Archive | April, 2009

Concrete canoe: More than just a formula

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Matt Dixon


Concrete canoe? Is this a joke? Concrete doesn’t float.

Yes it does, and it doesn’t just float because it’s in the shape of a canoe. Engineering students here at Marquette University and 13 other schools in the Midwest build canoes out of special concrete and race them as part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Great Lakes Conference, an annual civil engineering student competition.

The concrete canoe team consists of about 20 civil engineering students who work throughout the school year in order to complete a canoe to enter in the competition. The team members are all part of the ASCE. ASCE oversees the competition by providing guidelines, some funding and the final judging. The competition rotates between host schools each year; this year Notre Dame was the host.

Work began long before the team was cruising through the water in their green canoe.

As early as September the team was already preparing for the April competition. The team started with the basics. They had to build a stand to hold the mold for the canoe, the mold which is made out of large Styrofoam blocks and a plastic tent to control the humidity when putting the concrete into the mold.

While the majority of the team went to work building these necessary pieces, Steven Graziano, a senior civil engineering student, began designing the concrete mix. White portland cement, fly ash, slag and silica fumes make up the cement portion of the mixture. The aggregate of the canoe is mostly composed of glass beads and recycled concrete. The mix also contained water and shreds of fiberglass as reinforcement as well as chemical admixtures, powders and fluids that help control the workability of the concrete.

“It’s one of the most exotic mixes I’ve ever seen,” said David Newman, laboratory manager for civil and environmental engineering and technical advisor to the team. “That’s just not done; you don’t make buildings or roads out of that stuff. That’s strictly for this and there aren’t really any guidelines written on how to design that.”


The only guideline for the mix was that it had to contain at least 25 percent recycled materials. This year’s team decided to adopt the motto “It’s not easy being green,” and used 100 percent recycled materials for their mix. The rest of the mix was open-ended and was devised with technical ability and creativity.

“The technical ability that students leave here with is essentially a given,” said Dr. James Crovetti, ASCE faculty advisor for the team. “It’s really what can they do to work with other people and get outside their box of comfort, and to be able to look at a problem from different perspectives, then find a solution and not get frustrated by the challenges in front of them.”

While Graziano did most of the technical heavy lifting, he did not do it alone. “There were a lot of times where I would go to Dave and we’d run into some sort of road block and together… we would put our heads together and figure out something.”

In the beginning of February, the team poured the canoe. While Graziano and a group of students finished measuring all of the components of the mix in the lab, project manager Patrick Carruthers a senior civil engineering student and another group of students were waiting in a room in the basement of Cramer Hall with the mold. The first bucket of concrete made its way over and the team started putting concrete in the mold inside the hot steamy plastic tent while the smell of concrete and sweat filled the air.

The tent kept the level of humidity high, which gave the team more working time with the concrete. Hours and a few buckets of concrete later the canoe sat in the mold, complete with fiberglass reinforcement between two layers of concrete. But it was nowhere near finished.

The canoe still needed to cure for several weeks, before the next steps could take place, which included water-grinding the inside and outside of the canoe to make it smooth as well as sealing it to keep it from absorbing more water.

After four weeks, disaster struck. When the team attempted to remove the canoe from the mold, it cracked in half. The canoe had bonded to the mold and was not able to shrink while it cured. The reinforcement also had ripped.

“It was like getting punched in the stomach,” said Graziano. With the competition less than four weeks away, the team had suffered a big blow but remained committed.
“We were going with or without something,” said Patricia Fleming, a junior civil engineering student and ASCE Marquette Chapter president.


The team knew what they had to do. “We sat there, talked about how it sucked, and then we were like: What do we have to do to get a new one?” said Carruthers. Fortunately, a few dedicated members: Adrianna Stanley, a senior civil engineering student, Ryan Chapman, a junior civil engineering student and Graziano were able to repair and put the mold back together over spring break so the team could pour a new canoe when everyone returned.

