Student Government debates funding of graduation week events



Franciscan University Student Government met April 12 to debate funding for graduation week activities as well as to pass spring bills #39-42.

The meeting kicked off with a discussion about graduation week.

The senate was split over whether the money allocated for graduation week should be cut from $9,000 to $5,000, taking into consideration the low contingency fund. It became clear that if the money was to be cut down to $5,000, the university would only be able to organize a few events for graduating seniors.

Sen. Sarah Sperduto, who is in charge of organizing the events, pushed for more money and asked for assistance.

She said, “I will say that a few things we spent money on last year could be cut down or cut out. $9,000 is a solid ball park we could do it under. I think that, after speaking to about 20 seniors, they are disappointed if money would be cut down to $5,000. They are looking forward to traditions.”

Sen. Stephen Shaw adamantly fought against this.

He said, “If we had all the money in the world that would be great. The fact of the matter is we don’t. I don’t think we have to give people things for free. Stretch your dollar.”

Suggestions were thrown up in the air of doing a graduation weekend, but it was clear that the senate was at a loss as of what to do about the lack of money.

Sen. Daniel Kim agreed with Sperduto and offered his assistance, saying, “Sen. Shaw spoke of consistency. I think consistency does not consist of cutting the budget. It has always cost $10,000. I think consistency is to keep to our words. We have not done our job well this semester. Taking out money from graduation week is not the right way to fix our mistake.”

Shaw, however, went on to fight for cutting the bill.

“I realize there is a tradition, but in the past there have always been people in Student Government who are against these huge allocations,” he said. “We need to make changes.”

Sen. Ben Idzik said, “We are missing our respect for our seniors. We need to respect them with the power we have. Cutting the money would be doing a disservice and a disrespect to our community.”

At this point, the unconcluded debate was suspended. However, it was voted that $9,000 would be kept for graduation week.

The bills were discussed next.

Spring bill #39, an allocation to the female ultimate Frisbee team Franciscan FIRE, allocated $223.96 for the continual development and success of the club.

Spring bill #40, an allocation to Student Government for the Pittsburgh Pirates game, brought up fire again and was tabled until the end of the meeting when the bill was eventually failed.

Spring bill #41 allocated $150 to the Outdoors Club to assist in sponsoring its paintball event. Kim showed his support, and the bill was passed.

The final bill, #42, was amended to allocate the original $375 to “The Gadfly” for its March/April edition instead of the $250 to which the allocation was originally brought down.

As a final comment, David Schmiesing, vice president of Student Life and Student Government adviser, said that “the right questions were being asked and discussed today.”