Page 1

SKI U MAH 2019

An Independent Student Newspaper, Founded in 1900. 2221 University Ave. SE, Suite 450 Minneapolis, MN 55414 Phone: (612) 627-4080 Fax: (612) 435-5865 Copyright Š 2019 The Minnesota Daily This newspaper, its design and its contents are copyrighted. OFFICE OF THE PUBLISHER Kelly Busche Editor-in-Chief (612) 435-1575 Genevieve Locke Business Operations Officer (612) 435-2761 EDITORIAL STAFF Max Chao Managing Editor Christine Ha Managing Production Editor Michelle Griffith Campus Activities Editor Madeline Deninger City Editor J.D. Duggan Campus Administration Editor Drew Cove Sports Editor Sophie Vilensky A&E Editor Cleo Krejci Features Editor Ellen Schmidt Multimedia Editor Courtney Deutz Assistant Multimedia Editor Molly Tynjala Copy Desk Chief Bailey Davis Assistant Copy Desk Chief Desmond Kamas Chief Page Designer Abby Adamski Visuals Editor Morgan La Casse Visuals Editor

4 Year in Review
















EDITORIAL BOARD Ellen Schneider Editorials & Opinions Editor Ariana Wilson Editorial Board Member Hailey Almstead Editorial Board Member Kelly Busche Editor-in-Chief =




BUSINESS Kyle Stumpf Sales Manager Chelsea Goetz Creative Director David Keane Controller =



15 Tony Diggs Awards

The Year in Review Thank you for reading and following the Minnesota Daily this year. The Daily staff was busy every day covering news that matters to the University of Minnesota community. The following stories are some of the most impactful and important stories we’ve covered this year. In these last few hectic days of the semester, allow yourself time to read and reflect on the incredible year we’ve had.

NOV. 7

ILHAN OMAR SWEEPS 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT Following one term at the State Capitol, Omar will become the first SomaliAmerican in Congress. By MN Daily Staff Minnesota made history by electing the first refugee and Somali-American woman to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, is a rising star in the Democratic Party who has seen strong support from students and young voters. She won Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District seat Nov. 7 in a landslide victory, more than tripling the vote total of her GOP challenger Jen Zielinski. Omar became the first SomaliAmerican legislator in the United States in 2016 when she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives District 60B, which encompasses the University of Minnesota neighborhoods. “You all know that I did not run to be a first — I ran because I came to this country, I heard of its promises. And when I looked around this district, [I saw] many who have never known the bounty of the American promise, the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Omar said.


Ilhan Omar takes a selfie with supporters at her election party on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Minneapolis.

Omar addressed key points she plans to address in Congress to a crowd brimming with supporters on Election Day. She said she hopes to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, protect women’s and refugee rights and fight climate change.

Campaign workers say Omar’s ability to mobilize students and young voters bolstered her victory in the primaries this August. “You’re seeing the really young millennial people excited, and the students excited, and the elders excited — so it’s really rare that

a candidate can capture the hearts of all of these people,” said Sarah Senseman, who volunteered for Omar’s campaign. “Ilhan is deeply engaged ... she engages across generations, she engages across cultures, and it’s just very clear that she cares.”


Monday, May, 6, 2019


The Gophers take a group picture at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Saturday, Nov. 24. The Gophers beat the Badgers 3715 for the first time since 2003.

Minnesota beat Wisconsin 37-15, on the back of Mohamed Ibrahim’s 26 carries for 121 yards. By Jack Warrick The Gophers have been through six head coaches since the last time they took a victory over the Badgers. Minnesota took advantage of the opportunity to change that Nov.

THE AXE IS BACK 24 and put head coach P.J. Fleck in the win column versus its rivals to the east. Minnesota beat Wisconsin for the first time since 2003, taking Paul Bunyan’s Axe back to Dinkytown. “I know this is a moment and memory they’ll remember the rest of their life,” Fleck said. “When you hold the axe ... you know why everyone wants it so much.” The victory marked Fleck’s first

road Big Ten win since taking over last season. The Gophers used turnovers, field goals, freshman running back Mohamed Ibrahim and a 69-yard punt return touchdown to fight their way to the end. Minnesota hadn’t beaten the Badgers in their the Badgers’ Camp Randall Stadium since 1994. Minnesota’s rout put the all-time rivalry record back to even with a 60-60-8 all-time record in over 100 years of rivalry games. It was the

last regular season game for Minnesota. The 6-6 record will give the team eligibility in a bowl game to extend its season. “That moment is just something I will never forget in my entire life,” quarterback Tanner Morgan said. “[I] got really emotional. Probably almost cried — I don’t know — but it’s just such a surreal experience. And I was just very thankful for everybody that was here, and the roles that they played.”

