UMN Crookston senior strives to 'look good, feel good, work good.'
First off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your family, education, background/previous stops, career, etc.?
Hello everyone, my name is Ben Koisti I am a senior majoring in golf and turf management with a minor in business management. I am originally from Lake Norden, South Dakota. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota I graduated from Hamlin High School. I have five family members including myself. My father is the technology coordinator at the high school, in addition to that, he also spends a majority of his time coaching. He is the head girls basketball coach and the head boys and girls golf coach. My mother is a cardiology tech and and an emergency room nurse in Watertown, South Dakota. My younger sister is a junior in college and attends Mount Marty College majoring in Biology, while there she also plays both womens basketball and womens golf. My youngest sister is a sophomore in high school, and she too enjoys playing all sports including volleyball, cheerleading, basketball and golf
You’re president of the Crookston Student Association. Obviously, it’s the student government body on the UMN Crookston campus, but can you explain what the CSA is all about? What do you guys do?
The mission of the Crookston Student Association is to speak on behalf of the students of the University of Minnesota Crookston, advocate diversity and sustainability, build the support of the community, and improve the student experience on and off campus while promoting leadership opportunities. The “what do we do” really depends on the leadership and the determination of the association. This year we had a very determined group and decided to create a platform, one that was solely focussed on the individual student. The platform included, all inclusive housing, safe ride program, eliminating the online course fee, this occured if a class was on campus and due to lack of enrollment was moved to online and lastly remodeling a room where clubs and organizations can meet and hold their club meetings. In addition to the platform that we strive to complete by the end of the academic year we are also always listening to student concerns. That is the most important thing we as student association can do, is listen to student concerns and use our resources to resolve those student concerns to the best of our ability.
On social media, it’s pretty clear that you lean politically to the right. You’re a Republican. Are you a Trump supporter? Please elaborate…
I thank you for choosing my political affiliation for me, yes I am a proud Republican. I do support Trump because I support the President of the United States. In addition, he supports the Republican agenda which is the agenda I align with the most.
Do student political leanings ever creep into the Crookston Student Association? Or is everyone simply looking out what’s best for the students and/or the Crookston campus?
In my four years of being involved in the Crookston Student Association I have never seen political leanings enter the student association. There are rare cases where a policy will come from a left leaning campus and we have to vote on it and I can tell you that our vote reflects the student bodies vote. We are a group that is real down to earth on many issues and our interest is simply looking out for what is best for the entire student body.
Rarely have I seen you not wearing a suit-coat, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you not wearing a necktie or a bow tie? Are you just an over-dresser, or do you like to dress to impress?
I guess you just happen to see me at the right times. I do dress up everyday, not necessarily a suit coat and tie everyday but I would say that at the minimum I am “business casual” everyday. I guess you could call me an over dresser compared to the stereotypical college student but I do like to dress to impress. I have the motto look good, feel good, work good. I attend many meetings with faculty and staff and they are usually dressed up as well so I do not want to be the one underdressed in a meeting.
You’re a member of the Golden Eagles men’s golf team. Tell us what you love most about the game.
What I love most about the game of golf is a few things. The first is that you can play it from the time you are five years old until you can not physically move anymore. What I also love is that no matter what score you shoot you someone always think you could have done better which is motivation to continue playing and lastly what I love about it is that it is one of the most relaxing sports you can play.
Let’s say you had a friend or a sibling who wanted to go to college but had no idea which college to choose. It’s your job to sell them on the University of Minnesota Crookston. What do you tell that person?
You will have both an amazing educational and student experience while at the University of Minnesota Crookston. We have the top faculty and staff that is committed to providing you with the best educational knowledge they have while staff is committed to providing you with the best student experience.
You will also have endless opportunities to better yourself. These opportunities include but are not limited to, conduct undergraduate research, one of my most fulfilling experience was conducting research with Dr. Kristie Walker on our sport fields.
The next is leadership opportunities, there are over forty clubs and organizations that can suite a students interest while in these clubs look for leadership opportunities within the club. I was fortunate to be involved in student government all four years and through that have had some amazing opportunities meeting with the state legislature, the Board of Regents, and President Kaler.
Lastly, get a job while on campus there are both work study eligible and non work study eligible positions. This job will help you pay for the miscellaneous things that come with college, I encourage everyone to get a job while at the University, whether you are working ten hours a week or thirty hours a week.
Let’s say you’re stranded on a deserted island. You have an endless supply of food and water and you have shelter, but you don’t know if you’re ever going to be rescued. Somehow, you have a TV and stereo that work. For all of your time there, you can only listen to three songs and watch three movies. What three songs and three movies would you have with you on the island?
I will choose to watch three movies and those movies would be: Top Gun, Shooter, and Transformers- The Last Knight
People tend to overuse the word “hero” these days, so I’m not asking you to list any of your personal heroes. But could you mention three people that you look up to or particularly admire, and explain why?
Dad- I look up to my dad because we have a lot in common. We love all sports and will talk about sports forever. He is so caring and really wants what is best for me but understands that I ultimately have to decide. You combine that with his insanely dry humor and it make for a pretty great dad and an even better role model.
Grandpa- I admire my grandpa because he is the hardest worker I know. He is so caring for all of his grandchildren and is always looking out for us. He is hilariously funny as he always has a joke to tell and I always enjoy riding in the combine with him because we can talk about so much and never have the conversation go stagnant.
Tyler Taschner- Tyler is a different kind of role model for me. Tyler was a senior in highschool when I was a freshman. He was an amazing three sport athlete: football, basketball, and golf. We had just finished our football season and were preparing for the upcoming basketball season. One windy saturday, Tyler was in a hunting stand when an adjacent tree had fallen from behind him and landed on his back. The tree pushed Tyler through his stand and he landed on the ground, able to get to his phone he called his dad first and then the ambulance. Tyler was rushed to the ER in Watertown, South Dakota. He was then flown to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Tyler is now paralyzed from the waist down. He is my role model because of how he was as person and as an athlete in highschool and even more so now because of what he has went through and not once have I heard him complain. He is one of the strongest, most caring and humble person you'll ever meet and that is why I admire him.
Please describe yourself in ten words or less…
I am caring, passionate, hard working, intelligent, strategic, athletic