Editors note: This article originally appeared in Issue 3.
By Theresa Schliep
United Student Government (USG) released its midyear report detailing their work from the first half of the 2016-2017 academic year and looking towards the Spring 2017 semester. It also details budget allocations for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters.
The 42 page document also discussed money allocations from the Budget Committee. During the Fall 2016 semester, the committee allocated $59,799.76 to clubs in addition to the $449,848.04 allocated on Budget Day. Combined, this came to a total of $509,647.80 allocated to clubs and organizations.
In November, the Budget Committee allocated a total of $491,446.96 to clubs and organizations for Spring 2017. This left a remaining $3,708.04 from Budget Day, which USG will allocate during this semester in addition to the remaining $18,677.05.
Executive President Daniel Stroie, GSB ’17, and Executive Vice President Elijah Simon, GSB ’17, used the article to provide updates on initiatives currently in the works as well as highlight those that have concluded.
For instance, Sara Brown, GSB ’19, senator, aims to introduce a meal swipe pilot program to the university next semester in order to donate unused meal swipes to Part of the Solution, a nonprofit food bank located in the Bronx.
Catherine Maccaro, FCRH ’17, vice president of health and security, included in her initiatives Fordham’s first Fresh Check Day, an event made “to create an approachable atmosphere for students to have a dialogue about mental health,” according to the document. USG hosted Fresh Check Day on Jan. 27.
The document also details USG’s collaboration with other clubs from the Fall 2016 semester. In particular, USG collaborated with the other “Big Four” clubs: Campus Activities Board, Commuting Students Association and Residence Halls Association, throughout the semester. For example, in light of the increase in bias incidents the University has seen in the past few semesters, the “big four” clubs dedicated November to diversity programming. Diversity Month saw “programming focused on cultural, gender, geographical and racial awareness,” according to the document. This included a Diversity month video, featuring students from the community celebrating uniqueness and diversity.
Other collaborations among the big Four included “Meet Me on Eddie’s,” a start-of-the-year event with music, food and games.
USG also worked on improving transparency and visibility on campus. This effort included creating a new USG website, as well as increased office hours for the Senate. Stroie instituted two office hours a week for each Senate.
USG changed its school representation, as well. The Fall 2016 semester saw a lot of changes with the Fordham College at Rose Hill Council, as it is now broken into four subcommittees: GSB – FCRH Deans Councils Joint Ventures, which focuses on increasing collaborative opportunities between GSB and FCRH, FCRH Undergraduate Research, which looks to further educate students on research opportunities at the university, Diversity Integration, which seeks to incorporate diversity into all aspects of student life and Visibility, which seeks to improve communication between FCRH administrators and students.
The document also detailed some of the activities undertaken by the Gabelli Dean’s Council. For instance, the council held a TEDx event this past semester, and looks forward to “continuing this series and improving this event in the years to come,” according to the report. Gabelli Dean’s Council has also worked towards creating a program called the Study Abroad Initiative, which would allow students who otherwise would not be able to study abroad to complete a project for GSB while abroad.
USG’s report continued to detail accomplishments and plans for various USG committees. For instance, The Committee on International Integration is working to establish a Cultural Awareness Speaker Series Initiative, a monthly series that would seek to promote cultural awareness on campus. They are also implementing a Multilingual Signage
Initiative, which looks to aide international students in understanding signage around the community.
The Diversity Action Coalition, formed last year, is looking to better educate incoming Fordham students on the culture and history of the Bronx.
The Sustainability Committee hosted the third annual Sustainability Week, as well as improved recycling and composting on campus.
The House Committee hosted Festivus Fordhamenis last semester, which showcased Fordham performance clubs and boosted spirit through Maroon Zone.
The Operations Committee hosted the annual Club Fair, an event that introduces Fordham’s 158 clubs to students.
Stroie and Brown created a Dining Services Advisory Committee to address problems involving eating on campus. This saw changes at eateries on campus, such as meatless Monday’s in the Marketplace and adding all-day breakfast at Urban Kitchen. They look to further improve dining on campus.