A panel of eight Franciscan University Student Government (FUSG) members answered questions from students, including why the university is still with Parkhurst Dining, at its town hall meeting Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Gentile Gallery.
About 20 student attended the meeting; pizza and snacks were served.
Junior Sen. Mary Catherine Prostejovsky addressed a question that came from a recent FUSG survey of the student body asking why the university is still with Parkhurst. Prostejovsky said the university has a contract with Parkhurst for the next few years that it will stick with.
“Parkhurst is the best option for what we can do financially, and they really do try to put out a great product,” she said.
Prostejovsky said comments for Parkhurst can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or brought up at the dining councils that take place every Wednesday at noon.
Senior President Alex McKenna listed some changes to Antonian Hall to look out for: pizza, hotdogs and French fries will be served on weekends; pub options will be available at Antonian; and there will be a tournament for meals based on positive ratings, with the highest-rated being served more often.
McKenna said, “Student government has $60,000 every year that they use for student (activities). Essentially, you’re taxed.”
Senior Treasurer Molly Propson said two-thirds of FUSG’s budget goes to clubs, and the other third goes to bills passed during FUSG’s Wednesday meetings.
A student said the seven-session limit on counseling could dissuade students from seeking the mental help they need from the university’s counseling service.
McKenna said in response that if someone reaches their limit on sessions and they still need help, then there will be a “robust follow-up.” Also, he said having a session limit allows for more students as a whole to receive a spot, and he mentioned the recent opening of the counseling crisis line.
Another question regarded if the upcoming graduation ceremony will be held outdoors. McKenna said it will not and said the issue is “administratively off the table,” although he will continue to inquire about it.
A pair of students asked about obtaining patens for the Mass in order to better reverence the Eucharist.
McKenna said, “I’ll be honest, this is one thing I put my foot down on.”
McKenna said that past pushes to have patens were combative and political. Having been done through improper means, the issue of patens left bad connotations in university administrators’ minds. Thus, McKenna said he will not pursue the issue so as not to “dig up old dirt.”
Prostejovsky said, in response to a question, that modesty is being addressed subtly through efforts by residence life; however, she said it is an awkward problem that must be attacked culturally.
Another student asked if FUSG is aware of the rumors of recycling bins in Steubenville being fake. McKenna said he has heard these rumors and will investigate their veracity.
McKenna said he wants to improve transparency and accountability, which many students who were surveyed said FUSG needs to do better with. FUSG and McKenna can be reached at email@example.com.
Junior Jared Johnson attended the meeting. He said, “I wish there were more people that could come, … but I think this was a good way of being present to the student body as long as students going forward take the initiative.”