Archive | November, 2009

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Turns of Our Lives

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Andrew Sinclair

Every day is the start of something new. Each time we wake there is a chance to make a change and just turn our life in a different direction. When it comes time to turn, we can see that some routes are easier than others, some are straight, some zig-and-zag, and others are the roads less traveled. As we constantly move in life, the question remains: are you willing to take a chance?

It is not easy to answer that question, and it often makes us pause no matter if we were sprinting or walking along the path at that time. As we weigh the possibilities we have to remember that most of the time taking chances is not something that can just be multiplied out on a sheet of paper. In the game of life every move and turn is real–and everything after affects what happens next. Each turn becomes filled with emotion and anxiousness as we fill our minds with ideas or crazy possibilities. Each turn, of course, is also filled with a little hard work and faith. So why not take a chance? What is there to fear?

Are you afraid of failure or letting others down? Or perhaps are you afraid of being slightly embarrassed? That is perhaps the most intriguing, nerve-wracking and exciting part of the risks we take–the chance of choosing wrongly. That is why risk is part rational and part irrational. Or perhaps why it is confusing making our choices hard to make–especially confusing when our lives can seem to resemble answer ‘D’ on a test: “none of the above.” As we grow up we have to understand that taking chances is the hardest part, and that is why it is perfectly okay to be afraid. We need to be humbled by things, even if that means being humbled by the fear of failure. Nobody wants to fail, which makes trying that much harder; it makes maintaining the status quo that much easier. It is comfortable and familiar, but how long can we live and move on an ordinary path when we are all extraordinary people?

Perhaps at this point in your life you are not sure what chances you should be taking. Hey, we all are young and have a long way to go, and we have plenty of time to find out what turns are best for us each day. Remember, making turns does not always mean we have to make a u-turn; maybe your turn is just taking small steps along your path today. Maybe this is the point, along your path, between something new, or the maybe this is the point when something that seems old is about to get better. Maybe this is the point in your life between tears and smiles, and just maybe this is the chance to remember today is a great new day. Taking chances can be anything we do to make our path in life easier, better, more productive or even better for others. So take a chance, be nice to someone today you dislike,
share a passion with someone who needs a friend, take a nap to recover, go for a run and capture what you are missing and just be yourself.

And at end of the day as we lay our heads down to drift asleep, we are going to remember the chances we took, the humbling experience it was to move along our path that day, and all the good things still to come.

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Ponzi schemes, oompa loompas and the problem with Social Security

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Austin Wozniak

The Madoff scandal that has unfolded over the past months will forever be a pockmark on the finance profession; a stark reminder of the failures of human beings and government oversight. It is ridiculous that Madoff was able to run a fund founded as little on reality as Willy Wonka’s fictitious chocolate factory. The only person that can be entirely blamed for that scandal is Bernie Madoff, but there is certainly some culpability on the part of the SEC and other oversight organizations that somehow failed to uncover the largest fraud perpetrated in US history. Bernie Madoff’s scheme may be the largest fraud in the US to date, but, as it turns out, it is not the largest Ponzi scheme.  That dubious distinction belongs to Social Security.
By definition, a Ponzi scheme relies upon an inverted pyramid of investors. As the number of investors grows, their money is used to pay off the people below them in the pyramid. Social Security follows the same logic – money citizens are supposedly investing in their own future retirement is being used to pay the people lower in the pyramid – today’s retirees.  Therefore, this system will only work so long as the pyramid of population growth remains inverted; if it does not, it will collapse.  Well, the population of social security eligible people is now growing faster than the people paying into the system, and this enormous Ponzi – like scheme is teetering on the edge. In 2017, Social Security will reach the critical point at which the pyramid is no longer growing upside down.
Spending in Washington is out of control, and will require a comprehensive strategy to reclaim control over the national debt and the fate of the dollar. That article will be for another day but the point is Congress cannot spend the US into $2,000,000,000,000 deficits and expect social security to right itself.  The social security system requires that either people working pay more, that people retired take less, or that the government figures out a way to prevent both options from becoming necessities.
The Social Security tax taken from every paycheck in America is currently insufficient: there are too many retirees in the near future and there is no motivation to fix the problem – all of which spells a collapse of the sort to make Madoff look like a spitball in a hurricane.
A pragmatic approach to fix social security must come from both sides of the aisle in order to gain momentum to pass through Congress.  A combination of the following steps would help reduce the problem, although not fix it in its entirety:
Raise the Social Security age to 70 over the next four years, grandfathering those already receiving benefits or within a year of receiving benefits into the system at the current age cutoff of 66.  This will delay the influx of 78 million Baby Boomers who are nearing retirement and reduce the total benefits paid.
Currently Social Security is only deducted from the first $102,000 of income.  This limit should be done away with and Social Security should be assessed against total incomes.
Benefits should be cut 10% over the next decade – the US (and the AARP) cannot have Medicare, Social Security, 78 million retirees and not be willing to make some concessions.
Allow well-off retirees to defer benefits which would then be paid in full at a later date.
The Social Security trust fund, which is the primary mechanism to offset the short fall, should be invested along the guidelines recommended by proponents of privatizing social security in order to reduce costs and increase the return on investment – in three varyingly aggressive investment schemes designed to improve growth, mitigate market declines and diversify risk away.Both parties must stop dragging their feet at reform and drop ideas that are simply never going to get passed.  This includes the Personal Savings Account (privatization) idea, which ultimately will make Social Security pay more to those who need it less.
These steps draw on the good ideas of both parties, and passing any combination of the above would help fix the problem of having many millions of retirees counting on a Ponzi scheme for their retirement. It should also be noted that Social Security is a benefit, not a retirement plan; it is not meant to sustain retirees and Americans would do well to remember that.
Ultimately, it is up to Congress to, for once, make some tough decisions.  The problem is that no one seems to want to compromise.  The US cannot afford to be all things to all people; citizens looking for that level of government control may be interested in moving to China.  It would help if political parties could even come to an agreement on what a successful fix would look like, but every representative and interest group seems to have a different song and dance on the issue.  Imagine a Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in which each Oompa Loompa was on its own program with a unique song.  It would be no way to run a Chocolate Factory and it’s no way to run a government. Bernie Madoff may have succeeded in running the biggest fraud in US history, but unless Congress finds a feasible song and dance to buy into, they will go down in history as the culprits behind the biggest Ponzi schemeThe Madoff scandal that has unfolded over the past months will forever be a pockmark on the finance profession; a stark reminder of the failures of human beings and government oversight. It is ridiculous that Madoff was able to run a fund founded as little on reality as Willy Wonka’s fictitious chocolate factory. The only person that can be entirely blamed for that scandal is Bernie Madoff, but there is certainly some culpability on the part of the SEC and other oversight organizations that somehow failed to uncover the largest fraud perpetrated in US history. Bernie Madoff’s scheme may be the largest fraud in the US to date, but, as it turns out, it is not the largest Ponzi scheme.  That dubious distinction belongs to Social Security.
By definition, a Ponzi scheme relies upon an inverted pyramid of investors. As the number of investors grows, their money is used to pay off the people below them in the pyramid. Social Security follows the same logic – money citizens are supposedly investing in their own future retirement is being used to pay the people lower in the pyramid – today’s retirees.  Therefore, this system will only work so long as the pyramid of population growth remains inverted; if it does not, it will collapse.  Well, the population of social security eligible people is now growing faster than the people paying into the system, and this enormous Ponzi – like scheme is teetering on the edge. In 2017, Social Security will reach the critical point at which the pyramid is no longer growing upside down.
Spending in Washington is out of control, and will require a comprehensive strategy to reclaim control over the national debt and the fate of the dollar. That article will be for another day but the point is Congress cannot spend the US into $2,000,000,000,000 deficits and expect social security to right itself.  The social security system requires that either people working pay more, that people retired take less, or that the government figures out a way to prevent both options from becoming necessities.
The Social Security tax taken from every paycheck in America is currently insufficient: there are too many retirees in the near future and there is no motivation to fix the problem – all of which spells a collapse of the sort to make Madoff look like a spitball in a hurricane.
A pragmatic approach to fix social security must come from both sides of the aisle in order to gain momentum to pass through Congress.  A combination of the following steps would help reduce the problem, although not fix it in its entirety:
Raise the Social Security age to 70 over the next four years, grandfathering those already receiving benefits or within a year of receiving benefits into the system at the current age cutoff of 66.  This will delay the influx of 78 million Baby Boomers who are nearing retirement and reduce the total benefits paid.
Currently Social Security is only deducted from the first $102,000 of income.  This limit should be done away with and Social Security should be assessed against total incomes.
Benefits should be cut 10% over the next decade – the US (and the AARP) cannot have Medicare, Social Security, 78 million retirees and not be willing to make some concessions.
Allow well-off retirees to defer benefits which would then be paid in full at a later date.
The Social Security trust fund, which is the primary mechanism to offset the short fall, should be invested along the guidelines recommended by proponents of privatizing social security in order to reduce costs and increase the return on investment – in three varyingly aggressive investment schemes designed to improve growth, mitigate market declines and diversify risk away.Both parties must stop dragging their feet at reform and drop ideas that are simply never going to get passed.  This includes the Personal Savings Account (privatization) idea, which ultimately will make Social Security pay more to those who need it less.
These steps draw on the good ideas of both parties, and passing any combination of the above would help fix the problem of having many millions of retirees counting on a Ponzi scheme for their retirement. It should also be noted that Social Security is a benefit, not a retirement plan; it is not meant to sustain retirees and Americans would do well to remember that.
Ultimately, it is up to Congress to, for once, make some tough decisions.  The problem is that no one seems to want to compromise.  The US cannot afford to be all things to all people; citizens looking for that level of government control may be interested in moving to China.  It would help if political parties could even come to an agreement on what a successful fix would look like, but every representative and interest group seems to have a different song and dance on the issue.  Imagine a Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in which each Oompa Loompa was on its own program with a unique song.  It would be no way to run a Chocolate Factory and it’s no way to run a government. Bernie Madoff may have succeeded in running the biggest fraud in US history, but unless Congress finds a feasible song and dance to buy into, they will go down in history as the culprits behind the biggest Ponzi scheme.

