Archive | Marquette

Employment-at-will Must Stay Law

Posted on 01 June 2012 by Sam Kinney

An employee of a company does something on the job that management does not approve of. He cannot be fired because the government says so. He takes his job for granted while thousands of unemployed Americans would love to have it. Seems kind of wrong doesn’t it? The United States is the only nation with an Employment-at-will law. It states that employees can be fired “for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all.” With it, employees and unions cannot take advantage of their employers. If a company feels the need to let an employee go, they should be allowed to.

Several weeks ago, Ron Mulvaney held a small press conference for journalism students in Johnston Hall. His goal is to end employment-at-will, a law that – in his mind – allows discrimination to workers and the unemployed alike. It doesn’t. That law allows businesses to do what they need to so they can make a profit. Why did countless American businesses leave for China? They had to compete with the rest of the world. By moving, their expenses went down and profits up. There was no discrimination against the American worker, we are just too expensive.

Mulvaney, 1960 graduate of Marquette’s School of Journalism, said he was honored to speak to students at his alma mater. He has held many journalistic jobs and is very experienced in his field. In spite of experience, he is currently a part-time employee at a local Boston Store. He claims that he is a victim of employment-at-will.

“This is a toxic law, it’s poison, it kills, it murders,” Mulvaney said.

However, employment-at-will is necessary. Without it, businesses are limited to more government regulation and therefore a further loss of freedom. If businesses are not allowed to give employees the pink slip then employees can do as they please. Businesses then lose money and cannot make all of their necessary payments and then ultimately go out of business.

Say a law is passed making it so businesses cannot fire employees – that is almost what Mulvaney is pushing for. Then lazy employees do not have to work at all but still get paid. It would lead to no one working and the end of American power as we know it. Obviously Mulvaney’s views are not that extreme but he never made it clear as to how far he would like this law to be repealed.

Repealing employment-at-will would lead to a loss of individual liberty and it would do nothing but further hurt our economy and lead Americans to be unmotivated to work. Not wanting to work but still get a pay check, sounds a lot like a socialist agenda. Socialism will only push the United States backwards.

“Mulvaney is very passionate about what he believes in, he has yet to give up,” said Eva Sotomayor, a freshman in the College of Communication. He wants to end employment-at-will because he says that it leaves six million people chronically unemployed every year.

He may be correct that this law leads some to be chronically unemployed but not everyone that is unemployed has to be. Yes the economy has not been great the last few years but it is not that bad that people cannot find work anywhere. Fast-food establishments are always hiring, yes they are not the best of jobs but it is work and their employees still make money. Instead of staying unemployed and blaming others for it, why don’t people do something about it?

Mulvaney pushed the AARP to help him in fighting this law. For a time they did show him support but eventually it faded. This was because the AARP focuses on social security and Medicaid, not so much on worker’s rights. Also, the AARP did not want to lose support from businesses. If Mulvaney’s movement to end employment-at-will becomes successful, then businesses would lose a lot of money and power over their employees.

His main struggle is that there is little support to end this law. Few people even recognize it as an issue, he said. He implored the journalism students to investigate, and to be interactive. There is a reason he has little support in fighting this law, because he is simply wrong! Anyone with half a brain can tell you businesses need certain freedoms to survive, being able to fire unnecessary employees is one of those freedoms.

A student asked Mulvaney why the upper class has not noticed the problems with employment-at-will. He responded by saying that people that have jobs don’t notice those that don’t, because they are too concerned with their own lives. He is correct but the more fortunate also understand that there are jobs out there right now, many of the unemployed are not looking hard enough. One can only “feel bad” for others for so long. It gets to a point that where the individual must help himself and not rely on others to do it for them.

Now there are some that are trying to find work but are unsuccessful which is a shame. But many free ride off hard working taxpayers – again socialism, the rich helping the poor. How can the United States maintain our power over the world when we live in an entitlement society? It is not possible.

Mulvaney’s efforts are admirable in stopping employment-at-will but he is misinformed. Businesses need economic freedom in order to grow and compete. One of those freedoms includes the right to release unnecessary employees. This country was founded on the ideas of economic liberty and it seems that every year, we are slowly losing those freedoms. Employment-at-will must stay law.

