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Must Have Board Games For Your Dorm Room

Winona winters can be rough. Snowy and cold weather makes it a pain to walk to classes. Sometimes the last thing you want to do on weekends is go out in the cold, so it’s nice to have a Friday night inside every now and then. Board games are essential in a dorm room because it can be a fun, relaxing activity. It’s also a great way to meet new people in your building. Board games are something I love to play with friends in my free time, and I have some suggestions if you’re looking for something new to do on a cold winter night. Board games are also really cheap, so if your bank account is rather low, board games are great!

1) Sorry

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This game is a classic and super easy to play. You may end up angering your friends but…oh well. Sorry comes in many different editions so if you’re sick and tired of playing the traditional game, see if someone else has a different version. I have played Disney Sorry and that’s a fun twist to this game. I always play as the villains because they’re my favorite. Even if you don’t have Sorry, it probably is in your building waiting to be rented.

2) Clue

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I’m super biased towards Clue because it was my favorite board game growing up but it never grows old to me. I always play as Miss Scarlett because I get to go first. Clue is also great for college students because the more the merrier. Clue is much easier when there’s two people so invite your floor mates to make it more challenging. The bonus with Clue is that like Sorry, it’s a classic so it can be rented for free at your dorm room with a student ID.

3) Pandemic 

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This is a less familiar game, but it’s really fun. It’s a tad more complicated than Sorry or Clue, but if you’re looking for something new to play, I suggest this one! You play as different members of the CDC trying to discover cures to four deadly diseases. The goal is to discover these cures without any outbreaks in the globe. The board is the world map so you travel around discovering cures to diseases. This game may seem complicated, but reading the rules will better your understanding on how to play. This game can be played with two people, as there are ways to make the game more challenging if you have less people. If your roommate is a board game person too, you two can enjoy this game together. Otherwise it’s easily played with six people too.

4) Red Dragon Inn

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This game is another unfamiliar game to some, but it provides endless fun. The goal of the game is to not let your character lose their health. You can pick from four characters in each box that have different characteristics. For example there is Dimli the Dwarf and Eve the Illusionist. The characters are mythical in some way and they each have their own character deck. You can also gamble in this game, which provides more fun. Each edition costs around $30-40 so if you’re willing to buy this, it will definitely provide some fun! Each edition has four characters, but there are expansions so you can easily have more than four if you own the expansions. I played a game with 14 people so that got crazy quick. The expansions are also cheap costing around $10-20.

5) Uno

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I can’t forget about Uno. It’s a card game, but I think it can still apply to this list. It’s easy to carry around in your backpack, which is great compared to these other board games I listed. Again, this is a nice way to get your floor involved and meet new people. It’s a simple game to play and it probably can be rented from your building or dorm that you’re in.

Board games are a nice, cheap way to have some fun this winter. They’re still useful in the spring because then you can play outside by the lake. These are a couple suggestions, but any board game can lead to a good time. Except Monopoly-that’s how you lose friends.

Mariah Kaercher

8 Things to Expect When Going Through Sorority Recruitment

Each fall semester, Winona State’s two national sororities, Delta Phi Epsilon (DPhiE) and Sigma Sigma Sigma (Tri-Sig), host formal recruitment. Recruitment gives these organizations a chance to expand their members and get to know other women on campus! This spring, Tri-Sig will be hosting informal recruitment starting tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 26)! Recruitment can be scary yet exciting, so here are 8 things you can expect if you are thinking about going through recruitment!

1) It is probably going to be intimidating

Delta Phi Epsilon ladies are ready for their first night of formal recruitment, fall 2015. Picture provided by Delta Phi Epsilon.

DPhiE ladies ready for their first night of formal recruitment, fall 2015. Photo provided by DPhiE.

Walking into a room full of women, most of which you have never met, can always be a scary way to put yourself out there. However, they are just as nervous to meet you and they are going to welcome you with the most open arms. The women you meet are so excited that you are interested in the organization that has brought them so much happiness and they only hope that you want to be a part of it. It may be intimidating and nerve wracking, but as long as you stay true to yourself they’re going to love you!

2) Chants and snaps

DPhiE chant excitedly as they wait for their new members to open their bids! Pictures provided by Delta Phi Epsilon.

DPhiE chants excitedly as they wait for their new members to open their bids. Photo provided by DPhiE.

