Advocating to end the Criminalization of Homelessness

Return to the inSIDER


Students advocate to end the Criminalization of Homelessness.

People are pushed from their homes and onto the streets for numerous reasons. As a result, individual’s who are homeless must seek out other ways to meet their basic human needs. From eating and sleeping in public places, to asking for money/resources, there’s a criminal penalty for it. Homeless individuals can quickly turn into criminals when their alternative ways to sustain their lives is illegal.

On Tuesday, November 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Mav Ave in the Centennial Student Union, students are hosting a tabling event to advocate to end the criminalization of homelessness. During the event,  students can write letters to their representatives about ending the criminalization of homelessness and learn more about how hunger and  homelessness are affecting people around the world.

“This is taking a step beyond awareness. It’s more than just awareness, it’s advocating for individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Kennedi Alstead.

There will be different representatives available at this table as well as a bake sale. The cookies will be pants, shirts and house cookies. Some will be plain and others will be frosted. Cookies will be sold for $1-$2. In addition to the tabling event, cookies will also be sold during the on-campus playing of, “The Homestretch.” All proceeds from the bake sale will go to a charity in Mankato.

If you’re interested in learning more about the criminalization of homelessness, contact Kennedi Alstead at or visit the Mav Ave on November 13th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Alternative Spring Break

Return to the inSIDER

by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Do you want the opportunity of volunteering and serving the community while traveling to another state?

Then maybe Kingdom House might be right for you. Kingdom house is located in St. Louis Missouri and it provides exciting opportunities if you are looking to do something different and affordable for spring break. Their mission is  “To help people achieve better lives. In fulfilling our mission, we teach people to fish, rather than just feeding them fish.” Their goal is “Through holistic programs and services, we help the economically disadvantaged achieve economic independency, self sufficiency and a path out of poverty.” Moreover, they serve infants, toddlers, children, teens, adults, and seniors.“There aren’t many opportunities where you can go and serve for a week, if you already have a somewhat of a passion for service you can always build your experiences from this trip. You don’t just serve, you learn a lot about each other and the surrounding communities.” Kennedi Alstead

Their programs include:  Early Childhood Center, After School Program, Summer Camp, Kingdom Academy Teen Program, Financial Stability Services, Health & Wellness, Maternal Mental Health for Latinas, Social Capital Building and Senior Programs.

If you are interested and would like to make a positive impact in a community by working with children and those in need then, make sure to check them out HERE.



Be A Hero: Bystander Intervention Can Be A Simple Yet Courageous Act

Return to the inSIDER

by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Bystander intervention is one of the simplest and most significant things you can do to protect someone. Stepping into a situation can be as simple as taking someone home after they have had too much to drink, or making sure that someone is aware that rape or assault jokes are not funny.

This week we asked some interns in the Women’s Center to talk about an event that discussed the importance of bystander intervention and what students can do.

Why you chose to do this event:

“We chose bystander intervention as our topic because it is important to be an active bystander. It is also important to remind ourselves and our peers the importance of intervening and what intervening (if not experienced yet) may look like.

“We specifically chose this topic around the time of Halloween. This is because on college campuses, and elsewhere, Halloween costumes can be used as an excuse to do sexual activities without the person’s consent. Please bear in mind that the costumes are not consent and that people have the right to wear whatever they want to and stay safe. The problem in this is the people who take what someone’s wearing as a yes without getting a free verbal and enthusiastic yes from the wearer before engaging in any sort of sexual activity. 

“Bystander intervention and primary prevention (stopping unwanted sexual activities at the source: the attacker and deconstructing the misconceptions about consent) are proven to be effective in the short term, so right away, rather than waiting.”

What the event is focused on:

“For our event, we conducted a survey that asked the students about whether or not they knew what bystander intervention was or if they had ever used it.

“Through this survey, we were able to see that most students have a basic knowledge of what bystander intervention is, but many have never used this form of primary prevention before.

“Speak Up, focused on what bystander intervention was, what it looked like in a couple different settings, why people might be hesitant to intervene/why they need to, and it gave them ideas on how to intervene and what kind of thinking process goes into planning on stepping in.”

Why bystander intervention is important:

“Bystander intervention is important because it can stop unwanted sexual activity either before it starts or break it up if it is in the midst of happening. It is important to make sure that the people around us are safe and enjoying their time.

