By Robert Lucke
Talk to Dan Geelan for just a few moments and you will find that here is a fellow just brimming over with enthusiasm. A lot of that enthusiasm is channeled into his job as president of the Associated Students of MSU-Northern. There is not much about the upcoming year that he does not see as very positive.
"I am most excited about the five-year strategic planning team which is going to be a big part of the future of the college," Geelan said. "Basically they are students, administration, faculty and people from the community making the long-range goals on this campus. There is a lot of weight being put on student involvement and they really stress the value of student input."
Another big plus for Geelan is his involvement with Montana Associated Students. Those are the leaders of all the schools within the Montana University System.
"This is the year before a legislative year so I am really involved in MAS," Geelan said. "At the July meeting I was voted in as vice president of that organization."
There is plenty to get involved with on campus here at Havre too.
"So far as campus improvement, Dr. Capdeville has a good handle on that," he said. "A lot of the criticisms of the way the campus looks are being addressed. Concerns that students have like bathrooms in the dorms and the streets around the campus."
Geelan added that the campus radio station planned to be up and running by the time school started. He is also very optimistic about fall enrollment at Northern.
"I think we will see a good increase this fall with enrollment," Geelan said. "We saw a small increase over the summer and preregistration numbers are up. The entire campus and community members are excited about Dr. Capdeville being on board. That is going to be a huge thing."
Another strong addition to the campus is Pam Wilson being the new intramural director.
"I am amazed at the stuff she has going for the students. Tons and tons of stuff," he said.
First order of business for the new student government is a retreat.
"We are going to have a fantastic Student Senate this year. In fact we are doing a retreat the first weekend of school to basically get acquainted with everyone," Geelan said. "Some of the administration has been invited to a social hour and then the Senate will go out to the mountains, set some goals and talk about what we are going to do. Last year's Senate left things very well organized so it is a very easy transition. We look forward to carrying on some of their goals, and setting some of our own and following through on both."
And if all that is not enough to keep Geelan busy, consider this. He is a junior hoping to get accepted by a medical school next year. That makes for a busy class schedule as well.
Geelan, a Havre resident, saw a poster last year asking for people to get involved in Northern's Judicial Council. He did and ended up running for president.
He has no problem at all telling what is most pleasing to him about the job.
"I am real excited over the five-year strategic planning team and working with the administration to improve campus life and make it more attuned to students. I went to school here in the late '80s, so my heart kind of lies here and with the word Northern," Geelan said. "And I am excited about the administration. Dr. Capdeville has an open-door policy. The new vice chancellor, Chuck Jensen, is concerned about student matters and so is Dr. Barber."