MUSG recommends new recreational facility, freezing of Student Activity Fee

The Marquette Student Government meeting Thursday was characterized by a spirit of revision, as the Senate unanimously passed two recommendations that advocated the creation of a new recreation facility and the freezing of future Student Activity Fee increases.

The first recommendation was a rewrite of one proposed last week, which was defeated after opposition stated the wording was too weak. The second changed the terms of a recommendation passed by MUSG in 2008.

MUSG President Henry Thomas, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, introduced the first recommendation of the evening, “Staying Competitive with Recreational Facilities.” He said he and the authors of this compromise recommendation had used last week’s as a template, better organizing it and adding the concrete request of a new recreation facility to the completed recommendation.

Thomas said this final product better represented what action students wanted the university to take.

“It is a need … it’s been raised consistently,” Thomas said.

College of Communication sophomore Katie Simoncic, one of the senators in opposition to the earlier version of this recommendation, threw her support behind it during a period of debate, alongside other senators who had stood against it last week.

“The new legislation more accurately reflects the wants of the students that were expressed at the Father Wild Forum,” Simoncic said.

After passing this recommendation, MUSG moved on to their second one of the evening, “Maintain the Current Student Activity Fee,” which would change the terms of a recommendation suggested by an ad hoc committee in 2008.

According to College of Arts & Sciences senior Giuseppe Pappalardo, one of the authors of the recommendation, the committee was established to address concerns about funding student activities, and had proposed that the Student Activity Fee be increased incrementally over four years.

However, with an unanticipated 200-person increase in the size of the freshman class between 2007 and 2009, Pappalardo said increasing the fee next year would be fiscally irresponsible.

“It isn’t really the right move to increase it again,” Pappalardo said.

Some senators wondered what would happen to the budget if enrollment decreased, but MUSG Vice President Stephanie Stopka, a senior in the College of Business Administration, replied that University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild had said enrollment would remain the same next year.

In other news from the meeting:

  • Business and Administration Chair Bill Doerrer announced the committee was pushing back the election reform amendment that was supposed to be presented at this meeting to a later date.
  • Sen. Nick Fanelli announced he and other senators had spoken to Todd Vicker, the executive director of the AMU, about removing the arcade consoles and pool tables in the Brooks Lounge and replacing them with more tables and study space.
  • A representative for the Residence Assistants Selection Committee came to speak about the RA selection process. She said the committee would be taking a more active role in reaching out to potential RAs and offering informational sessions this semester.