Monthly Archives: October 2022

Northern Plains Fall Retreat 2022

On October 7th to 9th, I went to Cristal Springs Camp as the event invited by cru (A caring community passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ) and spent fantastic time there. I would like to show you how that event was!         

On October 7th, we left the UJ at about 16:00pm, and head for Cristal Springs Camp in Medina. Except member in UJ, there were students from other universities. At night, we enjoyed having supper and interacting with them. There held baking s’more party.

Next day, the event like engaging Christ began in earnest. For me, learning holy bible was new for me and there were lot of things to study. Understanding whole content was hard for me, but it was one of experiencing of cross-culture. Not only holy bible, but we could also experience outside activities. I tried to swing and axe throwing for the first time. Swing was so higher than what I expected, and, in the beginning, I was so afraid that I wanted to give up. However, once I pulled the rope and dropped, I felt a sense of release and the brilliant view awaited.   

At that night, it was held “Hawaiian roller-skating party”. There was a gym there and we could take on roller skating shoes freely. It was also first time for me and being played fantastic music made us excited. In there, we could eat shaved ice so I could do it and shaved ice was so cool for me.

Through the event, all that I have experienced was cross-culture and new for me. I also knew how people think Jesus and touched the identities of Christian. It was difficult to understand whole things, but I am sure that a couple of days that I have spent in Cristal Springs Camp have been meaningful.

An Interview with Sara Robinson about SET

Formally known as JAB, SET has become the new face of student activities on campus. Through new ideas and revitalization of what it means to be a Jimmy, SET could be the very foundation for UJs future. After huge spikes in attendance at recent events and a very intriguing incentive for students. It felt important to understand just what was happening behind the scenes. Sara Robinson, Addie Nybo, and their newly formed student team were able to create exciting events for everyone. Through this interview, she details the trials, and growth of the newly named program. How she works with the student staff, and the goals she has for them and SET as it evolves.

Rather than a student organization Sara and Addie wanted to create opportunities for students to thrive. They created SET as a way for students to be given leadership opportunities. To create things that people could be proud of. She explains later that SET isn’t just about the activities but rather about creating lifelong skills for students. But most importantly helping create an atmosphere with activities that keep students engaged with the community. But more importantly, I believe that they view SET as a platform for students to grow. They have created ways for potential leaders to grow in a positive environment.

Sara: [activities are] “So important and changes your college experience. Because if you wanted an online education with none of the extras… you wouldn’t pay to come to UJ. and so, the work that [SET] do to plan those events, to make those come to life, the university values that! We value that, and we wanted to elevate them [SET members] in the work that they do.”

Caleb: “so in a sense, it is not a student org anymore and rather part of the university.”

Sarah: “yeah so, the student engagement team is no longer a student org it doesn’t follow that contract anymore it’s a wing of student affairs now. Just like Esports is, just like shooting sports is. And a closer one would be like our ministry team. Ministry isn’t a student org. It’s a wing of ministry which is under the umbrella of student affairs. And so now our student engagement team is the same. So, Addie, and I are student engagement professional staff. And they are kind of our student staff.

Caleb:  “are the students that work for you, are they work-study students?”

Sara:     “That’s a great question, they are not currently. So, they are volunteer based just like our welcome weekend team. However, the work that they do is important and is valued and our ultimate goal is to get them into a paid position for the work that they do. In some way shape or form, we would love to be able to compensate them for their efforts. So, we haven’t quite figured out how that looks. We’re in process and discussion, but we couldn’t do that if we remained a student org. Yeah, so something needed to change so that we could elevate them in the vision and direction that we felt like they deserved.”

She later clarified that while they can’t pay students for the work yet, they are heavily lobbying for it. SET view their work as important and something the college should invest money into.

Caleb:  “Since you restructured in essence completely. What do you think that means going forward… if you look back on the way you were going as jab… you probably saw the future. What do you see for the future for [SET].”

Sara:     …So now in this structure we have these team leads, that this is it’s an application process now. To join the team, we have a limited number of spots, we have six seats, we have four event coordinators and two photographers. And that’s our team, and so it’s an application process to be part of that. So that allows us to interview. And have these conversations and make sure that you know the people that are joining our team want to do this work… It really allows the events to be more student-led. Because instead of us planning the events as advisors or taking on the bulk of the work. The students are taking on the bulk of the work and so we’re able to empower them to do that. But then the events truly are student LED and I think there’s something really powerful in that. Because I’m not a college student anymore, I don’t know what’s cool anymore…but I totally can support our students to do what they think student other students want.”

