Tag Archives: Student perspective

New Student Senate looks toward the future

Spring semester was the last time we saw the student senate members that Metropolitan State has known for years. These members, along with the rest of the senate, can authorize the use of university funds for student-led organizations and even wield clout in some decisions made by the university.

The new parking ramp, student center and science education center at the Saint Paul Campus are just a few things the senate helped bring to life, in addition to many more achievements under their belts.

Although many of the senate members have now graduated and are moving on, Metropolitan State will not forget the time and effort they spent making tough decisions. The university community thanks those who are leaving, and those still remaining, for their work.

Leaving this year are President Matt Rubel, Vice President Brian Wermerskirchen, Treasurer Rico Lopez, Fatima Ali, Jonathan Carver, Jenny Chhoun, Sarah Leistico, Sabat Omer and Bukola Oriola.

Also acknowledged are these remaining students in the Student Senate for their continued service: Secretary Burak Tekin, Samira Adam, Francis Kuteesa, Amber Hamm, Linna Ahmado, John Patterson and Grace Alexander.

The final meeting for the roster took place on May 20 and could be seen as a changing of the guard with both old and new senators attending. This was the outgoing members’ final hurrah before their seats end in two weeks, and one of few opportunities for them to show the newcomers the ropes.

“Right now, the outgoing senators want to make sure the incoming senators know enough about the process,” said incoming Vice President Burak Tekin regarding the transition. Tekin will also help mentor the new members, to ensure this information is carried over. Tekin was somber, yet positive at the transition.

“It was bittersweet seeing the senators leave because some of them have great leadership skills that will definitely be missed, and we will feel a hole for a while,” Tekin said. “But it’s also good when people leave so new people can come in and new ideas can come in, so I see this as a turning point.”

The senate executive board has also changed, with current Secretary Tekin succeeding Adam Wermerskirchen as vice president and Samira Adam succeeding Rico Lopez as treasurer. The new student senate president is Dhibo Hussein, with Heather Moenck as the new public relations director and Nichole Schooley as the new engagement coordinator.

The president, along with nearly three-quarters of the delegate body, is new. Asked about what current issues they intend to tackle, Sen. John Patterson said community engagement is key.

“One thing that is really important is reaching out to the community, making sure we build those ties and listen to the community and their concerns with Metropolitan State and make sure they’re not disconnected.” Patterson also said the Senate is currently examining the payment strategy for the new parking ramp.

Even in their last meeting, the members of the student senate were seen hard at work. They delegated funding approval for student organizations and congratulated each other for a job well done. The university wishes them luck in their future endeavors.

To learn more, visit the Student Senate OrgSync page.


James La Motte



James LaMotte is a CWA Intern. He is a senior in the Professional Writing program at Metropolitan State University and anticipates graduation in December 2016. His interests are in literature, video games, and dog training.

Exploring a foreign culture: the gaming industry

Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the Candy Crush Feminist Revolution


In his landmark study Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga suggests that “through…playing…society expresses its interpretation of life and the world.”  If that hypothesis is sound, what does the gaming industry as a form of play say about culture, gender, and equality overall? As a woman, while I reflexively focus on women’s outsider status as game developer and the resulting hyper-sexualization of female characters in games themselves given that exile, a class I’m taking on gaming culture has expanded my intellectual understanding of what’s in play.

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Dr. Alexandra Layne’s course at Metro State, Video Game Culture, explores these concepts in great detail. I was first introduced to the academic world of gaming studies last semester when I took a course titled Children, Adolescents, and the Media: The Culture of Video Games. Exploring how children’s development is affected by the media sparked my interest in the academic world of gaming. This course helped give me a new understanding and appreciation for the art of gaming (gamers and designers), while opening my mind to all types of questions surrounding the gaming industry.

Given this fascination, when I found out that Metropolitan State was going to be offering a course on the subject of video gaming culture, I enrolled. Through it, I am finding myself, as I do in most college courses. Where do I fit in the bigger picture of the gaming industry? I’ve learned that no one gamer’s experience is identical to another. Factors such as game preference, game availability, and personal/cultural beliefs all figure into an individual’s gaming experience.

