Students quiz Wild

Members of the Marquette community got a chance Thursday to discuss their concerns with University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild, University Provost Madeline Wake and senior vice president Greg Kliebhan.

The three administrators answered questions on everything from current housing situations to campus diversity in the bi-annual forum.

Among the issues being tackled by the university is freshmen housing, including the Hilton Hotel residents and the transformation of residence hall lounge rooms into living areas.

"I know it's a concern," Wild said. "We really do want to remedy that."

He said the university has made some progress because it only enrolled about 1,800 new freshmen, a lower number than last year.

Wild said he understands "it is not the best of situations when we still have people living at the Hilton."

However the president said the university may soon have a permanent solution, although he did not provide any details.

Another issue buzzing around campus is the Warriors versus Golden Eagles nickname change debate.

The president urged students and administrators to voice their opinions through the currently online survey and said the feedback will help the Board of Trustees make a decision at its December meeting.

"My sense of the students at this juncture is that it is not a huge issue, generally, across the board," Wild said. "For individuals, it's definitely an issue, but it's not sort of the issue that it might be for our alums. Some people favor. Some don't. Many people will just say, 'Whatever. We are Marquette.'"

Students asked about other changes on campus, like the new administrative position of vice provost of diversity.

Alan Burkee, Gay/Straight Alliance treasurer, asked if the new administrator is expected to be knowledgeable of same-sex issues.

Wake said gender issues are components of diversity and will fit under the position.

Christian Eichenlaub, GSA President and senior in the College of Communication, asked the three-person panel to expound on harassment of homosexual students on campus.

Wild said every student on campus should be able to feel at home at the university and stressed common human decency and Jesuit ideals as the driving force behind that ability.

"Our students are our students, each and every one of them," Wild said.

Wild and Kliebhan said harassment is unacceptable and disciplinary measures should be taken.

Greg St. Arnold, College of Arts & Sciences sophomore and member of Jesuit University Students Together in Concerned Empowerment, said a two-year-old survey from Helping Abuse and Violence End Now stated about one in every four women on campus receive unwanted sexual contact and asked the panel what types of precautions the university has against sexual harassment.

Wild said this was also an issue of basic human value. He said it is important for the campus to provide resources for those who have been sexually harassed and it does, but the campus cannot do everything. In order for the campus to do more, Wild said the university needs more information and data on the topic.

One student and a parent asked the panel to explain the presence of inappropriate literature in one course on campus.

Wild said some contemporary literature may be raw and "can be very ugly" but the point is the examination of the material is educational and helps students "tease out their values."

He said students should talk to the teachers if they feel their teachers are ramming ideas down students' throats.

A second forum will be held in the spring, according to Timothy Lefeber, Marquette Student Government president.