New programs join popular MUSG events

Marquette Student Government is recycling old ideas and adding some new initiatives to complete this semester's selection of programming.

Popular programs with high attendance from last year will continue this year, said MUSG Program Vice Preisdent Jess Ripp, College of Business Administration senior.

Ripp said MUSG would continue to show movies at the Varsity Theatre on Friday and Saturday nights. He said he plans to continue showing out-door movies (there is currently one per semester) and possibly increase the number shown, but the program depends largely on the weather.

MUSG plans to continue working with other Marquette organizations to offer Late Night Marquette, a set of events focused on providing the campus with activities after 10 p.m., Ripp said. Part of this program will be Footloose Fridays, which is to be renamed MUSG After Dark.

"We can put on large scale events that would bring in everyone on campus," LaNuez said. "Latenight programs are not feasible for smaller organizations."

Other returning programs will include events stemming from last year's "MU Loves the '80s" and a big poker tournament co-sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, Ripp said.

The MUSG program board consists of nine commissions: After Dark, Concerts, Diversity, Films, Senior Week, Speakers, Special Events and Travel and Recreation. Each commission has one commissioner in charge of coordinating programs and is open to any MUSG member who is interested.

MUSG had a Comedy and Novelty commission but no longer offers these programs because attendance was low. Since famous comedians are expensive to book, student government booked lesser-known comedians who drew fewer crowds, Ripp said.

The program board has a budget of $238,700 this year, according to MUSG Financial Vice President Daniel LaNuez, College of Business senior. He said this amount has remained similar for the past three years.

The student activity fee funds the majority of the MUSG budget. However, programs' revenue amounts to almost one-third of the budget — between $70,000 and $75,000 — according to LaNuez.

The cost of each event depends on the scope of the event, Ripp said. The Concert commission usually spends the most money and the Diversity and Travel and Recreation commissions usually spend the least.

In April 2002, the board changed its name from the Services Board to the Program Board, according to MUSG advisor Jon Dooley, Assistant Dean of Student Development.

"They (student government) thought "program board" would more accurately reflect what that component of student government actually did, which was to create programs and activities for the campus," Dooley said.

MUSG sponsored 121 events last year, Dooley said. The most attended events were Senior Week, the Guster concert, Footloose Friday, the outdoor movies, the Little Sibling Carnival and the Ataris concert, according to Dooley. Over 23,000 students attended all the events.

MUSG develops ideas for its programs from its members and outside sources, Dooley said. Student government bases its programs on student attendance, input and programs sponsored by other student groups that had good feedback. MUSG also looks at the programs other universities offer with the help of the National Association for Campus Activity, a multi-university organization that helps colleges develop programs.