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Board debates neutrality, discusses name change - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Board debates neutrality, discusses name change

By Abbey Reighard / Assistant News Editor

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Change its name, change its name — the Student Government Board will have students vote to change the Board’s name to the Student Government Association. 

Students can vote on the name referendum through their MyPitt portals. Voting will open on Thursday at 8 a.m. until Friday at 8 p.m. Leading up to its rebranding, the Board disagreed on issues of neutrality at its final meeting of the semester. 

At Tuesday’s public meeting, the Board voted on several of the bills regarding changes to the Student Government Governing Code, introduced at last week’s public meeting. The Board amended some of the bills, while deciding to table other bills or sections of bills until the Board reconvenes in the fall. 

The Board voted to remove two subsections regarding neutrality, which stated that the outgoing Judicial Committee Chair, the incoming Judicial Committee Chair, the outgoing President, the incoming President and an incoming Board member who received the highest number of student votes and was not a member of the incoming president’s slate would vote for the Judicial Committee. 

Judicial Committee Chair Kyle Hoch said last week that the Committee decided to propose the section, which included the fifth person as a Board member with the highest votes who also did not run on the same slate as the president, to increase neutrality. 

Student Government Board President Graeme Meyer said the Board had discussed the sections before the meeting, and not all the members felt comfortable passing the sections of the bill as is.

“We all still had different ideas about how the selection should take place,” Vice President Nasreen Harun said. “It’s probably not the best idea to start those conversations so close to the end of the semester.”

Meyer said the Board members decided to remove the sections until this fall, when the Board can reintroduce the sections at public meetings once more. 

“But this is not the end of the discussion,” Meyer said.

The Board does not hold public meetings or vote on policy changes during Pitt’s summer recess. 

Board member Jack Heidecker made a motion to keep the sections in the bill.

“I really felt that [the proposal] the Judicial Committee Chair put forward was a way to get the neutrality that [Hoch] desired,” Heidecker said.

Although Heidecker voted against removing the two sections, he said he ultimately decided to vote with the rest of the Board to pass the remainder of the bill. 

“I firmly believe that people are going to do their best to be neutral,” Heidecker said. “This just would have been another level of neutrality. 

Hoch said he was not aware that the Board intended to further discuss the two subsections. 

Meyer said the Board still wanted to vote on the bill as a whole, because they wanted other sections, such as the section regarding diversity, to pass at the last public meeting of the semester. 

The Board voted to table the bills regarding allocation spending policies for the summer so that they can hold further discussions about the spending policies the Allocations Committee proposed. 

Allocations:

Mortar Board Honor Society requested $1,249.22 for their national conference. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Lady Panthers Lacrosse Club requested $9,365.74 to attend their national tournament. The Board approved $4,037.37 despite the allocation recommendation, because the team took part in financial responsibilities and the Board wanted to approve for ground transportation.  

Aero Society of Automotive Engineers requested $3,965.31 to purchase material and tools for a remote control aircraft. The Board approve $3,965.29 and denied $0.02 in line with the allocations recommendation. 

University of Pittsburgh Health Occupations Students of America requested $2,523.96 to attend and compete at their national leadership conference. The Board approved $2,523.96 and denied $661 in line with the allocations recommendation. 

American Society of Civil Engineers requested $2,317.24 to attend the ASCE National Steel Bridge Competition. The Board approved $1,532.32 and denied $784.92 despite the allocations recommendation, because the Board chose to deny transportation to the event. 

Original Magazine requested $3,985 for printing costs. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Club Golf Team requested $2,472 for their national tournament. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Budget Appeals:

Asian Student Alliance requested $11,640 to host three separate events. Allocations denied $154. The Board later approved $11,453 and denied an additional $187.

Interfraternity Council requested $9,685 for a new member conference, a Hazing Prevention Week speaker and fall recruitment. Allocations denied $5,000. The Board later approved $4,385 and denied $300.

Nursing Student Association requested $6,666.30 for a Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania convention. Allocations approved $4,973.04 and denied $1,693.26. The Board later approved $1,693.26 and deferred $4,973.04.

Pittsburgh Fencing Association requested $1,510.00 for insurance fees, SACC registration and CFC registration. Allocations deferred the request in full, and the Board later approved the request in full.

Student Government Board requested $19,827.28 for administrative costs and committee costs. Allocations approved $7,637.64 and denied $12,189.64. The Board approved $18,827.64 and denied $816.70.

Greek Week requested $25,834.03 for Greek Week events. Allocations approved the request in full and the Board later approved the request in full.

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Board debates neutrality, discusses name change