Category Archives: Campus

New Winona apartments to upstage other housing options

The residential scene in Winona caters to different groups of people, predominantly college students from August to May.

A new downtown apartment complex called Main Square Winona is aiming to be the updated hub for business professionals and the wealthy in town.

From a third-floor balcony, a view of Winona’s downtown amenities can be seen.

According to Tom Hoseck, Main Square Winona’s lead property manager, the complex will have two primary buildings: the Landmark on Main and 5th Streets and the Cornerstone, which is on Main and 4th.

While Landmark is housing with one, two- and three-bedroom units, Cornerstone also has space for retail offices.

Amenities like a fitness center, rooftop terraces and meeting room will be shared between residents, Hoseck said.

Speaking about the draw for living at Main Square, Hoseck mentioned proximity.

“Living here gives people everything they could need within walking distance,” Hoseck said. “Plus, we’ll be adding conveniences for residents like an orthodontist, hair salon and a walk-in clinic. We want people who live here to feel like they never have to leave.”

A complex marketed as luxury must live up to that in rental prices.

An average one-bedroom rental in the Landmark building runs $1,300 per month For the Cornerstone building, a one-bedroom suite begins at $875 a month.

In a city that’s predominantly college students, how do these rates stack up to dorms?

And would the apartments appeal to college students?

According to Paula Scheevel, Winona State University’s director of housing and residence life, the dorms are a better price.

Unlike the price of the new apartment complexes, the rates of dorms were decided by the original cost to build and maintain the dorm.

In WSU’s Quad, which is a building made up of four separate other dorms, an average room is $2,800 for the academic year.

While college students pay off all charges in chunks, the average rent would come out to $350, per the housing and residence life yearly budget.

They also have stipulations through the MinnState system that all dorms must be built to withstand 100 years of residents and be paid off in 20 years.

Because Scheevel has been in her position for 16 years, she also has data on retention rate in the dorms.

“Thirty percent of people who live in res halls are returners, and that adds up to about one third of the overall student population,” Scheevel said.

She expounded on why she thought the university had those numbers.

“It’s ultimately about the value of the dollar. Our convenient location, dining plan and community in res life makes it a top choice.”

In terms of how the dorms stack up to the new apartments, Scheevel said she didn’t think Main Square Winona aimed to be for college living.

Paula Scheevel posing in her office space for housing and residence life
Paula Scheevel, director of housing and residence life, stands in her domain in Kryzsko Commons where students can apply to live on campus and inquire about other aspects of campus life.

“To my knowledge, the complexes are geared toward those who are well-off and looking for housing not directed at college students,” Scheevel said.

To live in the Cornerstone, which is the cheaper of the two luxury complexes, for one school year, it would be a 150 percent increase over residence halls at the university.

And that’s just an average dorm room cost.

By comparing the cost of Main Square Winona to the most upscale dorms on campus, Kirkland-Haake, an average room in the four-person complex is $3,650.

Calculated out, monthly rent from a dorm to this luxury complex would increase by 91 percent.

Depending on where you live, you get what you pay for.

Question is, who’s willing to pay that much?

What Winona State University does for the community

Everyone always talks about what communities do for universities but not what the universities do for communities.

Winona is no stranger to that.  It is a thriving community with plenty of support for the three colleges and universities in the area.

At Winona State University there are at least 180 cubs and student organizations on campus. These range from sports clubs, Greek life, academic clubs, honorary societies, faith-based clubs and diversity organizations.

For most of these clubs and organizations, community service and philanthropy work is a significant part of how those clubs run.

The president of the university, Scott Olson, said, “First and foremost, community engagement is a great way for students to learn. It allows us to put theory into practice and allows students to try out different settings and professions to see how they might dedicate their lives.”

One subset of campus organizations where community service is an important aspect to is Greek life.

Lindsay Marosi-Kramer, an activities director on campus, said, “Our seven organizations all have both national and local philanthropies, many groups require students to host volunteer hours while not many have actual relationships with outside places like Greek groups do.”

According to Marosi-Kramer, during the 2018-2019 school year, the Greek community volunteered more than 800 hours in community services.

Students can walk off most WSU sidewalks and be in neighborhoods or in close proximity to local businesses.

