MUSG votes down election reform amendment

Marquette Student Government’s final meeting before Thanksgiving break was its busiest yet. In addition to approving a recommendation that the university end its contract with Sodexo, senators voted down a proposed election reform amendment, recommended the university release course evaluations, approved changes to the 2010 budget and approved three large Student Organizations Allocations requests.

Election reform

A proposed election reform amendment would have edited election regulations in the MUSG constitution, including eliminating the possibility for seniors graduating in the fall to run for office, establishing a statute of limitations for election violations, and banning write-in candidates from Senate elections.

The majority of the amendment was supported by the Senate, but Paige Jorgensen, a senior in the College of Communication, expressed her opposition to the clause eliminating write-in candidates. She said she herself had been a write-in senator, and didn’t want to bar students from running just because they didn’t get the required amount of signatures by deadline.

“I can’t support that clause,” Jorgensen said.

The amendment fell 21-4 — one vote short of the 22 votes needed.

Bill Doerrer, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and one of the authors of the legislation, said via e-mail he planned to reintroduce the amendment in full after Thanksgiving.

“The amendment failed because a group of senators were acting in the interest of self-preservation,” Doerrer said.

Course evaluations

A recommendation to make the multiple-choice section of online course evaluations public to students was passed unanimously.

Joey Ciccone, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences and one of the authors of the legislation, said the evaluations could give students a credible source of information about classes, unlike unregulated Web sites like RateMyProfessors.com.

He added that the majority of administration and faculty are in favor of making evaluations public.

Giuseppe Pappalardo, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said students couldn’t use the evaluations to find an easy A, since evaluation questions don’t directly address grading.

“None of the information released would allow students to skate through the university,” Pappalardo said. “We pay way too much to attend Marquette not to be provided with enough support for class selection.”

Other notes from the meeting

  • A proposal to allocate an unanticipated $10,000 from the Student Activity Fee was approved unanimously at the meeting. The proposal gives $6,000 to the Speakers Commission, $2,000 to support one or two more excursions in the spring, and $2,000 to support Iron Chef Marquette and help fund Lil’ Sibs Weekend.
  • The Senate approved Student Organization Allocations to Habitat for Humanity, MARDI GRAS and Students for Life which totaled $3,060, $6,000, and $3,655, respectively. The allocations to the first two organizations is for two separate trips to New Orleans over winter break, and the last will fund a bus trip to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. in January.