“All-in-all, it was something that needed to be done and we accepted that,” said Chapman.

With less than two weeks until the competition the team poured their second canoe, giving them only a week for it to cure and a few days to finish the water grinding and sealing. Four days before heading to Notre Dame the canoe slipped right out of the mold without cracking. This time the team had switched reinforcements as well as lined the mold with plastic wrap to prevent any bonding issues.

With the final coat of sealer still drying, the team loaded the canoe into a trailer on a Thursday afternoon and departed for Notre Dame. Every bump the trailer went over on the three and a half hour drive could have caused the canoe to crack, but it made it in one piece.

Early next morning the team headed to St. Mary’s Lake on the Notre Dame campus. The sun wasn’t quite up yet; it was cold and clouds were looming overhead. The team unloaded the canoe and placed it on its stand while the other teams started to trickle in and do the same.

With temperatures in the mid-30s and gusts of wind blowing across the lake, the team carried the canoe into the water for the first time. It floated.

The team started filling the canoe with water as part of their first test. The first test is the swamp test, where the canoe must be fully submerged and then float to the surface. The team took their hands off the canoe and it started to float. The team cheered, emptied the water out of the canoe, hauled it out and tried to stay warm until their first race.

After all the teams had gone through the swamp test and had their canoes judged for specifications, the races began. The first race was the women’s slalom/endurance race. In this time-trial race the participants had to weave through a set of buoys and then paddle around a far buoy and cross the finish line. The Marquette team helped Fleming, Stanley and Kaleianuene Akaka, a senior civil engineering student into the canoe. The team was excited to see the canoe move on the water for the first time. Ready and in position, the girls raised their paddles and were through the finish line in five minutes and eight seconds placing fourth. At the end of the day, the Marquette team took seventh overall in the races. However, the competition did not end there. The races were worth only a small portion in the overall canoe competition, which included a design report, a presentation as well as the canoe itself.

The conference also includes other competitions such as manila folder bridge, concrete golf, wastewater treatment, a mystery competition, technical paper report and a steel bridge competition.
On Saturday morning and afternoon, the team participated in manila folder bridge as well the wastewater treatment, technical paper and mystery competitions. Carruthers and Graziano also gave their presentation on the canoe. The judges were impressed with the fact that the team was able to use 100 percent recycled materials as well the fact that they were able to come together as a team to construct a new canoe in such a short amount of time.

Saturday was the final banquet when all the teams gathered for dinner. As the final results and awards were announced, everyone on the team was taken by surprise. The Marquette team had placed third in the concrete canoe competition, less than 5 points away from University of Wisconsin-Madison, who has dominated the competition in the past, and often competes in nationals.

“It was an insane feeling. Being there at the banquet and hearing our name called for third place, all of us were in shock,” said Fleming. The team took fourth overall as well as first in concrete golf and second for Stanley’s technical paper.

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Stop useless gestures to save the environment

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Nick Preston

This entire week, in recognition of Earth Day, Marquette dining halls will forgo the use of trays in an effort to conserve water and energy. I am sure that certain groups on campus will hail this as a great leap forward in the campus’s efforts to save the environment. In reality, it will be much more of an inconvenience to students as they try to balance multiple plates, utensils and glasses with only two hands and less of a viable means of conserving water and energy.

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It is gestures like this that are indicative of most conservatory measures taken to save the environment: time, money and effort are often spent only to yield absurdly minimal results at a cost of maximum inconvenience. Even with the amounts of water that will be saved by not using such wasteful things like trays, it will still pale in comparison to the amount of water used by the campus everyday as students shower, cook, clean and drink. In fact, I’m even willing to bet that almost as much energy was wasted in printing out all the posters and billboards that will be advertising efforts to save the earth this week. There are areas of both the country and the world running out of clean water, but Marquette is in no danger of running out of water as a mile down the road lies one of the world’s most abundant supplies of fresh water.

If we at Marquette really want to do something that will produce actual results, we need to be willing to make changes to our lifestyles, not just inconvenience ourselves to save a few measly gallons here and there.

