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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

USF leaders plan "peaceful sit-in"



USF student leaders plan to protest with a "peaceful sit-in" on campus Tuesday morning -- their tactic for reversing what they say is university officials' unresponsiveness to allegations against USF's top student affairs administrator. Student body president Garrin Flowers said the protest will begin at 11 a.m. in front of the Marshall Center on the main Tampa campus, and students will march from there to the administrative offices of President Judy Genshaft.

Ousted student affairs official James Dragna, sent an e-mail to dozens of colleagues earlier this month accusing USF student affairs vice president Jennifer Meningall of misspending, abusive treatment of her employees, and improper hiring. She denies the accusations. The matter is being investigated by USF's audit and compliance office, but USF spokesman Ken Gullette dismissed Dragna's claims with a press release earlier this month that announced a "preliminary self-review" found no grounds to support Dragna's allegations.

Flowers said Meningall's office has not responded properly to the USF police chief's well-documented concerns about the thin ranks of his officers, and the need for more competitive salaries and training. Student government leaders also question her department's handling of student health fees and other money.

Flowers said he met with Genshaft last week, but she insisted the USF general counsel be present.

Flowers said student government leaders want Dragna's contract renewed, and more money allocated to the police department.

"We want our campus made safe," he said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:24am]


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