MUSG proceeds with recreational facility plans

Senate passes legislation to allocate funds for study

Marquette Student Government continued to push for improved student wellness with Thursday’s approval of Reserve Fund Bill No. 1: Centering on Recreation.

The bill was written to explain MUSG’s request to allocate $42,500 for a recreational facilities program statement. The statement will contain possible options for a new or improved recreational center specific to student needs. The bill passed unanimously.

President Henry Thomas said funding the study will ensure results.  In order to create a plan specific to Marquette’s needs, MUSG plans to hire a professional architectural firm that specializes in recreation, said MUSG adviser Jon Dooley.

“This will allow the university to start preparing for the future instead of looking at the past and achieving few results,” said Thomas, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Senator Bill Doerrer described this bill as the first of many steps toward MUSG’s goal of wellness improvements. He said the study will help to determine what the end result should be in a more realistic way.

“Various (MUSG) members have met with one architecture firm, and my assumption is that they would be happily involved in the project,” said Doerrer, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Doerrer, who co-authored the legislation, said the funds would be allocated on two conditions. The study must be completed by the first Senate meeting in fall 2010, and student input must be heard on every level.

According to Senator Giuseppe Pappalardo, MUSG first inquired about this issue in February 2006. MUSG asked university administrators and board of trustees to address the role of health and wellness in recreational facilities in order to improve student life outside the classroom, Pappalardo said.

“No improvements were made to enforce the long-term plan that was requested,” said Pappalardo, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. “Since the initial recreation center was built, participation in club sports has increased, intramural sports have become more popular and undergraduate population has gone up, yet the building remains the same.”

Pappalardo said the recreational facilities make it one of the most popular buildings on campus.

“We don’t want another four years to go by where MUSG will have to look at this subject again,” Pappalardo said. “We want to take a proactive approach and have our voices heard.”

Thomas said the $196,000 Reserve Fund was created as a way to set aside unused funds from MUSG’s operating budget throughout the year. Instead of extending this money to the following year, it would be collected into a separate fund.

The Reserve Fund has supported projects such as installing film projectors in the newly renovated Varsity Theatre, placing new televisions in the Alumni Memorial Union, placing flagpoles outside the library and facilitating the lease of Norris Park, Thomas said.

“This promises to be a landmark event, and this is a MUSG initiative,” said Senator Emil Ovbiagele, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. “This bill shows that MUSG is not only ready to talk the talk, we are also ready to walk the walk.”