The Madoff scandal that has unfolded over the past months will forever be a pockmark on the finance profession; a stark reminder of the failures of human beings and government oversight. It is ridiculous that Madoff was able to run a fund founded as little on reality as Willy Wonka’s fictitious chocolate factory. The only person that can be entirely blamed for that scandal is Bernie Madoff, but there is certainly some culpability on the part of the SEC and other oversight organizations that somehow failed to uncover the largest fraud perpetrated in US history. Bernie Madoff’s scheme may be the largest fraud in the US to date, but, as it turns out, it is not the largest Ponzi scheme.  That dubious distinction belongs to Social Security.

By definition, a Ponzi scheme relies upon an inverted pyramid of investors. As the number of investors grows, their money is used to pay off the people below them in the pyramid. Social Security follows the same logic – money citizens are supposedly investing in their own future retirement is being used to pay the people lower in the pyramid – today’s retirees.  Therefore, this system will only work so long as the pyramid of population growth remains inverted; if it does not, it will collapse.  Well, the population of social security eligible people is now growing faster than the people paying into the system, and this enormous Ponzi – like scheme is teetering on the edge. In 2017, Social Security will reach the critical point at which the pyramid is no longer growing upside down.

Spending in Washington is out of control, and will require a comprehensive strategy to reclaim control over the national debt and the fate of the dollar. That article will be for another day but the point is Congress cannot spend the US into $2,000,000,000,000 deficits and expect social security to right itself.  The social security system requires that either people working pay more, that people retired take less, or that the government figures out a way to prevent both options from becoming necessities.

The Social Security tax taken from every paycheck in America is currently insufficient: there are too many retirees in the near future and there is no motivation to fix the problem – all of which spells a collapse of the sort to make Madoff look like a spitball in a hurricane.

A pragmatic approach to fix social security must come from both sides of the aisle in order to gain momentum to pass through Congress.  A combination of the following steps would help reduce the problem, although not fix it in its entirety:

Raise the Social Security age to 70 over the next four years, grandfathering those already receiving benefits or within a year of receiving benefits into the system at the current age cutoff of 66.  This will delay the influx of 78 million Baby Boomers who are nearing retirement and reduce the total benefits paid.

Currently Social Security is only deducted from the first $102,000 of income.  This limit should be done away with and Social Security should be assessed against total incomes.

Benefits should be cut 10% over the next decade – the US (and the AARP) cannot have Medicare, Social Security, 78 million retirees and not be willing to make some concessions.

Allow well-off retirees to defer benefits which would then be paid in full at a later date.

The Social Security trust fund, which is the primary mechanism to offset the short fall, should be invested along the guidelines recommended by proponents of privatizing social security in order to reduce costs and increase the return on investment – in three varyingly aggressive investment schemes designed to improve growth, mitigate market declines and diversify risk away.Both parties must stop dragging their feet at reform and drop ideas that are simply never going to get passed.  This includes the Personal Savings Account (privatization) idea, which ultimately will make Social Security pay more to those who need it less.

These steps draw on the good ideas of both parties, and passing any combination of the above would help fix the problem of having many millions of retirees counting on a Ponzi scheme for their retirement. It should also be noted that Social Security is a benefit, not a retirement plan; it is not meant to sustain retirees and Americans would do well to remember that.

Ultimately, it is up to Congress to, for once, make some tough decisions.  The problem is that no one seems to want to compromise.  The US cannot afford to be all things to all people; citizens looking for that level of government control may be interested in moving to China.  It would help if political parties could even come to an agreement on what a successful fix would look like, but every representative and interest group seems to have a different song and dance on the issue.  Imagine a Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in which each Oompa Loompa was on its own program with a unique song.  It would be no way to run a Chocolate Factory and it’s no way to run a government. Bernie Madoff may have succeeded in running the biggest fraud in US history, but unless Congress finds a feasible song and dance to buy into, they will go down in history as the culprits behind the biggest Ponzi scheme.

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A different take on hate crimes

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Adam Ryback

A different take on hate crimes
Adam Ryback
As part of the recently signed Defense Authorization Bill, President Obama has also agreed to a provision which was slipped into the bill. The provision aims at preventing violence against homosexuals by declaring crimes against them to be classified as “hate crimes”, granting them special protection under the law.
On the surface it seems like a good idea. Violence fueled by hatred and carried out by private citizens destroys not only harmony between people in a society but also a sense of safety felt by all living within it, thereby disabling a government’s ability to seriously protect the people. If groups within society are merely going back and forth killing each other, we might as well not have a society at all.
However, this legislation is not about protecting the common good or the community. Barack Obama intends on forcing his ideas on morality upon everyone. It seems he does not mind the idea of having someone legislate morality so long as he agrees with  the one doing it.
If Obama was truly concerned about stopping crimes caused by hate, why didn’t he suggest laws to give special protection to anti-abortion protesters? They have been the victims of hate just like others who are covered under “hate crimes.” Two have been assaulted in the month of September, about a month before Obama signed the Defense Authorization Bill. One was Jim Puoillon, who was also killed, and another was a 69-year old man named Johnny Wallace. But Obama is not even remotely concerned with this issue. Considering how recent these two incidents have been, you have to wonder why he wouldn’t add these as “hate crimes.”
“Hate crimes” are merely a tool for politicians to favor one group in society over another and attack another. In this case, it is an attempt to vilify Christianity. He merely gives shape and form to the mainstream idea that unless Christians agree with liberal doctrines they are utterly crazy, violent, and mob-like. Obama’s signature endorses this theory.
The problem is not just with the expansion of “hate crimes,” but with “hate crimes” in general. Whereas laws failing to protect people from mobs bring about anarchy, laws granting people certain special protection based on how they are viewed in the White House will certainly destroy our republican form of government. Hate crimes starts the nation down the slippery slope of having groups in society jockey for political favors merely to ensure their own safety. If this is to be the way things work, we might as well scrap our Constitution and fold our government as it is. We would be no better than an autocracy without any checks or balances whatsoever, since nepotism and favoritism dependent upon the whims of the White House would govern our political system and ultimately our moralityAs part of the recently signed Defense Authorization Bill, President Obama has also agreed to a provision which was slipped into the bill. The provision aims at preventing violence against homosexuals by declaring crimes against them to be classified as “hate crimes”, granting them special protection under the law.

On the surface it seems like a good idea. Violence fueled by hatred and carried out by private citizens destroys not only harmony between people in a society but also a sense of safety felt by all living within it, thereby disabling a government’s ability to seriously protect the people. If groups within society are merely going back and forth killing each other, we might as well not have a society at all.

However, this legislation is not about protecting the common good or the community. Barack Obama intends on forcing his ideas on morality upon everyone. It seems he does not mind the idea of having someone legislate morality so long as he agrees with  the one doing it.

