During the 2014-2015 school year, the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC) spent more than $600 on a coffee machine, more than $200 on picture frames and $1,400 on SGLC-branded Nike zip jackets, according to SGLC spending reports shared with The Phoenix.
SGLC’s budget, which also funds scholarships for some of its members, comes from the Student Development fee. This fee also funds the Wellness Center, Halas membership, the intercampus shuttle bus and 8-Ride. Last year, the Student Development fee was $393 per student per semester. The Division of Student Development did not respond to Phoenix requests for how much of the fee goes to the SGLC budget.
Former President Flavio Bravo and former Vice President and current President Michael Fasullo defended the purchases made during their time in office. They said all of the purchases were included in their August spending plan and approved by Student Activities and Greek Affairs.
“When you look at our overall spending, the vast majority of it has been for students’ benefits,” said Fasullo.
Although SGLC spent the entirety of its $29,700 budget this past year, Fasullo said that the 2013-14 government had a surplus of $17,000 from its $28,000 budget.
“We were trying to show that we appreciate the funds and we were trying to make the most of them,” said Bravo.
SGLC’s budget is split into 14 different funds, one for each Senate committee. The money is usually spent on the operating costs of the committees, as well as dinners, banquets and retreats.
SGLC purchased an industry-grade, $633 coffee brewer for their biweekly tabling events, but Bravo and Fasullo said the machine was broken the day it arrived. Fasullo said an Aramark employee offered to fix the machine, but Fasullo hasn’t had an opportunity to bring it down to the Aramark office.
“I’ll be the first to admit, this coffee machine has turned out to be a bust for us. Every student government has made mistakes, [and] this one purchase has been a mistake,” Fasullo said.
Fasullo said the $1,058 in ink purchased by SGLC could have also been avoided, but the university required SGLC to purchase ink through Hewlett-Packard, Loyola’s preferred vendor. He showed The PHOENIX emails confirming this.
“The ink quantity that [the university’s preferred vendors] supply is much higher than we need. I found another vendor that had less quantity, but every student [organization] has to abide by the preferred vendor list,” he said, adding that the ink purchased may last up to three years.
The $256.90 picture frames contain photos of students and now hang in the SGLC office in Damen.
“These picture frames were all a marketing campaign. This is a new year. We wanted to say, ‘What do you want your student government to do?’” Fasullo said.
Bravo cited the name change from Unified Student Government Association to Student Government of Loyola Chicago and the $1,404 in Nike jackets as other parts of this campaign. Fasullo said purchasing the jackets was optional and SGLC members who wanted one had to pay half the cost of the $36 jacket.
“We want students to know [we’re] part of student government,” he said.
Loyola administrators did not respond to requests for comment on the purchases.
“It is my hope that SGLC continues to spend the overwhelming majority of our budget on directly benefitting students. This is what we have strived to do in the past and what I hope to continue to do in the future. Additionally, we will continue to make expenditures that help us run efficiently so we can best serve students,” wrote Fasullo.