Fine-Tuning the CMU Renovation Plans

Admittedly, it has been some time since we’ve shared new information about the CMU Renovation. So, let us give you an update on where we’re at with the project.

First, we are in the fine-tuning stage of the project plans. This means that we are closely examining the project, making sure we are in alignment with our budget, the goals of the project, and our vision for the Comstock Memorial Union. We have had a variety of professionals on-site to complete visual inspections of the current structure as they work through details like fire protection, walls, and more.

Second, we are still moving forward with our plans to participate in the bond sale, which is basically like our department taking out a mortgage to pay for part of the project. We currently have $4.5 million in savings for the project. The amount we have saved is truly a testament to the Dragon way of “paying it forward,” because the funds have come from past Dragons’ willingness to contribute to the project through student fees.

We are excited to continue moving forward with the project with support from students and administrators alike.

 

Are you ready, Dragons?

Are you ready for #DragonPride Homecoming 2014? If not, let us help you get ready by highlighting a few events we are especially excited for! See all the events on the MSUM Homecoming site.

Monday – Community Block Party – 5:30-8pm – Campus Mall

Why we’re excited: The Block Party is a totally new event this year! We can’t wait to welcome the Moorhead-Fargo community to our campus and show off our #DragonPride.

Tuesday – Battleship – 9pm – Nemzek Pool

Why we’re excited: It’s hilarious to watch teams battle it out while trying to sink one another’s canoes in the pool. Plus, we’re the only university in the area that does this event!

Wednesday – Laps for the Long Run – 5:30pm – Nemzek Stadium

Why we’re excited: President Anne is running to raise over a million dollars for MSUM. How awesome is that? Plus, students and community members have the opportunity to run along side her. And, bonus, there is a Glow-in-the-Dark Fun Fun after President Anne’s laps (which is free, so you should participate!).

Thursday – Dragons of the Past: Lessons Learned – 5pm – Gaede Stage

Why we’re excited: How often to you get to hear stories of “Back in my day…” from your fellow Dragons? Hear stories from some of our Distinguished Dragon Alums and learn more about our campus’s history and all the ways they have helped shape our campus.

Friday – President Anne’s Inauguration Viewing Party – 1:30pm – Campus Mall

Why we’re excited: There are so many reasons we’re excited! We have #AnneFan t-shirts for 1000 students! We have 358 prizes to give away (because President Anne’s race time in the Fargo Marathon was 3:58), which includes 5 students who will get to have lunch with President Anne. At her house. And she will even do the cooking herself! How can you not be excited?! Still not convinced you should be excited? Watch Ceanna’s Top 10 Reasons

 

Top 6 Reasons to Volunteer with The Group

Top 6 Reasons to be a Volunteer for the Dragon Entertainment Group

6: Get to know more people
5: Go behind the scenes for on-campus events

4: Those windows by Kise that are always decorated? Yeah, you could do that!
3: Get involved with a super cool organization
2: Front row seats at our events (if that’s not enough for you, here’s one more)
1: Help put on all the AWESOME events that happen on campus!

 Without our volunteers, all these fun events would not happen! We love our volunteers and they are such a big part of The Dragon Entertainment Group. So if you enjoy any of our events on campus and want to get involved, stop by our office in CMU 231, email entertainment@mnstate.edu or call 218-477-2264. 

Join the Dragon Leadership Program

You’ve probably heard about the Dragon Leadership Program – or the DLP – as we fondly call it. Maybe, though, you don’t really know what it is. Or why you should be part of it.

Let us tell you just three things about the DLP, and we think you’ll agree that being in the DLP is a terrific idea!

First, you should know that the DLP is really what you make it. We do have a list of requirements for the DLP, the fun part is that you can choose the experiences you want to meet those requirements! This allows you to tailor the program to your interests, needs and talents. Students typically complete the program in 3-4 years, so don’t look at the checklist of requirements and panic! We plan for it to be a long-term program while you’re at MSUM. And did we mention you get a sweet medallion to wear at graduation? (Check out the pic of our 2014 DLP grads above and see for yourself!)

Second, the DLP allows you the opportunity to have an on-campus mentor. This is actually really cool! It’s no secret that having a mentor positively affects students. Don’t believe us? Read more about mentoring. We pair you up with a staff or faculty member who meets with you regularly and helps you explore opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Many of our students stay in touch with their mentors even after graduation. Bonus, you also will meet plenty of other MSUM students who just might become lifelong friends!

Third, the DLP helps you learn from your experiences, which comes in really handy during internship or job interviews! Through the reflection process that is part of the DLP, you are able to figure out what you learned from your different experiences and what some of those transferrable skills are – and employers love that! In fact, while we were developing the program, we worked with several employers in the Moorhead-Fargo area to figure out what experiences we could offer students that would help them develop skills to be successful in the workplace.