No matter what group of sorority women you’re meeting, you’ll walk into the room and they will immediately share their organization’s favorite songs and chants. They will probably be loud and you’ll probably wonder what’s going on but most times it will give you chills just seeing the pride and excitement that comes from those chants. And clapping isn’t much of a thing, rather sorority women snap to show appreciation or that they agree with you. So, if women start snapping, just join in!

3) You’re going to learn a lot

Sigma Sigma Sigma volunteer participating in Adopt a Highway. Photo provided by Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Tri-Sig participating in Adopt a Highway. Photo provided by Tri-Sig.

Greek life does so much for the community around them that many people don’t get to see. From highway clean ups, volunteering at the humane society and raising tons of awareness for their philanthropies, Greek organizations involve themselves as much as they can! Not to mention having events that bond themselves with their sisterhood along with other organizations all while keeping a strong academic structure. Active sister of DPhiE Shannon Brown said, “You have nothing to lose by going through recruitment. Seriously nothing. The worst that could happen is that things don’t go as planned, but regardless, everyone walks out learning new things about others and themselves.”

4) You’ll immediately be obsessed with the apparel

Sigma Sigma Sigma showing off their recruitment outfits. Picture provided by Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Tri-Sig showing off their recruitment outfits. Photo provided by Tri-Sig.

One of the first things you’ll notice is how every woman is wearing the same cute top that you scrolled by on Pinterest last week. And you’ll immediately want it. But you’ll also notice that although each woman may be wearing the same apparel, each one wears it differently. A sorority is made up of all different types of personalities and characteristics and that is just one of the many reasons that makes it so great.

5) The stereotypes will go away

DPhiE ladies show off their "EveryBODY is beautiful" shirts during their photo shoot to promote their philanthropy, ANAD. Photo provided by Delta Phi Epsilon.

DPhiE ladies show off their “EveryBODY is beautiful” shirts during their photo shoot to promote their philanthropy, ANAD. Photo provided by DPhiE.

Active sister of DPhiE Alannah Evelius said, “Don’t expect the stereotypical sorority girls. These are some of the girls that are capable of changing your entire life.” Movies and TV shows portray Greek life in a way that is so unrealistic it can easily scare off women who would be great assets to such organizations. You don’t have to have a certain hair color, body type or style to join a Greek organization. You will not be asked to do anything you’re uncomfortable with in order to join the organization, as any nationally recognized sorority does NOT tolerate hazing. Just be your self and if it feels right, it probably is!

6) Questions

Sigma women share a moment in laughter during a sisterhood to the apple orchard last fall. Picture provided by Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Tri-Sig women laugh together  during a sisterhood to the apple orchard last fall. Photo provided by Tri-Sig.

You’ll be asked questions and you’ll ask tons of questions yourself. It’s all about getting to know the women and for the women to get to know you. It is not an interview, instead it’s super casual. Small talk is made over food, games and often times a community service activity. This is a good way for you to get to know the women whom you may call your sister one day. Active sister of DPhiE, Lexie Adamsky said “It’s more relaxed here which makes it a lot more fun [compared to bigger universities].”

7) You’ll make friends regardless of the outcomes

Sigma woman happily ready to take on bid day with their new members. Photo provided by Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Tri-Sig woman happily ready to take on bid day with their new members. Photo provided by Tri-Sig.

Active sister of Tri-Sig Samantha Lee said, “I hope each of the beautiful ladies going through recruitment embrace who they are, and realize they’re talking to not only future friends, but lifelong sisters.” You get to know other women whether you like it or not and many of times those small conservations can bloom into a beautiful friendship.

8) You’ll fall in love

Deephers show their love for each other and their sorority. Photo provided by Delta Phi Epsilon.

Deephers show their love for each other and their sorority. Photo provided by DPhiE.

Active sister of DPhiE, Jess Cemke said, “From day one I knew where I was meant to be and everyday of recruitment I fell more and more in love.” Whether you fall in love with the women you’ve met, the organization or both – you will always leave the recruitment room with a happy heart!

Lauren Reuteler

New Year, New You!

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It’s almost that time of year again- crowded gyms, healthy eating, or a resolution to spend less and save more. The IWC here on campus is always the most crowded right after Christmas break. We’ve all been there, with the cliché resolutions (nothing wrong with that either!) to lose 10 pounds this upcoming year, drink more water, or become more organized. Sometimes we succeed and other times our resolutions tend to only last a few weeks into the New Years. With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror now, I’m officially in the Christmas spirit and thinking of what my New Years Resolution(s) could be.

