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Beef Studs/Auburn Trip


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In the Oracle today there was an article about how a former SG member/current Beef Stud tried to use $1100 of SG money to fund their trip to Auburn.

They voted on approving the funds at a meeting where quorum wasn't held and there wasnt a majority to vote.

Way to go guys, I am glad they are the faceplate for school spirit at USF

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coming on the SAME day that the Tampa Trib had a HUGE article on the front page about the mismanagment of Money by the USF student government.

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Oh God...it's like it never ends.

Some people need better judgement.  Did he think no one would find out?

So many students went to that game.  And they all paid for it on their own!  What makes the Studs any different?  I really hope that someone sees that this is a big deal and handles the situation the right way!  This news is just getting so ******* old.

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i dont know any beef studs personally, so i dont want to pass judgment on the whole group....

BUT...

everything you hear about this group is extremely negative.  seems like they just need to part ways with this group.

:cue faza to come in here and complain:

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I love their spirit but they do just as much bad as good IMO.  I think they should have an entrance exam (about USF athletics and all of its teams) to keep people who just want to be recognized or a part of the group out. 

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OK fine, I'll bite. Yeah, I'm getting tired of negative press too, especially when so many folks have been working so hard to turn them around 100%. I'll put in a positive one the Oracle ran last week at the end. Here's the article thebouncer is talking about:

New budget chair in wake of scandal

Joshua Neiderer, Editor-in-Cheif

Issue date: 9/18/07

Section: News

Nearly one month after their Budget chair resigned under questionable circumstances, Student Government welcomed a new chair of their Funding and Transfers Committee last week.

SG senator Juan Carlos Soltero replaces Matthew Coppens, who was accused of using his position to authorize a budget transfer for the Beef Studs, of which he was a ranking member.

Soltero takes the job just three months after transferring to USF's Tampa campus from the University's St. Petersburg campus, where he sat on the SG Budget Committee and served as a vice chair.

Soltero said he served as a member of both the Rules and Internal Affairs committees over the summer and sat in on budget meetings to find out how SG functions.

He was made a voting member of the committee and already has ideas as to how he wants to change the operations.

"I plan on (the Budget Committee) to be completely different from when (Coppens) ran it," Soltero said. "He would take care of all the internal stuff and then bring it to the committee to vote."

Problems for Coppens began toward the end of August when members of SG Administrative Services (SGAS) took notice of a suspicious budget transfer.

Coppens authorized a transfer of $1,100 from the Beef Studs materials fund to their travel fund. The transfer would have helped pay for their trip to the USF football game Sept. 8 in Auburn.

Coppens, though not a member of the club's executive board, was active in the Beef Studs and signed on as the responsible traveler for the trip.

"SGAS believes a conflict of interest has occurred in that the SG Budget Committee chairman Matthew Coppens was serving his personal interests as an executive member of the Beef Studs while serving as the SG Budget Committee chairman," the memo states.

Suspicions were roused when SGAS noticed that confirmation for hotel reservations - covered by travel funds - were sent to Coppens' e-mail address, according to an internal memo.

Coppens said the ethical questions raised did not pertain to his case since he was not the fiscal officer or a member of the executive board of the Beef Studs.

"I advocated for the Beef Studs as I would have for College Republicans as I would have for the chess club," Coppens said in a written statement. "It was my personal goal to see all student organizations get funding that would be used to assist them in their ventures."

After SGAS conducted further research into the matter, they approached SG senate president Nathan Davison, who then discussed the issue with Coppens.

"With all the things going on with (former student body president) Barclay (Harless) in the background we had to maintain integrity," he said. "We didn't threaten (Coppens) but encouraged him to resign. We went through all the proper channels. "

All elected officials can be subject to the impeachment process or a vote of no confidence, Davison said.

A week before he was presented with the possibility of impeachment, Coppens said he had drafted a letter of resignation in response to an increased course load.

Soltero hopes to avoid this sort of controversy by maintaining transparency.

"I want to be fair to all organizations and consistent throughout," he said. "I'll follow the guidelines for Student Government to form decisions. I want to be informed, be fair, be honest and let everyone know what's going on in the budget."

Ultimately the funds transfer was rejected by SGAS director David Armstrong, who said it was unfair for members of the Beef Studs to receive money for travel while 3,000 other students would have to pay full price to travel to Auburn.

Beef Studs president Michael Uglialoro said Coppens made the request while the group was disorganized, in an attempt to help.

"We didn't have any ulterior motives," he said. "The Beef Studs is not a closed group; anyone is free to join. Just find us before a game and we'll give you some food, a non-alcoholic drink and paint you up."

Cue Faza's response, yet again trying to help clarify things from afar...

