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Too public? Privacy concerns with social networking

Tips for students: how to afford tuition and high gas prices

Changes to campus parking beginning Febr. 1

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M e t r o p o l i t a n

S t a t e

U n i v e r s i t y

Published monthly in St. Paul, Minn.

Don’t miss the job fair, Feb. 21 It’s not too late to register for the Minnesota State Universities Job Fair on Monday, Feb. 21 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Metropolitan State University students and alumni will be in attendance to meet 150 companies and organizations. Recruiters looking to hire state university students will be present to meet students and alumni and will be accepting resumes and arranging sameday on-site interviews. Online pre-registration ends on Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. and only costs $15. To register for the Job Fair: 1) Visit and click “Register for Classes”. 2) Enter course id #001039 (Job & Internship Fair Registration and Orientation Workshop). 3) Learn all about the event and finish your registration by completing the course. 4) Pay the $15 registration fee on your account. No refunds are available. Payment is due by 4 p.m. on Feb. 14. If you are an alumnus who wishes to attend the event, please contact the career services office before trying to register. If you do not pre-register, the cost is $25 the day of the event. For more information or questions, contact career services at edu or call (651) 793-1528. For more information on the employers that will be in attendance, visit www.mnsujobfair. org.

Health IT: myths and realities Advance IT Minnesota is sponsoring an experts panel discussion and recruiter networking event for all IT and computer science or related discipline students. The event will be at St. Paul College on Feb. 8 and starts at 6 p.m. with a free lasagna dinner. Registration is limited to 80 participants and attendance for those registering is required as demand for seats is expected to exceed supply. Further information can be found at, then click on ‘events.”

S t u d e n t

Volume 19 Number 6

N e w s p a p e r

February 2011

New program prepares students for nursing field BY SCOTT KROHN

Change isn’t easy. We all like our schedules, routines and habits. There is comfort and security in the expected. But sometimes change is not only asked for, it’s contended over. Students from across the Twin Cities and Minnesota have been competing with other highly qualified individuals for limited seats in a unique nursing program at Metropolitan State University that began this semester on Jan. 10. A new group of 32 students, including 24 women and six men, has begun the Entry Level Masters in Nursing (Entry Level MSN) program. This program is aimed at individuals with various bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing that wish to enter the field. Upon completion of seven semesters of course work (which includes graduate level courses and clinical experience) students graduate with the knowledge and skills required to be a professional nurse. This is the third group to begin this unique program—the first group has already graduated and the second group will be completing the program in August 2011. These 32 students have a wide variety of educational backgrounds and work experience and come from very diverse life situations. They hold bachelor’s degrees from many fields of study including drug and chemi-

cal dependency, foreign languages, psychology, theater production and accounting. Individuals bring their previous work experience with them into the program. Some have worked in a medical setting providing care to clients, while others felt their current life-path was missing something essential and have just now turned to the field of nursing. Since the Entry Level MSN program is an accelerated program, there is a great deal of material covered in a two-and-a-half year span. Additionally, students are provided the unique opportunity of clinical ex-

perience at various locations in the Twin Cities. Since many of the students have part-time jobs and families to maintain (in addition to classes) this program is no small undertaking. Regardless, students seem eager to join and begin the process of becoming a professional nurse. In a recent Gallup Poll, nurses were ranked number one in the top professions of honesty and ethics. It is encouraging to know that one of the country’s most respected professions is gaining new support from Metropolitan State’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Valentine’s Day ideas for a student’s budget BY ALEX HEDIN Valentine’s Day gives you the perfect excuse to spoil your sweetheart with chocolates, red roses and surprises, but being a student often means there is less money to be spent, which can take away some of the fun. But don’t even think about telling your valentine there won’t be anything going on this year, because there are plenty of affordable activities in the Twin Cities that will make Valentine’s Day just as special as ever. Besides, as long as you’re together, does anything else really matter? Gifts Remember—the best (and cheapest) gifts usually come from the heart. Why not make a mix CD for your sweetie this year? Even if this has been done before, it’s a great way to express your feelings to the one you care about. Incorporate songs that remind you of each other, or songs that have some kind of meaning to the

both of you. Make it a surprise and load a playlist onto your valentine’s iPod. On the way to dinner, play it for him or her. A photo album is always appreciated, and also very inexpensive. Target carries a wide variety of photo albums for under $15. Just buy a plain album and decorate it yourself. That way, you can write whatever you want to say on it, and you can fill it with memories. With gas prices rising, it’d be a huge relief to not have to fill up the gas tank for one week. Why not fill up your valentine’s tank? Activities Instead of going out to a movie, go to Target or Walmart and load up on their $5, $7, or $10 movies. Choose your favorites, buy some microwaveable popcorn and curl up on the couch together. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday

this year, there is the opportunity of attending a matinee movie in the theater. The cheaper the ticket, (which is usually about $5 for a matinee) the more snacks that can be bought. Some new romantic comedies include Just Go With It and No Strings Attached. If those don’t make the cut, there’s always The Rite or The Roommate. Ice-skating is always a fun activity, and there are a couple free outdoor rinks in St. Paul. The Phalen Recreation Center (1000 Wheelock Parkway) offers an outdoor skating rink and is open from 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3-6 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Palace Recreation Center

