This is my first blog and my first semester as a Resident Assistant! Jumping in the middle of the year is a lot different than beginning the school year as an RA. Everyone on my floor seems bonded already, and it’s that matter of getting to know everyone. And oh lord the names. How horrible I feel when I have to ask (I really only need 2-3 times) again. That’s what happens though when you need to learn over 50 names in less than a month! It’s not even a matter of names either; it’s a matter of getting to know someone, like: their major, their relationships, their hobbies, their friends, and other random things. As RAs here at Winona, we always strive to get to know everyone, and boy, can that get a little overwhelming at times. However, I’m about 2 months in, and I feel now like I belong on my floor.
On a completely different note, it seems that many people in Kirkland Hall are busy and hustling about running to the library, going to the Smaug to get awesome fro-yo, or stressing about the exam they have tomorrow (I know I was doing that yesterday). As you get more into the school year, you can sense that too. People gradually get more and more things that they have to do, and they get involved with more and more things. And oh the school work, it seems to never stop! Usually every day you’ll see at least one person in your floor lounge doing homework. However, I have some residents who are always baking, which always makes me feel jealous and hungry. I also see a lot of people watching movies and just hanging out with friends and getting pizza on the weekends.
We had a recent program that was pretty unique as well. It was an “anti” college party where we had games like pong and had pizza, jello “shots” (without the alcohol of course) and a root beer keg along with a DJ and alcohol awareness facts. It was a great experience and actually a lot of fun. I highly recommend having this program to anybody in Residence Life, and if you’re a resident, going to a program like this. It was a great social event and made everyone from all around my hall come together and meet new people. Something that I’m doing soon is a potluck brunch for St. Patty’s day, because let’s face it, everyone loves to eat.
All and all, there is always something interesting going on in res life and around the campus community.
…When just around the corner your RHA Council is enthused to make sure you have a smashing time living in your Resident Hall. What is RHA you ask? It stands for Resident Hall Association (RHA). Well, I bet you just thought, “Okay, big deal? What the heck is that?” RHA consists of students just like you who want to make a difference in your living experience within the campus resident halls!
That’s why each month they entertain you with a program having either a social, educational, diversity, and/or service background. These programs can range from bracelet making to pageants and from photo scavenger hunts to making scrumptious delicacies. There are seven councils: Kirkland Hall New Center, Prentiss-Lucas, Morey-Shepherd, Sheehan, West Campus, East Hall, and the Executive board within the Winona State Campus so let’s take a look at the different ways they add pizzazz to your Campus-living-experience!
1) West Campus
• West Apple Fest:
-RHA worked with the RA’s to put together this event filled with games and many food involving apples.
-This program was during family weekend and was a great opportunity to show parents that there are fun activities their children can attend throughout the academic school year and also great for students to meet others from the campus.
2) East Lake
• Pumpkin Palooza:
-Residents were given one hour to paint mini pumpkins and come up with their best creation.
-When the time was up the pumpkins were judged, on creativeness and overall appeal.
-Those who created the top three pumpkins received Subway gift cards as prizes.
-There were pumpkin shaped cookies to help encourage residents to participate.
-This event was meant to continue to build the social relationships of East Lake residents. The living situation is much different than the traditional res. hall so getting residents out of their rooms is one of our biggest priorities.
