Student Government (SG) President Brian Goff and Vice President George Papadeas ran for office in spring promising to advocate, communicate and uphold traditions.
With more than half the semester behind them, both Goff and Papadeas said their biggest accomplishment has been working closely with students. Goff said being more productive and having the presence that a student government of our size should have was also important.
Weve had increased presence on campus and showing up at more events and partnering with more student orgs, Goff said. We are doing a lot more impactful things on campus instead of just allocating money to student orgs and sending them on their way.
Goff said SG is responsible for allocating almost $14 million in student-paid Activity and Service fees among student organizations and other university functions.
We are shedding that ivory tower notion that students may have had toward Student Government, Papadeas said.
Papadeas, who was previously a Resident Assistant, said he felt this notion was prevalent when he worked closely with students in the residence halls on campus, resulting in an SG that wasnt as focused on student voices.
Goff said that they ran on a campaign stance of absolutely no tuition increase unless it could be justified by what Goff called meaningful conversation.
To help the university, Goff said the process of proposing fees and budgets has been started sooner. In the past he said that budgets and fees were often proposed, discussed, and voted on in two, maybe three meetings at most. Before these items have even been proposed, Goff said he and Papadeas have held double the amount of meetings.
Aside from promising to advocate for and communicate with students, Goff also said during his campaign that he wanted to increase traditions on campus. Just weeks after being elected, the pair began to do so by setting up a website for students to brainstorm and vote on different ideas to bring more traditions to USF.
We are really trying to improve the student life experience here at USF, Goff said.
From the surveys, he said a football tailgate was set up, and SG is now looking into the possibility of erecting a statue of bull outside the Sun Dome.
Goff and Papadeas have been focusing their energy, they said, on communicating more with students outside of the office.
That was one of the big things George and I ran off of. We wanted to make sure we were coming out of these offices and doing town halls in various locations, Goff said. Being at the Bull Markets and focusing on time and energy on communicating with the students. If we are not communicating with the students, how could we possibly be doing our jobs?
Former SG president Matt Diaz said that so far in their administration, Goff and Papadeas are holding true to their campaign promises.
Hes really exceeded my expectations and is building on the foundation that former student body presidents before him have set, Diaz said.
Heading into the spring semester, Goff and Papadeas said they will continue their efforts toward student outreach and enhancing USF traditions.
I feel that we have accomplished a lot, but there is still more to accomplish, Papadeas said.
With the state and local elections over, SG will have to begin working on budgets handed down from the state Legislature.
I would tell them that the legislative session in the spring can throw some curveballs, Diaz said. For some reason the spring always comes up with something. The spring is a very busy semester but they should continue doing working hard like they have so far.
Diaz said his biggest accomplishments in his administration included making students politically aware of events and issues on campus, such as the Republican Primary debates and budget cuts.
Brian and George have really served the students well in their role of communicating with student orgs, he said. I think they are really going to be voicing their opinion in the legislative session in regards to issues of higher education like budgets. (I think they will) exceed what I did last year.