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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


SG reps tout Brightline discounts, textbook support

Student Government (SG) works to provide resources for students. Here are the programs SG has implemented this Fall semester.
FAU students gather at Tin Roof to watch the FAU Owls face off against the Clemson Tigers.
Courtesy of Bradley Swan
FAU students gather at Tin Roof to watch the FAU Owls face off against the Clemson Tigers.

Student Government (SG) has been busy this semester in order to provide students with ample resources. SG’s goals this semester are to help students get the education they need, have fun, and save as much money as possible. They are doing this through countless programs like their partnerships with Brightline and Lyft, the Textbook Support Program, Owls Ending Hunger, and their medical program partnership with Student Health Services (SHS).

Making transportation accessible

SG has helped make train transportation cheaper for students through their new Brightline x FAU partnership. Students can get up to 25% off of train rides by logging into their FAU email when booking them. Any email ending in fau.edu or health.fau.edu can take advantage of this opportunity.

SG Vice President Bradley Swan said, “Our main goal was to provide affordable transportation for all students, faculty, and alumni. The Brightline was a perfect way to do this since students can now travel from Miami to Orlando at reduced rates.”

When booking a brightline ticket, there are two different types of tickets you can get. Those with FAU emails are able to save 25% when selecting SMART travel, and 10% when selecting premium travel. Swan had been working on a partnership with Brightline for a long time, considering he felt it would be mutually beneficial for both those related to FAU and Brightline. 

“FAU has much to offer with about 30,000 students and almost 110,000 alumni from West Palm down to the Keys. With the Brightline expanding to Orlando, and other locations in the future, the partnership between two growing institutions seemed mutually beneficial,” said Swan.

Another significant use of transportation accessible to all students is Lyft. SG has revamped their Lyft x FAU program in order to allow students to save money when using the transportation app. Twice a month, students are able to get five dollars off of their Lyft rides. Swan said, “The goal is to provide 2,800 discounted Lyft rides per month, allowing us to support as many FAU students as possible.

Offering financial support

The Textbook Support Program is being reimplemented from last year and will be accessible for 200 students per semester.

According to SG Chief Financial Officer Stefan Andjelekovi, the initial budget for this program was $20,000, however thanks to a partnership with FAU Athletics, that budget is now doubled to $40,000. That way, each of those 400 students would get reimbursed $300 instead of $100 for their books. This semester’s spots have already been filled, however, students should be on the look out for when next semester’s applications will come. Applications should come out during winter break, and spots go fast, so Andjelekovic’s advice is to “get them early.”

Students should also stay on the lookout for SG’s relaunch of free Grammarly Premium next semester, a program that will benefit 5,000 students.

A new program coming to FAU in pending weeks is the FAU Health Program. SG and SHS have partnered up to provide 375 students per semester with $60 of credit for checkups and any medical assistance they may need on campus. According to Andjelekovic, over 7,000 students see FAU medical services for care per semester. This program is meant to “help alleviate some of that burden” of medical and college expenses. The details of this program have not been fully finalized, but SG hopes for students to access these benefits soon. For more information on this program go to: https://www.upressonline.com/2023/06/sg-to-fund-health-program-for-uninsured-students/

Fighting food insecurity

SG is also working to help students who are unable to financially access food through the Owls Ending Hunger Program, which works in tandem with the  Parking Citation Forgiveness Program, where SG pays for a student’s parking ticket once a semester as long as they donate three canned non-perishable food items. Those canned goods are then placed in mini food pantries across campus.

According to SG president, Dalia Cavillo, SG’s President’s Administrative Cabinet works to re-stock the mini food pantries in each residential hall every two weeks. These pantries can be found in the main lobbies of each residence hall and in the Student Union. 

Another food pantry has recently been installed in the first floor of the S.E. Wimberly Library and is accessible for students. SG will also continue providing students facing food insecurity with free meal vouchers to use at the Atlantic Dining Hall.

“Due to high demand on food vouchers and perishable goods, we just made a purchase request of $10,000 for additional food vouchers for our students,” said Cavillo.

Increasing student engagement

SG has also tried to maintain student engagement this semester by increasing student interest in FAU athletics. In September, SG hosted two away-game watch parties at Tin Roof of Delray Beach. Over 300 students and alumni 18 and older were able to attend completely free of cost and got food and drink deals in order to promote FAU take on both Clemson and Illinois. 

“I had a lot of students and alumni tell me it was the most fun FAU event they had been to. I believe that having a place where everyone can cheer on FAU raises the morale of our student body and drives engagement,” Swan said.

SG is also providing FAU students with discounted tickets for the FAU v. USF game in Tampa, Fla. The original cost of tickets for this game was $50, but with the joint effort of FAU’s Athletics Director Brian White and SG, now tickets are only $5 for FAU students.

These discounted tickets are to help promote student engagement in not only home games, but away games as well. The USF v. FAU game will be held at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on October 14.

SG is still working to create programs in order to make student life easier for students. They are dedicated to making FAU ‘paradise’ and helping students not have to worry as much financially.

“I really love creating programs that will save kids money,” Andjelekovic said, “We’re representing FAU in the utmost way with these programs.” 

SG is determined to make college a happy experience for young adults, rather than stressful and financially burdening. 

“When Bradley and I ran for our positions, we had three main goals in mind: create the campus life that everyone deserves, aid students with any financial relief possible and provide discounted transportation. So far, we have been able to achieve this by launching innovative programs to FAU,” said Calvillo.

Aliyana Vasquez is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information on this story or others, contact her at [email protected]

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    MatthewOct 11, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    Great story!!!!!