News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst

T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320


For Immediate Release 14 October 2001

Regents Present Awards to BHSU and SDSMT Student Organizations

RAPID CITY-The South Dakota Board of Regents, meeting today on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus, presented awards to student organizations from SDSMT and Black Hills State University. President Harvey C. Jewett presented the awards on the Board's behalf. "Participating in student organizations builds a sense of community and civic responsibility. These traits will stay with students long after graduation," said Jewett.

The award for academic excellence was presented to the BHSU Reading Council and the SDSMT chapter of Tau Beta Pi. The BHSU Reading Council is an active organization that goes the distance to reach its goals. An important goal of the organization is to provide opportunities for parent and community involvement in reading with and to children. Activities of the group included a Mini-Grant Writing Seminar, a Scholastic Book Fair, the Festival on the Green, donation of over 100 children's books to the Arthemis House and CASA in Rapid City, and a "Books are Fun" book fair. The BHSU Reading Council is recognized at the state level and is now a model other councils follow.

Also receiving the academic excellence award was South Dakota School of Mines and Technology's chapter of Tau Beta Pi. The belief of Tau Beta Pi is that academic excellence does not come through course work alone, but also through campus and community involvement. Members of Tau Beta Pi are active in many activities that not only benefit themselves, but help others around them. Activities of the organization have included the sponsoring of the Youth Engineering Adventure. Through this week-long summer camp, high school students are able to learn more about the field of engineering. The chapter also built a custom Christmas tree and is organizing a Spring Career Fair giving students on campus another opportunity to learn more about prospective employers and to find temporary or full time employment.

The award for organizational leadership was presented to the BHSU Student Senate and the SDSMT Connolly Hall Council. The purpose of the BHSU Student Senate is to ensure good communication and cooperation takes place between faculty, administration, staff and the surrounding community. Its primary focus is that of representing the students in any decision which may affect quality of student life and their education. Another vital role is that of educating the student body on the importance of participating in the self-governance of their campus, state, and community. Activities of the organization included helping new students move into the dorms, conducting freshmen elections, co-sponsoring the Swarm Days Parade, planning and participating in SHED Days, and a Senate Scholarship Program.

Also accepting the award for organizational leadership was the Connolly Hall Council of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The SDSMT Connolly Hall Council works to promote effective student leadership in school and in the community at large. Two major activities of the organization are the J.P. Connolly Games and the publishing of the Stall Wall Press. Named for a former SDSMT president, the games take place 3 times a year and are nightly competitions between residents of Connolly Hall. The games consist of four to six events that test the residents' mental, physical, and social abilities. Over 70% of the residents have participated in the games. Participation develops a sense of community within each living area and throughout the entire hall. The Connolly Hall Stall Wall Press is a weekly publication that shares the events and happenings around campus. It also features editorials that include topics such as dating relationships, school spirit, alcohol use/abuse, and more. It is posted in the bathroom stalls to increase readership. Any resident may submit an editorial to the publication. Other activities of Connolly Hall include Habitat for Humanity projects, food drives, volunteering at the local mission, and community outreach programs.

Accepting the award for SDSMT Connolly Hall Council was Chris Bartelt. Mark Fersdahl and Darryn Frafford accepted the award for the SDSMT chapter of Tau Beta Pi.

The award for the BHSU Reading Council was accepted by Lori Peterson, Wendy Emerson, Missy Urbaniak and Advisor Micheline Hickenbotham. Accepting the award for the BHSU Student Senate was Allen Godsell and Advisor Jane Klug.



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