Annual Report

2014-2015 Highlights

  • A shared services position was established and filled in partnership with ASMSU, with the goal of cross-training staff and student employees and identifying opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.
  • MSU won Can the Griz/Can the Cats competition AGAIN!  Outcomes were record-breaking for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank and the Missoula Food Bank, 3 years in a row.
  • The OAE worked with the Club Sports Council, Student Organization Funding Board, ASMSU and Recreational Sports and Fitness to establish a Club Sport Funding Board pilot program.  In line with national models the Club Sports Council will allocate a portion of the Student Organization Fee through the Club Sport Funding Board.   This provides a unique group of very active student organizations with more support, infrastructure and self-governance.  The pilot program will be reviewed and assessed by multiple stakeholders in January of 2016.

OAE Primary Functions

  • Teach leadership skills to students by supporting their success in creating student clubs and organizations, providing continuity during student leadership transitions that sustain clubs and organizations, and financially supporting clubs through the student organization fee.
  • Serve as a centralized office for students, to promote and advance a culture of engagement on campus and in the Bozeman area community.
  • Provide quality programs throughout the year that engage the campus community in meaningful service and leadership experiences.
  • Recognize and honor students for their contributions to campus and community life through leadership and/or service.


  • Kathryn Tanner, Director
  • Mandy St. Aubyn, Program Manager
  • Laurynn Olson, Program Coordinator II
  • Brianna Cronin, Program Coordinator I
  • Chelsey Wilson, Support Team Manager, ASMSU (.7) & Office of Activities & Engagement (.3)

Scope of Work                                                                                      

Campus Engagement Programming 

Registered Student Organizations (Clubs)
Day of Student Recognition (DSR)   
Fall & Spring Involvement Fairs (Clubs)        

Community Engagement Programming

Rockin the M
Kick Off Trails Project
Fall & Spring Involvement Fairs (Nonprofits)
Service Saturdays
Spring BreaksAway Program
Can the Griz Annual Food Drive
MSU America Reads* America Counts
Community Café Service
DOS Community Service Program   

Programs Overview & Data

Lead Staff:  Laurynn Olson

Catapalooza is a two-day festival held on campus hosting over 300 community businesses, non-profit 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 begins the day after 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.

Sponsorships secured in 2014: 5 monetary sponsors collectively invested $6,550  

Total number of campus and community groups hosted in August 2014: 340  

Day of Student Recognition:
Lead Staff:  Laurynn Olson

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. Most honored students receive a monetary and certificate award and the event is attended by administrators, faculty, staff, families and friends of students and is considered a tremendous honor. We just celebrated the 92nd Annual in April of 2015.

Total number of students honored:  44 from 23 different academic programs

Total monetary awards given to students:  $17,573  

Collaborations: 11 MSU offices/departments sponsored/financially supporting awards & scholarships

Registered Student Organizations:
Lead Staff:  Mandy St. Aubyn    

The OAE provides structure, support and training for student leaders and faculty/staff advisors involved with new and existing campus-based clubs.


247 registered student organizations, consistent with previous year

10,258 students involved in either a membership or leadership capacity, 23% increase from 2014


RSO Numbers

RSO numbers

    RSO Numbers across MSU   

 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 fostering positive student development. These funds are collected through the Student Organization Fee (student fee).  There is approximately $160,000 in this pool of funds that is annually allocated directly to clubs through an application process.  OAE manages the distribution and tracking of this pool of money and works with each individual club to successfully utilize their annual allocation.

2014-2015 Club Funding:

  • 120 student organizations received funding, 7% decrease from 2013-2014
  • $148,534 was allocated to student organizations, 7% decrease from 2013-2014
    • NOTE:  Due to issues with Student Organization Funding Board member appointments, the Funding Board did not begin to meet until the second week in October, about a month later than typical.  We were also short-staffed at the start of the school year, so marketing efforts were not as robust as in past years and we know these factors resulted in fewer clubs applying and thus less overall funding allocated.
    • 140 student leaders were provided with a formal orientation on how to spend their allocated funds according to University and OAE policies.
    • 100 students attended Mass Funding information sessions, to become informed on the application process to solicit Mass Funding for 2015-2016.


Registered Student Organization Leadership Development

The OAE provides clubs with both one-on-one mentoring and group leadership training opportunities over the course of each academic year.

  • Provided professional development to 38 students and 5 club advisors on the topics of leadership transitions, retention and conflict management.  Collaborated with Counseling & Psychological Services and MSU Leadership Institute. 
  • Provided a session for 15 student organization advisors on risk management, in collaboration with MSU Legal Counsel and Safety & Risk Management.
    • NOTE:  30% decrease in student and advisors provided training from 2013-2014 were due to a shortage in staffing and thus the inability to offer trainings in the fall of 2014, for an overall fewer number of training opportunities as compared to the previous year.

