Friday, December 6, 2013

Fall Semester Reflections


Fall semester is coming to a close and our neighborhood ambassadors will soon be out enjoying their winter break. Before they leave to deck the halls with boughs of holly, our ambassadors wish to share with you reflections on their experiences this semester in the program:

Hannah and her pup
"My experience this semester has been great. The area that I serve has some amazing residents who are very willing to work with us. Working with my partner, Taylor, was such a delight. I hope to continue to get to know the area better next semester."

"Neighborhood Ambassadors has been a great way for me to get out in my neighborhood and meet interesting people I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet."

Nick raking at Sunday Sweepers

"I enjoyed the sociable aspects of the job. Getting out and talking to the neighborhood was a valuable experience. It helped build confident public speaking and strong social relations."

Taylor removing graffiti

"My overall experience has been positive. I am glad to hear so many neighbors find that our program matters and is effective in making a difference. Thanks for the positive vibes."

Elissa & Mike at our household winterization event

"I enjoyed getting to know the numbers of our community that do not ordinarily meet the students that come and go so quickly. They are the glue that holds our community together!"

"I've really enjoyed my semester with my fellow ambassadors, my favorite event was the summer Block Party."

Courtney removing graffiti
"Sunday Sweepers was more than picking up trash after the football games for me. I loved working with all the student groups and learning about what they did for the University and Missoula. I also enjoyed working in the Rattlesnake and getting to know the neighborhood! Thank you Missoula for the great semester!"


"Neighborhood ambassadors has been a fabulous program to be involved in. There were so many things going on in this community that I was unaware of before working with the organization. I never knew about MUD, Off-Campus Renter Center, or all the other resources available here. I've loved learning more and being a part of this outreach."

We thank you for a wonderful semester! On behalf of all of us we would like to wish you happy holidays and a happy New Year!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our New Program Manager!

Meet Elizabeth, our new Program Manager!

An avid vegan food and puppy enthusiast, Elizabeth was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina to active-duty military personnel. Her parents were often relocated on account of military assignment and in consequence, Elizabeth developed a knack for cultural adaptability that engendered a love of language and travel. 

With Rocky Mountain adventure in mind, she chose to attend the University of Montana, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and studying abroad in Spain and Mexico. After graduation, Elizabeth returned to North Carolina to work as a Registered Tax Return Preparer for the family business to gain “real world” experience. She took advantage of her fluency in Spanish by assisting the area's expanding Hispanic population with tax preparation and diversifying the firm's client base. In her free time, she interned for a Superior Court Judge and assisted with Spanish interpretation.

After two years of this intensive accumulation of experience, Elizabeth returned to Montana to continue developing marketable skills by pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration. Presently, Elizabeth hopes to creatively and effectively combine her various interests and carve out a niche for herself in today's business milieu. While completing her undergraduate degree, Elizabeth lived in the University District as well as on campus and other UM housing. She understands the challenges student renters face when learning how to maintain and share a house with roommates for the first time. Furthermore, after assisting her grandmother with the management of rentals, Elizabeth recognizes the unique challenges homeowners encounter in their interaction with renters. Through the ASUM Off-Campus Renter Center and Neighborhood Ambassadors Program, Elizabeth intends to put her experiences to good use in order to foster positive relationships between renter and homeowner.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Snow Shoveling Reminder

Season’s Greetings Residents,

Now that the winter season is upon us and we are starting to see some winter weather, it is time for a friendly reminder of Missoula’s Snow Shoveling ordinance:

Missoula Municipal Code 12.16.030 requires residents to clear sidewalks of snow and ice after a snowfall by 9 a.m. on weekdays and by noon on weekends and holidays.  If property owners do not clear their sidewalks, the city may have the sidewalks cleared at the property owners' expense.  

·        Snow removed from sidewalks or driveways may not be deposited in the road, including bike lanes, parking lanes, and driving lanes.