Valentine’s Day Ideas continued on page 2

Page 2 February 2011

The Metropolitan

Library offers helpful resources to students BY DIANA NEUERBURG

UAB learns new leadership skills BY ANITA GUESSOU AND LORI YANG

Michelle Filkins, faculty librarian at Metropolitan State University, wants students to know that the library staff is here for you. Many students, whether new to Metropolitan State or on the verge of graduation, will be faced this semester with an assignment that requires research. The first floor of the library—officially referred to as the info commons—offers a group of related and comprehensive services including the Computer Help Desk and Lab, the Reference and Research Assistance Desk and the Center for Academic Excellence. “We strive to be a place where all kinds of academic needs are met,” said Filkins. For example, Filkins discusses the three “service points” within the library. The first is the Computer Help Desk on the first floor, which provides technical assistance and troubleshooting. This is also where students can check out laptops and study rooms, as well as purchase headphones. The library also has a large bank of computers so students can access E-reserves and the 100 plus databases commonly used to find articles for research papers. The second service point is the circulation desk located on the second floor. Here students can check out materials, reserve study rooms, pick up items on hold, get a student ID card, renew materials and access materials on reserve. Finally, there is the reference desk, where students may find Filkins and other librarians answering research questions seven days a week via e-mail, chat, phone or in person. Regular reference desk hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday noon-6 p.m. Students are given the opportunity to instant message with the librarians on the library’s Web site will find a window that says “Ask a Librarian,” where they can type in the box, hit enter and a librarian will respond. However, Filkins notes that this resource is most often used for quick information questions, not broad inquiries. A couple other resources offered by the library are RefWorks Citation Tool and the Testing and Education Reference Center. The RefWorks Citation Tool is available to all Metropolitan State students (though students need to set up an account first) and it is used to manage and store information on books, Web sites, articles, etc. It helps to organize and create citations. The Testing and Education Reference Center is an electronic resource that offers practice tests for graduate school, career tests and more. Filkins suggests students start the research process as soon as possible because sometimes materials need to be acquired through InterLibrary Loan, a process that takes longer because materials are coming from other libraries. Filkins also notes that the librarians have created a series of subject guides to point students in the right direction. These can be found on the library’s Web site in the Search by Subject section. However, the best tip Filkins offers to students is, “Never hesitate to contact me or another librarian for research help.” For more information, visit Students may also visit their Facebook page by searching “Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center” or call the library at (651) 793-1616. Filkins and other librarians teach INFS 115 and other classes where students learn about finding and evaluating print and online information.

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” -William Faulkner

Metropolitan State University’s University Activities Board (UAB), a division of the Office of Student Life and Leadership Development, works with students, staff and faculty to increase awareness of academic values, student activities and cultural diversity within the University. The UAB works with many on-campus committees and organizations to enrich students’ college experience by hosting cultural, social and recreational activities and offering public services for the University community. At the end of the fall 2010 semester, the UAB had the opportunity to attend the 2010 Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) in Florida. The WLI is designed to bring together women from administrative and student affairs functions across campus. The Association of College Unions International is the brains behind this institute. There are 17 associations that are actively involved in collaborating with this institute, such as the Association for Student Conduct Administration and the College Student Educators International and National Association for Campus Activities, of which the UAB is an active member. The key objective of the conference was to develop professional skills (such as strategic communication, managing change and creating effective work environments) and network with students and professionals. . The institute provided us the opportunity to work in unique roles to build other skills and relationships in higher education, especially in student activities. The institute offered two amazing keynote speakers. Sally Hogshead, brand expert and author, was chosen as the opening speaker and Gail Hand, motivational humorist and certified laughter leader, was chosen as the closing speaker. Hogshead discussed “How to be Fascinating”, using the seven triggers to persuasion and captivation. Hogshead offered great insights about marketing yourself and how to influence decision-making. Hand fo-

cused on the “Power of Laughter” in the work place using laughing therapy. She took us through a series of laughter yoga exercises that really got us wound down from all the activities of the week. There were many other topics covered, including a session that discussed strategic communication and relationship building. The Communication Style Inventory (CSI) was centered on identifying your communication style and knowing how to manage your style for effective and efficient communication. Another session offered was the strengths quest session. Before we came to the conference, we submitted a strength finder quiz where we were given our top five strengths. We talked about how to better understand and use our strengths in our personal and professional lives and in the different leadership domains that exist. Overall, our time at the institute greatly helped us improve on certain aspects of our personal and professional lives. We also met some wonderful women and hope to continue to connect with them after the WLI. The speakers were inspirational and the extracurricular activities helped to balance the time spent attending the meetings. One of the main focuses at the institute was, as women, to honor ourselves by taking time out for ourselves as well as develop professionally and personally. However, it would have been nice to have focus on building leadership skills, such as creating an environment where each participant can learn how to deal with difficult people. The UAB is launching the spring semester with two major events. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) Prep Course will be held on Feb. 19 and 20; registration is still open. For the Coffee House Student Act, we are showcasing our students that are talented in music, storytelling and poetry. Please contact us at (651) 793-1556 or visit http://uab. for more information. Keep UABin’!

a little pricey for an after dinner snack, but if that’s dinner, it’s actually very cheap. Split a giant-12 oz. “Cookie Doughn’t You Want Some.” After all, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be sweet. If ice cream doesn’t sound sweet enough, there are many restaurants that are romantic, and aren’t too expensive, especially if you and your Valentine do the most romantic thing of all and share the meal: • Buca di Beppo (2728 Gannon Road in St. Paul and 1205 Harmon Place in Minneapolis) offers family-sized meals, and even the gigantic portions are very inexpensive. Not to mention that the Italian atmosphere is quite romantic, and the food is extremely delicious. They also have a wide variety of amazing desserts, which also feed more than one person. • Yarusso Brothers Italian Restaurant (635 Payne Ave. in St. Paul) offers a special “dinner for two” for $21, which includes the choice of a salad with garlic cheese toast, and the

choice of their “pasta supreme,” which is spaghetti, mostaccioli, or rigatoni. • Christos Greek Restaurant (2632 Nicollet Ave. S. in Minneapolis, and 214 Fourth Street E. in St. Paul) also offers familystyle meals. They also have sampler plates that let customers get a taste of Greek food. “The Illiad” is recommended for two people and is $29.95, which includes a variety of Greek foods. The restaurant also offers traditional favorites, like chicken, beef and seafood. To continue the search for the perfect Valentine’s Day restaurant to fit your style and budget, check out www., where you can make free reservations, search for the type of food you’re looking for, or look for restaurants in a certain location. Just don’t forget to read the user reviews, which can be extremely helpful. Above all, have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Ideas continued from page 1

(781 Palace Ave.) also offers an outdoor skating rink. The park is open from 12:30-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 12:30-6 p.m. on Friday. If the weather is too chilly to skate outdoors, the Depot Ice Rink in downtown Minneapolis (225 Third Avenue S.) is just $8 per adult. The rink will be open from 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, and from noon-11:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 from 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on Feb. 12, and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Feb. 13. Visit www.thedepotminneapolis.

