UCF SGA public relations specialist Kayla Torpey Thursday evening directly addressed questions KnightNews.com posed to her last week regarding whether it was legal for SGA to make a transfer of nearly $10,000 of student activity fees to the UCF Parking Services department.
The response came after KnightNews.com published an earlier story about how Torpey had — up to that point — refused to respond to the questions KnightNews.com posed to her last week, which also pointed out how UCF had been criticized by state auditors over improperly transferring fees in the past.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, Torpey sent KnightNews.com this emailed statement: “I need to speak with lawyers regarding that, again I will have that information available to you when I have received it.”
The statement was in response to a new series of direct and specific questions KnightNews.com posed to Torpey after an email she sent earlier Thursday afternoon did not specifically address the issue of whether it was legal for SGA to make the transfer.
“Here is the breakdown you requested in your previous e-mail,” Torpey wrote at 3:59 p.m. Thursday. “Zimride costs $9,500.00 for 1 yr, plus a $950.00 one time start up fee. This was originally a 3 year contract but was negotiated to 2 years. The cost was split 50/50 with Parking and Transportation Services. The total cost of Zimride paid by Student Government was $10,450.00 for the 2 year contract.”
Torpey concluded without specifically addressing the question posed last week regarding whether it was legal to make the transfer. “Please let me know if you have additional questions,” she wrote.
KnightNews.com responded at 5 p.m. by asking Torpey the following questions by email:
“We are still waiting to hear an answer about whether SGA is sure it is
legal to make a transfer like that of asf funds to parking services,
which we asked about last week (with enough time where it’s reasonable
to expect there to have been enough customary business hours to have
passed for at least a courtesy response that you got the request and
were working on it.)
We are also wondering:
Why doesn’t SGA pay its portion directly to the vendor after getting
an invoice for it?
Why does all money have to be tied up for 2 years in advance, instead
of billing each semester?
Is that the best use of student fees to prepay so far out? Don’t you
take a hit with the time value of money concept coming into play for
having money tied up for 2 years instead of semesterly billing or
Each year your lobbyist gets a new contract — there is no 2 year
deal for them. Why have a 2 year deal in this case and pay it all up
Is it fair for this SGA to make promises for next year’s
administration, using student fees from seniors this year that will be
graduating and not benefiting from them next year?
Are there any concerns about student fees being used to pay for
teacher parking? How many people are signed up to use the service, and
of those how many have used the service to secure a ride within the
last 2 weeks?
Have you consulted with the auditor general in Tallahassee to ensure
compliance with state law, especially considering UCF’s poor track
record with transferring student fees in a way state auditors have
KnightNews.com asked the above questions because it is KnightNews.com’s current understanding of the situation and KnightNews.com is making a good faith effort to gain a clearer understanding of the situation by getting the questions answered. If and when KnightNews.com receives answers to these questions, an update will be posted.