If you are a UM student, we have snow shovels available for you to check out for the winter season. They are free of charge and you can pick one up in the ASUM Off-Campus Renter Center in the UC at  your convenience. You can also call us at 243-2017 or email us at We will even deliver them to your doorstep to save you the hassle!  
Warm Wishes,


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good Neighbor Awards

Hello Missoula Neighborhood!

We were discussing our prospective outreach schemes for November at our meeting Wednesday night, and here is the update on what we came up with. I hope that as turkey day approaches, and boxed stuffing and pumpkin pies starts to overcrowd the grocery entryways, you’re making a list of the many things you’re thankful for. And I also hope one of the items on your list is the outstanding community we live in and all of the wonderful neighbors that make up that community.

 We’d like to encourage you to share with us your best interactions with your neighbors: if someone has raked your lawn, scraped the ice off your car, shoveled your walkway, or brought goodies to welcome you. If you email us about your fantastic neighbors at, we’ll enter them and you in a drawing for some fun prizes.  We’ll have the drawing at the end of November and let the lucky winners know the beginning of December. Thanks for helping us celebrate the lovely people of Missoula! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween Event and Program Update!

By Jessica Wurzel

For those of you in the neighborhood who didn’t get a chance to stop by on Halloween, the Neighborhood Ambassadors set up shop outside Christ the King church on the corner of Keith Ave & Gerald Ave. It was the first year we’ve done a stop for trick or treaters, an idea our October event committee members dreamed up. While we might’ve started a little early, after waiting in anticipation, we got some trick or treaters to check out our tables. The characters that showed up were delightful; we had a great time seeing all the neighborhood kids! Probably some of my personal favorites we encountered were a darling little Tigger, a pair of friends dressed as Calvin and Hobbes, and a tutu-ed blue crayon.

Hopefully they enjoyed the mysterious body parts (spaghetti, peaches, dried apricots,

and oatmeal), the mini pumpkins, and, of course, the candy. We also included a small flyer on tips to safe trick-or-treating, and we hope everyone had a fruitful and safe Halloween experience. It was certainly a chilly evening, and as we transition into November and snow season, we’ll be focusing on household winterization as one of our outreach campaigns. Hopefully you’ve gotten the leaves raked out into the street by now so you don’t have to fight the snow to uncover them!  If you do need help with raking or snow shoveling as the season changes, please let us know! We’ll put your address on our list.

We’re also working to address the parking issue within the university district. The idea right now is to help students become more aware and courteous of the neighborhoods they may park in, and how to alleviate the over-parking or be more conscious about where they park. Our first idea is to leave flyers on cars in the neighborhood that closely resemble parking tickets so they’ll catch people’s eye. You’ll probably see us out and about papering cars, and our November newsletter is also on its way. Thanks for your continued support and we’ll see you knocking!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat with us!

Calling all University District trick-or-treaters! When you are out this evening, you won't want to miss our Neighborhood Ambassador trick-or-treat station! There will be pumpkin painting, you will get to stick your hands in some pretty gross things, and there will of course be treats. We will also be handing out information on how to stay safe on Halloween night.

 We will be stationed at the Christ the King  Church which is located at the corner of Gerald & Keith from 5-8pm. See you there! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Have you been "BOOED" yet?

The ASUM Neighborhood Ambassadors are bringing a fun Halloween tradition to the University District neighborhood. Our team of ambassadors has been busy distributing  “boo bags” to area residents. If you are unfamiliar with this Halloween tradition, it is similar to "ding dong ditching" someone, but instead of leaving something unpleasant on their doorstep, you leave a bag full of Halloween treats! We are putting a spin on this idea by giving decorated bags full of candy to area residents and encouraging them to then hand deliver a bag full of treats to their neighbors, and to stop in and say hello to them rather than running away before they answer the door.

Check out our festive boo bags full of Halloween treats!
 If you receive a boo bag from your neighbor or from one of our ambassadors, you have officially been "booed" and are now tasked with booing someone else on your block!

