Concerned students address Senate, FVP Ciccone presents on MUSG Budget, Senator Zach Wallace elected as LVP

At its meeting on Thursday, April 10, 2014, Marquette University Student Government Senate heard from two concerned students. Marguerite Biagi, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of Alpha Phi fraternity, advocated for MUSG’s support of Recommendation #11 Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act. Recommendation #11 would allow donations for collegiate housing to be tax deductible. Senior Ahlam Ayesh brought to Senate’s attention Marquette’s lack of policy to accommodate for religious holidays. Ayesh urged MUSG to pursue a policy that would allow students to be excused from class in order to observe religious holidays.

Financial Vice President Nick Ciccone then presented on the budget for fiscal year 2015. Revenue for the MUSG budget comes from the Student Activity Fee collected from all undergraduate students, program board excursions, senior week, and interest from the reserve fund. The budget is used for administrative expenses, programs and services, program board and Student Organization Funding. FVP Ciccone and the budget committee will go to each of the four Senate standing committees for opinions on the budget. Senate will vote on the budget at its April 24 meeting.

Senate then considered Resolution #6 Veto Override. Former MUSG President Sam Schultz vetoed legislation proposed by Program Vice President Ryan Twaddle to provide buses for students to Target next semester. This program would be funded by the MUSG reserve fund, which comes from unused student activity fees. Former President Schultz originally vetoed this legislation, seeing this program as unnecessary due to student’s possession of U-PASSes. Former President Schultz did not see the legislation as in line with Marquette’s Jesuit identity, which call us to live in community with others. After deliberation the Senate did not override the veto with the vote of 5-19-1.

The Senate deliberated on Recommendation #11 Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure act, presented on by concerned student Marguerite Biagi. Senate passed Recommendation #11 unanimously.

Senate accepted nominations for Legislative Vice President. Off-Campus Senator Nathan Craft nominated College of Arts & Sciences Senator Zack Wallace, who ran unopposed.

“Instead of sitting an office that seems exclusive, let’s go out to students and show them that we care,” Wallace said when asked about his ideas for improving Senate’s communication with students. The Senate approved Wallace unanimously.

Next, Senate moved to fill its two open academic seats on the SOF committee. Senate elected College of Engineering Senator Ricky Krajewski and College of Education Senator Amanda Stolz unanimously.

Additionally, the SOF committee had an open residential seat. Schroder Hall Senator Alexander Lech and McCormick Hall Senator Murphy Quill both ran for this position. After debate, Senate voted and, because four senators abstained, there was no majority achieved to elect a candidate. A second round of voting produced the same results. A third round of voting resulted in a tie 12-12-1. A fourth round of voting resulted in the election of Senator Lech to the SOF committee.

Moving to the consideration of Amendment #10 SOF Changes. Former MUSG Executive Vice President Zach Bowman presented the proposals in the amendment. This amendment would allow organization for funding in more then one period for different expenses examines MUSG policy on capital goods, clarifies allocations off-campus expenses in addition to other initiatives to improve the SOF process. After extensive deliberation,  the authors of the legislation withdrew the legislation from consideration. MUSG will keep students informed on future action taken to improve the SOF process.

Senate adjourned at 11:35 p.m.


Ad Hoc Committee on Student Organization Funding Review Presentation

On Thursday, March 6, Marquette University Student Government Senate convened for a presentation from its Ad Hoc Committee on Student Organization Funding Review.

The committee’s chair Executive Vice President Zach Bowman presented the results of the committee’s six meetings, including eight proposed changes to the MUSG financial policies. Senators will review the proposed changes in their committee meetings in the week following spring break. The ad hoc committee will continue to work on redesigning the SOF application and reforming the SOF guidelines.

Students with questions about potential changes to the SOF process should contact EVP Bowman at musg.execvp@marquette.edu.

Senate then discussed the approval of SOF allocations. After debate regarding the validity of a percent reduction, Senate approved three SOF allocations in excess of $2,500. The approval included two allocations to the Muslim Student Association for $3,300 and $3,000 to bring speakers during Islam Awareness Week. The College Republicans received $5,625 toward hosting speaker Karl Rove.