“Nobody deserves to have any unwanted sexual advances or actions used against them and it is our job to enforce that.

What have you learned about ways that people do or do not intervene:

“People often chose not to intervene for a few reasons.

“The first being that they are in a roomful of people and hope that someone else who is more qualified will step in instead.

“However, this is not true and most likely everyone else in the room thinks the same thing. Then nobody steps in and bad things happen that could be prevented through bystander intervention.

“Next, is that people who believe in rape myths are less likely to step in or speak up.

“Rape myths are untrue ideas that are harmful to the victim or survivor. These are thoughts like ‘Well, they shouldn’t be wearing that if they don’t want that to happen,’ or ‘I mean, they are like that way so they deserve it.’  Thoughts like these are incorrect and harmful because they pose as excuses to act in unacceptable ways.”

For more information, contact or visit the Women’s Center/Violence Awareness and Response Program in CSU218.

Life Tips: Healthy Relationships Are Everyone’s Right and Responsibility

Return to the inSIDER

by AFURE ADAHCSU Public Relations Assistant

Living a healthy lifestyle is super important. Exercising, and eating healthy are the main things people think about when talking about a healthy lifestyle, but maintaining healthy relationships is a big part of that too. 

Healthy relationships are the right and responsibility of everyone involved, and they have certain characteristics. Here are some that you should expect:

  • Mutual respect. Respect means that each person values who the other is, and understands the other person’s boundaries.
  • Trust. Partners or friends should place trust in each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt.
  • Honesty. Honesty builds trust and strengthens relationships.
  • Compromise. In relationships, each person does not always get his or her way. Each should acknowledge different points of view and be willing to give and take.
  • Individuality. Neither person should have to compromise who he/she is, and his/her identity should not be based on the other’s. Each should continue seeing his or her other friends and should continue doing the things he/she loves. Each should be supportive of his/her partner or friend wanting to pursue new hobbies or make new friends.
  • Good communication. Each person should speak honestly and openly to avoid miscommunication. If one person needs to sort out his or her feelings first, the other partner should respect those wishes and wait until he or she is ready to talk.
  • Anger control. We all get angry, but how we express it can affect our relationships with others. Anger can be handled in healthy ways such as taking a deep breath, counting to ten, or talking it out.
  • Fighting fair. Everyone argues at some point, but those who are fair, stick to the subject, and avoid insults are more likely to come up with a possible solution. Partners and friends should take a short break away from each other if the discussion gets too heated.
  • Problem solving. Dating partners can learn to solve problems and identify new solutions by breaking a problem into small parts or by talking through the situation.
  • Understanding. Each person should take time to understand what the other might be feeling.
  • Healthy sexual relationship. Dating partners engage in a sexual relationship that both are comfortable with, and neither partner feels pressured or forced to engage in sexual activity that is outside his or her comfort zone or without consent.

Know these characteristics so you can maintain healthy relationships as well as discern which relationships might not be so healthy.

#MeToo: Understanding the Movement

Return to the inSIDER

by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Over the past year, the #MeToo movement has swept the nation. While most people know the general idea, the intent of the movement goes much deeper.

Countless tweets, articles and actions generated by #MeToo have heightened consciousness and personal accountability with far reaching social impact that has toppled powerful individuals in such areas as entertainment, politics and athletics. Minnesota has been part of that spotlight with former Senator Al Franken stepping down amidst claims of sexual inappropriate activity.

Where did the #MeToo movement start? Where is it going? Here is a recap of a movement that has swept the country and the globe.

How It Went Viral and How it Actually Started

The #MeToo Movement went viral just over a year ago on Twitter after Alyssa Milano created a call to action after allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein were made by actress Ashley Judd. Her appeal became public in a breaking story by The New York Times.

The tweet exploded and people everywhere began sharing their stories of sexual assault and/or harassment.

Even though this was a positive thing, it wasn’t the actual start of the Me Too movement. The movement was actually created back in 2006 by a black woman named Tarana Burke. She started the Me Too movement as a way to give a voice to sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities.

In an interview with Ebony Magazine, Burke said Me Too wasn’t built to be a viral campaign, but rather it was “a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.”

