First Community Engagement Day Set for Friday, Sept. 25

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September 16, 2020

Congratulations, students! You’re days away from completing the first block of the 2020-21 academic year at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

The final day of the block – as any student knows - is Thursday, Sept. 24. So what do you do on Friday, Sept. 25?

You participate in the very first Community Engagement Day at CSB and SJU.

The signature event for Community Engagement Day is the 14th annual Eugene J. McCarthy Lecture at 2 p.m. with Kathleen Hall Jamieson. She will speak on “Russian Hackers, Trolls and #DemocracyRIP.”  Jamieson’s talk will be presented via the McCarthy Center’s YouTube and Facebook pages. There are a number of other events across both campuses throughout the day.

“Community Engagement Days were intentionally included in the new academic block schedule as a place to offer high quality, compelling activities for members of our campus community to participate in between each of the blocks throughout the semester,” said Lacey Solheid, associate director of programming and orientation at CSB/SJU and a member of the Community Engagement Day committee.

Jamieson’s lecture will synthesize what is known about the impact of the Russian interventions in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, outline the contours of the #DemocracyRIP, Russian plans to undercut the presidency of Hillary Clinton if she had been elected and ask what’s next and what can we do about it.

“A small committee made up of members from Academic Affairs and Student Development put together a framework for each of the CE Days,” Solheid said. “This committee also serves to curate the events for the day to ensure that a wide variety of activities, speakers, performances and programs are offered that cover several different topics.”

“The events that are being offered for the first block are all very exciting in their own way and will offer opportunities for community members to interact with current events taking place in our country and our world,” Solheid said.

Here’s a quick look at the day’s other complementary and experiential events, listed by starting times:

Canoeing on Lake Sagatagan with Outdoor University, 9-11 a.m. Outdoor U staff and students will facilitate canoe outings for community members on Lake Sagatagan. All attendees will receive a short safety briefing before hitting the water. Registration is now required, and please meet at the Lake Sagatagan Beach, SJU.

8:46 Conversations In Memoriam of George Floyd’s Death on May 25 with International and Intercultural Student Services and SJU Campus Ministry, 11 a.m.-noon, please register here to receive the Zoom link. Eight minutes and 46 seconds is the amount of time former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd. In memoriam of Floyd’s death, 8:46 Conversations involves a series of exercises in listening, discussing and personal reflection where Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and non-BIPOC students, faculty and staff can share experiences of race on campus with the goal to learn and grow together to create a more unified community.

Protest, Racial Justice and the Language of (Dis)Order, with the Communication, History, Gender Studies and Peace Studies departments, noon-1 p.m., join the discussion via Zoom. An interdisciplinary panel of faculty experts and community members will hold a discussion about protest, racial justice and social movement history. The panel will include Shannon Smith (history), Aric Putnam (communication), Kelly Kraemer (peace studies), and Muqkadeen Poole (SJU '19). This panel will provide space for reflection, education and openness.

Women’s Voices hosted by the Drama Club, 3:30 p.m. at Escher Auditorium, CSB.  CSB students will use their voices to express their modern views of women and voting rights while acknowledging historical movements through spoken-word. The event will be streamed via YouTube.

Drawing from Nature with Associate Professor of Art Rachel Melis and Fine Arts Programming, 4-5 p.m. at the Gorecki Gallery, Benedicta Arts Center, CSB. Register for the workshop here. Join Melis for an afternoon session observing and drawing natural objects. This session will be a fun, restorative and engaging way to get outside and in touch with nature (and your creativity!) at the end of your first block. Participants do not need any previous art experience – all abilities and ages welcome and encouraged. This event has limited availability.

“Spinning Into Butter” by the Theater Department, which had been scheduled for two evening performances, has been postponed.

The remaining Community Engagement Days for fall semester are Oct. 23 and Nov. 20.

Please visit the Community Engagement Days website for more information.