Leading the Charge; Student Leaders Grow and Inspire


By: Katie Betz, betzka@mnstate.edu

Since the semester began, administration at MSUM has been attempting to recruit student leaders for next year. Student leadership positions include Resident Assistants, Student Senate Members and Dragon Ambassadors. Several student leaders explained what it means to them to be a leader at MSUM.

Sharing the Love   

Senior Hannah Moerke is an art education major who serves as a Dragon Ambassador at MSUM. She became a Dragon Ambassador in January of her sophomore year.

Moerke shared what goes into becoming a Dragon Ambassador

“Number one, just a love for the campus,” Moerke said. “Your number one job is to give tours to prospective students that come to visit with their families and showing them around, showing them why you love the campus and how they could fit in to coming to our school.”

Dragon Ambassadors must give two tours per week, often pairing with prospective students who are interested in the ambassadors’ majors. After her freshman and sophomore years, Moerke knew she loved MSUM and wanted to help recruit students to attend. She finds the most rewarding part of the job is seeing the students whom she gave tours to around campus during the school year.

“I wanted to get more involved in a leadership position so that I could share my love for MSUM and build my leadership skills, especially since I’ll be a teacher, getting comfortable with working with students and also connecting with their parents,” she said.

Strengthening the Bond

   Allie Maas is a senator-at-large with MSUM’s Student Senate in her second semester of serving. Maas is a freshman majoring in entertainment business technology. She explained that a senator-at-large represents the university in matters of student affairs and university success. A senator-at-large also has the job of strengthening the connections between students and faculty.

“Being able to provide information towards specific student-related issues and topics, and just generally covering what students want, what their input is on specific events, what they want to put forward and providing them with the best options,” Maas said.

She was involved with student government in high school and was interested in continuing her involvement in student government into college. She was attracted to the opportunity to learn more about the university and to interact one-on-one with the faculty and president of MSUM.

“A Tough Job”

There are 43 Resident Assistant positions in the eight dorms on campus at MSUM. This year the housing department had to fill 20–25 positions. It is Associate Director of Housing Joe Hazelton’s fifth year holding this position at MSUM.

    Hazelton is usually a part of the selection process for hiring new RAs after the interview.

    “I think a lot of the main things we look for are people who like to be around others or help others succeed,” Hazelton said. “I think that’s the main thing that we encourage RAs to do … we say a lot of their job is helping to get students connected with other students and get them involved at the university.”

Some challenges of the RA job include not having defined hours, hosting floor events and being responsible for safety and security on their floor.

Hazelton said that it is necessary for RAs to be good listeners and good at interacting one-on-one.  

“They are really the go-to people for a lot of students … They’re the first person that a student might see when they come to campus to move in, they’re the first person a parent might interact with when their student moves into the hall. We really want to look for people who are comfortable in that role,” Hazelton said.

He explained that they really want applicants who are honest about who they are and give the faculty a chance to know them. Hazelton shared that he believes that student leaders play a “vital” role on campus.

“We couldn’t do the work we do without our student leaders. They help us engage with students. They help us know what students are looking for, what they need from their experience,” Hazelton said.

The deadline for student leadership applications for 2019 positions ended on Jan. 25. The student leaders of the future are among us.

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