Continuing the success of past “Year of Diversity” and “Year of the Humanities” matching funds programs, SGB is working alongside a University committee to promote similar programs with an eye toward championing the humanities.
According to board member Joseph Kannarkat, the humanities committee is a steering committee that wants to continue the mission of expanding humanities on campus. The committee, which is made up of about 20 faculty members with Kannarkat serving as a student representative, is hoping to propose a grant program similar to ones they have run in the past.
“I think it’s this process of integration between different schools and ideologies,” Kannarkat said. “It’s a cool way to sort of integrate different areas of learning and understanding together to really promote different aspects of the University in different ways.”
The committee hopes to have a proposal out by mid-summer or fall and does not yet know how much the allotment for the grant is or where the committee is going to cap the grant.
Kannarkat said he would like to establish an aspect of the program where the grant would match funds that the Allocations committee grants organizations for events that promote humanities on campus. Other members of the committee are working on specific projects, such as increasing cultural competence and establishing a series for medical humanities speakers.
In other news, SGB plans to work closely with the Hillman Library staff during the library’s renovation, dubbed “The Hillman Library Reinvention.” Dhruv Kohli, the SGB Facilities, Technology and Transportation Chair, said the renovations will be geared toward creating a larger study space for students rather than using so much space for bookcases.
“There’s a general shift in what the goal of what the facility is going to be,” Kohli said. “We’ve really been pushing for the space where students can come and study.”
Through talks with the Hillman Library Reinvention Committee, Kohli said SGB is pushing to move a large portion of the book storage to an off-campus site from which students could request books that would then be delivered to the library within a day.
Kohli also said SGB has received requests from students to include spaces such as a “reflection room” or a stress free zone like what currently exists in the William Pitt Union.
“It could be a place for students to do prayers or just sit and think,” Kohli said.
Kohli said the renovation will begin on the fourth floor this summer semester and will continue for the next few years but couldn’t give a finite timeline. He did say SGB was working to keep students in the loop and that if any students were interested in seeing when a certain portion of the library will be renovated, they can check the construction status on Hillman’s website.
Before next week’s meeting, students will have the opportunity to vote on who will be the next president and board members. Voting opens on Feb. 21 at 8 a.m., and students can vote on my.pitt.edu through 8 p.m.
Julia Lee, Elections Committee Chair, said since so many candidates are running this year — 19 as opposed to last year’s 10 — the committee is looking to increase voter turnout. One of these methods, Lee said, is keeping voters informed through resources like their voter’s guide.
“I just really hope a lot of people come out and vote,” Lee said. “When I was a freshman, I know a lot of my other friends didn’t know it was happening until the day of [the election]. This year, we’re really trying to change that so that people see SGB as something people really should care about…we’re really here to serve the students.”
Mosaic requested $4,305.40 for airfare to the Break it Down Boston acapella event. The Board denied $4,305.40.
The Pitt Club Tennis Team requested $4,400 for facilities rentals. The Board approved $1,892 and denied $2,508.
Panther Habitat for Humanity requested $1,968.73 for ground transportation to different Allegheny County work sites. The Board approved $1,906.56 and denied $62.17.
The African Students Organization requested $7,777.68 for their Wazobia fashion show. The Board approved $7,777.68.
The Lady Ice Panthers requested $3,000 for ice rentals, practices and home games. The Board approved $3,000.