“My sophomore year I went with a group of close friends and very earnestly, at the wrong time, called bingo for myself. I stood up and I shouted bingo.”
Although getting a bingo at the wrong time sounds like a nightmare come to life, for Henry Bowring-McDonough, the Maverick Traditions board member for the Student Events Team, doing so became a long-lasting memory.
“It was one of those specialty rounds where you have to draw something with your bingo [card] instead of just a straight line. That totally went over my head. For the rest of the year, my nickname was ‘bingo’ amongst that group of friends,” said Bowring-McDonough.
The event that gave Bowring-McDonough his nickname was Minnesota State most popular welcome week activity: Galactic Bingo. This school year’s game was Saturday in the Myers Fieldhouse.
Something space-tastic about this year’s planning was the choice to split the evening into two sections. This allowed for shorter entry wait times, fewer rounds where several students achieved a bingo on the same call and a higher chance of winning prizes!
What makes this game so out of this world is a series of epic prizes and a transformed fieldhouse. “It is a big room that’s very dark, and it has a lot of laser lights. When you think of growing up going to a Chuck E. Cheese or something, and there’s always that area that’s kind of dark and a little more spacey – it’s like that, but a big bingo game,” Bowring-McDonough explained.
Of course, with the fieldhouse so packed full of players, the game can get pretty intense. MSU Senior Odin Moe said, “It’s like playing the lottery. I think it’s a good first-time [event]. It’s a really good place to get involved with the environment, especially with your first week. A lot of these kids just cried because their parents left, and now they’re having fun? Hell yeah.”
The Student Events Team and Greek Life work together to host the event in order to collect some great prizes. “A fan favorite that we’ve kept from years past is a $500 Target gift card that we mark as a dorm makeover,” Bowring-McDonough said. “You can go to Target and pick up a whole ton of lights, plants, furniture, maybe a new fridge, cleaning supplies.”
However, other prizes catered more to familiarizing students with Mankato. “My personal favorite that isn’t the grand prize would have to be this local restaurant basket that we’re putting together. We’re getting four $25 gift cards from four local Mankato restaurants, and tossing them together,” Bowring-McDonough explained.
With the combined efforts of both groups, the event was a success. Bowring-McDonough shared, “Our teams are intentional people who volunteered to be part of these groups, or otherwise are on the board of these groups. These are people who are motivated to help out with events like these.”
Moe shared their enthusiasm for other events Student Events Team and other Recognized Student Organizations events on campus, “The ice skating one that was earlier today was super fun. They have rock climbing until really late tonight. I really recommend going. There’s a lot of welcoming environments there.”
Of course, the fun at MSU doesn’t end with Welcome Week. In order to rock climb, students can access the ‘open climb hours’ and the university’s website, as well as browse the Student Events Team event calendar for upcoming activities to attend.
A few words of advice Moe provided on bingo apply to the upcoming campus events as well. “Don’t be afraid to meet people there; you can definitely meet some really nice people.”
Write to Lilly Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Header Photo: Something space-tastic about this year’s planning was the choice to split the evening into two sections. This allowed for shorter entry wait times, fewer rounds where several students achieved a bingo on the same call and a higher chance of winning prizes! (Lilly Anderson)