If Obama was truly concerned about stopping crimes caused by hate, why didn’t he suggest laws to give special protection to anti-abortion protesters? They have been the victims of hate just like others who are covered under “hate crimes.” Two have been assaulted in the month of September, about a month before Obama signed the Defense Authorization Bill. One was Jim Puoillon, who was also killed, and another was a 69-year old man named Johnny Wallace. But Obama is not even remotely concerned with this issue. Considering how recent these two incidents have been, you have to wonder why he wouldn’t add these as “hate crimes.”

“Hate crimes” are merely a tool for politicians to favor one group in society over another and attack another. In this case, it is an attempt to vilify Christianity. He merely gives shape and form to the mainstream idea that unless Christians agree with liberal doctrines they are utterly crazy, violent, and mob-like. Obama’s signature endorses this theory.

The problem is not just with the expansion of “hate crimes,” but with “hate crimes” in general. Whereas laws failing to protect people from mobs bring about anarchy, laws granting people certain special protection based on how they are viewed in the White House will certainly destroy our republican form of government. Hate crimes starts the nation down the slippery slope of having groups in society jockey for political favors merely to ensure their own safety. If this is to be the way things work, we might as well scrap our Constitution and fold our government as it is. We would be no better than an autocracy without any checks or balances whatsoever, since nepotism and favoritism dependent upon the whims of the White House would govern our political system and ultimately our morality.

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In praise of proselytizing

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Andrew Marshall

In Praise of Proselytizing
Andy Marshall
In today’s world of many faiths and creeds, believers should never actually take their religion seriously enough to try to convert others to it.  That, at least, has become the message of the politically correct international powers that be.
For many supposedly open-minded individuals, freedom of religion has been shrunk to freedom of worship.  In other words, believers should have the right to read their holy texts, observe their high festivals, and participate in their worship services.  Before going on, let me make clear that the battle even for this basic freedom of worship in the world has not been won yet, and it remains important.
Stopping at freedom of worship, though, ignores the freedoms of individuals to convert to another faith and try to convert others.  Unfortunately, many “tolerant” people don’t support the freedom to proselytize.  Proselytizing simply means actively working to convert others to your religion.  For example, the West often heralds Morocco as one of the most religiously tolerant Islamic states, which it certainly is.  However, Article 220 of the Moroccan penal code prescribes up to a six-month imprisonment for anyone who “employs incitements to shake the faith of a Muslim or to convert him to another religion.”  The Moroccan government continues to arrest foreigners suspected of proselytizing and bans all formal missionary activity.
In its best form, proselytizing marks a decisive turn to non-violence.  Throughout human history, plenty of religious leaders have advocated the use of force to spread their gospels, and wars of religion have killed countless people.  Although the proselytizers may use offensive or ineffective methods, such as haranguing passersby on the street, the important thing is that they are trying to persuade and are not brandishing guns and shipping people off to reeducation camps.  Any criticism of proselytizing should start with praise of its nonviolent nature.
Proselytizing is a cornerstone of our civil liberties, the intersection of free speech and freedom of religion.  A society where individuals are free to try to convert others to their beliefs is a society that respects open dialogue and freedom.  Proselytizing in many ways represents the ultimate in unpopular speech because it often involves people telling me my core beliefs about meaning and morality are wrong and that I need to adopt theirs.  In some ways, we are no freer than the most unpopular proselytizer, whether he is the Jehovah’s Witness knocking on our door or the driver of the Jesus-mobile rolling down Wisconsin Avenue.
Marquette University officially bans proselytizing in the official religious activities policy.  This policy provides defines proselytizing first as coercion and misrepresentation and then later as making converts to another religious affiliation or group and only reinforces the negative societal perception of proselytizing.  We can all agree with the administration’s decision that “no individual or organization can coerce or pressure others or misrepresent themselves,” but, with all due respect, that is not proselytizing.  That is simply coercion, and classifying it as proselytizing simply confuses things and makes it harder to have a rational discussion about proselytizing.
Marquette does not engage in proselytizing nor does it let any other group do so.  The college years compose some of the most dynamic years in many people’s lives when they confront life’s hard questions.  Campus Ministry, student religious organizations, and many professors work hard to bring religious concerns and perspectives into the campus dialogue.  Their activities have greatly impacted my life and challenged my Christian faith.  So, what is wrong with taking campus religious activity to the next level and allowing students to not just share their faith but seek to convert others?  Are we students so easily manipulated that we need the loving umbrella of our university to protect us from this apparently grave threat?
In a response to Dr. Christopher Wolfe’s 1988 criticism of the ban, Father David Haschka, then head of Campus Ministry, defended the ban as a decision by Marquette to forego Catholic proselytizing as trade-off to create an environment more friendly to non-Catholics.  He then added, “It seems to me totally unacceptable for non-Catholics to be confronted, on this campus, with deliberate efforts to persuade them away from their faith, whether such efforts are decent or not.”  As a non-denominational Christian considering which college to attend, I would have been attracted to any university confident enough to appropriately seek converts to its faith and allow other traditions to do the same.
For the administration to dismiss all proselytizing, even if done respectfully without coercion, as unacceptable reinforces the view that proselytizing is always inappropriate.  This contributes to the public opinion which allows oppressive governments to jail and punish people who want nothing more than to convert their neighbors.

Marquette University has a unique opportunity to defend proselytizing and contribute towards its legitimacy around the world.  As a private university, Marquette can legally ban proselytizing, but, as a Jesuit university named after one of history’s great proselytizers, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.  As Dr. Wolfe proposed in 1988, the administration could ban coercive activities and lift the general ban.  Marquette could become the catalyst for a rethinking of proselytizing within higher education.  Although this is not always the operative question given his historical context, perhaps in this case we should look at our namesake’s disproportionately cerebral statue in front of Wehr Chemistry and ask ourselves, “What would Father Marquette do?”

In today’s world of many faiths and creeds, believers should never actually take their religion seriously enough to try to convert others to it.  That, at least, has become the message of the politically correct international powers that be.

For many supposedly open-minded individuals, freedom of religion has been shrunk to freedom of worship.  In other words, believers should have the right to read their holy texts, observe their high festivals, and participate in their worship services.  Before going on, let me make clear that the battle even for this basic freedom of worship in the world has not been won yet, and it remains important.

Stopping at freedom of worship, though, ignores the freedoms of individuals to convert to another faith and try to convert others.  Unfortunately, many “tolerant” people don’t support the freedom to proselytize.  Proselytizing simply means actively working to convert others to your religion.  For example, the West often heralds Morocco as one of the most religiously tolerant Islamic states, which it certainly is.  However, Article 220 of the Moroccan penal code prescribes up to a six-month imprisonment for anyone who “employs incitements to shake the faith of a Muslim or to convert him to another religion.”  The Moroccan government continues to arrest foreigners suspected of proselytizing and bans all formal missionary activity.

In its best form, proselytizing marks a decisive turn to non-violence.  Throughout human history, plenty of religious leaders have advocated the use of force to spread their gospels, and wars of religion have killed countless people.  Although the proselytizers may use offensive or ineffective methods, such as haranguing passersby on the street, the important thing is that they are trying to persuade and are not brandishing guns and shipping people off to reeducation camps.  Any criticism of proselytizing should start with praise of its nonviolent nature.

Proselytizing is a cornerstone of our civil liberties, the intersection of free speech and freedom of religion.  A society where individuals are free to try to convert others to their beliefs is a society that respects open dialogue and freedom.  Proselytizing in many ways represents the ultimate in unpopular speech because it often involves people telling me my core beliefs about meaning and morality are wrong and that I need to adopt theirs.  In some ways, we are no freer than the most unpopular proselytizer, whether he is the Jehovah’s Witness knocking on our door or the driver of the Jesus-mobile rolling down Wisconsin Avenue.

Marquette University officially bans proselytizing in the official religious activities policy.  This policy provides defines proselytizing first as coercion and misrepresentation and then later as making converts to another religious affiliation or group and only reinforces the negative societal perception of proselytizing.  We can all agree with the administration’s decision that “no individual or organization can coerce or pressure others or misrepresent themselves,” but, with all due respect, that is not proselytizing.  That is simply coercion, and classifying it as proselytizing simply confuses things and makes it harder to have a rational discussion about proselytizing.

Marquette does not engage in proselytizing nor does it let any other group do so.  The college years compose some of the most dynamic years in many people’s lives when they confront life’s hard questions.  Campus Ministry, student religious organizations, and many professors work hard to bring religious concerns and perspectives into the campus dialogue.  Their activities have greatly impacted my life and challenged my Christian faith.  So, what is wrong with taking campus religious activity to the next level and allowing students to not just share their faith but seek to convert others?  Are we students so easily manipulated that we need the loving umbrella of our university to protect us from this apparently grave threat?