Some community members have opposing opinions when it comes to living in a town with three colleges.

A Winona man who lives nine blocks east of campus, who wished to remain anonymous, said he didn’t appreciate having college students as neighbors.

He has lived in Winona his whole life and only left when he went to college.

“It’s not that I hate college students,” the man said. “I just don’t like living with around them.”

He brought up how high school and college students would leave garbage on his lawn or how loud college student neighbors are.

He said it was extremely difficult to find housing since “20 percent of each block” was rented to students or would only be rented to students.

“I do appreciate there are students and groups who will go around and clean up the garbage, especially after big events,” he said.

Kendra Weber, WSU’s director of Student and Community Engagement, arranged the clean and sweep after homecoming.

“If we know a certain amount of this is going to happen, what can we do?” Weber said.

The first year she held this event, around 30 people showed up and they ended with around 40 bags of garbage.

In 2018, the event had about 90 people sign up to pick up trash and more than 100 participants showed up.

An event like this has both community and university involvement. Weber directs the event and buys pizza for students who volunteer. The American Legion has allowed the group to use their space for free and the city allocates certain stop signs for the group to set the bags of garbage.

Chart from www.mnstate.edu that covers the financial benefits and engagement that is done between the community and Winona State University.

Olson has had community members reach out to him regarding students.

“Most of the comments I get from members of the community are very complimentary to WSU students, Olson said. “Probably the largest volume of negative comments I hear are about students walking across Main or Huff without looking up at the traffic, but I only hear this a dozen times a year or less. There are often concerns around Homecoming, but lately students have really been careful to be safe and respectful while having fun.”

In 2013, the university applied to get the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching.

To be considered for this classification, the university had to have proof of engagement and co-existing with the community.

In 2015, Winona State University was awarded the Community Engagement Classification.

Winona State parking causes frustrations for some

Winona State University has seen a limit on the amount of parking permits given to students along with limited space to park which for some leads to frustration. 

Winona State Parking Services have a cap on the number of parking permits they sell for residential and commuter parking lots. 

For residential lots, with silver, green, tan and maroon parking permits, the cap is the same as the number of spots the university has in those lots. 

All Winona State parking permits have to be hung on the rearview mirror of vehicles at all times while in a Winona State parking lot. Failure to have the permit hanging could result in a parking violation.

For the silver, green and maroon lots, the annual price of a parking permit is $155. The tan lot parking permits are $85 because there are conferences often at the Tau Center which is where the tan parking lot is. 

For commuter lots, the gold and purple parking permits, the cap is a little more than the number of spaces in those lots. 

Alisha Syrmopoulos, Winona State’s Parking Services office manager said they do that because people do not stay in the lot for long periods of time. 

Gold parking permits are $225 per calendar year. Purple parking permits are $105 per academic year. 

Sustainability parking permits are available for students who live in the sustainability house for $155 and Circle or Grey parking permits are offered for motorcycles and mopeds for $35. 

Winona State Parking Services also offers a blue parking permit for those with a state-issued handicap permit for $105. 

Faculty, staff and students have the ability to purchase handicap parking spaces provided they have a state issued handicap permit. The Winona State handicap permits are $105 per academic year.

Winona State meets ADA regulations when it comes to handicap spaces but Syrmopoulos said she receives complaints that the amount of spots is not enough. 

Syrmopoulos said she gets complaints about not having enough handicap spaces. 

With a handicap parking permit, the permit holder is able to park in any open spot on campus. Syrmopoulos said even if someone cannot find a handicap spot Parking Services stills wants to get them as close as possible. 

Syrmopoulos said they do the best with what they have. 

“We are kind of landlocked. You kind of got to work with what you have and use the space,” Syrmopoulos said. 

This is why not everyone who applies for a parking permit will get one. 

Syrmopoulos said there is a stack of applications from faculty, staff and students who want a parking permit for this school year.  

The process Parking Services use to decide who gets a parking permit is first-come-first-served. 

Syrmopoulos said there have been professors who go into the Parking Services Office and tell the student workers they should have priority to get a parking permit. 

“I have had faculty sit here and yell at my students and tell my students that they should have priority to these parking permits because if it wasn’t for them the university wouldn’t even be running,” Syrmopoulos said. 

