In Our November, 2017 Issue:

Arthur on campus space study: ‘It pays to do it right, do it well, and take the time we need’


The Met­ro­pol­i­tan met with Pres­i­dent Ginny Arthur on Oct. 20 for an hour-​long con­ver­sa­tion. Arthur dis­cussed the details of the space uti­liza­tion study, the future of the Mid­way cam­pus, and the loss of the Black Box The­ater as a per­for­mance space for Metro State The­ater students.

This is the first in a planned monthly series of inter­views with Pres­i­dent Arthur.

President Ginny Arthur in her office in New Main, Oct. 20, 2017.

Metro State recently com­mis­sioned a ‘Space Uti­liza­tion Study’ that pro­poses shift­ing offices and ser­vices around on cam­pus. What should stu­dents know about it?

This is about get­ting things clus­tered together for stu­dents. If you go to one office and it turns out you need another ser­vice, it will not be far away. On that same prin­ci­ple, we want to get aca­d­e­mic depart­ments clus­tered together. There’s more syn­ergy when they’re close together and every­one can talk to their colleagues.

You’ve called this a student-​centered, student-​facing plan — what does that mean exactly?

Some­times stu­dents don’t know all the things that we have avail­able. If they’re look­ing for one thing, they might dis­cover oth­ers. So we really open up the space in a dif­fer­ent way. In Founder’s Hall, there’s Coun­sel­ing Ser­vices and stu­dent ser­vices like the Vet­er­ans Cen­ter, Women’s and LGBTQ Cen­ter. Instead of hav­ing them scat­tered across first and sec­ond floor, let’s have them in all one area. I think stu­dents don’t go in these offices because they see it as closed off area. Let’s open it up.

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Culture and cloth: ‘We are Anishinaabe’ at Gordon Parks Gallery


The Gor­don Parks Gallery opened “We are Anishi­naabe: Hon­or­ing Tex­tile Tra­di­tions” on Oct. 26. The exhibit fea­tures cloth­ing designed by Delina White and her two daugh­ters, Laven­der Hunt and Sage Davis.

White lives on the Leech Lake Reser­va­tion in north­ern Min­nesota, and is an enrolled mem­ber of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Draw­ing on cen­turies of tra­di­tion, she uses beads, bones, shells, and other types of mate­ri­als to cre­ate her cloth­ing. “I want to con­tinue Anishi­naabe tra­di­tions by build­ing a legacy and shar­ing my knowl­edge. I can honor [my ances­tors] by shar­ing what is old and mak­ing it new again,” White said.


1. an Ojibwe

2. an Indian (in con­trast to a non-​Indian), a Native (in con­trast to a non-​Native)

3. a per­son, a human (in con­trast to a non-​human being)

Source: The Ojibwe People’s Dic­tio­nary, ojibwe​.lib​.umn​.edu

White and her daugh­ters designed all the dif­fer­ent skirts, bags, ear­rings, and neck­laces that are dis­played on man­nequins and in pho­tographs in the Gor­don Parks Gallery. “I describe my work as tra­di­tional Anishi­naabe — mean­ing that the core design has a strong con­nec­tive­ness to the cul­ture and peo­ple of the Great Lakes and wood­lands.” White said.

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OPINION: Metro State tuition is a bargain, but …


Kudos to Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Ginny Arthur for point­ing out how Minnesota’s state uni­ver­si­ties com­pare to pri­vate col­leges. Her Sept. 15 let­ter to the edi­tor in the Star Tri­bune notes that at $7,289, the aver­age state uni­ver­sity tuition is about one-​fifth that of the Uni­ver­sity of St. Thomas, cur­rently sit­ting at $41,133.

That’s absolutely fan­tas­tic — rel­a­tively speaking.

For con­text, try this: When for­mer Gov. Tim Paw­lenty fin­ished his under­grad­u­ate degree at the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota, his tuition was $1,608 a year (though it was $994 when he started). And the min­i­mum wage was $3.35 per hour. A sum­mer of full-​time work would pay, before taxes, about $1,608.

