FUSG elects new senators


Four senators were elected to Franciscan University Student Government on Feb. 14 after several resignations left positions unoccupied.

Sophomore Patrick Bouchard and seniors Alex Hyland and Loren Shillinglaw faced no opposition for their seats, but several people vied for the sole junior senate seat. Joseph Starcher won the election, which Chief Justice Ben Idzik said was close and went right down to the wire. Starcher previously served on Student Government during the 2016 fall semester as a sophomore senator. Senior Sen. Victoria Snell resigned during the meeting, allowing for both Hyland and Shillinglaw to be elected.

Student Government also swore in two members of the executive branch, Executive Assistant Alex McKenna and Public Relations Liaison Emma Hofbauer, to fill a void left by the resignation of Jasmine Cortez, who occupied both positions last semester.

Both McKenna and Hofbauer are newcomers to Student Government, but not to their positions. McKenna, 17, was the campaign manager for Steubenville Mayor Jerry Barilla. As for Hofbauer, Student Government President Samantha Martinez said that she had extensive social media experience from previous jobs.

Student Government also approved a slew of allocations to several clubs after not meeting since Jan. 21.

Spring Bill 7 called for $4,032.50 to be allocated to the Intercollegiate Defense of Equality and Solidarity, or I.D.E.A.S, club for a trip to participate in the UN Commission for the Status of Women, held in New York City. Sen. Jeremiah Poff spoke in support of the bill, saying that it is exactly the sort of effort that Student Government should be supporting.

Poff also spoke in favor of a bill allocating $2,590 to FATAL Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team for tournament and lodging fees. Poff said that the group has proven itself very efficient with money and they wouldn’t be asking for money if they didn’t need it.

FIRE Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team was the beneficiary of two separate bills: $1,050 was reallocated in order for the team to buy jerseys and $1,000 for two tournament bids, along with shorts to be used in games.

Student Government allocated $788 to itself for the Visibility Campaign, an effort to reach out to the university campus more efficiently. The money would be used to promote Student Government’s posts on social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram.

Another bill allocated $557.02 to Students for Life president Cassidy Roderick for the purchase of plane tickets to a pro-life conference.

Student Government also approved a new club, giving it official status. The Veritas Society will seek to defend the Catholic faith in an intelligent and logical manner, according to the bill. Majority Leader Daniel McNichol said that the club would be a good fit for Franciscan University and then moved to vote on recognizing the club. Student Government voted in favor of the bill unanimously.

Sens. Poff and McNichol both announced that they would be stepping down from their positions as presidents of Turning Point, USA and the Debate Club, respectively. The announcements come after a lawsuit was filed against the two, citing an obscure section of the student handbook which said that members of Student Government could not also be presidents of Student Government-funded clubs.

Toward the end of the meeting, Martinez told the assembled senators that Student Government has been asked by several members of the faculty and administration to be part of some focus groups on campus, dealing primarily with the library and academic issues.