Here are some suggestions to actually affect the environment in a positive way: (1) stop watering and cutting all of the grass on campus – this will save much more water and cut emissions from gas-guzzling lawn mowers; (2) stop caking sidewalks with copious amounts of salt during the winter – as a chemistry major I can assure you that salt corrodes almost anything it touches and wreaks havoc on vegetation, not to mention I hear it’s a pain to clean off of Ugg boots; (3) Issue students LED headlamps for walking at night and turn off all street lights. This will drastically cut electricity use as well as light pollution; and finally (4), stop cooking grade F foods at campus dining halls so students will be less inclined to throw it away. The measures that I have laid out are extreme by most standards, and I’m sure come off as being quite crazy. I would be extremely surprised if anyone implemented any of these suggestions. I merely aim to illustrate the point that inane efforts such as putting aside trays for a week, replacing inefficient light-bulbs or installing solar panels won’t ever amount to a significant reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions. If Marquette, and the rest of the country for that matter, is actually concerned about the environment, we need to be willing to drastically change our way of life and standard of living.

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Financial aid and spiritual advice to those who need it

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Remington Tonar

Despite how Asher Roth characterizes college in his hit single, the college experience of most Marquette students is far more dynamic and substantive. Our university is full of real people with real hopes and dreams, real ambitions and aspirations and real challenges and struggles. Sure, weekends are often host to a menagerie of beer pong games and keg stands, but overall students at Marquette care, and would like to believe that Marquette cares about them. Yet, many students continue to struggle financially and spiritually. Some would even say that they feel like Marquette does not care about them. These, the least among us, are those whose advice we should listen to above all.

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Firstly, it would be hard to deny that the vast majority of students have encountered at least some financial obstacles since enrolling at Marquette, challenges which should be expected when attending private school. While I would never advocate for any private school to simply dispense funds, it would be nice to see more scholarships offered, not only of an academic type, but other types as well. I have a friend who recently confessed to me that he was considering leaving Marquette because he could no longer afford it. He had gone to talk to representatives from the Office of Student Financial Aid, but let’s be serious, the red-tape within the University’s departments is outrageous. More dismaying to my friend than possibly having to leave Marquette was his experience with the University’s various offices that seem to care more about making money than about serving students. Many schools will give scholarship aid to people who have done large verifiable amounts of community service, have served in the armed forces or have engaged in many other categories of laudable activities. Marquette often talks about increasing student financial aid; merit based awards for service and achievement might be a good place to start.

Secondly, addressing spirituality, Marquette is a Catholic university, a fact that is reflected in some places better than others. I’ve lived in residence halls for three years, one as a resident and two as a Resident Assistant, and in that time I have encountered some useless hall ministers. In fact, in those three years I am very confident I have done more ministering than most of the hall ministers I’ve known. Now, it’s a tough job – especially when the minister is older; students cannot always relate to a prim and proper graduate student in theology, nor can they always relate to a Jesuit priest. Because of this void that occurs early on in a student’s collegiate journey, many students never connect their daily lives to a spiritual reality. Hall ministers need to do a better job of reaching out, they need to be more visible and make themselves more available. Father Majka in Schroeder does a good job of this when he prowls the dining hall and engages random students. Many students come to Marquette wrestling with questions about their identity and spirituality, and if given the opportunity almost every student will talk about their views on faith, morals and God. As a Catholic institution, Marquette needs to do a better job of answering their questions. The University offers plenty of resources, but since most students are not proactive enough to seek out those resources, Marquette needs to do a better job of seeking out students. ??????? ? ???????? ????? ???????? ???? ???? ??????

Finally, there are many things the University can do to enhance the experience of students, and make their collegiate journey less financially terrifying and more spiritually rewarding. While I am sure every student could talk at length about how to improve the University, I know that the suggestions I have offered here are practical ones that the University administration will value and appreciate. I hope that readers have time to reflect on how Marquette can improve, and how each one of us can help make those improvements.

