Welcome back, Mavericks!

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Student Events Team (SET) has held a full slate of events for Welcome Week that included bingo, hypnotists and more.

The SET has been preparing all the events that occurred last weekend and this week since May. According to SET President Ryan Leistikow, the goal for Welcome Week is to give incoming students a taste of what campus life is like. 

“Mankato has an amazing student activities life and it’s one of the best in the Midwest,” said Leistikow. “By doing all of the Welcome Week activities, we are showing students what Mankato has to offer and [telling them] ‘this is why you should be proud to be a Maverick.’”

One of the most anticipated events for this week is MAV Fest, an event with games, music and food. SET Concert Company Chair Maggie Driemeyer has been planning for MAV Fest since May. She said her planning included getting the band “IV Play” to come play at the event and collaborating with Fraternity Sorority Life about the event. 

“[We’ve been] communicating about yard games, food and volunteers,” said Driemeyer. “[MAV Fest] is a great opportunity to come have fun and meet new people.”

One of the events that took place over the weekend was a performance by hypnotist Eric Mina. SET Educational Entertainment Coordinator Atlas James said he hired Mina after previous successful shows on campus. 

“The staff in Student Activities was already familiar with Mina and has worked with him before,” said James. “He’s really easy going and understands what the staff requires of him. He caters to our audiences perfectly.”

Due to COVID-19, Welcome Week for the past few years looked a little different. Certain events had to limit seating or be taken off the schedule, such as Club Maverick, which returned after three years last Thursday. Leistikow said that, because there are no restrictions this year, SET planned to go all out, giving students the experience they deserve. 

“This year, we are trying to up the ante on everything we’ve been doing. We’re going back to how it was pre-COVID and up a step,” said Leistikow. “Students this year are more excited than ever to participate in campus life. They’re excited to be back on campus and without restrictions this year.”

Whether new students are arriving or returning students are setting foot back on campus, the SET wants students to enjoy Welcome Week activities.

“So much of college is work. You’ve got to have a job, do your homework. We’re trying to provide these events to create fun experiences for them to look back on,” said Driemeyer. “They’re paying a lot of money to be here, so we want them to get as much out of it as they can.”

SET members say the best thing new students can do is get involved. 
“Find your home here. Be it in fraternities or sororities, Student Events Team or one of the hundreds of student organizations,” said Leistikow. “Get involved, find a home and show your Maverick Pride.”

Header Photo: Students returned to MSU without any Covid restrictions after nearly two years. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Emma Johnson at

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