Look around; the things we take for granted everyday started with a simple idea. These ideas often arrive in the form of discontent. People have used their mind to improve our setting since the beginning of mankind. Nothing has been done perfectly yet, even though innovators around the world continue to push us forward. At WSU, every student will be invited to take part in the WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge. The WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge is a competition that provides an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to put innovative ideas into action, as well as a chance to win a share of $10,000 toward jumpstarting that idea.
The greatness of an individual is not about how much money one makes, but in one’s ability to positively affect those around them. At this competition, students will be able use their knowledge and fresh ideas to re-create the world around them. This challenge is open to all majors; bring your unique perspective and talent: skills including coding, communications, finance, mathematics, health, strategic management, sports science, or any subject. This competition is open to all colleges: Science and Engineering, Business, Education, Liberal Arts, or Nursing and Health Sciences. There will be three major categories which a team or individual may enter: Business/Product Ventures (for-profit), Social Entrepreneurship (non-profit), or University Innovation (improving WSU).
The challenge kicks off with a discovery forum on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6pm in the Science Laboratory Center (SLC) Atrium. Now to make things clear, students do not need to have an idea at the time of this event. It is a time where students can learn more about what it takes to bring an idea to life. The forum will provide an outline of the WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge, along with an opportunity to network and seek inspiration from local and alumni entrepreneurs. This is also a time to connect with other students that you may want to form a team with. Keep visiting the WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge page as additional details are added!
Warriors, it’s time to welcome loved ones to your beautiful city and campus this weekend, September 23-25. It’s WSU Family Weekend, and the university is offering a ton of different events and activities on and off campus for you and your family to enjoy.
Your guests will be eager to explore the campus you call home. To assist in this tour you will be leading, here are 6 spots on campus that provide a perfect photo opportunity – better yet, WSU has turned these suggestions into a friendly competition as the #WarriorFamily Photo Contest! Here are the spots you’ll need to hit up:
1) The gazebo
2) Lauren’s Pond
On the side of the Performing Arts Center near Somsen Hall sits a perfect spot for a family photo, and you might want to include the fishy friends there as well! The koi pond is a unique feature to campus that you’ll definitely want to show off to your visitors.
3) “The Children’s Garden”
Between Gildemeister Hall and Kryzsko Commons there is a beautiful fountain surrounded by colorful flowers that serves as a photo spot! “The Children’s Garden” was dedicated to Dr. and Mrs. Darrell W. Krueger, the 13th president of WSU.
4) The stone sign by Sheehan Hall
As your guests drive into Winona and approach campus on Huff Street, they’ll definitely see the large stone “Winona State University” sign on the corner by Sheehan Hall. What a great spot to take a group shot!
5) Kirkland’s “Stardust”
When you walk through the Science Laboratory Center Atrium (SLC) you can find the large, stone structure in the shape of a star in the middle of the area surrounded by drawings on the floor. Lawrence Kirkland was inspired by the microscopic world of the sciences and environment surrounding WSU to create this piece, “Stardust.” When you share this information with your family, you can also tell them this work is commissioned for a whopping $184,000!
6) In front of Somsen Hall
The large steps that lead into Somsen Hall facing Maxwell Hall provide a beautiful background of intricate stone and lush vines. See if you can spot the gargoyles at the top when you take the picture!
Each photo entered into the contest equals one chance entered to win a cool prize, so the more spots you visit and take a family photo at, the better your odds are! To enter, post your single photos, collage, collection or album to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #WarriorFamily by Monday, Sept. 26. If your privacy setting is not set to public, you can message your photo to WSU’s Facebook. The winner will be announced Wednesday, Sept. 28 on WSU’s Facebook page.
Show off your beautiful and photogenic campus and family by participating in the #WarriorFamily Photo Contest this weekend!
I know every student at Winona State uses technology at some point every day. Maybe even each hour of your day includes the use of some kind of technology. I can definitely say I wouldn’t be a successful student without using technology. Whether it’s using my laptop for D2L, to write a paper, conduct research for a project, or to take a much-needed Netflix break. I’d be lost.
Winona State’s theme for this year is “Our Digital Humanity.” This theme examines human life in the digital age, and the university’s goal is for us to think deeply about the different technology we use in our lives and challenge ourselves to view the changes it has made in the way we relate and learn. Also, we should challenge ourself to think of the implications digital tools have for our futures.
I think this theme is important to students, our professors, staff and the community. We use these tools to do many things in our everyday lives; not only for school, but to check keep up with the news, for entertainment purposes, to video-chat people hundreds of miles of way, etc. So many amazing things can come from using technology. We should fully understand the capabilities of these outlets and advance our thinking in this digital world we live in. This is key to understanding the technology we use, the impact it makes on us as people and the countless things you can do with it. You can use technology to express your voice, to be creative and to educate yourself.