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Don’t stuff your money under a foundation. Invest in scholarships

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Jacob Jasperson

Marquette University actively strives towards becoming a top national university, and as such I applaud the work that Marquette has done over the past few years with regards to buildings and physical improvements on campus (see the Wells Street median just beginning to undergo construction). The new law school, Zilber Hall, McCabe Hall and the other improvements on campus are necessary and gorgeous improvements to an already aesthetically pleasing campus.

However, the most glaring need for improvement at Marquette is in raising capital for scholarships and financial aid. Although this sort of fundraising has not necessarily been the major focus of campaigns in the past, it is an essential component to securing the future of Marquette University. In these rough financial times, short of investing in canned goods, there is nothing more vital to the success of Marquette University than canceling future building projects and transferring these dollars into the general scholarship fund. ????? ????? ??????

Though some might protest and say that the new College of Engineering building would be a great addition to campus, or that a new soccer stadium would do wonders for athletics, there will be no students to fill it in a few years without raising the general scholarship fund. I understand that others have suggested tearing down Coughlin and Lalumiere, saying that these changes need to be made in order to better our campus. Don’t do it Marquette. Save the money, give out scholarships, bring great students to campus. There cannot be any more pressing issue facing our university than this one, and the solution is simple. Stop building, start saving.

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Revise the curriculum for introductory English courses

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Adam Ryback

Marquette University has a very respectable curriculum which is nationally recognized. Its students go on to succeed in respectable Master’s and Doctorate programs and our departing seniors tend to have relatively good job placement. But there is one part of our curriculum which needs to be addressed. That area would be our introductory English programs, Rhetoric and Composition 1 and 2. These programs cover basic writing skills. They help you write essays, business letters, etc… ??????? ???? ????? ????

I do not think there is anything wrong with this. In fact, I think students should not be exempted from these types of classes for good scores on AP and IB exams. However, these courses are in desperate need of improvement.

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Rather than reading the mindless drivel that professors regularly assign in these classes,  students should be required to study the greatest writers of all time. By learning from the masters of rhetoric and composition, like Cicero, Chesterton or even Ronald Reagan, it is possible to imitate their style and to write in the ways they did.

If one can write logically, then one can also think logically. That is why men like Kant, Aquinas and Descartes could think so critically. Regardless of whether or not they come to the correct conclusions, they were able to think and write in a logical, coherent fashion. When students pick up the writings of one of these philosophers, they should be able to understand them by merely reading or studying them on their own.

Unfortunately many Marquette students are unable to understand many of these great thinkers; this is a serious problem – particularly at a Jesuit institution. A university education cannot be purely based on our skills in business or engineering. Rather, it should be founded on things like the ability to read and write.

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I acknowledge our professors try extremely hard to help students acquire basic writing skills. But the university needs to take a serious look at its English department so as to make sure students come out of Marquette as intelligent, well-educated people. Writing is an art. And it’s in danger of being a lost one. When students in courses like Rhetoric and Composition 1 or 2 are comparing and contrasting advertisements or writing business letters rather than learning actual writing skills it shows that Marquette needs to take a serious look at revising its curriculum. vbulletin ??????? ?????

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All good things come to an end

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Robert Christensen

For the past few weeks I have been very excited about writing this column, partly because I don’t have to scour my brain for a topic I haven’t already written about but mostly because I have been looking forward to using this opportunity to thank my friends, family and faculty at Marquette University for the help and support they have given me over the past four years.

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I have greatly enjoyed my time here in Milwaukee. Even when temperatures remained below freezing for months on end I have never regretted coming to school here. I have made many memories that I will be able to take with me for the rest of my life, from waking up in McCormick Hall as a freshman to a hallway covered with torn down posters and apple pies to our trip to New York City over spring break and the many basketball games attended in between. I honestly could not have asked for a better four years.

