Concerned students forum draws few attendees

One of Marquette Student Government's main concerns is communication, but if attendance at the concerned student forum is any indication, students do not seem interested in talking.

The Forum for Concerned Students takes place at the beginning of every Thursday evening MUSG meeting. The forum is designed to allow students to speak directly with MUSG members about any concerns relating to the university. Current leaders say the forum has been around for at least four years.

However, only a few students have taken advantage of the opportunity in the past, according to MUSG officials.

One group of students came last year to suggest rewording the plaque at the foot of the three flagpoles in front of the John P. Raynor, S.J. Library to reflect the Jesuit spirit of peace, according to Emily Rostkowski, executive vice president and College of Arts & Sciences senior.

Another group of students came to a meeting support the alteration of the nondiscriminatory clause from "he" to "he/she," said Brant McCartan, legislative vice president and junior in the College of Health Sciences.

The lack of students could stem from the lack of publicity, Rostowski said. She encourages any student to come to any session.

Daniel LaNuez, financial vice president and senior in the College of Business Administration, said he feels the same way as Rostkowski.

"I think we need to publicize it more," LaNuez said. "I would love to have more students."

McCartan said he may be able to encourage student attendance at the meetings, held in the Alumni Memorial Union, if he posts the agenda for upcoming sessions on the MUSG Web site. It would inform students on future decisions they may be concerned with, he said. But there are no definite plans for gaining a larger audience.

"Sometimes (their presence) is a little extra push to get things done," McCartan said.

Another way to remedy the issue, according to McCartan, would be to move a few MUSG meetings to other places, such as residence halls, to make the meetings more accessible.

Each student is represented twice by their academic senator and by their residence hall senator, said McCartan. The two senators get input from the students and present their constituents' concerns to all of MUSG, he said, thereby somewhat lessening the need for a concerned students forum.

Students also can ask their senators to grant them a motion to speak directly to the council during a meeting, McCartan said.

The first MUSG meeting time has been changed to 6 p.m. on Sept. 9. The space for the meeting is yet to be determined.