Telling The Real Stories

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College graduates travel abroad to teach English

Richard Davie, originally from Scotland, teaches English in Barcelona, Spain. But that was not what he initially set out to do. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a master’s degree in chemistry. “I hated it,” he said in a video interview. Instead of pursuing a job in his field, Davie decided to travel abroad for summer break. “Barcelona is a very special place in the summer,” he said. “It’s got a real a spark to it.” After some time in Spain, he began looking for a job at a bar or a hostel—something to do for the time being. But, he was lost in the situation, he explained. Davie handed out resumes to local bars and restaurants, searching for a job. At one point, he was sweeping and mopping the floors in the hostel he was staying at in exchange for room and board. It wasn’t long until… Keep Reading


SCSU alumnus Jaylani Hussein speaks on Islamophobia

A nearly full house gathered in Ritsche Auditorium Tuesday, Feb. 9, to listen to executive director Jaylani Hussein, with the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), speak about Islamophobia. Hussein, who emigrated from Somalia with his family in 1993 to Minnesota, gave insight into the sensitive topic with some background information about the history of Islamophobia. He then introduced some current facts regarding harassment, bullying, discrimination, vandalism and anti-Muslim events, all of which have contributed to the rise in Islamophobia in recent years. Hussein spoke of close-mindedness, ignorance and misinformation being the main foundations for much of the projected hatred of the Muslim community. He proposed that Hollywood has portrayed Muslims in a negative light, which has perpetuated negative stereotypes allowing for further discrimination. He discussed the political side of Islamophobia as well, noting that both right- and left-wing supporters have participated in smear campaigns against… Keep Reading

A semester abroad in Alnwick, England: Part I

We open our story with 10 students, setting off on a semester of a lifetime. To Alnwick, England and beyond. The Alnwick study experience is one of the first year experience programs, and I for one am quite thankful for that, due to the fact that I myself am a freshman. A few background details about myself and this trip. The main reason I enrolled at SCSU was because of this particular program. Just this year it opened up to first year students. The students participating get to live in a castle. The Hogwarts castle. And as soon as I was accepted at SCSU I applied for this program. To protect the privacy of those I am traveling with, no names will be mentioned by myself. Living in a castle is nothing short of superb. In the front of the castle, there is a huge door called the ‘Barbican Gate’… Keep Reading


“The New Era”: a Liberian Culture Night

“With our hearts united, we’ll shout the freedom of a race benighted. Long Live Liberia, happy land!” The lyrics of the Liberian National Anthem ran throughout the Atwood ballroom Saturday night as the lights dimmed on a stage of dancers and performers. SCSU played host to Liberian Night, a culture night recognizing students from Liberia. The night included dancing, singing, and authentic Liberian food. The culture night was set up by the Liberian Student Association and welcomed everyone wishing to learn more about the country’s culture and history. The LSA partnered with the African Student Association, the Nigerian Student Association, and the Council of African American Students to make the night all-inclusive. The audience got to witness a flurry of colors and fashion as performers took the stage to show off their talent in a mixture of old and modern Liberian music and dance. Everything from rap to traditional dance… Keep Reading


St. Cloud Public Library displays the story of Anne Frank

Originally exhibited at the James Miller Center, the Reading and Writing with Anne Frank Exhibit is currently in display on the second floor of the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud as part of a community partnership with St. Cloud State University. “It is a lovely exhibit, and a way to engage people with Anne Frank, and the importance of her writing and reading while she was in hiding.” said St. Cloud Public Library Patron Services Coordinator Sandy Toland about the Exhibit. The Exhibit is in the city of St. Cloud as part of a comprehensive program that aims to provide complementary programming for local teachers, particularly those in 8th grade for the St. Cloud School district and the Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle Schools, as they are reading the diary of Anne Frank or the play based off of the diary. As a matter of fact, over 800 8th graders from… Keep Reading


Foreign Service Officer talks careers in the US Department of State

The US Department of State, in collaboration with St. Cloud State University, held an informative session on careers in the department Thursday, touching specifically on career opportunities as foreign service officers (FSO). The session was in Centennial Hall 207 from 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., and was free and open to the public. Recruitment and Outreach Officer Vayram A. Nyadroh presented to an audience of roughly 50 attendees on information ranging from requirement, internship opportunities, professional fellowships, civil service, to foreign service officer career paths. The FSO track and its career paths were the main focus of the presentation, so much so that there was another information session after the event to discuss and shed light on the Foreign Service Officer Test (FOST). A FSO is a commissioned member of the US Foreign Service. They are people with strong leadership abilities, sound judgment, the ability to remain composed in stressful situation. And most… Keep Reading


Conversation on race continues in St. Cloud

As the nation faces its dilemmas with Islamaphobia within every corner of the country, St. Cloud served as one place where the conversations about race and religion are continuously growing. Last Thursday evening, Somali panelists spoke to a room full of community members about what it is really like to be Muslim in Minnesota as well as St. Cloud. Conversations about race and religion have been ongoing within the St. Cloud community for years, with the 10th annual ‘Conversation on Race’ seminar being just this past fall. However, this community conversation was brought upon by an external news entity, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). MPR decided to hold a special called ‘Muslim in Minnesota’ due to the large Muslim and Somali population in the St. Cloud area. MPR stated that the United States will reach a 2 percent Muslim demographic thirty years from now, whereas 20 percent of students in the… Keep Reading

Crime/International/News/SCSU News

Philosophy professor pleads guilty to federal charges

St. Cloud State philosophy professor Yiwei (Steve) Zheng is on paid leave after pleading guilty during the first week of spring semester to illegally smuggling items made of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horns to and from the United States in 2010 and 2011. For some of Zheng’s students this semester, such as Zach Parker, the news came as somewhat of a shock. Parker, who was enrolled in Zheng’s multicultural philosophy class, said he had no idea that his professor was facing federal charges in court. “I never expected anything wrong with him to even pull off a crime like that. He seemed very nice and innocent in the classes I’ve had this [first] week,” Parker said. Zheng, who has been with SCSU since 1999, entered his guilty plea in US District Court in Minneapolis on Jan. 13, admitting to have “knowingly and fraudulently” smuggled elephant ivory out of the United… Keep Reading

SCSU opens new Irish study abroad program

The scholarship funds can be used on books, tuition, and travel costs when the students are studying abroad, and for Widman it will only be a slight change of scenery. “I want to study abroad in Ireland because I’m currently studying abroad in England and I’ve had such a wonderful time, I’ve met so many amazing people and have seen things I’d never thought I’d get to see with my own eyes,” said Widman, a sophomore who is leaning towards English as a major. While a change of scenery and experiencing new things is top of the mind for the three students, each has a similar, close to home reason for studying at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland. Both Widman and Hugger have family members who are from Ireland and look forward to learning about a culture they are descendants from. Ramos meanwhile is looking forward to spending some… Keep Reading

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