Monday, October 28, 2013

ASUM Senators lend a hand for Sunday Sweepers

A very special thanks to members of the ASUM Senate who participated in yesterday's Sunday Sweepers neighborhood cleanup! Whereas our other student groups that participate receive a monetary reward to their student group account in exchange for their efforts, the senators do not receive any sort of accommodation. We're thankful for their dedication to improving the quality of life in the University District neighborhood!

ASUM Housing Board Chair, Claire with area #2 ambassador, Dave

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sunday Sweepers in the news!

The Sunday Sweepers neighborhood cleanup program got some great media coverage last weekend: both KECI & KPAX were there filming as we cleaned up the streets of the University District after the previous days' tailgating celebrations!! Check out the coverage by clicking the links below!

KPAX news story 

KECI news story

And a big thanks to the 3 student groups that participated in the event: School Psychology Student Organization, Criminal Law Student group, & the Women's Lacrosse club!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Parents Weekend
By Elissa White, Neighborhood Ambassador
Parents Weekend is here! October 19th and 20th.  If your parents are coming into town like mine, you’ve got the grand ole question of where to take your parents in Missoula for a weekend. I have compiled a list of a few fun things to see and do around town. Even if your parents are not coming to town, these ideas are always fun to do while we still have a few days of nice weather.
Now open Thursday- Sunday for a variety of hours. There is a night maze on Saturday night from 7-9pm. During regular hours there is a pumpkin patch, obstacle course, mini maze, feed bunk, puzzle maze and a barnyard with pony rides. On Friday nights there is a treasure hunt in the regular maze for gift certificates and coupons to local businesses. You should dress in layers, and be prepared for mud. The hay and corn maze are linked together to cover more than an acre, providing more than 4500 feet of passageways.  On average it takes 20-30 minutes to complete the maze.  Unfortunately dogs are not allowed!
  • Hike the “M”
    • Miles: 3/4 mile to "M;" 1 3/4 miles to top of Mount Sentinel
    • Elevation gain: 620 feet to "M" (from 3,200 feet to 3,820). 1,958 feet to top of Mount Sentinel (3,200 feet to 5,158)
The "M" on the west face of Mount Sentinel has been a Missoula landmark since 1908. When Forestry Club members created a zigzag trail up the mountain and students carried up stones to create the M.

Time brought many changes to the "M." In 1912, a wooden letter replaced the one made of stone. When the wooden "M" was blown off the mountain in 1915, it was replaced with a more permanent, larger stone "M". That was the way it remained until 1968, when it was changed to the concrete "M" we see today.
The trail is less than a mile long, but the hike can be tough. The climb is steep, there is 11 switchbacks on the path.
  • Red Dress Gala
  • Friday October 18, 2013, University Ballroom 6pm
Join the UM chapter of the Alpha Phi sorority at a fundraiser for the Alpha Phi Foundation, which supports women's cardiac care research. The event will feature casino games and prizes, dessert, music, and a silent auction.
Tickets cost $45 each or $70 per couple, $25 for UM students. Tickets are also available at the door. Children 10 and under are free.
  • University of Montana vs. Cal Poly
  • Saturday October 19, 2013 at Washington Grizzly Stadium- Kick off is 1:30

Watch the Griz take on the Cal Poly mustangs. Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of 2 years ago when a shameless streaker made an appearance. Get guest passes and tickets from the UC’s Source if you’re a student, and Griz Tix for non- students.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October Newsletter

Please read our October Newsletter. For those of you who live within the area our program serves, you can expect to receive a hard copy on your doorstep within the next week; but feel free to take a sneak peak online!. 

Click here for homeowner edition                            Click here for renter edition

Sunday Sweepers

Last weekend we had our second Sunday Sweeper's of the season! It was much needed to clean up after all of the homecoming celebrations that went on over the weekend. We were lucky enough to partner with Montana Anthropology Student Association (MASA), the UM FLAT, & the UM Psychology Club. It was a beautiful day and our volunteers did an awesome job cleaning up the streets of the University District!

