MUSG sees success and shortcoming in push for student representation

With many university administrative positions left to fill, Marquette Student Government leaders are still working to place student representatives on the search committees that will be responsible for finding candidates.

MUSG succeeded in getting a student, MUSG president Sam Schultz, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, named to the search committee for the new chief of the Department of Public Safety.

“We’ve only met once, but in the first meeting they did a really good job of turning to me,” Schultz said. “I think DPS is known throughout campus and is valued for having a very student-driven focus. I think on the committee that’s something they are looking for me to emphasize.”

Schultz said the DPS chief search committee is close to finalizing the position description in the job posting.

Despite having a student on the DPS search committee, MUSG was unsuccessful in getting a student representative on any of the other search committees for the other open administrative positions.

Most notably, MUSG attempted to have a student placed on the presidential search committee after former University President the Rev. Scott Pilarz resigned last semester. In a meeting Charles Swoboda, chairman of the Board of Trustees, disagreed whether students were qualified to help pick a president. MUSG leaders still feel that student inclusion in these committees is important for the search process.

“The decisions made in these search committees invariably affect student life,” said Zach Bowman, MUSG executive vice president and a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. “Our inclusion is not only logical, but necessary to demonstrate the legitimacy of the work done in them.”

MUSG is not without support among administration officials. L. Christopher Miller, the vice president for student affairs, said he will lobby to add students to future search committees when he spoke to MUSG at their senate meeting Dec. 5. Eight days later, the university announced the departure of Larry Williams as vice president and director of athletics, for whom a search committee has not yet been formed to find a permanent replacement. Schultz said when the time comes, MUSG will continue to advocate for a student representative on that committee as well.

When contacted by the Tribune, Miller declined to comment on the issue.

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