|Submission Date||Feb. 13, 2013|
PAE-24: Sustainability Policy Advocacy
Has the institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability, including the issues, bills, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
Marquette has and continues to advocate for federal, state, and local public policies that support campus and regional sustainability efforts, with a large emphasis on student financial aid.
On environment sustainability advocacy:
Marquette is a member of the Milwaukee 7 Water Council which convenes the region’s existing water companies, research clusters, and government agencies, develops education programs to train Milwaukee’s talent, and builds partnerships that cut across all sectors and geographic boundaries. From the efforts of this cross section between business, academia, and government, the Milwaukee region has quickly become recognized as a world hub for water research, education and economic development.
Marquette’s Office of Public Affairs has assisted the College of Engineering in advocating for public funding for such programs as the eLIMO van - a student project that converted an old gas powered intercampus shuttle to an electric vehicle. The goal of this project was to reduce gasoline consumption and operating costs. The eLIMO now operates as an intercampus shuttle as part of a fleet of vans that serve the Marquette University Department of Public Safety's Student Safety Programs.
Marquette students have participated in Power Shift campaigns during election cycles in order raise awareness about sustainability in politics. Examples include students getting other students to sign petitions and pledges advocating politicians to build a more sustainable future.
On student financial aid advocacy:
Marquette University engages in multiple forms of advocacy on Student Financial Aid.
In general, Marquette University’s Office of Public Affairs monitors legislation and routinely contacts Members of Congress to advocate on behalf of its students. Student financial aid is its most important issue. Approximately 90 percent of Marquette students are financial aid recipients.
The summer of 2012 provides a prime example of how important financial aid advocacy is for students and families in Milwaukee and all across the country when Democrats and Republicans in Congress reached an agreement to extend the low interest rates for subsidized Stafford Loans for one year. Congress realized that an increase from 3.4% to 6.8% would be a difficult burden to bear during these difficult economic times. At Marquette for example, over 3,600 undergraduates took out a Stafford Loan in 2011-12.
In the fall of 2011, the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “Super Committee,” (Budget Control Act) was weighing its options for cutting the deficit. Concurrently, Marquette University joined the Student Aid Alliance’s campaign to “save student aid”, which encouraged students, faculty, staff and concerned parents to sign a petition. According to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), 100,000 signatures were sent to Members of Congress and over 1,000 individuals were affiliated with Marquette University.
To further demonstrate the importance of financial aid to Marquette University: over 1,500 students are recipients of Pell Grants; nearly 550 students receive funding through the Supplemental Education Opportunities Grant (SEOG); over 1,200 students earned money and gained valuable experience through the Federal Work Study program; and approximately 20 percent of undergraduates are first-generation college students.
Marquette University also works in conjunction with other higher education advocacy organizations on behalf of its students, including the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU).
Working directly and in conjunction with the Governor’s office, Wisconsin Legislature and the Higher Educational Aids Board, Marquette University advocates on behalf of Wisconsin financial aid programs that benefit Wisconsin resident students. The largest of these programs is the Wisconsin Tuition Grant (WTG) program. The WTG benefits Wisconsin resident students attending Wisconsin’s private colleges and universities. Over 1,100 Marquette students receive WTG funding.
Marquette University, through WAICU, has encouraged students over the years to participate in letter writing, e-mail and petition signing campaigns on behalf of the WTG and other Wisconsin financial aid programs. WAICU also holds an annual Student’s Day, in which Marquette participates, where students and staff meet face to face with legislators and staff.
Marquette University has one of the oldest Federal TRIO Programs in the country and is able to serve hundreds of college, high school and middle school students through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and its projects: Upward Bound (UB), Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS), Student Support Services (SSS), and the McNair Program.
Often a student’s own story provides the best form of advocacy. When the Department of Education decided to shift $10 million from the TRIO McNair Program to the TRIO Upward Bound Math and Science Program, Marquette student Tommy Walls, Jr. spoke to the funding issue in the September 14, 2012 edition of USA Today:
In addition to student financial aid, Marquette University also monitors and advocates on tax provisions that directly benefit our students and their families to make college more affordable. A good example is the American Opportunities Tax Credit (more commonly known by its acronym AOTC).
The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts are available:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.