For the first time since 2009, Marquette Student Government filled all the off-campus senate seats during the election. The seven off-campus senators, representing the largest constituency of any residency area, bring a diverse background of experiences with MUSG. Legislative Vice President Kyle Whelton, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, believes they will be beneficial to the senate.
“I do think it will be extremely beneficial,” Whelton said. “I am a firm believer that governments, even student governments, have to be representative of the diverse view points that exist in a constituency. At times this can be frustrating, especially when we need something to be done quickly, but if we are to do justice to our roles as student leaders, we need these fresh perspectives to ensure all students are represented, not just one vocal group.”
The seven who were elected are Lukas Baker, a junior in the College of Communication; Nathan Craft, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences; Natasha Hansen, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences; Alison Libera, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences; Mary McCarthy, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences; Brittany Riesenbeck, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences; and Thomas Schick, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Baker will offer a unique perspective to the senate as someone who held an administrative position with MUSG until Thursday, when he stepped down before the results of the election were announced. He said he wanted to run for senate because he felt he needed to be more involved.
“The parliamentarian’s job is to just really listen and make sure that everything’s going in constitution correctly,” Baker said. “But you’re not allowed to speak during debate, or put any of your input into what’s going on whatsoever. If you’re a person like me just biting your tongue gets a little old, I guess you could say. I thought it was a good time to transition from leaving that office into MUSG.”
Baker spoke about the failed MUSG amendment that would have removed the 30 percent floor for Student Organization Funding allocation that is mandated by the MUSG constitution. He said that it is something that he would like to address.
Craft, unlike any of the other members of the caucus, comes to senate with no previous experience with MUSG. He said his experiences at the Les Aspin Center in Washington D.C inspired him to get involved.
“The experience and the individuals I met (at Les Aspin) were a motivation for me to serve Marquette’s student body and assist in continuing the success of the university,” Craft said.
Craft said he especially wants to work on student safety issues and fiscal responsibility, citing recent hikes in tuition as a cause.
Schick is one of the veteran members of the off campus caucus. He comes to the position with two years of experience as a hall senator, and significant experience as chair of the Business Administration committee. He expects to be a leader in senate.
“I guess my goal and my role is I would like to continue grow as a leader myself,” Schick said. “I just go to work everyday and try to help the group as a whole.”