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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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October 6, 2010 Campus Newsletter

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New energy center, residence hall

President Davenport cutting the ribbon

President Richard Davenport cuts the ribbon to dedicate the new, one-of-a-kind Center of Renewable Energy Sept. 23. The $1.8 million, 6,300-square-foot building, under construction since last November, is near Wiecking Center.

Officials breaking ground

Officials break ground Sept. 23 for a $23.8 million, 118,000-square-foot residence hall that will accommodate 300 students when completed. The four-story structure will be built next to the McElroy Residence Community and will be the second new residence hall on campus in four years.

Homecoming: Fun for all ages

Stomper mascotFrom a free pancake breakfast and the big morning parade to a top-rated comedy show at night, Saturday’s Homecoming activities will provide a host of public events that spell fun for all ages.

Homecoming week is Oct. 3-10, with the majority of the public events set for Saturday, Oct. 9. A complete events list is available on the Homecoming page.

President Richard Davenport will be among the chefs in the purple and gold Touchdown Tent in Parking Lot 7 (southwest side of campus), flipping pancakes and grilling sausages for the free annual pancake feed, which goes from 9-11 a.m.

Immediately following the breakfast, the 80-plus unit parade kicks off on the northwest corner of the campus and winds its way to the east and south along Maywood and Warren streets.

Football follows at 1 p.m. as the Mavericks take on the St. Cloud State Huskies in Blakeslee Stadium. There will be an Alumni Tent with free snacks, a balloon artist and face-painting, and at halftime, Walter Zakahi, the University’s new Dean of Arts & Humanities, will be on hand to greet everyone.

For those not into football, there’s the opportunity to be “razzle-dazzled” at the University Theatre’s production of “Chicago,” the award-winning musical which will be at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Ted Paul Theatre. Ticket information for the show is available at the Theatre Box Office website.

For alumni who graduated prior to 1960, a special “Golden Mavericks Reunion” is scheduled from 4-5:30 p.m. in Old Main Village, 301 S. 5th St. The free reception includes appetizers and the opportunity to reconnect with fellow students, faculty and staff. RSVPs are requested.

At 4:30 p.m., the Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble, with special performances by the Ellis Street Singers and Department of Music alumni, will be in Ostrander Auditorium of the Centennial Student Union. The CSU is also the site for the Arts & Humanities Reception, once again featuring Dean Zakahi and beginning at 5:45. Cost for the reception is $10.

The Truman and Reta Wood Silent Auction and Scholarship Dinner, one of Homecoming’s major social activities, begins in the CSU Ballroom with the 5 p.m. auction, followed by the dinner and program at 5:45. Invited special guests Sen. Al Franken and former U.S. Congressman Tim Penny are scheduled to speak at the event, which annually honors the Wood Scholarship recipients. Tickets are $60 ($40 of which is tax deductible) and $20 for current students. Register online or by calling 507-389-3235.

The evening’s final big event is a comedy show featuring The Second City, a professional comedy troupe from Chicago. The show begins at 8 p.m. in Myers Field House; tickets for non-students are $5.

Those who wish to RSVP or register for events may go to the Homecoming page or call (507) 389-3235.

Combined Charities Campaign

People giving food and water to a homeless personThe Combined Charities Campaign is a unique opportunity for Minnesota State Mankato employees to donate to the charities of their choice.

Through the generosity of faculty and staff, health, education, arts, environmental and social service programs can change thousands of lives. The Combined Charities Campaign makes it easy to donate through payroll deduction to dozens of local, regional and national charities including Greater Mankato Area United Way, Community Health Charities, Open Your Heart, the Minnesota Environmental Fund, United Arts Fund, UNCF and more.

Barnes & Noble Bookstore and MM Vending will give a $10 donation for every employee above the number participating last year.

Visit the Combined Charities page for more information and pledging instructions.

Nine Performance Series artists

The Music Department's Performance Series will host nine visiting artists during fall semester. In addition, 12 Performance Series student ensemble concerts are scheduled throughout the semester.

The Performance Series offers contemporary and ethnically diverse programming featuring state and nationally recognized artists. It also incorporates an instructional aspect through master class, clinic and workshop outreach for the University community and for the region at large.

Upcoming Performance Series events include:

  • Thursday, Oct. 14: Michael Monroe will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. (See below for more information.)
  • Sunday, Oct. 24: Davina and the Vagabonds, 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. (See below for more information.)
  • Thursday, Nov. 11: Horacio Nuguid, 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall.
  • Sunday, Nov. 14: Adam Ezra Group, 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall.
  • Thursday, Nov. 18: Tab Benoit, 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall.

