Student Government responds to all-student strategic planning meeting


“Disgraceful” and “a waste of time” was the verdict of last week’s all-student strategic planning meeting, as expressed by members of Franciscan University Student Government during its formal meeting Jan. 23.

The meeting, which was led by Chief Operating Officer Bill Gorman, had been advertised by Student Government as an opportunity for students to ask questions and get answers regarding the recent controversies hitting the university.

However, the meeting consisted of answering a few questions and featured students breaking up into small groups to get answer questions posed to them by Gorman, leaving many students frustrated.

Chief Justice Jeremiah Poff called the event disgraceful and said it raised more questions than it answered.

“If this is how the administration is going to be going (by not answering questions), that should be very concerning to us,” Poff said.

Sen. Ahysen Silva said, “There were a lot of ‘I don’t know’ being said. Next time we have a strategic planning meeting, let’s have more information. People came with a list of questions, but they felt that the administration was dodging them and just checking the box that they met with students.”

Several senators called for a follow-up panel with administration for the sole purpose of responding to the questions of students that weren’t answered at the planning meeting. Silva said having more members of the administration at a future event would be important because “it shouldn’t be so hard for students to get time to speak with the administration.”

Sen. Athanasius Sirilla recommended the body relay their concerns to Gorman and then schedule a similar event where student’s questions “are actually answered.”

President Gabe Gessler thanked the members for their input and said he would bring their concerns to the attention of Gorman and respond as needed. Vice President of Student Life David Schmiesing, Student Government’s advisor, added that he would be happy to facilitate anything to help resolve the questions brought up at the planning meeting.

Student Government also passed several bills during the meeting.

Spring Bill 11 allocated $2,295 to Franciscan FATAL Ultimate team for a March tournament bid. FATAL had not been allocated the money in the fall to ensure the entire Student Government budget was passed, and the body thanked the club by passing the bill unanimously.

Spring Bill 10 allocated $490 to St. Thomas More Residence Hall for a ski excursion for some members of the hall. According to the bill, Resident Assistant Maggie Free would be providing lessons for some students, and 18 students are expected to attend. It passed without an issue.

The Veritas Society was allocated $220 in Spring Bill 13 for printing costs incurred by its publication, The Gauntlet. According to club representative Clement Harrold, the money would be used to help people sign up to have the publication delivered to their dorm rooms.

In other news:

Fall Bill 14 gave the Veritas Society money for supplies and pizza.

Fall Bill 12 reallocated $300 of the Anscombe Society’s sessions by reducing the amount of sessions from 12 to six.

Kelsey Scott-Avery was confirmed as Austrian Ambassador. The lone vote against her was by Sen. Derek Markle, who offered no reason for his “no” vote.

Charles Adams was confirmed as Austrian Consul.

Student Government will next meet Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. in the St. Leo Room.