The 2017 min­i­mum wage has nearly tripled at $9.50 per hour, a pre­tax sum­mer income of about $4,500. Tuition has risen by a fac­tor of nine in the same time span, yet baby boomer politi­cians like Paw­lenty still wax poet­i­cally about the value of work­ing their way through col­lege (even as they decrease the state sub­sidy). As if the expe­ri­ence is even remotely the same.

Stu­dents today should be stark rav­ing mad. This shouldn’t be normal.

Back to the future

Dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, when Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-​Vt., cham­pi­oned free higher edu­ca­tion, it was dis­missed as a pie-​in-​the-​sky pipe dream. Yet, com­par­a­tively speak­ing, Pawlenty’s expe­ri­ence wasn’t too far off.

What happened?

Well, lots of stuff. But three pri­mary dri­vers of tuition hikes are decreased state sup­port, the pro­lif­er­a­tion of stu­dent loans, and the idea that edu­ca­tion is a pri­vate good and should there­fore be run like a business.

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OPINION: To give is to receive: The value of student donations

Rita M. Dibble joined Metro State as Chief Advancement Officer on May 1. Photo courtesy of Metropolitan State University.

What is your reac­tion when some­one approaches you for a dona­tion to your uni­ver­sity? Let me guess: You roll your eyes and won­der how any­one could ask a stu­dent for money! But give me 10 min­utes of your time and I can open the door to the won­der­ful world of philanthropy.

There is a dif­fer­ence between cost and value. For instance it costs you $2 to buy your favorite ice cream. But what price can you put on the plea­sure you get from eat­ing ice cream on a hot day? I sus­pect it is much more than $2.

It is the same with your edu­ca­tion. It costs a Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity stu­dent $7,860 to attend the uni­ver­sity for one year. A degree can get you a job with a start­ing salary of $48,000 each year. The value is a six­fold increase in this example.

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‘Philando Feeds the Children’ distributes first funds to J.J. Hill Elementary


It was hugs all around as Metro State stu­dents met the fam­ily of Phi­lando Castile on Fri­day, Oct. 13 at the ele­men­tary school where Castile worked as a nutri­tion supervisor.

Psychology major Ronnie Erickson gets a hug from Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, at J.J. Montessori in St. Paul on Oct. 13, 2017.

Castile was shot and killed July 6, 2016 by a St. Anthony police offi­cer dur­ing a traf­fic stop.

Inspired by Castile’s life and work, Pam Fer­gus and her stu­dents in PSYC 212, Intro­duc­tion to Diver­sity and Ethics in Psy­chol­ogy, designed a ser­vice project to raise aware­ness of food inse­cu­rity. They set out to help the stu­dents of J.J Hill Montes­sori Mag­net in St. Paul, those who called Castile “Mr. Phil.”

The PSYC 212 stu­dents crafted an online fundrais­ing effort at the start of fall semes­ter. They set an ini­tial goal of $5,000 to cover J.J. Hill’s unpaid lunch accounts. They shared and pro­moted the Phi­lando Feeds the Chil­dren cam­paign on social media plat­forms. Within days, dona­tions far sur­passed their goal.

To date, their efforts have raised over $94,000 — enough to pay off the lunch debts for the entire St. Paul Pub­lic Schools system.

The first school to have its lunch debts paid off? J.J. Hill, of course.

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Metro State adds all-gender restrooms on St. Paul campus


All-​gender, single-​stall restrooms will soon be avail­able in every build­ing on the St. Paul cam­pus. New sig­nage will be installed on all restrooms. Promi­nently placed maps will help com­mu­nity mem­bers and vis­i­tors find their way on cam­pus. All part of an effort to pro­vide wel­com­ing facil­i­ties and use con­sis­tent, respect­ful ter­mi­nol­ogy and sym­bols across the university.

Christo­pher Maas, Direc­tor of Facil­i­ties, gives credit for the effort to Christa Spiel­man, for­merly the Women and LGBTQ Stu­dent Ser­vices Coor­di­na­tor for Metro State. “Really Christa was the one who brought this to our atten­tion. It caused us to step back and eval­u­ate our facil­i­ties from a broad per­spec­tive,” Maas said.

