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.