Archive | MUSG Beat

March Letter from the Editor

Posted on 28 March 2012 by Adam Ryback

Thank you for picking up another copy of The Warrior! This issue we highlighted the presidential and vice-presidential elections for Marquette University Student Government.

It is a shame that none of the candidates have considered any cost-cutting measures to lower the cost of tuition. One has to wonder whether MUSG represents us or the administration. However, the bigger question is whether the administration takes their recommendations seriously. In the past the administration has approached MUSG to pass recommendations they support, such as changing the default settings on university printing machines to be double-sided.

Although I was thankful after this change was made several years ago, it made me think about what MUSG actually does for us. If they can only pass legislation which the university already supports, why not cut out the middleman? Hopefully our newly elected officials will be able to assert themselves and properly represent the students.

Disregarding my opinions on the organization itself, I believe that it is important for The Warrior to recognize Joey Ciccone and Trent Carlson, the outgoing president and vice-president. Both are tireless workers who truly care about their constituents. Whenever I needed information on the events in student government, they were more than helpful at providing it. The level of access and care provided to the students is truly worthy of respect. I wish them the best in all of their future endeavors.

Please enjoy the issue! If you have any comments or concerns, please e-mail me at [email protected] If you wish to join the paper, please sign up at thewarrior.org/join.

Thank you and have a blessed Lent.

Adam Ryback
Editor, 2011-12

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Sodexo assures Marquette students more change will come next year

Posted on 28 April 2010 by Joe Defelice

Over the last year Sodexo, the corporation responsible for the food and beverage services on Marquette’s campus, has come under pressure from the student body. Students are unsatisfied with a number of aspects of Sodexo’s services including prices, quality, and transparency of operations.

This dissatisfaction climaxed with the Marquette University Student Government’s senate voting to terminate the university’s contract with the multinational corporation. This decision is ultimately left to the Marquette administrators, but the student voice carries weight. A full semester later Sodexo is still at Marquette, though they did begin to make some changes to the way they operate some of their major dining halls already, starting this spring semester. Furthermore, Sodexo hosted a widely publicized open forum recently to allow students a chance to voice their concerns.

Food quality and menu options have been a major concern of students for quite some time. With a fairly decent number of students having special dietary and nutritional needs this has been a major concern. Many students are alarmed at the high levels of sodium and carbohydrates in many of the foods, especially at McCormick Hall’s dining facility which serves a majority of students.

“Shouldn’t nutrition be a main priority here at Marquette?” asked one concerned student during the forum, “How are milkshakes all day, every day a healthy choice?”, when asking about the new diner theme being designed for Mashuda Hall.

At the forum, Sodexo gave a brief presentation describing their currently planned solutions to improve dining in the coming years.Some of these solutions addressed the problem by assuring that they would be working to incorporate more local produce and dairy products in their facilities. Sodexo representatives reminded students that primary growing seasons are generally during the summer when students are not on campus.

Many students are concerned with available options for those who have special dietary needs, especially those with a vegetarian diet or those who need gluten-free foods. “I’m a vegetarian and I’ve found that most of the time the best meal I can get is a grilled cheese sandwich, sometimes that’s all I can find for two meals a day,” said a student who preferred to remain anonymous. Some have found that if they can call ahead by about an hour or so they can have a meal specially prepared for them by the dining staff. Of course, on a college student’s schedule that is not always convenient.

Another major issue is the mandatory policy that underclassmen purchase a meal plan. This raises the concern of where the discrepancy between the cost per meal paid by students and the cost of one plate of food that they receive. When asked for specific facts and allocations of money, Sodexo seemed unable to answer students on where exactly their money was going by percentage in certain areas of the budget.

“I’m very concerned where my money is going, I’d like to see the prices go down per meal. I’d like to see what it costs, per meal, I want to see what we’re actually paying,” said Brian Graf, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Former MUSG president and College of Arts and Sciences senior said he was pleased that Sodexo was continuing to work with students in order to better their services provided. It was also an opportunity for Sodexo to renew the faith of the students that they were working to fit their needs. They stressed the need for time to make big changes happen.

“The changes that have come about in the last few years have come from meetings very much like this. They have been built on the student feedback that we have been getting. We encourage students to continue to provide input,” said Dan Auger, general manager of Sodexo at Marquette.

Jordan Reff, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore and Schroeder Hall resident was very pleased, “I think it’s great that they are trying to work with the students because those are the people they are serving.”

Graf participated in a small meeting with some of the same Sodexo employees and other students that lived in McCormick Hall last year and says that good things have come from it already. “Last year I was in a small group meeting with students and Sodexo. We discussed what was then current dining hall availabilities and food quality. The things that came up were good and bad, what we liked and disliked. We proposed new ideas and by this year they had changed or made better the ideas that we had discussed. As far as I can see they are interested in changing when students ask them to. We realized that not everything can change so quickly, however, but they make the effort to change as fast as they can.”