Many opportunities have been given to me over the past few years and it is only right that I thank first and foremost the professors at this school who took time out of their day to provide me with their insight and guidance. In particular, I would like to mention Dr. Christopher Wolfe who retired from the political science department last year to go on to bigger and better things. I know I was not the only student he impacted and I am sure I can speak on behalf of all of us when I say, thank you for all of the time you have taken to help each one of us.

As influential, if not more, have been the friends I have been blessed to make while here at Marquette especially those on “The Warrior” staff whom I have had the pleasure of working with. I have enjoyed knowing each and every one of you throughout my time here and as we head our separate ways I look forward to seeing our future accomplishments. I would specifically like to mention those of us who will be serving in the Marine Corps or Navy upon graduation whom I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with. For the past four years we have been looking forward to May 2009 and now it is upon us. I’m not sure what will be in store for each one of us but I am sure it will be exciting.

Finally I would like to urge those of you who will be remaining here at Marquette for the years to come to take advantage of the opportunities here. Attend the speakers who come to campus, get involved in university activities, attend every basketball game possible or come and write for The Warrior. This university has much to offer anyone who wants to be involved. To all of you who have been reading my column for the past few years, thank you very much; hopefully you enjoyed some of them. To those of you who either were offended or frustrated by them, particularly the one entitled “Practice social justice, respect the wealthy,” hopefully it made you think – you’re welcome.

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Good luck, Class of 2009

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Austin Wozniak

Congratulations to the Marquette University Class of 2009. For a mere $120,000 you are now the proud owner of one sheet of paper that says you may know a little something about something. I say that not to diminish the value of your education, but because if I have learned one thing during my time at Marquette, it is that the difference this school expects you to become has little to do with what you pursue as a career and has even less to do with how well you learned the academic material the university has foisted upon you.

As you leave Marquette, you enter a world that is radically different from the one that existed when you entered this school. In 2005 this country was cresting an unprecedented economic boom and losing a war in Iraq. Now, in 2009, we are winning a war in Iraq and watching an unprecedented economic collapse. Ironically, the one thing that is the same now as in May of 2005 is the cost of a barrel of oil.

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In the midst of all these changes in the past few years, one tradition that has not changed is the annual scramble among universities to find the most highly regarded commencement speaker available to come and impart some wisdom, in the hopes that one day, you too may be called upon to address the next generation. Sometimes these speeches are little more than the awkward reminiscences of accomplished individuals; other times these addresses can offer valuable lessons and insights regarding life, success and what you can do to make that difference in the world. It also sets an artificial standard of what it means to graduate from that university. Don’t worry, if you aren’t as funny as Chris Farley, as athletically gifted as Dwyane Wade or as notorious as Senator McCarthy, you are not necessarily a failure.

A commencement speech should serve as a capstone to what you have learned over the past several years of your life. If your college experience has been anything like mine, much of that learning took place outside the classroom through your friendships, experiences and changing perceptions of the world of which we are all a part. These experiences constitute some of the most important learning that occurs in college, and now that this stage of your education is complete it is important to remember that it was only by going out and getting involved, by taking part in the larger campus and city communities around us that those experiences were gained, those friendships formed and those perceptions changed. It is only by continuing to put yourselves out there that you will persist in adding new friends, experiences and understandings to your lives. This is all the more true if you choose to get off the beaten path, try new things and drive the back roads whenever possible.

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The past few years have hopefully equipped you to begin a career or continue your education as well as having helped you to find something that you passionately want to do. The difference that Marquette often references is not made on basketball courts by all-stars, during stand-up comedy routines on Saturday Night Live or by earning as much money as you possibly can. Rather, it is made by everyday people who are dedicated to what they do; people who serve at the tip of the spear or as boots on the ground in places of great need, which are inherently also places of great opportunity. There is an old saying that it is not what you say but rather how you say it that matters. Likewise, it is not what you do after graduation but how you do it that makes the difference. Being “boots on the ground” does not mandate that you go to some distant war zone to practice medicine or traipse through the jungles of Brazil to educate Amazon natives; it simply means continuing to put yourself in position to contribute in whatever field you work towards some greater good.

