The Pitt News

SGB proposes change to funding policy

Board+members+Justin+Horowitz+and+Sydney+Harper+expressively+discuss+allocations+at+Tuesday%E2%80%99s+meeting+%7C+Will+Miller%2C+Senior+Staff+Photographer
Board members Justin Horowitz and Sydney Harper expressively discuss allocations at Tuesday’s meeting | Will Miller, Senior Staff Photographer

Board members Justin Horowitz and Sydney Harper expressively discuss allocations at Tuesday’s meeting | Will Miller, Senior Staff Photographer

Board members Justin Horowitz and Sydney Harper expressively discuss allocations at Tuesday’s meeting | Will Miller, Senior Staff Photographer

By Leo Dornan / Staff Writer

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Pitt’s Student Government Board took the first steps on Tuesday to ensure that Allocations Committee members can’t take advantage of a policy loophole to get their own funding requests approved.

At last night’s meeting, judicial chair Jad Hilal presented Bill B 040, which would prevent SGB members and Allocations Committee members who are involved with other clubs from requesting or lobbying for SGB funding for those groups.

Allocations Committee Chair Maddie Guido and SGB Vice President and Chief of Finance Max Kneis sponsored the bill.

Although there is currently an unofficial agreement in place that prevents SGB and Allocations Committee members from filing funding requests, there is no formal policy forbidding the practice.

“The practice in the past has been that each Chair asked their committee not to submit or defend any requests for organizations they are in,” Kneis said.

Kneis said he does not know of any past issues of conflict of interest regarding allocations, but the Board wanted to make sure that no one would take advantage of the system in the future.

“We wanted to write it in the code so there could never be an issue in the future,” Kneis said.

The Board will vote on the bill at next week’s meeting on Nov. 8.

In other news, SGB released the applications yesterday for its newly formed Communications Committee.

The Communications Committee arose from discussions among Vice President Sydney Harper; Community, Governmental Relations Chair Nick Fisher and Communications Director Kara Boutselis about reaching out to the student body more efficiently. The students realized that if they wanted to reach more students to raise awareness about SGB, they needed to take a professional approach.

Harper, who has been a multimedia editor for The Pitt News, discussed doing a series of videos showing students performing good deeds around campus. SGB would put these videos on their website or social media. Harper and Fisher plan to ask students if they would be willing to go on video doing something positive — such as write a professor a nice letter or pick up trash.

“We wanted to encourage kind things that would put a smile on people’s faces,” Harper said. “It would also just help get SGB’s name out there.”

SGB is looking for applicants interested in areas including video, photography, social media and both graphic and web design. The positions will be unpaid.

“If we want this and other initiatives to actually look good, we should get a group that can do this on a regular basis for SGB,” Harper said.

The applications will be available on the SGB website for the next two weeks, and after that, Harper will begin reviewing applicants. Harper and Fisher’s goal is to have the committee set up by the spring semester as a permanent SGB committee.

In an additional plan for the spring semester, Board member Sam Jankowitz and Natalie Dall will both help plan the next year of Pittsburgh Women’s Leadership Empowerment.

The program began last year as a collaboration between former SGB President Nasreen Harun and Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Chief of Staff Kathy Humphrey. PWLE aimed to encourage and advise women on leadership through peer mentoring, and approximately 40 students were paired with mentors over last spring semester. Dall was a mentor last year and plans to make PWLE a permanent fixture.
“Last year was really fantastic for the first year,” Dall said. “This year, I hope to do a weekend retreat and just condense a lot of it into that time.”

Some organizers, such as Jankowitz, were not involved in the program last year but said they’re ready to infuse new ideas this semester.

“I am really excited to work on this now,” Jankowitz said. “I would love to see an influx of women in leadership.”

Allocations:

Pitt Club XC: The Pitt Club XC requested funds of $1,671.70 for transportation and registration for the national competition in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Over 60 runners planning on attending. The Board approved the request in full.

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SGB proposes change to funding policy