Emerging yourself in the knowledge of all the things technology has to offer is beneficial to yourself, and we can better our community with this exploration. Don’t think technology has just one purpose; think deeper and learn more about what you can do in this digital world with the tools given to us.
So, as we continue the school year, ask yourself: In this digital age, what kind of future do you want to create?
Most college students would agree, as fun as it can be, college can also be a very stressful time in a person’s life. There are many roles college students take on that many do not realize. A majority of college students have jobs, on or off campus, so they have to be an employee as well as a student. Some students participate in extracurricular activities, like sports teams or clubs, and have to dedicate time to those and even serve as club leaders. Students also have to fulfill the roles of a supportive friend, son/daughter or sibling who makes time to stay in contact with loved ones and significant others – the list goes on!
Long story short, college students have many roles to fulfill and have very full plates at times. However, there is one role that is often overlooked, and that is being your own caretaker.
It’s pretty common for college students to cut back on sleep, skip meals or sacrifice things they enjoy to make time to fulfill all the roles listed above. But it’s very important for college students to ensure they are taking care of and advocating for themselves as a person first, before any of their other roles. Because to be a student, employee, team member, friend etc., you need to be a healthy person first.
As a person, and not just a college student, you have an obligation to yourself to do what is best for you and take care of yourself, so here are some tips to help you practice self-care:
1) Never feel bad, guilty or ashamed for putting yourself first
Alone time is a must to recharge, refuel and relax.
2) Learn to say no
You cannot do everything or be everywhere at once. Learn what you can handle on your plate and set limitations for yourself.
3) Plan time in advance for yourself and your self-care practices, whatever they may be
With a busy schedule, it is important to ensure you have this time for yourself.
4) Try yoga or meditation
College students rarely get to sit and just breathe if they’re juggling multiple roles. So, take some time to be in-tune with your body and mind and relax. The IWC even offers various yoga classes students can attend!
5) Read for pleasure
College students read because they have to for class all the time. So, find something you enjoy, whether it is poetry, novels, magazines, or even online articles and spend an hour or so a week (or night if you can) and read for yourself – not for a class.
6) Eat healthy
A college student’s budget is tight, but just remember that food is meant to fuel your body with nutrients it needs to function properly. So take time to think about what you are putting into your body and ensure you are hitting all the food groups. There is even a registered dietitian available at the IWC who you can make an appointment with if you need pointers in eating a balanced diet.
7) Find a series you can watch every night before you go to sleep to help you unwind
Most college students like to binge watch series, but limit yourself to an episode or two a night so you can prolong your enjoyment and give yourself something to look forward to doing when you get home (other than going to sleep).
8) Know when you need to ask for help and know that it is okay
It is perfectly acceptable to ask for help. Whether it be from a professor to further explain something from class, asking your employer to adjust your hours, or just asking a friend to lend a listening ear, do what you need to do for you. You can schedule an appointment with WSU’s Counseling and Wellness Services for emotional support or talk to Tutoring Services for class help.
9) Find a hobby you enjoy and find time to practice that
Learn why hobbies are important and what ones are great to take on in my recent blog post!
10) Write and reflect
Writing can be a very therapeutic task for some people. Journal at the end of the day about what is going well in your life or what isn’t going well. It is unhealthy to bottle those negative emotions inside. Or challenge yourself to write short stories or poetry if journaling doesn’t sound like it is for you.
These are just some tips and guidelines. At the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you! Participate in activities that energize, benefit, and help you!
*Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault, Rape and Sexual Violence.
Everyone got the email last week; the one that stated that the Sexual Violence Awareness for Students course on D2L had to be completed by September 2. If not, a hold would be placed on your student account until the course has been completed. I guarantee some students groaned at this and asked why we have to spend time answering the questions and watching the videos in the course. Well, I will tell you as a woman and as someone who knows survivors of sexual violence, these videos are important. Sexual violence and rape are crimes that are committed on college campuses all over the country. It’s a real problem, and yet, our country still doesn’t punish the rapists appropriately (i.e. Brock Turner). I just wanted to highlight some of the key facts in the videos, and why completing this D2L course is so important for WSU students.
It’s not the victim’s fault.
Let me repeat this, it’s never the victim’s fault if he or she is assaulted. Even if they had been drinking, or if an assaulted woman was wearing a suggestive outfit. People should not rape. It’s really not that hard of a concept to understand, yet, victims (particularly women) are blamed all the time. This is what creates this rape culture that is still existing and silencing women. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I do because of the society we live in.
