Volunteer Center made inactive

Sarah Ricevuto

volunteer center
The Volunteer Center is one of three Executive Agencies of Student Government. The other two are Club Alliance and Osprey Productions.

Student Body President, Carlo Fassi, made an executive order late on April 3 that said that the Volunteer Center would be made inactive due to cost inefficiency.

The Volunteer Center is an agency of Student Government that assists UNF students in getting involved in their community.

The executive order said, “The current costs associated with achieving this outcome do not justify the results.”

The Volunteer Center director Wendy Alinor said, “There was an audit to see how efficient we were.”

Alinor, who was accompanied by three advisors, said she did not know when the Volunteer Center will become inactive or what students who need proof of volunteer hours will need to do. Alinor referred the Spinnaker to Carlo Fassi for comment.

Fassi said the Volunteer Center will become inactive at the end of this week.

Every semester a supervisory board meets to evaluate the three agencies of SG, under the requirements of Title XI. These agencies include the Volunteer Center, Osprey Productions and Club Alliance.

Fassi said the members of the board recommended that SG further evaluate the Volunteer Center.

Fassi said he had Billy Namen, then the Student Body Treasurer, perform a cost analysis and found inconsistencies in attendance and after action reports. This lead Fassi to ask for a complete audit on the Volunteer Center.

The audit was completed April 3 and Fassi decided to issue an executive order to make the Volunteer Center inactive while it was further evaluated.

Despite the Volunteer Center’s inactive status, the Lend-a-Wing pantry will remain open.

Fassi said the pantry has been a state wide success and it reaches the most amount of students so it closing would negatively affect students.

Fassi says he wants to find a way on how to provide the same services with better cost efficiency. He said it is about getting students the maximum return.

Billy Namen, treasurer during the 2012-13 academic year, explains the discrepancies in the audit of the Volunteer Center. Photo from video by Sarah Ricevuto
Billy Namen, SG treasurer during the 2012-13 academic year, explains the discrepancies in the audit of the Volunteer Center.
Photo from video by Sarah Ricevuto

Billy Namen, now Vice President, explained the anomalies in the audit. Namen said there were differences between the reported attendance and the attendance he found when he went and looked at sign in sheets.

Gia Rose Ciccone, UNF alumn and former Volunteer Center Director, is calling this a broken promise. Ciccone said she was promised by Matt Brockelman and the executive cabinet that the Volunteer Center and Lend-a-Wing would remain in close ties.

Ciccone said the pantry was a way to keep the Volunteer Center active and recruit volunteers.

“It’s kind of a slap in the face for the current Volunteer Center director,” Ciccone said.

Fassi said Brockelman was able to secure the pantry and delegated the program to the Volunteer Center. He said when a president comes in, it’s their prerogative to decide what to do with these programs.

“We’ve been meeting to make a decision. This year’s Volunteer Center leadership was invited but chose not to attend.”

Fassi said the meeting discussed where else these services could be found, including the possibility of establishing a partnership with outside organizations like Hands on Jax.

“The pantry still exists and if anything, we are going to make it stronger,” Fassi said.

The Volunteer Center’s status is currently inactive. The decision to close it completely will not happen until the anomalies in the audit have been investigated.

Email Sarah Ricevuto at [email protected]