In a response to Dr. Christopher Wolfe’s 1988 criticism of the ban, Father David Haschka, then head of Campus Ministry, defended the ban as a decision by Marquette to forego Catholic proselytizing as trade-off to create an environment more friendly to non-Catholics.  He then added, “It seems to me totally unacceptable for non-Catholics to be confronted, on this campus, with deliberate efforts to persuade them away from their faith, whether such efforts are decent or not.”  As a non-denominational Christian considering which college to attend, I would have been attracted to any university confident enough to appropriately seek converts to its faith and allow other traditions to do the same.

For the administration to dismiss all proselytizing, even if done respectfully without coercion, as unacceptable reinforces the view that proselytizing is always inappropriate.  This contributes to the public opinion which allows oppressive governments to jail and punish people who want nothing more than to convert their neighbors.

Marquette University has a unique opportunity to defend proselytizing and contribute towards its legitimacy around the world.  As a private university, Marquette can legally ban proselytizing, but, as a Jesuit university named after one of history’s great proselytizers, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.  As Dr. Wolfe proposed in 1988, the administration could ban coercive activities and lift the general ban.  Marquette could become the catalyst for a rethinking of proselytizing within higher education.  Although this is not always the operative question given his historical context, perhaps in this case we should look at our namesake’s disproportionately cerebral statue in front of Wehr Chemistry and ask ourselves, “What would Father Marquette do?”

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Crucifixes in the classroom, will Marquette be next to take them down?

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Joanna Parkes

Crucifixes in the Classrooms
Joanna Parkes
Look around Marquette…in every classroom across campus there is crucifix, often with a plaque stating its country of origin. On November 3rd, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that crucifixes hanging within each classroom in Italy violated “the freedom of parents to educate their children according to their own convictions and of the religious freedom of the students” (CNS).
Unlike the United States in its origin, Italy has been a traditionally Catholic country from birth. Religion and faith are tied very closely to the cultural and historic identity of the Italian people. As is typically the circumstance with many morals-pertaining court cases, the case was brought as an exception to the norm, and now will be enforced upon all. In this particular scenario, the case was submitted by a Finnish-born Italian, who had been fighting for the removal of crucifixes from her sons’ school in Abano Terme (Italy) for almost eight years. In previous attempts to pass the case, Soile Lautsi, the above-mentioned mother, had taken it to Italian courts, where it was refused because of the engrained Catholic cultural identity on Italians. Hence, Lautsi then took the case to the European court located in Strasbourg, France.
In reaction, the Italian government says it will appeal the European court’s decision. Even Mariastella Gelmini, the minister of public education in Italy, believed that the crucifixes “[do] not mean adhesion to Catholicism, but is a symbol of our tradition” (CNS). She even went further, so as to say that “…removing [the symbols] would be to remove a part of ourselves” The Catholic bishops, however, suffered sorrow and grief at the ruling. The Italian Conference of Bishops expressed their disappointment in the following written statement: “It does not take into account the fact that in Italy the display of the crucifix in public places is in line with the recognition of the principles of the Catholicism as ‘part of the historical patrimony of the Italian people,’ as stated in the Vatican/Italy agreement of 1984” (CNN). The bishops also noted the significance of the crucifix is meant for all of humanity, not solely Catholics. The crucifix represents God’s love to every human person, the gift of his life for every member of the human race. Hence, it is a symbol that should be respected and revered by all, whatever the nationality, religion, or age; it is the universal symbol of love that transcends time and space. Must a mother really go to such an extent if she is, in fact, the “exception” in her desire for the removal of crucifixes from her children’s classrooms? Must she really make such a statement? In doing so, she has offended not only Our Lord, but all of Italy, including the wealthy and governmental rulers. As Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re concluded, “It is a God that teaches us to learn to love, to pay attention to each man…and to respect the others, even those who belong to a different culture or religion. How could someone not share such a symbol?”

Look around Marquette…in every classroom across campus there is crucifix, often with a plaque stating its country of origin. On November 3rd, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that crucifixes hanging within each classroom in Italy violated “the freedom of parents to educate their children according to their own convictions and of the religious freedom of the students” (CNS).

Unlike the United States in its origin, Italy has been a traditionally Catholic country from birth. Religion and faith are tied very closely to the cultural and historic identity of the Italian people. As is typically the circumstance with many morals-pertaining court cases, the case was brought as an exception to the norm, and now will be enforced upon all. In this particular scenario, the case was submitted by a Finnish-born Italian, who had been fighting for the removal of crucifixes from her sons’ school in Abano Terme (Italy) for almost eight years. In previous attempts to pass the case, Soile Lautsi, the above-mentioned mother, had taken it to Italian courts, where it was refused because of the engrained Catholic cultural identity on Italians. Hence, Lautsi then took the case to the European court located in Strasbourg, France.

In reaction, the Italian government says it will appeal the European court’s decision. Even Mariastella Gelmini, the minister of public education in Italy, believed that the crucifixes “[do] not mean adhesion to Catholicism, but is a symbol of our tradition” (CNS). She even went further, so as to say that “…removing [the symbols] would be to remove a part of ourselves” The Catholic bishops, however, suffered sorrow and grief at the ruling. The Italian Conference of Bishops expressed their disappointment in the following written statement: “It does not take into account the fact that in Italy the display of the crucifix in public places is in line with the recognition of the principles of the Catholicism as ‘part of the historical patrimony of the Italian people,’ as stated in the Vatican/Italy agreement of 1984” (CNN). The bishops also noted the significance of the crucifix is meant for all of humanity, not solely Catholics. The crucifix represents God’s love to every human person, the gift of his life for every member of the human race. Hence, it is a symbol that should be respected and revered by all, whatever the nationality, religion, or age; it is the universal symbol of love that transcends time and space. Must a mother really go to such an extent if she is, in fact, the “exception” in her desire for the removal of crucifixes from her children’s classrooms? Must she really make such a statement? In doing so, she has offended not only Our Lord, but all of Italy, including the wealthy and governmental rulers. As Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re concluded, “It is a God that teaches us to learn to love, to pay attention to each man…and to respect the others, even those who belong to a different culture or religion. How could someone not share such a symbol?”

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Moderate alcohol considered good for health, studies say

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Cathleen Bury

Moderate alcohol intake considered good for health
Various health benefits come from less alcohol consumption
Cat Bury
For centuries, people have debated the merits of drinking alcohol. One of the more current discussions began in the late 1980’s, when French scientist Serge Renauld set out to explain why, despite eating a diet full of cheese, butters, and other saturated fats, the people of France reported few instances of heart disease. Surprisingly, in a 1992 interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Renauld attributed these benefits to alcohol. He claimed that his research showed that red wine, another staple of French cuisine, protected the French against heart disease. Alcohol sales in the US soared and college students everywhere felt a little less guilty.
In the almost twenty years since Renauld’s “60 Minutes” interview, the idea that moderate alcohol intake is good for a person’s health has begun to be incorporated into mainstream knowledge. But what exactly is moderate? And just what types of benefits does a person gain from drinking alcohol?
In many studies, moderate levels of alcohol intake have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.  According to Barbara Troy, Assistant Professor of Dietetics in the College of Health Sciences, “the health edge that’s most provocative right now is in relationship to cardiovascular disease.” She said, “alcohol has a favorable effect on lipid levels because it tends to elevate HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol.” This puts a person at a lower risk of dying from heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. The benefits don’t stop there; other studies have shown that alcohol has a positive effect  in reducing the risk of diseases ranging from gallstones to type II diabetes.
Many of the benefits of red wine have been attributed to the phytochemicals, or plant chemicals, found in it. Some of these phytochemicals are thought to have antioxidant and even anti-cancer effects.  A growing number of studies also show that regardless if a person drinks wine, beer, or spirits, the alcohol in itself contributes to improving health.
But before you raise a glass to your health, it’s important to note that the benefits derived from alcohol come only from moderate intake.  Most college students are well aware of the short-term consequences of drinking too much: loss of coordination, decreased inhibitions, debilitating hangovers. The long term risks, which include liver disease, weight gain, certain cancers, mental health problems, and even reduced fertility are even more serious.
Yet college campuses are notorious for promoting binge drinking habits, and Marquette University is no exception. AJ Hill, a senior co-op in the College of Engineering, said “students here don’t drink moderately. They drink five to ten drinks on one or two nights a week.”  In such an atmosphere, it can be difficult to discern what truly constitutes moderate alcohol intake.
Troy, citing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, objectively defines moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men. One drink consists of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits. Troy said, “once you cross that line, the risk benefit ratio starts to change.” Any possible benefit derived from moderate intake is almost certainly negated once a person starts to drink in excess.
Other guidelines state that in order for a person to derive health benefits from alcohol, drinks cannot be “stockpiled.” This means the benefits derived from drinking once every day for a week are not similarly seen in a person that abstains all week and drinks seven drinks on Friday night. Even though a person may not exceed their weekly drink allowance, Troy emphasizes that with such behavior, “the benefits simply will not follow.”
Furthermore, there are some groups of people who simply should not drink alcohol. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with liver or pancreatic disease, and those who are on certain antibiotics are all groups of people who should not consume any alcohol.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is no reason for any person to start drinking in order to gain these benefits.  The benefits that alcohol confers are modest, and all can be achieved by alterations in diet and lifestyle. For example, the phytochemicals found in red wine are present in grapes, and modest aerobic exercise has also been shown to increase HDL levels.
So this holiday season, raise a glass to your  health (or don’t).  But if you do, remember the key word when it comes to drinking alcohol for health benefits: moderation.

