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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

EDITORIAL: What President Lovell needs to address

With President Lovell’s 2023 annual Presidential Address tomorrow, we, the Marquette Wire editorial board, are curious if the following topics of concern will actually be addressed. However, Marquette has a history of not addressing important issues and instead elects to focus on superficial accomplishments. 

In 2016 Marquette announced that it would be working towards becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution which requires an undergraduate population of at least 25% Hispanic students. Marquette currently holds emerging HSI status. 

In April of 2021, Provost Kimo Ah Yun stated that the university wishes to create ‘a more welcoming and inclusive space’ at Marquette in a statement regarding the university’s progress on becoming an HSI. However, prior to this statement, Ah Yun said in September 2020 that Marquette becoming an HSI was not a strategic priority. Naturally, this leaves many skeptical of the university’s intentions.

Few details have been shared about how the administration plans to foster this environment. These ideas are meant to be implemented by the administration, but with a lack of transparency, one cannot help but wonder if there are any plans at all. 

It’s clear that many students of color don’t feel included at Marquette. In fall 2022, 67.1% of the undergraduate population identified as white, making Marquette a Predominantly White Institution. A climate study done in 2020 found that students, faculty and staff of color had lower levels of comfort pertaining to campus climate than their white counterparts.

Students who demonstrated at the New Student Convocation in August 2022 explicitly stated that they felt as though they were being used as a statistic to recruit incoming first years rather than being viewed as individuals and expressed discomfort at this.

Marquette can’t expect to increase enrollment among people of color if they don’t make changes to an institution that wasn’t built with people of different backgrounds in mind in the first place. Lovell needs to address the concern about the university’s intentions to create a more diverse and inclusive environment. 

Another concern raised is the matter of the limited number of tickets given to each student for graduation. This year graduation will be held indoors at the Fiserv Forum with only four tickets per graduate. This leaves many in a state of frustration which must be addressed by Lovell. Simply acknowledging the irritating predicament that many students are in would make many students at least feel seen. 

In February 2022, Marquette launched a President’s Task Force on Community Safety due to growing concerns about crime on campus. It promised to hire additional MUPD officers, provide campus rideshare resources, implement extra building security measures and more. This needs to be addressed by President Lovell. Students and their families should know what, if any, changes have been achieved. Lovell should provide an update on the accomplishments of the Task Force. 

Marquette seems to stray away from addressing administrative controversy when not strictly asked to do so, so these concerns are unlikely to be addressed. In reality, the Presidential Address will almost certainly largely focus on the new O’Brien Hall and plans for the Wellness Center in the works, two welcome additions to our community but hardly of the highest concern.  

Editorial topics by the Marquette Wire are decided at weekly meetings between members of the executive board. The editorial is crafted with leadership by the executive opinions editor. The executive board consists of the executive director of the Wire, managing editor of the Marquette Tribune, managing editor of the Marquette Journal, general manager of MUTV, general manager of MUR and ten additional top editors across the organization.

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