The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUSG pushes for increased sustainability

Mike Whittow, assistant to the vice president and a member of the Marquette Renewal Task Force, addressed Marquette Student Government this past week, describing the university’s recent efforts to increase overall sustainability.

Sustainability, according to Whittow, is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

In 2009 and 2010, the university was given a C+ for its environmental efforts, according to a report published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. The institute independently evaluates universities across the country and publishes the results at

Marquette was slightly bumped up to a B- in the 2011 report card, released at the end of October, a grade university officials hope to further raise, Whittow said.

At Marquette, the sustainability effort focuses around four main components: increasing recycling, assessing the environmental friendliness of the vendors/suppliers the university works with, increasing energy efficiency, and constructing environmentally friendly buildings around campus, Whittow said.

Whittow announced that recycling has seen an 11 percent increase on campus from the end of the last academic year. In October, 33 percent of the campus’ total waste was recycled, he said.

He also gave a presentation on the recent addition of Zipcars to campus. Zipcar is a car-sharing company that rents out vehicles to students and faculty members on an hourly basis.

Whittow said it offers a cost-saving alternative to purchasing a car for students, and the program cuts down on carbon emissions by having fewer cars around.

“It’s great for students because other car rental companies won’t let you rent from them until you are about 25 years old,” Whittow said.

Along with an emphasis on recycling, the university has also been retrofitting old buildings around campus. Retrofitting, in this case, means adding improvements to make a structure more environmentally friendly, such as replacing old lighting with more efficient LED lights.

Other renovations taking place around campus are also underway. MUSG Executive Vice President Joey Ciccone announced that new flooring has been installed in the upstairs fitness room of the Rec Center.

Ciccone, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, also said there will be an update on the discussions about the possible new wellness center on campus within the next two to three weeks.

Legislative Vice President Trent Carlson, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said MUSG is looking to collect stories, both good and bad, about experiences students have had with advisers.

Programs Vice President Carly Nusser, a senior in the College of Communication, said November is a busy month for programs around campus. Among others, Nusser announced MUSG will be hosting a dodgeball tournament on Nov. 19, and the winning team will win a box suite for 12 people at an upcoming Milwaukee Bucks game.

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