MUSG Senate unanimously passed Amendment #8 Implementation of Reserve Fund Cap. As a result of the amendment, if the MUSG Reserve Fund amasses to greater than fifty percent of the MUSG annual operating budget at the close of any fiscal year, a cap will be initiated to curb the amount of money that goes into the reserve fund the following year. The excess funds will then be made available for use by the organizations and departments on campus at the discretion of the MUSG Budget Committee.

The Senate also unanimously passed Resolution #4 Commending Laid-Off Employees and Recommendation #9 Extending the D2L Timeline. With Resolution #4, MUSG sends the organization’s thanks and gratitude to the 25 former employees for their years of service to Marquette and its student body. Recommendation #9 recommends that D2L is amended to allow students to access their courses for a minimum of two weeks after final exams.

Resolution #5 Reserve Fund Allocation for Water Bottle Fillers was heavily debated in the Senate. The resolution proposed allocating $11,690 from the Reserve Fund to Marquette plumbing contractor JM Brennan for the purchase and installation of one new water fountain with attached digital refilling station, three additional digital refilling systems and ten “gooseneck” water bottler fillers at various locations across campus. Ultimately, the resolution was tabled until the next Senate meeting on Thursday, March 20.

Senate adjourned at 10:58 p.m.

For more information on MUSG’s news and events, visit musg.mu.edu or the MUSG office, AMU 133. For additional updates, like MUSG on Facebook and follow MUSG on Twitter.


Office of Sustainability presents, Senate approves Program Vice President, passes amendments to improve executive board election process

On Thursday February 6, 2014, Marquette University Student Government Senate convened for a presentation from Mike Wittow and Andrew Seifert from the Office of Sustainability, approved the Program Vice President for the 2014-15 academic year and discussed amendments to the election process.

Andrew Seifert spoke on Marquette’s use of energy, water and waste. Since the Office of Sustainability began its initiatives in 2007, they have seen an increase in recycling and a decrease in waste. Environmentally friendly additions have already been made on campus including dual flush toilets, low flow faucets, trayless dining, and weather-informed irrigation. Wittow encourages students to pursue their concerns on sustainability and emphasized the office’s willingness to help with these concerns.

PPT Ryan Twaddle was selected as the 2014-15 Program Board Vice President and approved by Senate unanimously. Twaddle previously served as a College of Arts and Sciences Senator and President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

Looking forward to his term, Twaddle said, “Juniors and seniors put money into the student activity fee, so I would like to see some more activities targeted towards upperclassmen.”

Next on the agenda was the approval of Student Organization Funding for the most recent application period. Senate approved allocations of funds for Students for Justice in Palestine, Active Minds, Habitat for Humanity, MARDI GRAS New York and MARDI GRAS New Orleans.

Lastly, the Senate unanimously passed two amendments to the constitution to improve the executive board election process. Amendment 6, authored by Off-Campus Senators Natasha Hansen and Thomas Schick extends the term of the Legislative Vice President to April 30, consist with other vice president positions. Amendment 7, authored by McCormick Hall Senator Murphy Quill, clarifies the process of choosing a vice president and allows for another seat on the selection committees.

Senate will meet again Thursday, Feb 13 at 7:30 pm in AMU 267.


Senate approves 3 SOF Committee members, 2 Budget Committee members

On Thursday, January 30, 2014, Marquette University Student Government voted to approve new members for two of its standing committees: Student Organization Funding and Budget.

Zach Wallace, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Nathan Craft, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, were both approved for the Budget Committee. Wallace and Craft now hold academic and residential seats, respectively. Both ran uncontested.

Estefania Elizondo, a sophomore in the College of Communications, and Amanda Stolz, a sophomore in the College of Education, were both approved for two open academic seats on the SOF Committee. The election was also uncontested.

The only contested race of the night was for the residential seat on the SOF Committee. John O’Rourke, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Ricky Krajewski, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, both ran for the single open residential seat on the SOF Committee. Carpenter Tower Senator Ricky Krajewski won the election 17-10.

In his officer report, LVP Whelton informed senators that both Senate seats representing Schroeder Hall are open. Interested students can obtain applications at musg.mu.edu/getinvolved.