This year maybe try something different to better yourself. One idea is to create a different resolution for each month of the year. One month it could be to read that book you haven’t found the time for, another month could be to make sure you are eating a healthy breakfast everyday. There are so many different resolutions to make that don’t have to involve one drastic change to the way you live; they can be small like waking up an hour earlier each day (or maybe the opposite: getting more sleep), maybe even keeping a journal to preserve the memories of this upcoming year in, trying a new type of food each week, or becoming more punctual.

Better yourself by bettering your surroundings is always great too. Some great and common resolutions could be to donate or volunteer at a local organization, but they don’t always have to involve this. Pick up litter as you are walking down the street or on campus to class, join a community garden or simply ride your bike more or walk to reduce emissions from your car. A little can go a long way if you stick to it.

New Year’s is the perfect time to try and revitalize your life. Make this year the best one yet!

Hannah Petereson

7 Things You Hate Being Asked by Family During Winter Break

It may seem out of reach right now, but in one short week we will have completed our 2015 fall semester at WSU! After you’ve survived finals week and finally make it home you’ll be able to relax, watch Netflix, and eat all of the food in your parent’s fridge. But be prepared – your family will most likely hound you with the same annoying and exhausting questions over and over again. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked these questions a million times during winter break:

1. Got anybody special in your life?

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Oh, how this question is so hated. You don’t need to be reminded of how single you still are. Apparently you can’t attend any family event without them wondering where your boyfriend/girlfriend is.

2. How’s school going?

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Sometimes school is going great but other times you just say it’s “good” when deep down you know you’ve been drowning in assignments and are nervous for second semester. It’s questions like this that make graduation seem so much more exciting.

3. Why don’t you call home more often?

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I’m busy with… studying, Netflix, and spending the money I don’t have. It’s hard on days when you’re actually being productive to remember to call home and some days you’re just plain scared of getting asked these same questions through a phone call.

4. How did finals go?

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At this point, you are sleep deprived and not ready to discuss the horror of the week that went down. You’ve already put that stressful nightmare behind you and have moved on with your life.

5. Do you have any winter break plans?

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While most of your friends are traveling the world, you find the answer to that question going something like, “I’ll be sitting in my bed eating all the food at home that I don’t have to pay for after waking up at noon.”

6. What do you want to do again?

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Most of us don’t exactly know our post-graduation plans…we’re just trying to get through school right now. Thinking about the real world is much too scary.

7. When do you go back to school?

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You just started break and your family already has you thinking about going back to school? How rude.

-Lauren Reuteler

5 Things to do This Winter in Winona

Winter is growing closer and closer. The temperatures are becoming colder and colder. You may want to stay inside snuggled under a blanket, avoiding the outside. Or you may want to find out more about what Winona has to offer during the wintertime. This list of winter activities will give you a nice break from all the schoolwork and allow you to enjoy the season!

1) Go to the Lake Lodge Recreation Center

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They are open again starting in December for the majority of the month. Check out their website for their winter hours, and look into getting a membership that is only $10 and is good for a whole year! Some awesome winter activities they have to offer include ice-skating, broomball and snowshoeing.

2) Cross-country ski

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There are different trails you can ski here in town. We all know it can be tougher to get exercise when winter rolls around, but you’ll be able get a good exercise and take in the bluffs all at the same time. If you love skiing, this is an activity you should consider this season.

3) Grab a warm cup of Joe

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Whether it’s Mugby Junction, Blooming Grounds, Acoustic Cafe or whatever is your absolute favorite place for caffeine in Winona; it’s nice to reward yourself after a tough week, or maybe just because you deserve it, with a nice cup of coffee that’ll warm you up this frigid winter!

4) Go up to Garvin Heights

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Take the trip and enjoy the beautiful view. It’s gorgeous to see the ground covered in snow and there’s no better way to see that sight from all the way up at Garvin Heights.

5) Build a snowman or have a snowball fight

 

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I don’t care what anyone says, you’re never too old to build a snowman. Bundle up and find your warmest gloves. Grab a friend and see how tall you can make it. If you’d rather challenge your friend to a snowball fight, do that. Build a fort or make a snow angel – the choices are endless!

