Fellow Bulls, recently there has been a lot of interest surrounding the Order of the Bull as well as many opinions based on lies. This organization was formed by intellectuals and student leaders at USF St. Petersburg three years ago.
Our purpose is simple — students first. It has been rumored that we are a nefarious group and these rumors are muddled from small truths. The Order of the Bull has transcended “organization” and has become an idea, a belief and a truth.
This truth is at the highest levels of your Student Government and to the newest of members of the USFSP community. At an academic institution, one would think the truth is held in higher regard.
Since our conception, a crucible has been forced upon us. A process as simple as registering as a recognized affiliate of the USFSP became a yearlong battle for our very existence. What organization is subjected to such scrutiny and for what purpose? That truth lies with the Order of the Bull and members within the Office of Leadership and Student Organization.
The authority to mandate fees to attend college in the state of Florida is delegated to the university by law with the intention of setting up activities & services, technology and green energy for students.
We pay more activity & services fees per credit hour than any other university in the state of Florida. Student Government is entrusted with $3 million paid to them by students to provide activities and services to the student body, while we are pacified by the occasional slice of pizza and movie showing on campus, the university reaps the benefits of hundreds of thousands of dollars willingly handed to them by naive students.
While student services are cut, your senators approve the dispersal of hundreds of thousands of dollars under the guidance of non-students for purposes that put the university as the direct beneficiary. Simple answers to complex questions are the modus operandi of our “leaders.”
An obvious example of the hypocrisy by our student leaders is their call for cuts and lower tuition, while simultaneously flocking to the polls to vote 87 percent in the affirmative to keep a student fee (SGEF) alive.
Yes, 87 percent of students voted to keep their tuition raised with a majority agreeing to do so on borrowed money. The Green Fee amounts to over $140,000 in economic activity. This expansion of student fees could go towards student loans but rather it accumulates compounding interest because we, as students, have been convinced that it is our responsibility to do what the University should be doing while accruing their debt.
We recognize this seems as if we are fighting against green energy and sustainability.
We recognize arguing against green energy and sustainability is an uphill battle. Our fight is not against sustainability, but rather against those who wish to pay for it with student dollars rather than lobbying the university to clear up its own carbon footprint.
We fight for the students first and foremost because it has become obvious to us that the only time students truly see advocation is when the interest is mutually aligned with that of the university.
Students want cultural enrichment and a true college experience. Students do not want to be the financiers of an institution that already charge too much for attendance. Look around your campus.
There is a good chance that what you are seeing is something that was paid for, not with tuition dollars, but fees. When you get your student loan statement and understand the weight of your compounding interest you must ask yourself, “was it worth it?”
As of the time of this printing the University has revoked the OTB’s status as an active Student Organization.
-Supreme Council, Order of the Bull
Former Student Body President