The Depot Ice Rink in Downtown Minneapolis Photo courtesy of www.thedepotminneapolis. com.

com for more information. For classical music lovers, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will be presenting Ravel’s Pavane and Dawn Upshaw at the Ordway Theater (345 Washington Street) on Friday, Feb.11 and Saturday, Feb. 12. Tickets go for as low as $10, and each performance begins at 8 p.m. Visit for ticket information. Dinner Instead of going out to dinner, cook dinner together at home. You can visit for a huge selection of amazingly easy, delicious and cheap recipes. Most call for very few ingredients, and have helpful user reviews. Don’t forget about breakfast, the most important and the least expensive meal of the day. Two meals and two glasses of orange juice can cost less than $10, so visit IHOP this Valentine’s Day and forget about the long lines and the crazy bills at the end of the night. Skip dinner and go out for ice cream. Normally, Cold Stone Creamery can seem

The Metropolitan

Calling all veterans BY RICHARD DOWNS

The Veterans and Military Student Center is now complete and fully operational—and its future is looking bright. Last week a new refrigerator was delivered thanks to the generosity of AMVET Post 5 (we greatly appreciate their support!). There is a computer area with access to printing, open tables and a forty-two inch television available to all veterans. The center is located in Founders Hall 201 on the St. Paul Campus. Open hours are 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Friday. Rachel Oliveira, a chairperson for the women’s committee and member of Metropolitan State Veterans Network (MSVN), is in the early stages of developing a women’s veterans group. Women veterans and spouses of veterans are presented with unique challenges and experiences from which the sharing of resources can be beneficial. All women veterans and women who are associated with veterans are welcome to attend the meetings. If interested, please contact Oliveira at olivra@

The MSVN is also in the process of developing a veterans mentoring program. The familiarity and experiences that veterans share can provide help to those who need it from people who can relate. If you have any questions regarding the veterans mentoring program, you can contact Alexander Kempe, Vice President of Metropolitan State Veterans Network (MSVN), at kempal@ There is always the potential for veterans to fall through the cracks here at Metropolitan State. They are either unaware of the potential benefits they may be eligible for or an accidental coding in the system as “non-veteran” may occur. It is in the best interest of every veteran who attends Metropolitan State to stop by the Veterans Center and speak to Bruce Holzschuh, the veterans affairs coordinator. Student workers are also there to provide assistance and answer basic questions, like how to register for classes. The help is available, so call or stop by. The brief time it takes to reach out will more than likely pay dividends.

It’s time to take off the blindfolds Student Op-ed


In the fifth grade we begin learning about our government. We learn the importance of the separation of powers which allows for the systems of checks and balances within the United States government. While the Constitution mentions the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch as the separation of powers, I believe that the fourth component, which is to be assumed, is us—the people. It is our job to be whistle-blowers, patriots and activists. It is our job to make wise decisions while blindfolded. It’s like bobbing for apples and hoping you don’t get a rotten one. So why are we expected to perform our civic duty of staying involved, voting, and in some cases, becoming politicians, if we don’t know what is really going on inside the sandstone buildings of Washington and beyond? After the tragedy of 9/11, President George W. Bush established the cabinet department called the Office of Homeland Security. Their mission as stated in their announcement is “to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks,” and “to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States”. For this fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) budget is $56.3 billion. That seems steep, considering that it comes from our tax dollars, and yet we are not told how it is being

spent. I would love to trust my government, but unfortunately, this is impossible because American citizens don’t get to find out what is going on with our nation’s national security. If we were informed on the matters the DHS is dealing with, we could all make better decisions during elections and we could hold our government accountable. We would become the defining piece of our checks and balances system. I want the information that will allow me to trust my government, or hold it accountable if necessary. I want to hear the government answer to the American people because information is one of the most important parts of an efficient democracy. The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of terrorism is “a policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized.” Their definition of patriot is “a person who loves his or her country, especially one who is ready to support its freedoms and rights and to defend it against enemies or detractors.” By these definitions, it is evident that patriotism is a matter of opinion; it is completely determined by your reference point, just as the word terrorism is. It is time to take off the blindfolds. For more information on the DHS, visit nat_strat_hls.pdf to read President Bush’s National Strategy for Homeland Security.

Study break For some, I am used to get around. I never even touch the ground. Sometimes I fall in a large open tank and sometimes I float in the air and then rise. What am I?

Until I am measured, I am not known. Yet how you miss me, When I have flown. What am I? Answer: Time.

Veterans Corner

February 2011 Page 3

Answer: Gas.

Reminder: We’re online! Visit to view archived articles, staff information and to check out our new calendar!

Facebook and online privacy concerns BY JEFF SEAR There is no denying how prevalent online social media is in our lives. With Web sites such as Facebook providing users with the tools to generate and share content with others, the Web is a more personal place than it used to be. Facebook is a giant. Being a Web site worth $8 billion and having 500 million daily users is no small feat. With an active objective of becoming reachable across the globe, Facebook is offered in over 70 different languages worldwide, with 50 percent of all users logging in daily. Remarkably, 70 percent of Facebook users are from outside the USA. With this gigantic, global footprint on the Internet and a solid grip on the social media market, it is not surprising that Facebook users generate nearly 40 percent of all online social content each month. More than 30 billion pieces of content, including links, news, photos and blogs, pass through Facebook and its users every day. Two million companies worldwide have integrated with Facebook and use it for social networking and advertising. Facebook’s success is obvious. What isn’t so obvious are Facebook’s privacy practices. There was a time when deleting your Facebook page would remove your profile from the Internet forever. Not a single trace of any post or image you uploaded would exist any longer. But in 2009, Facebook changed their Terms of Service.

