By Bridget Lenczewski
Last year, St. Ben’s senior Hannah Lynch did a capstone project called Project One Cloud in which she conducted a few interviews of members of the St. Cloud community with the aim of encouraging acceptance and open-mindedness for
community members of all different cultures and religions. When she graduated, the CSB/SJU club Enactus, known for its encouragement of student leadership, entrepreneurship and communication skills, chose to continue the project beginning this semester.
The project group for Project One Cloud includes sophomore co-leaders Andrew Haldeman and Elise Miller, along with sophomore club members Amanda Lahr and Lexis Lowell. The group works with political, religious and cultural leaders, as well as with grassroots organizations. The primary of Project One Cloud is to conduct well over ten interviews of St. Cloud community members from different backgrounds by the end of this year. These interviews will be posted on the project’s social media through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“The main goal is to help create conversations and relationships between cultural [and religious] groups in St. Cloud and to foster those relationships so everybody can live their best life in the community of St. Cloud,” Haldeman said.
“I think it is something that includes our campuses because we are part of the St Cloud community – we really do not live that far away – and in St. Joe there is a growing population of Somali people, so it is definitely something that affects our community that we are living in.”
“I think that promoting general acceptance and loving your neighbor and just communication and understanding people and learning about their lives is important no matter where you live and who you are. That is something that here at CSB/SJU and everybody can always do better at that,” Lahr said.
In addition, the team plans to organize a scavenger hunt in the St. Cloud area this year. The scavenger hunt would be for all members of the St. Cloud, St.
Joseph and CSB/SJU communities. There would be a list of places where people would need to take a picture at, places of different cultures or religions, or people of different cultures and religions that they would need to take a picture with. Members who succeeded in completing all tasks would be submitted into a drawing for a prize.
The goal of the scavenger hunt is to get people from the community out and experiencing all these different cultures in St. Cloud because there is a lot more [in St. Cloud] than people realize,” Haldeman said.
They also plan to organize and facilitate a Festival of Nations, similar to the CSB/SJU Festival of Cultures, to celebrate diversity and commonalities between St. Cloud community members from widely different paths of life. The festival would involve different cultural restaurants sharing their food, speakers and panels fostering the goals of the project, cultural dancers and singers, etc. The project group hopes to hold this festival by the end of Spring 2018 or the end of Fall 2018.
“I was thinking that … religious leaders in St. Cloud, or some other religious leaders [from different areas], could just talk about acceptance and loving your neighbor and all the common values that we all have as humans,” Lahr said. “My idea was that if we see our leaders being able to have these kinds of discussions then that sets a good example for us.”
The project group encourages that CSB/SJU students like, follow and/or share the Project One Cloud social media pages and posts. For students that are interested in being more actively involved in Project One Cloud, they can email or talk to any members of the project team about how to get involved. To be involved, students do not need to be members of Enactus.
“I think our project is not only helping the community, but it is also has a broad variety of ways students can get involved. The three of us are not business majors; you do not need to be a business major to be involved,” Miller said. “I think [students of any major] can go into this project and that is what makes it so great – it is very wide ranging.”