Ask for consent.
Saying yes to sex is consent. If someone doesn’t say yes, they are not consenting. If they are unable to communicate, that is not consent. You need to ask if interactions with the other person is okay. This, again, seems self explanatory, but some still don’t understand this important concept. If consent is not given, that’s considered rape or assault.
Men are victims too.
I know I’ve mainly referenced women, but men can be victims/survivors of sexual assault too. Men are capable of being abusers while also being abused, and the same goes for women. Let’s not forget that.
Anyone can, and are encouraged to, intervene.
This is crucial to preventing sexual assault. Chances are, we have seen someone who is intoxicated go home with someone else. It’s okay to step in and ask them if they’re okay and are aware of what is going on. I did this once at a social outing; I stopped a man from taking a woman home because she was drunk and I helped her home. You can either be a bystander, or you can prevent an assault from occurring. Be aware of your surroundings and help out anyone who needs it.
This mandatory D2L course we must complete about sexual violence is an important step in preventing and responding to incidents of sexual violence. Our university has addressed this issue and acknowledges that sexual assault happens on campus. WSU is striving to create and maintain a safe campus environment, and this course increases awareness and prevention of sexual harassment and sexual violence. There are also resources available on campus for students that offer support and awareness of sexual violence.
So, if you haven’t completed this course on D2L yet, DO IT NOW! You, our campus and the Winona community will benefit.
Transitioning to college can be pretty tough. The homework is harder, the professors are intimidating and your parents aren’t around; things you originally took for granted become responsibilities and commitments, and before you know it, you’re curled up in the fetal position waiting for it to end. But, don’t worry! Here are some tips to make that transition a little easier and keep yourself sane:
College is a whole lot different than high school. For one thing, it’s now your responsibility to get to class each day, so it can be very tempting to simply stay in bed. Homework is also different, often being more complex and time consuming. The easiest way to stay ahead of this is to do your work, and do it as soon as you can. The earlier you get things done, the earlier you can move on the next piece, and before you know it you’ll have all your work done and can finally relax. If you find yourself with multiple assignments, prioritize things that are due earlier and things that can be completely quickly over the longer homework. This way, once you get to the big paper, you can put all of your focus on that instead of having to split your attention multiple ways. Just make sure to get to your classes so you’re not missing anything important.
2) Talk to your parents – but not about school
Here’s something that may be a bit controversial. I’ve heard from plenty of people that talking to your parents is a bad thing to do in college, as it keeps you dependant and all that jazz. I disagree, but with one caveat. Talking to your family is important, and can make the transition to life on your own a lot easier. One of the best things you can do is find something to talk with them about that isn’t school or money related. I, for one, talk to my father almost daily about films and comic books, and once the fall TV season starts, we find shows to watch and discuss weekly. Being friends with your parents can be a real benefit to being on your own, and when you’re having some trouble, chances are they went through the same thing and can provide you with some guidance.
3) Turn your professors into friends
Every professor has some kind of office hour period during the week, which can be easily found on a class’s syllabus. These are times where you can go and talk to them about classwork, problems you’re having, questions, etc. But that’s not all. Professors are people, too, and many of them have similar interests to you. Talking to professors about things that aren’t strictly classwork is a great way to start a more personal relationship, which can really help in the long run. For one, they start to understand more of who you are as a person and how you work, so their criticism becomes more individualized. Second, when it’s time to get an internship or start job hunting, having professors who know you personally and can give recommendations is always a plus. Most importantly, though, keeping in contact with professors can help keep you focused on your class and make sure your work is the best it can be.
4) Eat, sleep and chill
Homework is important, and keeping your grades up is obviously a priority. That said, you should always make sure to take care of yourself, socially and mentally. Always eat your meals regularly, and try to stay away from constant junk food (which can be way too easy to depend on in college.) Sleeping 6-8 hours is a must, and while you can do with less every once in a while, sleeping well will keep you focused and ready for the days ahead. Most importantly, you need to make sure to step back and just chill from time to time. Our brains aren’t machines, and they need breaks. So take some time every day to just relax and enjoy life for a moment, and let the worries just fade away.
No matter which direction you turn, who you’re talking to, or what you’re doing, you can find yourself in the midst of beauty. This especially goes for Winona, and it’s one of the millions of reasons why this city is so awesome! It’s no surprise the city of Winona ranked in The Culture Trip’s 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Minnesota. It’s home to some of the most beautiful sites and richest stories, and if you’re new to the area you might not know where to look. Here’s a list of the 8 most beautiful things in Winona, and they’re definitely worth looking into:
From experiencing its glow as you drive into Winona, or basking in the view it holds as you stand 85 feet into the sky at its top – Sugarloaf is a defining landmark for the city.
