Student Government (SG) Senate voted in favor of funding $113,500 to support the building of representational plots for The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) with a vote of 38-10.
This $113,500 is less than half of the funding the plots will require. NPHC is responsible for bringing in $19,000 and the university administration has agreed to match the funding for a total of $265,000.
The money will go toward a series of nine plots in a semicircle near Holly Drive. Each plot will represent one of the fraternities or sororities included in NPHC — which includes nine groups that are historically black. Each plot will include information regarding the specific organization, such as its founding date.
A survey open from Oct. 4 to Oct. 9 by the Relations Chair found that 312 out of 438 students supported spending the money on the plots.
The presenters of the request Student Body President Moneer Kheireddine and President of NPHC Samantha Bryant, however, said these plots will serve as a home for more than just the members of NPHC on campus.
“I think that these plots will work for (students) who walk on campus as a 17-year-old and you don’t see anything else that looks like you or you may not see anyone who looks like you,” Bryant said. “These plots serve as that space. If I’m able to see an organization that is filled with members that look like me, I may not even be interested in that organization, but its the fact that they’re represented on campus that tells me USF is involved in diversity.”
The project is expected to break ground before the beginning of winter break, and most of the work will be done during the break, according to Kheireddine. The project will be completed during spring semester.
The area will be available for other student organizations to use with NPHC being responsible for any upkeep the plots may require.
“The space itself is structured like a plaza,” he said. “So there’s a lot of open space and also a very green area. Basically, students will be able to request that space and have events. They can request to hang lights and do any sort of events. Outside of that, it’s also free and open to any student who wants to visit.”
According to Kheireddine, these plots will hopefully only be the beginning for the area of campus.
“If this is built, this space will actually be dedicated to culture-based projects,” Kheireddine said. “The entire goal of it being that this is a space where diversity, culture, can be celebrated as a whole. So, this is only the first step in a long array of culture-based ideas.”