointless Debate Club may be an RSO for you!

The Pointless Debate Club (PDC) was started in Spring of 2018 by Wallace Pope and Brett Marshall after they witnessed their friends “continually arguing about the dumbest things.” They thought starting an organization that debated these topics and came to a solution could be a fun way to dissolve these arguments among their friend group while making new friends along the way.

Image courtesy of @msupointlessdebateclub on Instagram

“The idea started as a bit of a joke. But the more Wallace and I thought about it, the more we realized this could be a really fun club where people could come together for an hour or so and be goofy and let loose a little,” Marshall said.

The PDC’s Engage page cites the club as “a great way to meet new people and improve communication skills.”

“The way the debates are formatted require you to really listen to the other side’s argument because you have to have a counter to their points in order to persuade the jury.”

The PDC met just once last spring, but Marshall and Pope said they hope to have at least one debate each month throughout the school year.

“We only had one debate last semester, but it was a lot of fun,” Marshall said. “Things got a little heated, but in a good way. People really took it seriously and pleaded their case to the other side and tried to convince the jury that they were right. In the end, we concluded that water isn’t wet and that a hot dog is a sandwich.”

The debate structure is pretty simple. According the official rules found on the PDC’s Instagram page (@msupointlessdebateclub), the club is split into three groups: Side 1, Side 2 and Jury. Each side gets 10 minutes to come up with their argument for why they’re right. After those 10 minutes are up, they then get five minutes to present their case to the Jury and other side. Three minutes are then given to come up with any rebuttals as well as a closing statement, which are both presented to the other side and Jury in the same fashion as the opening statements.

The Jury then gets to deliberate and decide the winner and end the debate by a majority vote.

“The debates take about 20-30 minutes and we usually do two debates at each meeting,” Pope said. “Whatever the jury decides is the final answer and is accepted as the truth.”

One of the best experiences Marshall and Pope had from their first debate was the interaction they received on their Instagram page when they live streamed the debate.

“We had total strangers chiming in with comments and opinions,” Marshall said. “It was awesome to see because we weren’t expecting it and it also gave people the chance to participate without having to be at the meeting.”

“We feel that’s a feature of our club that separates us from other student organizations,” Pope said. “We’re proud of it and can’t wait to see where the club goes this year. Maybe we even go viral.”

There is no membership fee to join the Pointless Debate Club, but interested members can find out more information by emailing or The two also encourage following the Instagram page, @msupointlessdebateclub, as that is where they post their meeting times and club updates.