Orientation. Orientation. Orientation

Two down, two more to go! And oh boy, it has been an exciting time around here. If you don’t know what orientation is, well let me tell you. Orientation is basically one large event with one goal in mind – to register for classes. At Montana State University, we like to make orientation more fun than just sitting and listening to people talk about the logistics on how to register, letting the freshman register, and then go home! No, we like to have way more FUN. :)

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So let me break down how everything works: 40-45 leaders (depending on the size of the session), orientation leadership class in the spring semester, three summer sessions for three days which includes spending sleeping in the residence halls, one fall session without sleeping in the residence halls, about 400-1200 new students (freshmen or transfer), two coordinators (this is where I am at) and one director of orientation (Jennifer Dunn). Wow that was a lot and that’s only half of everything! When you add on Admissions Representatives, Evaluators, Student Workers, Admissions Staff, Other Staff from other departments or offices around campus, and a lot of teamwork, you realize there is quite the team of people working on this, so therefore it must be important.

What made me become an Orientation leader?
Well, it was a leadership opportunity and a way to get involved on campus which I am all about and it looked like a great opportunity to meet new people and share the passion that I have for Montana State with others. Also it was a job opportunity because you do get paid for all of the hard work you do!

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Through the process of being an orientation leader, I have made so many new friends and created so many quality memories that I decided to come back for a second year and instead of being just a leader, I decided to become the coordinator.

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It’s literally been so fun and I continue to create more and more memories that I will always cherish and maybe I’ll come back again for a third year just because I love orientation so much and the joy that you see on the faces of new students just makes it worth everything. All of the sore throats and exhaustion and whatever other troubles come from the intense three days that we call orientation.

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-Destini French || June 2014

The Summer is Almost Here

Technically, it’s summertime in Bozeman, but it doesn’t quite feel like it! Bozeman plays mind games with you when it comes to weather and right now it’s playing the biggest game of all. With all of the rainstorms and heavy winds, you wouldn’t even be able to guess that it is summer. But still, does that stop the fun? Nope!
Luckily, the fun can continue and it did this past Thursday at Music on Main. Music on Main or M.O.M. as I like to call it, is when the city shuts down Main Street every Thursday and there are live bands that perform and everyone is just out in the street, dancing, talking, and just having an overall good time. This past Thursday was the first M.O.M. and oh boy was it fun. I got to see people that I haven’t seen in forever!! And that’s the great thing about Bozeman is that people always seem to come back and I love seeing and reconnecting with old friends but also the other great thing is that everyone is so friendly around here that it’s simple to make new friends as well. :)

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FAQ Sheet Anyone?

“A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom under a constitutional republics a well armed lamb contesting the vote. ” – Benjamin Franklin

What the heck is MAS, OCHE, WICHE, and BOR? Why do I keep hearing these acronyms and why do they seem really important. Well because they are!

Montana Associated Students: all of the Presidents and Vice Presidents coming together to collaborate on how we can not only make our own schools better, but how can we make the Montana University System better. This is something that I think can be so instrumental, but is not utilized in the correct way, at least not yet. Having the chance to have such collaboration and to bounce ideas off of other schools is something that is really unique for the state of Montana since our state has a relatively small population (just recently reaching a million), we have the chance to do this and include everyone, but still be small enough to be efficient and get things done. Having this group makes me so excited for the collaboration that can happen for the students of Montana and reminds me that we can’t be superheroes and try to do everything because we have limited time in our positions. The simple fact of being able to lay the framework for future leaders that will come into MAS gets my heart pumping because if we take away some of the extra dirty work in our time in student government, the next leaders can do more dirty work, and then eventually whether it be the next year or five years – change will happen!!

Board of Regents was also really interesting and I am excited to go to the next meetings during my term and continue to learn from them and meet the people who are in charge and maybe even find a mentor out of it!

Who knows maybe one day I will sit on the Board of Regents!

Now for the Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education and Western Interstate Commissioner for Higher Education, I still have to work on getting to know these important people – but unfortunately I did not get the chance to meet them at this past meeting! Luckily, I have a meeting in Helena and I am going to be able to meet these influential people!

