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Senate Passes Legislation to Spend Reserve Funds on Reusable Containers

At its meeting on Thursday, May 1, Marquette University Student Government Senate met to debate several pieces of legislation and vote on period one Student Organization Fund (SOF) allocations.

Representatives from the Muslim Student Association and the Jewish Student Union voiced support during the Forum for Concerned Students for two pieces of legislation – Recommendation #1, to Amend the Undergraduate Attendance Policy for Religious Observance Absences Policy, and Recommendation #2, the Center for Jewish Life.

Recommendation #1, authored by College of Communication Senator Ely Elizondo, a sophomore, and McCormick Hall Senator Murphy Quill, a freshman, urges the Office of the Provost to establish a policy allowing students to be excused from classes for observances of major religious holidays. The recommendation passed unanimously.

Recommendation #2, authored by Straz Hall Senator Christian Evans, a freshman, and McCormick Hall Senator J.R. O’Rourke, a freshman, as well as two members of the Jewish Student Union, urges the university to establish a permanent prayer and meeting space for Jewish students. Currently, students who are Jewish must take public transit across the city to worship. The Jewish Student Union envisions the permanent prayer location to be a space to gather, worship, celebrate, learn about Judaism and sponsor interfaith dialogue. The recommendation passed unanimously.

Kevin Gilligan, the Sodexo General Manager, and Donato Guido, the Sodexo Residence Operations Director, presented on the Sodexo procedures behind Resolution #1, Reserve Fund Allocation for a Reusable To-go Container System. Resolution #1, authored by President Kyle Whelton and Executive Vice President Natalie Pinkney, would use MUSG reserve funds to co-sponsor with Sodexo a reusable container system in certain destination dining locations. Implementing the system would reduce the dining hall’s environmental impact and promote sustainability across campus.

According to Gilligan, the system would be implemented in fall 2014, and students living in the residence halls on the dining plan would receive a reusable container valued at approximately four dollars. These containers will be used, returned to containers in dining locations, tracked using a barcode, cleaned and re-dispensed to another student. Guido compared the machines to a Redbox movie machine.

MUSG’s sponsorship and one-time investment will guarantee the installation of the containers prior to fall semester, and dining services and the university will invest in installation costs, publicity, licensing and an additional machine. Gilligan noted that this method of reusable to-go containers is quickly growing in popularity at universities across the country. After extensive debate, Senate passed Resolution #1.   

One week after Dr. Gary Meyer, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs and Teaching, and Dr. Peter Toumanoff presented on new academic integrity initiatives, the Senate voted to approve Resolution #2, MUSG’s Endorsement of the Academic Integrity Steering Committee. Authored by College of Health Sciences Senator Kate Barelli, the resolution endorses the introduction of educational materials on academic honesty and honor code.

Senate also passed Resolution #3, Commending Fr. Robert Wild, S.J., for his Leadership and Service as Interim President. Authored by the entire MUSG Executive Board, the resolution recognizes Fr. Wild for his leadership during the university’s transition.

Period 1 SOF Allocations for Club Sports were approved, and Non-Club Sports Allocations were approved with the exception of allocations made for the College Republicans. Senators voiced concern that the organization was not putting forth enough contribution as an organization to validate a $15,000 contribution from SOF funding.  

Grace Kinnaman, a sophomore in the College of Nursing, was announced as Elections Coordinator, and Brendan Larson, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, was announced as Judicial Administrator.

Senate adjourned at 11:43 p.m.

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