She said her response to these professors has been that if there were no students there would be no need for faculty. 

“It’s a co-op effort,” Syrmopoulos said. 

First-year Winona State student, Kalli O’Brien said she believes the process of getting a parking permit is fair. 

She does not agree with the cap on residential parking. 

“I live in Sheehan and I’d say I have parked in that parking lot in front of Sheehan less than 10 times for sure,” O’Brien said. “It is so frustrating because I do morning shifts and walking far away in the morning when it’s freezing out sucks.” 

At the beginning of the semester, O’Brien was almost going to give up her parking permit because she did not believe it was worth the money. 

After talking to her parents O’Brien decided to keep the parking permit because she knew in the winter she would be happy to have it. 

Another aspect of the parking permit that frustrates O’Brien is when students in residential parking spots have a permit but never move their car. 

“I live on one of the top floors and my roommate and I look down and we can see the cars that have been there for weeks,” O’Brien said. “Why do you even have a car if you’re not using it?” 

O’Brien said she believes students who use their cars on a regular basis should be the ones with the parking spot right outside the building. 

O’Brien said she would not recommend getting a parking permit to anyone because it is not worth the amount of money. 

“Alternate side parking it’s kind of a hassle but it’s more of a hassle doing [a parking permit] and wasting your money,” O’Brien said.

Racial issues exhibit visits Rochester

By: Erin Jones and Andrew Schouweiler

A smaller version of the Science Museum of Minnesota’s RACE exhibit is on display at the Rochester Public Library until April 30, 2019.

Before the library, Rochester’s Apache Mall hosted the RACE exhibit.

The mini versions of the RACE exhibit, according to the Science Museum of Minnesota, are 500 square-feet and include easy-to-set-up displays for smaller venues like the library and the mall.

The content of each display is created to be easily understood, so people of all ages can participate in the walk-through exhibit.

Kim Edson, head of readers’ services at Rochester Public Library, explained the goal of the RACE exhibit.

“It takes it from both a scientific point of view – looking at race from a biological level, by the way, there’s no such thing – and it also explores the sociological concept of race and how it has had many impacts in our culture,” Edson said.

Rochester was home to the RACE exhibit for eight months in 2010. The exhibit was brought back this year through grants from the federal government.

Dee Sabol, executive director of Rochester’s Diversity Council, explained how the grants allowed the Science Museum to work with the Rochester Public Library to bring the RACE exhibit back to Rochester.

“They were able to create the smaller, traveling versions of the RACE exhibit and bring them out to the community through those grant funds,” Sabol said.

According to Winona State University’s Associate Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity Jonathan Locust, funds toward the exhibit’s return were also donated by the Inclusion and Diversity office.

“There were donations from my office in particular for the amount of $500, as well as a donation from WSU-Rochester in the amount of $500,” Locust said.

Locust said donating to the exhibit was beneficial to Winona State and to people in communities surrounding the exhibit who may not know the history of race and racism.

He said much of the history people have learned over time is not inclusive of people who are of different races, genders, ethnicities and abilities.

“Our history has been completely whitewashed,” Locust said. “Having people go out and doing some digging on their own [then being able to say], ‘What information has been left out of the history that I’ve learned?’ And then maybe ask those deeper questions, ‘Why has it been left out?’”

Edson and Sabol both said getting people to ask those hard questions and generating conversation about race and racism is another part of the RACE exhibit’s purpose.

“We believe this exhibit gives people an opportunity to think a little bit deeper about the topic,” Edson said. “Our goal is to engage community conversations about this issue and hopefully impact change.”

Sabol said so far, the exhibit has been successful in generating community discussion.

She said when the RACE exhibit was in Rochester in 2010, people left angry and disagreed with the information presented in the displays.

“They would come back more than once and it would at least get them involved in a discussion and I think that’s really the point is to look at something a little bit differently,” Sabol said.

Traffic to the exhibit this year has been high as well, according to Locust.

With the exhibit in the mall during the holidays, the flow of visitors was heavy, which carried over into the following months.

“We know we got some heavy traffic right around MLK Day, we know we got some in February for Black History Month because there are some people who did some programs in there,” Locust said.

Edson and Sabol said with conversation about race being generated within the community, they are working on trying to find a permanent home in Rochester for the RACE exhibit.