CVP Lahr reminded senators to attend “Night of Mystery” at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 in the Weasler Auditorium. For more information, visit musg.wordpress.com.

Senate adjourned at 8:58 p.m.

For more information on MUSG’s news and events, visit musg.mu.edu or the MUSG office, AMU 133. For additional updates, like MUSG on Facebook and follow MUSG on Twitter.


VP for Student Affairs Dr. Miller fields MUSG questions, SOF transportation amendment discussed

On Thursday, Dec. 5, Marquette University Student Government Senate convened to receive comments from concerned students, engage in discussion with Dr. L. Christopher Miller, vice president for student affairs, and to present and debate on two pieces of legislation and an amendment.

Members of Students for an Environmentally Aware Campus (SEAC) came to the forum for concerned students to voice their opinions on bringing more reusable water bottle fillers to campus. SEAC hopes to eventually make Marquette a “disposable water bottle-free” campus. Members spoke about the sustainability of installing the fillers and convenience for students as primary reasons. MUSG Senators are currently researching types of fillers, locations and more and aim to continue work with SEAC on the issue.

Dr. Miller joined Senate to reflect on the fall semester, answer questions and discuss issues presented by senators. After commending the Senate for their dedication despite this year of transition, Dr. Miller fielded questions. Senator J. R. O’Rourke of McCormick Hall inquired more details about the exclusion of a student on the Presidential Search Committee. Dr. Miller responded that “there are more opportunities for student involvement in other committees on campus” and that the concerns voiced by students about the exclusion of a student on the search committee will “have a lasting impact as we move forward.”

Overall, Dr. Miller emphasized how highly he valued the Senate’s hard work and emphasized his appreciation for students concerns. Specifically, Dr. Miller spoke on how seriously MUSG legislation is taken by the administration.

Senate reconsidered the allocation of unanticipated student activity fee revenue, stemming from the contentious failure of the first proposal in its Thursday, Nov. 21 meeting. The Budget Committee met Wednesday, Dec. 4, and proposed a new resolution consisting of funds allocated to club and non-club sports, attendance to the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference, a new MUSG office printer and funds to the program board for the Unplugged commission, which brings concerts to campus. Senate unanimously passed the proposal for allocation of funds.

The Senate then entertained two new pieces of legislation. The first was a recommendation regarding transparency on matters of gender and sexuality. Senator Mary McCarthy, an Off-Campus Senator, explained that this legislation is not meant to pass judgment on decisions of the university, but to advocate future transparency on issues concerning gender and sexuality and others that may not align with the university’s Catholic, Jesuit values. Recommendation #6 was passed in a vote of 29-1-2.

Senators then discussed Recommendation #7 for the establishment for an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification course. The EMT course would make Marquette a satellite campus for the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) course. MATC would provide curriculum and instructors and Marquette would simply host the course on campus. Additionally, students would only need to pay EMT course registration fees, limiting the financial burden on Marquette.

Recommendation author Senator Kate Barelli of the College of Health Sciences explained that EMT certification would aid health sciences students in requirements for summer jobs and patient contact hours. Recommendation #7 passed unanimously.

Finally, Senate considered an amendment to the MUSG constitution that would modify the Student Organization Funding (SOF) process. Amendment #5 aimed to amend financial policies by allowing the allocation of Student Activity Fee funds to transportation requests by student organizations.

The amendment was highly contested in Senate, with Senator Zack Wallace proposing the legislation be given to the ad-hoc committee on SOF review for research and potential inclusion in large-scale SOF reform. Wallace’s motion did not carry and Amendment #5 was considered in Senate. After proposed changes to the bill’s language and hours of debate, the amendment ultimately failed.

Senate adjourned at 10:32 p.m.

For more information on MUSG’s news and events, visit musg.mu.edu or the MUSG office, AMU 133. For additional updates, like MUSG on Facebook and follow MUSG on Twitter.


MUSG to form Ad-Hoc Committee on Student Org Funding Review

In response to internal and external concerns regarding the Student Organization Funding (SOF) process, Marquette University Student Government has created an ad-hoc Committee on Student Organization Funding Review.