When you delete your Facebook now, it isn’t really deleted. All your information, including your posts, status updates, relationship status changes and photos all remain on Facebook’s servers forever. Granted, it is not accessible to the public any longer, but the private information still exists. Also, as of January 2010 Facebook is allowing third-party application developers access to users’ home addresses and phone numbers (if the user has posted that information on their Facebook profile). This may allow rogue developers to build Facebook applications that could harvest private phone numbers. Recently, it was found that tens of millions of third-party Facebook applications were transmitting various forms of personal information to advertising servers, generating questionable revenue for application developers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg defends Facebook’s privacy terms saying that they are serving the best interest of its users. But exactly why Facebook wants to hold on to personal information indefinitely is unknown at this time. If you want to learn more about Facebook’s Terms of Service, please visit If you would like to learn how to better protect your online privacy, please visit htm.

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News in Brief Your information destination for Metropolitan State’s student organizations.

International Student Organization The International Student Organization (ISO) is taking a bus trip to Ely, Minnesota, in order to learn dog sledding techniques first-hand. The event takes place on Sunday, Feb. 13, from 7:40 a.m.-9 p.m. Registration costs $25 per person. Metropolitan State students, faculty, staff and alumni are eligible. Contact Lynn Odira at odirly@ for more information. STAND STAND (the student-led division of Genocide Intervention) is sponsoring a showing of “The Devil Came on Horseback,” followed by a discussion led by a panel of genocide experts. The showing will take place on Friday, Feb. 25, from 6-9 p.m. in Ecolab (Library Room 302) on St. Paul Campus. Panelists include: Mark Turbak (World Without Genocide), Miaca Bibi Mackner (Psy.D., of the Center for Victims of Torture), and Mageen Caines (Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota). This event is co-sponsored by Culture Vulture, a part of the Diversity Learning Task Force, Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, and the Genocide Education Network (GEN) at Metropolitan State University. Food will be provided. Please RSVP to or 651793-1507. Muslim Student Organization The Muslim Student Organization invites you to their upcoming program entitled “Hot Topics Presentation.” What does God command the Muslims to do? is in the Ecolab, Library 302, on Wednesday, Feb. 9 from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. The Qu’ran remains the main reference and source of guidance and directives for Muslims all around the world. What commandments does the Qur’an contain? Where do they come from, and how do Muslims follow them in today’s world? Come and explore the more than 15 different commandments in the Qur’an. For more information, visit http://

The Metropolitan

The psychological benefits of gardening BY AUGUST HOFFMAN

January has historically been the coldest month of the year and is typically a time when many people begin dreaming and thinking about warmer activities for the upcoming spring and summer. For the last several years my psychology students have participated in a variety of community service gardening activities that are designed to help improve community agencies, educational institutions and public organizations. During spring and summer 2010, students who were enrolled in my introductory psychology course volunteered in planting 15 Dwarf Alberta spruce conifer trees near the front of New Main at the Saint Paul Campus. These trees were selected because of their resiliency and zone hardiness (zones three to nine), small growth patterns and (perhaps most importantly) they provide beautiful color (various shades of green) during this particularly bleak time of year when other plants remain dormant. In addition to the beauty that the trees provide, gardening activities in general offer numerous individual benefits to those who like outdoor activities. “Outdoor gardening is not only a healthy physical activity, but recently psychologists have begun to report numerous positive psychological effects of outdoor gardening and community service activities in general.” (Shinew, Glover, and Parry, 2004; Hoffman, Wallach & Sanchez, 2010) If you happen to be a gardener your-

self, then you probably know that often these activities just seem to have a very soothing, basic and natural effect in terms of relieving stress, tension and anxiety. Additionally, some of our more recent research suggests that when ethnically diverse groups of individuals work cooperatively in establishing a community project—that is, a community vegetable garden—assimilation increases and negative ethnic stereotypes are more likely to be reduced and debunked. “This year our plan is to establish an “interdisciplinary approach” to community gardening, where students from different academic disciplines will work together in the development of the fruit orchard. Using grant money that will be provided by the Minnesota State Colleges and University Center for Teaching and Learning (beginning in April 2011), we will establish a community apple tree orchard

near the Saint Paul Campus. The First Lutheran Church has granted land for the development of a small apple orchard near Swede Hollow. We would like to recruit students from all disciplines to help plant a variety of apple trees that have been designed for the harsh Minnesota climate. Some of the varieties to be planted starting in April include the now-famous Honey Crisp, Haralson, Fireside, Cortland and Paula Red apple trees (developed at the University of Minnesota). Community gardening provides advantages not only to the individuals who are participating, but also to the community itself by providing foods for families in need. If you would like to participate in this year’s apple orchard program, contact the Psychology Department (651) 999-5832 or me at (651) 999-5814 or

Get to know the Diversity Learning Task Force BY LINDA A. WILLIAMS

Metropolitan State University has a great history of providing opportunities for campus diversity. In June 2010, the University officially implemented a team designed to promote campus diversity called the Diversity Learning Task Force (DLTF). The purpose of the DLTF is to “identify our University’s cultural competence needs, develop programming that reinforces learning within and outside the classroom, and [build] skills needed to become effective leaders in a multicultural environment.” Needs addressed range from core personality traits to age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and physical ability. Also considered by the DLTF are personal characteristics such as appearance, educational background, family status, geographic location, income, personal and recreational habits, religion and work experience. Finally, there are organizational attributes to take into consideration such as business unit, department, functional area, organizational level, union affiliation, work location and years of service. If all of that seems like a mouthful, it is because diversity is so multi-dimensional.

