This past weekend, BridgeUSA held its 2nd Annual National Summit in Dallas, TX! Several college chapters embarking in the Bridge Movement attended the summit. It was BridgeMNSU's first summit since it was founded, and we were able to send three students to attend. There were over 50 students that attended in total from over a dozen chapters from all over the United States.
Hearing from prominent speakers such as congressmen, activists, and business leaders, our students had the opportunity to engage in skill-building sessions and connect with chapters to develop sense of community.
We attended several banquets and met prominent political leaders, such as Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Felipe Calderón (Former President of Mexico), and many more. In addition, our chapter had the chance to connect with some of our partners, including Pnyka, Listen First Project, and the Bridge Alliance.
Paulina is involved in the nonprofit organization, Veterans for Child Rescue, which aims to bring an end to child human trafficking. This brought about an extensive discussion about child separation at the southern border. Paulina explains in her speech, “I would much rather have a child temporarily separated from someone that’s claiming to be their father, mother, whatever it might be, and be able to determine biologically if they’re related instead of delivering them into the very hands that would exploit them."
She explains her viewpoints on the concept of a border wall, "built sections of the border wall have allowed [illegal] immigration to drop to a percentage relative to zero... but it increases, therefore, in areas without a border wall." As the granddaughter of immigrants herself, Paulina is in strong support of legal immigration.
Roughly fifty people attended the event, which was held in the Student Union Ballroom. Dozens of people from the community also showed up to listen and show their support.
On Tuesday, February 26th, over 30 students gathered in the library to discuss one of the most controversial topics in today's society: gun control. BridgeMNSU, in collaboration with UC Berkeley's "Mind & Person Perception" Lab, facilitated the conversation and conducted the study.
Essentially, the goal of the event was to give people the opportunity to interact with multiple people who might have different opinions than each other. Each conversation was one-on-one with assigned partners. People were put into two groups that represent each communication medium that was being tested for the survey (talking vs typing). The reason why people are interacting in different ways is to conduct research about how this might influence a person's decisions.
The point of the experiment was to understand how the communication medium influences how people make social inferences during disagreements - whether certain inferences influenced the level of conflict in the conversations, the enjoyability of the conversations, openness to others' opinions, and one's own attitudes.
All-in-all, the event was a huge success! We can't thank the participants enough for their participation in and willingness to engage in conversation about a topic that, although controversial in many faucets, was facilitated in a manner were people on all sides of the issue could make their voice heard.
Join us for an evening of political discourse, by talking with people who might have different political opinions than you do! In this event, you’ll engage in multiple conversations with people from the Mankato community about a prevalent and newsworthy debate in today's headlines: gun control. Hosted by BridgeMNSU and UC Berkeley's "Mind & Person Perception" Lab. Free pizza and drinks will be provided for all attendees!
People have been advocating for "common sense" gun control laws, however, others say that gun control measures are a violation of the Constitution. Some people say that gun control laws won't deter crime, but rather "controlling the criminals" and enforcing the laws that we already have in place. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, many people advocated for assault rifles and high-capacity magazines to be banned from the general public, but why aren't they banned yet? Is it due to a sense of safety? Would it be too hard to confiscate all assault rifles in the United States? Does it infringe on our rights? If so, how should we interpret the Second Amendment? These are some questions that we will cover in small groups at the event.
In addition to getting a chance to hear different opinions, you’ll also be contributing to science: This event is being supported by a psychological laboratory at UC Berkeley. Therefore, you will be asked to complete some surveys throughout the event. For more information and to RSVP for the event, click here.
Election Day is fast approaching! After you head to the polls on November 6th, stop by the Preska Residence Community (Room 126) between 8:30-11:30pm for our Election Night Party when we live-stream the results as they come in.
There will be a discussion about the effect that the election may have on us as students in higher education. All are invited to attend (did we mention that there's free food?!) - we hope to see you there!
Our voter education event "Your Vote Matters" yesterday was a huge success! We can't thank the attendees enough for their engagement and questions throughout the event.
Thanks to the "Political Speed Dating" segment of the event, where prompts on the board were displayed for students to discuss topics on both sides of the political spectrum, one attendee exclaimed that they "feel like this event was a great way to better educate [themselves] and see where my views align."
Andrew Weinzierl, the current president of BridgeMNSU, says that he is "thankful that we were able to have both College Republicans and College Democrats present at the event. More importantly, I am thankful for the amount of respect between the two student organizations - coming together to make Your Vote Matters a successful event!"
Kyle Edwards, a presenter from College Democrats, stated that the event "was about making voting accessible for college voters." He goes on, saying, "I don't care how you vote, I just want you to vote!"
Whatever the case is, it is our hope that every student attendee at the event was able to learn more about the process of voting, what the candidates stand for, and go home with a nifty little pocket constitution!
Next Wednesday, October 24th, join us in CSU's Ostrander Auditorium from 5:30-7pm as we co-host "Your Vote Matters" - a nonpartisan voter education event with presentations on various things such as election day registration, how the voting process works, who's on the ballot, and more.
Both College Democrats and College Republicans will be at the event, presenting for 15 minutes each about who represents them on the ballot and what their party stands for.
We hope to see you there! Plus, free donuts and coffee will be served before the start of the event!
What are your thoughts about GMO's? Does the acronym make you anxious, or do you think they play an important role in agriculture?
On Tuesday, September 18th, in the CSU Ostrander Auditorium, join us as for a screening of Food Evolution and a discussion about GMOs, farming, and biotechnology. Free food and drinks provided!
The documentary, presented in partnership with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, is set amidst a polarized debate marked by fear, distrust, and confusion: the controversy surrounding GMOs and food. After the screening, we will be hosting a 5-person panel discussion to spark an open and honest conversation about the role of biotechnology in food and farming practices.
One of our panelists, Shane Bowyer, is the assistant director of Management and the current Advisor for BridgeMNSU. He also teaches a multitude of agricultural courses at MNSU. Going into the conversation, he states, “It is my hope that we can listen to each other, and be able to have a professional and critical conversation around what can sometimes be an emotionally charged issue.”
The reception will begin at 5:30pm and the film will show at 6:00pm. The panel will start at about 7:00pm.