Burke never expressed bitterness for Milano coining the #MeToo hashtag, and Milano later shared Burke’s story once she was made aware of Burke’s creation from 10 years earlier.

Burke did, however, say it was important to not “whitewash the movement” and to continue to keep focus on underprivileged areas because “women of color are often overlooked and left out of the very conversations they create.” She expressed empathy via her Twitter account to all of the women who stepped forward and shared their stories using the #MeToo.

Me Too’s official website,, cites the organizations primary functions:

“The ‘me too’ movement supports survivors of sexual violence and their allies by connecting survivors to resources, offering community organizing resources, pursuing a ‘me too’ policy platform, and gathering sexual violence researchers and research. ‘Me Too’ movement work is a blend of grassroots organizing to interrupt sexual violence and digital community building to connect survivors to resources.”

More information about Burke and her story can be found by reading her story.

The Positive Impact of #MeToo

The #MeToo movement had a profound impact. It inspired women, who had felt so trapped for so long, to finally come out and face their assailants.

The #MeToo movement saw several people of power fall under severe allegations and punishments. Below is timeline highlighting a few of the major assailants and their victims.

  • Oct. 15, 2017: Milano starts the #MeToo hashtag
  •  USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was accused of sexual assault by Gold Medalist, McKayla Maroney. Nassar was later sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges.
  • Oct. 29, 2017: The first sexual assault allegations are made against actor Kevin Spacey by Anthony Rapp. These allegations eventually led to Spacey losing his lead role on Netflix’s House of Cards and the abandonment of the Netflix Original movie “Gore,” a movie for which Spacey was the main character.
  • Nov. 10, 2017: Comedian Louis C.K. confirms that the sexual misconduct allegations made by several women against him were true.
  • Nov. 29, 2017: NBC fires long-time Today Show co-host, Matt Lauer, after receiving detailed allegations about sexual misconduct.
  • Dec. 7, 2017: U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., says he’ll resign from Congress amid sexual misconduct allegations.
  • Jan. 11, 2018: Actor James Franco is accused by five women, all of whom were either students or mentees, of sexual misconduct.
  • Jan. 20, 2018: More than a million people participated in the Women’s March on the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration to protest his policies and to speak up for women.
  • Feb. 3, 2018: Actress Uma Thurman comes forward with more sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
  • April 26, 2018: Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era
  • May 25, 2018: Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to New York authorities after being charged with rape in the first and third degrees, as well as criminal sexual act in the first degree for forcible sexual acts against two women in 2013 and 2004.
  • Sept. 16, 2018: Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual assault for an incident that occurred while the two attended separate high schools in Bethesda, Md. She offered to testify to Senate Judiciary Committee pending and FBI investigation.
  • Sept. 25, 2018: Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years behind bars for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his gated estate. The first major celebrity to be punished in the #MeToo era.
  • *All of these timeline pieces were taken from a timeline created by Christen A. Johnson and KT Hawbaker of the Chicago Tribune. You can view the full timeline here.

Those were just a few of countless allegations made against prominent figures in the world that may not have otherwise been brought forward had the #MeToo movement never gained traction. The movement has sparked important conversation about how men in power positions can abuse that power. It’s given survivors a community of support and a place to feel safe and to lift the burden that many have carried for so long. It’s helped to prosecute predators and lock them up, protecting those who may have otherwise been future victims.

But event though all of this is great, it doesn’t come without out some pushback.

The Pushback against #MeToo 

Though the #MeToo movement has brought some major issues to light and has helped put many assailants behind bars, there are still many who are wary of and even oppose the movement.

One of the biggest concerns has been voiced by many men who feel they’ve been blanketed as someone guilty of sexual assault. Others state that they can’t go on dates or be around women anymore because women are fearful that they’ll be assaulted.

Further backlash questions what classifies as sexual assault or sexual misconduct. A notable example was allegations made against actor/comedian, Aziz Ansari. While on a date, a woman said Ansari ignored verbal and nonverbal hints. She never explicitly told Ansare she didn’t want to have sex. When she later said “no,” he reportedly stopped immediately and suggested the two put their clothes on again. Because of what happened earlier in the date, she accused Ansari of sexual assault. Opinion pieces about the situation were published in The New York Times defending Ansari saying, “Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader.”Image result for aziz ansari me too

The Ansari situation triggered further pushback: false accusation.

