As I sat down to write out my spring semester schedule, I realized I only needed 10 credits to graduate. After the initial burst of joy, I remembered that I needed 12 credits in order to accomplish full-time student status. Oh the possibilities of 2 credits! I could take karate again, or snowboarding, or an art class, or a fun English or History class (yes I think those are fun), but then I remembered, I hadn’t signed up for band.
That is, MUS 241 with Dr. Lovejoy, Winona State’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Though this course is only 1 credit, it is way more work than anyone, except for members, realizes. We rehearse Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a weekly total of 4 and a half hours, and on top of that there are concert rehearsals, actual concert performances, pep band for football games, and volunteering at area elementary schools and Adopt-A-Block. Did I really want to take on that kind of commitment, again, for the last semester of my college career at Winona State?
The answer was yes. Yes, of course I did.
I have been in band for twelve years and it has been one of the most influential things in my life. It has taught me not just musical skills, but also discipline, responsibility, teamwork, how to listen, how to breath, how to sit evenly, how to decipher and decode things, how to be creative and structured, how to conquer challenges by trying over and over again, and how to be dedicated to something much bigger than myself.
Being in band also helps me to get away from other day to day activities and school stresses; I get to escape into the world of music for an hour and a half three times a week. And on top of that, I get to do it with great people. At least half of the band isn’t music majors or minors, so you get a great mix of people with a wide variety of experience intermingling in one setting with one goal. The friends I have made in band have lasted me throughout my entire academic career and, I have a feeling, will follow me into my adult life.
All in all, I encourage anyone who’s ever been in band and has an interest in picking up an instrument again, to add Winona State’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble to your schedule. You won’t regret it.
Since I was a little kid I loved to be active and play sports. I got involved at an early age with organized sports including football, basketball and baseball. Once it was time to move off to college, I was a bit worried about not being able to keep athletics as a part of my life. I was not nearly good enough to play sports at a college level, but lucky for me, intramural sports came as a great option!
Through my college years at WSU, I have been involved with intramural basketball, and it just so happens, it is intramural basketball playoffs this very week! What is so great about intramural basketball is that it is divided into two leagues: A and B. A-league is for those athletes that consider themselves able to keep up with very competitive and seasoned players. B-league is for those who enjoy to play ball in a social setting, with more an emphasis on fun, rather than the outcome of the game. I myself am a B-league player, and proud of it.
My team consists of 8 guys that all met in our freshman dorm, Lourdes Hall. We have a pretty tight bond, and playing on a team together in B-league for the past 5 years gives us the chance to hang out on campus and be a part of the WSU student community. Our team name (tongue and cheek to say the least) is “The Red Shirt Seniors” and pokes fun at our 5th year senior status. We have a pretty good chance at making a run in the playoffs this week, we just got to make some big shots down the stretch.
If basketball is not your cup of joe, WSU offers many different options to fill up that competitive edge. Football, softball and volleyball are probably the most popular, but soccer is becoming more of an attraction each year. Intramural sports at WSU have benefited me with a fun way to stay in shape, and also a great activity to do with friends each year.
[Note: this is to be read in the voice of Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone]
You unlock this door with the click of a button. Beyond this portal in the shape of an “e,” a compass, a fox or a circle of primary colors, is another dimension. A dimension of information, a dimension of sound, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a world of both entertainment and ideas, an invisible world right at your fingertips. You have just crossed over into… The Internet.
Take, if you will, the case of a university in Winona, Minnesota. Where young minds go to grow and develop, a place where the students can finally experience freedom and independence. As we move forward in to this modern and constantly developing world, we will find that the world is rapidly shrinking. Through the laptop program offered by the school, every student on campus is provided with a computer on which all students move through the modern, digital society in which they live. The students are developing their own new, cyber identities within the increasingly connected world.