Rockin’ the “M”:
Lead Staff:  Brianna Cronin

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.

  • 70 volunteers gave 280 volunteer hours  

Fall Kick-Off Trails Project:
Lead Staff:  Brianna Cronin

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.  DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, KICKOFF TRAILS DID NOT TAKE PLACE IN 2014.

Fall and Spring Involvement Fairs:
Lead Staff:  Laurynn Olson

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 2014-2015: 31, 14% decrease from 2014 due to decreased community organization participation at the Spring Involvement Fair.
  • Number of Student Organizations represented: 89, increased 56%
  • Approximate number of students in attendance: 1,000, consistent with previous year

Service Saturdays:
Lead Staff:  Laurynn Olson           Secondary Staff:  Student Employee

Six Saturdays over the 2014-2015 academic year were 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. This is the 6th academic year we have hosted this program.

  • Total number of Service Saturday volunteers over 2014-2015: 187, decreased 37% from 2013-2014 due to decreased participation at the April 2015 Service Saturday, which is usually our largest Service Saturday of the school year. This also could be due to the inability to advertise via table tents and posters in the residence halls. The change in advertising space has severely affected our reach to students.
  • Total hours served by volunteers: 514, decreased 35% see previous bullet
  • Total number of unduplicated community partners we worked with: 18, decreased 35% due to the same community organizations requesting service projects throughout the academic year

Lead Staff:  Brianna Cronin

BreaksAway is an immersion opportunity for students to 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 our longest-standing program.

  • 2015 Statistics:
  • 3 trips were organized
  • 25 student volunteers participated
  • 776 volunteer hours collectively served, 46% decrease due to fewer trips offered.  Fewer trips were intentionally offered to make the program more manageable for a new lead staff member.
  • Provided outstanding service leadership experience to 6 students, as all trips are student-led.

Can the Griz Food Drive:
Lead Staff:  Laurynn Olson

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. 2015 marked the 15th Annual.

  • Pounds of food collected in 2014: a record number of 121,609 pounds, 20% increase from 2013
  • Dollars of food donated in 2013: a record of $78,272.49, 64% increase
  • Campus donation locations: 28, 3% decrease due to departments sharing a collection bin
  • Community donation locations: 11 grocery stores and 43 community businesses/organizations, 15% increase from 2013

MSU America Reads*America Counts:
Lead Staff:  Brianna Cronin

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.

  • 7 work-study students served 1,309 hours  
  • 7 volunteers served 158 hours
  • Pre-K-8th graders served: 88

Community Service and the Dean of Students’ Office:
Lead Staff:  Laurynn Olson                           Secondary Staff:  Kathy Tanner

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 2014-2015 academic year include: The Community Café, Eagle Mount, Gallatin Valley Food Bank, and Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter.


  • 20 students referred to the OAE during 2014-2015
  • Total of 200 community service hours served

Community Café:
Lead Staff:  OAE Student Employees

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.

  • 351 volunteers have given 1,050 hours of service since July 1st, 2014 to date.  40% increase in number of volunteers over the previous year.

Compact Service Corps:
Lead Staff:  Brianna Cronin

The Compact Service Corps AmeriCorps Program is a national service initiative that connects students with their communities through meaningful service experiences.  The OAE enrolled students in this program who were 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 completion of a national 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, the grant funding for this 5 state program was not renewed by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Enrollment of new members has not been possible since August 18, 2014, however, we do have active members currently completing their terms of service between now and May of 2016.

  • 228 MSU students were enrolled in the 2013-2014 grant year and they have collectively served 109,646.25 hours
  • $238,539 in education awards were earned by MSU students during the grant year to date

2015-2016 Goals

  • Secure ongoing, sustainable funding to invest in a campus-wide student and staff engagement tracking software system that includes a co-curricular transcript function.
  • Develop, fund and launch the first annual Student Organization Leadership Conference, a one-day intensive professional development experience for club leaders, in the fall of 2015. This program is intended to provide student leaders with the tools and knowledge to successfully lead their organizations and utilize the available resources provided on campus.  Our campus has between 230-250 clubs register annually and with an average of four leaders per organization, we work with upwards of 1,000 student leaders.  Setting these student leaders up for success is essential to fostering a thriving student organization community on the MSU campus.
  • Develop and implement the assessment of learning outcomes for all projects and programs offered by the OAE. 
  • Participate in strategic planning over the summer and develop a plan to carry out goals and objectives.
  • Support Club Sport Funding pilot program and assist in a successful trial year.
  • Some of our programs saw a drop in participation levels from 2013 to 2014, due to a variety of reasons.  We plan to get our numbers back up and continue to offer exceptional service and programming.


Questions about the OAE Annual Report?  Contact Kathy Tanner, Director, at