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SOF process to be reviewed by outside students

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At the first senate meeting for Marquette Student Government Monday, MUSG President Kyle Whelton announced that business students will conduct a review of the Student Organization Funding process.

The SOF process, which allocates money to student groups on campus, was first placed under review by an ad-hoc MUSG committee to reduce the amount of funds that student groups ending up not using and instead in fell into the Prior Year Reserve fund.

Students from the Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement class, a class studying supply chain theory and process improvement, will conduct the review.

Last year, the reserve fund sat at $250,000, five times the amount required by MUSG’s financial rules. A previous Tribune investigation found that in Fiscal Year 2013, $20,000 came from unused SOF dollars.

MUSG senators already approved measures last year to tap into the reserve fund, implementing a reusable to-go container system in the dining halls and installing water bottle refilling stations across campus. Whelton and MUSG Financial Vice President Nick Ciccone estimated about $163,000 remains in the fund.

INAUGURATION EVENTS

In addition to discussing the new SOF review, Whelton also discussed the events next week for the inauguration of University President Michael Lovell.

“One thing Dr. Lovell said was he wanted an event every day of (his) inauguration where (he) can engage with the students,” Whelton said.

Inaugural events will begin with the Briggs & Al’s Run on Sept. 13, dinners with students in residence halls, and close with the inaugural ceremony on Sept. 19. MUSG will be spending about $13,000 on the inauguration events, with $10,000 of that going toward the inaugural ball Sept. 13.

Whelton said he hopes students will take advantage of these opportunities and welcome Lovell to Marquette.

“Throughout the week, we will have a welcome banner in the AMU for students to sign and welcome Dr. Lovell to the Marquette family,” Whelton said. “There is a lot going on and there are some opportunities for students to engage with the president.”

REVIEW OF PROGRAM BOARD

Whelton also introduced a new ad-hoc committee, chaired by Program Vice President Ryan Twaddle, to examine the structure of the MUSG Program Board, which manages the funds for program committees, including Late Night, MU Unplugged and speakers coming to campus.

“The fundamental structure of the Program Board hasn’t changed since 1996 when we passed our governing document,” Whelton said. “They will be reviewing, trying to make the most effective system we can have.”

SOF REQUESTS

Two Non-Club Sports Organizations, the Physical Therapy Student Council and the Naturals, requested $7,500 and the Naturals requested $3,319 respectively, MUSG Executive Vice President Natalie Pinkney said.

Legislative Vice President Zack Wallace stated that both allocation requests were approved by the Senate, with $7,250 to be allocated to the PT Student Council and 16 of the 20 present senators voting to approve The Naturals’ request.

DIVERSITY AMENDMENT

The meeting concluded with discussion of an amendment, led by Whelton and Pinkney, to add a Coordinator for Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice. Whelton said the Higher Learning Commission addressed the university regarding its lack of a university-wide diversity plan. Pinkney explained how she wanted the committee to include representation from a variety of different organizations.

“We want this committee to work as a task force, but also have MUSG representation on it,” Pinkney said. “This will be a slow process; we are asking the university to change the way it might look or might function. This is a committee to start the process.”

The next MUSG Senate meeting will take place on Sept. 15 and will look further into a university-wide diversity plan.

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