With a click of the mouse, they can find themselves connected to a community of people from around the world. Face to face interactions can be held with people from around the world, new, undiscovered information can be found easily and messages can be sent to even the most remote parts of the globe within seconds. Little did they know however, that their freedom would come at a price when they find themselves stumbling into … The Internet.
Threat of hackers and other cybercriminals, frauds and scams, identity theft and copyright infringement constantly plague these young students. The internet provides a wonderful opportunity for learning and developing, however it is important that these kids avoid the dangers and pitfalls commonly found.
How you say?
Here in this time, the internet is a community of people, just as the students are a part of the WSU community. Just as they do in their daily lives, students must protect themselves when surfing the internet.
They must keep an eye out for suspicious activities, be careful about sharing their personal information like credit card and social security numbers and be watchful of the people or organizations that they give this information to. They must also be cautious against clinking on suspicious links or downloading files, that may invite the installation of malware on their computers.
When the dangers and pitfalls are avoided, students like those of Winona State can find themselves successfully becoming apart of this new and expanding culture. This exciting, modern world continues to rapidly become more advanced with the passing of every day, more is yet to come as we continue to stumble deeper into… The Internet.
How do most college students make it through the hectic week of classes, work, and studying? Coffee. What is a great way to relieve stress and have fun with friends? Music. Where is there a great place to hang out with friends every Thursday night in Winona and where you can win awesome prizes and hear fantastic music? At Mugshots on West Campus!
Mugshots is a student-organized coffee shop that spotlights local talent from Winona State every Thursday night.
Usually the students in charge organize fun themes to get everyone excited for the band or vocalists who will perform that night. Mugshots is always looking for new and upcoming talented musicians and vocalists to stand in the spotlight on the stage at Mugshots. Students can request information by emailing email@example.com.
Not only are there great performances but real musicians, but there are also karaoke nights! Students who live on West Campus can sing for house points! Mugshots has also had poetry nights where students can read their best pieces.
There are also silly contests. One time I went there was a contest to see who could put on the most tattoos before the night was over. My friends decided it was a great idea, so we applied hundreds of tattoos by the end of the night between the three of us. It was a terrible choice because it was so hard to get off, but we had a great time anyway! We also won a free Mugshots t-shirt!
Unfortunately, the semester is coming to a close and so is Mugshots. Don’t worry though! Mugshots still has one more week of fun. This Thursday, Mugshots is putting on a Winter Wonderland theme with karaoke! Snacks will be provided by Chartwells and who doesn’t love a good snack with a great performance? Doors open at 8pm and get there early to snag a table!
I can’t think of a better study-break before heading back to the library for the rest of the night. Everyone loves coffee, free music, treats, prizes and games, right? Grab some friends and have a blast every Thursday for FREE at Mugshots!
A new club will be sprouting up on Winona State University come spring semester. The WSU Cooperative Club is currently developing in hopes of improving the world for many students. Cooperatives, or co-ops, are business that offers products and services like any other but the members of the co-op are also the owners and focus on working together rather than making a profit. The emerging co-op club welcomes the Winona State community to join in order to “instill a deeply entrenched sense of community, responsibility, and humanism.”
The club wants to share resources in a non-hierarchal manner in order to address economic injustice. Ideas for the club include a co-op fee (about $3) that would fund a community cupboard.
According to the first draft of the co-op constitution, “The Community Cupboard shall be a system of goods available to all club members who pay the Co-op fee. The community Cupboard will be readily available on-campus with a lock that all members who have paid the Co-op Fee will have the combination to. Members from within the Winona State University community who have not paid the fee may be granted temporary access to the Community Cupboard if they ask permission of a paying member of Community Organizer.”
The purpose of the community cupboard is to provide essentials or school performance objects that some may struggle to regularly buy or afford. This could include things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, socks, hats, mittens, pencils, paper, markers, notebooks, calculators, clothes, and non-perishable foods. Donations will always be welcome.