Many feel false accusations are frequent and fear they can’t even interact with women without being accused of something.

Though this concern heightens awareness to sexual assaults, one writer says, “we shouldn’t lump all male misbehavior together.”

Some men in the workplace now say they are so fearful of accusations that they refuse to have a closed-door, 1-on-1 meeting with a female.

In such cases another co-worker or assistant is present so no false accusations can be made. Employers have gone as far as to advise their male employees to avoid sharing vehicles and to altogether avoid business trips with women. 

Reports claim this effect impacts both men and women, who are losing out on job opportunities because of men separating themselves.

Men aren’t the only ones who have concerns about #MeToo. Several women have spoken up about it too.

A survey from Vox revealed that women had three major concerns about the #MeToo movement:

1. Men could be falsely accused of sexual harassment or assault.

2. Women could lose out on opportunities at work because men will be afraid to work with them.

3. The punishment for less severe forms of sexual misconduct could be the same as for more severe offenses.

It should be noted, though, many of the women with those fears cited their primary concern being those things would affect the men in their lives: husbands, fathers, sons, boyfriends, friends, etc.

Many of the women also say that the viral impact of #MeToo has caused most accusations to be fact, even if it’s an exaggeration or false altogether. These women feel loved ones may be in danger because of that. Some described their fears as a “sex partition” that is dividing men and women. They contend the movement can only be successful if both men and women could fight the cause together.

What about #HimToo and an LGBT #MeToo?

A mother’s recent Twitter post posed another hashtag – #HimToo. The tweet, later deleted, by Marla Reynolds, pointed to pa flaw in the #MeToo movement. Despite her intent that not all men are bad, the backlash included people mocking the post and creating a male fictional character in a meme that sarcastically attacked #HimToo.

Still, a deeper #HimToo meaning emerged – male victims of sexual assault and members of the LGBT community. 

Statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) cite that 1 in every 10 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. RAINN also stated 21 percent of transgender college students experience a sexual assault, a number much higher than the non-trans male and female student population. A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women and 26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men.

Men experiencing sexual assault, are silenced by society’s perception that men are always the bad guys.

“Men are historically considered the bad guys. If some men abuse women, then we all are abusers ourselves … so therefore when it comes to our being abused, we deserve it.” Chris Brown said during an interview with The New York Post. The University of Minnesota music professor was one of the many victims of James Levine, renowned conductor of the Metropolitan Opera Company, who was accused of abusing several teen men decades ago and was fired as a result.

Experts also suggest men are fearful to come forward for reasons similar to the LGBT community – the stigma of who they are. Men are supposed to be strong and not show emotion and are never victims, so speaking up could show sign of weakness.

Others abused men fear a common perception that they are more likely to be abusers. New York-based psychoanalyst Richard Gartner, co-founder of MaleSurvivor, said cases of male sexual assaults focus more attention on shaming the assailant rather than supporting the victim, This may also contribute to men remaining quiet.

Moving Forward

No matter where an individual stands on the #MeToo movement, it’s important to recognize the movement’s impact: to bring awareness to sexual assault, to prosecute assailants and support the victims. Survivors are discovering they are not alone and, in turn, support one another. It’s also raised concerns ranging from whitewashing to false accusations to underrepresentation for male and LGBT survivors.

Above all, is the realization the movement is not just for and about women. It’s a movement that will only progress if all groups can work together. Only then can society truly take down sexual assault.

CEEP Election Forum Today!

College Election Engagement Project holds forum in Ostrander tonight

by AFURE ADAH, CSU Communications Student Assistant

It’s almost election day! Calling all students of MSU!! Our votes are super important, so it is necessary that we learn all that we can about the candidates, their ideas and values to see whose match up with ours.

An Election Forum is happening TODAY from 5 to 7:30 PM in Ostrander Auditorium. The goal of this event is to educate students about candidates running for governor.

At the beginning of the event a short 10-question quiz can be taken to help students decide what options fit them best and go along with their values and ideas. This will in turn, help students learn about what values affect their political choices.

There will also be FREE donuts and coffee!

Get educated and get voting!

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!


Everything You Need to Know About Voting

by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Yep. Another article about voting, but in here you’ll find resources and documents to make sure you’re equipped with everything you need to know in advance of the Nov. 6 election.

