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FGCU Student Government loses funds and patience

Student Government representatives shifted anxiously in their seats while they received a lesson in money management from the vice president of student affairs Tuesday night.

After a lengthy review and reminder to student senators of how critical their role is at the university, Michael Rollo announced to the student leaders that their fiscal privileges were being modified.

Later in the meeting Student Body President Juan Cubillo called out ex-senator Joseph Russo, who has been publicly critical of Cubillo’s management of SG funds.

A cash account that has been under the control of Florida Gulf Coast University’s SG the past four years is no longer active, Rollo announced at the meeting. The funds, which are transferred to SG from the Programming Board, consist of 20 percent of the annual revenue earned from Eaglepalooza and Rock the Nest. Until now, this money was under the control of the student body president. Now the money will be dispersed to an auxiliary account separate from SG.

Rollo was not expecting to make the formal announcement at last night’s meeting, so he was unable to provide specific answers as to where the money will go and who will have control over it.

“The cash account money will probably go back to the Activities and Services fund as a concert account,” Rollo said. “Only Programming Board should make any money at all because they’re in charge of concerts.”

The exact process and allocation of these funds will be deliberated in upcoming weeks, but now they are frozen. After an audit by the IRS, Rollo discovered that FGCU was the only state university to have private cash accounts separate from its official budget for each fiscal eyars. SG was supposed to use these funds as an overflow account in times of need, only requiring approval of their own party to dip into funds, with no other accountability.

“We are a business,” Rollo said. “We have very little freedom with money. Every penny is watched.”

Immediately after Rollo finished his speech and exited the meeting Cubillo responded to allegations made at the previous senate meeting by senior Joseph Russo, who claimed that Cubillo mismanaged university money. Cubillo accused Russo of harassment and a hidden agenda, and Russo’s reaction prompted a call to University Police to have him removed. Senators responded by making multiple statements throughout the rest of the proceedings regarding etiquette and behavioral expectations.

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