Monday, May, 6, 2019


DEC. 18

JOAN GABEL IS NAMED NEXT UMN PRESIDENT The Board of Regents voted on Joan Gabel’s confirmation at a special meeting Dec. 18.

By Helen Sabrowsky Joan Gabel will be the next president of the University of Minnesota. The Board of Regents voted to confirm sole presidential finalist Gabel at a special meeting Dec. 18. Gabel will be the first female president of the University. Her five-year contract includes an annual salary of $640,000. Several regents said they look DAILY FILE PHOTO forward to working with Gabel The lone finalist in the race for University of Minnesota president, Joan Gabel, smiles as the and are ready for new leadership. Board of Regents extend praise to her qualifications for the job before a vote on Tuesday, Dec. “I think there are so many things 18 at McNamara Alumni Center. at task that have kind of been put just haven’t had the appetite to go when a new president comes in on hold at the University, and we after certain things … but I think we can take another look at every-

thing,” said Regent Michael Hsu. Hsu said he wants Gabel to address issues like tuition, student debt and the school’s budgeting process, along with creating the system-wide strategic plan. Regent Randy Simonson praised Gabel’s commitment to issues facing greater Minnesota and her interest in a system-wide strategic plan. “I was disappointed that some of us were only able to talk to one candidate ... that being said, I am very supportive of president-elect [Gabel]. I think she’s the real deal; I like her diverse background, she’s very enthusiastic, she’s very committed to some of the things I like … she’s very much a team player. … I really like that concept as a leader,” he said.



The University of Minnesota community battled the extreme cold in late January. University of Minnesota students — many covered in scarves, face masks and even ski goggles — braved the harsh weather in a few of the state’s coldest days in more than 20 years. The extreme cold prompted the University to close its Twin Cities campus, as well as cancel classes for all of Wednesday and part of Tuesday and Thursday. Although campus was closed, University students still needed to complete their assignments, essential em-

ployees still needed to work and businesses, not wanting to lose revenue, stayed open. While the University has canceled classes due to extreme weather in the past, Cherrene Horazuk said a full-campus shutdown is uncommon. Horazuk is the president of AFSCME 3800, the union for local clerical workers at the University. She’s worked at the University for 14 years. On Tuesday, AFSCME 3800 sent a letter to President Eric Kaler demanding the University, in addition to canceling classes, close the campus for its employees. Horazuk said the administration

did not appear to be considering the safety of its workers and faculty. Later that day, the University announced that the campus would be closed and requested only essential employees come into work on Wednesday. “We were actually surprised that they changed their decision,” Horazuk said. “We recognize and honor the work that essential employees are doing to make sure the University is staying safe, but we’re glad the University decided to close overall.” Despite cold temperatures, students were still hiking around Dinkytown on Wednesday. Kev-

Monday, May, 6, 2019


in Monagan, a student studying English and political science, still made his way to the Dinkytown Starbucks in the early afternoon on Wednesday. “For me, I was curious what it was like outside,” he said. Halia Parrott, a third-year student studying nursing, braved the cold for an iced coffee. “I’m going inside for the rest of the day,” she said as she left, clutching her cold beverage.

u On the Right: DAILY FILE PHOTO

Electrical Engineering sophomore Yilia Yang throws hot water into the air to watch it freeze on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2019 in the East Bank Mall. Yang had the day off because classes were cancelled due to extremely low temperatures.


PUNISHMENT SCRAPPED FROM PRONOUN POLICY Policy advocates continue to contend with free speech concerns in latest draft. By Jake Steinberg The latest version of a proposed University of Minnesota policy on gender identity attempts to reconcile free speech concerns with safeguarding gender expression. In late January, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action revealed the most recent draft of a proposed policy on gender identity, expression and pronouns. The latest

version omits controversial language that described consequences of violating the policy, up to firing or expulsion. The draft policy, which is subject to change, allows University members to specify a name and gender different from those listed on their legal documents. It allows University members to specify pronouns and grants access to University facilities that match their gender identities, which many gender non-conforming individuals say would help create a welcoming environment. A previous section on discrimination, harassment and retaliation that

some perceived as stifling free speech was removed. The change is in line with EOAA’s goals for the policy as an educational, rather than punitive document, EOAA director Tina Marisam told the Senate Equity, Access and Diversity Committee last week. “We got a lot of feedback that the purpose of this policy should be to educate and to inspire our community to engage in respectful behavior. Having that section in that mentioned discipline made it a scarier policy,” she said. Marisam said the section was redundant because a pre-existing Board of Regents policy already prohibits


discrimination or harassment based on gender identity or expression. “It doesn’t change anything substantively,” she said. “It’s more of a difference in how this particular policy is framed.”


