MSA sponsors reception to unite student organizations

by Rebecca Czaplewski

Weaving around tables decorated with maroon and gold balloons, Chris Chambers and Tiffany Stedman greeted members of student organizations at a reception designed to stimulate cooperation between the groups.
At the Minnesota Student Association’s first effort at uniting student organizations throughout campus, members across the University got the rare chance to socialize with each other Friday evening at MSA’s Student Networking Reception. The event was the first in what organizers hope will become an annual event.
More than 100 people attended the reception, which was held in Coffman Union and designed with one goal in mind: to foster interaction between University student organizations.
Chambers and Stedman were two of the main organizers of the event. Chambers, a freshman in the Carlson School of Management, felt the reception provided a much-needed chance at interaction between organizations.
“It hasn’t really been happening too much recently,” Chambers said. “This is a good way to talk to each other and let everybody know what’s going on.”
“It’s kind of a unifying experience,” said Stedman, a freshman in the College of Liberal Arts.
With more than 400 student organizations on campus, interaction is not always an easy task. MSA members hope that through the reception, organizations can gain a better sense of what the others are doing.
“This is the first step to see what other people are doing and how we can collaborate,” said Nikki Kubista, MSA president.
Talking and laughing with each other at the catered event, it was clear that many of the student organization members agreed with those sentiments.
“I was hoping that we could all get to know each other and work together,” said James Chuang, president of the Taiwan Students Alliance and a junior in the College of Biological Sciences.
Philomena McCullough, a member of the Indigenous Student Alliance, also touched on the value of various student organizations uniting to work together.
“It’s easier for organizations to do things if we know each other,” said McCullough, a junior in CLA.
The role of student organizations — to bring the University down to a more approachable level for students who feel lost in the crowd — wasn’t lost on the attendants of the reception.
“I’m into making the University not just a place to go to school, but a place to live,” McCullough said.