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SG president gives annual State of the Student Body Address

As the voice of the student body on the University’s Board of Trustees and overseer of more than $11 million in student fees, Student Body President Gregory Morgan said his administration has focused on one objective throughout its endeavors: being straightforward and open with students.

“Only 10 months ago, (Student Body Vice President) Thomas King and I stepped up to this very podium to assume our responsibilities,” Morgan said before a crowd of about 100 students and USF officials during the annual State of the Student Body address Tuesday. “Ten months later, I can say that this is the most transparent and ethical presidential term that USF has ever had.”

When asked by the Oracle to elaborate on what he meant by “transparent and ethical,” Morgan offered a two-part answer. On his administration’s ethicality, Morgan said he could offer no comment because he did not want to “pass judgment on people.”

Morgan also said he believed his administration has been transparent thus far because of an open-door policy that allows him to be up-front and honest with students.

“Honesty, transparency and hard work is what we are all about,” Morgan said. “We don’t try to hide anything from the students, and hopefully they see that we are trying to restore the integrity of this university.”

Morgan then went on to review some of his administration’s milestones during the past year, including the student voter turnout for November’s presidential election, the opening of the Marshall Student Center and the invention of a GPS tracking system for buses at USF. He also discussed the three standard fees — Activities & Service (A&S), Student Health and Athletics — that students pay as part of their tuition.

“The three fees are state-mandated fees that can only represent a certain amount of total tuition, so they cannot exceed 40 percent of the total tuition and can’t be increased by more than 5 percent each year,” Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Meningall said.

Every year, students pay a flat fee of $7 plus $8.79 per credit hour in A&S fees, a $10 flat fee for Athletics and an unspecified fee for Student Health, she said.

What those fees do for students, Meningall and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Tracy Tyree said, is simple.

A&S fees are meant to enhance campus life and student organizations, such as Campus Recreation and SG, Meningall said.

The Student Health fee funds the Student Health Center and part of the Counseling Center. The Athletics fee pays for scholarship and athletic enhancements, but there is more to it than that, Meningall said. Athletics gets funding from three different sources, including foundation money and Title IX funds.

While USF Athletics and Student Health Services manage their respective fees, SG helps decide how to spend A&S fees. The money — more than $11 million — is allocated to various campus organizations.