The university provides opportunities for the cultural growth of students with a well-rounded program of activities. Through the efforts of students, faculty, and members of the community, a variety of cultural events and courses of study are available at Valley City State University. Some of these events are summarized below:
The Art Department, through the annual student art exhibitions and senior exhibitions provides the university community with numerous aesthetic opportunities. In addition, the Art Department sponsors annual visiting artist workshops which focus on specific media and techniques.
VCSU has two sister universities—the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, Mexico, and Zhejiang Economic & Trade Polytechnic, Zhejiang, China. Students may spend a semester or a year at one of these universities as a way to add an international element to whatever degree they may be pursuing. Ideally, plans to study abroad will be made early in the student’s program of study. To study in La Paz it is essential to have basic ability in conversational Spanish. It is also possible to do student teaching or teaching practicums abroad.
Theatre 320, located on the third floor of McFarland Hall, is the home of theatre at VCSU. Students at all levels of interest and ability work together to make the magic of theatre come alive. Different plays are produced each semester and students may act on stage or work on props, set construction, technical work, publicity, or costuming in each production. Those involved may receive up to three hours of academic credit.
Medicine Wheel Park
The park began in 1992 as a project of the astronomy classes at the university and soon expanded beyond the walls of the classroom to involve the community. The park, located on the hilltop immediately south of the main campus, features a horizon solar calendar called the Medicine Wheel with six long spokes extending well beyond the 213 foot main circle. They are aligned to the positions of sunrises and sunsets on the first days of the four seasons.
The park also includes a meridian solar calendar, and a solar system model that stretches from the sun in the center of the Medicine Wheel to Pluto, over a third of a mile away on the eastern edge of the Regional Technology Center parking lot. Boulders representing the planets are spaced in exact proportion to their distances from the sun on a scale of one foot equals approximately three million miles.
The Valley City State University Music Department Music presents approximately 50 solo and ensemble performances annually for the campus and community. Music ensembles include the Concert Choir, University Singers, Valkyries, Concert Band, Athletic Pep Band, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Garage Band, and numerous small chamber ensembles. These groups are open to all students.
Visit the famous room on campus where the stars shine during the day, even when it’s cloudy. Take the opportunity to get acquainted with the VCSU Planetarium, located on the third floor of Rhoades Science Center. The facility features a Spitz Space System 512 Planetarium, which can demonstrate many astronomical principles and model the solar system, star constellations, and other celestial entities. The planetarium has numerous shows, and reservations for groups can be arranged by calling the Science Department. Make sure you experience the magic of this special place.
Other Special Events
Throughout the year, VCSU brings in prominent performers, professional lecturers, special films, musical programs, student assemblies, and speakers on current issues. Students plan and produce many of these events, which are available to both campus and community people.
VCSU’s campus literary magazine, The Forge, is published in the fall term of each academic year and distributed free to any student desiring a copy. Consisting of primarily student work in a number of writing and visual arts catgories including poetry, short fiction, essay, drama, drawing, painting, print making, and photography, student entries are judged by faculty and community experts in each area, qualifying works are published in each year’s edition, and monetary prizes are awarded for first and second place finishers in each category.