Kassidy Jackson

4 Reasons Why You Should be an RA

Although there are tons of requirements and responsibilities that go along with being an RA, covered in my last blog, the rewards of the position are awesome. Here are a few things you can gain from an RA position:

1) Making friends who will last a lifetime

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Whether these people are your fellow staff members or your residents, you get to know them through the good and the bad. They’re the people who you go to for support.

2) You’ll gain life-skills that may help you in the most weirdest or serious of situations

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From your home life, your current and future friendships, and your future professional goals. There’s going to be conflict, and since you are already trained to help with conflict, think about how ahead you’ll come out! In addition, with crisis management skills under your belt, most situations feel like no big deal.

3) Resume building opportunities

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This job provides many professional development outlooks! Take advantage of that and put things on your resume – from crisis management and event development to administration and leadership skills. There is a lot this job prepares you for!

4) Not having to pay for your housing and food

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One of the best perks is not having to pay for food and housing! Don’t take it lightly though. Being an RA is a hard job – one of the hardest and sometimes one of the most unappreciated jobs you’ll ever have! But, it’s SO worth it for what you can do for others and yourself!

John Otis

Enjoy the Music on Campus!

 

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Being apart of band in high school has fond memories for me. Playing my alto-saxophone in various parades and marching band concerts is a memory that feels very recent. When I discovered that WSU had a band that allowed anyone to be apart of, I jumped at the chance. I was in the WSU band program for a year and I really enjoyed it! Due to time constraints and a heavy focus on my major, I unfortunately haven’t been able to be in enrolled in the class. I still try to be an active supporter of the music program and the fine arts here on campus. It takes a lot of time and practice to take a sheet of music and bring it to life. Unfortunately, there were band concerts this weekend that I ultimately couldn’t make it to. Thankfully there is this year’s holiday band concert on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 at 2pm in the Vivian Fusillo Main Stage Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

The holiday concert is a must-see show on campus. I love Christmas music and I have been resisting the urge to blast it in my apartment. So being able to go to a concert that’s after Thanksgiving and listening to beautiful Christmas music is a bonus. The Chamber Orchestra and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble cooperate to bring lively music to the stage. It’s also a way to give back to the community because there’s a food drive associated with the concert. Bringing in a non-perishable food item will help feed those in the Winona community who struggle to put food on the table. I’m going to be there to support Winona State programs and give back to the community in one fun musical concert.

Also, bring your Santa, reindeer and elf hats, and get all decked out for the concert! The student performers sure will. I remember when I played in one concert I wore my professional black dress with a huge Santa hat. It also had the Vikings logo on the front because the Vikings are my team. This concert is a nice ease in to the holiday season and to the upcoming and much needed winter break. This concert is the Sunday before finals week, but allow it to be a nice holiday break from studying to unwind and relax.

See! My Santa hat did have a Vikings symbol on it.

See! My Santa hat did have a Vikings symbol on it.

Keep a lookout on the WSU homepage and around campus to see when other concerts are. I highly encourage you to attend. They are comprised of talented musicians who enjoy making beautiful music. It’s great for supporting various programs on campus. So, bring a huge group to the holiday concert that’s happening Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 at 2pm and enjoy the holiday spirit!

Mariah Kaercher

So, You Think You Want to be an RA?

It’s about that time again. Time to think about where you’ll be living next year! It’s scary, nerve-wracking, exciting, time-consuming and every other emotion possible.

It’s at this point that some of you might realize that Resident Assistants (RA’s) get free room and board!

That settles it. You’ll become an RA, and your housing woes will be no more! However, hold your horses, because there’s a lot more to being an RA than just a free single room all to yourself.

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Being an RA is seriously time-consuming and has the potential to be extremely difficult if you’re not in it for the right reasons, like just for the free room and board. Nevertheless, many things about being an RA make the job an amazing experience!

Before you sign up, make sure you know exactly what the position will involve:

1) You’re expected to be in your room quite frequently
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Being an RA also means that you’re making yourself available to your residents. This means being in your room more often, checking your email a million times a day and keeping your door open so residents feel comfortable talking to you.

2) You’re responsible for responding with issues your residents may face

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Being an RA means that you’ll also be responding to potential problems and issues your residents may face. Sometimes they’re challenging, but sometimes they’re very rewarding – even both. Don’t worry! You’re trained extensively on crisis management, which I’ll explain next.

