Marquette Student Government's Senate continued to flesh out its ranks last week, electing two new Student Organization Allocation board members and approving the new MUSG senate parliamentarian.
College of Communication junior and senator Alec Wollensak was elected as an academic senator for SOA, and College of Business Administration junior Michael Binder was elected as an SOA residential senator.
The SOA is the branch of MUSG that provides student organizations with funds for special events. In the 2006-'07 school year, the board provided student organizations with more than $115,000 for various events. Any official Marquette club sports or student organizations can apply for SOA funding by filling out an SOA event funding application in the MUSG office, Alumni Memorial Union 133.
Normally, SOA has four board members — two academic senators and two residential senators, with elections for one of each position occurring every fall and spring semester. With the election of former academic senator and College of Communication freshman Brian Henry to another position, however, one open spot remains on the board.
Two candidates running for the extra SOA board member position are College of Arts & Sciences junior Sara Stellpflug and College of Arts & Sciences freshman Jason Rae. Neither Stellpflug nor Rae received the necessary majority vote from senate to win the SOA position at the senate meeting.
Determining how to spend the $115,000 SOA fund is a "great" responsibility, according to MUSG Legislative Vice President and College of Arts & Sciences sophomore Brock Banks, who said seven students — the SOA senators, the executive vice president, the financial vice president and a program board representative — make that decision.
"I think Alec will bring insight to the committee as will Michael, they're both new to MUSG senate and it's great to see their added involvement," Banks said of the two newly elected SOA senators.
MUSG President and College of Business Administration junior Dan Calandriello agreed.
"Alec is eager to get involved and I'm excited to see what he can do, and Michael brings a great perspective to the SOA board being a past member of Marquette club sports," he said.
The SOA fund will increase next year from 33 percent of the total MUSG budget to 34 percent of the total budget if the proposed 2007-'08 MUSG budget is approved this week. The 1 percent increase will add more than $5,000 to the current SOA fund.
According to MUSG Financial Vice President and College of Business Administration junior Kori Fojtik, the proposed increase in SOA funding is an effort to return more money back to the students through student organizations.
The new senate parliamentarian, College of Business Administration sophomore Tim Smith, was recommended for the position by former MUSG Legislative Vice President and College of Arts & Sciences senior Dek Glenn and approved at the meeting.
On Thursday the senate will re-vote to determine who will fill the extra SOA position, and will also vote to approve and/or amend the proposed 2007-'08 MUSG budget.
"It's a long and tedious process but it's good that the senate is taking the time to deliberate on the matters of money," Calandriello said.