For centuries, people have debated the merits of drinking alcohol. One of the more current discussions began in the late 1980’s, when French scientist Serge Renauld set out to explain why, despite eating a diet full of cheese, butters, and other saturated fats, the people of France reported few instances of heart disease. Surprisingly, in a 1992 interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Renauld attributed these benefits to alcohol. He claimed that his research showed that red wine, another staple of French cuisine, protected the French against heart disease. Alcohol sales in the US soared and college students everywhere felt a little less guilty.

In the almost twenty years since Renauld’s “60 Minutes” interview, the idea that moderate alcohol intake is good for a person’s health has begun to be incorporated into mainstream knowledge. But what exactly is moderate? And just what types of benefits does a person gain from drinking alcohol?

In many studies, moderate levels of alcohol intake have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.  According to Barbara Troy, Assistant Professor of Dietetics in the College of Health Sciences, “the health edge that’s most provocative right now is in relationship to cardiovascular disease.” She said, “alcohol has a favorable effect on lipid levels because it tends to elevate HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol.” This puts a person at a lower risk of dying from heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. The benefits don’t stop there; other studies have shown that alcohol has a positive effect  in reducing the risk of diseases ranging from gallstones to type II diabetes.

Many of the benefits of red wine have been attributed to the phytochemicals, or plant chemicals, found in it. Some of these phytochemicals are thought to have antioxidant and even anti-cancer effects.  A growing number of studies also show that regardless if a person drinks wine, beer, or spirits, the alcohol in itself contributes to improving health.

But before you raise a glass to your health, it’s important to note that the benefits derived from alcohol come only from moderate intake.  Most college students are well aware of the short-term consequences of drinking too much: loss of coordination, decreased inhibitions, debilitating hangovers. The long term risks, which include liver disease, weight gain, certain cancers, mental health problems, and even reduced fertility are even more serious.

Yet college campuses are notorious for promoting binge drinking habits, and Marquette University is no exception. AJ Hill, a senior co-op in the College of Engineering, said “students here don’t drink moderately. They drink five to ten drinks on one or two nights a week.”  In such an atmosphere, it can be difficult to discern what truly constitutes moderate alcohol intake.

Troy, citing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, objectively defines moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men. One drink consists of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits. Troy said, “once you cross that line, the risk benefit ratio starts to change.” Any possible benefit derived from moderate intake is almost certainly negated once a person starts to drink in excess.

Other guidelines state that in order for a person to derive health benefits from alcohol, drinks cannot be “stockpiled.” This means the benefits derived from drinking once every day for a week are not similarly seen in a person that abstains all week and drinks seven drinks on Friday night. Even though a person may not exceed their weekly drink allowance, Troy emphasizes that with such behavior, “the benefits simply will not follow.”

Furthermore, there are some groups of people who simply should not drink alcohol. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people with liver or pancreatic disease, and those who are on certain antibiotics are all groups of people who should not consume any alcohol.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is no reason for any person to start drinking in order to gain these benefits.  The benefits that alcohol confers are modest, and all can be achieved by alterations in diet and lifestyle. For example, the phytochemicals found in red wine are present in grapes, and modest aerobic exercise has also been shown to increase HDL levels.

So this holiday season, raise a glass to your  health (or don’t).  But if you do, remember the key word when it comes to drinking alcohol for health benefits: moderation.

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Six honorary degrees to be conferred: scholars and leaders to be recognized for their achievements

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Molly Petitjean

Six Marquette  honorary degrees  to be conferred
Scholars and leaders to be recognized for their achievements
Molly Petitjean
In 2009, Marquette University will be conferring six honorary degrees.  The individuals receiving the honors are selected through an annual nomination process.  Father Robert. A Wild, S.J. said “they should be outstanding individuals who are recognized for their scholarship or for excellence in achievement.  This achievement may be shown by acknowledged leadership in a profession or by exemplary service to society.  In all cases there must be an appropriateness of the nominees to the distinctive mission and values of Marquette University.”
Marquette has the list of recipients of honorary degrees listed on their website through 1980.  Since 1980, a total of 131 honorary degrees have been given.  The process is as follows: nominations are open for a period of time, the nominations gathered are given to the Committee on University Honors for consideration.  Father Wild then gives the short list of names to the Board of Trustees; the Board approves those on the list they believe to be worthy and then Father Wild takes those names from the Board to invite recipients to Marquette where they will receive their honorary degrees.
This year, as mentioned earlier, Marquette will be gifting 6 honorary degrees.  The recipients are, Frank Busalacchi, Clifford G. Christians, Shirin Ebadi, Dick Enberg, Maria Rosa Leggol, and Helen Prejean.  Here is a bit of information about these recipients.
Frank Busalacchi is the Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation and was the leader in the state’s efforts to complete the Marquette Interchange project, the largest construction job in the state to date.  He was presented by Dr. Stan Jaskolski, the OPUS Dean of the College of Engineering.  According to Jaskolski, he nominated Busalacchi for the degree of Doctor of Laws “because of his distinguished commitment to public service and to the people of the State of Wisconsin.”
Clifford G. Christians was nominated by Dr. William Thorn, a journalism professor in the College of Communication.  Christians is one of the world’s leading media ethics scholars and has had a 30 year career in ethical studies, he has examined and written about ethical implications for journalists in democratic societies and other media professions.  He received an honorary Doctor of Letters “because of his important contributions to the philosophy of technology, media ethics, and communication theory,” Thorn said.
Shirin Ebadi was both the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive a Nobel Peace prize.  This honor was bestowed on her in 2003 for her “pioneering work for democracy and human rights, tirelessly advocating on behalf of women and children.”  She was nominated by the Dean of Marquette’s Law School, Joseph Kearny, because of “her exemplary career as a lawyer, judge, writer, and activist on behalf of our human family.”  She has worked diligently in the legal system for the rights of those who have been victim of extremist interpretations of the law of Islam and continuously works for peaceful solutions to social problems in a contemporary Islamic world.
Dick Enberg is one of the most awarded men in sports.  He already has 14 Emmys, including a lifetime achievement award, 15 Sportscaster of the Year awards, and several other big titles.  He was nominated by Phylis Ravel, a professor of the Performing Arts.  Enberg has become a sports icon in the broadcasting world and was nominated because of “his distinguished career as a broadcaster, writer, philosopher, educator and playwright.”  He was also May’s commencement speaker.
Sister Maria Rosa Leggol never received a formal education past the fifth grade, but through her work as a sister, she has helped over 40,000 orphans in Honduras.  She is celebrating her 60th year of religious life in 2009 and throughout this time, she has comforted the dying, educated, fed the living, and convinced several other agencies to help the suffering in Honduras.  She was nominated by Senior Vice President Thomas Peters, for “her extraordinary acts of compassion, for being an inspiration to people all over the world, and for exemplifying the spirit of magis by being a woman for others.”
Sister Helen Prejean was nominated by Fr. Harak, the Director of the Center for Peacemaking.  Her work has helped formally shape and vocalize the Catholic Church’s stance on the death penalty.  Prejean’s passion for the subject stemmed from her correspondence as a spiritual advisor with a death row inmate.  She now spends much time counseling death row inmates as well as acting as an advocate of the Pro-Life position.  Her book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, was a New York Times best seller and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Clearly honorary degrees are conferred for a variety of different reasons and talents as demonstrated by the diverse set of honorees this year.

