The Marquette University Student Government Senate had a very productive meeting Thursday night, approving the budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year and Amendment #3 “Renaming Concert commission.” Proposed candidates for the positions of Legislative Clerk and Parliamentarian were also approved.
The Senate unanimously approved the budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The budget will be decreased by $4,000 from last year, with the biggest cut backs occurring in administrative and advertising expenses. These cut backs will allow more money to be spent in ways that directly benefit the student body. Student organization funding will also be decreased by $8,500 from last year; however, this is simply a result of a previous piece of legislation that was passed stating that most funding is to be used for on-campus events only. The Program Board budget is being increased by $10,000, which is 1.68% of the total budget, allowing MUSG to provide more diverse and higher quality programs for students, specifically in the area musical acts brought to campus.
The Senate also unanimously approved Amendment #3 “Renaming Concerts Commission”. The amendment changes the name of the concert commission to “Major Events” commission in order to reflect changes in the commission’s scope. The Major Events commission will now be allowed to not just plan concerts, but also be given the opportunity to go out and bring in bigger and better acts that appeal to a greater percentage of the student body. The goal is to hold two medium-sized acts throughout the year, at slightly larger venues, which will allow more students to attend the events.
Other items of new business included the unanimous approval of new Parliamentarian, Elizabeth Spaits, and Legislative Clerk, Chris Stewart. Spaits is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in political science and economics. Having been “unofficially involved in MUSG” since her sophomore year, Spaits is thrilled to have the opportunity to finally be an official member of the organization. Spaits responsibilities will include confirming that each Senate meeting properly abides by parliamentary procedure and sanctioning Legislative Vice President Drew Halunen.
“While I don’t think I would have neither the time nor the expertise to perhaps be a senator, I think Parliamentarian is a wonderful position and a way that I can help MUSG become an even better organization.” said Spaits.
Newly approved Legislative Clerk Chris Stewart is currently a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in political science and history. Stewart was previously involved with MUSG as a senator for O’Donnell Hall, Schroeder Hall and the College of Arts and Sciences. However, after receiving a position as an
Resident Assistant in O’Donnell Hall, it became very difficult for Stewart to dedicate the amount of time required by senators to MUSG so he regretfully decided to part ways. Upon discovery of the Legislative Clerk position, which requires a reduced time commitment than being a senator, Stewart jumped at the opportunity to be a part of MUSG again.
“I see this as an opportunity to continue working with an organization that I really enjoy being a part of,” Stewart said. “My experiences in MUSG as a senator will be very helpful for this position because I already know how the meetings work and what to expect at all of them, and I have a good understanding of the office and how business is conducted here.”
The Senate was also joined by Marquette alumni 4th District Alderman Bob Bauman and Clark Wantoch, Public Works administration and transportation design manager, for a presentation on opportunities to increase traffic safety on campus. Points of interest included looking into converting 16th, 17th and 18th streets from one-way to two-way traffic, and decreasing the amounts of accidents that occur at the intersections of 16th and Renee Road by looking into the possibility of the placement of traffic signals and 17th and Renee Road to increase visibility.
At the senate meeting on Thursday night, Financial Vice President John Dunlap presented the proposed MUSG budget for the 2012 fiscal year.
FVP Dunlap’s presentation was an overview of the planning process for determining the FY12 budget, including who was involved in creating the proposal, factors contributing to the budget and trends taken into account from past years. To determine the finalized proposal, the budget committee considered projected revenues, developed financial goals and expectations and reviewed proposed expenses.
FVP Dunlap also explained that approximately 85 percent of the budget is derived from undergraduate student activity fees, about 16 percent from the MUSG program board and nearly 10 percent from interest on the MUSG reserve fund. Most of the budget money is allocated towards the program board and student organization funding.
The proposed FY12 budget shows a slight increase in MUSG program board funding with student organization funding money decreasing marginally. FVP Dunlap explained that MUSG has allocated more money to student organizations in past years, and has kept program board funding at about the same amount for nearly ten years. The budget committee altered the distribution to remain consistent with 2007 and 2011 MUSG survey findings that almost 95 percent of students want to see their student activity fee spent on campus. This budget change will allow the program board to utilize more of the student activity fee for on-campus events rather than for off-campus travel and conference fees.
For more information about the proposed budget for FY12, please contact FVP John Dunlap at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several elections also took place at the meeting. Senator Sam Schultz was elected as the new President pro Tempore. Senators Rosendo Villanueva, Sterling Hardaway and Jilly Gokalgandhi were elected to the student organization funding committee, and Senator Allison Kruschke was elected to the budget committee.
Marquette University Student Government will be hosting “Lil Sibs Weekend: Sheriff’s Night Out with MUSG and DPS” on April 16 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Marquette Place in the AMU.
Sheriff’s Night Out is a night filled with fun for Marquette Students and their little siblings in a wild west themed environment. In order to get in the spirit of the night, attendees can test their aim at the shooting range or challenge themselves at the bull ride. Other activities will include arts and crafts, a photo booth, and a DPS corner with Wii systems. If attendees are hungry, they can enjoy free pizza and a make your own dirt cup station!
Once a sibling has participated in all of the components of the event, he or she will be eligible for a door prize. Participant must be in present to win at the time of the drawing.
“We are very excited about this event because this is always a fun event that shows Marquette Spirit,” said MUSG Special Events Commissioner Tara Vandygriff.
This event is free for all to attend.