In light of the concerns raised last semester Sodexo made changes regarding their service hours and quality, especially at McCormick Hall and Cafe Italiana at Schroeder. Some of the changes included extending the serving hours at the various sections of McCormick such as the international grill and sandwich station. Cafe Italiana’s hours of operation were extended to every night of the week as well. Many students noted this change at the semester.

“I noticed a definite change at the beginning of the semester. There are also more limited time offers which are great, for instance tonight I got a mean plate of nachos at the AMU,” said Matthew Schulz, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration.

John Heflin, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore, is still waiting for more. While he was not at the forum, he was disheartened to hear that Sodexo did not provide facts and figures when it came to using students’ money.

“Yes, they have made noticeable changes, but there’s still a long way to go. The results we see are still less than acceptable. I commend them for their efforts at trying to make the conditions more acceptable, but I challenge them to do better.”

Sodexo indicated certain benchmarks that they want to meet by the years 2010, 2012, and 2015. Students should continue to provide feedback via the means provided them on Marquette’s campus.

by Joseph DeFelice
[email protected]

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

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Molly Petitjean

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on 26 April 2009 by Joseph Schuster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MUSG: Double Sided Printing, Big Waste of Time

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Molly Petitjean

During the Senate meeting held on February 19, 2009, a very unimportant issue took up the most meeting time – that of Recommendation 6. Recommendation 6 was introduced to the Senate by Senators John Kristan, Mike Parreno, Liz Judy and Ellie Hastings. It reads, “Let it be recommended that the Office of the Provost begin to encourage professors to accept double-sided printed papers.” Aside from its silliness, which I will get to later, this recommendation that doesn’t really do anything has taken up so much of the Senate’s time compared to issues that matter so much more.

At the same meeting, the Senate passed an important election reform amendment that allows those students running for office to contact constituents with their consent. It reads, “Let … the MUSG Election Rules be amended to state: ‘The following activities are prohibited… Solicitation of votes by direct or indirect mailings (electronic or otherwise) or phone calls of any kind, unless the recipients individually and expressly request to receive such solicitations.”

This legislation, introduced by Senators Bill Doerrer and Tip McGuire, profoundly impacts the way campaigns will be run in the future.

It only took about five minutes for the Senators to make an amendment to the MUSG constitution, but it took them 22 minutes to determine whether or not to make a recommendation to the Provost.

Let me give you a brief history of this recommendation. During the Senate meeting held on Feb. 5, Senators Kristan, Parreno, Judy and Hastings introduced a recommendation that asked for the defaults on Printwise printers to be changed from single-sided to double-sided. The rationale for this switch was that it would save both the university and students money. Currently, printing two pages costs 14 cents whereas printing one sheet double-sided costs 10 cents for students.
During questioning, many Senators were concerned that the committee introducing the recommendation didn’t speak with faculty to see if double-sided documents would be accepted in class. It was also pointed out that it is a fairly easy process to switch from single-sided to double-sided on the print options menu, therefore making this recommendation unnecessary.
Finally, the dissent noted that it would be in bad to taste to tell the faculty what to do should an amendment to the recommendation be made about the acceptance of double-sided documents. After a painfully long discussion, it was suggested that it be tabled for two weeks.

Recommendation 6, which was discussed on Feb. 19, was a version of the original recommendation. At 8:02 p.m. CST , (yes, this time I decided to time how much of my time they found acceptable to waste) questioning opened for the new recommendation and several of the same sentiments were raised on the part of the dissent. The faculty again had not been consulted, nor had the students.

When asked if he spoke to any constituents about the proposed recommendation, Senator Kristan answered, “I haven’t talked to any constituents, but we were elected to make decisions.”
Really?

Come on, Senator, you were elected to represent students. How are you to do that if you don’t know where they stand on issues?
During questioning, it also came out that the Renewal Task Force was working on something similar, making the passing of this recommendation basically pointless. Kristan noted that they would like to hear how the students feel. However, he shouldn’t talk about students’ feelings because he admitted to not actually knowing them.
Another new concern was directed towards the persuasive power of the Provost. Senators wanted to know if all professors would have to adopt the practice or if it would remain a judgment call by the professors after the Provost encourages professors to accept double-sided documents.

For all of the hemming and hawing certain members of the Senate did during the period questioning, the recommendation passed with only two votes against it. The whole ordeal was finally over with at 8:24 p.m. The Senate spent 22 minutes arguing about something they had no intention of rejecting and something that won’t actually do anything. Anything! In my humble opinion, it was a giant waste of time.

