Activities & Engagement Impacts & Outcomes

2013-2014 Highlights

  • MSU won Can the Griz!  Outcomes were record-breaking for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, 2 years in a row.
  • OAE and the Division of Student Success forged a new relationship with the MSU Alumni Foundation to create a new mechanism for registered student organizations to receive donations through the Foundation that allow the donor to receive the 501c 3 non-profit tax donation benefit.
  • The OAE worked with the Recreational Sports and Fitness program on campus to establish a formal Club Sports program providing this unique group of very active student organizations with more support and infrastructure. This is a best practice in higher education and among other things, the Sports Clubs are receiving more support and guidance on safety and risk management issues.
  • Efficiencies started in the fall of 2012, continue to be created by moving a great deal of OAE forms online, which has streamlined processes for staff and simplified steps for students.
  • OAE and the Student Organization Funding board established a Matching Fund program in the fall of 2013, allowing clubs to apply for up to $500 in funds that would match funds the club raised on their own, up to a maximum of $500. The OAE is able to put left over/unspent Student Organization Fee funds from a previous year to work for clubs in a different way, while also encouraging independent club fundraising efforts.
  • The OAE was notified in the fall of 2013 that they involved a record number of students in the Compact Service Corps AmeriCorps program over the 2012-2013 grant year. Across a five state region and 30 participating colleges and universities, MSU's 298 students who participated in the program is second only to Arizona State University's level of involvement. MSU students volunteered and served a collective total of 171,000 hours across the state on Montana, the vast majority providing primary and preventive health care services. These students collectively earned over $557,000 in education award funds to help each of them fund current and/or future higher education endeavors.

OAE Programs 2013-2014 Overview


Catapalooza is a two day festival held on campus hosting over 300 community businesses, non-profits organizations, faith-based groups and campus-based clubs and offices to welcome all new and returning students to MSU each August. The Catapalooza event corresponds with our final summer orientation session and the big campus Move-In Day and is an initial opportunity for students and their families to make connections with both campus and community groups interested in providing services to our students. In 2013, for the first time, sponsorships were solicited to support this opening event and this practice continues with great success to date.

  • Sponsorships secured in 2013: 6 monetary sponsors collectively invested $5,800 and 4 organizations sponsored the event with $2,000 worth of in-kind support.
  • Total number of booths hosted in August 2013: 316
  • Approximate number of volunteers utilized throughout the event: 85

Day of Student Recognition

Students from across the campus are recognized for their outstanding achievements in leadership and service at this evening awards event held in the Strand Union Ballrooms.  All honored students receive a monetary and certificate award and the event is attended by administrators, faculty, staff and families of students and is considered a tremendous honor. We just celebrated the 91st Annual in April of 2014.

  • Number of students applications received in 2014: 86
  • Total number of students honored:  45 from 23 different academic programs.
  • Total monetary awards given:  $7,300
  • Cross-campus participation: 18 offices and departments involved in honoring our students by sponsoring/financially supporting awards and scholarships.

Campus Engagement Programming

Registered Student Organizations

The OAE provides structure, support and encouragement for students and faculty/staff advisors involved with new and existing campus-based clubs. The graphs below illustrate the growth in both the number of clubs forming on campus and their membership over the last two academic years:

impacts image 002 club members

The OAE provides these clubs with both one-on-one mentoring as well as group leadership training opportunities over the course of each academic year. The topics covered in these interactions include, event planning, safety and liability, marketing tools and techniques, succession planning and successful leadership transitions. 
impacts image 006

Registered Student Organization Funding

The OAE in conjunction with the Student Organization Funding Board distributes funds to registered student organizations for the purpose of supporting programs, projects, and events that help the organizations succeed in meeting their goals and foster positive student development. These funds are collected through the Student Organization Fee. This fee was increased from $3.10/semester (per student) to $6.35/semester (per student) effective in the fall of 2013, and this represented the first fee increase since the inception of the Student Organization Fee in 2009.

impacts image 008 allocation amount graph


Rockin’ the “M”

Each fall, on the Saturday before Homecoming weekend up to 100 MSU students hike up to the college “M” on Mount Baldy in the Bridger Canyon Range northeast of town to restore the “M” with a fresh coat of white paint. This was a tradition started in 1915 as a way to give back to MSU. The OAE began engaging students in this labor of love once more starting in 2011 and it has become an early fall opportunity for students to connect with MSU and their peers.

  • 57 volunteers gave 228 volunteer hours at the 2013 event
  • 100 gallons of paint and accompanying paint supplies were hauled up the mountain by volunteers and applied to the rocks making up the huge “M” on the hillside

Community Engagement Programming

Kick-Off Trails Project

Offered each fall opening weekend, the Kick-Off Trails Project is an opportunity for new and returning students to meet one another and serve together to restore and maintain a section of the Main Street to the Mountains Trails system in partnership with the local non-profit organization, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust.  The OAE has offered this volunteer experience to students since 2009.

  • 43 student participants in fall 2013
  • Impacts: 6,000 lbs or 200 yards of gravel spread on local trails, and 1 mile of fencing removed

Fall and Spring Involvement Fairs

Twice annually the OAE organizes an Involvement Fair where we host representatives from community non-profit organizations and campus-based clubs to reach out to the general MSU community with information on their volunteer and work-study position needs or to find students interested in joining a particular club.