Previous Performance Series events include Blues pianist Scottie Miller (Sept.14); banjo prodigy Tony Furtado (Sept. 21); the Latinum Classical Duo: The Latinum Duo (Sept. 30); and Keri Noble (Oct. 3).

Admission to the concerts is $12; $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for students. Those who wish to purchase tickets online may go to the Music website. Those who want more information may call the Performance Series office at (507)-389-5549.

The Music Department also will offer a number of student ensemble concerts throughout the semester featuring the Concert Choir (David Dickau, conductor); University Chorale (Rodney Urtel, conductor); Concert Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band (Amy Roisum-Foley, conductor); University Orchestra (Joseph Rodgers, conductor); and the Jazz Mavericks, Jazz Singers and Jazz Combos (Doug Snapp, director).

The student ensemble concert schedule will be highlighted with a Poetry SLAM, jointly hosted by Music and Communications Studies. The SLAM, a form of spoken word performance, will feature five individuals performing original narrations with the Symphonic Band and Concert Wind Ensemble on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. An additional exhibition will take place in Centennial Student Union before the concert performances. Poetry SLAM auditions, open to students, staff, faculty and ensembles, will take place Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall.

Those who want more information about fall schedule events, student subscriptions packages or the department may visit the Music website.

University calendar

Campus event coordinators are advised to post information on the University Campus Events Calendar to help ensure that students learn about their events. Calendar information can be posted on the Campus Events Calendar.

And to promote events to Mankato visitors, event coordinators may post on the Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., calendar of events (click on “add your event”).

Oct. 7: Barry Sanders

Barry Sanders, award-winning investigative journalist, retired professor and Pulitzer Prize nominee, will speak Thursday, Oct. 7, on his book “The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs Of Militarism.” The lecture is sponsored by the Kessel Peace Institute.

Sanders' lecture, open free to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Rooms 253-54-55.

Nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize, Sanders is the author of 11 books. “The Green Zone” is a painstaking investigation of the environmental impact of U.S. military practices around the world. His findings have sparked intense discussions in academic and environmental circles, as his is the first book to investigate this issue.

Sanders says "even if every person, every automobile and every factory suddenly emitted zero emissions, the earth would still be headed . . . toward total disaster for one major reason. The military produces enough greenhouse gases, by itself, to place the entire globe, with all its inhabitants large and small, in the most imminent danger of extinction.”

“His lecture presents information critically important to every American and to everyone on the planet,” noted Jacqueline Vieceli (Government), director of the Kessel Peace Institute.

The Kessel Institute is dedicated to advancing the understanding and existence of peace at all levels, from the individual to the global community. The Institute, named for longtime Political Science Prof. Abbas Kessel, addresses issues on foreign policy, environmental policy, human rights, and energy policy.

Oct. 8: Vital Aging Network

ALVA Leadership Development bannerAn eight-session Vital Aging Network ALVA Leadership Development program will be held at Minnesota State Mankato starting Friday, Oct. 8.

The eight-month program helps experienced leaders discover how to use their skills in new ways, and how to acquire new skills to continue to be effective change makers. The class meets one day a month.

More information is available from Tom Hyder at (651) 917-4635 or on the Vital Aging Network website.

Oct. 8: Hall of Fame

Stomper mascotSix alumni and former faculty members have been selected for the Athletics Hall of Fame, with an induction ceremony Friday, Oct. 8, in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Inductees will be introduced at halftime of the homecoming game Saturday at 1 p.m.

New Hall of Fame members in the student-athlete category are track and field standout Gene Bygd (’72), multi-sport star Pat Dunn (’52), football receiver Josh Nelsen (’04) and volleyball setter Heidi (Schnagl) Ulwelling (’95).

Nominated for induction in the Builders category are former athletics administrator Jim Schaffer and former long-time swim coach Phil Rhoade.

Selected for induction in the Team category are the Minnesota State Mankato baseball teams from 1979 and 1980.

The Jim Schaffer Service Award will be presented to JoAnn Curtis and Laura Stevens, and the Athletics Philanthropic Award will go to Paul and Jennipher Mattson.

Those interested in attending the dinner may reserve tickets by calling the Alumni Office at (888) 234-3796 or by registering online.

Oct. 9: Franken, Penny at Wood dinner

The future of higher education in Minnesota will be the focus for U.S. Sen. Al Franken and former U.S. Congressman Tim Penny, special invited guests and speakers at the annual Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship Dinner Saturday, Oct. 9.