Sam Kinney

[email protected]

Comments (0)

Wheelchair Basketball Tournament March 31

Posted on 28 March 2012 by Warrior Staff

By Megan Stinn

The Second Annual Wheelchair Basketball tournament hosted by Delta Chi fraternity and Alpha Chi Omega sorority brings together the Marquette community to raise funds and awareness not only for their respective philanthropies but also the Milwaukee community with the help of Milwaukee Recreation.

The Wheelchair Basketball Tournament is from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 31. It is comprised of 16 teams, each with five players. Each team member has to play basketball while in a wheelchair. The teams will compete through a bracket system, and the first place team will win a Sobelman’s gift card.

Participating teams are asked to donate $25, and all proceeds will be donated to Delta Chi’s philanthropy, the Jimmy V Cancer Foundation, and Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy, Domestic Violence Awareness.

This is the second year that Delta Chi has held the Wheelchair Basketball Tournament to raise money for the Jimmy V Foundation. Tournament organizer and Delta Chi member Freddy Terrazas asked Alpha Chi Omega to co-sponsor the event this year. Co-sponsoring the tournament was an opportunity the sorority was very excited to have.

“The event provides a unique opportunity for Greek unity by allowing a fraternity and a sorority to team up and invite other Greeks to participate as well,” Alpha Chi Omega Vice President of Philanthropy Shannon Rohn said.

Encouraging Greek unity isn’t the only unique aspect of the Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

“The event brings together the Marquette community to raise funds and awareness not only for our respective philanthropies but also for the Milwaukee community with the help of Milwaukee Recreation,” Delta Chi Philanthropy Chair Freddy Terrazas said.

“This event is so unique because it gives students the chance to participate in something they have probably never done before. It is fun, challenging, and goes to a great cause, which makes this event so amazing,” Rohn said.

Interested teams can sign up for the Wheelchair Basketball Tournament through an link on the event’s Facebook page.

Comments (0)

General Honoré Talks Leadership

Posted on 19 February 2012 by Sam Kinney

Lieutenant General Russell Honoré spoke Thursday Feb. 9 at the Weasler auditorium to students and staff about Leadership. His overall message was that our nation has lost its drive for invention. He implored his audience to try and be the “next big thing.”

Honoré is best known for his work done following the Katrina disaster. Aug. 31, 2005 he was appointed the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina. He further gained national attention with is attitude towards reporters that asked stupid questions. He once told a reporter that asked a stupid question to not get “stuck on stupid.”

His other big point to his audience in addition to being inventive was being prepared. He used many examples from his work in the Katrina effort to explain what he meant by being prepared. One line he repeatedly said was “For every dollar you save on being prepared, you save 12 dollars in response.” He was trying to convey to his audience that being prepared will be much more beneficial to you instead of just dealing with a problem as it happens.

He also said “If we lose power, we will be living as we did 80 years ago.” Honoré was referring to the Katrina incident when so many lost power and had to live a primitive lifestyle for so long.

He told us all this because Honoré made it very clear that he loves his country and it kills him to see it losing its power over the rest of the world. He said that it is our job to keep America free for the next generation.

He reflected on the American Revolution and told his audience “Next time you face something difficult in your life, consider your founding fathers!” He spoke extensively of the founders and the soldiers in the Revolution. This example was used when he spoke about being proactive; if you see a problem with something, fix it. “The founders saw a problem with the way they were being ruled so they took action.”

One very powerful yet comical message he conveyed to the audience was that he has no tolerance for terrorism. “If you see something bad about to happen, DO SOMETHING! If someone is trying to set their shoe on fire, I’m gonna’ to beat them!”

He made the connection that one of his generation’s big challenges was the Vietnam War and stopping the spread of communism. But the issues our generation is faced with solving is over population, world hunger and water – which is what he believes the next major war will be over.

One could almost hear the sadness in his voice when he was speaking of rising nations such as China and India. He wants the United States to be the most powerful nation forever and he sees that this next generation of Americans has lost the drive that older generations once had. Unlike the “Greatest Generation” Honoré said, there is no burden to go to war after school, but an obligation to be inventive.