Monday, May, 6, 2019

FEB. 10

AMY KLOBUCHAR ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announced a campaign for the 2020 presidential race Feb. 10. By Imani Cruzen Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., formally announced a presidential bid Feb. 10 at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, adding her to a growing field of female candidates in the Democratic primary race. Klobuchar, who gained national attention after speaking at the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last fall, has served in the Senate since 2007. She was the first female from Minnesota elected to the United States Senate.

“I am running for this job for everyone who wants their work [to be] recognized and rewarded. I am running for every parent who wants a better world for their kid,” Klobuchar said in her speech. “I’m running for every student who wants a good education. For every senior who wants affordable prescription drugs. For every farmer, dreamer and builder. I am running for every American.” After announcing her presidential bid, Klobuchar highlighted a number of issues her candidacy would focus on, including immigration, health care, education and DAILY FILE PHOTO climate change. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., formally announces a bid for the United States presidency on “Let’s see those obstacles as our Sunday, Feb. 10, at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis. path. There are insidious voices ev- vote, trying to drown out our voices organize, time to galvanize, time to ery day trying to make it harder to with money,” she said. “It is time to take back our democracy.”


PROFESSOR’S ‘GRAVE MISCONDUCT’ IN UMN LAB LEADS TO DISCIPLINE Lab researchers were mistreated by their adviser for years, though the adviser denies the accusations.

By Cleo Krejci and Katrina Pross A tenured neuroscience professor at the University of Minnesota faces disciplinary action for mistreatment of researchers after the University found “grave misconduct” in his

lab. The University’s Medical School dean delivered a letter of reprimand in November to tenured neuroscience professor and lab manager Michael K. Lee, who will be removed from the Graduate School faculty on Sept. 1, 2019 as a consequence of the actions specified in the letter of reprimand. According to the University’s letter, Lee created a work environment of “intimidation and fear” in his laboratory and mistreat-

ed students, among other stated reasons for the discipline. His behavior is inconsistent with the University’s Code of Conduct, according to the letter. Lee wrote a response letter days after receiving the letter of reprimand, saying he disagrees with the stated charges made by the University. He declined the Minnesota Daily’s multiple interview requests. “I would like to respond to charges made in the above ... letter of

reprimand as I feel that the stated charges are quite arbitrary and untrue. Further, given that I was not given an opportunity to respond to these charges during your investigation of this matter, I ask that my response be included in my personnel file,” Lee wrote in his response letter. Like other schools across the country, many say the University struggles with a skewed power balance between graduate advisers,


Monday, May, 6, 2019

students and postdoctoral researchers. Leaders in University graduate education say there needs to be better policies to support those who experience rare but harmful relationships with their faculty advisers. “He knew he could go and scream, or yell … with anybody to hear, and then nothing would happen,” said Christopher Gallardo, who joined Lee’s neuroscience lab in April 2014 and worked there until December 2017. Emails shared with the Daily show that University staff, including those at the University’s department of Human Resources, knew about Gallardo’s concerns with Lee’s behavior more than three years ago. In response to a request for comment about the letter of discipline and the Graduate School climate in respect to the relationship between students and faculty members, the University of Minnesota wrote in an email that “the disciplinary letter speaks for itself, and the University has no further comment.”


FEB. 20


A task force recommends stripping names from Coffman Union, Nicholson, Middlebrook and Coffey.

In a thrice-delayed report, the Task Force on Building Names and Institutional History recommends removing Coffman Union, Nicholson Hall, Middlebrook Hall By Jake Steinberg and Coffey Hall of their names. University President Eric Kaler A task force charged with re- and Executive Vice President and viewing the names of four Uni- Provost Karen Hanson received versity of Minnesota buildings the report Friday. Kaler will use has recommended to strip the its contents to issue his own recommendations to the Board of buildings of their names.

