MU Cerebellum

"Writers, especially when they act in a body and with one direction, have great influence on the public mind." -Edmund Burke

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Warrior Special Coverage

As Brandon Henak of GOP3 pointed out, The Warrior has provided a plethora of information on the only two tickets for MUSG president and executive vice president. In the neat little "Voters' Guide," Brian Collar has a couple of profound insights to the workings of MUSG. As a former Senator, Collar noticed that Senators in MUSG were split not on Republican-Democrat lines but along the lines of students' v. administrators' interests. For the most part, MUSG has become a puppet of the administration by openly siding with the administration on actions that the student body as a whole does not support (Collar used the nickname brouhaha as an example). Collar's advice to the prospective prez and vp? to fulfill their role on campus by speaking to the administration on behalf of the students, not the other way around.

The Warrior also did a great thing by printing responses written by the candidates. Hopefully it will help people like my roommate who are just this evening finding out about the election (sadly, she's not the only one).

One thing I think The Warrior should have discussed more was the utter lack of accomplishments of the entire MUSG organization. As of May 2005, the current MUSG administration has passed a paltry ten pieces of legislation. In the words of a wise friend: PA-THE-TIC!!! What has the organization been doing this entire year? From what I gather, those weekly meetings can last up to three hours and what does it get us? A couple of resolutions, amendments to the MUSG constitution, and a bill or two.

What I find even more appalling is that no one really pays any attention to it. Neither the Trib nor The Warrior have done much to hold MUSG accountable to the students. Sure they each do a piece or two per issue about some bigger things MUSG is doing, but I'd like to see one or both publications at each MUSG meeting in order to get them in gear to serve the student body of Marquette. We need to get some people to wake up when it comes to MUSG because they control a good portion of the student activities fee, which each student pays, and wouldn't you like to know how MUSG is using your own money??? I know I would. So, here is my challenge to The Warrior (because we know the Trib can't handle this): get some one (or maybe two some ones) to keep eagle eyes (no pun intended) on the workings of MUSG next year and every year following. That way every intelligent student who cares about their university will know when, how, and where their student activity fee is being used. It would definitely allow me to sleep better at night, and I know I'm not alone in this. So, good luck Warriors, and congrats on a fine (however incomplete) issue.

9 Comments:

  • At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree that the Warrior's coverage of the election was superior to the Tribune's. However, as a former MUSG reporter for the Trib, I think it's important to note that there IS a Tribune reporter at every single MUSG meeting - right now they don't have a regular MUSG reporter, which isn't by choice, but they still send someone to every meeting, and there's only so much you can fit in one (two at the most) article of 20 inches (at the most) for every meeting. There are many more issues at Marquette than student government that need to fit into each issue. Also, it's not their fault they didn't have someone on the staff who is extremely familiar with the organization's workings during the time of the elections that could truly grasp everything. Also, legislation isn't the only factor in MUSG's efforts during the semester - they still have the commissions and the committees working on several projects that take longer than a week to come to fruition. I agree that they need to have a better presence and I hope the next president and EVP will make sure MUSG is in fact accountable to the students. But it's misinformed to say that the Tribune doesn't cover MUSG effectively. I know for a fact that during my time as MUSG reporter I tried my hardest to give an idea of what MUSG was doing, and it was extremely difficult to fit every single discussion from the meetings into my short article. The Trib can't be biased about what MUSG is doing (or not doing) except on the editorial page, which isn't the campus desk's job. I see that as the only place the Trib can do better on a regular basis. Overall, I think it's more important for MUSG to hold themselves accountable to the students than for the Trib or the Warrior to do so. Or the students could step up and hold them accountable, because the only time I ever knew of anyone who didn't want to speak at the meeting coming to MUSG was right before winter break when several bloggers showed up to cover the discussion of the free expression legislation. If students were that concerned about what MUSG was doing, they would be going to the meetings every Thursday at 7 p.m. in AMU 227. Finally, MUSG let us know exactly where our Student Activity Fee money was going when they sent out the details in an e-mail just before winter break. I'll stop because this is really long, but that's pretty much all I have to say. --Samantha

     
  • At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Chuck said…

    it was extremely difficult to fit every single discussion from the meetings into my short article.

    Therein lies the problem. The argument is that a campus newspaper should dedicate more resources to student government so they may have more than a short article covering the organization. That's not your fault.

    Overall, I think it's more important for MUSG to hold themselves accountable to the students than for the Trib or the Warrior to do so.

    I'm not sure that any government (student or otherwise) is capable of holding themselves accountable without someone watching. If there is no threat that people will discover the results of their projects, there is less incentive to work hard.

     
  • At 10:22 PM, Blogger Super Ego said…

    Also, it's not their fault they didn't have someone on the staff who is extremely familiar with the organization's workings during the time of the elections that could truly grasp everything.

    True, but The Warrior doesn't have a regular MUSG reporter either... or Journalism majors on staff, for that matter. They just acquired the information, processed and synthesized it and published, it seemed. And they aren't even paid... Heck, they just started existing a few months ago! You'd think that the Trib could muster up at least one person to take on the election...

     
  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Samantha said…

    I agree that the Trib should have been able to do a better job with at least the election...that's clear to everyone. You're right, not having a beat reporter is no excuse for skimping on the coverage, at least for the elections. But MUSG takes some explaining and some feeling out before someone can write an article that truly grasps what's going on (and as a freshman, it was hard enough knowing nothing about what MUSG had done in the past). It's a little more difficult when a different reporter is covering MUSG every week and they only have three days and often less to turn around the article (I'm not sure how your deadlines work for the Warrior, but if it's similar, more power to you). The Warrior also had a seemingly worthy consultant in Brian Collar.

    I'm sorry if I seem like I'm a staunch defender of the Trib - I'm really not like this about most issues, but the reporting of MUSG is a touchy one for me.

    One question in general, because I've never been clear on it - how many students actually read the articles that ARE written on MUSG, and of what demographic are they?

    As far as the accountability question, I cede my earlier argument to Chuck. Good point.

     
  • At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Chuck said…

    how many students actually read the articles that ARE written on MUSG, and of what demographic are they?

    Anyone with a stake in student voice, improving Marquette, or where our activity fees go should have an interest in MUSG.

    Reasonable people can argue that:
    -MUSG has not accomplished many projects of consequence this past year
    -Students do not view MUSG as an instrument for campus change(s)
    -Campus media has not treated MUSG with an expectation that student government will deliver results
    -People campaign, the Trib covers it. People get elected, the Trib covers that. People serve office, the Trib covers that, too. People do not fulfill their platform promises and the Trib stays (relatively) quiet.

    I believe student government and student media are each necessary elements to improve any campus. The only groups able to disseminate Marquette information are: the administration, blogs, the Trib, and The Warrior.

    On any given Tuesday or Thursday, how many non-athletic events occur that deserve to push the effort (or non-effort) of MUSG to the back pages? To be honest, I am not sure.

    If MUSG is to be thought of as being an agent of desired changes, it should be treated that way by student media.

    Apathy only comes from two places: not knowing or not caring. The Warrior, the Marquette Tribune and blogs have the ability to cure the former.

     
  • At 1:28 AM, Blogger J. Michael said…

    musg coverage aside, i know i would be lost without the warrior and their fantastic beer reviews. there isn't any better way to tell MU's underage population that beer is awesome. although i may have detected a liberal bias in the last issue's review

     
  • At 1:06 AM, Blogger Steve said…

    I am staunchly pro-beer review.

     
  • At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At 3:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Keep up the good work »

     

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