The fundraising social event, which begins with a silent auction and reception at 5 p.m. followed by the 5:45 p.m. dinner and program, will be held in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom during the University’s Homecoming Weekend.

Franken, a Democrat, has served in the Senate since 2008 and is a leading advocate for education issues, and is a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He became Minnesota’s junior senator after a career as a writer and performer. He is the author of five best-selling books.

Penny was a six-term Democratic congressman from the 1st District after earlier serving in the Minnesota State Senate for six years. He ran for governor in 2002 as an Independent. Also a leading advocate for educational issues, Penny is currently president of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute.

The Wood Scholarship Dinner honors winners of the $4,000 awards, which are presented annually in honor of Truman Wood, a former professor of Political Science/Law Enforcement, and Reta Wood, a longtime teacher in Mankato Area Public Schools. This year’s awards go to Ariel Klugman (Political Science), Hopkins, Minn., and Lauren McConkey (International Relations), St. Clair, Minn.

Tickets for the Wood Scholarship Dinner are $60 per person, $40 of which is a tax-deductible gift, and $20 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Those interested may register online.

For information about other Homecoming events and activities go to the alumni page.

Oct. 11, 25: President at service clubs

President Davenport speaking at podium

President Richard Davenport discusses "The State of the University" at the Mankato Rotary Club Sept. 22.

President Richard Davenport is making a series of guest appearances at service clubs in Mankato and St. Peter, discussing "The State of the University."

Monday, Oct. 11, he will speak at the Downtown Kiwanis in Mankato. Monday, Oct. 25, he will travel to St. Peter to speak to the St. Peter Kiwanis Club.

The president opened the series Sept. 22 as featured speaker at the Mankato Rotary Club.

Both Rotary and Kiwanis have longstanding connections to the University through their service work that often involves students, faculty and staff.

Oct. 11, 26: Congressional debates

Cartoon of a debate being filmedGreater Mankato Growth will host two governmental debates on campus in October.

On Monday, Oct. 11, a debate between 1st Congressional District candidates will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. On Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., candidates for governor will square off in Bresnan Arena. Both events are sponsored by Debate Minnesota and are open to all.

Greater Mankato Growth provides the public with election information and creates a gateway between candidates and voters.

A complete list of forums, debates and candidate events is at the Greater Mankato events page or the elections page.

Oct. 12: Jazz Groups

University Jazz Groups will perform Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Douglas Snapp (Music) directs the Jazz Maverick Big Band. The evening also will feature the Jazz Singers and a number of small jazz combos.

Tickets may be ordered online, but ordering closes at noon the day of the event. Even if online ordering is closed, seating may be available for the event. Those who are interested may contact Dale Haefner (Music) at 507-389-5549 for seating availability.

Oct. 14: 'Can I Kiss You?'

Mike DomitrzDating expert Mike Domitrz of the Date Safe Project will present “Can I Kiss You?” Thursday, Oct. 14.

The program, free and open to the public, will be at 7:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of Centennial Student Union. It is hosted by the Women’s Center.

Domitrz is an expert on healthy dating, consent and sexual assault awareness. He has been sharing these topics with students, parents, educators, athletes, professionals, organizations and the media for more than 10 years.

Through his role-playing with audience members and his portrayal of intriguing characters on stage, Domitrz turns what is often labeled as a “silent” issue into an engaging and thought-provoking event. While most people simply “make their move” on a date, Domitrz shows why “asking first” makes all the difference.

Attendees will learn skills to use in their own relationships. They will also discover how to intervene in potentially dangerous situations with their peers, especially when alcohol is involved.

Oct. 14: Michael Monroe

"Green Musician" Michael Monroe will perform his Emmy winning instrumental music during a Performance Series concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Monroe's music can be heard on PBS and Canadian Public TV in the award winning National Geographic documentary "Chased by the Light."

In addition to the concert, Monroe will share his industry experiences with Music Industry students in two workshops. The sessions will be Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 1 p.m.

Oct. 14-24: 'Virginia Woolf'

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present the classic Edward Albee drama, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14-17 & 20-24, with 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 16, 17, 23 & 24, in the Andreas Theatre.

George, a professor at a small college, and his wife, Martha, return home, drunk from a Saturday night party. Martha announces that she has invited a new young professor and his wife to stop by for a nightcap. Inhibitions melt, revealing the mess that George and Martha have made of their lives. The production contains adult language and situations.