Ambassador Hannah with her group of volunteers

Ambassador Elissa and one of our volunteers on South Ave

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Carving 101:

Pumpkin carving is my favorite thing to do for Halloween! I always remember getting so excited to cut out me design and getting more and more creative each year.  The pumpkin patch was always such a fun time to hang out with my family, ride the hayrides, drink hot apple cider and eat pumpkin doughnuts.  Here is a link to a local Pumpkin Patch!! Grab some friends and head out for an afternoon of fall fun!

 Step One:

Bring your pumpkins in from outside so that when you start to hollow them out your hands don’t freeze. 

Step Two:

Cut a jagged hole in the top of your pumpkin at 45-degree angle in so that the top doesn’t fall through the hole. 

Step Three:

Use a large spoon to carve out the guts of the pumpkin and put them in a bowl, try to save the seeds so that you can roast them later.  Make sure you get the inside clean of all the so that he candle will stay lit. 

Step Four:

Your pumpkin will last longer if you soak your pumpkin for a few hours in a solution of 1Tbs bleach to 1 Gal of water.

Step Five: 

Use a dry erase marker to sketch out the design or face that you want to carve out.  Use a sharp serrated knife to begin to cut out he design in a sawing motion. 

If you want the space to be brightly lit then you should cut it out completely.  If you want it to be more dimly lit you can partially carve out the pumpkin so that there is still a thin layer there.  If you want the part of the pattern to be dark do not cut the piece out. 

Step Six:

Light your pumpkin with a votive candle or with an electronic flameless candle to avoid fire hazards. 

Another fun way to decorate pumpkins is to paint them! 
We want to hear from YOU!  Do you have a good idea for an event that would help build neighborhood relations?  Are there any missing resources that student renters could utilize and benefit from?  Are there any neighborhood concerns you have been thinking about?  We would love to listen and possibly collaborate with anyone who can answer any one of these questions.  Feel free to check out our program website, visit us in the ASUM office, or like us on Facebook @ Um Neighborhood Ambassadors.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Keep an eye out for October's Newsletter and upcoming Neighborhood Events!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

First Sunday Sweepers of the Season

Our Sunday Sweepers season got off to a great start last Sunday. A big thanks to the three student groups that participated: SCHWA, the Chinese Student & Scholar Association and the Wildlife Society.  They recruited lots of participants and were a huge help to the neighborhood. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lawn Signs

Want to show you take pride in your neighborhood? Remind people to keep respecting the neighborhood? Welcome UM students back to town?  Check out the Neighborhood Ambassador Program's new lawn signs!  We have created five colorful designs to post around the neighborhood.  If you are interested in displaying a lawn sign, please e-mail us at .  Please let us know which design you would like and the address where it will be displayed.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Testing out a new product!

I spent a couple of hours this morning testing out a new graffiti removal product.  I'd say it works pretty well!

From the roundabout at Daly and Gerald.

From the roundabout at Eddy and Hilda.

From the roundabout at Eddy and Hilda.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summertime Graffiti Removal

Although we haven't been out knocking around the University District, the Neighborhood Ambassador Program is still working.  We have done a couple of rounds of graffiti removal, and plan to do some more throughout the month of July.  Continue below to see some of our work:

From the roundabout at Connell and Ronald.

From the roundabout at Connell and Helen.

From the roundabout at Beverly and Ronald.

From the roundabout at Beverly and Ronald.

From the roundabout at Beverly and Ronald.

From the roundabout at Beverly and Ronald.