Am I registered to vote?

Where do I go to vote?

  • It’s important to know where you need to go to cast your vote, this link will tell you exactly where to go based on your current address!

What’s on my ballot?

What if I can’t vote Nov. 6?

What’s the status of my absentee ballot?

Are there any on-campus resources where I can voting, party and/or candidate information?

  • The Memorial Library has a couple of great resources to help you get prepared to vote as well. Included is fact checking sites, absentee information, party information, media coverage and more! You can check those out here:

Where can I find additional candidate information?

Now you have no excuses, so be sure to go out vote Nov. 6 in the midterm election!

Faculty Spotlight

Back to October 17 inSIDER

By: Morgan Stolpa, CSU Public Relations Intern

Dr. Cindra Kamphoff, a professor in the Department of Human Performance and Direct the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology, provides mental performance consulting for Minnesota State University, the Minnesota Vikings and several Mankato high schools.

Dr. Kamphoff, who likes to supervise students doing sport psychology, enjoys working at the center. This year they are working with teams at MSU (Maverick football, for example), Mankato West, Mankato East, Hastings High School and Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

When Dr. Kamphoff isn’t teaching or supervising students, she produces a podcast twice a week.

“I have had the privilege of being on TJ and Lisa’s Radio Show on 93.1 each Monday morning at 7:35 a.m. where I share a positive message. These radio spots, plus an interview with an expert on mindset, is available on the podcast each week called The High Performance Mindset. You can find the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeartRadio,” Dr. Kamphoff said.

Kamphoff has worked with the Maverick Football team for seven years as their mental performance consultant where she and her graduate students provide a mental training workshop each week. When she started with the team, Adam Thielen was a senior.
What is a mental performance consultant and why is there a need for a mental performance consultant?
As a mental performance consultant, Dr. Kamphoff helps prepare athletes to do their best. There is a need for mental performance consultants because they prepare the mind for numerous scenarios that athletes otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.
“There are 3 areas you can train your performance: 1) Your craft, 2) Your body, and 3) Your mind. We are here to help athletes and performers train their mind. Every decision goes through your mind, so it’s important to keep your mind working for you not against you. We can train our mind to be confident, positive and stay in the present moment more often which leads to peak performance,” said Dr. Kamphoff.
Dr. Kamphoff enjoys being able to help athletes prepare for game days. She has had the privilege of working with several athletes at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.
“It’s one of my favorite things to do! I love it. We help them train their mind so they can be their best on Saturday.When I started with the team, Adam Thielen, was a senior on the team. I now provide mental training for the Minnesota Vikings. In the foreword of my book that came out in last September, Beyond Grit, Adam shared the mental training principles that helped him get to where he is today,” Dr. Kamphoff said.
Looking for a chance to enhance your mental performance? At the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology, Dr. Cindra Kamphoff provides individual sessions, workshops, small group sessions, consulting with groups/teams, podcasts and webinars, cutting-edge research projects and the Sport Psych Team which provides psychological support at sporting events. For more information, head to the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology!

Hockey Fast Pass: The Ticket Line Power Play

Back to October 17 inSIDER

By ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Communications Student Assistant

A great way to show your Mav Spirit is going to events. The men’s hockey team at Minnesota State University, Mankato, started off its 50th season by hosting Boston University Terriers. The Mavericks beat the Terriers4-3 and 5-3, sweeping the opening weekend. They enter the season as defending WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) Champions and have an all-time record of 887-645-153. (.572).

If you are interested in going to the games and supporting your University, make sure to get some tickets. The tickets are free and can be obtained in the CSU every Wednesday during home game weeks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Any remaining tickets are taken back to MF 135 (Myers Field House) until 5 p.m. and can be picked up by any student and don’t forget that the student section most commonly known as the Herd is where you can get riled up with fellow Mavericks.

You can also register for the Maverick Fast Pass Program for $30. It is designed for interested students to get hockey passes for every home game including premium games. This way students avoid the distribution lines, but they are limited, so make sure you register HERE. After registering, students can pick up their tickets in the athletic office during business hours as long as they show their MavCard and they come in on Monday or Tuesday on the week of the game before the general tickets are distributed.

One of the premium games is happening on Nov. 3 when the Mavericks play host to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.