The couple was memorably portrayed on stage and screen by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. First-year MFA Acting candidate Robb Krueger and first-year MA candidate Shelley Whitehead perform those roles. Faculty member Heather E. Hamilton directs. Minnesota State Mankato presented “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in summer 1968.

Individual tickets for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” are $14.50 regular, $13 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $10 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Those who want more information or to buy tickets online may visit the MSU Theatre website. The Theatre & Dance Box Office is open from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday (507-389-6661).

Through Oct. 15: Euclide exhibit

A work by EuclidePaintings by Gregory Euclide will be featured in a Conkling Gallery exhibit through Oct.15.

Conkling Gallery is at 139 Nelson Hall.

Oct. 18: 'Buyer, Be Fair'

Man weighing fruit and sign reading 'Buyer Be Fair: The Promise of Product Certification'Impact invites faculty and staff to view “Buyer, Be Fair” Monday, Oct. 18, in Centennial Student Union.

The movie screening, presented by the Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative and the Kessel Peace Institute, will be in Ostrander Auditorium from 3 to 4:45 p.m.

“Buyer, Be Fair” takes viewers to Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and Canada to explore how conscious consumers and businesses can use the market to promote social justice and environmental sustainability through product labeling. It focuses on Fair Trade coffee and Forest Stewardship Council certified wood.

“Buyer, Be Fair,” produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker John de Graaf, was made for Public Television in 2006. De Graaf will be available for discussion after the film.

Those who want more information may contact Paul Renshaw at (507) 387-5329 or More information about the film is at the "Buyer, Be Fair" website.

Oct. 18-25: Major Week

A special “Major Week” to help students learn more about majors they’ve selected or are considering will be Monday to Monday, Oct. 18-25.

Three events during that week, co-sponsored by the University’s Career Development Center and First Year Experience Office, have been scheduled for all who are interested.

National research suggests about 70 percent of students will change majors over the course of their college careers, noted Sara Granberg-Rademacker (First-Year Experience). Students who have information about current or potential majors make informed decisions and better understand campus resources.

The three special events planned during “Major Week” are:

  • “Target Your Major” – Monday, Oct. 18 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Julia Sears Lobby. This come-and-go event allows students to visit with FYE and CDC staff to learn more about resources available as they make decisions about majors. Free popcorn will also be provided.
  • “Walk the Major Midway: Major Fair 2010” – Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. This event provides “one-stop-shopping” for students to visit with faculty/staff/student-leaders about majors, minors or potential membership in related student organizations. Free popcorn will be provided, as well as an opportunity to win prizes.
  • “Why Do I Need to Learn this Stuff: The Gen Ed Advantage” – Monday, Oct. 25, from 7-8 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. A panel of professionals will discuss why general education classes are not only related to what students want to do, but often essential for success in their careers. A question-and-answer session will follow. Free pizza will be provided.

Oct. 18: Flu vaccinations

Person getting a shot in the shoulderFaculty and staff are encouraged to get their flu vaccinations Monday, Oct. 18, at the Flu Vaccination Clinic for state employees. The clinic, for Minnesota State Mankato employees only, will be in Centennial Student Union Room 284, A-B-C from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year’s vaccine will protect against H1N1 in addition to the seasonal flu. No appointments are necessary; the clinic will be conducted on a walk-in basis.

Employees of Minnesota State Mankato will be eligible to receive either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine free upon presentation of their Minnesota Advantage Health Plan member ID cards. Without Minnesota Advantage Health Plan member ID cards, employees can pay $24 cash or check for the flu shot or $32 for the nasal spray flu vaccine.

Those who are unable to attend the clinic Oct. 18 may get vaccinations through their primary care clinics or at flu vaccination clinics being conducted at other state agencies during October and November.

Those who want more information about the flu vaccine or the statewide schedule of flu vaccination clinics may visit the Minnesota Management and Budget website.

Oct. 19: University Orchestra

The University Orchestra will perform in concert Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Joseph Rodgers (Music) conducts the group.

The University Orchestra is a select instrumental group of string and wind players that offers students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to read and perform music from composers for orchestra and chamber ensembles.

Tickets may be ordered online, but ordering closes at noon the day of the event. Even if online ordering is closed, seating may be available for the event. Those who are interested may contact Dale Haefner (Music) at 507-389-5549 for seating availability.

Oct. 21: University bands

The University Concert Bands will perform in concert Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Amy K. Roisum Foley (Music) directs the ensembles.

