February Offers Celebration of Black History and Contributions

by: BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Return to the inSIDER

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.

Return to the inSIDER!

Tubing at Mt. Kato

by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

Return to the inSIDER

On Jan. 26th, 2019 the Student Events Team and Mount Kato will host free tubing for MSU students at Mount Kato from 7:00pm-11:00pm. Students can either take the free shuttles to and from the event or drive to Mount Kato and show their mavcard before tubing. 

Follow Student Events Team on Twitter for 
time updates throughout the night.

ROUTE 1 (Starting Times) Runs about every 40 minutes:
1. 6:30 CSU
2. 6:34 Preska
3. 6:37 Maywood Ave/ Warren St. (Highland West)
4. 6:42 Live Active
5. 6:47 College Station
6. 6:58 Mt. Kato

ROUTE 2 (Starting Times) Runs about every 40 minutes:
1. 6:30 Stadium Heights
2. 6:35 Summit and Jacob Heights
3. 6:38 Lot 20 (U Square/ Parking)
4. 6:43 Monks Ave/ Bunting Ln (Quads/ East Highland)
5. 6:47 Quarters/ College Town
6. 6:58 Mt. Kato

** Look for a coach bus and the STUDENT EVENTS TEAM Event Sign at each of the bus sign locations**

First Bus will pick up at 6:30pm.
Last bus will Leave Mount Kato at 11pm.

In addition to tubing, Mount Kato offers skiing and snowboarding, group events, lessons and more. You can visit their website for more information.

You can RSVP for the event by clicking here

Mankato Winter Festivities


Return to the inSIDER

There are many things around Mankato to do in the winter time. Some times, people tend to disregard going out and doing a whole lot in the winter because it can be really cold, roads can be icy, and it’s not easy to get around. However here are a few activities and places to enjoy them in the winter around Mankato.

Minneopa Falls

Minneopa Falls is a great place for those who enjoy being out in nature. It’s a great place to go hiking, snowshoeing, picnicking, and more (probably when it’s warmer for the picnicking). It’s also a great place for photographers, the scenery is pretty ideal for photo taking opportunities. Visit their website for information

All Seasons Arena

All Seasons Arena is a great place to go for those who enjoy hockey, ice skating, or both. They offer affordable rates and even offer free skates on occasion. It is also really close to MSU’s campus so it’s not too far out of the way for most students to be able to go and enjoy it.

Kiwanis Recreation Area Mountain Bike Trail

For anyone interested in Mountain and Snow Biking, the Kiwanis Recreation Area Mountain Bike Trail offers a place to bike in the winter. It is on the same trail as the Kiwanis holiday lights which many students are familiar with and go see around the holidays.

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

by: BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Return to the inSIDER

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 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 for 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; a personal reflection

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 a part 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 the 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.

Pilot Program Seeks to get MSU Students Outdoors

by: BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Return to the inSIDER

Maverick Adventures operated its first pilot program last fall and has big aspirations to grow outdoor leisure and activity programs in the coming years for MSU students.

Small Beginnings

In the short-term, the program is designed to provide students with semesterly activities that take place outdoors such as guided hiking tours at state parks, snowshoeing, bike rides, campfire cooking, outdoor yoga and a few other smaller activities.

During the Fall semester, Maverick Adventures hosted three events: Just Another Dam Bike Ride, an outdoor cooking class and a guided hike at Minneopa State Park (video recaps for those events can be found by following the corresponding links above).

The organization plans to host three more events in the spring semester: Snoeshoeing, “Snow-ga” and a cave exploration trip to Crystal Cave in Spring Valley, Wisc.

Dates for those events have yet to be determined, but students interested in them can get updates by joining the Maverick Adventures Facebook groupwatching for advertisements in the campus recreation facilities and by following campus recreation social media.

Big Aspirations

The long-term vision seeks to offer much more to students. Sam Steiger, Program Coordinator for the Adventure Education Program & Climbing Walls, offered some ideas of where the Maverick Adventure program could go.

“Imagine a rental center with equipment available to rent, maybe expensive gear like a kayak or bike, but also the weekend essentials for the Maverick lifestyle: bean bag sets and solar panels to charge a device,” he said. “We want to offer equipment that many students will use for year-round activities. Imagine the ability to sign-up to go on a trip for the weekend and meet new people and try a new activity like rock climbing, canoeing or caving.”

No Dream Comes Without Challenges

Steiger says the biggest problems hindering the program from growing right now are staffing, storage space and funding.

“We need trained staff to lead these events and would have to purchase the various equipment,” he said.

Steiger also pondered costs and storage locations, “Where would a rental center be located for student convenience and how can we offer trips that are well designed, managed for risk and cost effective for students?”

He said discussions about those things have been ongoing for the last five years and that MSU administration, as well as Student Government, continues to look for solutions. The pilot program introduced last fall was the first big step toward bringing Maverick Adventures to its full capacity because it introduced many students to things that may haven’t tried before.

“For some students, participating in our pilot programs may have been the very first time they have experienced/done anything like biking, hiking and snowshoeing. It provided an opportunity for them to connect with other students across campus and form friendships by meeting people they may have never met otherwise,” he said.

Success Drives Progress

Steiger hopes the continued success of the Maverick Adventures’ pilot programs helps students become more familiar with and excited by the outdoors.

“This exposure can be a catalyst for students to discover something that are passionate about which leads to a lifelong pursuit of new hobby or skillset. The outdoors is relaxing to many and providing outdoor activities helps to keep our campus healthy in both mental, emotional and physical ways,” he said.

There’s no timetable for when Maverick Adventures will reach fruition, but Steiger says continued student support and involvement could accelerate progress.