  • Number of Community Organization attendees in 2013-2014: 36
  • Number of Student Organizations represented: 57
  • Approximate number of students in attendance: 1,000

Service Saturdays

Six Saturdays per academic year are designated as Service Saturdays.  The OAE solicits and arranges anywhere from 4 to 8 different service projects in partnership with local non-profit organizations where students can engage in a 2 to 4 hour, one-time service experience to benefit the Bozeman area community. These monthly service projects engage MSU students in meeting community identified needs while meeting and working alongside their peers.

  • Total number of Service Saturday volunteers over 2013-2014: 297
  • Total hours served by volunteers: 792
  • Total number of community partners we worked with: 28


BreaksAway is an immersion opportunity for students to and travel to various communities across the country volunteering with non-profit organizations to address a variety of pressing needs during their week-long spring break.  The OAE has offered this program annually to MSU students since 1996, and it is the longest-standing OAE program.

  • 2014 Statistics:
  • 6 trips were organized
  • 47 student volunteers participated
  • 1,441 volunteer hours collectively served
  • 18 community organizations and schools were the beneficiaries
  • Participants traveled a total of 5,458 miles over their spring break week of service
  • Provided outstanding service leadership experience to 11 students, as all trips are student-led.

In celebration of the Year of Engaged Leadership’s month of Stewardship, BreaksAway volunteers traveled to sites only in Montana during the Spring of 2014.

Can the Griz Food Drive

This annual event is a friendly food drive competition between MSU and UM during the two weeks leading up to the classic Bobcat/Grizzly football game. Each fall we compete to see which campus can collect more food for their local food bank. By capitalizing on this historic sports rivalry, the OAE has been able to mobilize both the campus and the community to participate in an event that has garnered record amounts of food for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. This program was started by the Office for Community Involvement around the year 2000.

  • Pounds of food collected in 2013: a record number of 100,937 pounds
  • Dollars of food donated in 2013: a record of $47, 445.37
  • Campus donation locations: 29
  • Community donation locations: 9 grocery stores, 38 community businesses and organizations

MSU America Reads*America Counts

The mission of this program is to work with and support area children to achieve and succeed academically. MSU student volunteers and work-study students are recruited to work with local school kids who need assistance in either math or literacy skill development. The OAE has managed this program since the spring of 1997 and over the years have served thousands of area kids struggling to achieve at grade level.

  • 2013-2014 Statistics:  
    • 32 work-study students served 5,625 hours
    • 12 volunteers served 892 hours
    • Pre-K-8th graders served: 109

Community Service and the Dean of Students’ Office

This program was started in the fall of 2012 by the OAE to help support the Dean of Student's Conduct Officers to offer appropriate students the opportunity to perform community service as part of the sanction imposed for their violation of the MSU Student Code of Conduct. Specific students are referred to our office and one staff member meets with each student to discuss their violation and introduce the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive experience. The OAE staff is committed to supporting restorative community service among students facing disciplinary measures and engaging those students in active reflection as part of the service experience.  Service sites where these students have served over the 2013-2014 academic year include: Community Café, Montana Special Olympics, Campus Clean-up Day, Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, Eagle Mount, and the Cancer Support Community.

  • 50 students referred to the OAE during 2013-2014
  • Total of 306 community service hours served

Faculty, Administration, and Staff Teamwork in Service (FAST)

Once per month, Faculty, Administration, and Staff from across the campus join forces to engage in service projects and make a difference in our community. This program was started by OAE in the fall of 2012 and is slowly catching on.

  • Number of MSU Employee Volunteers over 2013-2014: 37
  • Total hours served by volunteers: 80 hours

Volunteer Reserves

Volunteer Reserves is a distribution list of individuals on campus who are interested in being informed on upcoming service opportunities in the Bozeman area community. A twice-monthly email is sent out by the OAE giving details of and contact information for organizations in need of volunteer assistance.

  • To date Volunteer Reserves has 860 subscribers
  • 55 submissions from local community and campus organizations regarding their volunteer needs have been forwarded to the distribution list over 2013-2014

Community Café

The Community Café is a program of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank and is Bozeman's version of a very welcoming soup kitchen.  The OAE became a partner organization with the food bank at the inception of the Café back in 2012.  The OAE is responsible to mobilize 8-10 campus volunteers to serve a hot meal to anyone wishing to come to the Café every Wednesday night, 52 weeks per year.  Students, faculty members, staff and administrators have all been involved in our Wednesday night MSU volunteer effort.

  • 250 volunteers have given 1,000 hours of service since July 1st, 2013 to date.

Compact Service Corps

The Compact Service Corps AmeriCorps Program is a national service initiative that connects students with their communities through meaningful service experiences.  The OAE enrolls students in this program who are providing primary and/or preventative health care services in non-profit and rural, medically underserved communities across the state of Montana. Like all AmeriCorps programs, upon completing of a national service term of service, the students earn an education award that they can later use to help fund future higher education expenses or to reduce past higher education student loan debt. Unfortunately, we recently learned that this program was not funded for future program years. New enrollment will not be possible after August 18, 2014.

  • 155 MSU students were enrolled in the 2013-2014 grant year and they have collectively served 41,489 hours
  • $44,446 in education awards were earned by MSU students during the grant year to date.