Regents. The Board will ultimately vote on whether the buildings will be renamed. The buildings are named after former University presidents and administrators whose ardent support of segregation was brought to light in the 2017 “A Campus Divided” exhibit, which the report recommends be permanently installed in the newly renamed student union.


Passersby walk next to Coffman Memorial Union on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. Coffman Union is one of the four buildnigs recommended for renaming.


Monday, May, 6, 2019



Further complaints to the University could lead to its removal from campus. By Audrey Kennedy

After giving his personal information to a recruiter at the University of Minnesota, recent graduate John* trained for months to become a salesman for Southwestern Advantage. But after arriving in Ohio to begin selling for the company in 2016, he started questioning the decision.

“They admire this discipline of working 90 hours a week. It was such a cutthroat, competitive, run-you-into-the-ground summer,” said John, who requested anonymity because he fears backlash from the company. Southwestern Advantage teaches college students to build their own business by selling books and advertises the ability for students to earn over $8,000 a summer. The company uses a direct sales method where those involved sell books from a par-

ent company and earn profits depending on their sales. Students are not required to buy books to sell up front but are responsible for travel and living expenses. After the company began recruiting this semester on the Twin Cities campus, students have raised concerns over Southwestern Advantage;s business model and methods of recruitment, which include visiting classrooms and renting tables at prominent buildings The University sent a letter to Southwestern Advantage in late February

saying if they “receive further reports of deceptive marketing tactics or interruptions in classroom spaces, we will be forced to consider limiting your access to campus.” Southwestern Advantage has worked with students at the University for decades, according to Senior District Sales Leader AJ Skalsky. “We try to be very transparent and do everything by the book of what they teach us to do. They are very aware of our presence on campus,” he said.


CHEMICAL ANALYSIS FINDS POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS FOR FORMER WORKERS AT THE ARROW After three workers went to the emergency room in September, a string of tests on carpeting tiles installed in the building identified potential risks to former carpet layers.

By Cleo Krejci Ulysses Eldridge gagged from gasoline fumes when he was filling up his car last fall. A few weeks before, he and two other workers went to the emergency room feeling sick after installing carpeting at the student apartments formerly known as Prime Place. Chemicals on the carpeting in-

stalled in September present potential hazards to workers’ health, according to a recently completed lab analysis initiated by the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council. The recent report resulted from workers’ concerns about the carpet’s effect on their health at the building now known as The Arrow Apartments. Following the incident in September, the City of Minneapolis Health Department also tested air quality at the apartment building. City tests showed elevated levels of the same types of potentially hazardous chemicals as the recent third-party report did, but the chemical readings dropped sig-

nificantly after the City instructed they ventilate the building. Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which also filed an inspection report on the incident in the fall, and the City closed their cases after concluding there were no immediate safety concerns with the project. The City plans to send an inspector in to test air quality in the building, according to Patrick Hanlon, director of environmental programs at the City of Minneapolis Health Department. It’s been about six months since Eldridge went to the hospital, and he said he’s still experiencing symptoms like impaired memory function, ringing in his

ears and fatigue. He said he’s extra-sensitive to harsh odors like paint and gasoline fumes, which are common to encounter in his profession installing carpets. The Arrow, which is located at 117 27th Ave. SE., is marketed to University of Minnesota students. Initial delays in construction forced residents who had already signed leases to look for temporary housing while the building was finished. Inspections in November 2017 identified serious building code violations and safety fire safety concerns associated with the ongoing construction project. Two months later, the apartments rebranded to The Arrow.


Monday, May, 6, 2019


AN INVISIBLE FIGHT: STUDENTS STRUGGLE WITH EATING DISORDERS As the number of students with eating disorders grows, some worry resources aren’t catching up.

By Audrey Kennedy University of Minnesota student Abby has suffered from food and body image issues for as long as she can remember. But when it started to take over her life last year, she realized she needed to seek help for her eating disorder. “I originally didn’t think I was severe enough. … I still feel that way. With the diagnosis that I have, I feel like I’m not sick enough to be needing this,” Abby said, who asked to not use her last name because her parents are not aware of her diagnosis. In 2018, 4.5 percent of students on the Twin Cities campus self-reported that they had been diagnosed with anorexia and/or bulimia in their lifetime, up from 3.7 percent in 2015, according to a University survey. But the survey didn’t account for other types of eating disorders, like binge eating and other specified feeding and eating disorders. “[Surveys] capture a huge number of people whose symptoms are distressing but don’t neatly fit a diagnosis [of anorexia or bulimia]. We know that there are a lot more people suffering


