Marquette Student Government President Arica Van Boxtel and Executive Vice President Bill Neidhardt are finishing up their first full semester as the head executives of the organization.
Van Boxtel, a senior in the College of Communication, and Neidhardt, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, came into the year with a five point platform emphasizing tuition, diversity, academics, student organizations and student life. While progress in fields like tuition and diversity is generally slower to achieve, Van Boxtel said the university has just concluded a feasibility study about students’ perceptions of diversity on campus, one of her goals coming into the semester. However, some of the other areas have yielded more tangible results.
On the topic of Student Organizations, Van Boxtel said improvements were made in MUSG’s communication early on.
“In regard to Marquette Involvement Link and our Student Organization Funding process, that was completely revamped this first semester. A lot of leg-work was put in in the summer,” she said. “The Student Organization Funding guidelines have been posted online and have been made more accessible to students … and we’ve made it so the (SOF) applications can be submitted on Marquette Involvement Link, which was a nice change and more convenient for students.”
Neidhardt cited the success of this semester’s MUSG programs as a major positive of the year so far. He said he expects high student turnout to continue into the future.
“We have had over 10,000 students show up to programs and still have half the year to go,” Neidhardt said.
Van Boxtel talked specifically about a few of the MUSG-sponsored events from earlier this year that were her personal favorites and had a strong student response.
“We had a very successful Mania week; it was one of the best ones I’ve seen in the past four years,” she said. “I think that also Tim Wise was a great speaker to bring on campus, and that was a very successful program.
Regarding academics, Van Boxtel said a lot of work has been done in the field of advising, which was a major point of emphasis for the executives.
“We’ve made ground in advising and working to improve that with students,” Van Boxtel said. “That’s been a common concern that students have brought to us for about five years. Our predecessors have worked with it so we’ve been working with the office of the Provost on that. We had a meeting last week with Provost Pauly to talk about some ways … to make experiences more consistent throughout.”
Moving forward, Neidhardt said he is excited to do more work with student organizations next semester.
“One of my next projects includes taking a closer look at our Student Organization Funding process and improving it,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest ways MUSG interacts with a large part of the student body, and I feel as though there is room for improvement.”