FUSG clarifies expansion plans with university president

Christopher Dacanay
Sports Editor

Franciscan University Student Government (FUSG) clarified the university’s future expansion plans with the Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, at its meeting Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Pivonka said work on the new Christ the Teacher academic building will begin in August and be completed by fall 2024, a 20-month building project.

There will be a “natural domino effect,” Pivonka said, regarding one building project leading into another. He said Starvaggi Hall will be renovated, the nursing wing will be moved and Christ the King Chapel will be renovated in a 30-month period.

Also, Pivonka said looking at the residence halls will be a three- to five-year project.

Christ the King Chapel’s renovation, which will take a relatively shorter amount of time, will be completed around the same time as Christ the Teacher’s completion. The renovation will allow for 510 seats instead of the current 325; however, the largest Masses will still be in Finnegan Fieldhouse, Pivonka said.

Pivonka said that the lower soccer field will be turned into a new parking lot, and future parking will be aimed toward the outskirts of campus.

The Conference Office will begin its move to a new location along Brady Circle in Assisi Heights within three or four weeks.

Pivonka described the university’s “Fiat Process,” which he said would “help the university be more efficient in its operations. … In other words, it’s a different way of operating. … If you look at the projects in the next couple of years, it’s important that we manage money well.”

Dan Dentino, vice president of student life, was also at the meeting.

When asked about dorm accommodations for male students, Dentino said, “We have a lot of housing on campus, but a lot of attention has to be paid to it. … We don’t want to jam people in there.”

The process, he said, would invite the university to look at alternative streams of revenue other than donations and tuition. This, he said, would grant students greater access to services and would allow for transformation of halls and dining facilities.

Pivonka gave a three-point list of his vision for campus. First, he wants to make sure the university meets the needs of students, particularly in regard to in-demand majors such as engineering and criminal justice.

Second, Pivonka wants the student body to be “a voice in a culture that is becoming more confused, more and more dark.”

Third, Pivonka wants to keep funds set aside for scholarship money: the No. 1 priority.

Later in the meeting, graduate student Sen. Naomi Tatro was elected and sworn into FUSG.

Tatro said before the election, “As someone who lives off-campus, it’s hard to not know what’s going on. … I feel like I would be a very truthful and humble voice for the graduate students.”

Senior Treasurer Molly Propson said FUSG’s contingency funds equal $10,530.91, and the total funds spent this semester add up to $7,732.50.

Senior President Alex McKenna said the Assisi Heights demolition party for students will be tentatively be held in April.

Senior Sen. Jonathan Meinholz said the top floor of the Gentile Gallery hopefully will be open March 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for an art viewing tour hosted by Linus Meldrum, professor of fine arts.

Other business:
Bill No. 50, which was tabled along with its accompanying Bill No. 51 due to lack of a club representation at the meeting, would have allocated $1,000 to the Harmonium Project for a concert in April.
Bill No. 52 allocated $660 to junior Noelle Van Horn for Aim Women’s Center’s color run fundraising event.
Bill No. 53 allocated $600 to the Gemelli Society for mental health week giveaway supplies.
Bill No. 56 allocated $600 to the Veritas Society for a weekend-long colloquium with Christendom College.
Bill No. 54 allocated $125 to the Maple Sugaring Club for supplies, including pancake mix.
Bill No. 55 allocated $286 to sophomore Joey Greve for the Apprentices of St. Joseph household’s St. Joseph Carnival.
Spring Bill No. 49 allocated $200 to FUSG for prizes for its student services fair.
A bill was inserted to recognize the Catholic Agrarian Club as a club in good standing with FUSG and to permit it to have a budget.

FUSG meets every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the St. Leo Room of the J.C. Williams Center.