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Letters to the Editor

Re: Editorial, “SG approves another self-serving bill to raise pay,” June 26It deeply saddens me to see a student-run newspaper cite only one small portion of a bigger story. The editorial “SG approves another self-serving bill to raise pay,” which was written in response to a bill passed during a Senate meeting June 24, only discussed a very small piece of what transpired that evening. It is also important to acknowledge what was accomplished during that Senate Assembly.

During that meeting, the Senate took several strong stances to ensure that the students at this University were represented the way they deserve. Senators approved a resolution requesting the official interpretation by the state Attorney General as to what the state of Florida meant by giving the students the power over the allocation and expenditure of student Activity & Service (A&S) fees. Additionally, the Senate passed the annual budget that contained a written agreement between the Office of Student Affairs and Student Government that outlines how both parties will be more responsible with the allocation of the A&S monies – an agreement that required extensive meetings with the USF administration.

Both of these are dramatic steps forward from years in the past.

Although the individual pay rates have increased slightly from previous administrations, SG has worked diligently to propose a much more conservative allocation for the operations of the organization. By investing a little more in each of the individual positions – and therefore creating a greater expectation of productivity per person – SG has actually decreased the total executive budget by more than $70,000 from the previous year. This savings increases the amount of money that can be spent to further enhance student life on campus.

The budget is only one of the numerous important initiatives that SG is currently undertaking, though. We are beginning to launch a huge campaign to get students informed about state and national politics, as well as helping students get registered to vote for the presidential election in November. Our marketing team is creating new and innovative ways to work collaboratively with student organizations to assist with their promotional efforts.

President Greg Morgan and Vice President Thomas King are implementing new projects and traditions at USF that students will be able to utilize and enjoy for years to come, such as the “Our Shirt” program and Mr. & Miss USF.

Senate President Juan Soltero and I are working on improving the SG governing documents and implementing systems both internally and externally that will benefit the effectiveness and efficiency of student programs and student organizations.

The leaders of SG wish to convey our determination to improve student life and create long-term changes that have a positive impact on campus.

Jerry Trotter is president pro tempore of the SG Senate.