Ready to apply for the DLP? Great! Just answer four questions for us and you’ll be good to go. Remember to apply by September 19, 2014!

Not quite convinced that DLP is the right fit for you? Check out the website to learn more. Or consider our Emerging Leaders program, which is only an 8-week commitment and will provide you with great growth opportunities.

Spotlight on MSUM Student Senate

We took some time to chat with your MSUM Student Senate President Cody Meyer and Vice President Matty Rezac to learn more about these two campus leaders.

Cody Meyer, MSUM Student Senate President

Tell us about being Student Senate President. I get to wear a lot of really cool hats in this position. I work with faculty and administration to create policy, opportunity, and take part in the decision making process as the voice of the students and help create an educational experience that is best conducive to their success and development.

I also get to sit at the Board of Directors for MSUSA (Minnesota State University Student Association) and do the same thing working with state level faculty and legislators for the entire MNSCU system with other Student Body Presidents.

How did you get involved with the Student Senate Presidency? The President before me, Kevin Struxness, was a good friend and mentor to me, and pushed me to run when I was the Student Affairs Oversight Chair. I took his advice, ran for election, and won.

How does being involved with Student Senate help you be active, connected, and involved at MSUM? Everyday I get to come into a place I love and work with all kinds of rock stars, whether that administration and faculty, professors and athletic staff, or student leaders, I get to come and try to make MSUM a better place and work on projects I am passionate about. Even on the worst days, its pretty awesome.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get involved with Student Senate? Just do it. There are a million and one different capacities that you can fulfill in Student Senate, regardless of your passions, major, year, or residency, and it’s not all boring meetings and parliamentary procedure. We get to work on a lot of awesome projects and make MSUM a better place in the process.

How do you think Student Senate will help you in the future? I would argue that it’s made me a more patient leader, and developed my ability to think across many different approaches, philosophies, and disciplines to solve problems.

 

Matty Rezac MSUM Student Senate Vice President

Tell us about yourself:  I am the Student Senate Vice President along with being the Academics chair in Delta Zeta, a member of the Dragon Leadership Program, and a member of the honors program. I am a sophomore double majoring in criminal justice and sociology with minors in honors, psychology, and juvenile justice. I graduated from Fargo South High School in 2013 (go bruins) and quickly found a home here at MSUM (go dragons).

How did you get /involved with MSUM Student Senate? I was very involved in athletics in high school and wanted a change of pace. Coincidently, I ran into two senators within my first week on campus who convinced me to come check senate out and I was hooked.

How does being involved with Senate help you be active, connected, & involved at MSUM? I have gotten to meet so many different kinds of people, friends, administration, teachers in fields very different from mine, etc.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get involved with Senate? If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns you can stop down in the senate office. If no one is available (which is rare, Cody and I practically live in the office) we have contact information on our web page along with an online application if you are interested in joining.

How do you think Senate will help you in the future? It has allowed me to do so much networking that my support system and contacts has double in size. If I need help I know who to talk to and where to go.

And now a little more about MSUM Student Senate…

Tell us about Student Senate. Student Senate is the voice of the students on campus. We work with the faculty and administration to create policy and opportunity for students, protect your student rights, and generally do everything in our power to assure that you are getting your moneys worth out of your educational experience and are afforded every opportunity that is possible.

How long has Student Senate been active at MSUM? Quite a while. We have meeting minutes and awards dating back to the 50’s. I am sure the organization is even older than that.

What are some of the activities Student Senate does throughout the year? We participate with all of the First Year Programs and Freshman Orientation activities, along with many of the CMU programs through out the year. We have our weekly meetings and also sit at all the major university committees, and in addition, we also have a senator dedicated to local and municipal meetings in the community.

How can someone join Student Senate? Stop into CMU 108 and talk to us, or fill out an application on the Student Senate Webpage.

Anything else we should know about Senate? If you ever have a problem, we can fix it, and if we can’t, we will get you in touch with someone who can. Come find us.

 

Get Active – Get Connected – Get Involved

You might have heard this from the Student Union and Activities staff a time or two – it’s kind of become our mantra. We are excited to help new Dragons or Dragons who’ve been at MSUM a while get active, get connected and get involved! But what does that really mean?