In 2009, Marquette University will be conferring six honorary degrees.  The individuals receiving the honors are selected through an annual nomination process.  Father Robert. A Wild, S.J. said “they should be outstanding individuals who are recognized for their scholarship or for excellence in achievement.  This achievement may be shown by acknowledged leadership in a profession or by exemplary service to society.  In all cases there must be an appropriateness of the nominees to the distinctive mission and values of Marquette University.”

Marquette has the list of recipients of honorary degrees listed on their website through 1980.  Since 1980, a total of 131 honorary degrees have been given.  The process is as follows: nominations are open for a period of time, the nominations gathered are given to the Committee on University Honors for consideration.  Father Wild then gives the short list of names to the Board of Trustees; the Board approves those on the list they believe to be worthy and then Father Wild takes those names from the Board to invite recipients to Marquette where they will receive their honorary degrees.

This year, as mentioned earlier, Marquette will be gifting 6 honorary degrees.  The recipients are, Frank Busalacchi, Clifford G. Christians, Shirin Ebadi, Dick Enberg, Maria Rosa Leggol, and Helen Prejean.  Here is a bit of information about these recipients.

Frank Busalacchi is the Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation and was the leader in the state’s efforts to complete the Marquette Interchange project, the largest construction job in the state to date.  He was presented by Dr. Stan Jaskolski, the OPUS Dean of the College of Engineering.  According to Jaskolski, he nominated Busalacchi for the degree of Doctor of Laws “because of his distinguished commitment to public service and to the people of the State of Wisconsin.”

Clifford G. Christians was nominated by Dr. William Thorn, a journalism professor in the College of Communication.  Christians is one of the world’s leading media ethics scholars and has had a 30 year career in ethical studies, he has examined and written about ethical implications for journalists in democratic societies and other media professions.  He received an honorary Doctor of Letters “because of his important contributions to the philosophy of technology, media ethics, and communication theory,” Thorn said.

Shirin Ebadi was both the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive a Nobel Peace prize.  This honor was bestowed on her in 2003 for her “pioneering work for democracy and human rights, tirelessly advocating on behalf of women and children.”  She was nominated by the Dean of Marquette’s Law School, Joseph Kearny, because of “her exemplary career as a lawyer, judge, writer, and activist on behalf of our human family.”  She has worked diligently in the legal system for the rights of those who have been victim of extremist interpretations of the law of Islam and continuously works for peaceful solutions to social problems in a contemporary Islamic world.

Dick Enberg is one of the most awarded men in sports.  He already has 14 Emmys, including a lifetime achievement award, 15 Sportscaster of the Year awards, and several other big titles.  He was nominated by Phylis Ravel, a professor of the Performing Arts.  Enberg has become a sports icon in the broadcasting world and was nominated because of “his distinguished career as a broadcaster, writer, philosopher, educator and playwright.”  He was also May’s commencement speaker.

Sister Maria Rosa Leggol never received a formal education past the fifth grade, but through her work as a sister, she has helped over 40,000 orphans in Honduras.  She is celebrating her 60th year of religious life in 2009 and throughout this time, she has comforted the dying, educated, fed the living, and convinced several other agencies to help the suffering in Honduras.  She was nominated by Senior Vice President Thomas Peters, for “her extraordinary acts of compassion, for being an inspiration to people all over the world, and for exemplifying the spirit of magis by being a woman for others.”

Sister Helen Prejean was nominated by Fr. Harak, the Director of the Center for Peacemaking.  Her work has helped formally shape and vocalize the Catholic Church’s stance on the death penalty.  Prejean’s passion for the subject stemmed from her correspondence as a spiritual advisor with a death row inmate.  She now spends much time counseling death row inmates as well as acting as an advocate of the Pro-Life position.  Her book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty, was a New York Times best seller and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Clearly honorary degrees are conferred for a variety of different reasons and talents as demonstrated by the diverse set of honorees this year.

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How arbitrary is MUSG’s allocation process? The Warrior goes beyond the paperwork

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Marissa Evans

How arbitrary is MUSG’s allocation process?
The Warrior goes beyond the paperwork
Marissa Evans
Throughout the year Marquette’s student government (MUSG) sits down to discuss Student Organization Allocation (SOA) for recognized and registered student organizations on campus. With over 250 organizations,, each one is unique in terms of how much funding it needs in order to have a successful event or year.
“The allocations are not arbitrary at all.  The SOA committee evaluates each application objectively looking for the benefits that the program or trip will provide to our campus,” said MUSG Communications Vice President and senior in the College of Communication Lauren Lakomek.
The MUSG SOA Committee makes the final decision on allocations. The committee is comprised of the Financial Vice President, Executive Vice President, Program Board Assistant, two Residential Senators, and two Academic Senators.  This year’s advisor for the committee is Kate Trevey, Coordinator for Student Organizations & Leadership for the Office of Student Development.  A week before every deadline, MUSG holds informational workshops for student organizations to educate them on the process.
“Its hard because you want to do a good job so your team may receive the most funding possible and yet unless the executive board before you leaves a sample of what they did its hard to know exactly how to write these out. MUSG holds a workshop on it and it is very helpful when you stop in their office but I think it would be very helpful if they posted some past requests they thought were well done,” said Marquette Crew President and senior in the College of Arts and Sciences Julie Knyszek.
In addition to workshops, this particular year the SOA Committee created a powerpoint presentation to give visual step by step instructions and information about the SOA process. This can be found on the MUSG Web site.
“The SOA budgetary process is divided into two lines; one for club sports and one for non-club sports.  Club sports have two deadlines throughout the year; one for the spring season and one for the fall season.  Non-club sports have eight period deadlines that they can apply for throughout the year,” said MUSG Financial Vice President and senior in the College of Business Administration Jonathan Giel . “During the fiscal year 2010, MUSG has successfully allocated to 58 student organizations totaling $60,383.14.”
Depending on whether or not the organization is in the non club sport or club sport categories, there are several deadlines throughout the year for each to respectively apply for funding. This year there are eight periods for non club sports and two periods for club sports. Each period is based on when the organization plans on having their event or activity. Though organizations are encouraged to apply for funding as early as possible, funding is generally given for specific events that the clubs plan on having. MUSG SOA funds speakers or educational events, documentaries and performances, advertising and publicity for events, and any event or services that are open to all of Marquette and enhance the community. For organizations that have more expenses this means working twice as hard on their SOA applications.
“I’m one of the co-presidents of the rowing team and because we are one of the most expensive club sports on campus, making sure we submit thorough and detailed funding requests is very important,” said Knyszek. “During the SOA funding workshops MUSG stresses that due to the large amount of clubs and requests they get the more detailed your request is, the better. Writing this out takes quite a bit of personal time because, at least for me, I know that the work I put in this could mean a big difference in dues for every member of our team. I would say so far the other co-president and I have spent about 6 hours on this and we are still not completely done yet.”
In terms of how decisions made, detail is considered a key factor in the allocation process. According to the MUSG SOA Committee, the more detail organizations put into their request the more prospective funding that can be received. The MUSG SOA said that although applications that do not provide complete event or season details are generally not given funding. A clear defined plan for each season with a through breakdown from tentative costs, to number of participants, to specific lodging and transportation details has a better chance of receiving more funding.
“Our goal as members of MUSG and the SOA Committee is to be financial stewards of the Student Activity Fee (SAF),” MUSG Executive Vice President and College of Business Administration senior Stephanie Stopka said. “We fully understand that it is our job to look at all of the applications with an impartial eye.  When discussing the applications we do not bring in any outside knowledge.  We only take into consideration the information that is provided on the application,” Stopka said. “The committee is looking to sponsor and support events that enhance the overall Marquette experience, aligned with the Jesuit ideals.”
However, not every organization will receive the funding they want or need. As the SOA Committee members are inclined to make decisions based on applications, they sometimes cannot give organizations all the funding they request. For these situations, there is an allocation appeals form that organizations can submit. Reasons for appeal include: the SOA Committee incorrectly deeming the application insufficient, the SOA Committee decision seeming arbitrary and inconsistent with similar funding decisions and practices, or MUSG not following its stated application procedures and policies.
Though the SOA typically covers organizations’ expenses towards their events, there are specific things the MUSG SOA cannot fund. These things include recruiting or fundraising events, capital goods (t-shirts or prizes), operating expenses (office supplies), non-current expenses (expenses that came outside of the current funding period), and any event that charges admission fees.
“In the past MUSG has been pretty helpful in allocating us money, I believe we are usually one of the clubs that receives the larger amounts of funding and every bit helps but it’s still hard because MUSG must split the fund between 250+ clubs on campus,” Knyszek said. “Because of the amount of clubs and the high expenses our club incurs any mention of reduction in club sports allocations is especially nerve-wrecking. Ultimately for the rowing team the amount of time we put in to the process is usually more than given back to us in allocation money it just comes at the end of the semester.”