Sam Kinney

[email protected]

Comments (0)

MU Students for Life raise awareness through campus programming

Posted on 03 November 2011 by JKaiser92

Marquette Students for Life hosted guest speaker Bob Atwell, the CEO of Nicolet National Bank, on Tuesday, Oct. 25, to address students about the pro-life issue and social justice issues he believes should be a concern for all Catholics.

Atwell began the discussion by briefly addressing his own experience with abortion, in which he and his girlfriend made the decision together to have one in 1978. Atwell described his path to being committed to pro-life principles, which led his talk to other topics including economics, poverty and envirsonmental issues.

“I want [students] to be more deeply committed to the defense of the innocent unborn and women,” Atwell said. “I also want them to embrace the fullness of Catholic teaching of social justice in which the defense of innocent life is the most important right but not the only. Economic justice, environmentalism – all of those problems rest on a flawed understanding of the human person and it’s relationship to the common good.”

Atwell also stressed concern over friction between pro-life Catholics and social justice Catholics.

“[My talk] is centered on the dignity of the human person,” Atwell said. “It’s not my message. It’s the message of Jesus Christ and the Church. We got to put an end to this false dichotomy between social justice Catholicism and pro-life Catholicism.”

Students for Life president, senior Andrew Axt, found Atwell’s insight into abortion and social justice to be very valuable.

“I hope what people took away is that part of who we are as Catholics is to uphold the dignity of life,” Axt said. “Whether it be abortion, homelessness, euthanasia, stem cell research or just all social justice issues, none of them can be ignored.”

On Oct. 25, the day before Atwell’s appearance, Axt and the rest of Students for Life put up white crosses in the central mall, which they called the “cemetery of the innocent.” Each cross was supposed to represent an aborted unborn child.

“[The crosses are] mostly to raise awareness as well as keep [abortion] in the public sphere that this is just something that is a great travesty,” Axt said. “It needs to be kept front and center in our society that this isn’t something that should be tolerated.”

Atwell remarked that the efforts of Students for Life are not only acts of generosity but also means of promoting student happiness.

“This is not a vague sentimentality that if you do good, you’ll feel good,” Atwell said. “The reality of making yourself a gift for the good of others is the path to joy. It’s not the sorrowful sacrifice that you must make because your God demands of you. It’s the path to happiness.”

by Joseph Kaiser
[email protected]

Comments (0)

Against concealed carry on campus

Posted on 03 November 2011 by Evan Umpir

The Wisconsin State Legislature passed Act 35 this past summer, allowing weapons to be carried in the state concealed from public view. This is a major shift for Wisconsin, as prior to Act 35, the state had open-carry, but the right to carry a weapon in plain view was rarely exercised. This is a step forward for Wisconsin as we now join forty-eight other states with concealed-carry laws, leaving Illinois as the only state not having such a law. However, the debate for us is not about concealed carry – it is about concealed carry on Marquette’s campus. In this instance, I think that Marquette has made a good decision to bar weapons from being carried on campus.

At the recent student forum, Fr. Pilarz stated that what it comes down to is following the law, and this is exactly what Marquette is going to do. The policy states that employees, students, guests and contractors are not permitted to “carry any weapons on university property except as expressly permitted by applicable State law; openly carry any weapons on university property; carry any weapons in any university building or leased space or at any university special event marked with signage specifying ‘Weapons are prohibited in this building.’” This policy applies to all weapons, not just firearms. To the extent possible within the law, Marquette will be banning weapons on campus.

What necessitates this change? We’ve gotten by fine without weapons before Act 35. Why, now that we have a concealed carry law in Wisconsin, is everyone enthusiastic about the right to carry a concealed weapon? Nothing on Marquette’s campus magically changed on November first when the law took effect to increase the desire to pack heat. Dozens of colleges have banned weapons on campus in states that have concealed carry laws. According to a compilation of college campus shootings by Google, approximately twenty-two shootings have occurred since 1990 – that’s approximately one shooting per year. There is not an epidemic of college shootings that arming students would prevent. The infrequency of college shootings and the insignificant effect armed students have during school shootings clearly show that current bans are not detrimental to the safety of college campuses.