DLTF members include Cecilia Stanton, dean of students; Susan Shumer, director of community outreach and the Center for Community Based Learning; Santos Martinez, student Chicano/ Latino coordinator; Eduardo Gutierrez, Chicano liason for Admissions; and Kelley Fitzgerald, Metropolitan State student. Recently these members deliberated about a marketing strategy with Janet Robert and Tara Servais of AM 950 KTNF radio, The Voice of Minnesota, a local news and variety station serving Minnesota. Using marketing strategies, they plan to inform the public about what makes Metropolitan State unique, what drives its mission and why it would benefit prospective students to attend the University. According to the DLTF Progress Report for the 2010-2011 school year, the diversity team has been busy fulfilling its goals of “develop[ing] Universitywide cultural programs” that include: • Emphasis on diversity and inclusion • Relevant and timely topics that build on academic curriculum • Learning outcomes • Connection to academic curriculum • Connection to the community

DLTF goals began to materialize with community outreach events such as Culture Vulture: Tiempo Libre at the Ordway and DLTF: Community Leaders in Action. And their goals are still blooming from a line-up of events scheduled over the remainder of 2011 including: • Hot Topics and Culture Vulture: Anti-GLBT bullying film and discussion on Feb. 16. • DLTF: Global Foods, Fashion and Awards Banquet on April 10. • DLTF: Annual Diversity Conference, fall semester in 2011. Students are encouraged to participate in all events. Peou Pin-Mene of student services is calling all students to compete in creating an image used to market and advertise the First Annual Global Foods, Fashion and Awards Banquet event. It will be held at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis on Lake Street. The deadline for this contest is Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.; the winner will be awarded $250. For more information about DLTF and the events scheduled, contact the Department of Student Affairs at or call (651) 793-1507.

Changes to campus parking, effective Feb. 1 All Metropolitan State students, faculty and staff who wish to park in the Minneapolis ramp will need to have a new card assigned from the eStore at MCTC. As of Jan. 24, students can return prepaid cards (from last semester) for the St. Paul lot to either the Metropolitan State cashier or MCTC eStore in room T2020 to have a refund processed. Students will receive

their refund checks in the mail from Metropolitan State within five business days of the refund request. The MCTC eStore has begun assigning new parking cards to students, faculty and staff for the Minneapolis campus parking lot. All existing cards which have not been refunded will only be accepted at the St. Paul parking lot after Feb. 1.

For students, faculty and staff on payroll deduction for payment, the parking attendant will have you sign a voucher indicating that. Payroll deduction cards will continue to work at both the St. Paul and Minneapolis parking lots. For more information, visit or call (651) 793-1880.

The Metropolitan

February 2011 Page 5

Coping with high[er] gas prices BY ALEX VELARDE

I am sure that many of you are familiar with the phrase commuter school, regardless of your residential proximity to Metropolitan State University. Driving distance is critical; there is a world of difference in driving 15 versus 55 miles to class, let alone deciding where and when to fill-up. Moreover, consumer frugality has become more important than ever nowadays, especially concerning gas price forecasts. Some economists have recently projected prices to hit more than $4.00 per gallon by the end of 2011. This prompted local news station Kare11 to investigate these projected prices over the holiday season, which, in turn, spurred me to engage in further research. After all—who better to benefit from some gas saving tips than the Metropolitan State community? Tip #1: Register for more online courses. Although the downside of taking online courses is the void of an “authentic” classroom environment, it may nonetheless be a wise decision. Of course, this is not to berate online courses—if they are conducive to your schedule and count toward your major, then more power to you.

Tip #2: Research competitive gas prices and local “reward-incentive” businesses. Whether you drive a Toyota Hybrid or a Ford F-350, it never hurts to compare local gas prices. Kare11 created a gasoline price index for the entire metro area, which can be found here: These indices are quite useful—especially to those of us who live 30 or more miles outside the Twin Cities. Since I live with my parents in Andover, they have encouraged me to utilize rewardincentives at fuel-conscious local businesses. For example, I just recently learned that our membership at Costco includes Costco Gasoline, which (according to multiple online reviews) makes the grade for a plethora of automobiles—regardless of type, year, make, or model. By fueling at Costco for almost a year now, my parents have saved an average of 8-10 cents per gallon. Another promotion in Andover is Festival Foods’ Pump Perks initiative. This program allows you to buy Pump Perks-denoted retail items and to implement those savings the next time you fill up gas (at participating local gas stations).

The Metropolitan, editor selected for inaugural monthly awards As mentioned in last month’s edition of The Metropolitan, the Student Life and Leadership Development Office (SLLD) has launched the Outstanding Student Organization of the Month and Student Leader of the Month program for 2011. We are honored to announce that The Metropolitan and its editor, Randi Johnson, have been selected as the first organization and student to receive these awards. “Within the last semester, [The Metropolitan] has changed its attitude and office atmosphere for the better,” reported the announcement from the SLLD. “The office has become much more welcoming to non-staff members [and has] revamped itself to better serve its audience.” Having just begun her tenure as The

Metropolitan’s editor in January, Johnson was also recognized by the SSLD for her contributions to the Metropolitan State University community. “Johnson has taken on her leadership role and has gone out of her way to make The Metropolitan as successful as it can be. She has reached out to staff, faculty, and student organizations through monthly meetings to gather stories for the paper and to give a voice to those on campus.” The deadline to submit organization and student names for next month’s nominations is Feb. 10 at 4:30 p.m. The nomination forms are available on the SLLD Web site at pathway/academic_success/slld/index.html and can be returned via e-mail to student. or to Founders Hall 231A.

Anti-bullying movie offers inspiring message of hope Screening of the film Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History followed by a moderated panel of K-12 educators and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth organizers will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 16 from 4-6 p.m. at the St. Paul Campus in the Founders Hall auditorium. Bullied is a documentary film that chronicals one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. For four years Jamie Nabozny was subjected to relentless anti-gay verbal and physical abuse by fellow students at his public high school in Ashland, Wisc. Although they knew of the abuse, school officials said that Nabozny should ex-

pect it if he’s gay. Nabozny attempted suicide several times, dropped out of school and ultimately ran away. But he wanted to make sure that other students didn’t go through the same kind of nightmare. He sued his former school, but a trial court dismissed his lawsuit. Lambda Legal took over his case before a federal appeals court, which issued the first judicial opinion in the nation’s history finding that a public school could be held accountable for not stopping antigay abuse. The case went back to trial and a jury found the school officials liable for the harm they caused Nabozny. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to edu or call (651) 793-1507. E-mail Sidney Gardner for more information at

For example, say that while shopping for groceries, you decided to stock up on snacks for an upcoming football game and bought the following: • two jars of Tostitos’ Salsa ($0.09 cents off), • two bags of Lays’ potato chips ($0.07 cents off), • and two 12-packs of Coca-Cola ($0.10 cents off). If you then decided to top off your gas tank with 9.9 gallons, you would save the following amount: -($0.09(2) + $0.07(2) + $0.10(2)) = - $0.52 cents off/gallon.