2) Garvin Heights
No matter how you get to the top, hiking or driving, you’re sure to enjoy the incredible view. Looking straight ahead you can see WSU’s campus and Winona’s neighboring cities.
3) The levee
A stop on your way to the river, at Levee Park you can get a view of the bridge, grab a bite to eat at the Boat House Restaurant or head straight to the water to dip your toes in.
4) The mighty Mississippi
You can enjoy the Mississippi River that flows along Winona in an abundance of ways. Boating, fishing, heading over to the beach or camping shoreside!
5) WSU’s campus
Winona State’s campus is known for its beauty. Vines cover the historical buildings, flowers and trees fill campus, and the Gazebo stands at its center. As students, you’ve seen campus many times already – but have you ever stopped to notice the details on the outside of buildings and the nature engulfing our campus?
6) The lakes
A big lake and small lake, both of which include paths around them. You can get in the water and enjoy a day paddle boarding or canoeing, or stay dry and play frisbee golf or travel the total 5.3 miles around both lakes. No matter what, you’ll be enjoying the beautiful bluffs that reflect off the lakes when you venture there.
7) The history
Winona is rich in history. No matter the activity you’re participating in, which building you step into or which roads you drive on – they’ve all got a story of their own. It gives Winona a personality like no other town and a place of never-ending knowledge.
8) The bluffs
Of course – what comes to mind when you think of scenery in Winona! Standing tall and green in the summers, spreading marvelous colors in the fall, presenting beautiful snow-covered branches in the winter and blooming life in the spring, the bluffs surrounding Winona are always full of beauty. It just doesn’t get better than that.
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you are a new student looking for some advice, so welcome to Winona State University! When you first arrive on campus you will be met by many smiling faces, willing to help your transition to college life go smoothly. These people will include orientation leaders, club members, advisors, professors, Resident Assistants and the rest of the housing staff.
Three of my college years were spent heavily involved in Housing and Residence Life, and two of those years I was a Resident Assistant in WSU’s female hall, Sheehan. From being one of the first people incoming freshmen interact with and getting to guide and observe them through orientation week and their freshman year, I have learned a few pieces of advice and can provide guidance. So, here are some behind-the-scenes tips from a former Resident Assistant to help incoming freshman survive all that is part of transitioning to college:
1) Keep a positive attitude during this transition time! It will make a difference. Trust me, I know it can be a scary and overwhelming time. I know it is probably hot in your residence hall. I know moving in can be exhausting. But think of what a privilege it is to get to go to a university and the exciting changes and experiences that are ahead!
2) Don’t go into college with the expectation that your roommate is going to be your best friend. Although, I had a great experience with my roommate from my freshman year, as an RA I observed situations that weren’t similar to my own. So, all I’m saying is not to get your hopes up and accept whatever relationship you have with your roommate. As long as you can openly communicate and live with one another, that is all you need. You WILL meet other people outside of your room so don’t feel like your roommate is your only chance at making a lifelong friendship.
3) Speaking of making friendships, don’t limit yourself to where you may find them. During orientation week and the first few weeks on campus, it feels like you’re constantly meeting new people. I recall meeting new people in the bathroom while brushing my teeth, in line at the caf for food, and other random places. I met one of my closest friends during the first day of orientation; we bonded over our mutual love for the band The Script. So, always keep an open mind and be ready to meet new people and friends around every corner!
4) When meeting new people, share information about yourself that will make them remember you. This tip piggybacks off of the last. During this time of meeting people, everyone is so quick to ask or share majors, hometowns and where they are living on campus. Amidst all of that basic information, stand out by sharing some more unique facts about yourself! For example, my best friend from freshman year and I bonded over our love for the book The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Who knows, maybe by sharing your favorite band or book or movie with someone you will spark a connection and make a friend for life.
5) Get involved in things right away! Whether it is a club or organization on or off campus, it is easier to get involved in something NOW when there are going to be other new people also joining rather than convincing yourself to go halfway through the year. For example, if you are interested in becoming an Resident Assistant or being involved in Housing and Residence Life, becoming a member of your hall’s Hall Council is a great place to start! In addition to getting involved in out-of-class activities, get involved IN your classes! By that I mean DO NOT SKIP (you’re paying good money for the classes you’re in so why would you skip?), participate in class by raising your hand and being attentive, and take advantage of your professor’s office hours.
