Collegeville renames post office to honor Eugene J. McCarthy

SIERRA LAMMI • [email protected] • Rep. Emmer makes an appearance at the renaming of the SJU post office.

By Sierra Lammi
[email protected]

Last week on Sept. 22, the post office in Guild Hall was officially designated the Eugene J. McCarthy Post Office in honor of the SJU alum and former U.S. Senator, Eugene J. McCarthy, who graduated from St. John’s in 1935.

The bill renaming the post office was signed into law by President Obama last year, on July 29, 2016, just a few months after what would have been the 100th birthday of Eugene McCarthy. The director of the McCarthy Center for Public
Policy and Civic Engagement Matt Lindstrom was among the people who attended the official post office dedication.

“The naming of the Eugene J. McCarthy Post Office is a great dedication to a life-long public servant and serves as a reminder of the importance of civic engagement, especially in the ultimate civic space of a post office,” Lindstrom said.

According to Lindstrom, this project was student driven . One such student worked at an internship in Washington, D.C. and worked on naming post offices.

“Through the collaboration of several faculty and students, we worked with Congress members and were able to make this happen,” Lindstrom said.

Rep. Tom Emmer was the representative who authored the bill to designate the Eugene J. McCarthy post office here at SJU. Emmer was also in attendance at the official dedication last week, and during his speech expressed his gratitude and respect at the memory of Sen. McCarthy, and his remaining family members.

Among the others at the post office dedication were members of Eugene McCarthy’s family, including his son Dr. Michael McCarthy, his niece Mary Beth McCarthy-Yarrow, as well as SJU President Michael Hemesath. During the dedication, McCarthy expressed his gratitude at the memorialization of his
father while Hemesath spoke of the legacy that McCarthy left at these  institutions.

This post office dedication serves as a reminder for not only the achievements of Sen. McCarthy, but also as inspiration for current political science students here at CSB/SJU according to McCarthy Center student coordinator Sameera Sheikh.

Sheikh explained why the McCarthy Center wanted to officially dedicate the post office to Eugene J. McCarthy.

“Since we are celebrating his 100th birthday, we wanted to do something special,” Sheikh said. The post office didn’t really have a name before, so we wanted to name it after him to celebrate his accomplishments in his life and also because his graduation from CSB/SJU makes us a part of his legacy.”

The dedication of the post office at SJU will serve the community at CSB/SJU as a reminder of the achievements of Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy and honor a man who took what he learned at this institution to make change in the world.

CSB new athletic fields completed, facilities not finished yet

MADELYNN MOCOL • [email protected] • The new CSB athletic fields are for both intramurals and athletic teams.

By Shannon Govern
[email protected]

The weekend of September 16 and 17 brought as much excitement as it brought questions.

Much like the shiny new toys of Christmas to a child, the College of St. Benedict was given enough funds this past year to build brand new athletic fields for their sports teams. However, while the St. Ben’s soccer team christened the complex with a game on the new turf field, students and the community were left wondering about future plans for the complex.

Among these questions are the completion dates and general impact the fields are expected to have on the community.

“The athletic center building will be completed in Jan. 2018 and we can open our spring seasons with access to the fully completed complex,” CSB Athletic Director Glenn Werner said via email. “We will do a grand opening to the
entire complex in the next academic year.”

Junior Claire Roth is excited for the new fields to open.

“I really think that the fields will be a positive contribution to the College of St. Benedict community,” Roth said. “It seems like St. John’s gets all the fun stuff like the rock wall and dome. It’s time we got something cool too.”

The softball fields are on track to open in time for the CSB softball team to use for practice and games this spring.

“The date of completion for the softball turf field is Oct. 15,” Werner said via email. “The softball grass field has been seeded and we will determine the play date based on how well the grass grows in by the spring thaw.”

The fields will be open to intramurals, club sports, as well as the school’s athletic teams.

Werner hopes the recreational fields will be finished and play worthy at the same time as the other seeded fields.

“We think the CSB and St. Joseph communities will enjoy using and spectating on this complex and we expect all of us to have many reasons to visit and enjoy this facility for decades to come,” Werner said.

Both faculty and students alike are excited about the impact this complex will have on the community.

“I think this will really bring the community together even more at St. Ben’s,” Roth said. “We’ve always been really supportive of each other as Bennies. I think having a nice field that shows that same sentiment to visitors and the St. Joseph community alike, will push the school to a standard we all will benefit from.”

First-generation students’ successes and struggles

GRAPHIC BY JILLIAN SCHULZ• [email protected]

By Ben Pults
[email protected]

On Sept. 21, Hannah Salto, a College of St. Benedict 2016 graduate held a forum regarding first-generation students, who they are, what they need and how CSB/SJU can help them.

A key supporter of first-generation students has been CSB President Mary Hinton.

“I think one of the key commitments of higher education is to create opportunity for students. I firmly believe that my role is to extend those opportunities to as many young people as possible,” Hinton said via email. “Unfortunately, there is not always equal access to opportunity so intentionally creating equity, including for first generation college students, is vitally important and compels my work.”

