MSU Duck Pond

Duck Tales

The lowdown on the MSU ducks.

by Morgan Solomon

With close to 1,000 Facebook followers, the MSU ducks are nothing short of celebrities on campus. I mean, these ducks are pampered and everyone in Bozeman knows about them. In a recent interview with the eldest mallard of the pond, we found out what it’s like being an MSU duck.

Mr. Mallard, why are you and the ducks so popular around campus?
“Well, first I’d like to say that we’re certainly appreciative of the love. It’s really something to be able to winter over in Montana if we want, with only a bare minimum of harassment and shenanigans on campus. If I had to guess, our fans like us because we’re a welcome distraction from classes—a bit of wildness right here on MSU grounds. And I’ve been told that we waddle in an amusing manner.”

MSU Duck Pond

“We’re ready for our crumbs now, thank you very much.”

Describe your typical day at the pond.
“First thing is usually the morning rush from the dorms. Those freshman really book it—get it, book it?—when they’re late in the morning. After that, we typically lounge in the sun until the morning shift arrives. Bread-throwers, that is. They feed us until we barely float, and then it’s time for a nap.”

Sounds rough.
“Well, there are all of those domestic wolves to contend with. They’re either chasing us around the pond about to snap our heads off, or stealin’ the bread nuggets right from under our beaks. Of course, out-of-town ducks can be a pain, too. They clearly don’t know what a big deal we are, and sometimes I wonder if fighting for a piece of bread is worth a black eye or broken rib.” 

Still, for a duck it sounds pretty plush.
“Yeah. We wouldn’t want it any other way. After the Ugly Duckling, Daffy Duck, and that miserly Scrooge McDuck, we’re pretty much the biggest story in duck celebrities these days. Those Duck Dynasty fools don’t hold a candle.”

To stay in touch with Mr. Mallard and the gang, visit them at the duck pond (with bread, of course) or go to

MSU Service Saturdays

Do Your Part

Volunteer opportunities for the holidays and beyond. 

The holidays are a season of reflection, giving thanks, spending time with family, and relaxing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. For some, the holidays bring on even more stress—financial strain, insecurity, and trouble keeping the house warm. That’s where volunteering comes in. As college students, giving money typically isn’t an option and there’s a limit to how much Ramen you can donate. Luckily, time and effort are just as valuable. Below are some options—some specifically for the holidays and some for beyond—that will make you, and the people around you, feel good.

MSU’s Office of Activities and Engagement sponsors Service Saturdays, local service projects held the first Saturday of every month. There are several options in December—creating Christmas cards for seniors (on campus), volunteering at Gallatin Rest Home with group activities, helping Bridgercare send out holiday letters (on campus), helping set up the Christmas Stroll and the Baxter Ballroom, and helping Habitat for Humanity reorganize and make room for new items. February events include Valentine’s Day card decorating, helping at Reach, Good Neighbor Bag distribution, and more. Go here for more information and to check out February and March dates.

MSU_Restore Volunteering

MSU students helping at Habitat For Humanity. Image courtesy of MSU Office of Activities and Engagement.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters, can be a great way for college students to become involved. They require background checks and proof that you are responsible of course, but allow for flexible schedules. They encourage prospective mentors to check out the “Enroll a Child” page on their website to see the kind of kids needing mentors and to read about the matching process. The kids enrolled in the program come from all walks of life and from various financial situations. Matches aren’t random, but rather are based on the kind of mentoring you want to do, and the kind of mentoring the enrolled child needs. They currently have 33 Little Brothers on the waiting list and are in need of Big Brothers. The best way to contact them is through their website, which lists their phone number as well as an email form. They can also be messaged on their Facebook page or on Twitter.

valentines volunteering

In February, MSU students can help make Valentines Day cards to help local organizations. Image courtesy of MSU Office of Activities and Engagement.

Bozeman’s frigid winters mean that anyone without a home is in an especially bad situation. The Warming Center—part of the HRDC—relies heavily on volunteers during this time of year. Orientations are held Tuesdays from 6-7pm. Potential volunteers are encouraged to check out the Warming Center’s website and stop by to find out where help is needed. The HRDC also has various other volunteering opportunities.

food bank

MSU students volunteering at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, another great service opportunity. Image courtesy of the MSU Office of Activities and Engagement.

MSU also has a partnership with America Reads, which focuses on helping kids struggling with literacy and math skills. MSU students can apply to become tutors, which are recruited at the beginning of the spring and fall semester. Check out their website for more information, contact, and to find an application.

Theses are just a few of the many opportunities for volunteering in our community. MSU’s annual Involvement Fair takes place January 23, from 10am to 3pm in the SUB ballrooms. A large group of local organizations will discuss volunteering and answer questions. Check out this list of groups that will be there.