BY LAUREN RAMSEYER and HANNAH CRITES
Michael Hernon, vice-president for advancement, spoke to Student Government during their weekly meeting on Feb. 19 about the outcome of a survey concerning the capitol campaign.
Surveys were sent to all students, faculty, alumni and donors at the beginning of February in an attempt to understand the priorities of all stakeholders in the life of Franciscan, as well as to launch a new capital campaign, which occurs approximately every five or six years.
“Father Sean really wanted to listen to all stakeholders in Franciscan’s mission,” said Hernon during the meeting, and that the goal of the campaign is to fund the vision of the university.
Hernon and others who evaluated the responses of the students’ survey were elated with the amount of feedback that they received. He stated that 585 students responded as well as numerous benefactors, alumni and faculty, which he said was a “phenomenal response.”
Hernon stated that during Franciscan’s last capitol campaign, the goal was 25 million dollars and they exceeded that goal by 6 million. With the money raised, most was put toward the funding of student scholarships and the building additions.
Eighty percent of donors to the university are not alumni or parents of students, said Hernon. He told the senate that the benefactors are people who come to the conferences, have heard about the university through EWTN or those who simply love Franciscan’s mission.
There were many potential advancements for campus discussed during the meeting including a new chapel, supporting enrollment growth, student scientific research and most of all, scholarships.
According to the survey results, the largest priority among all responders was the availability of more scholarships for students.
“Students want to be impacted more directly, academic-wise,” said freshman senator Thomas Gaudet concerning scholarship and internship priorities among students.
Student Government president Joe Danaher suggested more connections outside of Franciscan for students to find internships. Just as nurses go into Pittsburgh for clinical practice, he suggested that business majors should have the opportunity to go into the same city for internships with businesses.
“(Evangelistic media) goes along with the mission of Franciscan and identity of the school,” said Aaron Bassinger, sophomore student senator, concerning evangelistic new media being ranked high among survey-responders’ priorities.
Another item that was ranked high in responses was the need for pastoral growth on campus.
“It is hard to find a spiritual director,” said Mark Erste, graduate student senator. “If we had stronger spiritual direction, students might be able to take a more active handle on their spiritual life and responsibility.”