The SOF process is geared toward funding programs that are open to all undergraduate students. Funding comes from the Student Activity Fee and is split between club and non-club sport student organizations. Full information on current SOF procedures can be found on the MUSG website.

The newly created ad-hoc committee is charged with reviewing MUSG’s external SOF outreach efforts to increase both the quantity and quality of SOF allocation requests. Additionally, the committee aims to review MUSG’s internal SOF policies and procedures to maximize allocation of student organization funds while remaining sound financial stewards of the Student Activity Fee.

After discussions with Executive Vice President Zach Bowman, MUSG President Sam Schultz announced the formation of the committee and its members on Friday, Nov. 18. Current members include representation from each MUSG department. EVP Bowman, chair of the SOF committee, will also chair the Committee on SOF Review.

“This committee is a positive step toward improving a process that has caused a lot of frustration. We look forward to receiving input from student organizations and the student body as a whole as we work toward improving the process,” said Bowman

Additional committee members include:

  • Nick Ciccone, Financial Vice President 2014
  • Cole Johnson, Financial Vice President 2013
  • Alex Lahr, Communications Vice President
  • Matt Lengen, Coordinator for Student Organizations and Leadership (Office of Student Development)
  • Aliya Manjee, Commuter Senator
  • Brittany Riesenbeck, Off-Campus Senator
  • Zack Wallace, College of Art & Sciences Senator
  • Matt Walker, Schroeder Hall Senator
  • Emily Wulfkule, Program Board Assistant

The committee plans to hold informational listening sessions with student organizations to gain insight on potential process improvements. The committee welcomes student suggestion or feedback at any time; suggestions should be directed to EVP Bowman at musg.execvp@marquette.edu.

For more information on MUSG’s news and events, visit musg.mu.edu or the MUSG office, AMU 133. For additional updates, like MUSG on Facebook and follow MUSG on Twitter.


Senate Rejects Unanticipated Revenue Allocation

Marquette University Student Government Senate assembled on Thursday, Nov. 21, for its weekly meeting for the approval of its new Financial Vice President (FVP), the allocation of unanticipated revenue from Student Activity Fee and the approval of Student Organization Funding allocations.

Senate brought in the FVP nominee Nicholas Ciccone for final Senate approval before fulfilling his new role.

Before the motion for approval, Legislative Vice Present Kyle Whelton opened the floor to Senate for a period of questions and debate. Afterward, Senate unanimously approved Ciccone as the FVP for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

After the approval of the new FVP, Senate moved on to discuss the allocation of unanticipated revenue from the Student Activity Fee. With unanticipated revenue of $21,000, Senate was faced with the challenge of allocating revenue fairly and strategically to satisfy the needs of the student body. MUSG’s Budget Committee convened prior to the meeting to draft a proposed allocation of funds. Among the proposed distribution was a highly contested $7,425 allocation to the Program Board, specifically for its Unplugged and Speaker Commissions.

Senator Twaddle and Senator Hansen spoke against the Program Board allocation based upon attendance to the Unplugged and Speaker Series events. Both asserted that they believed the investment would better serve other student initiatives.

In order for the allocations to pass, 22 votes were needed. However, with only 19 votes in favor of the allocations, the proposal was rejected. Later in the meeting, Senator Wallace moved to reconsider the motion. After a lengthy period of question and debate the final vote was 14-9-1 resulting in a second rejection of the allocation proposal. The proposal will be sent back to the Budget Committee for reconsideration and will be discussed again in the Dec. 5, Senate meeting.

Senate ended its meeting with the approval of the Student Organization Funding Club Sports allocations. Approved allocations included funds to Club Rowing, Women’s Club Lacrosse, Club Baseball, Club Waterski and Wakeboard, Club Hockey and Men’s Club Lacrosse. Full information on SOF allocations can be found on the MUSG website.

Senate adjourned at 9:58 p.m.

For more information on MUSG’s news and events, visit musg.mu.edu or the MUSG office, AMU 133. For additional updates, like MUSG on Facebook and follow MUSG on Twitter.