Placeholder Image

Good afternoon, Bobcats!

Let me help to welcome you to a new academic year. Students are the center of our work at Montana State, and I'm glad you're a member of our academic community this year. I'm writing today to provide some annual reminders for our returning students and some important information for new students.   

First, some tips to promote your success. It is very important to attend class every day, arrive on time, and to engage with your classmates and faculty members. I also recommend that students visit their faculty during office hours during the first two weeks of the semester, if only just to introduce yourself; you can also use that time to ask any questions about their course.

MSU students enjoy a number of student rights and responsibilities, which are outlined in the MSU Code of Student Conduct. We at MSU takes the enforcement of our code of student conduct seriously. We hold students accountable for various violations, including violating our alcohol and other illegal drug policies. Possessing or consuming alcohol under the age of 21 or possessing or consuming cannabis on campus at any age are violations of MSU campus policies and state law. Importantly, our Code of Student Conduct applies to student behavior both on campus and, at times, off campus. 

In my role, I work closely with student organizations to support their efforts to enhance our culture of student safety, including the fraternities and sororities at MSU. Fraternities and sororities are considered off-campus housing, yet they are required to adhere to all MSU policies related to student organizations. This includes compliance with their national risk management policies, state/local laws, and our Fraternity/Sorority Life alcohol policy. These policies forbid students from drinking hard alcohol (above 15% ABV) on fraternity property, and every fraternity has a risk and safety management team that works to enforce these policies. Attendance at fraternity parties with alcohol is by invitation only, and students must be on the guest list to attend. Underage students who drink at a fraternity house can be held accountable under all these various policies and laws.

Safety at MSU is our No. 1 priority, and we have programs and resources dedicated to that end. I have asked some of my colleagues to email you this fall with important information about the resources available to you through their departments. Next week, you will hear from MSU Police Chief Mike Stanley about all the ways our University Police Department works with students to further their safety.

In the meantime, please don't hesitate to email me if you need any support as we start the academic year.


Matthew R. Caires, dean of students 

Department or Unit Name
Building Name | P.O. Box # | Bozeman, MT 59717-xxxx | [email protected] | xxx-xxx-xxxx