USG helps reassess theology, philosophy requirements

By , University Affairs Editor  |  Sunday, October 13, 2013 10:08 PM

Undergraduate Student Government President Jenna Johnson confirmed Sunday that steps have been taken to re-evaluate the number of philosophy and theology courses the university requires for graduation.

Although President Julie Sullivan has neither confirmed nor denied cutting requirement courses, Johnson said the president supports comparing St. Thomas’ curriculum to other schools in the region. 130303_USG

“We presented the idea to a panel of professors last week … I wasn’t aware of this, but one of the professors said (changing the requirement) has been taken into consideration before,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the council plans to meet with Vice President of Student Affairs Jane Canney after USG gathers more research about alternative curricula. USG will not take further action or present the idea formally to the philosophy or theology departments until more research is acquired.

Process started for smartphone application

A Friday meeting made some headway on USG’s goal to develop a smartphone application that will provide an updated student event and activity calendar. Johnson said she and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Ann Ryan plan to meet with Information and Resource Technology Tuesday to discuss the app’s specifications.

The council also voted to approve competition and travel fund requests for the Hockey Club, Foreign Affairs Club and Model United Nations, the Knights of Columbus and the Academic Quiz Bowl team.

Although the finance committee settled on fund allotments for all clubs, Vice President of Financial Affairs Anne George said the St. Thomas-issued laptop with all of the data malfunctioned, and the council will have the opportunity to vote on it after IRT reboots the system. George said USG will distribute about $150,000 to clubs if the budget is approved.

Diverse Students in Business Club movement tabled

Student Organizations Chair Heather Clayton moved to approve the Diverse Students in Business Club. After a 15-minute discussion about what would make the club unique from other business organizations, the council tabled the vote for its Oct. 27 meeting.

“It’s great that we have such an open discussion going on because it’s our campus, and this seems to be something that matters to these students,” Clayton said. “What’s really most important, and what we’ll ask them to focus on, is what they think this club could bring to campus that they see is missing.”

Although Clayton stated the organization would comply with USG’s constitutional standards, the council requested more information to determine whether the club would have longevity, would be unique and fulfill a specific purpose for the university.

Executive Vice President Sean Ness said the executive board held a meeting with university administration Friday morning to discuss the council’s 2013-2014 initiatives and neighborhood relations.

Ness said the council should begin to formulate specific action plans for accomplishing initiatives by the next general meeting and developing ways to measure how they are progressing.

Anastasia Straley can be reached at

This item was posted in More News, News and has 2 comments so far.


  1. Jacob Flaherty
    Oct. 19, 2013 10:26 PM

    If this proposal should go through, I will never donate another dime to the University.  It’s ridiculous enough the campus has cut itself off from the sitting Archbishop and now has a president who apparently doesn’t think too much of traditional Catholic moral teachings.  3 strikes and you’re out, St. Thomas!  

  2. Brian Anderson
    Oct. 21, 2013 10:38 PM

    “cut itself off from the sitting Archbishop” and “president who apparently doesn’t think too much of traditional Catholic moral teaching”

    Jacob, I may not be a mathematician, but that’s only two strikes…..Play Ball UST! 

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