As Student Government attempts to gauge student opinion on a proposed on-campus 9/11 Memorial, an informal poll indicates the student body may oppose the idea.
A concern for some is the $50,000 to $65,000 price tag, money that would be deducted from the $860,000 of unallocated activity and service funds the SG senate reserves for miscellaneous costs.
“I don’t feel there is a need for it,” said Ed Tumber, a first-year library science graduate student. “It’s a nice gesture, but that money could be spent on better things.”
Although the money may worry some, not everyone thinks the price is the problem. There are other why students disagree with the project.
“It’s not that much money considering all the money that circulates through the school,” said Ginny Basnight, a religious studies senior, “but it just seems that it’s been too long since it happened, so why now?”
Jay Aldeen, a biomedical freshman, said he doesn’t think it’s the best idea because the memorial will be a constant reminder of the atrocities that affected this nation on that day.
“(The memorial) may provoke feelings of sorrow and perhaps anger,” Aldeen said while gathered at the library with friends, who share his sentiment.
Other students, such as Erin Anthony, a senior majoring in international studies, disagree.
“USF has had a lot of negative exposure since Sami al-Arian and this would be something to overshadow the negative light and exposure of USF,” she said.
Some students do not see a connection of the memorial with USF. Ola Adekanmbi, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, said he thinks it’s a bad idea because USF has nothing to do with Sept. 11. He also agrees the money should be spent on something else.
Linda Komany feels that this memorial should be built at a university in New York, such as Columbia or NYU, not USF.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate; it would be nice if we had that money to spend, but we don’t,” said the junior majoring in political science.
The ongoing debate for funding has lasted two years. The memorial’s designers, Barron Hall and Aimee Font-Sanborn, presented the final design to the SG senate Tuesday night, asking them to consider funding the project.
Senate President Stavros Papandreou asked SG senators to get opinions from students to see if the memorial is something they want to see on campus. He chose not to comment on the proposal for budget.
“I don’t want my opinion to influence the other senators,” Papandreou said, “being that I am the Senate President.”
Student Body President Bijal Chhavda and Vice President Andrew Aubery support the 9/11 Memorial; however, the executive branch of SG is not in charge of allocating money.
Students can vote on the 9/11 Memorial online at www.sg.usf.edu through a link on the right-hand side under the bold red ‘Attention!’ heading. A petition is already circulating the campus with another one at the front of Papandreou’s office, Room 210 of the Marshall Center. Papandreou said the issue will be voted on Oct. 5 and SG senators will be accepting signatures and opinions until that date.