I was upset as a constituent and as an observer of the meeting. When only one person was against this recommendation despite the intense amount of scrutiny it got, I was flabbergasted. Their time would have been much better spent looking into items that held much more weight.

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MUSG’s midyear check-in: Some progress, but much to be done

Posted on 12 February 2009 by Molly Petitjean

As the school year enters its second semester, MUSG is looking toward the future and has started holding meetings to discuss the upcoming elections. While this transition will affect the entire student body, the two individuals it affects the most are Ray Redlingshafer and Kathleen Blaney, the President and Vice President of MUSG, respectively.

As such, I thought it would be wise to look at their election platform and see what they have gotten done thus far and what is still left to be completed before the end of the year. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Blaney some questions about where the Redlingshafer/Blaney camp has been and check out what the future holds.
Here is a quick refresher of what Redlingshafer and Blaney’s campaign promised back in March of 2008. They wanted to create a smoother Student Organization Allocation process, improve communication with the Department of Public Safety about what is going on around campus, and add more computers to the Alumni Memorial Union. In addition, they wanted to add a position on Programs Board directed at service, improve Marquette by making it a more environmentally sustainable campus, improve financial aid, and work on getting an electric LIMO.

According to Blaney, they are doing well at reaching their goals for the school year. In fact, when asked about the possibility that anything on their long list of campaign promises might not get completed, Blaney answered with a simple and confident, “no.”

How is the SOA process going? Well, there were several club sports teams that were deeply troubled by the lack of funding they were able to receive from the budget surplus due to submission deadlines, but the large number of students concerned with this prompted action from MUSG to find a way to get at least some money allocated to them. Other than that snafu, Blaney was happy to announce the holding of three “SOA information workshops… to clarify the funding process.”

She notes that MUSG has a “strong relationship with Chief Rickard” of DPS and the Neighborhood Initiatives Committee discusses safety issues on campus and the surrounding area.

As for the computers in the AMU, that is something that was brought to the Senate a long time ago. However, none have been installed and many people have complained that it has taken way too long to actually get the computers for student use.

No word from Blaney about the service position being enacted or proposed for Programs Board, but she said that MUSG started a Thanksgiving food drive competition back in November.

While Redlingshafer sits on the Environmental Task Force, nothing concrete has materialized out of this goal, but Blaney said that ETF is “in the process of organizing a new website to explain the sustainability and environmental movements of the university.” This future website will also include a place for students to post their environmental concerns.

The other environmentally friendly goal of Redlingshafer and Blaney was to have a working electric LIMO on campus but that has not yet happened.
It was unclear at the time of publication how MUSG has improved financial aid, but as soon as the Warrior knows, you’ll know.

As you can see, it is a mixed bag of accomplishments and hypotheticals for the Redlingshafer administration, however, Blaney, as noted before, is confident all the things they have promised the student body will eventually get done. We may have to wait until after their administration is complete to see their vision come to be.
If there is something you as a student feel is missing from campus, or if you don’t feel that MUSG is doing enough, there is always something you can do about it. Tell your representative how you feel, come to a Senate meeting and voice your opinion during the forum for concerned students, or even run for MUSG President. Elections are coming up, you know!

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Ousted MUSG Legislative Vice President speaks out

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Molly Petitjean

“Bad things happen when you mess with MUSG.” Those are the words that Abe Matthew said to a Tribune reporter on November 15, 2008. The next two weeks preceding his removal from office, he was under constant fire from fellow Senate members as well as the general MU student body. What was missing from all of this criticism was Matthew’s voice.

One of the biggest omissions in Matthew’s story was that the Tribune reporter that he indirectly threatened was an acquaintance that he had known for five years, beginning in high school. After the incident, Matthew even apologized before he knew that the incident was reported. “I felt comfortable making a joke to him… it got blown way out of proportion. I guess you can’t bring the organizations into it.”

Matthew asserts that while in office, he was one of the most transparent and open people in student government. “After meetings I would come up to the reporters and actually talked to them.” He also notes that he was against the Communications policy that MUSG put in place which says that Senators are supposed to refer all questions directed toward them to the Communications Department of MUSG, thus taking away any non-organization sanctioned comments in the student news. “If you take my words literally and [interpret] them as a threat, then you are neglecting my actions,” Matthews said.

According to Matthew “an implicit threat does not merit removal. I think that was an overreaction.” However, he was not pleased with the other alternative given to him, an unpaid three week suspension. Although he accepted the suspension, Matthew believes that a more appropriate response would be a strong verbal reprimand, which he got from many of the Senators. “I was surprised that [the reporter] even reported it. I apologized.” Looking back, he “would have been adamant from day one that this was an overreaction. I tried to play ball but it just got me deep in the hole. I don’t think that I adequately defended myself.”

