Student Government funds computers

Student Government approved $278,140 for computers for a lab slated for the new Marshall Center in Tuesday night’s meeting.

The plan was passed by all SG members and includes deals with Dell and Apple to provide PCs, Macs and laptops for the facility, which will stock the SG-run computer lab. In the current Marshall Center, the lab is popular among students who seek free printing and file storage services, but SG staffers have said the lab is crowded and are working to improve facilities in the new student union, which is now under construction.

Director of SG administrative services David Armstrong said the approved amount is a high-end figure and that negotiations with both companies are still pending.

“Any funds that do not get used will be put back into the pot for other uses,” he said.

The plan also covers a $500 provision offered by Dell in which three dollars from each PC monitor purchase will be donated to plant a tree.

Though Senator Sheldon Tomlinson voted in favor of the plan, he said that the money put toward the environmentally friendly option could have been more aptly spent.

“I just think sometimes $500 could be used for better things,” he said.

Senate President Nathan Davison applauded the effort.

“I think there are few occasions where we are able to make a direct difference, and the three dollars for trees is one of them,” he said.

Armstrong said the approval marked another step toward improving technology resources and quality of education for students.

“I want to thank the Senate for having vision and open-mindedness regarding this plan,” Armstrong said. “It will benefit students for years to come after you are gone and will ultimately increase the value of a degree.”

SG also approved a $135,953 plan to enhance the WBUL radio station facilities in the new Marshall Center in a 21-0-3 vote.

The project will fund system upgrades to the digital format, as well as some new equipment.

“Thanks for the opportunity to provide a great student radio station for the next five to 10 years,” said Jake Tremper, director of WBUL.

Senate members also approved $1,783.45 for the Athletic Student Association and $1,118.30 for the Campus Crusade for Christ organization with unanimous approval.

A proposal for $200 to fund an electronic newsletter for the Office of Greek Life did not pass in a 16-3 vote.

Senator Brittany Borland questioned the results of the vote.

“Sometimes it’s like we say the word ‘Greek’ and nobody will consider it,” she said. “But when you look at it, this affects the 1,500 students in Greek organizations.”

In total, SG approved more than $400,000 in funding for student organizations and programs.

“I think it’s a step towards bettering our school,” said Senator Juan Carlos Soltero. “It goes toward student organizations, and we are always getting asked why we don’t allocate more money for them.”

Davison agreed.

“We are doing a lot of incredible things that will benefit the University for the next 50 years,” he said.

Director of Campus Recreation Eric Hunter also presented “East/West Multipurpose Field Conversion,” a proposal to demolish four basketball courts and refurbish a soccer field on the east side of campus and replace them with two multipurpose lighted fields.

USF has 10 lighted fields – which Hunter says is not enough – that are used by various groups including athletic clubs, student organizations and intramural sports.

“Ten fields is just fully inadequate for our size university,” he said. “The demand is far beyond our capacity.”

Hunter said the fields are in rough shape and that he receives complaints from various groups about their condition.

“Believe me,” he said, “we need them severely.”

Davison said the proposal for lighted fields still has to work its way through the system before the Senate considers it. The Senate could vote on the project early next week at the soonest.

SG will also meet to finalize plans with Academic Computing personnel over whether Google or MSN will sponsor the new University e-mail system Thursday, when both groups will decide how to publicly announce the decision.