The mission of the MSO is to build strong student community within the Muskie School, create opportunities for civic discourse on public policy issues, and advocate for students in policy-making and decision-making within the Muskie School. Students have the opportunity to discuss issues, identify solutions, and organize events. It is an all-volunteer student organization that seeks to address diverse student interests through regular meetings, discussion and engagement in public policy, health, and planning issues.
The goals of the MSO are chosen and pursued by students themselves, and reflect the diversity of the student body in the choice of projects. The types of activities the MSO has participated in include:
- Organized a policy forum on referendum 1, the vote to support or repeal the gay rights legislation passed by the state, to help educate and inform students and the public about the issue from different points of view.
- Organized an off-campus social event for students, faculty, friends and family.
- Participated in an alumni forum that brought former Muskie students back to the school to talk about their experiences and career paths.
- A Muskie student survey was created and distributed by an MSO member to help faculty and students better understand the strengths and weaknesses at the Muskie School.
- Hosted a round-table discussion with former governor Angus King focused on the importance of public service in the world today.
At the start of each academic year members of the MSO get together and decide the agenda and goals for the upcoming year. It is a great way to get involved and all students are encouraged to attend MSO meetings and bring ideas of interest.
Muskie students are individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and circumstances. Some are practitioners taking one course at a time while juggling family and work responsibilities. Others are full time students living off loans and graduate assistantships. Some are fresh out of college while others are returning to school after an extended absence. Because of the broad range of Muskie student experiences, your input is essential to the MSO's ability to adequately represent student interests on issues as complex and substantive as diversity and academic planning.
Through our efforts, we hope to support a strong, supportive student community. We want to work together to further Edmund S. Muskie's charge to the school: Public Service needs constant attention… constant improvement… and needs to attract people who like a challenge. The Muskie School must develop knowledge, develop ways in which to use knowledge and develop leaders. It is important to be passionate about that. Announcements of upcoming meetings and activities will be posted to the student listserv.
For more information on the Muskie Student Organization, please contact student affairs.