Now that Matthew has been removed as Legislative Vice President of the Senate, Jason Rae has taken over that position. Expect a big difference in style between the two leaders. Matthew hopes that the Senate continues to increase its visibility in its role acting as a liaison between students and faculty and hopes that Rae will take an aggressive stance on issues concerning the student body.

Since he is no longer a part of MUSG, Matthew won’t be able to propose legislation regarding a huge issue he had hoped to address during the second semester – the program board. “Fifty five percent of the budget is allocated to programs that few students take advantage of… the benefits do not equal the cost.” His suggestion? “Cut the Program Board.” Matthew acknowledges that some students do derive benefits and that they still should be catered to, but the sheer amount of money hemorrhaged into a system for a select few is not the way to go.

Another issue Matthew hopes the Senate will tackle is election reform. The rules of the election need to be brought into the twenty first century. “Candidates should be allowed to text people… Today that’s an acceptable form of communication.” Along with election communication, Matthew hopes that a primary debate will be introduced in hopes of getting third parties noticed across campus and passed through the primary elections.

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An MUSG Senate turnaround? Senators finally go out and talk the students

Posted on 06 November 2008 by Molly Petitjean

During the Senate meeting on October 23, 2008, something crazy happened: the Senators were required to talk to some of their constituents for 30 minutes before the meeting proceeded with normal business.

In fact, I was interviewed by Senator Stopka during this period. Many of the questions prepared were the same questions I asked my survey population like, “Do you know what MUSG does?” and questions regarding the student activity fee.

I think that this is a step in the right direction for the Senate and so does the Legislative Vice President, Abraham Matthew. In fact, after two and a half years in the Senate, he pitched this idea.

He also noted that if this proved to be successful, it would be something that would continue in the future. Matthew also said that he was “proud and surprised” that the Senate was getting more done this year than he had ever seen before.

The information that the Senate has gathered will be drawn through the bureaucratic process and discussed within the different committees. It is a good thing that they have procured information from the students themselves to use, but it is important that the students take enough initiative to bring their concerns to the Senate because it looks more pressing to the members when an issue is important enough to seek reform.

On this day after we have all had the opportunity to exercise our civic right to vote, I encourage you all to step forward and ask for change you would like to see around campus directly.

Hopefully I will see you all at the next Senate meeting. I, as well as the Senate, anticipate your participation!

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Be the difference: Go vote on Nov. 4th

Posted on 23 October 2008 by Molly Petitjean

In case you missed it, we have a Presidential election on our hand, folks! Around this time, it’s common to hear political and idealist debates going on about who is the best candidate, what party ideal is the best, and ever funny Ralph Nader joke or two. I want to stop all of this craziness for a second and talk about something that is more important than candidates and ideals: voting. Good for you for being politically informed enough to actually form a competent argument for either candidate, but in order for your rhetoric to mean anything, you have to vote.

It doesn’t matter that your friends or your neighbors know what your political stance is, come November 4th, it matters that you tell the nation your choice.

So often I hear griping about how awful Bush is and how many people hate his politics, but people, he won two elections. Someone out there thought that he was better than the alternative and voted! When I ask if they voted for Kerry (assuming they were of age four years ago), the answer is often no; in fact, they didn’t vote at all.

Stop complaining if you chose not to exercise your civic right to cast a ballot for the President of the United States! If you don’t use the rights this country and its leaders work so hard to protect, why do you feel like you have a right to complain about how things are going? According to the US Census Bureau, in the 2004 Presidential election, only 64% of voting age citizens actually voted, and that was a record turnout. If you want to look at a more relevant number, only 47% of people 18 to 24 who were eligible to vote actually showed up to the polls and only 58% of people 18 to 24 registered.
Less than half of the college age citizens voted in the last presidential election, but college campuses are generally seen as some of the most active political spots within our society. That makes us all talk and no game. I am disappointed in my peers. The one good thing that the statistics from the 2004 Presidential election reveled was that Wisconsin had the second highest voter turnout (behind only Minnesota) and the Midwest overall was the best region.

The apathetic nature of students isn’t just found on the national level, in can also be found within our school. How many people do you think voted for the open residential senate positions? Only 580 student; this is the total including commuters, off campus students, and residence halls. Carpenter Tower senator Taj Sharani received only 15 votes to get into his senate seat. Of course, I am not accusing Taj of anything, his election is just an example of how apathetic and lazy our students really are. Marquette, get up and vote! It takes little time and if you actually voted, then maybe more would get done around campus that you would like to have done.
Get up, go out and vote. Don’t let me down, Marquette.

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