Montana State University

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MSU BreaksAway FAQ’s  

What is MSU BreaksAway?
On MSU BreaksAway trips, students volunteer their time to meet community needs during the university spring break. 
BreaksAway trips typically happen outside of the state of Montana, however, for the first time ever we will be sending groups of student ONLY in Montana!  We will only be doing this for BreaksAway 2014 as part of the Year of Engaged Leadership.  The Montana host communities will benefit from the student’s hard work and energizing spirits and the students come back to MSU with an enhanced understanding of the diverse issues that face our great state.  Communities will see tangible results from the MSU student’s projects, while students gain new skills, perspectives and relationships.

What is the Office of Activities and Engagement (OAE)?
The Office of Activities and Engagement (OAE) facilitates and supports student engagement both on campus and in the community. We encourage student leadership development by supporting the formation and sustainable success of student clubs and organizations, providing group leadership development skills, and promoting service experiences in the Bozeman area community and beyond. Learn more about all this office does at:  www.montana.edu/engagement

Where do the groups travel to?
The trip locations vary from year to year.  Check out our upcoming locations page.

What type of work is involved?
This depends on the host site.  In the past we have worked in homeless shelters, built trails, tutored kids, built houses and more!  Look for trip specific information closer to trip dates.

How many hours do the groups volunteer?
This varies from site to site, however, the groups tend to work a typical day, 8am-5pm, Mon.-Fri., with breaks throughout the day and evenings free for activities.

Where do the groups stay?
The OAE typically locates housing at local churches or community centers, to keep the cost of the trips low.  Volunteers often sleep on floors or cots and utilize the kitchen and shower facilities in these spaces. 

What meals are provided?
The trip participants and leaders are given per diems ($10/day) for meals, which is a part of their trip fee.  Groups typically buy food together and cook at their housing site.

How much does it cost?
This is dependent on trip location.  Fees include meals, housing and transportation.  Personal spending or emergency funds are not included.  Leaders pay half of the trip fee.

How many people go on each trip?
The typical trip has 12 students, including 2 student leaders.  However, this varies from year to year and the host site capabilities.

What transportation is used?
All trips will travel in mini vans (2 per trip if group has more than 7 participants).  Participants and leaders share the driving responsibility. 

When do the groups leave and return to Bozeman?
Departure and return dates will be to the discretion of the group.  Since all the trips are in Montana, most groups will leave Sunday the 9th and return Saturday the 15th.

Do faculty or staff go on the trips?
No, all trips are led by student Site Leaders.  They act as liaisons, facilitators, and go-to people before and during the trips.  The OAE staff serve as the on-campus emergency contacts.

Are these substance-free trips?
Yes!  All trips are substance-free.  The consumption of alcohol and illegal drug use represents a major liability to the program, the health of participants, the cohesion of our groups, and the relationships we have with our host sites.  This policy applies to all participants, regardless of age. 

Do I need to be an MSU student to participate?
Yes, you must be at least a part-time (minimum 6 credits) MSU-Bozeman student.  International MSU students are encouraged to participate, keeping in mind any travel restrictions they may have with their student Visas.  ACE Language students are not eligible to participate.

Can my friend(s) and I go together?
Yes, however, there is no guarantee that enough spots will remain for all of you.  If you plan to participate with friends, please sign-up the first day of open registration and get in line early!

If I decide to participate, what do I need to do?
The OAE will announce registration start dates.  Beginning that day, you will need to go to the announced sign-up location, sign-up and pay at least half of your trip fee to hold a spot on the trip you are interested in.  Trips fill up quickly and are first come, first serve.  To make registration easier, bring the forms completed (will post closer to registration time), bring your trip fee (cash, check or credit card accepted), proof of health insurance and driver’s license.

How much time is involved once I am on the trip?
Before signing up, please keep in mind that as a participant on the trips you are an active member of the group, which includes attending attending a BreaksAway Orientation and approximately 3 meetings with your group and leaders before you leave.  One of these meetings will include teambuilding activities to help you get to know your fellow participants better. 

Do I need to be an MSU student to participate?
Yes, you must be at least a part-time (minimum 6 credits) MSU-Bozeman student (undergraduate OR graduate student).  International MSU students are encouraged to participate, keeping in mind any travel restrictions they may have with their student Visas.  ACE Language students are not eligible to participate.

Please direct any further questions to Mandy St. Aubyn, Program Manager, 994-6902 or amanda.staubyn@montana.edu

For Current Participants:

Driver Training

Online Defensive Driving Training Instructions:

In order to drive the 7-passenger vans or SUV’s, you MUST complete this online training.
*If you have taken either the 15-passenger van training, driver safety for campuses, Defensive Driving DDC-4, the online defensive driving (for 7-10 passenger), or another approved defensive driving course WITHIN the last 3 years, you DO NOT need to take the training again.  Please contact Mandy at amanda.staubyn@montana.edu and she will verify if you have completed this training.

ONLINE TRAINING:
PLEASE NOTE:  You will need to be on a computer with speakers (or headphone capability).  You will need to finish the training all at once, as there is no way to log back in to the system.

  1.  Go to: http://training.blr.com/application/loginMain.aspx
    1. Username:  6450632  
    2. Password:  59718
  1. On the left side, click on “Workplace Safety”
  1. Click on "Defensive Driving for Noncommercial Motorists" the 15th course down
  1. Register yourself for the training.
    1. First = First Name
    2. Last = Last Name
    3. Title=student (or staff position)
    4. Campus=Bozeman
    5. Department=Activities & Engagement
    6. Student/Employee = Your designation
  2. Hit the Login button. 
  3. Click on the “Start Training” button.  It should take about 30 minutes. 
  1. Please download and read the “MUS Board of Regents Vehicle Policy & Procedures” BEFORE taking the course.  It will not let you begin the course without doing this.
  2. Continue to training
  3. You must obtain an 80% or higher (no more than 2/10 questions incorrect) on the quiz at the end to pass this course.  If you do not pass, please review the slides again and retake the quiz until you reach 80%.
  4. Once you have completed the course and passed the quiz you will receive an email with a link to your training certificate.  You can also choose “generate certificate.”

*IMPORTANT:  You must print off or forward your certificate to Mandy St. Aubyn (amanda.staubyn@montana.edu) in the Office of Activities and Engagement. *