Mainstreet draws thousands

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Photo of Mainstreet 2011

A booth at Mainstreet 2011 outside Atwood Memorial Center.

For St. Cloud State students seeking to get involved with extracurricular activities, Mainstreet is the place to go.

"Every year, it offers a welcoming environment not only to freshmen but to returning students as well," said Samantha Ivey, Student Government president. "It is a great social!"

More than 200 student organizations and community connections, representing diverse causes and interests, participated in Mainstreet 2011. In addition to existing student clubs, some first-time clubs set up tables to recruit members. Some clubs chose innovative ways to draw the crowd. Aero Club, for example, was looking for recruits by offering free plane ride.

There was passion and enthusiasm in the air. Students were advocating causes they strongly believed in. Helping Nepal Foundation was founded at the University in 2008 in an effort to raise funds to educate underprivileged children in Nepal.

"We raise money to educate the Nepalese children who lost their parents to the long civil war. We also give scholarships to students who cannot afford education otherwise," said Subrat Acharya, a biomedical science major and the foundation’s president.

There were tables promoting political parties. Members of the College Republicans and SCSU College Democrats sounded equally hopeful about the next presidential election.

More than 40 community organizations participated in Mainstreet 2011, from the American Cancer Society to Central MN Somali Center.

"Mainstreet gives a big opportunity to recruit volunteers. We are always in need of young people," said Jamie Garberich, Program Coordinator at Independence Center, Inc., an organization committed to creating opportunities for people with special needs.

Alongside booths of religious organizations were those that advocated secularism, paganism and paranormal activities. Although their values and beliefs differed, they peacefully promoted their individual causes.

Various campus services participated in the Mainstreet, including Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative (CARE), which works to create a lasting anti-racist St. Cloud State and community.

"We have a 20-member leadership team that consists of faculty, staff and students. By organizing engaging and informational workshops we educate people about racism, racial justice and anti-racism issues," said Naomi Maina, a recent graduate of Mass Communications and a CARE team member.

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