After a year of development, the NPHC Plaza is set to open Friday

On January 29, 2019

NPHC is composed of nine historically black fraternities and sororities and the plaza will feature plots that represent each of the nine organizations within the council. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE.

Diversity and representation. Student Body President Moneer Kheireddine’s platform throughout both terms had strong ties to these ideals.

Now, after almost 16 months, the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Commemorative Plaza that embodies those ideals will be unveiled with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 1 at 3 p.m.

“When we came into office, our biggest piece was to try to get our higher-up administrators and individuals on our campus with the leadership and the potential to get these types of projects done and on board with our vision and why it was important,” Kheireddine said.

NPHC is composed of nine historically black fraternities and sororities and the plaza will feature plots that represent each of the nine organizations within the council.

The plots are elevated plaques that, according to NPHC, are used as a symbolic representation of their belonging to college and university campuses across the nation. The plaza that will house the plots is located south of the USF Federal Credit Union.

Getting to the ribbon-cutting ceremony wasn’t easy. In fact, there were even attempts to get the plaza finished years ago, according to Kheireddine.

“There had actually been work already for quite a long time to try to establish some sort of representation,” he said. “But in every step, for some reason, there was another roadblock or there was bureaucracy that came into place that basically stopped the project from moving forward.”

So, Kheireddine and his running mate, Shaquille Kent, worked with Student Government (SG), USF administrators and members of NPHC to bring this representation to campus. Again, there were roadblocks, just as Kheireddine described from years past.

The plaza costs $265,000 and the funding comes from a combination of sources. SG used $113,500 of Activity and Services (A&S) fees — which comes from student tuition -- NPHC was responsible for funding $19,000 and USF administration agreed to match those funds to supplement the cost.

The SG Senate approved the request in October 2017, but one USF student who ran against Kheireddine that year filed for an SG court review of the A&S-funded items, claiming the funding violated seven rules. The court hearing was later canceled but briefly halted the process.

For Kheireddine, the plaza represents many things. It is one project that he has been able to have a hand in from start to finish during his time serving USF’s students.

“(The plaza) represents progress in pretty much every layer of not just student life, but in administrative work at our university,” he said. “Especially the day and age that we’re in where sometimes empathy and cultural support aren’t always the biggest, I think it means a great deal for a lot of students to know that their university stands against that and wants to make sure that representation is there.”

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