Multiplying by 9.9, you would save: (-$0.52) (9.9) = $5.148, or $5.14 saved at the pump in this scenario. Tip #3: Change those driving habits. According to the same Kare11 Web site, you can reduce your driving habits by up to 33 percent alone (highway) just by cutting down on aggressive driving, which the EPA defines as “speeding, rapid acceleration, and [‘brake-happy’] driving.” Also, according to the EPA, your average highway mpg decreases significantly at speeds greater than 60 mph In fact, driving roughly 65 mph could cost you an additional 24 cents per gallon.

Bankruptcy as a way out of paying for student loans? BY BLAINE HUBERTY

Metropolitan State University alumnus For many students, taking out loans to pay for their education is as much a part of the college experience as finals and group projects. And it’s probably just as stressful once it’s time to repay those loans as students grapple with making payments while struggling with low-wage entry-level work. For some, the burden is too much and students look to bankruptcy as a way out. That is, until they take a closer look at their student loan agreements that state student loans aren’t dischargeable through bankruptcy. This leaves the student laboring under crippling levels of debt for years. How did student loans happen to join child support, fines and back taxes as the only things one can’t get rid of with bankruptcy? It wasn’t always this way. The roots of the present situation were laid back in 1978 when the law was first changed from being able to discharge the debt to having to wait five years after graduation to attempt to do so. A few years later made it seven years, and in 1998 the ability to discharge federally guaranteed loans closed, with loans made by private lenders coming under the same rules in 2005. The original change supposedly came from to high numbers of defaults (as high as one in five being claimed) as borrowers took out loans, graduated or dropped out, and then sought bankruptcy due to hardship. Many of those were borrowers in expensive schools or professional degrees like medicine or law. Since one can’t repossess an education, student loan lenders asked for and got their special protection under the law. The law of unintended conse-

quences was now set. By removing bankruptcy, loans got riskier and were made regardless of the likelihood the borrower would complete school and get a job that would allow them to repay the loans without suffering hardship. The demand for borrowing increased, which increased the demand for schooling, which in turn raised tuition rates and that raised the demand for borrowing, culminating in a rise in student debt and defaults. After all, by ensuring a borrower couldn’t declare bankruptcy and get rid of the debt, there’s no incentive for the lender to work with a debtor to forgo the fees and interest that quickly balloon a loan and just get the principal repaid. But momentum to give floundering borrowers some help is gaining traction. Sen. Al Franken is among those who have introduced legislation to change bankruptcy law to make it easier for a struggling borrower to shed their commitments. Another legislative fight that ended in March 2010 succeeded in pushing commercial banks out of the federal student loan business. But for many, now and in the future, it’s too little too late. For further information: • • h t t p : / / w w w . n y t i m e s . com/2010/06/05/your-money/student-loans/05money.html • news/2009/09/24/bankruptcy • h t t p : / / w w w . u s a t o d a y . c o m / money/perfi/2009-05-12studentloans13_N.htm • php?gid=46657437878

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Knit 4 need As it gets colder, the reality of poverty and homelessness becomes harder to ignore. Many in our community don’t have the money to keep themselves and their children warm during the winter months. Student Affairs is developing a Knitting 4 Need program to make blankets for those in our community who could use some added warmth. Knitting 4 Need (K4N) is a friendly competition between: • Students • Student Affairs • Academic Affairs • Administration To see which area can donate the most knitted squares (depending on the number of contributors). There will also be award for the individual who contributes the most usable squares. We will be making blankets by stitching together 8”x8” knitted squares with the goal of distributing them to shelters Feb. 14—Valentine’s Day! Every Monday, the amount of squares contributed will be tallied and posted on our website—watch for more information as the contest progresses. Even if you don’t know how to knit, you can still contribute by donating the following items: • Whole skeins or gently used remnants • All colors and textures (refer to rules for texture guidelines) • All weights (four and five are ideal, but don’t worry if you don’t know what that means) • Please no “Dry Clean Only” yarn • Knitting needles • Sizes seven through ten are ideal • Wood, plastic or metal Donations can be dropped off in do-

nation baskets located in 4 areas: • Career Center (second floor Founders Hall) • Gateway Student Services Center (first floor Founders Hall) • Library, across from the first floor Help Desk • MEC Admissions office (Minneapolis campus) Note to interested knitters: you can pick up yarn and needles to use from the donation sites as well. Please also remember that every Tuesday, from 12:30-1:30pm, the Career Center hosts a knitting group over the lunch hour (you might even get to learn HOW to knit!). The rules of the knittogether include: • All squares must be submitted by the competition end date of Jan. 31, 2011. • You can recruit people outside of the University to help your cause. Whoever hands in the squares, gets the credit unless otherwise noted. • To receive credit, all squares must be around eight inches by eight inches with consistent stitching and made from acceptable materials. • Acceptable materials are clean, comfortable, textures. Something you wouldn’t mind pulling up to your face to sleep with. • Unusable squares are of length/ widths greater than eight-and-ahalf inches or less than seven-anda-half inches; inconsistent stitching; unpleasant textures; dirty or stained squares. For more information, contact Erin Curie at, Kristan Nolan at kristan.essonnolan@, or Meghan Dusek at

Correction to January 2011 issue Students who are prospective May graduates are reminded that Friday, Jan. 21, was the deadline to register for the Graduation Workshop to be eligible for spring graduation. The course number is “WKSP GRAD” and the course ID is 001001. Students no longer need to fill out the form, Declaration of Intent to Graduate. You must be registered for all of your remaining degree requirements during the spring semester to be eligible for

