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Senate allocates more than $200K to USF Week

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 00:01

The Student Government (SG) Senate voted 35-4 to allocate $201,400 to the Center for Student involvement (CSI) for increasing the “number and caliber of events” during USF Week this year.

The additional funds come from SG’s unallocated cash accounts, which Senate President Jeff Gao told the Senate contained “essentially $2.3 million extra that you have to spend on traditions and initiatives put forward this year” after SG “was notified” they had an extra $1.3 million they were unaware of in an unallocated cash account that had been accruing interest since 2006. 

Student body president Brian Goff said $150,000 of the funds would be used to attract more bands to the BullStock music festival event and add an extra stage. 

“We want to make it a true music festival on campus,” he said. “What we want to do is turn it from one performer into five, but not just five big name bands.”

The event would feature the winner of SG’s Battle of the Bands and two additional bigger name performers.

While $11,400 would be used for overhead costs, the rest of the money would be devoted to creating new events, such as a talent show, “Rocky’s birthday bash” and giveaways through the week to get people “pumped up” for Rocky’s birthday bash. 

CSI Coordinator Jenna Kelley said Rocky’s birthday bash would be similar to the Homecoming Ball, but hosted at a different venue, such as on top of a parking garage or the lawn of the Lifsey House. 

Former student body president Matt Diaz, who created USF Week last year, urged the Senate to support the bill.

“One of my initiatives was to enhance student involvement and really enhance tradition,” he said. “We’re such a young institution, and that’s important to build up connections to this institution so that when you graduate, you love that institution.”

He said he hoped the week would bring together alumni, faculty, students and staff the way Homecoming week did.

“What is there in spring?” he said. “There’s really not much. There’s spring break ... All right, that is a lot, but besides spring break, there’s no big overarching thing on our university campus. That was something I envisioned for this institution last year. I wanted to have a Spring Homecoming and expand that USF celebration for a whole week.” 

Last year, SG initially allocated $110,000 from unallocated cash reserves to USF Week, but later allocated an additional $50,000 to bring Cobra Starship in addition to Jack’s Mannequin to the BullStock event. At the time, SG had $900,000 in unallocated cash accounts.

Daniel Hamilton, a junior majoring in chemistry and a senator from the College of Arts and Sciences, questioned the need for the allocation. 

“There are just some things I feel are not really so much in need for this USF Week,” he said. “A talent show can be simple for students — you perform, you clap and it’s nice ... You can still have a nice USF week without funding every single entity.”

When he suggested saving the money for a future year, Gao said the money may not be available to student government if it is unallocated.

“We don’t get to keep that money in that account,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen to that unallocated cash account.”

If money is allocated to an entity but is then still unspent, the money gets swept back to student government to reallocate at the start of the next fiscal year. 

Diaz told the Senate he hoped to see tradition-building continue at USF.

“I was told that this institution is so young, you can get a chance to create your own tradition,” he said. “When you come back here as alumni with your own children, you’re going to be able to say that you were here to start something great.”

 

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