Psychology and nutrition junior Taylor Peterson displays her journal on Tuesday, March 12 at University Commons apartments. Peterson, who relapsed from her eating disorder this year, said journaling helps her keep her thoughts positive.

than those statistics reflect,” said Mary Utz, a therapist at Boynton Health’s Mental Health clinic and a member of the clinic’s eating disorder team. Fewer than 20 percent of college students who are diagnosed with an eating disorder report receiving treatment, partially because of stigma, according to Elizabeth Claydon, assistant professor at West Virginia University, whose research focuses on

eating disorders. “Especially among male students, [people believe] eating disorders are a female disease. There’s a ton of misinformation out there … you can’t necessarily tell that someone has an eating disorder by looking at them,” she said. However, some students say the on-campus resources for students suffering from an eating disorder aren’t enough. Boynton,

the University’s primary student health resource, currently does not offer any eating disorder therapy groups or major treatment options on campus. “It’s so expensive to go to another treatment program. Boynton has [10] free therapy sessions a year … and my insurance doesn’t cover anything else. They said, ‘Yeah, we think that you have this, but we can’t help you here,’” Abby said.


Monday, May, 6, 2019



Minnesota advanced to the second round for the first time in six years. By Nick Jungheim

For the second time in three seasons, Minnesota qualified for the NCAA Tournament, but unlike in 2017, this time the Gophers were able to win a game. With the help of 3-point shooting, Minnesota (22-13, 9-11) defeated Louisville (21-14, 10-8) 8676 in front of a strong contingency of fans who traveled south to Des Moines, Iowa. Playing against the team for which his father was head coach for 16 seasons, Gophers head coach Richard Pitino, a former assistant at

league,” Pitino said. “We had five new players, we had some ups and downs. It didn’t matter who we played.” Early on, the teams traded buckets, going back-and-forth with eight lead changes in the first 10 minutes. With 7:14 until halftime, a 3-pointer from senior Dupree McBrayer put Minnesota in front 18-17, a lead that held until the end of the game. The Gophers benefited from timely 3-point shooting throughout the afternoon. Before halftime, junior Amir Coffey tied his seasonhigh, making three shots from behind the arc. In addition to those DAILY FILE PHOTO and the 3-pointer from McBrayer, Freshman Gabe Kalscheur dribbles to the lane at Williams Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 30. freshman Gabe Kalscheur hit a pair “It’s very, very hard to get to and Minnesota went 6-15 overall Louisville, said the victory was all the tournament, especially in our from deep in the first half. about his current players.



naming Coffman Union, Nicholson Hall, Coffey Hall and Middlebrook Hall — going against more than a year of student advocacy, a campus task force report and President Eric By Jake Steinberg and Kaler’s recommendations. Regent Austen Macalus Abdul Omari was the only regent to vote against the resolution. In a staggering move, John The University of Minnesota’s Wright, a longtime professor in the Board of Regents voted against re- Department of African American naming four campus buildings de- and African Studies, stepped forspite protesters commandeering a ward to address the board before special meeting Friday afternoon to regents took their vote. decry the resolution. Regent Dean Johnson, appointRegents voted 10-1 to reject re- ed as acting chair for the meeting, The Board of Regents voted against renaming four buildings on campus named after controversial former administrators.

threatened to arrest protesters. However, protesters gathered around Wright in an attempt to shield him from arrest and Johnson eventually agreed to let Wright address the board. Surrounded by a crowd of supporters, Wright gave an impassioned speech about the University’s history of discrimination and his own family’s experience under the tenure of President Lotus Coffman. “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme,” he said, quoting Mark Twain. He likened regents’ opposition to renaming to the racist

policies his aunt and father experienced on campus. However, board members took issue with renaming buildings, citing former administrators’ contributions to the University and the influence of the governing board at the time. Though discrimination on campus is reprehensible, regents said the University should address its complicated history in other ways. “As a community, the University needs to move on and we need to move on in harmony,” said Regent Steve Sviggum.


Monday, May, 6, 2019


‘I AM NOT ALONE’: UMN STUDENTS’ SILENT GRIEF Many University students say they feel isolated in their grief and are under pressure to keep up with demands of college life. By Michelle Griffith Blake Downing is graduating from the University of Minnesota in May and preparing for graduate school at the University of California-Berkeley. In addition to the stress of graduating, he’s shouldering an additional burden: His mom won’t be there to see him accept his diploma.