Life on college campuses often involves some drug use and alcohol consumption that could impair the judgment of a law-abiding gun owner. The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study that found that those with alcohol problems are more likely to have firearms with them at school. “These alcohol-related behaviors suggest that college gun owners are more likely than those who do not own guns to engage in activities that put themselves and others at risk for severe or life-threatening injuries. Damaging property when intoxicated suggests an inability to contain aggressive impulses.” The logical connection between drinking impairing judgment and shortening tempers and gun ownership should be clear: the two do not mix. This negative connectivity should be recognized. Although there are provisions in Act 35 to prevent the sale of alcohol to people that are believed to possess a firearm, it’s called concealed carry for a reason; even the most astute bartender might oversee a hidden weapon.

Furthermore, the Wisconsin law has provisions that require the obtainer of a permit to be at least 21 years old. With only about a third of the student body eligible to obtain permits (and not all would bring a weapon to campus even if permitted), how could a policy that would allow students to carry weapons be effective? This is just another practical reason that shows that having weapons on campus would not improve the safety of the campus in any substantial way.

Ultimately, allowing weapons on campus is a Pandora’s Box. DPS should devote its time to more important issues. Weapons have been banned on dozens of college campuses for years and the infrequency of situations where carrying weapons could prove useful are few and far between. This is common sense: guns and school don’t mix and never have.

by Evan Umpir
[email protected]

Comments (0)

Student tutors voice desire for new location

Posted on 09 October 2011 by sara.torres

Students receiving tutoring at Marquette may see some changes as the tutoring center receives a possible new location within the next two years. Faculty and tutors involved in the Marquette Tutoring Program feel there is a huge lack of space, which can affect their ability to aid students.

According to Dawn Barrett, associate director of Student Educational Services in the tutoring program, there are “approximately 60 [classes tutored] throughout each semester, mostly freshmen and sophomore-level courses, Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, Physics, many others, etc.”

In past years, these classes were solely taught in the tutoring center, located on the third floor of the Alumni Memorial Union (AMU). This year, additional overflow space is on the fourth floor of the AMU. However, this is not enough.

“[A new location] is absolutely necessary, especially with there being at most 20 if not more groups of four to six people each,” said Marlena Eanes, a junior in the College of Education and former tutor. “The rooms get quite crowded quickly.”

Oftentimes, the crowded rooms are more than simply an annoyance for tutors but they are a distraction.

“The big problem with the space issue is when you have other groups, it’s hard to tutor because there are so many distractions,” said Angie Macias, a Spanish tutor and senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“When I did tutor training they told me I was really soft spoken,” Macias continued. “If you’re like me and you’re really soft spoken, it’s hard for people to hear you. Everyone else talks louder so they can be heard.”

Former Spanish tutor Chris Powell, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, agreed that crowded rooms are a distraction.

“I think that as a tutor you want to be able to make the most of the limited time, about an hour per week,” said Powell. “There’s a lot to cover, and the better you can efficiently communicate with the students the more effective the session will be.”

Powell concluded: “I think that crowded, noisy rooms are a poor environment in which to facilitate this type of positive interaction.”

Problems not only arise for the tutors but also for those tutored.

“I know from being a tutee that it is hard to concentrate on the material when there are so many other people around,” said Eanes.

Macias also reflected on her experience as a tutor. “Usually the class being tutored next to you is also something you are in,” Macias said. “So you are trying to listen to both.”

The obvious solution would be a new location, but this has proven difficult. According to Marquette’s provost, John Pauly, plans started even before he received the title of provost in 2008.

“There is a demand for space in the Union,” Pauly said. “From my perspective we never found an alternative space that was adequate.”

The two most likely places for the tutoring center to be relocated are Marquette Hall and Sensenbrenner Hall, with the former being more likely. In order for this to happen, Pauly said the building needs some improvements.

“The hope was that next summer we could start and be in place by the next fall,” Pauly said.  “We are looking at budgets.”

Although there are currently many obstacles, Pauly recognized the importance of the new building for students.

“Students need to get off to the right start,” he said. “What happens in the first six to eight weeks with freshmen helps determine their future. When students have issues, this is the place to go.”