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As Marquette sends another class out into a world that continues to evolve and rapidly change, it is indeed sending forth students who collectively represent much of the proverbial “promise of a generation.” The undergraduate portion of your education is complete, but your lifelong education is just beginning and it has no syllabus to follow – you make it up as you go along, learning from mistakes and successes and occasionally remembering the lessons learned while here at MU. You are now completely free to do whatever you would like to do. Don’t forget to have fun while throughout the rest of your lives – after all, you can only do this once – and always remember that having a degree does not make you educated.

I will leave the flowery speeches and lofty expressions of congratulations to Dick Enberg, the real 2009 commencement speaker; I am sure his observations and life experiences will present far more fascinating insights than my own rambling editorial based on my somewhat typical collegiate career.

But let me offer one more congratulations to the graduates. You’ve succeeded in getting to this point in your lives and now is the time to go find other worlds to explore; just make it a point to remember the lessons you are taking away from Marquette that really matter. And, if you happen to have a few extra minutes every now and again, you really should drive those back roads.
Best of luck 2009, congratulations!

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Bridge between Wisconsin Ave. and Wall Street Marquette’s AIM program preps students for ethical futures in finance

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Katelyn Ferral

At first it may seem inconsistent to pair signature Jesuit values of social justice and selflessness with finance, an industry explicitly based on amassing wealth. ??????? 3gp ????? ??????? ???????
The students and faculty of Marquette’s Applied Investment Management Program would disagree.

“If there’s a public perception that finance is corrupt, then that’s a false perception,” AIM program director Dr. David Krause said.

As Wall Street continues to grapple with the global economic recession and public outrage over AIG executive bonuses and the Bernie Madoff scandal, Marquette’s Applied Investment Management (AIM) program is expanding the scope of Jesuit education and service beyond traditional social justice campaigns and food drives.

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The AIM program is bringing Jesuit values to the forefront of finance through an innovative investment research curriculum designed to give students real investment experience and a solid foundation in the Jesuit tradition.

The Applied Investment Management (AIM) program was founded in 2004 and gives a select number of finance majors the opportunity to manage $1 million of the University’s endowment while receiving hands-on training in managing small capitalization equity and fixed income  funds.

The International Applied Investment Management (IAIM) program was established in 2007 and expanded the portfolio to include global equity funds. As one of the nation’s top investment programs, the AIM program was the first undergraduate business program in the world selected as a program partner by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute.

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Jesuit infused ethics guide the program as AIM students are some of the first in the nation required to take courses focused on socially responsible investment management standards.

“As far as we know, we’re the first school anywhere to offer investment ethics. We feel pretty good that we’re at the forefront addressing these problems. Because of our Jesuit values, we were addressing ethics before there was ever a need for it, before the big explosion,” Department of Finance chair Dr. Sarah Peck said.  “We take a lot of pride in the fact that not only are our students going to be extremely knowledgeable, but also become the type of people you want to see on Wall Street.”

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In addition to the ethics course, a new course on risk management will be offered because of the link between the current economic crisis and the high frequency of risk leverage.
“We could really see that this was becoming an issue so we’re going to offer a course on it,” said Peck.

Disclosure to clients, trading, conflicts of interest, compensation and corporate governance issues are among the many ethical concerns addressed in AIM courses, Peck said.
The AIM program also prepares students to take the Chartered Financial Analyst exam, in which ethics is heavily covered. According to the AIM Web site, the program’s partnership with the CFA Institute is dependent upon the program covering at least 70 percent of the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge.

Marquette graduate and AIM program alumnus Steven Briggs, who will be starting at Bank of America in New York as an analyst in Mergers and Acquisitions in July said ethics was always a huge part of his classroom experience in the AIM program.

