Today, sadly, we end an era. Joseph Schuster is no longer writing the MUSG Beat column for “The Warrior.” To fill this void and ensure MUSG is held accountable to the Marquette student body, I will gladly pick up where he left off.
After Schuster was offered a position within the Senate as representative for the College of Arts and Sciences, he knew it was his civic duty to represent the student body for which he had previously written. However, accepting this position required him to relinquish his column at “The Warrior” due to conflict of interest. Since reporting on our student government is an important facet of our newspaper, we at “The Warrior” will continue Schuster’s cause.
I understand how some of you might be skeptical about the effectiveness of the membership of Schuster in the Senate, but let me share with you some information about him that you might not know. As his position in the Senate attests, Schuster is a community oriented individual who is willing to work within the system to make this university great. Previously, his attempts to create change came through his role in the media, taking his role to inform and react to the governmental structure seriously. Now he is taking a first-hand role and will not quit his quest for change and information.
To become informed about this new subject that I will diligently cover for you, I went to the Senate meeting on September 11, 2008. Before the meeting began, the Senate slighted Senator Schuster by printing his name incorrectly on his name card. Reading his column and finding time to criticize his words apparently left them with no time to read his name under the byline to get correct spelling.
While at the meeting, there was a discussion of the upcoming mandatory Senate retreat. If anyone was unable to attend this outing, their punishment was to talk with 25 students about MUSG. What kind of student government organization suggests talking to the people they represent as a punishment? Shouldn’t this be mandatory, instead of the retreat? What the heck? As a bystander, I was shocked that anyone would actually say that. This represents a problem with MUSG that runs deeper than retreat attendance.
Since the participants in the Senate are students, they have lives outside of their extracurricular activities and while they expend a lot of energy at various meetings and planning committees, there is not much time spent within the student body directly communicating with those they represent. Without this face-time, it is hard to say that the Senate answers to the student body. Instead it could be said that they really have to answer to their peers directly within the organization itself. They take their positions for self-gratification, prestige, and to take an active role in their extracurricular activity of choice. What do the students they represent actually want from their student government? Does the Senate know?
With Schuster now part of the Senate, it will be interesting to see if he can get them to figure out the answers to those very questions. So here’s to your new Arts and Sciences Senator, Joseph Schuster. Rest assured there is someone in your corner within the Senate. I hope to do justice to the student body and continue his cause and legacy as contributor to the MUSG Beat.