Overall, this MAS/BOR regents trip was an amazing experience because we got to meet so many cool and interesting people and even though we did not speak, we got to advocate for our students across Montana and I am just impressed by the impact that we could have on almost 50,000 students!! This trip put the excitement back into this job for me, because of everything happening in the office and the transition, I guess I had forgotten the reason why I wanted to be in the office, but this trip reminded me and will hopefully keep reminding me that I am doing this for a higher purpose. Not to help myself, not to help my resume, not to push my own proposals through and not to be selfish or let anyone else be selfish, but instead to really make change for my peers who are making the hugest investment in their future that will probably ever make!

Peace and Blessings,
Destini French || June 2014

 

Talk About A Transition

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“Challenge yourself, jump off the deep end and learn to swim.” – Carson Kressley

So I am the student body president of the associated students of Montana State University! I mean it is all settling in and how am I feeling? It is so hard to separate feelings of excitement, joy, anxiousness, nervousness, worry, happy, and the other million of emotions that are all running their course in my body! But before I begin to dive into all of the logistics of what has been going on ever since I got the wonderful phone call that I won the presidential election, I want to talk about where it all began and the journey that I ventured to finally be sitting in the office that I am at the moment while I write this post.

Jordan came to me and asked to run with her to lead the student body and it was like a sign. I have always thought about running for student government but I never really put my foot in the door because I had so many other open doors. I was student body president in my high school so I had the leadership vein in my body, but I never thought that I would actually be be functioning as the student body president of Montana State University.

The moment she came to me with this proposal, I instantly knew that we were going to do this and I always had a feeling that we would win, maybe that’s just my basketball competitiveness vain talking, but I was pretty confident in our abilities. Right after we submitted our application into the office, the campaigning began! We got posters, went door to door, told friends, had friends tell friends, passed out mints, and so much more and even though it was lot of work – it was really fun.

You want me to debate? Woah! That was a really nerve racking idea to me because I was never on the speech and debate team or in a speech class or had any experience with debates, but I took the bulls by the horn and prepared myself with the help of Jordan and showed up ready to discuss why we wanted to run and the impact that we want to have the campus that I can truly call my home. Btw, I think that I crushed the debate! And of course they didn’t want to just have me do one debate, but two! Luckily I had Jordan up there with me and it was a chance for her to shine and to show everyone how we support each other.

The most nerve racking days were of course the voting days! OMG!! And when my phone rang with a number that was not saved in my phone, I knew it was judgement day. The feeling after you get told that you have own and you are now the newly elected ASMSU President, congratulations was indescribable!

We were instantly thrown into the deep end and had meetings to go to, people to meet, and no time to waste. And my life hasn’t slowed down since, but I love every moment of it!

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Peace and Blessings,
Destini French || June 2014

 

 

All Formal Everything

These past couple of weeks have been so packed with banquets and formals, I haven’t been able catch up with myself and I haven’t been able to blog, but now here I am with a huge update!!

First off, it is the end of the year and so of course there are millions of banquets and formal events that are put on to show appreciation for the students who have been working so hard throughout the year. The first event is the Blue and Gold Ball!! The Blue and Gold Committee is a group of students that came together three years ago and said that Montana State University needed an event that students can go to and dress up, dance, and have fun with friends. Last year, I became decorations chair of the committee and joined late and only had two months to plan the event and come up with decorations and it was amazing what the end result was – I was so excited, I decided to come back for a second year and do it again! It was a much smoother process and still turned out amazing, but unfortunately I had to give up my position for the next year because I became the ASMSU President, but I am excited to go to it next year and just enjoy the ball with friends and see what the committee does this year.

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Next on the agenda was Pi Kappa Alpha’s Formal! I went with my pretend brother, Denarius McGhee and one of my best friends and had a blast!! We went to their banquet and literally danced the night away and just had an amazing time. It is was nice to see a lot of my sisters from Alpha Omicron Pi!

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Next was the Student Appreciation Dinner at President Cruzado’s house which is a super fun and exciting event that the president of our university does for students that are involved with admissions or ASMSU. She gets catering to come to her house and give us a nice meal that we all certainly appreciate and it is nice to mingle with fellow student leaders and talk about the year.