Caleb: “What can students expect from the new formal situation that you created?”

Sara:  “So our hope is that really what we saw from experiencing welcome weekend is, that there are students on this campus that really desire a leadership position… Which is no surprise especially with our growing character and leadership minor that people are looking for opportunities to actually practice those skills. And so, we noticed this and welcome weekend when we had that become an application process, that students really had to think if they wanted to commit to applying. To commit to interviewing and then holding the positions. And when we made it, an application process the investment from students was higher. And so, then the result was much more cohesive work because the students were just more bought into what they were doing. We were able to have more clear conversations about expectations and work and kind of our vision and it just felt more of like a team… And so, in a sense you know an application process for SET is similar. We can talk to you about the work commitment kind of our expectations, [and] your expectations. How we can work together as a team to make that happen? But six people isn’t enough to do the massive events that we do on campus. So, on top of our six SET positions, we also rely really heavily on a volunteer list. And so, the beautiful thing about that, is that students can apply to be on our volunteer list. And then we don’t need to do interviews or anything like that…then when we need volunteers, we just send a mass e-mail to all of those students and just say: “hey this is what we’re looking for.” It allows students to help when they have free time, but to not have to commit to the same commitment that our team spots do… And then our hope eventually is, that as we grow this new structure as we grow this volunteer list, that the volunteers come around and realize kind of the benefits of being a team member, and what that looks like, and think that that’s cool! And so, then our volunteer list eventually will turn into the people that we would want to hire for the open positions.

Caleb: “one other thing I wanted to ask you was about some of the new newer decisions that we’re seeing right now that [have] become more popular. So, I think one of them I like I said earlier… it feels like there’s direct incentives for people to attend these events. And I feel like that kind of I think it paid off very well. But what led to that specific decision because I know you’ve been thinking about it for a for a little bit. How did that come to fruition?”

Sara: “in event planning, there’s a lot of things that go that go into things, but the event is only gonna be as great as the people that are there. And everything we do on campus does have some cost to it.”

She later goes on to explain the cost of the event and its impact on the University. Mentioning that it could cost three thousand dollars to host an event. Which makes attendance for these events even more important. With dwindling attendance at events, the newly formed SET team came up with an idea.

And so, we really did a deep dive into what are students interested in to make sure that we’re bringing the right kind of live performers to campus. And what’s going to get students to these events? How do we get them in these seats? Because we know that these performers are great, when we go to these conferences, we have the opportunity to see them live!… We know when they get there they’re gonna have a great time. But how do we get them there? and so over the last two years, casino night has really taken on a life of its own. It’s become an event that students know and love and talk about. To the point where our incoming freshman students often hear about casino night two weeks into their experience here. Like students talk about casino night as something that they know and love. And so, we’ve kind of tried to examine that. What do students love about it? Is there any way we can replicate other pieces of that in different events that we’re doing. And what we decided is to use that event as leverage, because it is already a very successful event. Last year we had 500 students in attendance at casino night!… Massive right? In a campus of 1100 that is a massive turnout. And so looking at that why are students coming to that? And then how can we use that?… Because students are already coming to that event, they love that event and we thought that would be a great way to get them to come to other events we know they’re going to have fun at… So that’s how casino night VIP was born. Is as the way to get students to these awesome events to earn a VIP experience at an event that they already know they’re going to love.

Caleb: “Can you give any information about this yet?”

Sara: “oh hot tea! We haven’t made final decisions. Casino night planning will be really starting in November. In fact, our presidential cabinet has recognized the importance and the weight that casino night has on our students, and how much they enjoy it. And because we live in rural North Dakota where winters are miserable, January and February is a really hard time of year for everyone. From seasonal depression to terrible winter weather. All these things come by and make way for a hard time. And so, they’ve asked us to move casino night up, so previously it’s been in March after spring break, and our cabinet has asked us to move it forward. So, it will be in February this year. So, we gotta get planning for it. Obviously, we have lots of discussions about what the VIP experience could look like. And no promises! But here are some ideas that we’ve brainstormed but nothing concrete. So last year we heard y’all, one of the massive issues getting into casino night last year was the line. There was a long wait, sometimes students were waiting 30 to 45 minutes even to enter. So, we’ll keep that in mind for VIPs. Thinking of VIP entrance access. Either like separate access or skip-the-line sort of situation. So, boom there’s thirty to forty five more minutes that you get added to play and to hang. So that’s something we’re throwing around. At the door, we always give students free play money, and free tokens to play with. It would be very easy for us to give additional coins, and tokens to our VIPs. Perhaps a special prize that only VIPs were eligible to win. We don’t know, lots of things that were kind of tossing around. We’ve also tossed around like a what do you call it… a chauffeur! …So definitely things we have to work through but it’s going to be the VIP experience for real. it’ll be exclusive, it will be elevated, it will be worth it.”