Grant funds have given Edson and Sabol the opportunity to put on additional programming, so members of the community can take advantage of other resources to learn about race.

“We’ll have speakers and presenters now who will talk about different aspects of race and racism,” Sabol explained. “There are other learning opportunities, some workshops and things like that [and] we hope to have a couple film screenings as well.”

Animals Help Students

By Erin Jones 

Nothing quite resembles the bond between a person and their dog.

Or the bond between Winona State University junior, Violet De Stefano, and her emotional support hedgehog, Phillip.

De Stefano, public health major, and Lynda Brzezinski, who has been a counselor at Winona State since 2000, have experienced firsthand the positive effects that pets have on people.

De Stefano sees this positive impact on herself with the help of her quill-covered companion.

For Brzezinski, the impact is seen on the faces of Winona State students, faculty and staff who come to visit Winston and Aiden, the university’s on-staff therapy dogs.

“Winston is a very intuitive dog,” Brzezinski said. “There will be times when I have a student crying in my office where he will get out of his bed and just go sit calmly next to the student. Very amazing.”

Brzezinski added that despite Aiden’s being new to the university, he has done an exceptional job with the students.

“Aiden is a cutie who loves to snuggle. This was his first semester doing ‘Afternoons with Aiden,’ and I think students had a lot of fun with him,” Brzezinski said.

But dogs are not the only pets who love to cuddle.

De Stefano, who has borderline personality disorder, said Phillip loves to snuggle her, especially when she feels alone or anxious.

“One of the things with my case for borderline personality disorder is I struggle with abandonment. I have a really hard time when it comes to people leaving me in my life, whether it’s perceived leaving or them actually leaving me, so it’s really good to have Phillip around because he is an animal that is always there,” De Stefano said. “So if I’m feeling lonely or I’m worried, I can pick him up and it provides that calm space where I can watch him run around and he’s super cuddly and adorable.”

And though the positive effects of having pets is apparent in these cases, both De Stefano and Brzezinski said there was still a process to getting their pets allowed on Winona State grounds.

Brzezinski said that her process with Winston started when he was a puppy going through obedience classes at Family Dog Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

“[Family Dog Center] offered the therapy dog class and evaluation,” Brzezinski said. “Winston loves people and he is smart, so he passed the test with flying colors and was registered as a therapy dog at the age of 1 [the minimum age].”

Brzezinski added that once Winston passed his tests, she continued training in animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities and cooperated with campus legal services so Winston would be permitted to work in counseling services.

“I had to do research, get letters of support and make a formal proposal to be allowed to have therapy dogs on campus,” Brzezinski said.

With Aiden, Brzezinski said, the training process was longer, as he failed his first certification test and needed time to “grow up.”

According to Brzezinski, working intelligence levels are different in all dogs, which helped explain Aiden’s need for extra training.

“Winston is an Australian cattle dog/rat terrier mix. Heelers have 95 percent working intelligence and can learn a command in five or fewer times,” Brzezinski said. “Aiden is a pug/boxer mix and they have something like 30 percent working intelligence. It can take a dog like Aiden 30-50 times to learn something, but most dogs can learn if given enough time and patience.”

Though both dogs are certified now, the process hasn’t ended. Brzezinski said training for therapy dogs never ends, as the training must continually be reinforced.

Brzezinski added that for Winston and Aiden to remain on-staff, she must follow strict rules.

“I have a lot of guidelines I need to follow – the dogs must be bathed and groomed, nails trimmed, I need to vacuum, there needs to be signage, I hold malpractice insurance that covers the dogs, they always need to be on a leash, etc.,” Brzezinski said.

De Stefano had to follow a similar process when getting Phillip approved to live on campus with her. Phillip did not have to go through training to become an emotional support animal.

De Stefano’s process started in April 2018, when she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

“[Borderline personality disorder] is complicated. It’s kind of like bipolar disorder, but much quicker. So I will go through periods of mania and depression and it can be within hours of each other,” De Stefano said. “It’s stressful because when you wake up, you’re not sure if you’re going to be manic or you’re going to be depressed or you’re going to have no motivation or all the motivation in the world.”