May graduation. Students planning to graduate should also contact their advisors by Feb. 4. The Grad Expo is Saturday, Feb. 26, 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at the Saint Paul Campus, New Main, Great Hall. Additional information can be found on the graduation Web page (http:// or by contacting the graduation office by emailing

Last-Ditch Effort By John Kroes

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The Metropolitan

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of a degree Winter blues

BY CAT USHER Minnesota winters make me a little crazy. I grew up in the South where ice storms and cold drizzle are far more common than blizzards and sub-zero temperatures. I was raised to believe that the last day of February equals the first day of spring. Sunny days were always warmer than cloudy days. Freshly cut daffodils always adorned my St. Patrick’s Day attire. I was always sweating like a player at training camp by Easter. Spring in Arkansas always begins on March 1. As all of you know, it doesn’t work that way here. Minnesota winters are long, and, unless we are supremely lucky (as in 2010), the month of March is filled with heavy and wet snowstorms that make me feel as if God has chosen to blow the snot from His sinuses onto my driveway, and then He has forbidden my leaving the house until the snot has been effectively mounded into tidy piles. And then He sends the plow truck as a heavenly joke.

I moved to Minnesota just after high school, so this is my tenth winter in the upper Midwest. Surely by now I should be used to the cold. If not the cold, then at least I’ve made peace with the snow. The lack of daylight? Frost bite? Snotcicles? Wait—is there anything I’ve adapted to? A smart transplant would have taken up snowmobiling and cross-country skiing years ago. As a Minnesotan, I should love sledding, ice-skating, building snowmen and ice fishing out on frozen Lake Harriet. Unfortunately, no one has ever accused me of being smart, probably because I keep proving that the opposite is true. I hate winter sports. To be fair, it isn’t so much that I hate the activities in general—I love fishing (while getting a nice sun tan), ice-skating (indoors), and (water) skiing on the lake. I simply hate being outdoors during the darkest, coldest days of the northern winters. In fact, the lack of sunlight takes the biggest toll on me because I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). S.A.D. is a form of depression that strikes during the winter months and results (for me) in laziness, fatigue, social withdrawal, emotional outbursts, overeating, and sometimes even thoughts of suicide. I’ve lived…SUFFERED…from this disease for most of my life, but I

didn’t realize that I needed to seek help—nor was I diagnosed—until a few short years ago. I’m depressed all over again just thinking of the months I’ve wasted feeling blue when I could have been happily shoveling my driveway and calmly daydreaming of vegetable gardens and sunscreen. Since beginning my treatment for S.A.D. (through both talk therapy and prescription medication), not only are the Minnesota winters more bearable, but I’m also able to recognize the symptoms of my depression when they begin. Now I can work through them instead of sinking into a pit of despair, vodka pancakes and episodes of All My Children. I may be a little crazy during the winter, but I’m now able to express myself in healthy ways. Like forcing my husband to agree to let me bring home a dog. Again. A blind one. An old, blind dog that he didn’t want. Again. And then I make him clean up her poop. If you can relate, then please tell someone. You don’t have to suffer through another winter. Call (800) 862-1799 or visit for information on how to get help.

Sports, sports, sports BY DAVID JARNSTROM

Get your curl on

lar granite slabs with a handle on top. The game consists of 8 to 10 rounds called “ends.” The winner of each end is the team that has their stone(s) closest to the center target (the “button”) which resides in the “house” on the far side of the sheet. Strategy involves carefully placing stones to block one’s opponent (known as “guards”) or deliberately trying to knock the opposition’s rocks out of the way (a “takeout”). Sounds easy right? Wrong. My first go at the sport was an awkward affair. The delivery is especially difficult. Wearing a Teflon “slider” on my left foot, I had to push off of a starting block called the “hack.” Then, using my “broom” in my left hand for balance, I had to remain upright for a few yards before releasing my rock (without crossing the “hog line,” mind you) and giving it a slight twist with my right hand—hence “curling.” Trust me, this is no easy feat. Next comes the “sweeping” aspect, where two team members furiously scrub the sheet using their brooms— thereby influencing the speed and trajectory of the stone. Sweepers heed the advice of the “skip”—the final team member who is positioned at the far end of the ice in order to best direct the rock’s path. For those who think that curling isn’t much of a sport, try sweeping the length of the sheet a few times and see if you don’t break a sweat. My favorite part of the experience was the good-natured camaraderie—I noticed much more laughing than cursing among the men and women of the


Get published! The Metropolitan welcomes article submissions from all current students. Writing for The Metropolitan is an excellent way to enhance your professional writing credentials. E-mail johnra01@ to share your article ideas or to submit your article for publication consideration. The best buy in town, classified advertising is also available. Contact the business manager at themetropolitan@ for rates. Editor Randi Johnson Associate Editor David Jarnstrom

Much like my fellow columnist, Cat, I’m none too fond of Minnesota winters. I’ve tried to embrace seasonal sporting activities to make these frigid months more enjoyable, but I’ve found little that I can stick with for long. Pond hockey? Fun—but last time I played (two years ago) I bit it trying to bury a shot and sprained my wrist so bad I can still feel it to this day. Skiing? Great! But it’s rather expensive and it gets a little boring going down what passes for “mountains” in these parts. And frankly, when it’s really cold out, I want no part of being outside—period. Speaking of cold, it was -1 degree a couple weeks ago when I went to the St. Paul Curling Club (SPCC) to fill in for an absent member on my friend’s curling team. Inside, on the “sheet,” it was a much balmier 40 degrees, and the festive atmosphere in the historic building (the SPCC was founded in 1912 and is the largest curling club in the United States) made it seem even warmer. A brief synopsis of how curling works: There are four players per team, and each gets to “deliver” two “stones” or “rocks”—smooth, circu-

February 2011 Page 7

Production Manager Renee Noren Copy Editor Diana Neuerburg Online Editor Jeff Sear Staff Writers Torleif Sorenson Linda Williams Alex Hedin Cat Usher SPCC. The booze might have something to do with that. Members are allowed to bring their own alcohol and there is a cozy, lodge-style hall on the second floor that serves beer and food (and has a fantastic bird’s eye view of all the action). It’s tradition to have a few rounds with the opposition following the game in order to get to know one another better. So, let’s see—an engaging indoor winter sport that encourages friendly competition as well as a bit of drinking? Now that sounds like something I can get behind. Go to for more info. David Jarnstrom, The Metropolitan’s new associate editor and contributing writer, is majoring in professional writing at Metropolitan State University.

