CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST
A highly-debated proposed amendment to the bylaws of Franciscan University Student Government was voted down during its meeting on Sept. 26.
The Proper Credit Is Due Act, which aimed at giving Student Government greater exposure around the university campus, was voted down by a vote of 4-4. An amendment to the bylaws requires a minimum two-thirds majority to pass.
Sen. Jacob Watson, who had postponed the bill at the Sept. 19 meeting, reintroduced it and immediately made a motion to put the amendment to a vote without debate, saying that enough debate had been made during the previous week’s meeting and the bill hadn’t been changed since.
President Gabe Gessler threatened to veto the bill due to the lack of debate, but a veto was rendered unneeded when the senate voted the bill down.
Fall Bill 27, which called for $200 to be allocated to Young Americans for Freedom, also generated some controversy.
The money would be used to take speaker Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire and select members of the club out to dinner before Knowles’ speech at the university on Sept. 27.
Majority Leader Daniel McNichol voted against the bill, saying that Student Government funds shouldn’t be used to fund private events like this.
“Most students would oppose having their money to fund private events like this, so we should act on behalf of the students and vote this bill down,” McNichol said.
Sen. Derek Markle responded by comparing the $200 in the bill to the $1,500 spent by Student Government on its trip to The Network Conference, saying, “If we’re going to spend that much money to send Student Government on a trip, I think we should also allocate this smaller amount to the club.”
Chief Justice Jeremiah Poff, president of the club, said that his club had been working hard on the event and the dinner would provide a unique networking opportunity with Knowles, a best-selling conservative author.
Sen. Athanasius Sirilla concurred, saying, “This isn’t just some club. We already fund some private events and we can’t use the fact that the dinner is private as an excuse not to approve this bill.”
Watson responded to the bill supporters by saying he had been invited to the dinner despite just having joined the club and alleged that people were invited to the dinner regardless of how much time or work they had spent with the club.
When the bill was put to a vote, it failed by a 5-3 tally.
Despite the two bills failing, Student Government passed several other bills:
Fall Bill 21 allocated $598 for the purchase of two rowing machines to put in the Finnegan Fieldhouse gym.
Fall Bill 19 allocated $399.99 for the purchase of 24 3-by-3 foot Mixed Martial Arts interlocking foam tiles to be used in the Aerobics Room for MMA fighting and lessons.
Fall Bill 25 allocated $100 to Student Government for the purchase of doughnuts and cookies for its FUSG on the Hill event.
Fall Bill 25 allocated $75 to the Red Cross to buy food for blood donors at the club’s blood drive.
Fall Bill 24 allocated $64.70 to Student Government to buy thank-you cards for the TOR friars.
Fall Bill 22 allocated $45 to Students for Life for the purchase of brochure holders to place in the J.C. Williams Center’s women’s bathrooms.
A $1,200 reallocation was approved for Fatal Men’s Frisbee.
A $1,000 reallocation was approved for Young Americans for Freedom.
The senate also confirmed Bridget Christenson as Student Government’s public relations liaison.
At the end of the meeting, Poff swore in the new freshmen senators, who had been elected the previous day: Chase Dorsett, Carly Newman and Ahysen Silva.
Sen. Francis Heroux, a senior, was noted absent during roll call. Heroux has missed each of Student Government’s four meetings this year, one of which was unexcused.
Student Government will next meet Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. in the St. Leo Room.