Throughout the year Marquette’s student government (MUSG) sits down to discuss Student Organization Allocation (SOA) for recognized and registered student organizations on campus. With over 250 organizations,, each one is unique in terms of how much funding it needs in order to have a successful event or year.

“The allocations are not arbitrary at all.  The SOA committee evaluates each application objectively looking for the benefits that the program or trip will provide to our campus,” said MUSG Communications Vice President and senior in the College of Communication Lauren Lakomek.

The MUSG SOA Committee makes the final decision on allocations. The committee is comprised of the Financial Vice President, Executive Vice President, Program Board Assistant, two Residential Senators, and two Academic Senators.  This year’s advisor for the committee is Kate Trevey, Coordinator for Student Organizations & Leadership for the Office of Student Development.  A week before every deadline, MUSG holds informational workshops for student organizations to educate them on the process.

“Its hard because you want to do a good job so your team may receive the most funding possible and yet unless the executive board before you leaves a sample of what they did its hard to know exactly how to write these out. MUSG holds a workshop on it and it is very helpful when you stop in their office but I think it would be very helpful if they posted some past requests they thought were well done,” said Marquette Crew President and senior in the College of Arts and Sciences Julie Knyszek.

In addition to workshops, this particular year the SOA Committee created a powerpoint presentation to give visual step by step instructions and information about the SOA process. This can be found on the MUSG Web site.

“The SOA budgetary process is divided into two lines; one for club sports and one for non-club sports.  Club sports have two deadlines throughout the year; one for the spring season and one for the fall season.  Non-club sports have eight period deadlines that they can apply for throughout the year,” said MUSG Financial Vice President and senior in the College of Business Administration Jonathan Giel . “During the fiscal year 2010, MUSG has successfully allocated to 58 student organizations totaling $60,383.14.”

Depending on whether or not the organization is in the non club sport or club sport categories, there are several deadlines throughout the year for each to respectively apply for funding. This year there are eight periods for non club sports and two periods for club sports. Each period is based on when the organization plans on having their event or activity. Though organizations are encouraged to apply for funding as early as possible, funding is generally given for specific events that the clubs plan on having. MUSG SOA funds speakers or educational events, documentaries and performances, advertising and publicity for events, and any event or services that are open to all of Marquette and enhance the community. For organizations that have more expenses this means working twice as hard on their SOA applications.

“I’m one of the co-presidents of the rowing team and because we are one of the most expensive club sports on campus, making sure we submit thorough and detailed funding requests is very important,” said Knyszek. “During the SOA funding workshops MUSG stresses that due to the large amount of clubs and requests they get the more detailed your request is, the better. Writing this out takes quite a bit of personal time because, at least for me, I know that the work I put in this could mean a big difference in dues for every member of our team. I would say so far the other co-president and I have spent about 6 hours on this and we are still not completely done yet.”

In terms of how decisions made, detail is considered a key factor in the allocation process. According to the MUSG SOA Committee, the more detail organizations put into their request the more prospective funding that can be received. The MUSG SOA said that although applications that do not provide complete event or season details are generally not given funding. A clear defined plan for each season with a through breakdown from tentative costs, to number of participants, to specific lodging and transportation details has a better chance of receiving more funding.

“Our goal as members of MUSG and the SOA Committee is to be financial stewards of the Student Activity Fee (SAF),” MUSG Executive Vice President and College of Business Administration senior Stephanie Stopka said. “We fully understand that it is our job to look at all of the applications with an impartial eye.  When discussing the applications we do not bring in any outside knowledge.  We only take into consideration the information that is provided on the application,” Stopka said. “The committee is looking to sponsor and support events that enhance the overall Marquette experience, aligned with the Jesuit ideals.”

However, not every organization will receive the funding they want or need. As the SOA Committee members are inclined to make decisions based on applications, they sometimes cannot give organizations all the funding they request. For these situations, there is an allocation appeals form that organizations can submit. Reasons for appeal include: the SOA Committee incorrectly deeming the application insufficient, the SOA Committee decision seeming arbitrary and inconsistent with similar funding decisions and practices, or MUSG not following its stated application procedures and policies.

Though the SOA typically covers organizations’ expenses towards their events, there are specific things the MUSG SOA cannot fund. These things include recruiting or fundraising events, capital goods (t-shirts or prizes), operating expenses (office supplies), non-current expenses (expenses that came outside of the current funding period), and any event that charges admission fees.

“In the past MUSG has been pretty helpful in allocating us money, I believe we are usually one of the clubs that receives the larger amounts of funding and every bit helps but it’s still hard because MUSG must split the fund between 250+ clubs on campus,” Knyszek said. “Because of the amount of clubs and the high expenses our club incurs any mention of reduction in club sports allocations is especially nerve-wrecking. Ultimately for the rowing team the amount of time we put in to the process is usually more than given back to us in allocation money it just comes at the end of the semester.”

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Lay off the double standard, Marquette

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Katelyn Ferral

This issue of The Warrior is filled with something for everyone. We have a piece on the MUSG Student Organization Allocation Committee, an investigation on religious freedom and proselytism on campus, a winter sports preview and even a wedding announcement.
The Warrior continues to exist through the support of the Marquette student body, our advertisers and a dedicated group of staff writers, editors and business managers, all who work hard to deliver a real student voice in campus journalism and a fair, investigative look at campus issues that would otherwise go unreported. Our paper receives a diverse range of responses from readers: some hate us, some love us, and some are indifferent, but the response I find most appalling is the one we so often get from Marquette’s own administrators, faculty and staff. Although there are those who do support our efforts and have been very helpful, we continue to be routinely stonewalled by certain departments on campus for either no reason at all or for bureaucratic desires to protect and shield the University from a critical eye.
The pushback from Marquette has occurred since our founding in 2005, but this issue’s center spread provides a clear example of what continues to occur when our reporters ask for comment.
In this issue’s feature, comment was requested from Campus Ministry regarding their role in the formation and implementation of the University Religious Activities Policy. I received no response from most people I contacted in that department, but one staff member e-mailed me and refused to comment because of the paper’s continued embrace of the name “The Warrior”, which he said reflected an “unfortunate part of our Marquette history.”
If Marquette exists, as we so often hear, to not only educate students but facilitate debate and the exchange of ideas on campus, why are some at Marquette so reluctant to provide comment to a completely student-run paper like The Warrior seeking to do just that? The Warrior exists to support the free exchange and discussion of ideas on campus, and we welcome a robust debate regardless of one’s background, ideology or views. Don’t agree with an article we’ve published? Write in, contribute! Want another side represented or have an idea for a story or an issue to be investigated? Let us know and we’ll do our best to find the answers for you.
As a proud Marquette student, it is truly disheartening to see such a closed-minded and unwelcoming attitude from so many in the administration and various departments across campus. I would hope University administrators, faculty and staff would be proud to see Marquette students dedicated to the pursuit of truth in print with no strings attached, no subsidies from the College of Communication, and no oversight from a faculty member; just students, caring enough to face the challenges of working on an independent paper and dedicated enough to stand outside in wind, rain and snow to pass our product out.
But unfortunately that hope has yet to be realized.

This issue of The Warrior is filled with something for everyone. We have a piece on the MUSG Student Organization Allocation Committee, an investigation on religious freedom and proselytism on campus, a winter sports preview and even a wedding announcement.

The Warrior continues to exist through the support of the Marquette student body, our advertisers and a dedicated group of staff writers, editors and business managers, all who work hard to deliver a real student voice in campus journalism and a fair, investigative look at campus issues that would otherwise go unreported. Our paper receives a diverse range of responses from readers: some hate us, some love us, and some are indifferent, but the response I find most appalling is the one we so often get from Marquette’s own administrators, faculty and staff. Although there are those who do support our efforts and have been very helpful, we continue to be routinely stonewalled by certain departments on campus for either no reason at all or for bureaucratic desires to protect and shield the University from a critical eye.

The pushback from Marquette has occurred since our founding in 2005, but this issue’s center spread provides a clear example of what continues to occur when our reporters ask for comment.

