MUSG selects this year’s committee leadership

Two of four Marquette Student Government committees will see new leadership this year with newly elected chairmen to the Student Life and Student Organizations committees. The MUSG Senate also assigned senators to staff the Academics and Business and Administration committees Thursday.

The committee members for the Academics, Business and Administration, Student Life and Student Organizations committees are chosen by Legislative Vice President Kyle Whelton, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. Senators rank their committee preferences, and Whelton assigns them. Senators must apply to be a committee chair.

The new chair of the Student Life committee is off-campus senator Natasha Hanson, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. Hansen is a veteran senator who has served on both the Student Life and Academics committees in the past. She is also a former president pro tempore for MUSG.

Hansen said the issue she would like her committee to face this semester is space on campus.

“The Student Life committee tackles issues that affect every student on a daily basis,” Hansen said. “As Marquette continues to grow as a community, we need to assure we have sufficient space for our students to live, study and exercise.”

The Student Organizations committee is now chaired by Communication Sen. Emmaline Jurgena, a sophomore in the College of Communication. She said it is the committee that works most closely with students as it addresses the concerns of more than 275 student organizations at Marquette.

“We advocate for already existing student organizations on campus, but we are also the last step in the approval process for potential student organizations,” Jurgena said.

The Business Administration committee will, once again, be staffed by off-campus Sen. Thomas Schick, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences. Schick was assigned to the committee as a freshman senator from McCormick Hall. He took over chairmanship of the committee in January after Joe Daufenbach, who graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in May, left the position to become executive vice president.

“It’s always given me opportunity to talk about and work on issues that I’m passionate about, and I’ve never really seen a reason to move from the organization that I know the best,” Schick said.

The Business Administration committee often works on the complex, multifaceted policy issues in a variety of areas. Last year, the committee passed the “Good Samaritan” policy, and this year Schick said he hopes to see a resolution calling for the construction of an on-campus grocery store.

“It’s really hard to boil down exactly what we do,” Schick said. “Basically, we handle anything that could fall under the umbrella of issues that work between the students and the administration.”

The Academics Committee is the other committee with a chair member who carried over from last year. Arts & Sciences Senator Zach Wallace, a sophomore in that college, took over as committee chair after Sam Schultz, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, was elected president last semester. Academic issues are still Schultz’s passion, and Wallace said his views tend to align with the president’s, particularly on advising reform.

Wallace said that the committee members look at three factors in order to select which issues to handle. They approach issues that they recognize, they listen to constituent opinions, and they reach out to students and academic councils to see what issues they think are important.

The committees will meet this week to receive their respective assignments for this semester. MUSG Senate will convene on Thursday, where they will elect a new president pro tempore and settle the tie for the commuter senate seat.