Spinnaker editorial of March 27


Spring break is the ideal opportunity for students to escape from classes and campus. Or is it?

If any of you weren’t paying attention to your UNF email or chose to travel during the week we had off, then you missed two significant meetings.

The UNF Board of Trustees met March 19 and proposed to increase the Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee.

The CITF fund is used to pay for non-academic buildings, such as student unions, cafeterias and recreational fields.

According to information from the Florida Board of Governors, the fee can be increased by any amount no more than $2 per year, and must ensure an emphasis on student participation.

It’s a shame that the forum in which they decided to pass the fee not only didn’t emphasize student participation, it constrained it.

The Board of Trustees could argue that few students attend their meetings even when they aren’t during university holidays. But this time, there wasn’t a Spinnaker reporter there either. We, like our peers, tend to take a much needed rest over spring break — which means you’re not getting this news as promptly as we could have provided it otherwise.

And that’s significant, because the Board of Trustees doesn’t put its minutes online immediately — that would be the best way to know what happened if you couldn’t read a Spinnaker story.

The second meeting students missed probably would have drawn a much larger crowd if they had known about it — it was a forum to discuss the proposed smoking ban. This is the kind of issue students deserve the opportunity to speak up about.

Why, then, was the forum scheduled for the first day we returned from spring break? Why was the email promoting this forum sent while we were on spring break?

Tully Burnett, the associate director of Auxiliary Services, attended the meeting. He said students should have been given proper notice about the forum. We certainly agree.

Both of these missteps are an unfortunate display of the amount of decision-making that takes place far from the eyes and ears of the student body.

Supposedly there will be at least one more forum regarding the proposed ban before any steps are taken to implement it. We hope those in charge will go out of their way to ensure that more than the lone student at this meeting attend the next one.

But the best way to ensure that the university doesn’t make these kinds of mistakes is to get involved. You, students, are the only ones that can convince them that you must — that you demand to — be heard.