Plans for construction of the The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) representational plots are moving forward after changes to the funding of annual maintenance costs.
While the funding for the initial construction of the nine representational plots has already been arranged, there were some renegotiations about maintenance costs.
Moneer Kheireddine, student body president, said these renegotiations revolved around who would be responsible for the cost of maintenance for the community plaza.
Prior to these renegotiations, NPHC was responsible for the annual cost of maintenance the representational plots would require, which is estimated to be about $7,000 a year.
“Originally, the plan was for NPHC to cover the initial cost of the maintenance, but after some discussion and some re-examinations of the process, we thought that because this space would be open to students and not specifically NPHC for example, it’s not exactly fair to put the entire burden of the upkeep and maintenance on them,” Kheireddine said. “So, after some renegotiations we made it so that we worked with administration to confirm that they’d actually be able to help us in the splitting of the maintenance costs.”
According to Kheireddine, it was determined that USF administration and NPHC will each cover half of the maintenance costs.
“Basically USF administration will cover 50 percent of the annual maintenance and our NPHC council will cover the other 50 percent,” Kheireddine said. “Whatever the maintenance amount ends up being, it will be split fairly and evenly between those two entities. It’s estimated to be around $7,000 a year, but there’s still going to be a lot of changes and there’s still a lot to do.”
Student Government (SG) is responsible for providing $113,500 of the initial construction costs while NPHC is responsible for $25,000. USF is matching funding up to $265,000.
Construction was supposed to be completed during the spring semester, but was delayed due to a filing by Logan Holland requesting the SG Supreme Court to review the use of Activity & Services fees on the plots.
Kheireddine said the estimated construction start date will be over the summer and it should be completed this upcoming fall.
Moving forward, Kheireddine said a task force will be created to better manage the addition of these plots.
“We have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between ourselves, NPHC and USF administration that is signed and only needs the maintenance fees to be added in,” Kheireddine said. “Once that’s added, it’ll be sent to everyone, and hopefully everyone will sign it. Once that’s signed, we’re going to start a task force within the executive branch which will be head by my director of diversity, inclusion and sustainability. It’ll bring everyone to the table and start the more in depth conversations.”
According to Kheireddine, the progression of these representational plots is essential due to the importance they have in signaling USF’s commitment to diversity.
“This plaza represents something so much bigger than just the specific councils in NPHC,” Kheireddine said. “What this plot is emblematic of is the actuality and the realization of diversity and inclusion on this campus. It’s the physical presence of equality, of representations of men and women of color.”