A special thanks to the kids and others who volunteered some time to help us with the roundabout graffiti at Beverly and Ronald! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ambassadors Reflect

See below what our Neighborhood Ambassadors have to say about their time with the Neighborhood Ambassador Program:

The first time I knocked on the door of an older couple, I was welcomed in.  To me that was out of my expectation, because I usually just talk with people at their front door.  More surprisingly, they offered me hot tea and carrot cake!!!  From that day on, every time I went out knocking I would stay at their place a little longer.  For me, they are like grandparents, and I think my presence made them happy.  I guess that is the most wonderful part of being an Ambassador; I’m not only working, but also giving and receiving love and support!

Working with the Neighborhood Ambassador Program has been a great experience.  It was rewarding to see the community of Missoula connect and expand.  The team of Ambassadors was great to work with.  Overall it has been a very enjoyable experience! –Nicholas Gilbert, Ambassador #15

During my time as a Neighborhood Ambassador I learned a great deal about the rights and responsibilities that both renters and landlords must uphold during the renting process.  I feel the ASUM Renter Center is a very valuable resource for students looking to live off-campus, and I wish I had known more about it when I first began renting.  As a large segment of the community, it is important for the University to reach out to the homeowners within the neighborhood, and the ASUM Off-Campus Renter Center works hard to achieve that goal. -Simon Hansen, Ambassador #6

As a Neighborhood Ambassador I have enjoyed getting to know the diverse residents of the University District throughout the last two semesters.  Trudging through my area with the weather ranging from snow to bright sunny days, I notice new details about my neighborhood every time I knock.  Like the diverse weather, every conversation from neighbor to neighbor is different.

I really enjoyed meeting people in my area and building a sense of community.  I also loved planning the events that we were to have this spring, and I can’t wait to plan even more in the fall!  The program has helped me grow as an individual through meeting and interacting with people I normally would not have the chance to talk to. –Hannah Toliver, Ambassador #4

This semester has been my first as a Neighborhood Ambassador and I have enjoyed it!  I’ve had a great time meeting everyone in my neighborhood, attending council meetings, and writing articles for the newsletter.  I’m so humbled to be a part of this community.  Thanks Missoula!—Courtney Anderson, Ambassador #7 

Being an Ambassador was a fun experience.  I enjoyed getting involved in the community and meeting new neighbors.

Working as an Ambassador has really allowed me the opportunity to connect with the community in a way I never could have imagined. People invited me into their homes, confided in me, and trusted me with responsibilities.  This experience has inspired me to work harder for the people within my community and reminds me to enjoy my space by sharing it with others. –Jessica Ferretti, Ambassador #12

Wow! I can’t believe the semester is already coming to an end. This year working with the Neighborhood Ambassadors has been truly awesome, and I’ve gotten to be involved in so many things. I’ve helped organize community outreach campaigns, written for and helped put together the monthly newsletter, attended community events and neighborhood meetings, helped clean up the University district, and gotten to know and speak with the wonderful residents of Area 9. I can’t say how much it means to me whenever I hear a positive comment from a resident. So many people are in support of, and are happy to hear that our program is going so well, and many even offer to help out in any way they can. To me, that is a true sense of community. The Neighborhood Ambassadors strive to bridge the gap between college renters and homeowners in the areas where they live, and this year we have been able to that by expanding our reaches and meeting new people. I truly feel lucky to have been a part of such a positive program, and really hope to see it continue!—Hannah Rees, Ambassador #9

Being a Neighborhood Ambassador has been a great experience.  It has given me an opportunity to enhance my communication skills and to meet a lot of really cool people. Most of the people I interacted with were student renters or homeowners within the U. District.  I liked being involved with this program because it enabled me to listen to many different perspectives about current or uprising issues in the area and also gave me a chance to take part in interventions aiming to promote the quality of life for many of the residents living in this area.  Not only do I feel like I have made a positive difference in the community, I feel that this program has had a positive influence on many different aspects of my own life. -Paul Summerlin, Ambassador #13

Monday, May 13, 2013

University District Block Party

The Neighborhood Ambassador Program's University District Block Party was a huge success.  With a lot of hard work from all of the Neighborhood Ambassadors and support from the community we were able to have a lot of fun and throw a great event!