Announcements for the new tutoring center will be made when plans are finalized.

by Sara Torres

[email protected]

Comments (0)

College of Engineering Discovery Learning Complex

Posted on 09 October 2011 by WarriorAdmin

DLC combines new ways of learning with new technology and sustainable practices

The first and lower levels of the 115,000 square foot Discovery Learning Complex (DLC) for the College of Engineering, located on Wisconsin Avenue between 16 and 17 streets, are currently open for classes. Jon Jensen, Ph.D., the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, said the entire building is anticipated to be open by the summer of 2012. Marquette plans to add a second building to the current facility that will together occupy 250,000 square feet. While the college is striving for LEED Silver Certification, features of sustainable design of the DLC include over 30 solar panels, a heat recovery chiller to recycle wasted heat, a 10,000-gallon water tank to collect run-off water, and a roof garden with a walkway. The building also has little carpeting that saves oil and materials and reclaimed wood from construction areas in Wisconsin. The college is still raising money to complete this $50 million project.

“The building is a

laboratory all on its own.

A living laboratory.”

-Jon Jensen

Associate Dean for Enrollment Management

Fast Facts:

• As a teaching tool, the structure contains every type of construction member in plain view, in all shapes and sizes.

• Large windows with natural light and transparent glass walls promote an open and friendly environment to inspire innovation, collaboration and creativity.

• Smart classrooms (right) are equipped with movable furniture and large monitors that can be synchronized for video conferencing, recording and sharing lectures, and hooking up students’ laptops.

• The building is made up of  10 percent recycled content. Ninety-five percent of the debris was recycled from the original building on site.

• DLC uses 95 percent LED lighting, which uses less energy and less heat than incandescent lighting.

• The Engineering Materials and Structures Testing Lab houses a strong wall (left side), tubular members that support highway signs (right side), and a 10-ton crane that will add to the little-known body of knowledge on the stress it experiences under load.

• Controllable light dimmers in each environment and motion sensors help sustain energy and reduce unnecessary light usage.

• Writable dry-erase walls in laboratories all over the building allow students to draw out their ideas.

Collaborative Atmosphere:

Unique among engineering colleges, the DLC provides working spaces and laboratories that combine subfields of engineering. In addition, each floor is designed to facilitate collaboration between faculty research and student studies. Approximately 1,168 full-time undergraduate students and 210 graduate students are enrolled in the College of Engineering. The college has 55 full-time and 20 part-time faculty members.

Building Breakdown:

Lower Level — Energy

Level 1 — Engineering Outreach and Education

Level 2 — Sensor Technology

Level 3 — Healthcare and Human Performance

Level 4 — Water Quality and Clean Water

Building Nuts & Bolts:

• 38 laboratories

• 9 classrooms and seminar rooms

• 25 faculty offices

• 12 student study nodes

• 2 graduate student offices

by Melanie Pawlyszyn

[email protected]

Comments (0)

From the Classroom to the Capitol: A look into the development of political leaders from MU

Posted on 09 October 2011 by WarriorAdmin

Jason Rae

The most exciting phone call the average Marquette student will get is from Buckheads telling them they have won a party on Friday night. Jason Rae, a Marquette alumnus from the class of 2009, received his most exciting phone call from former President Bill Clinton while sitting in his bedroom at Mashuda Hall. Having the most famous voice heard at Mashuda since the Beatles stayed there, Clinton called Rae because he was and still is a superdelegate to the Democratic Nationl Committee (DNC).

The months surrounding the 2008 Wisconsin Primary were a “total blur” to Rae. He was interviewed on Fox News, MSNBC, Good Morning America and Anderson Cooper 360°. As a superdelegate, he voted for Barack Obama despite Clinton’s encouragement to vote for Hilary Clinton. He voted for Obama after he saw Wisconsin choose Obama in the primary.

Rather than becoming a superdelegate to simply make his voice heard, Rae ran as a DNC superdelegate to represent America’s next generation. He was a founding member of the DNC Youth Council and is now its chair.

Rae became active in politics while still in high school. He was one of 30 students to spend fall of his junior year working on the floor of the United States Senate as a page. He was born in Rice Lake, Wis., about five hours northwest of Milwaukee. He had always been involved with county politics and was wondering what he should do next. Because of his experience at the Capitol, he originally wanted to go to George Washington University. But Marquette gave him a more competitive financial package so he ultimately enrolled at Marquette.

