University Communications

Students share their Huskies Stories

 

College is about finding your path and yourself and incoming and transfer students heard from a group of six St. Cloud State students Saturday who shared their stories and gave advice about how those in the audience could find their own path. 

Each student stood up in front of a packed Ritsche Auditorium to share a moment from their life as a St. Cloud State student that helped change and define who they are today. The stories were of encounters with racism and mental health and moments of discovering they can stand up for themselves and connect with others. 

Huskies Stories is a new event as part of Huskies First Four, the student orientation weekend for incoming and transfer students at St. Cloud State University. It focuses on students' sense of identity and the change they will experience as students and introduces students to the identity centers on campus that offer support. 

President Robbyn Wacker and Huskies First Four Coordinator Tristan Richards introduced the students and encouraged all in the auditorium to get involved and find the support they need to grow and establish their own sense of self. 

Amritha Suresh told of a car accident where a car came the wrong way on Interstate 94 toward her and three friends. She told of the racist accusations she encountered in the aftermath while she was dealing with her own injuries and shock from the accident. 

She encouraged those in the audience to stand up for themselves and tell the truth even when people judge them unfairly. 

Morgan Leslie talked about her struggles with anxiety and the lack of support for mental health she found at her previous community college. 

Marwah Asif spoke about her identity being questioned despite being an American citizen and the culture shock she found moving from New York to Minnesota. 

"You are not just your name," she said. "You will be more than what you are right now. Get your education, but make sure to explore who you want to be at the end of the day." 

Isla Zingue talked about her body confidence and experiences as an international finding support and learning from others who are different from her. 

"Surround yourself with people who have positive energy," she said. "Be kind to yourself the way that you are to others."

Natalia Mami told about transitioning and encountering the opinions of strangers. 

"Everyone thinks they aren't good enough," Mami said. "Find people who will support and encourage you."  

Usama Hasami spoke about an experience where a woman came up to him and accused him of being a terrorist because of his religion. The experience changed his life because he was able to speak with her and change her perspective by explaining how there are always good and bad people in the world in every group. 

"Realize you own weaknesses and strengths," he said. "Learn about yourself. That is how you get to be selfless. All that really matters is what we do for others." 

Each St. Cloud State student has a story and each will need support as a person, Richards said.

St. Cloud State offers a variety of support services for students, said Precious Palmer, of Multicultural Student Services.

She introduced Multicultural Student Services, the American Indian Center, the LGBT Resource Center, Women's Center, Student Accessibility Services and the Veterans Resource Center