FUSG spends 22% of contingency on U.N. conference, gym equipment


Just over $17,530 remained in Franciscan University Student Government’s contingency fund at the start of Wednesday’s meeting. By its end, that amount had dropped roughly 22 percent. 

After the three allocations approved by the Senate that day totaled $3,933.99, the amount in contingency was reduced to around $13,600 with ten more weeks left in the semester, not including Grad Week. 

Spring Bill #14 allocated $3,000 to the IDEAS club for the club’s mission trip to the United Nations over spring break. Club president Tonianne Zottoli said the mission trip will include attending a global conference at the U.N. that will be attended by 8,000 representatives and diplomats. They hope to engage in dialogue with conference attendees about issues relating to contraception and abortion, she said. 

With the Student Government subsidy, the 13 IDEAS members attending the mission will each have to pay $200. Student Government Secretary Maddie Raffa said the funds are a sign of “the university putting its money where its mouth is.”

Sen. Patrick Bouchard added, saying, “This is an important diplomatic mission.” 

Spring Bill #15 allocated $900 to the Athletic Department for the purchase of a rowing machine for the Finnegan Fieldhouse to replace a broken one. Sen. Emmanuel Gessler asked if the new rowing machine is the same brand as the one that broke and was told it was not. 

Spring Bill #16 gave Student Government $33.99 to purchase a battery charger for its camera that is made available to student clubs.  

The three bills were approved unanimously. 

Conversation then turned to the amount in Student Government’s contingency. Last week, Treasurer Athanasius Sirilla had estimated the amount would be $22,000 after an allocation from the university, but he said on Wednesday he forgot to discount the roughly $5,000 held in club subaccounts.  

Majority Leader Caitlin Head urged the Senate to be cautious spending money throughout the remainder of the semester, especially because only $4,000 had been allocated for its sponsoring of this spring’s Grad Week. Vice President Alex McKenna said Student Government spent $14,000 on last year’s event. 

President Derek Markle reiterated Head’s frugality remarks, saying that while it remains possible to put on Grad Week on a smaller budget, “it’s going to look much different.” 

Student Government will next meet Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. in the St. Leo Room.