As of this year, 27 percent of students are first-generation at CSB, compared to 24 percent at SJU. Most of these first-generation students are white, and most of these students come from Minnesota. CSB’s large first-generation student  percentage has resulted in a position specifically suited to helping out first-generation scholars.

This position is where Salto comes into play. Formally called the “College Navigator,” and typically an aid to first-generation students, Salto helps make the transition from high school to college easier for first-generation students. “The aim of my position is to ensure that these already exceptional students succeed to the best of their ability at CSB/SJU and have an equitable educational
experience with a strong support system,” Salto said via email.

However, even with help from people like Salto, first-generation students face an immense number of challenges and difficulties. First-generation students are
extremely hesitant to attend college because they feel like they’re leaving and abandoning their family that they’ve helped out their entire life. They also waver when deciding to go to post-secondary education because they often don’t have an excess of money to spend on college, according to Salto at the forum.

According to data presented by Salto at the forum, there is about a $100,000 income gap between first-generation students and students whose parents both have bachelor’s degrees. As a result of this income difference, these first-generation students are more hesitant to take out student loans, and additionally, because no one in their family has been to college before and doesn’t know how the process works, it leaves the first-generation student even more fearful of attending college.

Other trends were noted at the forum among current first-generation students at CSB/SJU. First-generation students often take longer to decide what major they want to pursue, but once they find their preferred major, they stick with it.

Similarly, these students tend to gravitate towards majors with a higher starting salary than others because they want to provide for their family to the best of their ability according to Salto.

Salto places the burden of difficulties on inexperience.

“If I had to choose a common challenge that first-generation students face, I would say the lack of knowledge of what college is like and how to be a college
student,” Salto said via email.

Among all of these barriers, there are some positive factors. A number of first-generation students feel like they fit in immediately at CSB/SJU. 69 percent of first-generation students at SJU claimed to have fit in right away, with 46 percent of CSB first-generation students claiming the same.

First-generation students tend to provide experiences that other undergraduates might not bring to the CSB/SJU campuses, and appear to also treat college with more value than other students according to Salto.

“They have a passion for education that I don’t think other students have,” Salto said.

Hinton agrees.

“By having people with different lived experiences on our campuses it increases greatly the diversity of thought, the depth of community and the ability to find solutions to problems,” Hinton said via email.

Salto wants first-generation students to approach her if they ever need assistance.

“I enjoy helping people find the strength, power, and skills within themselves… I am able to work with new students and support them as they discover who they are and what they love,” Salto said via email.

Students continue attempts to start Pro-Choice Club

HANNAH SCHWIETZ • [email protected] • Junior Ally Nelson began the petition.

By Cormac Quinn
[email protected]

A petition for a student pro-choice group is not a new idea on campus. However, one student believes after the proactive dialogues following last year’s Link incident, this year, the administration might be more responsive.

According to the CSB/SJU mission statement, the obligations of our administration are twofold: it must uphold the tenants of Catholic ideology; while maintaining its identity as a school of higher education, where the fostering of intellectual growth is rooted in conversation.

The Benedictine values are posted across campus and are exemplified by members of our community; they have provided a bedrock of ideals from which our institution has sprouted. The mission statements of both schools acknowledge Benedictine and Catholic values as integral parts of their operations. In keeping with this mission, they have an obligation to ensure their funds aren’t used for anything that runs contrary to their beliefs.

Fr. Doug Mullin, Vice-President of Student Development at SJU, says this comes up every year.

“[A pro choice club] is not an option,” Mullin said.

Junior Ally Nelson remembers last semester’s attempt to create a pro-choice group, and, inspired by the dialogue created after the Link incident, sought to keep the momentum going.

The rights and amenities provided to student groups on campus by the administration are a centerpiece of her argument. By denying the group access to those resources like mass-emailing and space utilization, she feels this result isn’t giving the students a voice, leaving this pertinent issue without an open dialogue. With the vandalization of the Students for Life display in Gorecki last year, it shows that students have differing opinions.

“This is not a good way to get your message across, but it shows people are frustrated,” Nelson said.

She talked with the administration but there was nothing she could say to make them change their minds.

Wanting to amplify her voice, she started a petition that circulated the junior and senior class Facebook pages, but she knew that even with 1,000 signatures, the answer would still be no.

The annual resurgence of this issue could mean a shifting of tides in favor of the group, but CSB/SJU’s history of adhering to the Catholic values is a part of the school’s identity. No pro-choice club exists in any Catholic affiliated school in the nation; to do so would be a radical step by the administration.

This doesn’t discourage Nelson.

“We pride ourselves on being forward-thinking,” Nelson said.

Mullin put the educational benefits of the group into question.

“Because this issue is so prevalent in society, by the time they’re here they’ve already made up their mind on it,” Mullin said.