Other things the Co-op Club would like to do are potentially host potlucks and provide sustainability education. The club will be organized non-hierarchically, where leadership roles can be rotated so that all will have an equal opportunity to host meetings and organize events. The long term vision for the Co-op club is to eventually create a Co-op housing unit where people can live together sharing resources, space, talents and perspectives.
There is a heavy emphasis of improving the community together, no matter of one’s identity. It is open to all those who want to be in it, and will always welcome ideas for events, club activities, educational experiences and helping the community.
For more information or to be on the email list, please email Kaylee Jakubowski at KJakubowski11@winona.edu.
With only two weeks left of school, tensions are high. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got numerous tests, papers and presentations due before the end of next week. I had almost reached a breaking point yesterday, when I was sitting in the Smaug and suddenly felt like the yellow walls were slowly closing in on me, but then I was given a handful of bubble wrap.
This timely and helpful gift was a part of Anti-Stress Fest on Tuesday afternoon in East Hall. The event brought in a collection of clubs from around campus, but was hosted by Winona State’s Active Minds club. They had a table with club information, more bubble wrap and anti-stress rocks in the middle of the room. Around them, there was a half circle of tables with hula-hoops, free Chartwells apples and a station for making stress balls.
RunnerUp Comedy Troupe performed around 11:30 and, when I arrived around 2:30, Anime Club was dancing. There were also Health and Wellness advocates present, along with representatives from Bedsider and SEMAC to promote safe sexual behavior. There was even a collection of beanbag chairs set up around a movie for those who just needed to sit for awhile.
Overall, the event was both fun and relaxing, and Active Minds co-presidents, Gretchen Haga and Alex Paulson, were pleased with the event’s success. Active Minds has only been around for one semester, so they were happy to see that so many clubs and individuals came to support them. But if you weren’t fortunate enough to make Tuesday’s event, don’t fret! Active Minds meets once a week and focuses upon mental health awareness. Though their meetings have been on Monday evenings at 6pm, contact Gretchen at firstname.lastname@example.org or like their Facebook page for more information about next semester’s meetings.
Although tensions are running high at this point in the semester, I walked away from Anti-Stress Fest feeling a little bit better. Perhaps it was because of the information I learned about stress management. Or, perhaps, it was because I was destroying a sheet of bubble wrap as I returned to conquer the walls of the Smaug and my homework.
For more information about the national Active Minds organization, please visit: www.activeminds.org
It’s almost the end of the semester.
My classes are wrapping up one by one and I am gleefully ticking off the days on my calendar.
This has been one of my toughest semesters due to the amount of coursework I had to do every evening. I was up until at least midnight every night including weekends and if I did make myself take a break, the feeling that I should be working on something remained scratching around in the back of my mind. Finally, the intense pace has relented and after a Thanksgiving Break—a true break, where very little homework was done in favor of family, friends and fun—I have returned to WSU with a coasting mentality and next to no motivation.
All I want to do is to go on Winter Break for four weeks of getting a decent night’s sleep, having weekends again, finishing sewing projects, reading novels and watching tv shows I didn’t have time for during the semester. Really, is that too much to ask??
There’s just one problem—it’s almost the end of the semester.
That means there are final exams to study for and final papers to write. I can’t afford to just float through these gray and dreary days, no matter how much I want to just shove all my textbooks and classroom handouts into a box hidden deep under my bed or better yet, hurled into the recesses of a dumpster. If I follow through on that delicious daydream, all of the hard work and long evenings I put in these last three and a half months will have been for nothing.
So this post is as much a pep talk for myself as it is for all of you. I’m sure that you are just as ready for Winter Break as I am, but I’m telling you—you need to stay focused so as not to jeopardize the grades you’ve worked so hard to earn. Keep doing your best work, putting in the diligent effort for just two more weeks.
If you can do it—and I know you can— then break will be all the more rewarding without the worry about your final results this semester.
All right, here’s to the end! Stay strong!
