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Minnesota State Universities: Making a Difference

In the same way native Minnesotans BOB DYLAN, JUDY GARLAND, and WINONA RYDER became notorious for politically-charged folk music, gorgeous vocals, drug addiction, acting, and star-studded shoplifting, students at universities in Minnesota are making waves at their schools, too. The only difference is that their causes for commotion fall under the category of public outreach and humanitarianism. Students at Minnesota colleges and universities are making a difference in their communities and the world around them by speaking up and standing out in local, national, and worldwide arenas.

Read on to hear the stories of students at Minnesota universities who are making headlines with their college experiences.

Female Students Lead the Way
St. Louis, MN:
Recently, the College of St. Benedict (CSB), an all-female university, sent a 13-person international delegation to the Women as Global Leaders Conference in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. Ten of the delegates were CSB students concerned with the ways women can act in leadership roles to effect change at the local, regional, or even global levels.

More than 37 students applied to be on the delegation, but these 10 were chosen based on their obvious and well-articulated interest, as well as their desire to take whatever they should learn at the conference and use it to make a difference on campus. Delegates from 69 countries were in attendance, and young women leaders from universities all over the world were given the opportunity to meet and establish connections with important international leaders, as well as to gain insight into the changes already underway for women across the globe.

Homeless Share Their Stories With Students
Minneapolis, MN:
Writers for The Minnesota Daily, the University of Minnesota's independent, student-run newspaper, took on an interesting task for one of their articles. They decided to roam the streets surrounding the university in search of homeless people willing to share their stories. Five such people were found, and those interviewed told of a sort of underground community made up of the homeless in the area. One of the interviewees even testified to a structured schedule of time slots that each homeless person uses to ask for help on popular street corners. They rely on this system to make sure everyone gets a chance to hold up his/her signs and earn some money from passersby.

When asked why they're living on the streets, substance abuse was admittedly the most prominent cause, and it was agreed that sobriety would be key to getting back on their feet. However, one homeless man reminded students at Minnesota state universities, as well as at colleges across the U.S., that anyone, from any walk of life could end up in his shoes, on the streets. Student reporters hope to raise awareness and start a dialogue on the issue of homelessness based on the reactions to these interviews.

Minnesota universities have plenty to offer the average student, as well as those who like to leave their mark wherever they go. From headlines to homework, students at Minnesota state universities know how to shine.