Downing’s mom, Janis, died when he was 14 from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a lung disease that causes scar tissue and leads to lung failure. Downing said he knows graduation, a celebratory milestone for many students, will be difficult because he will be thinking about his mom’s absence. “Grief has such a powerful impact on the rest of my life, not just the fact that I miss my mom,” he said. “There’s just so many other things that it ties into.” Many University students

lose someone important to them. However, many students say they feel like they are the only ones their age living with grief. Approximately 22 to 30 percent of college undergraduates are likely to have experienced the loss of a loved one within the previous 12 months, according to a survey of almost 1,000 students published in the journal “Mortality.” Grief is multifaceted. It looks different to everyone, and its severity depends on the strength of the relationship lost, said University faculty member Fiyyaz

Karim, who specializes in grief, counseling and post-traumatic stress, among other clinical interests. “The one big thing is that sometimes college students don’t have that social support, because they’re away from home,” Karim said. Everyone grieves differently, Karim said. It can be isolating because many students don’t want to talk about it, fearing it will bring down the tone of a situation. And grief is still considered a “taboo subject” in many cultures, he added.


Monday, May, 6, 2019




Carolyn Carlson Genevieve Locke Ariana Makuch Alex Schmieden Kim Vu

Hannah Brand Qian Chen Edward Kosin

Hailey Almsted Kelly Busche Haley Burgess Drew Cove Imani Cruzen Bailey Davis Courtney Deutz Emma Dill Kait Ecker Samir Ferdowsi Christine Ha Palmer Haasch Aleezeh Hasan Mohamed Ibrahim Austen Macalus Chris McNamara Isabella Murray David Mullen Erik Nelson Miguel Octavio Babatunde Santos Tony Saunders Ellen Schmdit Ellen Schneider Jake Steinberg Will Tooke Molly Tynjala Sophie Vilensky Jack Warrick



*This section is presented by the Minnesota Daily business division


Monday, May, 6, 2019

SHADE - Excellence in Inclusion

Minnesota Hillel - Innovation Award

Sexual Health Awareness and Disease Education, known as SHADE, is a student group that functions as part of Boynton Health Services in conjunction with the International Student Services Fee committee. The group has been working to improve sexual health outcomes for international students by increasing access to comprehensive resources in a way that best services the international student community. In order to accomplish this goal, SHADE gathered information and created relationships with members of the larger international student community to develop evidence-based and culturally appropriate programming. Central to their efforts was a commitment to LQBTQinclusive language while servicing a diverse international community of all language levels and varying cultural expectations.

In the summer of 2018, Minnesota Hillel led an initiative aimed at exploring perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The organization gave students from Minnesota Hillel, as well as students from other non-Jewish campus organizations, the opportunity to travel as a group to Israel for 10 days. While there, students heard from people living in both Israeli and Palestinian territories in order to gain first-hand insight into the complex situation. In the interest of removing barriers to the project, this trip was fully funded and free of cost to the students who attended. By creating an environment where student leaders could respectfully express their informed opinions, the group established a greater shared understanding that the members could bring back to the University. After the trip, the group of travelers emceed an event sponsored by the College of Human Development that featured both an Israeli author and a Palestinian author to bring a spirit of open-dialogue to campus.

College of Liberal Arts Student Board, College of Education and Human Development Undergraduate Student Board, College of Biological Sciences Student Board, Carlson School of Management Business Board, Science and Engineering Student Board, Minnesota Student Association and Minnesota Nursing Student Board for Wellness Week Outstanding Collaboration Wellness Week was a fall 2018 initiative involving the collaboration of six undergraduate student boards and the overarching undergraduate student government at the University of Minnesota. The goals of the initiative were to encourage students to practice self-awareness in conjunction with their own wellness and to promote awareness of wellness resources on campus. At least one wellness-themed event was held each day over the course of the week, in addition to more specific events that focused on aspects of the physical, mental or nutritional components of overall wellness. The groups behind Wellness Week sought to provide students with an opportunity to take a break from the exhausting academic semester and de-stress, prioritize wellness or learn more about wellness resources on campus.