While most freshmen were content signing up for club sports during O-Fest, Rae walked into the political science department to declare his major. He took his first political science course with Dr. John McAdams, which he greatly enjoyed despite his disagreement with McAdams on nearly every issue. During his freshman year, he also worked as an intern in Herb Kohl’s office in Milwaukee.

Rae, a double major in history and political science, was active on campus outside the classroom as well. He served as the legislative vice president for Marquette University Student Government twice, and as a freshman, served as a student representative for the Academic Senate. Some professors on the Academic Senate were astonished that a freshman was appointed to such a position, and even suggested that an upperclassman may be a better fit. Yet he maintained his position, and was even a resident assistant and a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society of which he became the student chapter president.

During the summer of his senior year, he worked as an intern for Nation Consulting, a Wisconsin-based public strategies firm that offers services to local, regional and national clients. After graduating, he was offered a spot to stay on. He is now an associate there where he works primarily with political clients and non-profits.

The advice he offered to those aspiring a career in politics is to start early, such as obtaining a college internship. He said you should not wait until senior year to become involved because of all the valuable connections and insights you can get from a strong (and early) beginning. Ultimately, he said you are “never too young.”

by Adam Ryback

[email protected]

Bill Neidhardt

Although most students do not know who Les Aspin is, they do have a profound respect for Marquette’s educational program founded in his name. Bill Neidhardt, a junior majoring in political science with a concentration in law, “cannot speak highly enough of the Les Aspin Center.” He said he believes the staff really helps you excel in Washington. Rev. Timothy O’Brien, Director of the Les Aspin Center for Government, has a particularly major role in showing students how their experience in D. C. connects with studies in the classroom. He takes the students aside to look at the internship from a “removed perspective,” according to Neidhardt.

He also argued that if you use the “Marquette Connection” right, it can take you far. For instance, he describes how Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s chief of staff, a Marquette alumnus, went out of his way to talk to Neidhardt about Marquette basketball or other topics because of their mutual connection to our university.

Marquette gives its students more chances to have an in-depth role in politics than many other schools. Neidhardt compares Marquette to Fordham University in New York, where he also considered attending college. At Fordham he said he does not believe he could have competed in place like New York. However, since he went school in Milwaukee he was able to get an internship his freshman year.

During his college career, Neidhardt has held three internships, two with former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold and one with Durbin, whom he worked for last semester. He held his first internship the second semester of his freshman year. He worked in the field, going door-to-door and working at a phone bank. The following semester he worked as a press intern for Feingold’s campaign handling calls from TMJ and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Moving up the ladder, Neidhardt held a paid position as press assistant for Durbin while he was involved with the Les Aspin Center for Government.

by Adam Ryback

[email protected]

Ryan Lopez

Marquette alumnus Ryan Lopez has always been interested in politics. During his time at the university, he was involved with various clubs and held leadership roles. He served as vice president of the College Democrats and spent time in Washington D.C. through the exchange program.

“Working on campaigning politics is different than learning in school,” said Lopez. He said he believes that, although education is greatly important, hands-on experience teaches invaluable lessons. Lopez’s early experience was focused on his displeasure with the Bush administration. To turn his opinion into action, he worked on the Kerry campaign and was eventually satisfied when Obama was elected to office.

During his college life, Lopez worked with the John Kerry and the John Edwards campaigns. He was also director of online communications and visual strategizing for Tom Barrett in his gubernatorial campaign and spent time working with an organization associated with the Liberal Democrats, a British political party.

“Most universities do not teach any sort of campaigning,” said Lopez. The most effective way for students to get involved and learn more about politics is to search the community around them for opportunities. In particular, Lopez emphasized that an excellent opportunity for students is to join political campaigns when they are just beginning to form.

