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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

University Academic Senate Meets for First Time this Semester

The university academic senate met on Dec. 12 to discuss the budget.

The first Academic Senate meeting of the 2022 calendar year was hosted Jan. 24, and as students get back into the groove of things, so do the inner workings of campus.

The meeting kicked off with reflections from Paul Gasser, associate professor of biomedical sciences, who talked about how he communicated with alums from Marquette and discussed how the students had been prepared for interacting and working in the real world outside of the classroom.

Alums said they were “very well prepared” and mentioned that classes outside their major, such as philosophy and theology, really aided the graduates in how to approach the world.

“We are trying to prepare these students to think outside money values in life. A quote from W.E.B. DuBois says ‘The true college will ever have one goal: not to earn meat but to know the end and aim of the life which meat nourishes.’” Gasser said.

The Senate then moved on to discuss the delay to the start of classes and talked about how the Marquette COVID Response Team decided to make the decision after the turn of the new year. The team also decided to add two days to the academic calendar.

“It is nice to see students return to campus. It’s nice to reflect on our mission and what we are doing [as an institution].” Provost Kimo Ah Yun said.

Discussions continued regarding the availability of masks for students and faculty on campus.

Matthew Paulus, director of risk management, said “Last week, we ordered 50,000 surgical masks and 6,000 KN95 masks. We also have cloth masks available but there has been a lack of inquiry for those. We have also asked the library and Alumni Memorial Union to stock up on masks.”

Marquette has also requested 10,000 masks from the city, but is yet to receive a response. College departments have also taken their own initiatives on purchasing masks for their colleges. Academic Senate discussed the reimbursement for the purchases by the university.

While distributing these masks, the university will also be distributing information sheets on how to reuse the masks.

“You can reuse the N95 masks up to five times if they are stored in a paper bag for 72 hours.” Keli Wollmer, executive director of the Medical Clinic, said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the masks be stored for a minimum of five days before use again.

Although information on how to preserve and reuse masks will be provided, the paper bags for storage will not be provided.

In another technique to prevent the spread of COVID around campus, the ventilation of campus has been updated.

“We checked all our vents for bypass and improved ventilation. When we can, we will over-ventilate but that cannot be done in the current outdoor temperatures. We also are using ionizers to prevent germs and COVID spread,” Mike Jahner, director of facilities management and university engineer, said.

Marquette is constantly referring to the ever-changing CDC guidelines; with this, there has been an update in policy on quarantine precautions.

Students living on campus will still have to quarantine for 10 days but off-campus students and staff will have their quarantines reduced in compliance with the CDC. Stricter restrictions for non-vaccinated and non-boosted students are in place for when they come into contact with the virus.

“We are trying to find a balance in the speed of information and the quality of information. We always follow CDC guidelines. We could not have made a statement a week ago because the conversation is forever changing.” Provost Kimo Ah Yun said.

Ah Yun also addressed the plan for the upcoming academic year with the incoming class. So far, 12,608 students have been admitted to the university and the target is to take in 1,843 students. At the moment 120 students have already deposited and the university is “on pace to hit our target.”

For the graduate school there has been an increase in applicants, but there has been less acceptance into the programs.

The meeting ended with John Su, vice provost for academic affairs and student success, continuing with the student success initiative. This program is to help students get the most out of their experience and be the best they can be.

“Many colleges have their own initiatives, this program is used to amplify the needs of students… How do we balance campus life and college initiative?” Su said.

The meeting then concluded with all the faculty separating into breakout rooms as they talked about how students can improve their experience to flourish while at Marquette.

This story was written by Connor Baldwin. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Connor Baldwin
Connor Baldwin, MUR Audio News Producer
Connor Baldwin is a junior from Penacook, New Hampshire studying digital media and the MUR audio news producer for the 2023-2024 school year. In addition to his role on radio, Connor serves as a reporter for the projects desk. In his free time, Connor enjoys hiking. This year, he is looking forward to writing meaningful stories for the Wire.

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