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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

The Heart of Our Campus

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Student studying in the CSUHave you been to the Centennial Student Union (CSU)? Sure you have, but it’s not just a place you go to grab a bite to eat on campus. “The Union is more than a structure. It is the lifeblood of the University—a place where students, staff, faculty and the public are educated, have fun, create and learn more about differing cultures,” said Centennial Student Union and Student Activities Director Mark Constantine.

Approaching two years with Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mark calls upon his many years of experience in residential life, career services, student activities, community engagement, and student union, just to name a few, to lead the CSU in a collective vision for the future. Mark says, “Although I’m the “leader”, my style is very collaborative.” The vision for the CSU comes from a collaborative group of staff, student employees and the Student Union Board. The CSU is a student fee funded program and student feedback and input is crucial to the success and future of the Union. Never resting on its laurels, the CSU is consistently looking for a variety of opportunities for students at the University to become involved. “Our vision must include new programs and services, while keeping the Union fresh, modern, exciting and relevant. We INVITE, INVOLVE and INSPIRE on a daily basis!” Mark said.

The CSU is for all and many campus groups organize events through the Union. The Union provides them with services such as room scheduling, set-up, tech services, catering and more to allow the campus groups to conduct a successful event. Between the Student Events Team (formally IMPACT), Greek Life, registered RSO’s, community engagement, leadership programs, non-traditional student resources, MSSA, and more, “we are the heart and soul of student life for the campus.”

The Union also has a great place to relax, play billiards, bowl, play games or just lounge watching TV called the Bullpen. Lead by CSU Communications team leader Lenny Koupal, there are several low-key events held throughout the semester. These low-key events are often referred to by CSU staff as “serendipitous moments.” New experiences may be encountered right around the next corner of the building.

“Our goal is to provide on-going opportunities for students to grow, so they help make the University an exciting, vibrant place – while also preparing them for life after college!”

Big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.

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