“Many students find the topic exciting, so we continue to advocate for where we would like to see the program build to in the future. We keep spreading the word. If this topic got your attention, we want to talk to you,” he said.

Students looking to add their input to the program can do so by attending the Maverick Adventures AdHoc committee meetings Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Nickerson Conference Room (CSU 238). More information can also be obtained by contacting Steiger by email: samuel.steiger@mnsu.edu or by contacting his Graduate Assistant, Elliott Floyd, at thomas.floyd@mnsu.edu.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

Return to the inSIDER

Where: First Floor Centennial Student Union

When: 1-4 PM Monday January 21, 2019 

  • We will work on several community service projects. Projects are open for anyone to join in to complete. Minors should be accompanied by adults. 
  • We will collect money to pay for lunches and milk breaks for ISD77 kids when their parents forget/are unable to pay for it. 
  • We will collect new or gently used kid-friendly college jerseys/t-shirts from MSU, Mankato or other colleges/universities, to share with ISD77 kids who need clothes. Shirts should be clean and in good shape. 

If you have questions, contact the Community Engagement Office at 507-389-5789. 

January RSO of the Month: MavHouse Records


Return to the inSIDER

  1. What is your RSO?

MavHouse Records is a student-run, Record Label at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  

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

MavHouse Records produces, promotes, markets, and creates music of all genres. What makes us special is the fact that we center ourselves around developing and supporting musicians along with enhancing the skillsets of students who aspire to work in the Music Industry one day. 

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

Anyone interested in becoming a signed MavHouse artist would have to apply. But we accept anyone who wants to be a member, help support our artists, and develop their skillsets/knowledge on the Music Industry. We target mostly music majors but are open to anyone who is passionate about music. 

  • What is yourultimate goal?

Our ultimate goal is to help musicians get started on building a successful music career. We also hope to give back to MSU and the town of Mankato in any way that we can, as much as we can. 

  • How many members do you have?

We currently have 17 members. 

  • How many years have you been in the University?

MavHouse Records has been at MSU for about 3 years. 

  • What other Universities have your organization?

Universities such as New York University, Syracuse University, Columbia College and Berklee College of Music are a few schools that have student run record labels. 

  • Something funny: what meme would your RSO relate to? 

              This meme because it can be a (fulfilling) challenge getting people to listen to an artist’s music. #brokenpromises

Community Celebration

by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

Return to the inSIDER

From 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 the 35th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration will be taking place. It will be in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom at Minnesota State University Mankato Reception, with an address by Rev. Dr. Powery, and presentation of the 2019 Pathfinder Award.

The 35th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration is sponsored by the following organizations: Rasmussen College, Gustavus Adolphus College’s Diversity Center, Minnesota State University, Mankato, YWCA of Mankato, Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., South Central College, Creative Ad Solutions, Inc., Halverson Law Offices, Mankato and Greater Mankato Diversity Council.

FREE FOR MNSU Students using the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/1doZTaNnNQ2PSFoA3
About Rev. Dr. Luke Powery
Rev. Dr. Powery is the Dean of Duke University Chapel and Associate Professor of Homiletics at Duke Divinity School. A national leader in the theological study of the art of preaching (homiletics).
His teaching and research interests are located at the intersection of preaching, worship, pneumatology, and culture, particularly expressions of the African diaspora. He has written three books: Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching; Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope; and his latest book Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals. He has also co-authored an introductory textbook on preaching, Ways of the Word: Learning to Preach for Your Time and Place, and is currently working on the second in the series of meditations on the Spirituals, this time for the season of Lent. He is also a general editor of a forthcoming nine volume lectionary commentary series for preaching and worship titled, Connections.
Powery was ordained by the Progressive National Baptist Convention and has served in an ecumenical capacity in churches throughout Switzerland, Canada and the United States. In 2014, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College for his ethical and spiritual leadership in the academy, church, and broader society.
Prior to his appointment at Duke, he served as the Perry and Georgia Engle Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his B.A. in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University, his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Th.D. from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto.

Upcoming Events

Return to the inSIDER

Welcome back Mavericks! All of us here at the Centennial Student Union hope you enjoyed your winter break. Now that you’re back, here’s what’s coming up the rest of this week! We hope to see you at a few of these events:

Thursday, Jan. 17

  • Hound Hugs & Kanine Kisses
    • Lincoln Lounge – 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Music Mash-Up: Karaoke, Mocktails & Live Performance from Icarus Account
    • Bullpen – 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Stomper’s Cinema: “Boy Erased”
    • Ostrander Auditorium – 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 18

  • Women’s Basketball vs Minnesota Duluth
    • Bresnan Arena – 5:30 p.m.
  • Stomper’s Cinema: “Boy Erased”
    • Ostrander Auditorium – 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
  • Men’s Hockey vs Lake Superior State
    • Verizon Center – 7:07 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball vs Minnesota Duluth
    • Bresnan Arena – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 19

  • Women’s Basketball vs St. Cloud State
    • Bresnan Arena – 3:30 p.m.
  • Men’s Basketball vs St. Cloud State
    • Bresnan Arena – 5:30 p.m.
  • Stomper’s Cinema: “Boy Erased”
    • Ostrander Auditorium – 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
  • Men’s Hockey vs Lake Superior State
    • Verizon Center – 7:07 p.m.

Monday, Jan 21. – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, No Classes

  • MLK Day of Service
    • CSU MavAve 1 p.m to 4 p.m.
  • MLK Community Celebration Banquet w/ Guest Speaker Rev. Dr. Lue Powery
    • CSU Ballroom – 5:30 p.m.