Spiel­man recently left the uni­ver­sity to become Com­mu­nity Rela­tions Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for PRIDE Insti­tute, a men­tal health ser­vices provider in Eden Prairie.

The year 2015 was big con­struc­tion year for us. We built the Stu­dent Cen­ter, the Park­ing Ramp and the Sci­ence Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter. We real­ized we were iden­ti­fy­ing restrooms on cam­pus in sev­eral dif­fer­ent, incon­sis­tent ways,” said Maas.

To eval­u­ate the use of signs and sym­bols on cam­pus, Maas sought input from across Metro State, includ­ing the Women’s and LGBTQ Stu­dent Resource Cen­ter, Cen­ter for Acces­si­bil­ity Resources, Mar­ket­ing, Stu­dent Life and Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment, Stu­dent Sen­ate, and the President’s Office.

The uni­ver­sity also hired Visual Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, a graphic and sign design con­sult­ing com­pany in St. Paul. “We’ve worked with them in the past. They did the Library sign for us. They’re very famil­iar with Min­nesota State cam­puses,” said Maas.

The con­sul­tants found that single-​stall restrooms on cam­pus had been labeled with a “con­fus­ing hybrid style pic­togram… not well received by the LGBTQ com­mu­nity or the pub­lic at-​large.”

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College of Management students kick-start careers


We’re doing things to pre­pare Col­lege of Man­age­ment stu­dents for the work­force,” said Edward Con­ley, Pres­i­dent of the Col­lege of Man­age­ment Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion (COMSA). The new stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion launched in April 2017.

Con­ley said their focus is to invite guest speak­ers and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives to cam­pus. They work closely with Col­lege of Man­age­ment pro­fes­sors to make this pos­si­ble. Last spring, they brought a speaker from a Min­nesota account­ing firm to give stu­dents an overview of the exam for cer­ti­fied pub­lic accoun­tants (CPAs).

On Sept. 28, COMSA held a spe­cial event at the Mid­way cam­pus called “Facts and myths about get­ting your first job in busi­ness and finance.” The event fea­tured free pizza for atten­dees and three guest speak­ers from Robert Half Man­age­ment Resources.

The guest speak­ers were Jen­nifer Carl­son, Joe Seltz, and 2015 Metro State grad­u­ate Andrea Zick. In 2017, Forbes mag­a­zine listed Robert Half as “America’s Best Recruit­ing Firm.” Founded in 1948, Robert Half assists com­pa­nies with their staffing needs for office sup­port, finance, account­ing, mar­ket­ing, legal ser­vices, and technology.

COMSA President Edward Conley, left, Faculty Advisor Joel Wilson, Robert Half Management Resources representative Jennifer Carlson, and COMSA Vice President Kossi Ayigah, pose for photos at a club event on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at the Midway campus.
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Protect, defend, respond: Cyber Security and Forensics students on how to combat cyber threats


Why would some­one tar­get me?” Austin Kleineschay, pres­i­dent of the Cyber Secu­rity and Foren­sic Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tion (CSFSO), said that’s a com­mon ques­tion about cyber­at­tacks. The mes­sage of CSFSO’s annual inter­net secu­rity work­shop: we are all poten­tial tar­gets for hack­ers and cyber criminals.

The “Think Safe, Be Safe,” work­shop focused on secu­rity prob­lems and pos­si­ble solu­tions. It was held Sat­ur­day, Oct. 28, at the Jason R. Carter Sci­ence Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter. Com­mu­nity mem­bers, stu­dents and fac­ulty attended.

Kleineschay opened the event with a dis­cus­sion of cur­rent inter­net secu­rity threats. He chal­lenged every­one to imag­ine what could hap­pen if a cyber crim­i­nal accessed their pho­tos, emails, pass­words, bank accounts and credit card num­bers. Offend­ers might not even be human, as “bots” can find a computer’s secu­rity weak­nesses, Kleineschay said.

