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Student Travel Guide

Sam’s Famous Travel Guide

An offbeat guide to MLC’s campus, customs, and curiosities

By Sam Jeske (WISCO)


MLC acronyms & abbreviations

SPaM – Studies in Pastoral Ministry

SEM – Studies in Educational Ministry

RTR – Round Table Room

LSC – Luther Student Center

WCC – Wittenberg Collegiate Center

COC – Chapel of the Christ

WELS – Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (Just in case…)

MRS Program – Rumored to be what most women are actually studying at MLC


The Hill – This is the landmass the school resides on, and it’s a hill all right. Many a car has been unable to ascend its slope during tundra season. Many a car has been pulled over for coasting down it. Hopefully neither of those cars belongs to you.

The Pit – Located in the Luther Student Center, the Pit is where you hang out, play boardgames, or watch your favorite football team win. Also tends to be the undesignated area couples migrate to, so watch out.

Luther Hollow – Located behind the softball diamond, Luther Hollow is the official bonfire spot, more notoriously known for the location of the annual burning of the “M.” Occasionally, an acoustic musician or two will bring guitars to add a little mood music to the bonfire. They may not be able to always take requests, but tips are always welcomed. School won’t pay for itself, you know.

The Chapel – Chapel of the Christ is a beautiful still-new space where you’ll worship twice and sometimes three times a day.

Chapel Zimbelstern – Look! Up in the Chapel! It’s a bird! It’s a star! NO! It’s a Zimbelstern! From its position above the organ, this little gizmo spins at the pull of a switch, sounding off bell-like chimes.

Chapel Baptismal Font – No, it’s not a pool. It’s just a really, really big baptismal font.

Lake Olsen – This body of water is located right next to the COC. Swimming in it is inadvisable.

The Sprinter – This statue has been a part of the fabric of MLC for years. The Sprinter, representing one running the race the apostle Paul writes about, sits in the starting position outside the LSC.

The Seal – The Seal now stands in the circle lot by the flag poles, no longer able to be disgraced by footsteps. Don’t be surprised if sanctimonious students still walk around the repaved area in front of the library where it used to be.

Marty – Although most students would say the statue is a symbolic marker of appreciation, many believe the statue wards off naughty boys from the girls’ dorm behind it.

The Dorms – So long as your roommate showers daily, dorm life is a blast. Your best friends are now just a walk away. And don’t forget the Christmas lights: the cheapest way to turn the dullest of dorm rooms into a pimped-out pad.

The Caf – The MLC cafeteria, otherwise known as “The Caf,” provides the future called worker with a wide variety of food options. Students can go down to The Caf any time from 7 am to midnight.

The Library – The MLC Library facilitates the dexterous mind with an extensive variety of books and learning material. It’s a quiet environment to escape to when your roommate is complaining about his/her significant other or when you just need a distraction-free environment.

The Catacombs – Two classrooms located under the upper auditorium seating. You’ll find no graves there, but more often than not, that’s where you’ll find the Bio Boys.

The Bio Boys – Biology Professor Rich Ash retired, but his partner Professor Roger Klockziem continues to bring on biological bliss. Corny jokes are the norm, so for the sake of keeping that red pen at bay, just laugh.

The Round Table Room –When boredom or competitive spirit strikes, the Round Table Room comes in to save the day. Pool, foosball, Wii, and a sweet HD projector are just a few of the toys here. It’s temporarily been overrun by toddlers from the Early Child Learning Center, but it’ll be up and running for the college students again next fall.

Parking Lots – There are several lots students can park in. As a first-year guy, there are  lots of lots you can’t park in.

Go-to places off campus

Herman Park – Standing tall atop the MLC hill is Herman the German (or more correctly, Herman the Cheruscan), a monument of bravery, a beacon of German culture, and a subtle yet bold reminder you’ve made it to MLC and you’re not in Kansas anymore.  From here, one can see all of New Ulm. Don’t worry: you won’t strain your eyes too much.

Vogel – But a hop, skip, and jump away, this recreation center lets you get your racquetball on or show off your toned abs to the ladies at the pool.

Kegel – Next to hitting the hot tub at Vogel, nothing helps you unwind after a rough week than a beer and some bowling at the Kegel. (Under-agers need not apply.)

Lamplighter – It’s a Friday night after a hard week of hitting the books, and you’re dying for a change of pace in cuisine. Never fear: Lamplighter’s here.

Lola’s – Nestled amongst the rich German heritage of New Ulm is Lola’s, a coffee house that transports patrons from quaint town culture to an urban style café.

Flandrau – Flandrau State Park is the place to go to satisfy your taste for outdoor adventure. Students can even go camping out there, if they are ever so ambitious. The trails through Flandrau are enjoyable to walk through, not proving to be too much of a hike. (Gentlemen, take note: An excellent cheap date is a stroll through Flandrau.)

Suicide Hill – A pleasantly frightful sledding experience, a hill pasted with rocks, trees and roots. Old cafeteria serving trays serve as excellent sleds (not speaking from personal experience, of course).

Nehls Park – During those few months you can venture outside without a coat in New Ulm, Nehls Park provides a great place to play some Disc Golf. Whether you’re the all-star pro or can’t throw a Frisbee to save your life, it’s a good time.