Caleb: “Oh lastly I just wanted to ask is there anything that you want people to be aware of going forward do you have any last things like events or things you want to tell people about?”

Sara: “Yeah, I think one thing that I think might be helpful for students, just to know about what we do is we really plan like chunks of time. So, we kind of have planned six to eight weeks at a time, and then we have that section of time planned. So, then that’s six to eight weeks we spend planning the next six to eight weeks if that makes sense. Yeah, and so you know really every six to eight weeks we release our dates and our events that are planned. And so, it would be in students’ best interest to follow that, and kind of mark those on their calendars. So that it’s not just like oh this event is tomorrow like we’ve known about this event coming up now for six weeks, right? And so that makes it a little bit easier to make your schedule work. We are very present this year on Instagram, so following our handle would be great. UJ_SET is our handle. And then the other thing that I really would love for students to know is, that this year we have an actual text line! So, there’s a phone number that you can text to join our text line and then because we know how overwhelming emails can be. Instead of getting an e-mail about the event you’re gonna get a text message.”

To learn more about SET follow their Instagram!

UJ_SET

To volunteer to help with events visit this google form!

https://forms.gle/yWvJqQUnterEqMD66

UJ Students Face a Self Defense Class

This week at UJ, students got to learn new techniques and challenges when it comes to self-defense. Lindsey, the self-defense instructor, teaches classes at the TRAC and even teaches Officers at the prison!  

Throughout the class, she demonstrated how to face the perpetrator even if they outweigh you or you aren’t as big as them. Furthermore, UJ students enjoyed partnering up with someone and learning how to get out of a chokehold. Also, they were demonstrated by the instructor on how to get off the ground if an individual pushes them to the floor or grabs a hold of you. Students also enjoyed using the punching bag to push away the “perpetrator.” 

This self-defense class is great for anyone who may live alone, needs more practice, and for someone who doesn’t how to get out of a dangerous situation. Lastly, it was designed to teach effective self-defense in a short time! 

An interview with the esports Coach

Explanation of the team, where we are located, and how/when we compete with physical attendance options The UJ Esports team competes in competitive video game titles across two seasons each year. The titles we compete in are Call of Duty, Fortnite, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch 2, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Valorant. Our facility is located in the basement of the Hansen center on campus at the University of Jamestown. We normally compete entirely remotely. Due to the nature of video games, we can connect instantly with schools all over the country and we stream our games live on our Twitch channel at https://twitch.tv/uj_esports. Due to us competing in this way, we don’t have the same opportunities for a live audience so we like to give everyone a chance to watch from wherever they may be. We also occasionally hold live viewings of our competitions up on the gym floor in the Hansen. These events are a great opportunity to get a live crowd experience and our players love getting to play in front of an audience every once in a while.