Lopez’s dissatisfaction with the economy, the direction of the United States in 2003-2004, and his passion for justice led him to choose a career in politics. After hands-on experience and involvement at Marquette, Lopez now works as the communications director and head of visual strategizing for Peter Barca, the current representative for the 64th district in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Anyone who is passionate enough about a subject can make a difference or get involved and work towards making a change. Politics affects everyone, and there are countless ways to get involved and take a stand against an issue, injustice and controversy – everything and anything that draws public attention provides an opportunity for political activism.

by Marelyn Lehocky

Comments (0)

What your peers think of student activity fees

Posted on 09 October 2011 by WarriorAdmin

Every year MUSG provides speakers, films, excursions, performances and many other activities for students. Students have the liberty to use MUSG’s services as they choose, but regardless of their choice, they are helping fund the activities.

The student activity fee sits at $30 per student per semester – a cost that has risen throughout the years.

“The activity fee has always been the source of MUSG’s annual budget,” MUSG Financial vice president and senior John Dunlap said. “The dollar amount has increased over the years. It stands at $30 now. In the past it may have been more like $25.”

Despite an increase in the costs, some, like freshman club tennis player Zubin Patel, feel it is completely fair to keep them mandatory.

“Probably 90 percent of the kids [at Marquette] end up doing an activity at some point during their Marquette careers,” Patel said. “Thirty dollars is minimal.”

Even if students feel the price is fair, there are other schools who handle the accumulation of activity fees differently, like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which offers students the option of having their activity fees refunded if they do not see the value in them.

Dunlap does not believe a refund to the students is as simple as it seems, nor all that beneficial.

“A reimbursement can logistically be very complicated,” Dunlap said. “We have a balanced budget, we don’t plan to make a profit and we don’t plan to lose money. We plan to use all the money we take in. If money gets unspent it goes into a reserve fund.”

Moreover, Dunlap said MUSG provides enough diversity in its activities that students likely should not feel they aren’t getting the value from the activity fees.

“I think it’s an unfortunate situation if someone doesn’t feel like they are getting the value out of the $30 they pay each semester,” Dunlap said. “MUSG does a very good job at putting these funds that meet the needs of a lot of student interests.”

If students at the University of Illinois feel that the activities are not meeting their needs, they have the option of receiving refunds on fees that go toward the campuses center for performing arts, financing environmental initiatives, study abroad programs, student legal service, registered student organizations and cultural programs.

Patel doesn’t think an opt-out feature at Marquette is all that necessary.

“We get to see films and do things like see B.J. Novak,” Patel said. “I’d definitely say it’s fair [the way it is now].”

Rather than change to a refund based policy, Dunlap said he hopes that if students don’t feel satisfied with what they are getting for their activity fee that they would mention it to MUSG so they can improve how they spend the money.

“If [students] are not satisfied, they can come to us and tell us what they’d like to see happen,” Dunlap said. “We definitely seek input on how can we improve the benefit and the value they receive from what they pay in the activity fee. We are really at the forefront of addressing student needs.”

by Joseph Kaiser

[email protected]

Comments (0)

Inauguration recap: what you missed

Posted on 09 October 2011 by WarriorAdmin

Fr. Scott Pilarz took the stage as Marquette’s official 23rd president to a standing ovation from a near-full Al McGuire Center.

Among his first official words as the new president was a reference to Bruce Springsteen, whose Sept. 23 birthday fell on the same day as the inauguration, saying, “Marquette, baby, we are clearly born to run.” The crowd laughed with the new president. Though light hearted, those words rang true throughout his speech in which he alluded often to not only Marquette’s illustrious history, but also its bright future.

Pilarz spent the first part of his inaugural speech on Marquette’s past successes. Pilarz said he has an “incredible sense of gratitude for how far Marquette has come since 1881,” praising Milwaukee’s first Bishop for having the vision of a Jesuit university in the city. He made reference to Père Jacques Marquette’s difficult journey away from family and friends to explore North America and find the Mississippi River, similar to the journey Marquette students make when they leave home to attend MU.

Fr. Pilarz gave the past presidents in attendance, Fr. Albert Diulio and Fr. Robert Wild, rounds of applause, recognizing them for their important roles in “Marquette’s momentum right now.”

He mentioned Marquette being the first Catholic university to admit women. The new President called the Marquette community “remarkable,” saying, “Marquette has been blessed with a spirit unique amongst Jesuit schools.”

