Our Student Union & Activities Graduates

The end of a semester means graduation for many Dragons, including two of our long-times student staff members – Eddie and Trista.

Eddie joined us in August 2011 as an Administrative Assistant in the Admin Office. Over the years, he has helped out in the ROC during summer time and breaks regularly before becoming an Info Desk Attendant. An international student from Ghana, Eddie found a home in the student union. We are excited for Eddie to head out into the working world and show them what Dragons can do!


Trista also joined us in August 2011 as an Administration Assistant. In her time here, she became a go-to person for many types of questions. Eventually she moved into a Scheduling and Accounting Assistant role where she became a crucial part of our Admin Office. We are beyond thrilled that Trista has decided to pursue a Master’s degree so we can keep her around as the Event Services Graduate Assistant. If her past performance is any indicator, she will quickly wow us in her new role.



As much as we enjoy the time we have with our student employees and are sad to see them go, we are also happy to see them do what students are supposed to do: graduate and use their talents, skills and abilities to change the world. As President Anne would say, “We’re transforming the world by transforming lives.”

The Future of the Student Union Looks Dragon-y

The architects for our project were back visiting campus again on Tuesday and Wednesday. As always, their visit included a session with the Student Design Planning Group – a group of students who have been appointed through Student Senate, Housing and Residential Life, Offices like Diversity and Inclusion along with International Student Services, student programming groups, and other students who were suggested by staff and faculty members from across campus for their involvement and variety of perspectives. In addition to the large group, they had individual sessions with other stakeholder groups.

The groups received updates on how project scope and budgetary challenges have affected the project in different ways. Project scope refers to how much of the building will be renovated – we simply do not have the money to renovate the entire building. So, we have a master plan in place that includes phases of renovation that align with campus priorities. We excited in this phase for the 3000+ square foot addition that will have a coffeehouse atmosphere, the creation of a student involvement neighborhood, a more open flow of traffic, a Welcome Desk, the new Overlook Lounge, and so much more sunlight in the building. Additionally, we have had to make some modifications to pull the project back within the $9 million budget. We will participate in the state bond sale in late February and early March which will give us $4.5 million in addition to the $4.5 million we have saved for the project. We are proud that even with the budgetary challenges, we are able to still achieve priorities that were identified by students in the pre-design process:

  • Daylight
  • Coffeehouse atmosphere
  • Student Involvement Neighborhood
  • Welcoming Entry
  • Social Spaces

We are also excited, because they presented a proposed schedule for construction – with a ground breaking happening May 4, 2015 (weather permitting, we are in Minnesota after all!) and major construction wrapped up by end of May 2016. Of course, the rest of 2016 and into 2017 work will continue to get every detail finished.

Student were delighted to see some samples the architects brought of brick, metal, floors, walls, fabrics and more. Seems like there will be plenty of Dragon Pride infused into the building through these materials! We look forward to seeing even more as the plans continue to take shape and show our Dragon Pride.


We appreciate your patience as we continue to work through the design process of this large-scale project, with the size of the project, there are many details that are still coming together. The process to arrive at a final design is not simply a linear one – there are zigs and zags and curly-cues and swirls as ideas are formed, as opinions are voiced, as concerns are raised, as challenges arise and as we align with institutional priorities. It is never our intention to keep you in the dark about the project – there are times that we have chosen not to push information out to the public because the plans are not final and when we do provide information, we want it to be accurate. If you have questions, we invite you to ask by contacting CMU @ mnstate.edu with questions or setting up a meeting with a staff member to help you better understand what is happening in your student union.

Ellie – An Outstanding Info Desker

To Ellie G.

A big, HUGE thank you for working at the Info Desk on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We can’t tell you just how much we appreciated having you here for the day and how impressed we were by all the projects you were able to accomplish! Thanks for always having a smile on your face and being ready to help anyone who comes to the Info Desk. You’re pretty great! :)


Dragons Help Fill the Dome

Donations from MSUM students, faculty and staff
Photo Credit: Steve Fox

This year, Dragons decided they wanted to do more to help Fill the Dome, a community-wide food drive. Students, along with MSUM staff members Shireen Alemadi and Steve Fox, organized an effort to kick off a food drive for Fill the Dome by “Trick-or-Canning” on Halloween. The Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Tri-Beta, and the Pre-Health Professionals Club jumped on board to help figure out a plan to divide up the neighborhood around campus and assign areas to different groups of students. Several organizations participated, including Women’s Lacrosse Team, Greek Life (Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Zeta, and Kappa Sigma), Dragon Entertainment Group, Beta Gamma Sigma and Counseling and Student Affairs Organization.

Group of students return from Trick-or-Canning
Photo Credit: Shireen Alemadi

In just two hours, the groups had collected 1,120 non-perishable food items to start MSUM’s Fill the Dome effort out strong. To continue the food drive, boxes were placed in several locations around campus and an additional 286 items were collected.

A group of Dragons brought the 1,406 items to the Fargodome where more than 50 schools worked together to cover the floor of the Fargodome (80,000 square feet) with non-perishable donations. The Dragons had a strong showing and even got a little creative with their donation (see picture below!).

Thank you to all of the organizations, along with Kayla Smith and her leadership class, for creating connections between MSUM and the community while building a culture of service on campus. Cheers to you, Dragons, for all your efforts to help Fill the Dome!

Donations collected by MSUM students
Photo Credit: Ande Sailer, MSUM

Dragons create the MSUM “M” out of non-perishables!
Photo Credit: Ande Sailer, MSUM

Arranging food on Fargodome floor
Photo Credit: Ande Sailer, MSUM

Greek Life Students return from Trick-or-Canning
Photo Credit: Shireen Alemadi

The ROC Wouldn’t Be the Same Without Meghan

To Meghan Y.

We all truly appreciate the MANY ways you have stepped up to the plate this semester! Though you’ve only been with us for a semester, you are capable of handling so many situations and are ALWAYS willing to help out your co-workers by taking and trading shifts. You are the definition of team work and someone we are so glad to have as part of the team in the ROC!


Thank you for ALL of the ways you are contributing to the MSUM community. :)


Big Thanks to Our Events Services Staff

To Roger, Missy, Greg & the Event Services Crew

Thanks for a job well done insuring our hosting of the MnSCU Revenue Fund Director’s meeting (aka other Student Union and Residence Life Directors) was a success. I received many compliments from folks on our excellent job hosting from great customer service to a well-maintained and clean building. You are the “spark” that ignites my DragonPride and I’m honored to serve as your Director.