As the Bemidji State Beavers burrow down in their dams for Winter Break, the Students United Committee prepares for another great semester. We came together at the beginning of the year, some of us experienced and others new to the game to help forge the way to the future for students. Our committee exceeded our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) pledges goal and has begun preparing for another semester with new goals. We each took the time to reflect back on the semester and share some thoughts.

Galen Hlavsa-Campus Intern:

I first started getting involved with Students United last year in the fall when I was chosen to be one of Bemidji's Internal Affairs members, and to be honest I had no idea what the position was. I knew little about what Students United was, but I was definitely excited to find out. I was able to go to two of the Delegate Assemblies along with a couple of the board meetings, so I learned about the organization bit by bit.

A year and a half later, and my perception has changed, just like the organization's name. I feel like I know so much more about what the organization is about, and what it has to offer. I want to pass on the meaning of what Students United is, not only to my friends and family when they ask me what my internship is about, but also each and every student that inquires about what we are, because we are there to represent them in the end.

Avery Franzen- Issue Specialist:

In my mind, Students United has always served as the conduit between the students and the legislature. Having served last year, it was a lot to become accustomed to, but this year I feel much more prepared and I believe we are making some excellent headway on different issues. I look forward to what the rest of the year has to bring.

Connor Brown- Issue Specialist:

Going into Students United I knew absolutely nothing. So, when my boss Galen told me to table for the BOB (Beaver Organization Bash) I was clueless. After a month or so, I got to know our committee and we had our retreat at Metro State University where I figured out what my job was and what I had to do. Then, we started to have our campus events where we held a debate-watching party and Qdoba, which was a huge success. After that was all said and done, we had our November Delegates where I found out that what we do really does make a difference. At Delegates, we went over policies and talked about what we could do to try to make them better. This was a really fun experience because I knew I was making a difference.

Tia Heinz-Legislative Specialist:

I got to work with Students United last year being a part of their Advocacy Day. I loved the message we were promoting to legislators. It made me feel like I could make a difference on a bigger stage than I have ever worked on. This year, I have done more work on sexual assault prevention on my own campus and meeting people from other campus has helped me get a better understanding and support system for the work I do.

Carl Karpinski- Public Relation Specialist:

Coming into this year and this position, I had very little previous knowledge. My freshman year, I had help our previous Students United intern make phone calls for Get Out the Vote, but that was about all I knew when Galen approached me. Galen, a good friend of mine, tried to explain Students United and what I would be doing as the Public Relation Specialist. I really had no idea what I was getting into, but I trusted his judgment for picking the right job and I agreed. My first experience was at the Beaver Organization Bash (BOB), where we were tabling, although I had no idea what we were tabling for. Over that event, our meetings and retreats I really got an understanding of what Students United was, how important it is, and how lucky I am to get to document the new and cool things we do to help future students.