De Stefano said she had been having symptoms of the disorder since eighth grade but wasn’t certain until she consulted a professional.

“In April I was dating a guy and he and I had just broken up, and I panicked,” De Stefano said. “It was my first bout of extreme suicidal ideation, which was pretty scary. I ended up going to the hospital at Winona Health and I admitted myself into the Department of Behavioral Medicine because I was like, ‘OK, we gotta get something figured out here.’”

After receiving her diagnosis, a social worker at the hospital referred her to a local therapist, with whom she could talk about what she was going through.

This was where she first considered the possibility of getting an emotional support animal, specifically; a hedgehog.

De Stefano said that with her borderline personality disorder, one of her impulsive behaviors is to self-harm, especially when she fears someone is leaving her.

Because Phillip’s quills are sharp, De Stefano said, when holding him she feels she receives the same stimulus as self-harm but without actually hurting herself.

“I know it’s interesting. It’s not something that people normally think about and when I talked to my therapist and was like, ‘Hey, this is what I’m thinking,’ they were like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting, I wouldn’t have even thought of that,’” De Stefano said.

Since De Stefano adopted Phillip last June, he has helped her cope with her borderline personality disorder but getting him into the dorms wasn’t an easy feat.

De Stefano first had to obtain a statement letter from her therapist, listing her qualifications to have the animal and recommending it.

She then had to do an intake meeting with Access Services so they could determine whether she would be able to support the animal and if it would be a disruption to other students.

Eventually, De Stefano did get Phillip approved to live in the dorms, but that wasn’t the hardest part for her.

“[Having Phillip] wasn’t necessarily a problem, but it was. I had to acknowledge what I was struggling with and what I was going through because I had to have that conversation pretty constantly of ‘Oh, I have an emotional support hedgehog. The reason I have it is because I struggle with X, Y and Z,’” De Stefano said.

Despite these uncomfortable conversations, De Stefano said jumping through all the hoops to get Phillip has been worthwhile.

“He’s also taught me a lot of patience and compassion because hedgehogs are so time-consuming. I have to spend time with him every day to get him to warm up to me and to be comfortable and cute like the little Instagram hedgehogs that I follow,” De Stefano said. “You have to spend time with them and eventually, I’ve noticed that his quills will lay down when I pick him up. It’s taking a lot of time, but it’s incredible.”

So as it turns out, De Stefano helps Phillip as much as he helps her.

And, as it turns out in Brzezinski’s case too, Winston and Aiden do more than just comfort the students, faculty and staff of Winona State.

“We are the first university in the Minnesota State system to have therapy dogs on ‘staff,’ which I’m very proud about,” Brzezinski said. “There is often a lot of negative stigma around mental health and counseling, but I think the dogs help break down barriers and give [Counseling Services] a more positive image at times.”

 

 

 

Erin Jones is the former copy editor for Winona State University’s student-run newspaper, The Winonan. She expects to graduate in May 2019. Before being copy editor, she was one of The Winonan’s news reporters. Jones is majoring in mass communication-journalism and minoring in criminal justice. After graduation, she hopes to find a career in which she can use both her major and minor. She is also interested in being a feature writer or an editor for a magazine.

New painting installed in Baldwin Lounge

A new painting by a Winona State University faculty member was put on display in a campus building on Friday, April 22.  

ChunLok Mah, chair of the Winona State art department, showed off his painting entitled “Storm: Before and After” in Baldwin Lounge of Winona State’s Kryzsko Commons student union building.  

Mah said his piece walks the viewer through the emotions of a storm starting at the left and going to the right.  

In his artist statement, Mah wrote about what the piece means to him.  

“The emotions were a collision of past and present experiences that reminded me of all the harsh, bitter and difficult events that I fought for years that often resulted in bittersweet endings,” Mah said. “It was like having an epiphany of life condensed in one moment.” 

The painting is about 17 feet wide.  

Joe Reed, Winona State’s student union/activities director, bought the painting from Mah after President Scott Olson told him about the piece.  

The total cost of the painting and instillation was $4,800. 

Guests at the reception listen as Mah speaks about his piece. He described the brush work as “tough raw brush strokes” to give a feeling of anxiety.

“Storm: Before and After” was on display at an exhibit when Reed first saw it. Reed said the display of the painting did not do it justice.  

