Student Government: Not what you may think

pres and vp

By: Bryant Schoenle

pres and vpIt’s the most important student group on campus, the unseen force behind countless student events, yet many people don’t fully understand what it is or how it operates: Franciscan University Student Government.

Led by President Joe Danaher and Vice-President Greg Andrews, FUSG is responsible for funding most of the club events on campus.

“We’re working to support students’ interests by using their funds in an economically efficient, prudent manner,” said Danaher.

Andrews said “The mission of Student Government is first of all to foster a better relationship between the administration and the student body, and secondly to determine how a large portion of the student activity fee is spent.”

Danaher and Andrews, both juniors, were elected at the end of the spring 2012 semester after serving as student senators. They have brought new ideas for improving student government and the everyday lives of students on campus. One of their biggest goals is to offer open forums with the student body, which would give students an opportunity to make their voices heard and offer suggestions as to what they would like to see done on campus.

They are also working with the school to look into offering extended hours at the Finnegan Fieldhouse.

“We’d like to offer students the opportunity to use the Fieldhouse more, but if only a few people take advantage, it’s not worth the extra money,” said Danaher.

Unlike most of the student groups on campus, FUSG does not host many events. Instead, they allocate money to the various student clubs and organizations. Student clubs submit a budget shortly before each semester. If the budget is approved, FUSG reserves the appropriate sum of money for the club, which uses it to finance their events.

FUSG also reserves money in a contingency fund. Clubs can use this money to finance unforeseen events; to do this they must submit a bill, which is voted on by the student senators. Because FUSG monitors the distribution of funds so closely, clubs are able to do a lot more.

“Without Student Government, tuition would be lower but everyone would have to pay for their own events,” said Danaher. “You wouldn’t see as much happening.”

Danaher said Student Government also has a higher role on campus.

“Government is used to better the community and the individual,” said Danaher. “You could say that student government is furthering the participation in social and spiritual goods, as well as leisure.”

Andrews said: “We represent the student body to the community, which we do through selfless service, like the hilltop cleanup.”

Hilltop cleanup is an annual event where FUSG leaders and student volunteers clean up different areas near campus. This year’s event will be Saturday, October 13. More information will be available as the date approaches.

Andrews is proud to serve the university through Student Government.

“I believe that FUSG fosters a professional environment for student leaders to achieve their full potential in serving the student body and represent the university to others,” said Andrews.

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