MUSG changes legislative meeting schedule

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MUSG changes legislative meeting schedule

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Photo by Elena Fiegen

Photo by Elena Fiegen

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Marquette University Student Government changed its meeting schedule from legislative meetings every week to four different types of gatherings, cycling every Monday.

Prior to this change, legislative meetings would occur every week with a formal governmental meeting structure.

It has a social gathering, standing committee, initiative workshop and legislative meeting, MUSG Legislative Vice President Peter Feider and senior in the College of Engineering, said.

MUSG President and senior in the College of Business Administration Sara Manjee said she and Feider thought of the idea to have different meetings together in order to drive up the senators’ engagement throughout the process, and for legislative meetings, Manjee said.

Feider said having legislative meetings every week made the meetings less valuable and noteworthy. He said sometimes the legislative would be submitted late, and it was overall not a high quality of stuff upheld. Now, Feider said having three to four legislative sessions a semester makes them more important, intentional and generally more useful. 

Last year, Feider said it felt like the leadership Executive Board was dictating to senators what action should be taken at the legislative meetings. He said he wanted to empower senators to drive their own ambitions rather than just operate as workhorses. 

“An improvement that I’m doing in the role is being a resource for the senators rather than trying to direct and point senators in different directions,” Feider said.

During the legislative meetings, MUSG goes through different agenda items, debates and votes on legislature, Feider said. He also said these meetings are open to the public and students are able to join the discussion and participate in Senate gatherings.

“Being able to foster … a warmer, more welcoming environment helps people feel like they can approach MUSG and that being a senator is not as scary of a role as it might sound,” Feider said.

Cruz said the meetings this year are significantly better than last year. As a freshman, he was the senator of Wells Street Hall. He said having formal meetings every week became tedious.

Earlier in the semester, MUSG held its first social gathering, a “Godzilla” double feature. Feider said these gatherings are a good way for senators to create less formal relationships.

“(It’s) a cool time where you actually get to talk about MUSG things, but more importantly, non-MUSG things, to get to know who you are working with outside of the workplace,” Christian Cruz, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration and senator for Schroeder Hall, said.

The four standing committees at Marquette get the chance to meet and talk about their ideas with the presence of the MUSG Executive Board during their meetings. The four committees are Business & Administration, Academics, Student Life and Student Organizations.

Initiative workshops are a set time for senators to create and work on issues that they want to see MUSG pushing for, Feider said.

After a full cycle, Feider said he saw a lot of senators excited about different topics after the initiative workshop.

He said he has been getting updates from them as they work and that it is cool to see that direction happening.

Last fall, there was only once piece of legislature offered in the beginning of the year and no other activity until the last meeting in December, Feider said.

He said being able to see more continuous development and activity throughout the whole semester is a lot more conducive to reliable process and engagement from senators. 

Manjee added that she has seen an increase in senator engagement. She said the meetings create a much more dynamic environment, in which senators are able to work collaboratively across the organization.

“I think this is going to be a … good way to innovate and try to try new things,” Feider said.

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