The Concert Wind Ensemble is a select instrumental group of approximately 45 wind and percussion players offering students an opportunity to read and perform the finest contemporary wind ensemble and traditional band literature. The Symphonic Band offers community members and non-music majors a quality performance ensemble.

Tickets may be ordered online, but ordering closes at noon the day of the event. Even if online ordering is closed, seating may be available for the event. Those who are interested may contact Dale Haefner (Music) at 507-389-5549 for seating availability.

Oct. 23: Chemists in library

Science: Explore the PossibilitiesChildren as well as students, faculty and staff can learn how much fun science can be at the fourth annual "Chemists in the Library" program Saturday, Oct. 23.

The free program, intended for elementary school students, will be from 11 a.m. to noon in the Educational Resource Center in the lower level of Memorial Library.

Danae Quirk Dorr (Chemistry & Geology) is in charge of the event.

Chemists in the Library is hosted by the Minnesota section of the American Chemical Society, the campus ACS club and Chemistry faculty. Various experiments and demonstrations will show children that science can be fun.

Oct. 23, 24: Women, Spirituality

Akasha HullScholar, poet and black women’s studies expert Akasha Hull will discuss “Marrying Sex and Spirituality” as keynote speaker at the Women and Spirituality Conference Saturday, Oct. 23.

The 29th annual conference, which continues Sunday, Oct. 24, will include 90 vendors and more than 100 workshops and discussions exploring a variety of topics through discovery, interaction, ritual and celebration.

Hull’s keynote talk will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The conference also will feature a free Saturday night drum circle at 7:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union lower level.

The conference is intended to encourage dialogue among women and men from different spiritual and religious traditions. It is co-sponsored by the Women’s Studies Department, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Office of Institutional Diversity.

The Women and Spirituality Conference is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. General registration costs $60, but reduced rates are available for students or low-income attendees. Those who would like more information may visit our page on the Women's Conference or may e-mail

Oct. 24: Davina and the Vagabonds

Davina and the Vagabonds: will perform a Performance Series concert Sunday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

The Vagabonds, known for their hard-working professionalism, are touring Europe, presenting their rollicking New Orleans style at the Sierre Blues Festival, Switzerland and other European venues.

Oct. 30: Genealogy Expo

Cartoon family treeFaculty and staff are invited to attend the 10th annual South Central Minnesota Genealogy Expo Saturday, Oct. 30, to learn more about family history.

The expo, co-organized by Library Services and the Blue Earth County Historical Society, will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union.

History-related organizations will be available to share information about their resources and services. There will also be sessions on a variety of genealogy-related topics.

Pre-registration is $20 by Oct. 22, and registration after Oct. 22 is $25. The full program and registration information are available online.

Those who want more information may contact Jessica Potter of the Blue Earth County Historical Society at (507) 345-5566 or e-mail

Nov. 2: Limited events

Few special events will be scheduled on campus Tuesday, Nov. 2, due to the general election.

On general election and primary days, the Office of the Chancellor, Board of Trustees, colleges and universities are prohibited from scheduling events, other than regularly-scheduled classes, between 6 and 8 p.m. Classes regularly scheduled during those hours will be held as usual.

Nov. 2: Fall Choral Concert

The Fall Choral Concert will be Tuesday, Nov. 02, at 8:15 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

The Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and University Chorale will perform. David Dickau and Rod Urtel (Music) direct the groups.

Compositions will include spirituals, traditional choral repertoire and music from other countries sung in native languages.

Tickets may be ordered online, but ordering closes at noon the day of the event. Even if online ordering is closed, seating may be available for the event. Those who are interested may contact Dale Haefner (Music) at (507) 389-5549 for seating availability.

Faculty/Staff achievements

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) presented two workshops for faculty at North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro, N.C., last month. The workshop titles were, "Significant Learning through Integrated Course Design," and "Developing Quality Rubrics."

David Viscoli (Music) co-presented at the College Music Society National Conference in Minneapolis last month. The title of his presentation was "The Neglected Chopin Songs: Love and Nationalism."

Gregory T. Wilkins’ (Centennial Student Union & Student Activities) article, "Sustainability Revolution: Let the Competition Begin," was published in the September Association of College Unions International Journal, The Bulletin.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Michael Cooper. The newsletter usually is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Oct. 20; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Oct. 15).

You should also submit your event to the university's official Campus Events Calendar. Go to the events calendar website, click on the self-service "Submit Event" link, and provide the information requested.