Minot State Student Activities celebrates banner year

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University’s Office of Student Activities mission is to “cultivate a vibrant campus community that engages, entertains, and educates Minot State University students.”

In 2018-19, Student Activities did just that.

Minot State hosted 106 events total during the academic year, including multiple events that attracted more than 200 students. According to Aaron Hughes, Student Activities coordinator, her team deserves much of the credit for an action-packed year.

“The team consists of the coordinator (Hughes), three paid student directors, and a team of 30-plus student volunteers who gain valuable hands-on experience in areas of leadership, marketing, communications, budgeting, social media, and teamwork,” she said. “We meet 8-10 times an academic year and do much of our planning for the next year during the spring semester. The team decides what prizes we give away, how often we’re hosting similar events, what additional promotion is needed, how many to plan for, what to eat, and even sometimes what events need to be shelved or how to recover from a ‘dud’ event.”

Events during the year range from free lunches, to comedians, trips, cooking classes, game shows, build-a-beaver — and the students’ favorite — bingo.

“We had over 400 students at ‘Welcome Bingo,’” Hughes said. “It has been a huge hit with the students.”

Some of the other top attended events were: RecFest (250), Lunch at Beaver Creek Café (200), With Room Coffee event (200), Pinterest Night (multiple with over 100), and Mini Golf at The Putt District (100).

Partnering with local businesses like The Putt District and With Room Coffee, has been a staple of the programming for Student Activities. MSU Life events encourage students to visit more than 20 local businesses throughout the year including: Gourmet Chef, HighAir Ground, Dairy Queen, Spicy Pie, Tim Hortons, North Hill Bowl, Apple Grove Golf Course, Tutti Frutti, AMC Theaters, Berry Acres Pumpkin Patch, Nutrition Addiction, YogifyU, Maysa Arena, Oak Park Theater, Margie’s Art Glass Studio, Sertoma Lights in the Park, Planet Pizza, Encore Events, and Roosevelt Park Zoo.

Hughes’ director team featured students Alyssa Baerlocher, Mark Fulbright, and Sidni Kast in 2018-19. The director team for 2019-2020, which began its term in March, features students Payton Bland, Thea Bonebrake, and Emily Love. Hughes also singled out Joshua Strong (working with Instagram), Kaitlyn Hill (Intramurals), and Faith Houston (ASTEP) as key students.

“We have students step in and step up at just the right time,” she said. “We needed a skateboard for our Block Party entertainer, and I had a student get one to us in three minutes. I have a few who I call my silent partners — they tend to be quiet in meetings and events, but whenever I call on them, they step in without beating an eye. We even had a student who joined at the semester who meant to go to a different meeting, but ended up at the wrong room. He joined the team anyway because he loved what we were doing.

“I love my students. They are all rock stars!”

Hughes also singled out some of her favorite events of the year, including their signature kick-off event, Club Fair, along with 500 Ways to Win, Sushi Rolling Class, and Pinterest Night.

“The Club Fair is truly the epitome of college life. It’s just like what you see in the movies,” she said. “I would argue that is the day Minot State feels most alive. Every year it’s my favorite because the tunes are cranked, the faces are smiling, and the excitement is contagious. 500 Ways to Win we stumbled upon at our NACA Conference, basically we drop 500 ping pong balls from the ceiling of the Wellness Center and each ball correlates with a prize. I’ve wanted to do a cooking class since I started at Minot State and we were able to coordinate with Gourmet Chef to do a successful Sushi Rolling Class. And the Pinterest Night students are my people. We consistently have 100 students no matter what the project. It’s fun to see everyone unwind and tap into their creative sides.”

The directors and Hughes are busy planning for the 2019-2020 academic year, featuring International Student Bingo (Aug. 24), Quadstock, featuring Arts Fishing Club (Aug. 28), and an enhanced 500 Ways to Win (Sept. 12). More events will be released in the fall.

“We are planning the International Bingo before the Welcome Bingo event to help teach our international students how to play bingo,” she said. “And we are planning a bigger and better 500 Ways to Win. We are excited to implement our new ideas.”


About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/31/19   

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