SG President to assess Spinnaker funding friction

Christian Ayers

Student Government President Joseph Turner fielded questions during Student Government’s (SG) press conference on Feb. 13. The 2015-2016 Activity and Service fee budget needs Turner’s signature before it can pass.

“There’s always going to be, I guess sort of, I don’t want to say tension, that’s probably a bad word, so I’m going to say friction,” Turner said. “Friction between Student Government and student media just because that’s just sort of the relationship, and I want that to be the case.”

Turner said this type of friction is positive for both SG and Spinnaker Media.

“There’s a very important role of the media as a watchdog government to keep us in check, keep us in balance,” Turner said. “That’s not to say we should hate each other and be at odds all the time, and I don’t think that’s the case.”

Despite the chafing between Spinnaker Media and SG, both organizations are equally concerned about the students.

“[SG and Spinnaker] are very passionate and dedicated, we all want to serve the student body, we all want this campus to be a better place and we all want the same things, we’re just part of different organizations,” Turner said.

Turner said he isn’t really phased by the problems Spinnaker and SG have had concerning Spinnaker’s funding.

“I don’t think there’s any sort of animosity on either side, and none of the negativity, or complaints about the process, or budgets, or what people did or didn’t do, they don’t really affect me,” Turner said. “At the end of the day what affects me is if there are problems or feelings out there that ultimately will lead to a negative impact to students, that’s what bothers me.”

President Joseph Turner is given a maximum of five business days to approve the budget once it reaches his desk.    Photo by Christian Ayers
President Joseph Turner is given a maximum of five business days to approve the budget once it reaches his desk.
Photo by Christian Ayers

Turner is given a maximum of five business days to approve the budget once it reaches his desk. In the meantime, Turner plans to meet with Spinnaker leaders, including Publisher Shannon Pulusan, to address their concerns with SG’s funding mechanism.

Pulusan said she thinks the friction between SG and Spinnaker is based on ethics, not their relationship.

“I think the friction between Student Government and Spinnaker stems from the fact that we report on them,” Pulusan said. “Like Joseph Turner mentioned, we kind of keep [SG] in check. Whether they agree with our content or not is a conflict of interests if we’re stating objectively what happens.”

Pulusan said Spinnaker leaders did not reach out to Turner because SG hasn’t solved Spinnaker’s funding problem.

Spinnaker leaders have scheduled meetings with Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez and UNF President John Delaney to get the budget issue taken care of.

“We feel like we’ve been reiterating the same information, the same facts, whether it’s the Treasurer or Senate and our points haven’t really got across to them,” Pulusan said. “Besides, Turner was present in the Senate meeting to begin with. Whatever we’re going to discuss with him is essentially what we’ve said before, over and over. He already knows what’s going on.”

Turner also announced the appointment of Dana Baker as his new Attorney General during the press conference. Baker previously served as Deputy Chief Justice.

No other SG business was discussed at the press conference. Turner said he will make his final decision on the budget on either Feb. 20 or Feb. 23, depending on when he received the proposal.

For more information or news tips, contact Christian Ayers at [email protected]; if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

2/18/15 at 2:30 p.m. – Updated with video