Monday, May, 6, 2019

Engineers Without Borders Outstanding Service /Philanthropic Project

Volunteer Tax Assistance Program Award Undergraduate Student Group

The University of Minnesota chapter of Engineers Without Borders seeks to connect students with engineering opportunities in order to serve underprivileged communities around the world. Their objective is to increase the community’s accessibility and provide valuable opportunities to improve students’ engineering abilities. Students and community members work together to create solutions aimed at addressing each community’s specific needs. Currently, UMN’s branch of Engineers Without Borders has two projects in progress: one based in Filakit, Ethiopia and the other in Paraxaj, Guatemala.

The Volunteer Tax Assistance Program offers Federal and State tax services to University of Minnesota students free of charge. Students are trained in the technical aspects of tax preparation to help prepare them for future careers. Each member is either a tax preparer, quality reviewer or site coordinator. To be a volunteer, one must complete a basic and/or advanced level of certification (by the IRS). Volunteers are gaining experience in an environment that is similar to a “real life workplace” which is beneficial to improving their character and knowledge for future careers.

Ben Koch, Science and Engineering Student Board - Outstanding Student Group Advisor


Ben’s instruction and insight is invaluable to members of the Science and Engineering Student Board’s development as professionals and leaders. His role within SESB is to provide guidance on the organization’s long term strategy and oversee events, initiatives and projects they manage. Ben leads by example in his interactions with students and his commitment to SESB. He is clear and honest about recognizing his personal strengths and weaknesses as an adviser and leader. The self-awareness Ben exemplifies has a lasting positive impact on students. Because a large part of his role involves providing insight to individual leaders on the Science and Engineering Student Board, his years of experience and familiarity with the College of Science and Engineering allows him to contribute valuable perspectives to students.

Rookie Student Group of the Year PERIOD.MN is fighting for menstrual equity by promoting period-positive policies, providing period products to populations in need and improving education around menstruation to reduce the stigma surrounding periods. The initial five members aligned their vision of what the group should be, and their success thereafter has been tremendous. Because of the group’s strong leadership and determination, members have distributed over 3000 period packs and are currently establishing a distribution stream that will enable them to support 750 menstruators per month. The group is working on and off campus to inform individuals on the myths and realities of menstruation while appreciating the different backgrounds and experiences of every individual they interact with.


Monday, May, 6, 2019

Graduate Women in Biomedical Engineering

University of Minnesota Robotics

Outstanding Graduate / Professional Student Group

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Group

Graduate Women in Biomedical Engineering is a group for women within the major to meet and discuss the issues of being a woman in Biomedical Engineering, and the members strive to create affability within the Biomedical Engineering department. The group thrives in its high-level participation with a current count of 67 members. This group of women has also worked with middle school students in underserved areas, introducing students to the Biomedical field through demonstrations with DNA. Through such activities, Graduate Women in Biomedical Engineering evidences its success, and its impact has been astounding.

The University of Minnesota Robotics group includes eight officers, five project leads and around 15 to 40 students on each project team. Their goal as a group is to provide students with real-world experience from course concepts learned in the College of Science & Engineering curriculum. Members are offered the opportunity to network with industry professionals to learn more about post-graduation career options. Furthermore, the UMN Robotics group frequently remains active by volunteering at local robotics tournaments, working with teams throughout Minnesota and creating several projects during the year.

Outstanding Program/Event

Phillips Neighborhood Clinic People’s Choice Award Graduate/Professional Student Group Phillips Neighborhood Clinic works to provide individuals with free, quality health care regardless of their insurance situation, citizenship status or financial background. With nearly 1,000 patients served annually, the clinic offers services including physicals, wellness checks, dermatology, women’s health, physical therapy, legal guidance and more. Students also have the opportunity to help operate this business. This year alone, the clinic received more than 200 applications from professional students, which adds to the clinic’s acknowledged success.

Jazba Entertainment for Jazba 2018 At the Orpheum Theater on March 3rd, 2018, ten nationally renowned collegiate dance teams competed for the title of Jazba 2018 Champion. Jazba 2018, a Bollywood Fusion Dance Competition, captivated an audience of 2,200+ students, faculty and community members from wide-ranging backgrounds. Bollywood Fusion is a style of dance that is used to convey powerful messages and embrace individuality. Jazba Entertainment, the group that hosted the event, sought to spread South Asian cultural awareness through dance and the arts while promoting acceptance and appreciation of diversity. The dance competition encompassed social causes, the arts and community involvement all in one sensational night.

Profile for The Minnesota Daily

May 6, 2019  

May 6, 2019  

Profile for mndaily