It’s likely you’ve heard of eating disorders, but you might not know are the warning signs of these dangerous diseases. Eating disorders– predominantly anorexia and binge eating– are more prominent on college campuses than most people think.
Heading to college is a time full of transition—you’re interacting with new people, you’re responsible for yourself and you have to adapt to a new environment. While this time is fun and exciting, it is also a time of vulnerability. That’s what makes students more vulnerable to eating disorders as they enter into college.
This is a topic that hits close to home for me since one of my best friends developed anorexia during high school. Without knowing the warning signs, I didn’t even realize she had the disease until she had to be admitted into treatment. That’s why I believe that knowledge of these eating disorders is so incredibly important—it can mean the difference between catching it early and years of treatment, or even the difference between life and death.
So, what are the warning signs?
I want to make the point that these signs do not automatically mean that someone has an eating disorder. These are simply common signs among people who do have these illnesses. If you see these signs in a friend, talk to them gently and express your concern.
If you have an eating disorder, or suspect a friend of having an eating disorder, you can stop by Counseling & Wellness Services in the Integrated Wellness Center 222, or call 507-457-5330 to make an appointment. You can also find a lot of information and support at the National Eating Disorder Association website.
The holiday season is once again upon us and excitement is filling the WSU campus. It is the time of year where college students like you and I grow tired of our own cooking or the food in the cafeteria and look forward to heading home to our families to a long awaited, home-cooked meal.
With all the excitement of going home, it is easy to forget an important aspect of what Thanksgiving is about, being thankful for what you have. With all of the daily stressors that impact our lives, it is difficult to truly think about what we really have to be grateful for. Taking a step back and being grateful for what you have is something that is stressed around this time of year, and trust me, we all have things in which to be grateful for.
If you are reading this, then you are fortunate enough to have access to technology and the Internet. If you experience the stress of daily schoolwork, then you are fortunate enough to be in school. If you have plans to spend the holiday eating with friends and family, then you are fortunate enough to have loved ones that you can enjoy the day with.
Unfortunately, many people do not have the luxuries that many of us have. There are many that do not have money for food, shelter, or access to even basic living accommodations that we take for granted. As one can imagine, this time of year can be very difficult for people in need.
I feel that it is important to acknowledge how truly important it is to reach out to these people and help them have the enjoyable holiday we all deserve. Helping those in need, especially this time of year, can have a very positive and meaningful impact on someone’s life. This can be done with something as little as donating or as big as volunteering your time for a good cause.
There is no one reason that I can tell you why you should volunteer because I feel that it is personal decision. Many people find religion as a motivator to give, others find that they just want to help out a fellow human being, and others take personal pride in giving. No matter what reason motivates you, the impact will still be the same. Volunteering brings people together, builds a sense of community, and truly makes an impact on the lives of people who need it.
The positive affects also don’t extend only to others however. Personally, volunteering and donating can give a sense of motivation and self achievement, help you meet a variety of people, introduce you to new hobbies and even help boost your career opportunities.
There are many opportunities to get out there here in Winona. For example, the Winona State Student Council for Exceptional Children Club is working with the Kids First Daycare Center is hosting “Stock the Shelves at Kids First” in order to provide underprivileged children in the area with items such as baking mixes, frosting, sprinkles, etc. In addition, the Special Education department is hosting a book drive for local children. There is a box in the Gildemeister Office where all books and items can be dropped off.
The Housing and Residence Life Office has set out collection bins in the residence halls for their annual Toys for Tots drive. There will be many more drives like these taking place through the rest of November and into December.
If you would like to volunteer your time, there are plenty of opportunities located locally here in Winona. Habitat For Humanity, the Winona Parks and Recreations Department, and many other organizations are located here that would love additional hands to help out.
Whatever way you would like to get out there, getting involved and helping others is something that can make lasting impacts on everyone in the community. ‘Tis the season to be happy and to make others happy as well.