My understanding is that this article was more of an expose on yet another SG officer, and that Matt was pressured over this more because of the backlash from the recent scandal with former student body president Barclay Harless. SG is still smarting from it, and wants to behave in a reactionary manner to ensure nothing further. It just happened to be over an issue regarding this particular organization. In addition, it also had to do with a lot of petty bickering that goes on as often as breathing air in Student Government, and Matt was unfortunately in over his head, I suppose.

The way Student Government works is that the Budget Chair presents the budget requests of all student organizations to the weekly Budget Committee, which reviews them and votes to approve, to approve with cuts, or to deny. Essentially, an committee of about 1/4 to 1/3 of the Senate (members of the Budget Committee) was supposed to have voted in favor of this bill. Then, the bill has to be approved on the Senate floor. It also gets seen by SG Administrative Services. Matt took the blame, but your SG Senators had to have voted to approve the bill. In addition, the money had to have originally been approved for only purchases that SG Statutes allow.

Now look, I see both sides of the argument. As someone who paid for their own trip to Auburn on a credit card that I likely won't pay off until I'm 35, I can see why folks wouldn't be happy to see one organization be supported by SG dollars. On the other hand, you'd find it HILARIOUS how many student organizations use money on completely frivolous purchases. Everything from unnecessary amounts of food, parties, conference attendances that are really just social occasions, and a number of other things which amount to social events that have nothing to do with education or the mission of the organization. Oh, they'll write it up as a "cultural celebration," an "end-of-the-year-banquet," or a number of other names that may or may not be true, depending on the organization. I remember one year, I think it was 2001, when an organization I was in reimbursed the Treasurer with SG money for kegs and alcohol he bought for a kegger, but he turned in grocery reciepts or something as though it was shopping for food for a social event sponsored by the org. Hell, Student Government even paid money for its OWN end-of-the-year dinner banquet on a cruise ship. So, while I can understand that if you look at just the Beef Studs getting money to go to Auburn, I can see why you wouldn't think they should get it over anyone else. On the other hand, that is the mission of their organization, and hundreds of other organizations get money for hotels, food, etc to go to social conferences or throw parties at USF.

I don't have an opinion on whether they should have gotten the money. The fact is, they didn't get the money. As someone who spent time on ASRC, the committee that approves SG organization budgets, I can tell you that if this had been some other organization, I probably would have voted in favor of it, because there's a ton of SG money that goes unused or towards stupid things every year, and I always felt student organizations should be empowered to do what they do, even if it isn't 100% educational. As long as new administrations get to earmark money for dumb pet projects, SG spends WAY more money on itself than on student organizations, and various campus departments keep hitting SG up for money for things that the university keeps cutting from their budgets, student orgs should be advocated for. And yeah, I voted to deny things that were totally frivolous, too.

In any case, if this had been some other student organization, it wouldn't have mattered. This got written up because of the current political situation in SG. Under normal circumstances, stuff like this happens almost on a weekly basis, but they take care of it internally and nobody hears about it. Normally, Dave Armstrong would have just approached the Budget Committee and let them know it wasn't a kosher approval and asked them to vote on it again. Or, it would have been voted down on the Senate floor. Or, Dave would have just not allowed it to happen, and that would have been that.

I thought I would also add, I think Matt was acting more unilaterally on this one. I don't want to rub any wounds or anything if he happens to read this message board, but I think he knows that the situation wasn't handled well. The organization didn't submit a trip to Auburn at the beginning of the year for a budget request, so this wasn't something they asked for, or there wouldn't have needed to be a transfer. Even if they did ask for a transfer, they relied on Matt to know whether it would be allowed, and Matt still would have needed an entire committee of SG Senators to vote to approve it. If there was some error like no quorum or something, Matt should have known not to push it, and wait until the following week. This wasn't "the Beef Studs' conspiracy to get funded for things they don't deserve." I think it was just bad judgement to act on good intentions that happened at the wrong time. Finally, again, this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME in Student Government. Every member of SG is also a member of other organizations, and it's not like the "recuse themselves" when the Senate votes on funding for their organization.

Again, I'm not trying to defend the Beef Studs, because I'm trying to say that this article was written about corruption in SG, and the incident named happened to involve that organization's budget. I bet someone on the inside of SG right now could name a bunch more that have happened in the past year and have been resolved without press.

Here's that other article I mentioned to you, the one that was actually good press.

The true meaning of southern hospitality

Joe Rienzi, Columnist

Issue date: 9/11/07

Section: Sports

On Saturday night, USF football proved that it is ready to play ball with anybody in the nation. The Bulls went into Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium in front of a national television audience and beat the Tigers 26-23 in overtime. I was fortunate enough to go to the game, but I could not have done so if it were not for one of USF's most recognizable student organizations.