Secu­rity bugs will always exist, humans are fal­li­ble,” said Kleineschay. The threat of viruses, worms, Tro­jans, ran­somware and mal­ware per­sist, but there are things com­puter users can do to stay safe.

Besides using fire­walls, Kleineschay sug­gested installing soft­ware updates and secu­rity patches as soon as they become avail­able. He rec­om­mended using Flex­era Per­sonal Soft­ware Inspec­tor. This secu­rity scan­ner iden­ti­fies when an oper­at­ing sys­tem com­po­nent, browser or appli­ca­tion needs an update. It also pro­vides links so a per­son can update their com­puter quickly.

Andrew Schmitt, com­mu­nity fac­ulty mem­ber in Infor­ma­tion and Com­puter Sci­ences (ICS), spoke about iden­tity theft. In his pre­sen­ta­tion, he showed how a sim­ple every­day con­ver­sa­tion can give a crim­i­nal the facts they need to answer someone’s secu­rity ques­tions. Thieves can use another person’s iden­tity to secure mort­gage loans or credit cards. He noted the emo­tional impact, credit rat­ing prob­lems, and the finan­cial loss to vic­tims of iden­tity theft.

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Psych professor authors new book on community development


With con­tri­bu­tions from col­leagues at Metro State, Pro­fes­sor August John Hoff­man has authored and edited “Cre­at­ing a Trans­for­ma­tional Com­mu­nity: The Fun­da­men­tals of Stew­ard­ship Activ­i­ties.” The text­book exam­ines how com­mu­nity ser­vice pro­grams ben­e­fit vol­un­teers and their neigh­bor­hoods. It was pub­lished Oct. 11 by Lex­ing­ton Books.

Pro­fes­sor Michelle Filkins, Library and Infor­ma­tion Stud­ies, and 2017 Indi­vid­u­al­ized Stud­ies grad­u­ate Desiree Weins con­tributed to the book. Filkins and Hoff­man co-​authored chap­ter 8, enti­tled “Evolv­ing and Essen­tial Orga­ni­za­tions that Facil­i­tate Stew­ard­ship within the Com­mu­nity: Com­mu­nity Schools and Libraries.” Weins wrote chap­ter 6 of the text­book titled, “Eat­ing Virtue Brings Com­mu­nity Growth: Prin­ci­ples of Whole­some Foods Every­body Can Consume.

Accord­ing to Hoff­man, stu­dents who study psy­chol­ogy, soci­ol­ogy, eth­nic stud­ies and urban edu­ca­tion will find the text­book a use­ful resource.

The pur­pose of this text is to help indi­vid­u­als under­stand the dynam­ics of what makes a com­mu­nity stronger, more resilient and how vol­un­teerism plays a vital role in improv­ing our rela­tion­ships with oth­ers,” said Hoffman.

‘Creating a Transformational Community: The Fundamentals of Stewardship Activities’ is available as an e-book in the ProQuest Ebook Central database on the Library and Learning Center website.

In her fore­word to the book, Metro State Pres­i­dent Vir­ginia Arthur described the impor­tance of com­mu­nity ser­vice projects in schools.

The authors of ‘Cre­at­ing a Trans­for­ma­tional Com­mu­nity: The Fun­da­men­tals of Stew­ard­ship Activ­i­ties,’ pro­vide prac­ti­cal exam­ples of pro­grams that engage K-​16 stu­dents in projects that build a sense of self-​efficacy for indi­vid­u­als, break down cul­tural bar­ri­ers and iso­la­tion and build a sense of com­mu­nity within the project team and between the project team and the com­mu­nity which is served,” Arthur wrote.

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Gifts and meditations: Takeaways from the TRIO Leadership Summit


I never would have thought observ­ing a rock could be so peace­ful. That was just one insight await­ing me at the TRIO Lead­er­ship Sum­mit on Oct. 20 on the St. Paul cam­pus. As a stu­dent in the TRIO pro­gram, I had attended other TRIO events in the past, like the Adult Col­lege Stu­dent Lead­er­ship Sym­po­sium. So I thought I had an idea what to be expect from the event. But sur­prises — and prizes — awaited me.