Student led efforts to start a pro-choice club at CSB/SJU are likely to continue, but theultimate decision remains tied to the Catholic tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millstream art Festival celebrates 10 years

SIERRA LAMM I• [email protected] • Members of the CSB/SJU and St. Joseph Community enjoy the Art Festival.

By Lydia Glen
[email protected]

For the past 10 years, St. Joseph has been home to the Millstream Arts Festival, an art show that began on the grounds of CSB, moved to St. Cloud and is now back in St. Joseph. The Millstream Arts Festival draws attendees from the neighboring communities and artists from as far as the Twin Cities.

The smell of Indian food, fuzed with the smell of gyro meat and fresh bread permeates the air as jazz music mingles with the bustle of the crowd. This year, the festival featured booths of 43 local artists from pottery to photography to metal work. The art festival also featured an old car show, sidewalk chalk art and an interactive percussion group, where festival attendees were encouraged to learn how to play paint bucket drums.

Another portion of the festival is the book section. People attending the festival were encouraged to take as many free books as they could carry, but also to buy a book of one of the several featured Minnesotan authors. This is the only art fair that also features poetry and creative writing as an art and encourages creativity in all forms.

Jenny Weber is a potter located in Minneapolis and the winner of the Jim Loso Legacy Award, an award that made her travels to the Millstream Art Festival possible.

“Winning this award allowed me to feature my art in a community I would never otherwise have found, and St. Joseph seems to be a great place,” Weber said.
Jazz ensembles from CSB/SJU were involved in the festival in a different way.
Students played jazz for festival goers as they traveled from booth to booth.

“Playing for the festival was a lot of fun, and it was a great way to bring the arts together in Central Minnesota, particularly tying in CSB/SJU with the
surrounding area,” junior trombonist Kevin Lamb said.

Several hundred people attended the art fair to enjoy the art, music and sunny weather.

Betty Schmit-Olson said, “The festival is a great way to take time away from the routine of everyday life and bring the community together for a display of the arts.”

The festival is a great way to celebrate local artists and musicians and bring a greater sense of community to Central Minnesota.

“The Millstream Arts Festival is vital to the businesses of St. Joseph because it puts the town on the map and brings people to the established business of downtown St. Joseph,” said Mary Niedenfuer, the Department Coordinator of the Hispanic Studies Program at CSB/SJU, as well as an organizer of the Millstream Arts Festival since its move to St. Joseph. “This is a very unique event, and we would love to see more student involvement and attendance,
especially since the festival began at CSB.”

If you missed this year’s festival, next year’s festival will be held on Sept. 20, 2018.

SJU gains student input regarding new housing

JILLIAN SCHULZ • [email protected] A newly renovated St. Thomas Hall lounge.

By Sierra Lammi

[email protected]

After many years of SJU student complaints about housing, the St. John’s Senate is gaining momentum to update housing in the Flynntown area, while emphasizing student input on these changes.

To accomplish this goal, a housing forum was held last week on Sept. 21 in Pellegrene Auditorium to gain student input on what the new housing should look like.

The housing changes that will be made are implementing a new building in the Flynntown apartments to provide upperclassmen with better amenities as well as more public space to foster a better sense of community. Dean of Students Mike Connolly has been part of the decision-making process.

“These housing changes are being considered so as to improve the number and quality of upper class apartments on campus,” Connolly said via email. “Much thought and consideration is being given to the location, style of apartments and how to best develop an intentional community in Flynntown.”

SJU Senate President, senior Jack Cummings, has been working toward getting new upperclassmen housing for Johnnies for years.

“Housing has been a concern on the St. John’s Senate for my whole time serving on Senate, and it has actually been on our goal set since 2007,” Cummings said.

Last year, the Senate sent out a survey to SJU students about what they would want to see changed in their housing. The results of the survey indicated that students were indeed dissatisfied with their housing, specifically with the amenities in their housing. The results of the survey pushed the SJU Board and administration to take on the project of creating better housing for SJU students.

An outside consultant was hired to help create the new housing that students want to see in Flynntown. The forum held was a chance for students to meet with these consultants and voice their opinions on what type of housing was to be created. However, Cummings makes it clear that the consultants are here to get information on what students want rather than design the project themselves.

“An overwhelming amount of students were concerned with the type of building that would be implemented in Flynntown,” Cummings said. “Specifically, input was given about whether to have an apartment style building or independent style condo building, such as Vincent or Centennial. Students want to feel a type of independence as upperclassmen but also foster the Benedictine value of community.”

Cummings hopes that the plans for the housing updates will be approved within the academic year.

While St. John’s prepares to renovate upperclassmen housing, CSB/SJU has focused on improvements to first-year housing recently in Corona, Regina, Aurora and St. Thomas Halls.

“We have been working to make improvements over the past several years in CSB housing.” Residential Life Director of Housing for CSB Mary Beth Thompson said. “This summer and next summer, improvements will be happening in the first-year halls as well as Mary Commons both inside and out.”

These changes include new carpets, blinds and paint jobs within the first-year dorms.

There will be another forum for SJU students to voice their opinions on housing later this semester.