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Next was the Day of Student Recognition which is obviously another student recognition event and this year it was amazing as always. I got the chance to present the ASMSU awards and everyone looked beautiful and it is nice to see people get appreciated for their hard work.

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The last event was the Greek Banquet and my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, got quite a few awards, but the best one in my opinion is Sorority of the Year which means that we excelled in all areas, everything from academics to philanthropy and that is reason 47376429 why I love my sorority, the amazing people in it, and the amazing work that we do.

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Take Away Message: Get involved, meet new people and then when time calls for it — get appreciated for the hard work that you do because you deserve it.

A 90’s Weekend of Service

This past weekend was fulfilling and rewarding as can be. Usually on the first Saturdays of the month, I do Service Saturday (all of the card making), but this Saturday, I decided to do volunteer work for my sorority. It was our philanthropy event, Spike Out Arthritis, which raises money for juvenille arthritis! Alpha Omicron Pi’s national philanthropy is Strike Out Arthrits, which is baseball, but we live in Montana and you can’t always depend on the weather, so we like to keep it inside. In the past few years, our chapter has done Strut Out Arthritis which was a fashion show, but this year we changed it to a volleyball tournament. It was so much fun and I hope to come back in 5 years and see this event blossom into something super incredible.

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Bringing back the 90’s is always a fun time, from costumes that resemble Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Salt N Pepa, Ferris Bueller, Saved by the Bell, and so many more – either way you choose, the 90’s is always a great time. One of my friends had a 90’s party and my big and I got all dressed up and kicked it back old school. The night was too awesome to not showcase this on my blog! Did I mention that all we listened to were 90’s songs the whole night, well, and Beyonce because I love Beyonce!!

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Next agenda item from the weekend was participating in another sorority’s event, Chi Omega, and for their event they did Swishes for Wishes which has gotten pretty huge and really fun. It is a 3 on 3 basketball tournament and so of course I had to sign up with some of my sorority sisters. We were 4-1 losing in the semi-finals on the road to the championship!! Even though we lost, we still had so much fun and it was amazing to do it for the kids and also we got a great workout in. :)
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Take away message: Get involved! I don’t care what yoiu are involved in, whether it be Service Saturdays or Philanthropy events that an organization is throwing, find some way to give back to your community and make sure that not only is it fun, but you are making a positive impact for yourself, your school, your community, and the greater well-being of the world!

More Pieces to the Puzzle

With great power comes great responsibility… a lesson that I will be learning fast as ever in the next year. Yes, the rumors are true, I am the Associated Student Body President for Montana State University and wow it does not seem real (yet).

What is ASMSU (Associated Students of Montana State University) ASMSU is the student government association serving as the elected voice of the students of Montana State University-Bozeman with the mission of enhancing the overall educational experience of students by providing leadership and employment opportunities for students and by providing diverse student oriented non-academic programs and services cost effectively through responsible fiscal management of student activity fees.

What doe this mean to a student? Well, this is one of the place that is going to make your time at MSU worth more than just an education, but a great experience that you will never forget and when you do recall it, you are overwhelmed by all of the positive experiences you have had at MSU. It is a place that offers opportunities to get out of your dorm rooms or get your head out of the books and get involved, network, making friends, be apart of the community, and just overall have a more valued experience. The Road to Presidency began with Jordan, my Vice President, coming to me at a track meet and asking me have I ever thought about joining ASMSU (applying for a position). We discussed this topic for a while and then she said, “Do you want to run for ASMSU President and Vice President?” Now this was an idea that I have considered before because I was Student Body President in my high school, but I never looked into fully, but the pure fact that Jordan came up to me and asked me to run with her told me that it was a sign that I should do this, but I did have to think deeply on this topic because it is a BIG responsibility to take this own – I said yes!

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So with all that, I get sworn in on April 17th and then the turnover will begin and I am so excited to learn everything and gain even more knowledge about this wonderful place that I love and be able to represent my peers and voice their opinions to the Board of Regents, the President of MSU, and other important decision makers at this university!

Take Away Message: When faced with a great opportunity, say yes… even if it might seem scary or overwhelming, say yes because that opportunity will only be open for a limited amount of time and you don’t want it to pass you up because it might just be the key to your future, your destini ;)