For the balance of the speech, though, he discussed his immediate and future plans for Marquette. He stressed the importance of Marquette’s success at present, saying, “together we stand at a critical junction for Catholic and Jesuit higher education.”

Fr. Pilarz described looking into the future as “daunting” and said, “the work ahead may be arduous.” But he mentioned “hope” as the only way to combat a “(future) colored significantly by mystery.”

Despite facing uncertainty in Catholic education, he is confident Marquette can thrive in these difficult times. “There is no blueprint for Marquette complete in every detail.  But our love for this university will work its way.” Pilarz is confident Marquette’s past success indicates more of the same in the future. “Marquette has always made strides in the direction of excellence.”

Although impressed by Marquette’s current standing as he begins his presidency, our President gave Marquette two goals: “Access and a new excellence.”

Pilarz proudly stated nearly 25 percent of the class of 2015 is the first in their family to go to college, noting he himself was the first in his family to earn a degree. He is committed to maintaining that level of access to Marquette.

He spent a significant amount of time on Marquette’s presence in the Milwaukee community, but hopes Marquette will earn “a new excellence” under his guidance, noting, “Marquette has important work to do on the national and global stage.”

The President wants Marquette to strive for a new excellence outside the classroom as well as inside of it. He asked the audience, “How do our students and faculty become the voices for the voiceless?”, “how do they become persons of solidarity for the poor?” and “how can we re-imagine ourselves in this globalized world?”

Events at the inauguration preceding and following the speech indicated Fr. Pilarz would not settle for the status quo. Before the speech, a video was shown with students reading Mary Oliver’s poem “What I Have Learned So Far,” a poem with the ending words, “Be ignited, or be gone.” After Pilarz finished his speech, the Marquette Gospel Choir sang a song titled, “New Direction,” which included lyrics like, “I’m headed in a new direction. I don’t want to go the same ole’ way.”

Around campus, the general feeling surrounding its new leader is that of excitement.  Arely Flores, a senior, said, ““I’ve gotten a very good vibe from Fr. Pilarz. I’ve heard him speak twice, and both times I felt his energy and his enthusiasm. I think he was a great choice.”

Students believe Fr. Pilarz’s youth will help him lead students in his quest for “a new excellence.” “He’s going to strive to keep Marquette ahead of the game. I think it’s important for him to be pushing the envelope for us and not just coming in and learning the ropes. He’s going to take an active role,” says senior Molly Gilmore. “He’s living in Campus Town, and a lot of students relate to that.”

Pilarz’s visibility around campus is popular as well. Freshman Matt Marhefke says, “I look at Madison, and you never see any of your faculty or administrators. And here you see them everyday just walking down the street. It’s that kind of closeness that really sets him apart.”

Also resonating with students is his humor. Sophomore Joanna Tulachka simply said, “He’s funny…he doesn’t seem like an old guy.” Freshman Tim O’Connor likes how Pilarz combines humor with a serious message, “[the inauguration] is the fourth time I’ve heard him talk and every single time he always has something new to say. It’s always interesting, it’s always funny, it’s always entertaining, but he still gets a good message across.”

Students believe in Fr. Pilarz’s idea of “a new excellence.” “As a senior, I’m taking it as “don’t become stagnant,” said senior Brad Tharpe. “There’s a lot of ‘cruising’ that goes on senior year so to me personally it’s go out and tutor at the community center, or go out and find a new service project or just recommit myself to academics.”

Marhefke believes Fr. Pilarz’s new excellence seeks the continued growth of Marquette’s academic prestige. “He wants it to be a pillar of the Jesuit foundation of education,” he said. “As an engineering student, I picked Marquette because their engineering curriculum is very hands-on… Here it’s a brand new way of thinking, of tackling these problems and changing the world around you.”

On a day meant to celebrate the present, Fr. Pilarz took a hard look at the future. He concluded his speech with a famous quote from St. Ignatius, telling Marquette to “go set the world on fire.” If Fr. Pilarz’s speech signified anything, it is that Marquette will likely face challenges in his time as president, but Marquette is “ready, ready to run.”

by Ben McCormick

[email protected]

Comments (0)

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

The Warrior: Marquette's Independent News Source on Facebook
Advertise Here