6) Lastly, don’t forget that your Resident Assistant is a regular student just like you, who just wants to get to know and help you. They aren’t there to judge you and they don’t like getting people “in trouble.” So, when you see your Resident Assistant around your hall or around campus, be just as polite/nice to them as they are to you, ask them about their life and how they are doing. Trust me, it will mean a lot to them! During my two years as a Resident Assistant I had countless one-sided conversations, that at times, felt more like a tiring game of 20 questions.
For new students–and even some returning students who’ve been gone for the summer months– the city of Winona is an unfamiliar place just waiting to be explored. But most of the time, I find myself staying close to campus for the week as I run between classes, the gym, study sessions and working at my campus job.
So, before we all get settled into our weekly campus routines, let’s take the time to experience beautiful Winona and the great businesses and hangout spots the city has to offer! And what better way to do that than through Pokemon GO, and participating in the #WSUPokeCrawl? After all, you gotta catch ‘em all!
For all you Pokemon lovers out there, an awesome online map has been created that marks many of the PokeStops and gyms located throughout Winona! Specific routes are outlined so you can maximize the number of Pokestops and gyms you’ll find along the way and hatch eggs efficiently. At each marker on the map, you can learn a little bit about the locations and see if nearby businesses offer any special deals for Pokemon trainers.
While you are out hunting Pikachu and getting to know your new home, it’s important to be polite when visiting businesses and public spaces–especially at memorials or other venerated places. Behavior that seems like harmless fun to you can come across as disrespectful to other people who may not play or understand Pokemon GO. There have been recent confrontations at the Veterans Memorial Park in Winona, and though the game has not been banned from the park, everyone is asked to be respectful of the veterans and the memorials in this space.
Team up with fellow Pokemon trainers on the #WSUPokeCrawl this weekend! It’s a great way to make new friends, expand your Pokedex and share the love of Pokemon GO. Happy hunting!
School is back in session, and nonstop homework is just around the corner. While these first few weeks will be easier than later in the semester, it’s imperative to get ahead of the game and keep up on your assignments. Staying stress-free and keeping everything in check is the name of the game, and here are 6 tips on how to do it:
1) Schedule out your work
Once you figure out your workload for the semester, you should make sure to schedule out your studying for a given week. Figure out the times that work best for you, whether it’s early in the morning, in the afternoon after class, or 3 a.m. in the bathroom. Whatever works best for you is the way to go. From there, find how much time you’ll have to devote to a given class. Some classes need more work than others, so keep that in mind while you’re scheduling everything out. You don’t have to study every subject every day, of course, and I find it better to mix it up from day to day. That said, make sure you stay on top of things and lay out enough time to get things done.
2) Take frequent breaks
Whatever you do, do NOT sit and study for six hours straight. We’re all human, and humans need breaks. Even in the workplace, breaks are mandatory. Study for an hour or two and then take some time to relax and give your mind a break. Netflix and other streaming sites are great for this, since you can easily queue up a TV show to watch (but don’t fall into binging – that’d only make things more stressful). If you’re not a fan of TV, you can always read a couple chapters in a book, go for a quick jog or take a short power nap.
3) Stay focused
I know, I know, it can be tough to stay focused on homework at times. It just seems so inconsequential in the moment, and we’d all rather be doing something else. But if you stay in the zone, you will be able to get all your work done in a timely fashion and move onto the things you’d rather do. Once you start your study session, don’t stop until you’re finished. Obviously, take some breaks, but don’t get too sidetracked that you don’t get back to your work within a reasonable amount of time. Entertainment can wait, and anyways, having fun is always better when you don’t have obligations hanging over your head.
4) Don’t procrastinate unless entirely necessary
Procrastination is the college student’s best friend and worst nightmare. For a while, it can be super nice to just chill and not think about your work. The you suddenly realize the paper is due in an hour and you’ve only written your name on the page. Procrastination is never worth it, and not only will you be more stressed as the deadline gets closer, but your work will suffer as well since you’ll be rushing through it. To stay stress-free, it’s better to get everything done in a timely fashion.
5) Stay social
With all this homework, it’s easy to forget that you actually have friends on campus. Don’t be too antisocial, it is college after all! Find some time to meet up with friends and classmates daily to do some homework, talk, or just chill together and have some fun. Everybody here is in the same boat, so getting a group to study with you can make all the obligations much more manageable. Staying social helps not only your stress levels, but will keep you energized and happy, which is always a plus.
6) Don’t overwork yourself
Homework is unavoidable, but not everything is as concrete. Don’t take on more than you can chew with side projects and other obligations. A few clubs and activities are fine, but once you get to the point that sleep is your only break, you’re probably doing too much. Take it down a notch, and focus on the things that really matter to you.
Let’s have a great and productive fall semester, Warriors!