USG votes to award book scholarships

By Gus Bode

Undergraduate Student Government voted to reward three students per year with scholarships valued between $300 and $700 to go toward their books.

USG President Chiquita Watts and Chief of Staff Steven Turner announced during Tuesday’s meeting that $90,000 would go toward scholarships for three students every year, from next fall until the money runs out.

USG reclaimed the money from Graduate and Professional Student Council in 2007. GPSC had received more money than it was due because of a mistake in the way the student activity fee money was distributed.


Vice President Vincent Hardy said he thought it was a good idea to award students who may not have the necessary funding to buy their books.

‘I can count on one hand some of my peers who, at midterm, still don’t have all their books,’ Hardy said. ‘It’s not because they don’t want to get them. It’s because they can’t.’

Watts said she and Hardy met with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Larry Dietz Tuesday to discuss the plan.

Watts said other ideas were discussed, but Dietz wanted something that would have longevity.

‘My first idea was to divide it into $30,000 increments and have it to fund (Registered Student Organizations’) events for the next three years,’ Watts said. ‘But he thought we should do something that would last longer.’

Watts said the first scholarship will be given out’ April 9 at the T-Shirt Appreciation Ball. All students will be eligible for the award. Applications can be picked up in the USG office.

The money was mistakenly allocated between fiscal years 2004 and 2006. The fee was assessed according to credit hours, meaning students who took more classes paid more money. However, the money was divided between USG and GPSC based on how many undergraduate and graduate students paid it. Because graduate students typically take fewer credit hours, they did not pay in as much money as they received when the money was allocated by headcount.


USG reclaimed the $90,000 difference in fall 2007.’

Turner said he wanted to do something that would help a mass number of students, but this plan made the most sense.

‘We understand that three scholarships doesn’t help the rest of the university, but don’t think we’re not here listening,’ Turner said. ‘We’re actively searching for new avenues in order to lower cost not only in books, but in finance and all around the board.’

Stile Smith can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268