“Ethics is a huge portion of the CFA exam and was talked about in every class we took for the AIM program,” Briggs said. “We had to write papers on ethics and current events dealing with ethics was always discussed.”

The Jesuit ethics taught at Marquette have also stayed with alumnus Dan Williams, Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor for U.S. Trust Bank of America in New York.
“I think there’s a fundamental difference between people who’ve been Jesuit educated and those who have not,” Williams said. “It broadens your view of ethics, provides a moral, ethical training and makes it easy to tell when something is wrong, and say no right away.”

Although market volatility has gone down in recent months, the finance industry still faces hardship and uncertainty. Despite industry conditions, Dr. Krause said the AIM program has not suffered significant losses, and is also attracting a record number of applicants.

“The program hasn’t changed investing strategies, and is doing well in up and down markets,” Krause said. “There have been some alterations in type of companies, but we’ve stayed invested long term.”
Applicant numbers may be on the rise, but the implications of last fall’s financial crash has affected some students’ outlook on the future of finance. ????? ?????? ????? ???????
AIM program junior Sarah Finneran said upheaval in the financial industry compelled her to initially question joining the program.

“As I was applying to the program, the financial industry was in turmoil, and so I initially thought “why would I want to do this?” but then I realized that with the backdrop of Jesuit values taught and applied through AIM, this is what there is a need for [in the industry],” Finneran said.

“There is a need for a moral compass in the business world, and that’s exactly why I wanted to be a part of the program, so that what happened doesn’t happen again.”

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New reign, new attitude MUSG’s new executives alter MUSG outlook

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Molly Petitjean

With only a few short weeks in office under their belt, Henry Thomas and Stephanie Stopka found time in their busy schedule to sit down with The Warrior to discuss the year ahead of them. Looking to gauge the potential of this pair, platform promises and communication were the important issues that were discussed. Thomas and Stopka think that MUSG is a very healthy organization and they are eager to work within it to do great things.

While the previous administration failed in many of their campaign promises, (incomplete Wells Street median, no computers in the AMU nor any electric LIMOs zipping about campus). Thomas and Stopka hope to get some of this done.

“We are not going to forget the projects in place. I am going to make… sure this will happen… Some of the things [Redlingshafer and Blaney] promised are on their way and it is our duty to continue that in transition,” Thomas said.

Another problem unearthed with the last presidency was the lack of communication between MUSG and the general student population, especially with regard to MUSG’s Web site. The last update on the president’s page was dated 1/22/09 with Redlingshafer addressing the new semester.

“It is something we realize is a problem, but we are making it a priority in the future,” Stopka said.

They hope this will be accomplished through their newly appointed Communications Vice President and through student talent.

During the meeting, it was clear that communication is something that Thomas and Stopka want to work on through the MUSG Web site and other avenues. One of the most important things that they want to communicate more effectively on is the MUSG budget and how they are planning to spend it. Currently, only 32 percent of the Student Organization Allocation goes to events that happen on campus. The rest is used to fund organizations’ requests to go to events off campus.

Thomas and Stopka said this is the case because more organizations request money for off-campus projects than for on-campus events.
“We found it disheartening that organizations had no idea that they could apply for money,” Stopka said.

“It is our responsibility to get that information to student organizations. We can target a lot through going out in committee individually,” Thomas said.

Another budget issue Thomas and Stopka want to communicate more effectively is how students’ activity fees are being spent. Through the increase in the activity fee students will see next year, MUSG hopes to increase funding for club sports and new events.

Addressing those students that dislike the activity fee and are unhappy with the way it is spent, Thomas said, “If they knew how much of their money was actually getting back to them, they would have a different opinion.”

Whether or not that is the case, this increased fee will give MUSG more spending power than ever.
One topic that Stopka was clearly passionate about was the safety on campus.

She said, “We have a safe campus but it can always be safer. We need to actively voice student concerns about places that are safe.”