3) Kirkland Hall
“Kirkland Hall/New Center hall council’s favorite program so far this year was “Diversity Pizza.” For this program, we had many different toppings from around the world that we used to make bagel pizzas. Each person that came chose from over 20 toppings to create their own unique bagel pizza with their favorite toppings or even dare to try some new ones. While we were cooking the bagel pizzas, everybody was able to socialize and learn what toppings came from which countries. This program went well because a lot of people came to it and had fun while learning about other countries and enjoying pizza together.” –Brianna Pearson, Secretary of Kirkland Hall
• Where’s Waldo:
“For the event, residents embarked on a scavenger hunt with a list of specifications that required them to use their imagination and creativity around Winona. In order to complete the objectives successfully, they had to take photos of themselves involved in such requisites as “Something Scary,” “Defying Gravity,” and even “A Juxtaposition.” More notably amongst these interactive obligations, the participants scrambled across campus to find Waldo. While still providing somewhat of a challenge, the contestants had a lot of fun trying to ascertain Waldo’s location, as well as accomplish the other tasks within the time limit. Once everyone had returned, we viewed each set of photos through a slide show on a projector in one of our hall’s lounges. We dispensed a variety of treats and Halloween goodies for munching while the show progressed…we made a difference in promoting community involvement. We’d developed something sensational, and I think we look forward to our next event with the same anticipation. ”-Steven Gottsacker, Secretary of Morey-Shepherd
• Mr. Prentiss:
“This is a pageant for all of the guys that live in Prentiss. It is a hilarious event where the contestants will be judged in a talent and question/answer categories. Everyone who chooses to come must bring a canned food item and the winner of Mr. Prentiss gets to choose where the food will be donated. The winner will also get their picture in the P-L lobby, gets to ride our float for Homecoming, and gets a gift card. We are not basing any judging off a person’s appearance, just how outgoing and creative they are. It’s always rewarding to know that a program you put on was successful, but to see the faces of the boys after the show made all the work 100% worthwhile. I’m glad we can be actually making a difference in our community through RHA.” -Winnie Jaworski, President of Prentiss-Lucas
• Babes, Braids & Bracelets:
“The program was a huge hit! Everyone loved the bandanna bracelets, they were gone within the first hour and the string bracelets were a hit too! The girls all seemed to have a great time socializing, laughing, making bracelets, meeting new people, eating snacks, and watching The Little Mermaid. We also made fact sheets with information containing cultural facts regarding friendship bracelets.” -Laura, Vice President of Sheehan
You can’t tell me that doesn’t look like a good time! Make sure to take notice to the signs around your hall so you can become more involved and meet some pretty cool people in your hall you may have never known if you wouldn’t have supported your RHA Council. And look out for events that will be held all throughout next semester, I promise after you hang out with us you won’t want to stop:
On behalf of the RHA Council we all yearn for you to love the resident life! If there’s anything we can do OR if you have any ideas for events don’t be afraid to contact us, you too can make a difference! ☺
Ever wonder what you miss on the weekends when you go home? Well, if you went home this past weekend you missed out on $3 Bowling Night at Westgate Bowl!
On Saturday Nov. 12, UPAC (University Programming Activities Committee) hosted the $3 Bowling Night. It started at 11pm and went until 1 am! The $3 cost covered everything from the shoes to three games and finally as much soda as you could drink. It was a blast!
UPAC holds many other activities throughout the year such as Concerts, $3 Movie nights, Glee night, and much more! Follow the link below to see what UPAC is hosting next!
To see what UPAC is up to next, follow UPAC’s Facebook page.
To find out more about what UPAC does, visit UPAC’s website.
For information about Westgate Bowl, visit Westgate Bowl online.
– Kacy Kuscienko
Residence Life should be a positive experience for everyone. Even though it has its challenges, like random roommates, sharing spaces, being away from home, and responsibility, it can be a very fun experience. I have compiled lists (with pictures to go along) of things that everyone should and should not do while living in the dorms.
Things to avoid:
•Please do not dump your room trash in the trash cans in kitchens, lounges, or bathrooms.
•Please do not open alarmed doors between the hours of 11 PM to 7 AM, or anytime if the door is always alarmed (unless, of course, it is an emergency situation).
•Please do not blare your music so your entire floor can hear it.
•Please do not cause shenanigans or endanger your own safety or the safety of others.
Avoiding these things will encourage a more positive environment for everyone, including RAs, Security personnel, your hall mates, and yourself! You can do many things to enhance your experience in residence life and make friends.
Things to do:
• Get involved—go to hall council meetings and attend hall programs.
• Keep kitchens, lounges, and other common areas clean.
• Be respectful of and friendly to floor mates and hall mates; smile and say hello.
• Talk to your RA—with concerns, problems, and questions, or just to be friendly.
By following these simple guidelines, everyone involved in Residence Life will have a wonderful experience.
