Student Government’s plans for 2008 mix the pressing issues of USF with a forgotten tradition of keeping things fresh and fun. On agenda for the spring is campus safety, funding for University Police, crafting the budget, creating projects to address the biggest student concerns and bringing back Miss USF.
SG also plans to continue lobbying for improved campus safety and more funding for UP, both in Tampa and in Tallahassee.
“We’ll be in the capital a lot this year,” student body President Garin Flowers said. “Campus safety is one of the major issues we’re lobbying (for in Tallahassee).”
SG will push for more funding for UP with hopes of providing larger salaries to entice more officers. In Tampa, SG will urge the administration to put the issues more in the forefront than they are now.
“We’re lobbying with the administration to pay more and for the state to pay more,” Senate President Nathan Davison said.
Springtime is also budget season for SG.
“One of the primary functions of the spring semester is crafting the budget,” Davison said. “We’re going to be working very heavily to, dollar by dollar, output that out to all the different areas on campus.”
The $10 million budget will fund student organizations on campus and SG initiatives. For example, although SG cannot directly fund money into UP to increase campus safety, SG’s purchase of 2,000-3,000 whistles to distribute to the students last fall indirectly contributed to campus safety.
SG also plans to address concerns expressed by the students directly. On Nov. 5, SG held an open forum in which students voiced their opinions on issues and the problems they faced at USF.
“We’ve selected the ones that held the most weight and most people were concerned about and the things that we can most likely affect and make a difference with,” Davison said.
The projects that SG will work on are going to be based on the concerns presented at the fall forum.
“The most we can do is set up small temporary fixes while we work with administration to create something more long term,” Davison said.
The small projects will be completed this term while the larger ones will begin this semester with hopes of being completed within the next few years, he said.
SG is holding a meeting tonight to create and discuss these upcoming projects.
All work and no play makes SG a boring student organization, however, according to Flowers.
“We want to bring back a program called Miss USF,” he said.
The program is similar to beauty pageants like Miss Florida and Miss America, but it is not a qualifying competition. Those who win Miss USF will not be able to advance to the next tier of beauty pageants.
“Hopefully, in the future, it can be a qualifier to Miss Florida,” Flowers said.