SG announces USF e-mail provider

Academic Computing and Student Government gave students a chance in November to test two e-mail providers competing to replace Webmail in November, but it wasn’t clear until Tuesday’s SG meeting that Google was the official winner.

Google proved most popular among the test groups and was chosen to replace the University’s mail server, said Senate President Nathan Davison.

The new service will be launched to the public Feb. 26, and students will be able to transfer e-mails from Webmail to the new program, Davison said.

Student body President Garin Flowers also gave his State of the Student Body address to the Senate Tuesday, voicing concerns that students weren’t active on campus and that budget cuts would hurt the University.

The state is losing $2 billion and $92.4 million is being lost from all Florida public university, Flowers said.

“More classes are going to be directed to Fridays. It’s tough, but our main priority is education,” said Vice President Faran Abbasi.

The administration should not be blamed, he said.

“The blame lies on state government and how they perceive higher education,” he said.

Effects of the budget cuts include shorter hours at the library and cutting student programs at the University.

“They’re going to cut programs before they start cutting staff,” Flowers said.

Despite numerous budget cuts, USF has continued to exceed expectations, Flowers said.

“This has been a great academic year. We have caught the nation’s eye and showed them what we’re made of,” he said, discussing the $10,000 SG made by selling 13,000 ‘Our Shirts’ (Back the Bulls 2007), the allocation of $1 million for enhancement of the Marshall Center as well as greater funding for student organizations and Greek life.

Some of SG’s future projects include bringing back Mr. and Ms. USF, and Running with the Bulls and dedicating a section of the school’s Web site to teacher evaluations, Flowers said.

“That way, you won’t have to go to, you can go to It should be up pretty soon,” he said.

Flowers also plans for a revision in the technology fee students pay each year so that they can have a say in where the money goes. He hopes it will be put toward having a completely wireless campus, he said.

“Students are not happy with this University,” Flowers said.

Customer service needs to be changed and more outreach is needed, he said.

The lack of campus security is also an issue, Flowers said. He personally witnessed only one officer actively patrolling the campus one night, while the other two were conversing with a friend.

“We’re going to fight to make sure we’re safe on campus,” he said.

Flowers also encouraged students to participate more in clubs and campus activities.

“It is important for students to stand up. Student activity is low,” Flowers said.

SG is also taking steps in Tallahassee to benefit USF students, Flowers said.

Rep. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) is lobbying to get rid of the sales tax charged on textbooks. SG is supporting her through the Florida Student Association (FSA), a group that lobbies for public universities in Tallahassee.

Flores’ top priority is repealing this tax, said Davison.

“To have that burden lifted would provide great benefits for people,” he said. “That’s money you can use for living.”

Three new positions were also confirmed in SG.

Adam Pietri, D’Satrios Florence, and Sarah Heikkinen were confirmed as Associate Justices for Student Government Supreme Court. Matthew Dolson was also confirmed as Deputy Supervisor of Elections.