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.”