MUSG discusses sexual violence training

Marquette Student Government discussed sexual violence and elected two senators to open positions on its Student Organization Funding committee at its meeting Thursday night.

Sexual violence talk

MUSG met with Sue Cooper, the coordinator of Sexual Violence Services at Student Health Services. Cooper was invited to discuss sexual violence awareness programs at Marquette in anticipation of “Denim Day,” a sexual violence awareness event that takes place Wednesday.

“I really love talking to the senators because they ask some great questions,” Cooper said. “They provide wonderful feedback that we can use as we continue to look at the programming we have for the students.”

Cooper highlighted the training programs that Marquette makes mandatory for all incoming freshmen who live in the dorms, all students traveling abroad and all international students attending Marquette.

Sexual violence training became part of Marquette’s orientation process in 2011. This year, 92 percent of underclassmen living in dorms underwent training. Cooper said one of the things Marquette needs to focus on is increasing participation in the program. Cooper said these training programs are important because they educate possible bystanders to sexual assault.

“What we know is that 94 percent of men will never commit sexual assault,” Cooper said. “Of that remaining 6 percent, only 2 percent may commit those offenses one time. So we are really looking at this very small percentage of the population that offends.”

This means a much larger portion of the student population is likely to be a bystander to sexual assault at some point. Recognizing those situations is key to stopping sexual assaults before they happen, she said.

“Sue was great,” said MUSG Legislative Vice President Kyle Whelton, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. “When I reached out to her, she was very passionate, and I was glad to have her here.”

SOF Committee election

MUSG held an election to fill the two vacant seats on the Student Organization Funding committee. Senators Jason Kurtyka, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences and McCabe Hall senator, and Matthew Walker, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and Abbottsford Hall senator, won the two seats. (Kurtkya is also a Tribune reporter.)

The SOF process has been a major issue for MUSG over the past several months. Walker said the committee must address the reimbursement process and questions about what the funding can be used for.

“We’ll allocate the money, and there will be money left over because (organizations) aren’t going through the reimbursement process,” Walker said. “Student organizations don’t know they can use that money for different events. The biggest thing right now is to learn how the process works even more.”

Whelton said he is excited about the new senators on the committee.

“Kurtyka is extremely qualified,” Whelton said. “He’s very active, and I think he’s going to learn well. Senator Walker is also very active. Very smart mind. Financial mind. I’m excited to see him working in that capacity.”