In this issue’s feature, comment was requested from Campus Ministry regarding their role in the formation and implementation of the University Religious Activities Policy. I received no response from most people I contacted in that department, but one staff member e-mailed me and refused to comment because of the paper’s continued embrace of the name “The Warrior”, which he said reflected an “unfortunate part of our Marquette history.”

If Marquette exists, as we so often hear, to not only educate students but facilitate debate and the exchange of ideas on campus, why are some at Marquette so reluctant to provide comment to a completely student-run paper like The Warrior seeking to do just that? The Warrior exists to support the free exchange and discussion of ideas on campus, and we welcome a robust debate regardless of one’s background, ideology or views. Don’t agree with an article we’ve published? Write in, contribute! Want another side represented or have an idea for a story or an issue to be investigated? Let us know and we’ll do our best to find the answers for you.

As a proud Marquette student, it is truly disheartening to see such a closed-minded and unwelcoming attitude from so many in the administration and various departments across campus. I would hope University administrators, faculty and staff would be proud to see Marquette students dedicated to the pursuit of truth in print with no strings attached, no subsidies from the College of Communication, and no oversight from a faculty member; just students, caring enough to face the challenges of working on an independent paper and dedicated enough to stand outside in wind, rain and snow to pass our product out.

But unfortunately that hope has yet to be realized.

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Thus it begins: Marquette men’s basketball is here

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Joe Beres

Thus it begins: Marquette men’s
basketball is here
Joe Beres
The Marquette Golden Eagles, led by Jimmy Butler, manhandled the Centenary Gents 85-62 last Friday and walked away with a win in the opening game of the season. The win came without the help of the big three who graduated last year and left Marquette with only one of their starters from last year and little chance of being a legitimate Big East contender. Okay, so it was Centenary, a school with less than two thousand students and a team that had lost its two best players from transfers. And yes, it is a school that is starting a transition from a Division I school all the way down to Division III. I get all that and yet I am still impressed by Marquette’s performance Friday night.
There are three big reasons why I loved Friday’s game, the first and foremost being that MU basketball has officially kicked off. Another reason is that Jimmy Butler was able to take the team on his shoulders and slice the Gents’ D for a career high 27 points and that is not even mentioning his 13 boards. This is huge because it shows Buzz and the rest of MU nation that all the pressure may not have to be placed on Lazar Hayward. Butler is apparently ready to help in the role of the team’s star player. In fact, we could be looking at a dynamic duo, something that was not expected earlier in the year. Seeing If Butler can continue to light up the score board like that he may be able to fly under the radar up until Big East play. That is because teams are still going to be expecting the same player that averaged only 5.6 points a game last year. Yes truth be told we must realize that we were not playing the most defensively gifted team, but still 27 points is 27 points. From the looks of it he is going to be a threat to put up a double-double every night. However, it obviously was not just Butler playing out there and the entire team looked sharp and was able to avoid an early roadblock against Centenary.
Conveniently that leads to the third reason why Friday left me feeling pretty good about our squad this year. The fact that we beat the Gents soundly is a good sign because in the past Marquette has let lesser teams hang around in games, provided those teams survive the opening minutes. I know what you might be saying, Centenary was leading at one point with nine minutes left in the first, how is that a good sign? Well here’s how, we were able to overcome a slight surge by the Gents (10 point run) and soundly put them away for the rest of the game. I for one found this to be a good sign because there is nothing worse than being in the spot Mississippi St. is in and lose the home opener. That is not even considering the fact that it was a loss to a team that was supposed to increase the post season résumé. This win is important considering the fact that Marquette is going to need every win it can get its hands on if the NCAA tournament is going to be a legitimate goal. Plus, Marquette has had a past of letting lesser opponents hang around, and let a fluff game become an early nail biter that no fan wants to see at home in November.
It was hard to tell whether or not Friday was a good example of what we will be looking at in the coming games. Buzz used a lot of guys and gave everyone decent minutes and if anyone remembers last year, a deep bench is not really Buzz’s style. Eight players saw more than fifteen minutes of playing time on Friday and that should tell us that he is trying to get everyone as much playing time as possible. However, the fact that Acker saw less than half the game is a little concerning considering he became a team saving replacement ball-handler once James went down last year. Whether he sat out because Cubillan has gotten that much better or he does not need the minutes as much is still yet to be seen but it is something to keep your eye out for over the next couple games. Dwight Buycks looked good in his MU debut and looks ready to handle the role of being a starter in his first year in D-I. There are still questions that Marquette needs to answer such as who will be getting the majority of the playing time, but that is going to be addressed over the next couple games.
With a few more games against teams from small conferences, it is going to be important for Marquette to ready themselves for a much tougher stretch of games. The next couple of weeks are going to be strong indicators as to how this team of new faces can handles a tough field in the Old Spice Classic. However, we can worry about that when the times comes. For now let us enjoy a sound start and hope the strong play continues. Plus MD-Eastern Shore and Grambling St. should be fun blow-outs to watch, so stop by the Bradley Center to cheer on our team

The Marquette Golden Eagles, led by Jimmy Butler, manhandled the Centenary Gents 85-62 last Friday and walked away with a win in the opening game of the season. The win came without the help of the big three who graduated last year and left Marquette with only one of their starters from last year and little chance of being a legitimate Big East contender. Okay, so it was Centenary, a school with less than two thousand students and a team that had lost its two best players from transfers. And yes, it is a school that is starting a transition from a Division I school all the way down to Division III. I get all that and yet I am still impressed by Marquette’s performance Friday night.

There are three big reasons why I loved Friday’s game, the first and foremost being that MU basketball has officially kicked off. Another reason is that Jimmy Butler was able to take the team on his shoulders and slice the Gents’ D for a career high 27 points and that is not even mentioning his 13 boards. This is huge because it shows Buzz and the rest of MU nation that all the pressure may not have to be placed on Lazar Hayward. Butler is apparently ready to help in the role of the team’s star player. In fact, we could be looking at a dynamic duo, something that was not expected earlier in the year. Seeing If Butler can continue to light up the score board like that he may be able to fly under the radar up until Big East play. That is because teams are still going to be expecting the same player that averaged only 5.6 points a game last year. Yes truth be told we must realize that we were not playing the most defensively gifted team, but still 27 points is 27 points. From the looks of it he is going to be a threat to put up a double-double every night. However, it obviously was not just Butler playing out there and the entire team looked sharp and was able to avoid an early roadblock against Centenary.

Conveniently that leads to the third reason why Friday left me feeling pretty good about our squad this year. The fact that we beat the Gents soundly is a good sign because in the past Marquette has let lesser teams hang around in games, provided those teams survive the opening minutes. I know what you might be saying, Centenary was leading at one point with nine minutes left in the first, how is that a good sign? Well here’s how, we were able to overcome a slight surge by the Gents (10 point run) and soundly put them away for the rest of the game. I for one found this to be a good sign because there is nothing worse than being in the spot Mississippi St. is in and lose the home opener. That is not even considering the fact that it was a loss to a team that was supposed to increase the post season résumé. This win is important considering the fact that Marquette is going to need every win it can get its hands on if the NCAA tournament is going to be a legitimate goal. Plus, Marquette has had a past of letting lesser opponents hang around, and let a fluff game become an early nail biter that no fan wants to see at home in November.

It was hard to tell whether or not Friday was a good example of what we will be looking at in the coming games. Buzz used a lot of guys and gave everyone decent minutes and if anyone remembers last year, a deep bench is not really Buzz’s style. Eight players saw more than fifteen minutes of playing time on Friday and that should tell us that he is trying to get everyone as much playing time as possible. However, the fact that Acker saw less than half the game is a little concerning considering he became a team saving replacement ball-handler once James went down last year. Whether he sat out because Cubillan has gotten that much better or he does not need the minutes as much is still yet to be seen but it is something to keep your eye out for over the next couple games. Dwight Buycks looked good in his MU debut and looks ready to handle the role of being a starter in his first year in D-I. There are still questions that Marquette needs to answer such as who will be getting the majority of the playing time, but that is going to be addressed over the next couple games.

With a few more games against teams from small conferences, it is going to be important for Marquette to ready themselves for a much tougher stretch of games. The next couple of weeks are going to be strong indicators as to how this team of new faces can handles a tough field in the Old Spice Classic. However, we can worry about that when the times comes. For now let us enjoy a sound start and hope the strong play continues. Plus MD-Eastern Shore and Grambling St. should be fun blow-outs to watch, so stop by the Bradley Center to cheer on our team.

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