FUSG to spend $11,000 on climbing wall


During its business meeting on Monday, Franciscan University Student Government narrowly passed the allocation of $11,650 for the purchase of a climbing wall despite significant objection.

One of the most heavily debated bills of the semester, Fall Bill #44 called for $11,650 to be used by Student Government for the purchase of a TreadWall M6 Pro climbing wall.

Sen. Jeremiah Poff moved quickly to table the bill and said that when he told students that Student Government was spending this amount of money on a piece of equipment, they were “aghast” in their reaction.

“I want to thank (Vice President) Gabe Gessler for the research he’s done on this project, but I still don’t think enough research has been done to merit all this money,” said Poff before making a motion to table the bill. The motion failed by a vote of 6-5 in favor of continuing with the bill, with Sen. Danny Bagley abstaining.

Despite this, several senators continued to speak in opposition to this bill, including Sen. Jacob Watson, who said that “unresolved problems” remain with the bill. Sen. Michael Williams made an additional appeal, saying that Student Government should table the bill until further research for the bill can be made “for the sake of prudence.”

Most senators remained supportive of the bill and said there was no need for additional research before the wall was purchased. Sen. Paul Nick said that a poll to survey student interest in the wall would say what Student Government already knows: students want the wall.

Sens. Francis Heroux and Marisa Pinto both said that the climbing wall has been a promise the executive branch made during their campaign last semester.

Poff, however, took issue with that, saying, “I would like to remind my fellow senators that the Senate is not obligated to deliver on promises the executive branch makes.”

The passing of the bill was then put to a vote, which passed by a vote of 7-5.

One other bill was passed during the meeting. Fall Bill #41 called for $850 to be allocated to Student Government for its annual airport shuttle service for students heading home at the end of the semester. The bill passed unanimously.

Two bills that were presented were proposed amendments to Student Government’s bylaws. When Fall Bills 42 and 43 were introduced, Student Government advisor David Schmiesing made some remarks concerning the potential changes. This led Bagley to recommend that the bills be tabled so that members of the Rules and Order committee could discuss the changes with Schmiesing. Both bills were tabled unanimously.

Fall Bill #40 called for $500 to be allocated to the International Coffee Club located at the Gaming, Austria campus. While the bill had been the subject of much discussion during Monday’s informal meeting, the bill was ultimately tabled on Wednesday because Sen. Daniel McNichol was awaiting a response from Austrian Ambassador Annie Arvidson regarding some of his questions about the bill.

Just before the meeting was adjourned, Sen. Catherine Swope announced that she would be stepping down from her position, citing the great time commitment. Swope said that she is working on her thesis and doesn’t have the time necessary to continue being a member of Student Government.

She did take a moment to thank President Samantha Martinez and Gessler for their work this semester, saying, “I haven’t seen anyone in Student Government take ideas and make into realities as much as I have this semester.”

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