This large range of experiences helps shape the digital divide. The class has led me to consider where in the divide do I, as a woman, fit in. Ironically, women make up majority of game console owners, according to a 2015 survey. Women also represent over 50 percent of the PC gamer population; this figure includes social media games. While we are the majority of consumers, very few women are engaged in the development stage of the gaming industry. Although the percentage of women in the gaming industry has doubled since 2009, it was still quite low five years later at 22 percent in 2014. Additionally, according to Gamespot, over 76 percent of the gaming industry work force remains male.

Given this divide, I can understand why women chose mobile games over console games. In many console games created by all-male teams, “the narrow range of body types available for gameplay certainly deprives female players of the right to control their data images in ways that feel comfortable to them” (Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet). The sex appeal of female avatars in gaming is geared to the tastes of the male consumer, rather than female self-image. Sex sells, but console game developers create those female personas for the gaze of the male eye. We simply don’t see ourselves in the tiny-waists, large breasts and seductive eyes of the standard female characters in many console games.

Fortunately, the rise of the mobile gaming industry is forcing the rest of the gaming industry to adapt its thinking to include not only younger women gamers, but women gamers of all ages. I would consider myself to be more of a casual-mobile gamer (specifically games like Candy Crush, and Two Dots). People often laugh at the mention of mobile games such as Candy Crush or Farmville; however, these games allow women the option to enjoy play without being embodied by the unrealistic feminine avatar of the female hardcore game character.

Even with my lack of hardcore gaming experience, I don’t feel lost or out of the loop in Dr. Layne’s class. The course explores not only the psychological aspect of the gaming industry, but instinctual ideas surrounding play. The research readings assigned for the course explore material dating as far back as the early 19th century to the present, while examining topics like racism, sexism, technology, and cultural influences as they relate to gaming.

I’ve learned this semester that gaming is more than a pastime, but a means for self-expression and human play as well. Every game created has a story, an artist, a purpose, and a specific strategy for winning. The games one chooses to play may be selected solely for pleasure, for therapy, or for self-expression of thoughts and frustrations safely in a controlled environment. Games can also influence or reinforce behavior and beliefs. With the reach of the Internet, gaming can be a starting point for cultural exploration, new friendships, and round-the-world adventures.

Dr. Layne’s teaching toolkit includes a unique ability to expand the subject matter beyond gaming to applying the core concepts of the course to daily life. I have learned so much in this course–and it’s only been a month into the semester. Imagine what I will have learned in the next few months. If you’re a critical thinker who enjoys analyzing culture and industry, this may be a good class for you. This course is about more than gaming—it’s about the human need and desire to play.


Shanetria Bady is a professional communication student at Metropolitan State. She transferred from Normandale Community College after receiving her associate’s. After Shanetria graduates in May, she plans to enter the technical communication graduate program. 

Metropolitan State student passionate about animal rescue

Animals provide companionship and unconditional love to millions of people, without asking for much in return. However, sometimes these animals need some serious help. That’s where people like Chris Hintze come in.

“So many animals get left behind,” Hintze says. The Metropolitan State grad student volunteers at Midwest Animal Rescue and Services, helping to care for and transport animals in need. “They can be in rough condition when we take them in.”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Organizations like Midwest Animal Rescue and Services work hard to find homes for these animals. Continue reading Metropolitan State student passionate about animal rescue

Student perspective: market yourself for success

Mallory Pillar
Mallory Pillar

Sometimes finding your true calling can be a journey all its own. Metropolitan State student Mallory Pillar was interested in the fashion industry, but was concerned by the limited job opportunities in the field. However, she soon realized she could put her love of fashion to good use in the world of marketing. “I enjoyed doing the behind the scenes work,” says Pillar. “I’m very interested in the digital side of marketing.”

To pursue her education in marketing Pillar transferred to Metropolitan State mainly because it offers a B.A. in marketing. “I’d always heard good things about Metro,” she says. “I found an advisor dedicated to my personal goals and who always got back to me very quickly.” A class on marketing research was especially helpful, teaching her the skills needed to quantify the impact of marketing. Continue reading Student perspective: market yourself for success