When I arrived on the third floor of the Library and Learn­ing Cen­ter, the first thing that caught my atten­tion were the lovely prizes, neatly pack­aged and lined up on a table. I scouted the gift bas­kets to see which one was the most appeal­ing to me. At that time, I wasn’t sure how to win or receive the prize, but I was sure I would find out.

As I walked into the wel­com­ing ses­sion, I didn’t expect so many TRIO stu­dents from Min­neapo­lis Com­mu­nity and Tech­ni­cal Col­lege (MCTC) to be in atten­dance. I sat at a table with my fel­low Metro State stu­dents and lis­tened to wel­com­ing speeches from Metro State Pres­i­dent Ginny Arthur and MCTC Pres­i­dent Sharon Pierce. Both pres­i­dents had noth­ing but pos­i­tive things to say about TRIO, a fed­eral pro­gram that serves stu­dents from dis­ad­van­taged backgrounds.

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Two techies talk: A conversation with Levi King, developer of The Metropolitan website


The Metropolitan’s Web Edi­tor, Joseph Par­sons, sat down with his pre­de­ces­sor Levi King to talk about the his­tory and devel­op­ment of The Met­ro­pol­i­tan web­site. King grad­u­ated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Com­puter Infor­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, and now works as a course­work edi­tor for Capella University.

How did you get involved with The Metropolitan?

Orig­i­nally it was because I had a class in my Tech­ni­cal Writ­ing major where we were basi­cally required to fin­ish an arti­cle in the class and then sub­mit it to a real pub­li­ca­tion. A lot of peo­ple were going to places like City Pages and what­not, but I didn’t feel like I was ready to jump straight into some­thing that was dis­trib­uted on news­stands on the street.

I had never really thought about the actual paper at Metro until that point. I saw [the Met­ro­pol­i­tan] at the news­stands around cam­pus and got involved. And it turned out they ended up need­ing some­one to do the web design aspect of it. So I sub­mit­ted two or three arti­cles before join­ing the staff proper, and then it became a monthly arti­cle on staff and went from there.

When you started going into the web design, how long did that take?

Imme­di­ately after I joined, they only had a very sim­ple place­holder web­site. It was unfor­tu­nately com­pli­cated. They had very lim­ited func­tion­al­ity and essen­tially were only able to pro­vide a link to a PDF. And I did the small upgrade. I found a work-​around where I could use Mozilla’s PDF.js library to embed the PDF so it was view­able on the page and didn’t have to be down­loaded. Which was a step up. But still a far cry from what they wanted it to be.

Orig­i­nally it was really dif­fi­cult to trace the his­tory of what hap­pened to the orig­i­nal site. But the short of it was that who­ever had been run­ning the site before had chafed at the require­ments where Metro State requires stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions who are going to run a web­site on the Metro State server — it has to be straight HTML, noth­ing else.

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Campus News Briefs


Andrea Jenk­ins was elected to rep­re­sent ward 8 on the Min­neapo­lis City Coun­cil on Nov. 7. She is the first African Amer­i­can trans-​identified woman to be elected to the city coun­cil of a major city.

I know first-​hand the feel­ing of being mar­gin­al­ized, left out, thrown under the bus. Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table — we want to set the table,” said Jenk­ins in a press release after her victory.

Minneapolis Councilmember-elect Andrea Jenkins on election night, Tuesday, Nov. 7. Photo by Jason Bucklin.

In addi­tion to her pub­lic pol­icy work, Jenk­ins is a poet, writer and oral his­to­rian. She is a 1999 grad­u­ate of Metro State with a bachelor’s degree in Human Ser­vices. She served as vice chair of the board of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity Alumni Association.

Jenk­ins con­tributed to “A Good Time for the Truth,” a col­lec­tion of essays by peo­ple of color in Min­nesota. It was pub­lished in 2016 by the Min­nesota His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety Press, and is uti­lized in the Metro State course WRIT 300, Cre­ative Writ­ers, Iden­tity and Race in the Twin Cities.

Neigh­bor­hood House bring­ing free fruits and veg­eta­bles to St. Paul campus

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