Senate approves $50,000 for free papers

In its Senate meeting Tuesday night, Student Government approved the use of $50,000 from a reserve fund to bring several hundred copies of two newspapers to various locations around campus.

The $50,000 will be used to finance a college readership program with USA Today for 500 free copies of its paper, and 500 copies of either the Tampa Tribune or the St. Petersburg Times.

“More students are saying they want the Tampa Tribune,” said David Brickhouse, director of governmental relations for SG.

A contract between SG and USA Today has not been finalized, but SG Business Director David Armstrong said the Senate would still have some time to decide which paper they would like to provide students for free.

“This isn’t going to be worked out overnight,” Armstrong said. “It’s probably going to be at least another month.”

USF’s General Council and Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Menningal must still approve the contract. SG must also seek approval from the Purchasing Department to transfer the funds to USA Today.

Next, Menningal, deans of various departments and the Physical Plant must approve a space impact form for the location of each of the 12 newsstands.

According to Brickhouse, USF has had the potential for a college readership program for some time, but was never able to organize appropriate funding. Frank Harrison had been working on it before he was elected student body president with Elizabeth Kaplon, the executive assistant for Student Affairs.

“It never took hold, and plans for funding it kind of died down,” Brickhouse said. “Once (Harrison) got into office, that was pretty much my first major project.”

SG has a $9.3 million budget for this academic year. Funding for SG’s budget comes out of student’s tuition, in the form of a $7 Student Activity and Service fee per semester.