Kennamer/Calvillo Campaign: textbook stipend, meal swipe changes, and free Spotify and Hulu on the agenda

Presidential and vice presidential candidates Pierce Kennamer and Dalia Calvillo sat down with the UP and spoke about their goals for this fall.

Photo courtesy of Kennamer.

Photo courtesy of Kennamer.

Michael Gennaro, Managing Editor

Free Spotify and Hulu is just one of the things that Pierce Kennamer and Dalia Calvillo want to accomplish in Student Government this fall.

The UP sat down with the two candidates to discuss their campaign initiatives, which include free Spotify and Hulu subscriptions, textbook stipends and more.

Free Spotify/Hulu

Kennamer hopes to bring free Spotify and Hulu to some FAU students.

“These free services, such as Spotfy, Hulu, or Showtime, those are things that are offered by or done by other mid tier division one college campuses similar to ourselves,” Kennamer said. “And we’re looking to keep par and do better with our student services and those kind of perks that are offered.”

FAU students that live on campus already receive free Showtime and HBO Max, Kennamer said, so a program that gives students a similar service is not unattainable.

Kennamer said that he is looking to pursue an exclusive partnership with Spotify for FAU to be a featured campus. He hopes to work with Spotify to establish an opt-in program, starting small at first, with the first 1,000 FAU students to opt in getting free Spotify for a year.

Kennamer estimated that the monetary cost would be $48,000 per school year. The perk, if it comes to fruition, would be available to every FAU student until the slots are filled, regardless of credits taken or what campus the student attends.

“So we’re going to go to [Spotify] and say ‘hey, we’re gonna start with 1,000 slots.’ So students would be able to opt in to that program,” Kennamer said. “And we would say, ‘okay, we’re going to give you a flat rate for those slots, we’ll pay you up front and then we’ll fulfill them on our end,’ and all [Spotify] does is fulfill them in terms of the account billing being free.”

Kennamer knows the initiative is ambitious, but said he wants to think bigger and more outside the box.

If the initiative comes to pass and is popular, Kennamer said that it may no longer be free, but he would try to provide Spotify at a discount to students as a contingency if the program expands.

Kennamer cautioned that the program is still in the exploratory stages, and said that it is not a promise, but something he is working towards whether he wins the nomination or not.

Textbook Stipends

A textbook support program is another initiative that Kennamer is pursuing. He said there is already money that can be used for it, starting in the upcoming summer semester. The initiative hopes to provide up to $100 off of textbook purchases for students.

“It’s very tangible, it will be happening. We have a $7,500 pilot program. This next coming summer semester, we’re going to use it as a pilot to see how it’s going to work for a smaller group, being that it will just be summer students that are buying books,” Kennamer said. “And then we already have $50,000 of this year’s funding, we are cycling a portion of the unused money from this year over to next year to fund that program.”

Kennamer said that he will strive to keep the textbook stipend at $100, but depending on how popular the program is, the stipend may decrease accordingly.

Still, the $50,000 in recycled fees will be used for a textbook stipend program starting in July 2022.

“Another financial resource to lift financial burdens from students that are struggling to pay for textbooks,” Kennamer said. “An older poll, I think it was 2018, it said that over 40% of college students in the state of Florida pay over, I think it said, $200 to $300 for their textbooks per semester.”

The textbook stipend initiative will be going forward regardless of if Kennamer wins the student body President nomination, he said.

Like his Spotify initiative, Kennamer said there will be no restrictions on who can apply for the stipend. Part-time students as well as off-campus students will be able to take advantage.

Kennamer said he was inspired to start a textbook stipend initiative after the Florida legislature cut the Florida Bright Futures book stipend last year.

“If the state won’t take care of it, we’ll do our best on our campus to tackle the problem,” Kennamer said.

Swipe Out Hunger

Calvillo, Kennamer’s vice president in the SG elections, has an initiative planned to allow students to share their meal swipes with other students, rather than letting them go to waste.

Currently, students that purchase a meal plan get a set number of meal swipes per week. Even if a student does not use all their swipes in a week, they do not carry over and cannot be shared with others. Calvillo wants to change that.

“It’s basically like a bank for those swipes that are not used that other people could use on campus as well,” Calvillo said. “Like commuters, sometimes they don’t have the money to buy food on campus, it’s pretty expensive.”

Calvillo and Kennamer said food insecurity is a big problem on the campus, and the Swipe Out Hunger initiative is their answer to that problem.

“We had a survey that was sent, I believe, last semester, and the percentage of [food insecurity] was really high, something like 70%,” Calvillo said.

Calvillo has meetings coming up next month with executives from California who have implemented similar programs in their university. Her program would not come from SG’s budget, instead coming from students that have already paid for meal plans and do not use all of their swipes.

Still, Calvillo said there is room in the budget to make the initiative happen if she needs it.

Students that want to donate their swipes would be able to sign up with a form.

“Something along the lines of, ‘If you don’t use all your swipes, would you like to donate them?’” Calvillo said.

The Swipe Out Hunger initiative will be going forward regardless of if Calvillo wins the student body vice presidency, she said.

The initiative is in its early stages, and could be rolled out as soon as fall 2022 or spring 2023.


Kennamer wants to take action to stop students from getting unnecessary parking tickets. He is the one who restarted the parking forgiveness program, which pays off a student’s parking ticket if the student donates canned goods to FAU’s food pantry.

Still, Kennamer wants to go further.

“[Students] are being ticketed for being parked for 10 minutes. We need to come up with some tangible parameters as to when and where [parking enforcement] can ticket… We need to start taking steps and realizing that we’re having issues on campus, have somebody that cares enough to reach out and schedule some meetings to make a difference,” Kennamer said.

Michael Gennaro is the Managing Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or message him on Twitter or Instagram @mycoolgennaro