ASMSU Director of Operations Marianne Brough described her job as a mix of “mentor, guide and facilitator for the student body government. I’m here to be kind of a touchstone.” Brough, who is finishing up her first year in the position with ASMSU discussed her position and future plans for the student government.
Brough feels that a crucial aspect of her job is empowering student voices in a positive manner. Her position with the university enables her to work closely with students and administration through the medium of ASMSU. She encourages students to bring ideas to the student government and herself, stating, “Small groups of people expressing a strong opinion can make a considerable difference.”
“We manage a colossal budget and we do a lot of good with it,” Brough spoke of ASMSU’s detail oriented and efficient budget management techniques. She referenced the new projector that they recently funded to be installed in the Procrastinator theatre. “I’ve been really impressed with how much students take on and how few problems we have,” Brough said regarding the student representatives.
Looking toward the future, Brough and the student government have plans for improvement in various areas at MSU. In an effort to increase voter turnouts for ASMSU elections, she said they will include “engagement metrics” that allows students to see the effect ASMSU has on campus. She believes “there is authentic influence in this office.”
Brough also stressed that “we [ASMSU] want what is best for students.” She stated that ASMSU’s plan to remodel its office is aimed to make the student government “more accessible to students.”
A program to help and inform students about moving off campus is another one of the student governments focuses. This project could include “community education pieces, landlord templates” as well as a certified landlord program that would give students a way to find information about landlords in the Bozeman community.
The student government is also focusing on merging co-curricular and academic interests for MSU students. Examples of this effort include activity classes that envelop outdoor recreation activities such as kayaking. These classes will begin in fall 2015.
Brough stressed the important lessons people learn through extracurricular activities, “There are a lot of ways we can grow to give people the experience they want.” She also mentioned the many transferable skills students can learn in activities outside of classes and school. “It’s really critical while you’re in school to get your education, but get your co-curricular investment.”
Facilitating an environment where students can voice complaints and find resolutions is something Brough thoroughly enjoys: “It’s been a very strategic and innovative year.”