In addition to the safety on campus and other platform promises, Thomas and Stopka are looking to the recent past for ideas to better represent the students at Marquette. ????????? ??????? ?????????? ?????
“We will take a lot of ideas from our competitors because they represented a large constituency… we do not want to ignore the other students; there are a lot of good ideas out there,” Stopka said.
Thomas was also adamant about the legacy he would like to leave on campus. “We want to be more along the lines of people you can come up to and see at various campus events… being involved and available,” he said.

Stopka, too, has a vision for her work at Marquette. She wants to get all they promised on their campaign platform completed:
“If we can do this, then that would be a great legacy.”

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MUSG has saving graces: how I was wrong (and right)

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Joseph Schuster

Ray Redlingshafer and his administration in Marquette University’s Student Government did not achieve anything great this past year.  There is not much debate about that. Take a look around, is anything different? Are there computers in the AMU? No.  Is the project to get a median on Wells Street completed? No.

As such, it used to seem to me that MUSG was fairly unnecessary on campus. MUSG cannot do large projects, such as increase the amount of bandwidth that the University has. For large projects, such as this one, it is up to administrators to use their best judgment and make changes.  In my time as an MUSG senator, I did discover that MUSG does many things (even if they are small), and I was incorrect for condemning all of their practices.

When it comes to allocating the Student Activity Fee, we have clearly seen that MUSG is incompetent at doing that.  We know that MUSG is not good at communicating with the people that it claims to represent. This became more apparent when former President Redlingshafer, (in connection with the Communications Department,) tried to prevent Senators (who they have no realistic or constitutional control over) from speaking to the press. Luckily President Thomas (while wearing a baseball cap to the first Senate meeting) repealed this policy, and encouraged people to communicate.

There are some things that MUSG does that are very positive to the Marquette community.  One of the greatest assets of MUSG is the Programs Department.  The programs that are put on have a great impact on  Marquette students.  They offer opportunities for students to use the activity fee money they paid into MUSG. ?????? ??????? ?????????

The other option for the activity fee money is to go through the Student Allocations process, which many times ends in sending few students on exotic adventures around the country or world. The new Programs Vice President, Erin Shawgo, has promised to have more activities that will be in Milwaukee, and easily accessible to all Marquette students. If we are going to have a Student Activity Fee, which seems unavoidable, it might as well be used in a manner that many students can use. This takes place mainly through the Programs board. ????? ???? ???????????

There are also many senators that do strive to respond to the needs of the people at Marquette that they represent, and they do work to meet those needs.  Some of the best senators in MUSG do not make their work known all the time in the form of legislation, but there are people that go and meet with administrators to get things done.

These people within MUSG work with administrators, rather than thinking that MUSG needs to work against administrators. The communication by these senators is crucial, and  senators do it out of their sense of duty for the peopletheir constituents. To these few senators, I commend you.

Granted, there are still those senators who do things to simply get their name on legislation. Senators Billy Doerrer and Joey Ciccone were recently able to childishly pass an amendment with the intention of eliminating certain students’ right to run for MUSG in their last year at Marquette.

While MUSG and the Senate still like to do foolish unnecessary things, there are good things that are being done at a lower volume, and it is because of these things that we must forgive many of the idiotic things that some people do within MUSG.

Finally, with all the negative attention that the communication’s department gets, much of it rightfully so, they have done some good in this past year.  Have they been updating the website on a continual basis? No. They have, however, entered the 21st century and began to Twitter. The Twitter updates from the communications department have been timely and very informative.  For that, former Communications Vice President Katy Klinnert, we as a student body should thank you, as we can now stay more informed. ????? ???? ????? ?a?????

There are many things MUSG does that are entirely unnecessary and a waste of time. And let us not forget the large amounts of money MUSG loves to waste. The Student Government at Marquette does, however, in many ways provide services to the students that are represented. These are sometimes seen through programs, and sometimes they are not seen, when it is behind the scenes work with administrators.  We can only hope that after the summer months MUSG works towards more of the positive things, and leaves behind much of the childish egocentric behavior.

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