Thanks for reading!
*Special thanks to Katie Griffith, Amy Auden, and Sonya Hernandez for taking and/or appearing in the pictures.
Looking for something to do tonight? Check out MUGSHOTS at 8pm in Lourdes Hall! MUGSHOTS is a student managed coffeehouse that is open on Thursday night starting at 8pm. Every week there is a different set of performers just for your entertainment. Tonight a brand new band named Dirty Boot is performing for the first time.
Dirty Boot is a three member group of students from Winona State. Along with Dirty Boot, Elliot Arms is the second performer. Go watch the show and enjoy coffee with your MUGSHOTS mug! Think you have musical talent? MUGSHOTS hosts an open mike night on the first Thursday of each month!
– Kacy Kuscienko
That being said, I am trying my best to prepare now for life after college, mainly in securing a job. I’ve heard the skeptics and I’ve listened to the news– the outlook isn’t good.
But I do know one thing– I believe I will stand out among a pool of applicants, thanks in large part due to the tools and opportunities Winona State has provided me.
First of all, I feel my classes have prepared me for succeeding in the “real world” in the Mass Communications field. I have a portfolio full of work to show off to potential employers. I’ve learned to think creatively and strategically to produce effective pieces of persuasion. I also have been afforded the chance to apply what I’ve learned in class to internships I’ve received.
Also, because the class sizes at Winona State are small, I’ve built meaningful relationships with my professors. I appreciate their passion for helping us thrive and they have gone out of their way for me many times. It was my professor who sought me out and recommended me for the job of University Communications public relations writer. What that job entailed is the kind of stuff some people will have to wait to experience till they get into entry level Public Relations and beyond. Another professor of mine connected me with someone he knew from a particular agency I want to work for. The same professor had a two-hour conversation with me on what I really want to do in life. These interpersonal relationships with professors can’t be found just anywhere.
The opportunities to become a leader here are a lot more frequent and are so beneficial. The opportunities to learn are numerous and constant.
The most recent example I have is Winona State Career Service’s Etiquette Dinner. Career Services actually puts on a night of networking and a three-course dinner to help students feel confident during business luncheons/dinners. We learned an abundance of information: from when or when not to give out your business card, to how to politely remove a pit or something non-edible from your mouth while conversing over appetizers, to the language of silverware placement.
It’s opportunities like these that keep building my confidence to venture into the land of 40-plus hour workdays. One of my mass communication professors, John Weis, constantly assures us that all these experiences at Winona State will help me shine as a gem among an array of mediocre stones. Though I am nervous about the job market, I’m also beyond excited to do get out there and do what I love to do.
While I’ve been at Winona State, I’ve truly learned what I am good at and what I am passionate about. Advertising, marketing, and public relations intrigue me. The art of crafting a strategic and compelling message that inspires action is the ultimate goal for us professional communicators. I want to be out in that world, dreaming new messages into reality every day.
You too will get the chance to discover your passion if you haven’t already pinpointed it and Winona State is full of professors and mentors to help you move forward in your pursuit. I’m so thankful for the experiences the people of Winona State have given me, and especially now I am thankful for everything I’ve gotten to dabble in that’ll help me with my career. Now all I’ve got to do is have a hard-core winter break, focused on applications and resumes and cover letters. Winona State gave me the tools, now I just have to sell myself.
Recently the campus nutritionist, Jill Henscheid, visited the New Hall East to give students a little taste of a healthy and cheap meal. WSU offers an intense Nutrition Services on campus where Jill works with students who have questions about healthy eating choices, ways to stretch the college food budget or just additional advice on nutrition.
While at the New Hall Jill was talking with students and getting them revved up for a healthy choice that is so easy and cheap to make while at the same time amazingly delicious!! College students already have enough on their mind that they don’t have the time to research healthy foods, or the money to buy the expensive healthy choices. This is why Jill is such a great service to the students at WSU in that she gets the students excited for an easier way to live healthily.
Jill even has her own site at WSU for nutrition services.
WSU loves our nutrition services so much that there is even a blog on the topic.