MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

August 31, 2019 

It’s a great time to be a Comet!

What a great week this has been! The fall semester is underway. The campus is bustling with activity. We’ve welcomed bunches of new and returning Comets. The fall sports seasons are in full swing. Faculty are engaging their students in interesting and challenging courses. Office staff are busy dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” on applications, registrations, and more. Dining services staff are paving the way in a new format for their department. Activities staff are providing meaningful activities for students. Facilities and custodial staff are making sure everything is working, clean, and ready for use by students. Life is good at Mayville State!

Although many of our student athletes have been living on campus and participating in pre-season camps, official move-in day at the residence halls was Saturday, Aug. 24. Our friendly and helpful Peer Leaders were on deck and ready to help students and their families as the new and returning Comets moved into their Mayville State homes. Women’s basketball team members and coaches were also a part of the action.

This week started out with a formal welcome to all new students in an assembly held Monday morning. Faculty and staff joined in as Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Andrew Pflipsen, Student Senate President Michael Moen, and I took a few minutes on the program to greet the students and offer some helpful hints. This was followed by a scavenger hunt which took the students, together with their Peer Leader mentors, through all parts of campus, giving them an opportunity to learn more about where to find the things and people they’ll need.

During my remarks at the welcome session, I took the opportunity to find out where our new students come from. The majority are from North Dakota and Minnesota, but several were from other places, such as Florida, California, Arizona, and even Spain. We are thrilled that people from near and far are benefitting from all that Mayville State has to offer. It exciting to know that people from different places and cultures can gather at Mayville State to learn together and to learn from each other.

We have a great contingent of students from the immediate area who are enrolling as new Comets this semester. They come to us from places like Thompson, Mayville, Hatton, Portland, Hillsboro, Reynolds, Hunter, Buxton, Northwood, Gardner, and Finley.

I was able to ask a couple of these students about the factors that played into their decision to enroll at Mayville State.

Natassaja Eberhardt from Hillsboro said that she never truly had her mind set on which college she wanted to attend, since she’s still unsure of her major, but she knew Mayville State would be able to help her make a decision. She said, “I love the way the classroom sizes don’t make you feel like you’re just another student, and that the teachers actually care about their students. The smaller aspect at Mayville State makes learning so much easier.” She went on to say that being so close to home does have some advantages, “especially since I forgot to pack a few things.”

Morgan Palmer from Portland chose Mayville State for financial reasons. “I have not decided on a major and it made no sense for me to go to a more expensive school for general studies when I can take care of them for a fraction of the cost at a smaller school,” she said. “While working at Mayville State over the summer, I got to meet many of the faculty. I loved how welcoming and friendly they all were. I am excited to see how this school year goes and for the friendships that will come from it.”

Throughout “Welcome Week,” as it is known, our student activities and residence halls departments, as well as other departments and organizations, have been providing activities to help keep students busy and engaged, giving them an opportunity to make new friends and to bond. Activities have included kickball, food and games at Island Park, canvas art painting, video games, billiards, and board games, grocery bingo, soccer and more! Students enjoyed a program by mentalist Sean Bott on Wednesday. The excitement will continue through early next week.

The beginning of a new academic year is like a shot of adrenalin for the university. Everyone is amped up in anticipation for what the new year will bring and happy to be re-acquainted with old friends while making new friends. It’s a great time to be a Comet!