3) You’ll miss the last part of your summer

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The last part of summer in the beginning of August is RA training. It’s about 2 weeks long, and it’s super extensive and intensive. By the end of it, you’re trained on anything you’ll encounter within your position.

4) Sometimes you have to be the bad guy

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Sometimes people break the rules, and those people may be your friends. Within this position, you have to respond to things you may come across. This may even mean reporting your “friends” or people you know in the building if they’re breaking rules.

5) At times, you will be disliked

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This goes along with #4. You may get someone in trouble – but you need to remember that they chose to get in trouble, not you. Use these opportunities to better relationships with people. If you have good rapport with your residents, they’re less inclined to get in trouble because they don’t want to let you down.

6) You’ll need to maintain your integrity in and out of the job

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The whole department is a fishbowl effect. This means that your personal and work life is visible in and out of the position. This means that you have to be more mindful of your actions and things you say even if you’re not on duty. Essentially, do the right things even if no one is there.

John Otis

Halloween Fun on Campus!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I personally believe that ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween is the best thing to happen on TV, next to their 25 Days of Christmas and “Grey’s Anatomy.” I have literally watched “Hocus Pocus” and “Casper” at least three times this year alone, and I am watching “Corpse Bride” as I write this blog. However, if you do not have cable or are just not into watching movies, there are plenty of Halloween-related activities to do on campus!

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This year, there is a pumpkin-carving contest! If you think you have the skills and want to win a gift card, you should enter this contest. First place gets a $100 gift card to the Winona State bookstore! All you have to do is carve a pumpkin and drop it off at the bookstore. The deadline for this is Thursday, Oct. 29.

On Halloween and the day before (Friday and Saturday), you may notice a bunch of little kids walking around in costumes. These are Winona State’s daycare kids. They go around visiting and trick-or-treating at places throughout campus. It is absolutely adorable. You’ll see kids in the dorms on Halloween as community members are invited to go trick-or-treating here. Can you imagine all the candy they are going to get, just from the dorms?! I’ll bet it is a lot, unless us college kids end up eating all of the candy first.

Finally, there will be a kid-friendly haunted house at the Winona State Sustainability House. If you are interested, this is located at 377 Main Street. In addition, there will be trick-or-treating and fun Halloween games and activities at the Sustainability House.

So, if you want a break from studying or watching Netflix (if you’re like me), you now have a few options.

If you need me I’ll be binge watching Halloween movies while I still can!

Kayla Severson

Surviving the RA Hiring Process

If you are thinking about becoming an RA, you should know that the RA process is long and stressful, but I encourage you to do your best and put your best foot forward. You must first go to the information sessions for the position in order to get the application. As an RA myself, I can offer some helpful advice from my observations and experiences!

If you make it to the group process interviews don’t dominate the conversation. Instead, ask people what they think. Try to “mediate” the discussion, and then take it over. Also, don’t be too quiet either. Find a balance. This is one of the important skills to have when filling a position as an RA. In addition, dress your best to interviews! Always assume that interviews are business casual for college student positions. However, try and make yourself memorable to the interviewer. Wear a bowtie! Be unique! Don’t wear boring colors, but also don’t wear super bright colors. Personally, I wore a bowtie to both my interviews, and the people were able to remember me as “bowtie guy.” It worked in my favor!

Getting involved somewhere is crucial for this position. It shows the interviewers that you are trying to be an active participant within the Winona State community. RAs have to be involved in their floor communities. This involves taking what you learned from other clubs and organizations and applying that to your future floor. If you weren’t active before applying for the position, it may be harder to get a position. Personally, I got involved with International Club, and that was helpful for me in getting a position!

Also, be sure to find two professional staff members that you trust as references. This is why people have always told you to get to know your professors, so you can use them to speak highly of you. If you don’t have any currently, don’t worry. Find someone at home that wouldn’t mind helping out! In addition, you should have your current RA as a reference too.
You also can’t forget to do your research! Read and understand all the housing policies (this will help in the interview). In addition, read the job description and know the job. Maybe ask your RA if they can tell you more about what they do – aside from the events and crafts.

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When the interviews are all finished, go treat yourself to something! You DESERVE it. It’s a long process, but at the end of it, you will have learned so much about yourself. The best advice that I can give is to be patient throughout the whole process. Patience goes a long way, and it gives a good impression to your potential employers. If you need any other helpful tips or advice, seek out your current RA or ask your professors too! I’m sure either party would be more than willing to give you some key pointers.

John Otis