The Pitt News

SGB focuses on physical and mental health

SGB+will+a+host+an+%E2%80%9CEat+and+Greet%E2%80%9D+from+2+to+3+p.m.+in+the+WPU+lower+lounge+on+Friday.+%28Photo+by+Sarah+Cutshall+%7C+Staff+Photographer%29
SGB will a host an “Eat and Greet” from 2 to 3 p.m. in the WPU lower lounge on Friday. (Photo by Sarah Cutshall | Staff Photographer)

SGB will a host an “Eat and Greet” from 2 to 3 p.m. in the WPU lower lounge on Friday. (Photo by Sarah Cutshall | Staff Photographer)

SGB will a host an “Eat and Greet” from 2 to 3 p.m. in the WPU lower lounge on Friday. (Photo by Sarah Cutshall | Staff Photographer)

By Emily Wolfe, Staff Writer

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At a free public lunch this Friday, Pitt students have the opportunity to voice opinions on Pitt food and dining services. It’s one of several current SGB initiatives which seek to close the gap between Pitt students and key players at the University.

The Eat & Greet meeting will take place this Friday from 2 to 3 p.m. in the WPU’s Lower Lounge. Board members Albert Tanjaya and Zechariah Brown have worked with Sodexo Campus Services on the initiative, which will allow Sodexo managers to hear student suggestions on how Pitt’s food and dining services can be improved.

“The whole intent of Eat & Greet is to provide a space where students who dine on campus can provide feedback to Sodexo staff in terms of the food quality, food choices,” Tanjaya said at Tuesday’s SGB meeting. “For example, rice … it’s a staple for many Asian students. How are they doing in that sense of accomodating cultural backgrounds?”

“It’s also just in terms of the regular foods that Sodexo provides,” Brown said. “Just like, ‘hey, I like the grilled chicken this way!’ versus, like, ‘I don’t really like it when you put so much black pepper on it.’”

The event, held every two weeks as schedules allow, will include a free meal cooked by Market chefs for students who attend, Tanjaya said.

In keeping with the “Mindfulness” theme of Friday’s meeting, each free portion will be a “healthier option” of 500 calories or fewer. Brown said he and Tanjaya want to tie mental wellness and physical wellness together, particularly in the midst of SGB’s schedule of events for Mental Health Awareness Month.

“If we just had a bunch of heavier foods and junk foods, it would kind of distract from the message that we want students to be as healthy as they possibly can be,” Brown said. “A big portion of making sure you’re mentally well is making sure you’re putting a lot of the right foods into your body.”

SGB is already seeing the fruits of its most recent public forum — the first Town Hall meeting, held Sept. 28. Caroline Unger, the chair of the Facilities, Technology and Transportation Committee, said that she, board member Jessa Chong and the Department of Campus Recreation discussed solutions to issues raised at the Town Hall at a meeting this week.

For example, Unger said, one student came to the Town Hall on behalf of the Judo Club and the Taekwondo Club and voiced concerns about renovations in Trees Hall, like hard mats in the rec room and bleachers that don’t pull out entirely, which affected the clubs’ ability to practice. After the discussion with Unger, Campus Rec will meet separately with representatives from those clubs to work on solutions to the problems.

“So really [we’re] just looking into those individual situations for the short term,” Unger said.

Pitt has spent the past few days taking feedback on a more long-term issue — its new Campus Master Plan. Five information sessions were held on campus Monday and Tuesday, including one session specifically for students and another for student government. Both Executive Vice President Jahari Mercer and Vice President and Chief of Finance Cory Stillman said they attended a session.

“There are definitely some concerns with the plan,” Mercer said, “but there are also some really great things that the university are going to be doing in the future.”

Mercer encouraged students to view the plan online and leave feedback if they haven’t already.

“It’s just a draft, it really is,” Stillman added, “and so really any feedback you have is very much appreciated.”

In his board report, Brown noted the success of recent mental health awareness events, including the opening reception for “Stories Untold,” an art exhibit running in the WPU’s Lower Lounge through Oct. 21, and the Pitt Talks Whiteboard Campaign held earlier in the day on Tuesday, where students shared personal thoughts on mental health awareness.

He also encouraged students to share stories online using the #ICare hashtag.

“Let your family and friends know why mental health means something to you,” he said. “I know that I care because I think that in order to take care of ourselves, we have to prioritize our mental and our physical care and to care for others we have to do the same for them.”

Allocations

The Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club requested $1,563.20 to attend a tournament. The board approved $1,397.08 and denied $166.12.

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SGB focuses on physical and mental health