Reed wanted to find a good place in Kryzco Commons for the painting.  

“We are walking around Kryzco and all of a sudden it hit me…Baldwin,” Reed said. “Since the renovation to the bookstore and this edition it was always a dark room and now we got all these windows.”  

Mah said there were some difficulties during the installation process. 

“The chosen design proceeds to post many challenges like lack of proper lighting, wall dimension, weak drywall, and thermostat outlet position, during the installation,” Mah said. “We made some major tweaks so the artwork fits seamlessly to the setting.” 

At the reception, Mah said he hoped students would see the painting and talk about what it means to them.  

Mah said he used raw brush strokes to evoke anxiety from the viewer.  

At the conclusion of Mah’s speech he asked those in attendance to talk about the feeling the painting evoked 

Guests at the reception in Baldwin hall admire “Storm: Before and After. One of the guests pictured said for her the painting show optimism because if in the darkest part there is still light.

Hedi Ryan, Winona State art and design office assistant, talked about the feelings the painting evoked.  

Ryan said she saw the painting as a metaphor for how to approach life. She said because there is still light in the darkest photo, which for Ryan shows optimism through good and bad times.  

Baldwin Lounge, where the reception was held, is a quit study place for students.  

Reed said he took the purpose of the space into consideration when he was planning the reception.  

Reed said to him as with students he views Baldwin Lounge as a place for studying.  

“Because to me, as is the students, Baldwin is kinda like a sacred ground for study time,” Reed said. “It’s appropriate we have the reception there and Friday would be a good day because it’s the least used.” 

When Reed arrived at the reception, he walked up to students studying at the tables and explained what was going on and apologized for the inconvenience 

He also told studying students to help themselves to refreshments.  

Mah is honored to have a piece in the Kryzco collection.  

“Joe’s proposal and the location choice was a dream come true to me,” Mah said. “It turns out to be better than I thought.” 

For more information about ChunLok Mah or to see more of his art visit:

https://www.winona.edu/art/faculty.html

http://chunlokmah.com/

Student Senate comments on election data and process

Student Senate Elections are a tradition on most campuses.

The Spring 2019 election for the Winona State University Student Senate was no different.

Ben Ellgen, newly elected Student Senate president said the Senate considers 10 percent of the student body voting to be a success, which is about 800 students out of about 8,000 students.

According to the Spring 2019 election data 904 Winona State students voted.

Of those who voted in the 2019 election a total of 796 students voted for the treasurer tickets and 804 voted for the president and vice president tickets.

The graph above illustrates the total number of voters over the past four elections. The two Spring elections are when the executive board and the constitution revisions are voted on.

Ellgen commented on the voter turnout for the Spring 2019 election.

“I frankly was a little disappointed. I love Senate and I know the good work it can do,” Ellgen said. “I would have liked to see more people participate. Especially in a contested election.”

In the Spring 2018, election the candidates for the executive positions ran unopposed.

For treasurer in Spring 2018, 916 people voted for the position, 120 more people than the most recent election.

The president and vice president ticket in the Spring of 2018 had 923 people who voted, 119 more people than the most recent election.

This graph illustrates the number of total votes versus the number of votes for each executive position during the executive election years. In both of those elections the total number of votes is more than the votes for the executive positions.

The lowest voter turnout was for the Fall of 2018. 466 Winona State Students voted in the election.

The elections are not only used to elect student leaders but also to have the student body vote for changes to the constitution.

Christina Melecio, current Student Senate president said in order to approve any constitution changes Senate, needs 10 percent of the student body to vote and the majority to approve it.

The Spring of 2018 vote was close to not passing with 811 votes.

Melecio said there are two rules for candidates that are talked about more because they are the rules most often broken.

“The first one would be no campaigning within 25 feet of the Senate office,” Melecio said. “Then there is no spending more than $250 per ticket.”

For example, the president and vice president run as a ticket, meaning they run together. They have $250 to spend together.

The $250 is for posters, buttons, stickers or anything else the person running feels they need for their campaign.

Nicole Ruhland and Ben Ellgen described their experience with the process when they ran for president against each other in the Spring 2019 election.

Ellgen said the process of the election was long but rewarding.

