Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Student Events Team runs on “bringing fun to campus and making sure students have an outlet for stress,” says current SET President Nicole Osborn. “We put on a lot of events around campus aimed towards helping students celebrate their Maverick pride and making the campus one community.”
Osborn, joined by next year’s President and Vice President Tyler Pickel and Madeline Berndt, discussed what being a part of SET is like. When asked about his favorite aspect of being a part of the group, Pickel spoke fondly of his team members.
“I personally love just being part of the team,” Pickel said. “The entire team is made up of students that want to get involved with campus and give back to the campus, so being in this little family is nice.”
Berndt said she realizes and appreciates the impact SET makes on students, particularly on freshmen.
“I have to say that the best part of this organization is you know that you’re making a difference in someone’s life,” she said.
Being a part of the team requires creativity and room for growth, says Osborn.
“You really have to push yourself, as you’re put into a lot of different scenarios,” she said. “None of us have majors related to event planning, but all of us have gained something that we can take into the real world.”
“You learn how to deal with different departments, deal with different agencies, completely planning everything,” said Pickel. “We are planning things on a professional level.”
Currently, Pickel holds a position as the Stomper Cinema Chair, which includes coordinating films in Ostrander Auditorium. She says it’s been a challenge dealing with COVID.
“We tried it this year, but because of social distancing we saw a lack of interest,” she said. “Instead, we did more drive-in movies and screenings on the football field.”
Osborn said her job as president is to “kind of help everyone be successful in their roles.” She coordinates weekly meetings and recruitment activities along with being a person board members can come to, whether on an event planning or personal basis.
Berndt is currently the Homecoming Partnerships and Promotions Chair. This role, however, will be discontinued after she vacates it for the newly created role of Vice President. The new role focuses “mainly on recruitment and online events.”
When each was asked about a favorite event they have helped organize, Pickel said, “Easily the homecoming concert. It is one of our biggest events, as we set up for it starting the day before and then we work throughout the entire time. After the concert we don’t get out until around 2 a.m. from tear-down. It’s a lot, but I really like that type of work.”
Berndt echoed his statement about the concert being a lot of work, but said her favorite event was probably Drag Bingo, which she orchestrated about a month ago.
“It was really fun to work with the drag queens,” she said. “They have so much energy and are so innovative. It was really cool to see what they could bring, as well as seeing so many people invested in the game.”
Osborn said she was a fan of the CSU Haunted Takeover event, although she lamented that they were unable to put it on this year due to COVID -19 restrictions.
“I really like it because I’m a very DIY kind of person, and this event requires lots of decorations,” she said. “I also enjoy it because it gets other organizations involved. There’s more people helping put it on than just us.”
Looking ahead to the fall, Pickel said their plans, like many other things right now, are a big unknown. The team is anticipating returning to as normal as possible, but acknowledges everything is dependent on what the university gives them.
“We want to give it our all, to give this year’s freshman the college experience they’ve missed,” Pickel stated.
The group is always looking for and welcoming new members regardless of limited events, says Pickel.
The group holds weekly meetings in room 245 of the Centennial Student Union.