Montana State University

Mountains and Minds

Face-to-face with Tegan Molloy November 27, 2007 by Carol Schmidt • Published 11/27/07

ASMSU's president shares a few thoughts about life today on the MSU campus

MSU's respected film school, the nearby mountains, and a Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship were the reasons Tegan Molloy ventured north to MSU from her native Denver. Since she has arrived, she hasn't stopped moving. Her activities have ranged from serving as an officer in her sorority (AOΠ) to the MSU Leadership Institute, culminating in her election as president of ASMSU. In fact, her only still moments during her busy weeks are her twice-weekly yoga classes, appointments she is religious about keeping. ("It helps to just be able to breathe, to have balance.") An experienced blogger (Web logger), Molloy shares her thoughts on MSU student life today.

What do MSU students today care about?

MSU students are diligent workers. A huge issue that affects many people today is the affordability of higher education. Many students I know have more than two jobs to be able to pay for the cost of living in Bozeman and academic projects. On top of school and work, students are also involved in extracurricular organizations that will help build experience for their future career and build a well-rounded resume in the competitive world of jobs.

Your generation is criticized for being socially and politically apathetic. Justified?

My generation has a diverse opinion about most issues. What may make us seem apathetic is that we are inundated with a surplus of information online. We've learned to take everything with a grain of salt-especially with one-sided journalism. Many of us choose not to be openly active about our opinions because we respect and understand that others' beliefs are equally as valuable.

What do you enjoy about your job?

None of my work has ever felt like a duty, rather a gift of opportunity. Currently I manage a department with an overall budget of about $1.5 million, act as the voice of the students, listen to peoples' complaints and have learned what battles are worth fighting. Sometimes it's a challenge because I feel that I'm married to student government.

What legacy will you leave the students that follow you?

We are currently working on starting an ASMSU Endowment that will generate scholarships for students that are elected or appointed members of ASMSU. Scholarships would open doors to students who aren't able to be a part of this organization because they may not be able to afford donating many hours of unpaid time.

Do you think your MSU experience has well prepared you for your future as a documentary filmmaker?

Absolutely. The film program is a rigorous academic program that has taught me many facets of filmmaking. Not only are we exposed to theory, we are also thrown into hands-on experience with the cameras in the first year. Working with a diverse curriculum empowers me to feel comfortable doing the work of telling stories through film.

You're a member of a sorority. How active are Greek organizations on campus today?

The best-kept secret on this campus is the Greek system, because it's a small community that is very human and down-to-earth. The Greek system is incredibly active. I think almost every week there is a philanthropy event to go to, and the majority of leadership on campus is in a fraternity or sorority. I've learned tolerance, patience, leadership and to value friendship in ways that I could never imagine.

What's on your iPod?

I have an eclectic taste. I grew up playing the piano and violin so I enjoy classical music. A lot of jazz, acoustic music, very little country. The latest CD I bought? I couldn't tell you. I buy songs online, usually from movie soundtracks. And, I listen to KGLT radio (the MSU campus station).

What electronic device can I not live without?

My Mac laptop and cell phone are always with me. I feed everything (documents, reflections, assignments), into my computer-like an inanimate soul mate. My relationship with my phone is a love-hate relationship. I cringe every time it rings because I never have privacy.