“It was a lot of time, lot of late nights, a lot of going out to clubs, a lot of interactions,” Ellgen said. “It is definitely an intensive process. But, at the same time, it’s really rewarding.”

Ellgen said it was a humbling process.

“Honestly, it is not fun that week or two. But, again, it is so rewarding to get out into the Winona Community and it is such humbling process,” Ellgen said.

Ruhland said the process was interesting and she learned a lot about herself.

Ruhland has never campaigned like this before. She said she was not used to talking about herself and what she wanted to do.

She did learn she can public speak and said she appreciated meeting so many people.

“I got to meet a lot of people and that was exciting,” Ruhland said. “It also made me realize that I can do public speaking. It’s scary but it is possible.”

For more information on the Winona State Student Senate:

https://www.winona.edu/studentsenate/Media/WSUSA-Constitution.pdf

https://www.winona.edu/studentsenate/Media/Bylaws.pdf

https://www.winona.edu/studentsenate/default.asp

Annual senior art show kicks off with “Fluid Studio”

The culmination of four years of dedication to art will be on display at Winona State University during the last two weeks of the 2019 spring semester.

The annual Senior Art Show will feature work by students graduating on May 10 or who will be graduating in the fall, all majoring in art, art education and design.

Roger Boulay, the Gallery and Art Collection Coordinator said the addition of the design students is new to the show this year which brings a new element to the exhibition.

“They’re presenting a range of work; some have altered photographs, some students have designed their own patterns that will be printed,” Boulay said. “One design student is making clothing, he’s really interested in fashion so he’s making his own jacket that will be laser engraved with text on it.”

The show opens on April 29 and features six students with a show called “Fluid Studio,” that will deal in color and the challenge of a group show.

Student observes art
Sophomore Zayle Swope observes Olivia VanDenBerge’s instillation piece “Garden of My Heart” in Watkins Gallery on Tuesday, April 30.

“It’s a little bit tricky in a group show when you have six different artists with six very different points of view to find one theme that really encapsulates everyone,” Boulay said. “So Fluid Studio is meant to speak to that conundrum of a group show.”

The second week will focus on the remaining six students starting May 6, the theme for that show is “Roots,” which explores where people are from, ideas of home and self-portraiture.

Kieran McDonnell, a senior majoring in studio arts is in the “Fluid Studio” exhibit.

McDonnell expressed his excitement on showing his work in a gallery that has featured many nationally and internationally known professional artists.

“To be in the same space as them is really an honor, but this show is really a wonderful opportunity for us,” McDonnell said. “Our show is based around our perception of how we’ve grown as artists…everyone in here has worked hard and we are all looking forward to seeing this show come to completion.”

“Fluid Studio” was originally going to feature the students’ first self-portrait alongside a current one, but for spacing reasons that element was cut from the first show.

This element will be featured in “Roots,” allowing gallery viewers to see the progress of each student and compare the two works.

In Boulay’s class, students create a professional portfolio and learn how to install , so they will be installing the exhibit in the Watkins Gallery.

Students hang art work
Jesse Peterson (right) hangs “Self Care Girlie” with the help of her classmate, Kieran McDonnell, in Watkins Gallery on Friday, April 26 as part of her exhibition in the annual Senior Art Show. Peterson and McDonnell are participating in the first week of the show titled “Fluid Studio” which runs April 29 through May 1.

“It’s entirely up to the students to design and install their own exhibition,” Boulay said. “I’ve taught them how to install their work and now it’s up to them to get everything organized and decide how everything is going to look. It’s also really exciting for students who are graduating to have an exhibition in the gallery during commencement, so they can bring their families through and look at their work.”

The Watkins Gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours on Wednesdays.

For additional information about Watkins Gallery and the exhibit follow these links:

https://www.facebook.com/wsuwatkinsgallery/

www.winona.edu/art/Exhibitions.html

https://www.winona.edu/art-galleries/visit.asp

“Robert A. DuFresne Performing Arts Center” dedication gathers community

A crowd of more than 50 people gathered on Winona State University’s campus on Monday, April 29, for the unveiling of the newly named “Robert A. DuFresne Performing Arts Center.”

Dufresne, who passed away in 2015, was president of Winona State from 1967-78, and was president during the construction of seven buildings on campus, including the PAC.