The Beef Studs stand out at every USF game they attend. They are usually hard to ignore. The Beef Studs - and Beef Babes, as the female members are known - paint their bodies green and gold, don bull horns and hula skirts and make sure every USF fan in attendance is ready to support the team. Most people recognize them from football, but the Beef Studs show support for the Bulls in all sports.

"We go to the basketball games, soccer games, and pretty much any game USF has at home," senior and member of the Beef Studs Greg Vogel said. "The most important thing for us is to let our teams know that they have some support."

The Beef Studs go to sporting events around campus and will travel to away games if transportation is not a problem. However, I learned that the Beef Studs are more than just a crazy group of fans at sporting events around campus.

"We go to some events around campus, too," Beef Studs member Reed Johnson said. "We went to the Round-Up and recruited a bunch of new Studs."

The Beef Studs go above and beyond to support the Bulls in any way they can. When Beef Studs president Michael Uglialoro invited me to Auburn, I was skeptical at first. These green and gold fans had intimidated me since I was a freshman. However, the Beef Studs were much more than I ever could have imagined.

The drive to Alabama was a lot of fun. Greg Vogel and Reed Johnson helped dispel any rumors about the organization during the trip.

"We're about having fun, making friends, and supporting USF," Vogel said.

Johnson felt like people at USF had the wrong impression of the Beef Studs.

"We don't want people to think that because we paint up, we get crazy," Johnson said. "We are all very laid back, and none of the Studs ever look for any trouble."

When we arrived in Alabama, everybody in the Beef Studs predicted that we would get a harsh welcome. I was not particularly optimistic about a warm welcome either. I mean, we did go into the heart of football country. Alabama is known for having die-hard fans, and I thought that I was in for a long weekend.

The Beef Studs were ready for the game at dawn - literally. At 6:45 a.m. local time, several group members were taking volunteers to be the first Bulls at the stadium. I decided to get a few hours of shut-eye.

By 11:00 a.m. Saturday, I was staring at one of the largest stadiums in the nation. Jordan-Hare towered over the Auburn campus. It looked as menacing as anything I had ever seen before. I just knew that 83,000 people in orange would tear USF fans apart. As we got to the area where the Beef Studs held pre-game festivities - which included handing out free Red Bull and hamburgers - I thought I was going to smell like somebody's half empty beverage.

As I set up a chair, Auburn student Rob Jenkins approached me. I tried to act cool, but I soon learned that I had no reason to try.

"You guys came all the way up here for the game?" Jenkins said.

"Yeah, it was a nice trip," I replied, noticing my voice had an unfamiliar twang in it, more than likely because I had heard it all the way from the car to the stadium.

"You guys need to come over here and hang out with us," Jenkins said. "We have a bunch of food, and we just want to see a good game."

Huh? Was this a joke? Was this the way people talked trash in Alabama?

This was no joke. In fact, nearly every Auburn fan had this attitude. They welcomed the Beef Studs - and by association, me - with open arms.

The Beef Studs and Tiger fans mingled for hours. People told stories, played football and a game called bags, where you throw bags onto a wooden platform with holes. There was even a rendition of the song "Sweet Caroline," led by my new friend, Jenkins. Auburn fans showed the Beef Studs the meaning of southern hospitality.

However, a scuffle broke out near the Beef Studs tent, though no Beef Studs were involved. In fact, Michael Uglialoro was decisive in removing anyone associated with the Beef Studs from the area of the fight.

"That is not something we condone or want to be involved in," Uglialoro said. "We are here to have a good time with awesome people and represent our University."

So, after the little rumble, the Beef Studs marched toward Jordan-Hare. Everyone with the Studs began their pre-game chant: "Oh-we-oh! Go Bulls!" They repeated the chant all the way through the gates and to their seats.

Fans in the stadium greeted the Studs with high fives, asked for photos, and still wished them good luck. Auburn has the nicest fans I've ever met. Even at halftime, fans were saying "good luck" when they saw any USF fan.

After the dramatic end to the game, the USF section of the stadium echoed throughout Jordan-Hare. As the sea of orange parted for the exits in silence, the USF marching band, Herd of Thunder, played the school fight song, and the 3,500 USF students got a small round of applause. Again, Auburn had awesome fans.

After the game I walked to the car with Johnson and Vogel. Auburn fans gave us their congratulations, Diet Cokes and a chicken dinner. In the end, the students and fans of Auburn made the experience more fantastic than anyone could have hoped.

On the way home, Vogel and Johnson were excited at the possibility of having new Beef Studs and Babes upon their return to Tampa.

"All people have to do is find us at our spot at Raymond James," Vogel said. "People just need to be a fan, and they're more than welcome to join up with us."

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I'd rather have the Beef Studs on campus than not at all. Hell, I even tried to join last year but everything was so disorganized that I gave up.

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Half that money in SG is wasted on stuff 90% of the students dont see/care about anyways. Might as well sponsor some people on an awesome trip to Auburn

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