Soltero addresses initiatives for spring

Exposure of both the’internal and external affairs at USF was the focus of the State of the Student Body Address on Tuesday night.

With help from the new Activity and Service (A&S) Business Office, the ‘Open Government Initiative’ aims to shed light on Student Government’s (SG) spending of student-paid A&S Fees, said SG President Juan Soltero in his address.

Soltero said the initiative should be implemented in April before he leaves office. SG is responsible for allocating more than $11 million in’student fees.

‘ ‘We will create (this), which aims to help students better understand how student fees have been spent this year,’he said.

‘ In an effort to ‘bridge the gap of communication,’ Soltero said he plans to meet with SG representatives at the remaining USF campuses to help further their smaller’entities.

‘Progress is not a simple goal that can be accomplished in its entirety during one term,’ Soltero said. ‘That’s why we must continue to build a strong foundation for progress so that the next generations of students can be prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow.’

Soltero’s spring initiatives also include the ‘Branding Bulls Country Campaign’ which will increase the number of’banners displaying the ‘U’ sign around the USF area.

Soltero said the Office of the President will fund the existing and proposed banners and no student funds will be used.

‘We will have USF banners all throughout Fletcher and Fowler avenues making it clear to visitors and our community that this is Bull’s Country,’he said.

Plans include designating April 9 as ‘USF Day.’

‘The purpose of USF Day is to establish a tradition that will unite (USF), our alumni, and our surrounding community in order to exhibit university pride by providing an all-day,’end-of-the-year bash at the end of the spring semester,’ Soltero said. ‘When we celebrate USF Day together this coming April, we will not only be celebrating our achievements and our’history, but we will celebrate our pride.’

Another SG initiative is a’ student memorial that was constructed to remember students who have died while attending USF. A brick will be laid in front of the Marshall Student Center to represent each student.

A ceremony was held Tuesday to dedicate the’memorial.

‘I think it’s great that USF is doing this,’ said Kailey Dickens, a junior majoring in biology.’ ‘My friend Sam passed away in May of last year. He was only 19 years old.’

Families of students can choose whether they want their loved one to be a part of the memorial, said Andrew Cohen, SG Director of University and Community Affairs.

Cohen proposed the idea for the memorial after a close friend passed away last’summer.

‘We represent all the’students, not just those who are involved, so we need to do something for all of them,’ he said. ‘Every student should be remembered equally.’

‘ Additional reporting by Anastasia Dawson