The dedication event began with various speakers, and was followed by refreshments in the PAC lobby.

University President Scott Olson spoke on the impact DuFresne had on the university as a whole, and on himself.

“He was a friend and mentor to me, and he was also a hero to me,” Olson said. “It’s entirely fitting that we gather here to remember Bob DuFresne and everything he meant to this university, and at last recognize what he meant to us.”

President Scott Olson speaks about the impact Robert DuFresne had on Winona State University at an unveiling event on Monday, April 29. The event was the official renaming ceremony of the building as the newly-named “Robert A. DuFresne Performing Arts Center.”

DuFresne’s wife and son, Barbara and Jeff DuFresne, also shared comments at the event.

Barbara DuFresne spoke mostly about her husband’s time as president of the university, as well as his time with Winona State after his presidency.

Jeff DuFresne focused on how fitting it was for the PAC to be named after his father, stating that he “was always a great supporter of the performing arts.”

Barb DuFresne, wife of Robert DuFresne, speaks about Robert DuFresne’s time as university president during the renaming ceremony of the “Robert A. DuFresne Performing Arts Center” on Monday, April 29.

The proposal for the name change, which had initially been brought up in December of 2017, was written by three former Winona State faculty members: Jim Reynolds, a retired sociology professor, Gary Evans, retired Vice President of University Advancement and George Bolon, a retired physics professor.

“This is a long overdue recognition, and entirely fitting honor,” Reynolds said. “This is a legacy that I think should be honored and celebrated.”

Bolon also spoke on how fitting it was for the PAC to be named after DuFresne, not only for his love of the performing arts, but also because the PAC was the first building to be constructed during DuFresne’s tenure as university president.

Bolon concluded his speech with thoughts about DuFresne.

“We are all better persons for having known Robert A. DuFresne,” Bolon said.

Following the speeches, the building was dedicated with the unveiling of a new sign by Olson, Reynolds and Barb DuFresne.

A crowd of more than 50 students, faculty and community members gather at the newly-named “Robert A. DuFresne Performing Arts Center” at the renaming ceremony on Monday, April 29.

Sustainability Fair

Winona State University held its first Sustainability Fair where students could talk to students, community members and businesses about sustainability.

The fair was February 27 and was held in the East Hall of Kryzsko Commons from 4-7 p.m.

Leah Dechant, a Winona State student and student worker for the sustainability office was one of the main planners of the fair.

“I always notice that students don’t really know much about sustainability,” Dechant said. “Or that we live in such a great area called Winona with all these options, they’re all local, organic, sustainable businesses, or companies that provide environmentally friendly options.”

She said the fair was designed to create a place for community members as well as students, faculty, and staff to get together in one place with a common theme of sustainability.

The fair showcased sustainable practices and ideas in and around Winona State.

There was no fee to attend the event and the booths were set up without a registration fee. Free snacks were also set out for people to enjoy and there was live music.

Jeanne Franz, a sustainability advisor and professor at Winona State said that Dechant reached out to people and businesses, and said, “No fee. If you want to come, please come.”

A banner was on a table being signed by people who came to the fair. One signature meant one pledge to live more sustainable.

Christie Hill signing to pledge to live more sustainable.

Franz said 12 years ago, Winona State signed the president’s climate commitment that by the year 2050, Winona State will be carbon free or carbon neutral.

This means Winona State will not produce carbon more than is being consumed by the university.

Franz said Winona State has begun taking steps toward this goal.

Dechant said that there are other things that she would like to see on campus as well.

“I would love to see more sustainable technologies, buildings and projects on campus,” Dechant said.

Franz said, “A few years back the students voted themselves a green fee which has helped fund the sustainability office including a full-time person, Nathan Engstrom, whose job is completely devoted to sustainability.”

One exhibitor talked about what you can do with certain spices and home remedies for ailments.

He had made his own kombucha that he shared, as well as showed his dried herbs and spices that he had collected and foraged.

Exhibitor showing table of home remedies.

Dechant’s table was handing out reusable water bottles and seeds participants could plant.

Leah Dechant (left) with fellow students handing out reusable water bottles.

“It’s not a hobby or lifestyle anymore,” Dechant said. “We need to change our ways.”