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MUSG approves new semester SOF allocations

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The Marquette Student Government Senate elected a new Programs Vice President and approved $21,050 to four clubs in Student Organization Funding allocations at its weekly meeting Thursday night.

The MUSG SOF Committee approved $39,484 to 36 organizations in total. The senate is only required to approve allocations more than $2,500. There were five requests needing approval.

The MARDI GRAS group was allocated a total of $8,000 for its two separate spring break trips. The organization received $5,000 for its annual spring break trip to New Orleans, where it spends the week working to revitalize the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. MARDI GRAS was also allocated $3,000 for the New York City trip it will be undertaking in cooperation with St. John’s University. MARDI GRAS was allocated everything it requested for the period.

The MARDI GRAS allocation decision – particularly the allocation of $5,000 for another trip to New Orleans – faced significant opposition from senators. Opponents of the allocation cited inconsistency on the part of the SOF Committee, who denied funding to MARDI GRAS in October for its Winter Break trip to New Orleans. The allocation for the Spring Break New Orleans trip needed 19 votes for approval and passed 18-to-9 with one abstention.

The largest allocation went to Active Minds, the campus chapter of a national mental health awareness and advocacy organization. The group was allocated $5,300 to bring a speaker to campus during Mental Health Awareness week, which the organization will be hosting from March 31 to April 4.

Students for Justice in Palestine were allocated $5,000 to bring three speakers to campus during Israeli Apartheid Week. SJP is organizing the event to “provide Marquette students and the Marquette community the opportunity to learn about the situation of Palestinians and hear about first-hand experiences,” according to the rational provided by the SOF Committee.

The smallest allocation went to Marquette Habitat for Humanity. Marquette Habitat for Humanity was allocated $2,750 for a trip to Montgomery County, Pa. Twelve Marquette students will participate on the trip.

At the meeting the senate also elected Ryan Twaddle, sophomore College of Arts & Sciences Senator, to the programs vice president position by a vote of 29-to-1. Twaddle has less than one year of previous involvement with the senate. In addition to his senate seat, he served as president pro tempore of the senate during the fall semester. Twaddle vacated both positions when he was elected, and he will replace outgoing PVP Tyler Tucky, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

“I think that Ryan is going to do a great job,” said Legislative Vice President Kyle Whelton, a junior in the College of Arts & Science. “He showed a lot of enthusiasm for programs board in his time in senate and I think they will improve from his presence. Tyler has done an excellent job for programs board and I hope he stays involved in MUSG.”

MUSG also passed two amendments Thursday night. The first amendment, Amendment 6, extended the length of the LVP term to allow for more time between the end of spring elections and the senate meeting when the new LVP must be elected. The second amendment, Amendment 7, amended the rules for the selection of programs vice president, financial vice president and communications vice president to allow a designee chosen by the president to fill the role of the aforementioned VP positions if one of the current VP’s should seek another term. Both amendments passed unanimously.

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