MUSG set to elect new senators

All full-time undergraduate Marquette students, no matter where they live, are eligible to vote in Marquette Student Government's fall elections Wednesday, according to an MUSG official.

Senators will be elected to represent commuters and students who live in off-campus housing and the residence halls, said Nicole Garland, MUSG communications vice president and a senior in the College of Business Administration.

Voting booths will be open in the Alumni Memorial Union and John P. Raynor Library from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Students can vote in the residence hall cafeterias from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., said MUSG Executive Vice President Emily Rostkowski, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Students can vote in any of the locations for their respective senators but each student can only vote once.

Rostkowski said residential senators "bring back (to MUSG) the concerns of the students they represent." She added residential senators serve on different projects, which can directly impact the students.

Senators are important because they are involved with MUSG programming and approve the budget, said Brad Held, elections coordinator and a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Marquette students have multiple ways of addressing an issue because they have two forms of representation: residence hall senators and academic senators, according to MUSG President Tim Lefeber, a College of Health Sciences senior.

"Where we live and where we study are two different worlds," Lefeber said. "Sometimes it's easier to talk to the residence hall senator about issues with where we live."

"Everything is represented two ways," Held said.

Each hall will have one senator, except McCormick and Schroeder Halls, which will each have two senate seats because the halls hold more students than the others. Commuters will elect two senators and off-campus residents will elect six.

MUSG held its residence hall senator primary elections for Straz Tower and O'Donnell Hall because there were more than candidates running.

About 175 students voted, according to an MUSG press release. College of Arts & Sciences freshman Brock Banks received about 55 percent of the vote in O'Donnell and is running against College of Communication freshman Pat Biernacki, who received about 20 percent.

College of Business Administration Jake Mentch, who received about 42 percent of the vote, and College of Arts & Sciences freshman Hannah Barnet, who received about 32 percent, will square off in Straz Tower's general election.

Last fall 544 eligible votes were cast online in the general election, according to Assistant Dean of Student Development Jonathan Dooley, MUSG advisor. In the fall of 2002, 699 eligible votes were cast.

Dooley said the number of students voting depends on how hotly races are contested. More students vote in highly-contested races.