FUSG announces removal of university mask mandate as case numbers drop

Photo by Elizabeth Alva

Danielle Huber
Business Manager

Franciscan University of Steubenville COVID-19 cases were down to 20 the week of Sept. 22, leading to the elimination of the university’s mask mandate, said Franciscan University Student Government adviser at the FUSG meeting Wednesday.

The numbers have been rapidly decreasing over the past three weeks, going from 60 to 40 and now to 20, adviser David Schmiesing said.

The Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, university president, and Dan Dentino, vice president of Student Life, announced that the removal of the two-week mask mandate would be put into effect Thursday. Students and faculty may continue to wear masks if desired, said Pivonka.

FUSG is organizing a group called the Baron Brigade, a group of students who will support sports games as the student section. There will be funds raised for gear such as scarves and T-shirts, discounted food and prizes.

FUSG senate voted junior senator Mary Catherine Prostejovsky the 2021-22 majority leader for the senate. The majority leader’s role is to appoint senators to each FUSG committee, such as finance and student welfare, and to voice the concerns of the senators to the FUSG president.

Schmiesing spoke to the senate and said delegating funds to university clubs is a part of FUSG’s role in making things happen on campus.

“There must be a balance of accountability and empowerment and that’s a difficult balance to hit,” said Schmiesing.

Schmiesing said FUSG has helped students in the past and present, including with airport shuttles and Caf Exam Hours, where the caf was open for 24 hours for students to study during exam week.

Schmiesing said the prayer of St. Francis is very appropriate for FUSG because it talks of service to others. It is prayed before every meeting along with a prayer to FUSG’s patron saint, Thomas More. More was a lay Franciscan who sanctified the temporal sphere as a devout Catholic, which is the role each council member is called to play, Schmiesing said.

FUSG has spent $902.15 in the fall 2021 semester.

This week’s Best Dressed awards went to senators Faith Sirilla, freshman, and Preston Pelishek, junior.

The next FUSG meeting will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the St. Leo Room.