Addressing campus concerns

President+Lovell+gave+his+eighth+Presidential+Address+last+Wednesday+in+the+Alumni+Memorial+Union+ballrooms.+

Photo by Forster Goodrich

President Lovell gave his eighth Presidential Address last Wednesday in the Alumni Memorial Union ballrooms.

It isn’t everyday that you hear about a Marquette-themed beer, however, at Marquette University President Michael Lovell’s Presidential Address, you never know what surprises are brewing.

Marquette University President Michael Lovell gave his ninth annual Presidential Address last Wednesday.

“The university has made such progress since last year,” Lovell said. “So I think we should all be very proud that the campus has so much momentum moving forward.”

Campus Safety

Lovell announced that after implementing the President’s Task Force on Community Safety last year, they created 12 priorities — eight of which have already been established, and the other four are “on a pathway to implementation.”

The enacted priorities are: reimagine campus transportation, establish a behavioral unit within the Marquette University Police Department, allow safety alert texts for parents and create a holistic safety website.

The EagleExpress app was launched at the beginning of the spring semester. This replaced the former LIMO campus transportation system.

They also developed new safety signages, established student tours of the Near West Side, deployed two new mobile cameras/lights for MUPD and increased the annual budget for camera maintenance and repair.

The four priorities that have yet to be implemented are: expand the MUPD police aide program, complete a campus lighting assessment, increase “under surveillance” signage on campus and to establish the Marquette University Enhancing Safety Through Environmental Design Committee.

Edith Hudson, chief of MUPD, is the chair of the President’s Task Force on Community Safety.

“Since announcing the approved proposals in June, our efforts have already yielded safety improvements for our community and we will continue to see a positive impact,” Hudson said.

Since the task force was created, Lovell said Marquette has seen a 46% decrease in robberies and a 26% decrease in motor vehicle thefts.

Diversity Efforts

Lovell proceeded to discuss a “culture of inclusion” on campus and displayed statistics about the most diverse undergraduate student body in Marquette’s history.

23% of the class of 2025 are first-generation students and 30% are students of color. Lovell then recognized the Urban Scholars Program and said it has been “very successful.”

The Urban Scholars Program provides up to 45 tuition scholarships to students from the Milwaukee area who are typically first-generation students or are from “financially disadvantaged backgrounds.

“It’s like safety, it’s something we’re not going to stop doing,” Lovell said. “We’re continuously making the experience— particularly for our diverse students of color, better on campus. Unfortunately, there’s no easy switch for that, it just has to be something we need to focus on and continue working towards.”

Lovell said it’s one thing to have a diverse campus, but it’s another for students to feel welcomed and supported.

“We talk about the culture of inclusion, we know it’s much more than numbers and we still have a tremendous amount of work to do on campus to ensure that our community is welcoming and supportive to all,” Lovell said.

Chris Navia, vice president for inclusive excellence, was announced by Lovell as taking the lead on Marquette becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution. Currently, Marquette is an emerging HSI, since 15.4% of undergraduate students are Hispanic.

Campus Construction

Marquette will also be creating a physical Land and Water Acknowledgement marker outside of the Alumni Memorial Union. Lovell said there will be a ceremony Feb. 3 for the unveiling of the marker, which will be three sheets of metal that “encompass” a native Wisconsin birch tree.

In 2015, Marquette established a master plan to advance campus development.

Since 2015, Marquette has built The Commons residence hall, the Ray and Kay Eckstein Common, the Athletic and Human Performance Research Center, the physician assistant studies building, the grotto of Blessed Virgin Mary, the restoration of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel and the Dr. E.J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall.

Now, Marquette will be renovating Memorial Library to become the “Lemonis Center for Student Success”, The Chapel of the Holy Family inside the AMU, the former Straz Hall to become the new College of Nursing, the Recreation Center to the Wellness and Recreation and the creation of the Iron District. Most of these projects are scheduled to open in 2024.

Lovell said these renovations weren’t planned to all be scheduled for the same time, but they just worked out that way with the master plan and the funding for these projects. Lovell also said that most of these projects, like the new Rec and Wellness Center and the new College of Nursing needed to be done.

“That library serves our student population [Memorial],” Lora Strigens, vice president for planning and facilities management, said. “We have to continue to think about accommodations and continue to adapt.”

Strigens said that the university intends to begin the renovation process on Memorial this summer which will inevitably continue into the 2023-2024 academic school year. The Lemonis Center for Student Success is scheduled to be finished sometime in 2024.

Strings said that the university will be working alongside the Dean of Libraries to develop a plan to shift things around while ensuring that the library stays “fully operational and functional.”

“I want Marquette to keep innovating, to keep changing, to be looked at as a university that is on the cutting edge,” Lovell said.

Blue and Gold Brewing

The last topic of the address was Lovell announcing Marquette’s creation of a craft beer company: Blue and Gold Brewing.

The company was inspired by two Marquette alums, Tim Pauly and Kevin Brauer, who came up with the idea.

They selected four Marquette students to work with their team: Will Dales, a senior in the College of Business Administration, Connor Nelson, a senior in the College of Business Administration, Gracie Pionek, a senior in the College of Communication and Jackson Cosgriff, a senior in the College of Business Administration.

The beer is brewed locally here in Milwaukee.

“This is a very innovative and exciting way that we can provide our students with a very unique experience while they’re still on campus,” Lovell said.

Lovell announced that they will be selling the “Golden Ale” at the National Marquette Day Men’s Basketball game at the Fiserv Forum Feb. 4.

This story was written by Julia Abuzzahab. She can be reached at [email protected]