Community Engagement Day 2.0: Many activities to pick from

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October 14, 2020

With Halloween right around the corner, the second Community Engagement Day at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University could frighten you with a classic science fiction tale.

Or, you could find out more about “pumpkinification” (the act of turning into a pumpkin). After that, you can carve and decorate a pumpkin.

All that and more will happen on Community Engagement Day on Friday, Oct. 23. It’s the day after Block B ends, and there’s eight events scheduled, including the day’s signature event, an interview with Professor Ibram X.Kendi, an American author, professor and historian of race and discriminatory policy in America. (See separate story on this event). Free tickets to the event will be available through Fine Arts Programming.

Here’s a look at the events:

  • Walk and Talk with Outdoor U, 9-11 a.m., meet under the Abbey Bell Banner or the CSB Mall. Outdoor U will explore our local ecosystems afoot while discussing ideas of community, nature and well-being on both the CSB and SJU campuses. A registration link is available here.

  • I’m Glad You Asked: What is Intersectionality and Why is it Important?, with the Political Science Department and Intercultural and International Student Services, 10-11 a.m. via Zoom. The hosts of the I’m Glad You Asked podcast, Regan Dolezal and Elliot Edeburn, are joined by Pedro dos Santos (Political Science), Brandyn Woodard (Intercultural and International Student Services), CSB student Kayla Vang (’22) and SJU student Jack Pieper (’21). As a group, they will discuss issues related to intersectionality and queer theory, focusing on how these ideas can help to make our campus more inclusive. This event will be an interactive, inclusive discussion.

    Linguistic Oppression with the French Club, noon-1 p.m. via Zoom. Embrace cultural differences and become aware of how linguistic oppression affects those on campus. Discuss what it means to speak a language properly and how those who don't speak it face oppression. 

  • Opportunities through CSB/SJU’s Undergraduate Research Program, 1-2 p.m. via Zoom. If you are curious to learn more about Undergraduate Research, this workshop is for you. Undergraduate research and creative work is one of the ultimate compliments to any students' academic experience, allowing you to apply what you are learning in your coursework to a hands-on experience. Join us for an informative session that walks you through various programs and opportunities, and helps you envision what your involvement could look like during your time at CSB and SJU. With opportunities to engage no matter your chosen field of study, CSB and SJU are truly “research and creative work for all.” Students, faculty and staff are all welcome to watch.

  • On Pumpkinification, with the Languages and Cultures Department, 6-7 p.m. via Zoom. Just in time for Halloween, the Languages and Cultures Department will deliver a scholarly yet popular presentation on “pumpkinification” across cultures and languages. From Seneca the Younger’s “The Pumpkinification of (the Divine)  Claudius” to Perrault’s and the Grimms’ “Cinderella” and finally Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” becoming a pumpkin has often been a risk in world literature.  Jason Schlude (Latin), Karen Erickson (French) and Kurt Hollender (German) will each briefly introduce this motif to a general audience from their own world language idiom with an eye toward what it means for community: these texts monitor the borders of ingroup and outgroup, the divine and the mortal, class and the everyday and the supernatural, just like, well, a jack o’ lantern on the threshold.

  • “Frankenstein: A Radio Play,” adapted from Mary Shelley’s novel by Philip Grecian; Directed by Sean Dooley, 7:30 p.m. at CSB’s Gorecki Family Theater. Limited tickets will be made available through the Fine Arts Programming Box Office.  A live Stream link will be available closer to the event. “Frankenstein: A Rado Play” stays true to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, but the twist lies with the style of the telling. Set in the sound studio of a local radio station in the 1940s, Grecian’s adaptation comes to life. Music, old fashioned live sound effects and eight voice actors retell the famous tale, which delves into human psyche, hubris and over-vaulting ambition. Many consider the novel by Shelley to be the first work in the genre of science fiction as she questions man’s role as a caretaker of nature and cautious for a need to make thoughtful decisions regarding scientific progress. (Excerpted from the BWW review.)

  • Pumpkin Decorating and Contest with the Joint Events Council, 9-10:30 p.m.; Brother Willie’s Pub, SJU. Register for the event beginning Oct. 19. You don’t need to bring a pumpkin or supplies as the HEC will take care of that.  Registration is required. You will also have the opportunity to pick up a pumpkin and decorating supplies if you aren’t able to make it to the in-person event. Prizes awarded to the contest winners.