USF students bring issues to the administration

10/16/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

About 70 students gathered today in the courtyard of the administration building at the University of South Florida in Tampa to protest what they see as misuse of student funds by the USF administration, a lack of transparency by the administration and not enough police officers on campus.

Garin Flowers, the student body president, explained that students are concerned about campus safety.

Freshman Emily Handy said she wishes the administration would be more transparent in how they spend students’ money and that funds would be better spent toward hiring more police officers on campus.

Freshman Jon Vrana, an economics major, said there are not enough police officers on campus.

The USF Police Department is currently in contract negotiations with the university. The spokesperson for USF, Ken Gullette, said that the university wants to fill all the police vacancies. He says USF will higher police salaries during contract negotiations.

Lt. Meg Ross, the public information officer for the USF Police Department, said there are 40 uniformed police officers employed by the department and there are nine vacancies.

Four additional positions recently were created because of a new grant. Ross also said it is department policy that at least four officers are on duty at any time. Because the salaries that are paid to USF Police by the university are not competitive with nearby departments, many USF officers leave for more lucrative salaries elsewhere.

James Dragna is the senior associate vice president for Student Affairs, but his position has not been appointed. He sent an email on October 3 that raised concerns by students about misappropriations of university funds.

Dragna told WMNF about some of the examples of waste he saw at USF that might have led to not enough money being allocated to the USF Police Department.

Dragna said when he brought his concerns to Cindy Visot, the chief of staff to USF President Judy Genshaft, she told him that he would not be reappointed to his position.

USF spokesperson Ken Gullette said that Dragna did not follow the proper procedures to bring attention to mismanagement of funds.

“There were some allegations made in an email., Gullette said.

But Dragna said he did follow proper procedures.

Gullette said that when appropriating large amounts of money, there will always be people who are not satisfied with where the money goes. Learn More:

USF Student Government

USF Police Department

USF Division of Student Affairs

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