It means we want you to make the most of your MSUM experience! You have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the Dragon Community – and we’re here to help you get active, get connected and get involved. So really, you have the power to decided what it means to you. We do have some suggestions to help you get started:

Get Active

  • Active in attending campus events
  • Active in the Moorhead-Fargo Community
  • Active in promoting Dragon Pride

Get Connected

  • Connected to faculty
  • Connected to fellow MSUM students
  • Connected to campus resources

Get Involved

  • Involved by joining at least one student organization
  • Involved through volunteering on- and off-campus
  • Involved in creating their own MSUM Experience

If you’re not really sure where to start, make your way to the Office of Student Activities (CMU 222). Our Student Involvement Specialist Kevin Schwab is ready to help you get active, get connected and get involved. Or if you’re the type who likes to peruse opportunities from the comfort of your computer, take a look at all the fun the Student Life website has to offer!

Welcome, Layne, Our New Director

It’s been an exciting week for us in the Student Union and Activities–we welcomed our new Director, Layne Anderson, on Monday!

You may be thinking, “Wait a second, I thought Layne already was the Director.”

Well, you’re not entirely incorrect – he served for two years as the Interim Director. However, with Karen’s retirement, the position was officially open and needed to be filled permanently. We conducted a nation-wide search and interviewed several qualified candidates, with Layne rising to the top with his knowledge and his vision for the Student Union and Activities at MSUM. So, now, Layne is officially the Director of the Student Union and Activites (and we couldn’t be happier!)

He is getting settled into his new office and has hit the ground running. Though he knows MSUM and the department well, he is intentionally taking the first month of his new role to meet with each member of the staff individually, listen carefully, and not assume that he knows anything. (A wise man, our new Director!) We continue to make progress on the renovation project under Layne’s watch, prepare for the start of a new year, and make the CMU a second home to many students.

Stop by the Student Union Administration Office and extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Layne! And watch for a future interview with our new director, coming soon–we thought we’d let him have more than a week on the job before we started pestering him with questions.

 

Thank You, Karen

Today an MSUM staple (and dare we say legend) is retiring. Karen Mehnert-Meland has served MSUM for 36 years in many capacities and has forever left her mark on our University.

For that, Karen, all we can say is “Thank you,” which really doesn’t come close to conveying our feelings. Just know that we are forever grateful for the foundation you’ve laid for student success, the lessons taught, the laughs shared and the memories made.

As you always say, “It’s about the people.” And these people love you, so come back and visit!

So, before you go…first, let me take a selfie!

Student Union & Activities in the Summer

It’s a question all of the Student Union & Activities staff are asked on a regular basis, “So what do you do in the summer?”

Really, it’s a valid question. Many people know we work with students and they know that many students aren’t on campus for the summer. So, what do we do all summer? Let us tell you!

Mary, the Admin Office Manager, is currently spending part of her days going through old paperwork that can be destroyed. Sounds really exciting, doesn’t it? But it is a necessary project so that we don’t end up buried under mountains of old files! Fun Fact: We have to keep records for seven (yes, seven!) years before they can be destroyed. In addition, she is balancing plenty of other projects related to budgets, payroll, and day-to-day tasks.

Steve, the Interim Assistant Director for Leadership and Organizations, is spending part of this week at a conference. When he’s in the office, though, he keeps busy with multiple projects. He is working on hiring student staff for next year, improving the Dragon Leadership Program, planning for better assessment of other leadership programs, and preparing for student organizations to start up again in the fall. He’s one busy fox!

Braden, the Assistant Director for Event Services has many projects on his plate this summer. From keeping up with wedding receptions in the Ballroom and making plans for deep cleaning every inch of the building, Braden has his hands full! On top of those projects, he also is working on an upgrade to the web-based campus calendar, upgrades to technology in the CMU, and upgrades to other spaces in the student union, including the director’s office to welcome Layne as our new director.

Becky, the Assistant Director for Campus Activities and Greek Life, never has trouble staying busy! Over the summer, she spends a good portion of time preparing for MSUM Homecoming (#DragonPride) so that the we full of events and awesomeness goes off without a hitch!. Along with Homecoming planing, she is taking some time to get a billion other things done (no, but seriously, it’s close to a billion–we’ve seen her to-do list!)

Annie, the Assistant Director for Communications and Student Engagement, also has a to-do list she’s working to check things off of (currently it’s only 35 items long!). Some of her big projects for the summer include planning for a week of student leadership training, serving on the team that is preparing for Welcome Week’s Dragons After Dark event, and a variety of smaller, but still important, projects. She appreciates the phase, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” – Albert Einstein

Layne, our new Student Union and Activities Director, is spending some time this summer transitioning into his new role as director. In addition, his summer projects include making sure everything is falling into place for the renovation and several on-going projects that keep the student union running smoothly.

We also have some student workers around this summer — Sandy and Trista in the Admin Office and Megan in the Office of Student Activities. They are helping out on all kinds of projects, everything from making reservations to accounting to Dragon Days and more! Honestly, we’re so glad to have them around this summer.

So there you have it – a small snapshot of what we do in the student union during the summer months!