Wal-Mart – Other than solidifying the existence of New Ulm, Wal-Mart provides all the college essentials, from hygienic supplies to posters of Justin Bieber. This big-box retailer has opened the door to other chains, like Menard’s. Could Culver’s be next?

Fast Food – Fear not. McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell are just some of the exquisite places to eat in New Ulm. Some places, like Dominos, will deliver right to your dorm.

Perkins – Open 24/7, Perkins proves to be the perfect late-night haven for the late-night adventurer, especially when you’re in the mood for some good pancakes. Over the years, Perkins has proven to be a popular social hangout for MLCers.

Mankato – When New Ulm proves to be too exciting for MLC students, Mankato provides a pleasant change of pace, whether it be kickin’ it with Bethany students or going downtown.


Campus events

Convocation – A few days during the year, the schedule changes and students hear a guest speaker talk about ministry and education stories and methods. Convocation schedule is a little weird, but it’s totally worth it. The presenters bring meaningful, applicable insight to students’ future career in the ministry, so it’s usually an event you don’t want to miss.

Evangelism Day – This day is like Convocation times 20. Once a year, the school dedicates an entire day to evangelism, outreach, and ministry in general via Evangelism Day. Students go to workshops throughout the day to hear guest speakers from all over the globe talk about their ministry experiences. WARNING: You may experience a ministry high after attending Evangelism Day.

SPaM Gatherings – A few days during the school year, SPaM—otherwise known as preseminary—students and their teachers get together for food, fellowship, and downright knee-slappin’ fun.

Concerts – At MLC, music is kind of a big deal. With four different choirs, a wind symphony, and all kinds of additional music lessons, there’s never a shortage in musical performances. Don’t count on doing any crowd surfing, though.

Stage Productions –With multiple productions each year, MLC’s Forum provides plenty of opportunities to use one’s God-given gifts: acting, directing, applying makeup, constructing sets, and much more. Whether you’re on the stage or in the seats, smiles are guaranteed.

Homecoming – Lords and Ladies, free t-shirts, the talent show and football. Yup, that’s pretty much it. Oh—it’s also a blast.

Winter Carnival – Imagine hockey. Now take away the puck, the skates and the sticks, and add brooms and a ball – and falling down quite a bit. Welcome to Broomball, the sport where the true winners get the most laughs. It’s just one small part of the extravaganza called Winter Carnival.

Swine Sizzler – A great way to end the year, this outdoor gathering is nothing short of a blast: tons of food, tons of bands, football, Frisbee, pie eating contests, and much more.


Campus culture

Student IDs – Whether it be getting back into the residence hall or checking out a book from the library, the Student ID is your portal to everything. It also is your ticket in to the cafeteria. Sneaking past the checker has been done before, but it requires a degree of stealth and tact. If these are attributes you feel you lack, you’re better off bringing your ID. (Students have been pursued by the checker lady.)

Daily Chapel – Usually running around 20 minutes, twice-daily chapel facilitates the chance to dig into God’s Word. In addition, students have tons of opportunities to participate in worship, whether it be edifying with music or preaching the message.

Compline – Every Monday night at 10 pm, a third opportunity to go to chapel is presented, otherwise known as Compline. It’s a great way to end the roughest, most loathed day of the week. (There’s a little Garfield in all of us.)

Chapel Cam – Sick and stuck in your dorm? Just pull up Chapel Cam and you’ll feel as if you’re there worshiping with everyone else. As a side note of caution, if you decide to doze and take a quick nap while in the chapel, think again. Chapel Cam will find you.

Sunday Church – MLC students have two options Sunday mornings: St. Paul’s or St. John’s, otherwise referred to as St. Left’s or St. Right’s.

MLC Security – A bane to some, a blessing to others, the student-run MLC security force cracks down on the hooligans and miscreants, especially those who violate parking rules. Ladies, if you end up dating a guy on security, don’t be surprised if he has no friends.

Scooters – This phenomenon baffles many, yet somehow more and more students utilize scooters to navigate campus each year. If one would melt down all the scooters on the MLC campus, one could probably build a bridge. Sadly, Scooter season temporarily ends around late November when the snow strikes, yet resumes as soon as walkways are visible again.

Java – The fountain of youth, the nectar of energy, coffee may just find a place in your diet at MLC. There will be late nights and early mornings. There will be nights of only a few hours of sleep. You may even be crazy enough to tackle the legendary all-nighter. Whatever the sleep predicament may be, Coffee will be there for you. The Caf brews coffee, regular and decaf, cappuccino, hot chocolate, and even tea.

Proper Dining Etiquette – In the MLC Caf, it’s proper to applaud the student who accidentally breaks a glass. Cheating by intentionally dropping glasses will not be tolerated or applauded.

Centennial Drama – And you thought drama ended in high school? Just take one step into this residence hall for first-year women.

No Snow Days – Oddly enough, there actually will be some things you’ll miss about high school, one of them being snow days.  However, there will be snow on MLC’s campus, and a lot of it. There have been stories of students from Texas traumatized after a winter in New Ulm.

Plowabration – This is the day when all cars in the parking lots have to park elsewhere so the lots can get plowed. Celebration is optional; moving cars is mandatory.