Faculty Advisor Laura McCartan Contributing Writers Alex Velarde Scott Krohn Anita Guessou Lori Yang Feel free to stop by our office on the lower level of Founder’s Hall near the elevators. Founder’s Hall L113 700 East 7th Street Saint Paul, MN 55106

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A R T S &


Metropolitan State University 700 E. 7th St., St. Paul, Minn. 55106


The Gordon Parks Gallery at Metropolitan State University is proud to present a new art exhibit featuring artwork by St. Paul painter Ta-coumba Aiken. In the Spirit is a solo exhibition that highlights some of Aiken’s mixed media paintings on canvas and blown glass. Gallery director Erica Rasmussen describes his work, saying, “Aiken works in a variety of media and often references the figure, incorporating a great deal of rhythm, linear pattern and bold color that morphs into abstraction.” The exhibit opens Jan. 28 and runs through Feb. 25 with a reception on Thursday, Feb. 3, from 4–7 p.m. The gallery is located on the third floor of the Library and Learning Center at the St. Paul Campus. Aiken has also created murals and a variety of public art works that can be found throughout the Twin Cities. One of his murals, sponsored by the Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, was created with help from some local children in Lowertown, mere blocks from Metropolitan State. Aiken works in a variety of media including acrylics, glass, cast stone, bronze, fabric and clay. In addition to his large public art pieces, he has also created advertisements for commercial products such as Absolut vodka. “Although the Civil Rights, the Black arts and the hippie movements

have greatly influenced Aiken’s work,” Rasmussen explains, “the artist suggests that this latest body of work was inspired by his ancestors’ voices. It’s as if his departed family members are guiding him. He refers to this process as ‘spirit writing.’ These ancestors, of African lineage, instruct him to paint images that embrace all members of the larger community.” Regarding his paintings, Aiken has said, “I create my art to heal the hearts and souls of the people and their communities by evoking a positive spirit.” The idea of community connectedness is also echoed in the workshops and projects that Aiken teaches for Twin Cities’ youth. In celebration of Black History Month in February, Aiken will be partnering with Metropolitan State’s Center for CommunityBased Learning and The Gordon Parks Gallery to conduct youth workshops. In addition to the In the Spirit exhibition, the Gordon Parks Gallery will be hosting its first annual Legacy Lecture on Feb. 23 from 7–8 p.m. This lecture, entitled Moments without Proper Names: the Renaissance of Visions of Gordon Parks will be presented by Prof. John Wright of the University of Minnesota’s African American Studies program. For more information about the exhibit or upcoming events at the Gordon Parks Gallery, contact Erica Rasmussen at

“Underwater Love”, acrylic on canvas by Ta-Coumba Aiken. Photo courtesy of

In the Spirit

A Musical Valentine’s A concert preview


Elsewhere in this edition of The Metropolitan, you can read about inexpensive activities to do with a spouse or significant other on Valentine’s Day, but Metropolitan State University Students also have the opportunity to attend a totally free Valentine’s weekend event. The Minnesota Sinfonia and their music director, Jay Fishman, are regular visitors to Founders Hall on the St. Paul Campus each winter and spring. They will return to campus on Friday evening, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. to perform Czech, Austrian and Jewish-flavored music. Antonín Dvorák’s Slavonic Dances reflects the wonderfully thick Czech flavor of his music, and the Sinfonia will perform Fishman’s own arrangement of the third of those dances. There will also be a concerto grosso by the iterant Italian composer Domenico Scarlattid arranged by an English contemporary, Charles Avison. Fishman has composed his own music, not just for the Sinfonia’s “Music in the Schools” programs, but also for other performances. On Friday, the Sinfonia will perform Fishman’s Jewish Sketches, which is designed to authentically reflect Jewish culture and history while being accessible and “audiencefriendy,” when compared to many modernday compositions. Russian-born cellist Dmitry Kouzov will be the featured soloist when the Sinfonia performs the D Major cello concerto by Austrian composer Franz Josef Haydn (pron. HIGH-den). We’re pretty fortunate that Kouzov has room on his schedule for teose appearances in the Twin Cities; he is rather busy with solo and chamber music performances in the United States and Europes in addition to his “day job” as an as-

sistant professor of cello at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Depending on which musicologist’s analysis you’re reading, Haydn composed as many as seven cello concerti. Unfortunately, four of these concerti are lost—–nobody knows exactly what happened to them. Haydn himself attempted to assemble a catalog of his compositions, but he labeled it “…a list of all the compositions which I can at present recall having composed from my eighteenth until my seventy-third year.” Be that as it may, of the three remaining concerti he composed for cello, musicologists are only absolutely certain that two of them are his—including the D Major concerto Kouzov and the Minnesota Sinfonia will perform oy Feb. 11. That concerto was only authenticated as Haydn’s in 1951 and it was another ten years before the manuscripts for his equally charming C Major concerto were discovered in the Prague National Museum in what is now the Czech Republic. Since that time, both concerti have become much loved among classical music fans and musicians themselves, and you will have the chance to sample this music, for free, on Friday, Feb. 11. The Sinfonia has always offered their concerts free of charge and are appreciated for their “Music in the Schools” programs, where these professional musicians perform in elementary schools around Minnesota, helping to fire kids’ imaginations and interest in music. The Sinfonia musicians still need your financial help, which you can easily give by contributing at one of their concerts, by visiting their Web site and making a taxdeductible contribution, or by downloading a PDF form from their Web site


The February issue of The Metropolitan.


The February issue of The Metropolitan.