  1. Player perspective How did you join the program? How long? I originally joined the program during it’s first year of competition in 2017. My older brother was the coach at the time and was looking for one more Hearthstone player. I had just started playing the game during my breaks at work and told him I’d be willing to walk on and give it a try! I went on to compete for 5 years throughout my undergraduate and graduate years and it was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. What games did you play? I played Hearthstone, a virtual card game, for 3 years and then spent the last 2 years competing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate which is a platform fighting game created by Nintendo. What does it mean to be in esports as a player right now? Esports is an ever-growing scene and being a player right now holds a good deal more significance than it used to. Players in the collegiate scene right now are on scholarship to play and have a chance to be a part of a greater team than what they’re used to. We see players at the college level that rival the skill of top ranked players across the titles they compete in and some even have the chance to go on to play on professional teams as well. There are so many opportunities for players today to grow and succeed and I’m very thankful to have had that chance for such a long time.
  2. Has the environment around esports changed since you were a player? The scene continues to grow exponentially each year. I feel that esports has been a relatively undiscovered thing to the normal person but with how much traction it’s gained at the professional, collegiate, and high school level, more and more people have realized the legitimacy of it. Parents are more accepting of their kids having a chance to compete and get scholarships for esports, more and more coaches and directors are finding career paths, and the list continues from there. esports will even soon be an Olympic sport and that’s something that is truly amazing to see. If you could, would you compete again? I’ll admit that sometimes, especially being a coach and being around games 24/7, there is the occasional itch to get back into competition. However, I’m more than happy with how I spent my career as a player and the fact that I can now help my student athletes succeed and get that experience for themselves. Every once in a while I’ll hop into a few casual games with the team, but that’s about it and that’s totally okay with me!
  3. Coach perspectiveWhat encouraged you to apply for the coaching job? Esports has been such a huge part of my life for the last 5 years that I couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to make a career out of it. My brother started this program almost 6 years ago and I’ve been a part of it since it’s creation. It has a special place in my heart, and I want nothing more than to see it grow and succeed. I’m just very thankful that I get to continue to be a part of that and lead the team in a positive way.
  4. Since your brother started this program, has that relationship changed the way you view the team? Josh has given me a lot of really great perspective on how to be a better coach but also how to be a better person. He actually works for the company that provides our computers and equipment, so I now have another relationship with him as a business partner as well. We don’t always see eye to eye on everything but I trust him more than anyone in the scene. He’s taught me how special this team can be and he could not have been more right about it.
  5. Do you have a core philosophy for your coaching? Coaching in esports is a lot different than traditional sports but its also similar in a lot of ways. We still have team-focused drills, practices, video reviews, competitions, and much more. My main philosophy for coaching esports is coaching mindset. Coaching 8 different titles at a high level just isn’t feasible for the average person so I focus a lot of my energy on coaching motivation, healthy habits, and teamwork. The goal in esports is to make your teams as self-sufficient as possible while still providing them the tools they need to succeed.
  6. How do you want people to view the program? A few years ago, I would’ve answered this question a lot differently. At the time I would’ve said that I want people to view esports like any other traditional sport and give it the same respect. Today, I would actually encourage people to not compare it to traditional sports like football and volleyball. While a lot of the philosophies could be similar, I think that esports has created its own world and its own ecosystem and it deserves to get credit for that. I mainly just want people to recognize the legitimacy of it and realize that it is incredibly entertaining and provides endless opportunities to those that get to be a part of it. People can support the program simply just by watching a livestream and that is more than enough. Take it seriously… because esports is here to stay

The report: the game of Ice hockey began

What are the major sports in US? Football-it is definitely one of biggest popular sports in US. Basketball-NBA and famous player play and attract many fun. Finally, Ice hockey! People craze with both game and play. On September 30th, I watched the ice hockey game-University of Jamestown vs Minot State University in Wilson Arena for the first time! In this time, I reported how game was.

In Wilson arena, many people came here and cheered. After a confrontation between the two sides at the opening ceremony, the match began. In 1st period, Minot state scored first goal, but UJ quickly scored point. The attack and defense between both teams continue after that and the 1st period finished, which they tied.

Next 2nd period, Minot state scored again-2-1. That situation continued until about r minutes before the end of this period. Then, UJ shouted and got point back. However, Minot side also pointed lastly and finished the 2nd period, which score was 3-2.

Former athlete Noah Soltero turned GA for Jimmie Baseball 

Former student athlete Noah Soltero rises to new position as a Grad Assistant for Jimmie Baseball. Soltero has spent two years as a closing pitcher for the Jimmies and now has transitioned to earn his master’s in leadership while coaching for the Jimmies’ baseball team. His transition from an athlete to a coach may well come with challenges. Soltero states, “The transition from an athlete to a GA has been great because I didn’t take any time off baseball. Although I’m not doing it physically, coaching is a lot of mental work.” Creating that player/coach separation may be a challenge, as well.  

Soltero has enjoyed his journey as a Jimmie and as a coach for Jimmie Baseball. He notes, “I love the fact that I get to coach the sport I love day one and day out as a full-time job, wouldn’t want it any other way.” 

Although turning from student athlete to coach may be challenging, it is something most student athletes want to experience. Noah is a great example of what success can be like for a student athlete. Soltero mentions, “The advice I would give is listening to your coaches as best as you can be. Coaches understand that they aren’t any superior to the athletes, we just have a special influential power. Thus, having faith in what coaches tell you.” Lastly, this story will shed light on what many student athletes and coaches look for through their challenges and may need advice.