SGB beefs up workout facilities


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

The Student Government Board is planning to host a sustainability student town hall in late March.

By Maureen Hartwell, For The Pitt News

Over winter break, the William Pitt Union gym received new equipment and revamped its layout at the request of Pitt’s Student Government Board.

This project, headed by Pitt SGB with the Department of Campus Recreation, rearranged the equipment, placed a workout mat in front of the mirrors and added two sets of kettlebells and dumbbells. At a more-crowded-than-usual public meeting Tuesday night, Jessa Chong, the board’s vice president and chief of cabinet, said the project aimed to solve the issue of limited space in the WPU gym.

Aside from two frequently occupied workout rooms, Chong said, students previously had little space to complete workouts other than cardio. Chong also said this renovation fulfills her campaign promise of more workout areas on lower campus.

“Because the Pete is just not accessible in between classes,” she said.

Chong said that these renovations are temporary, filling in the gaps until there are more workout facilities on lower campus. She said the next public meeting will discuss more updates to campus recreation centers, including the possibility of a larger recreation center on lower campus.

Chong is also involved in the sustainability Town Hall, another new SGB effort. Each Town Hall seeks to gather student feedback about a particular issue. Past Town Halls have focused on University policies and dining services, and the board has two more planned for the spring, including one on sustainability.

SGB President Maggie Kennedy said the sustainability Town Hall, tentatively scheduled for March, aims to engage faculty, administrators and students in a conversation about how to implement sustainable policies. The meeting specifically plans to address recycling in off-campus housing, since Kennedy said students who live off campus don’t always have easy access to recycling options.

“Their landlord doesn’t provide them with a bin, they don’t know when it goes out,” Kennedy said. “They don’t know what they can and cannot recycle.”

Though SGB hopes to hear more feedback at the Town Hall, Kennedy said the board wants to purchase and distribute recycling bins to those off campus who do not already have them.

But sustainability isn’t the only way SGB plans to improve the Pitt community this semester. Ritika Bajpai, chair of the community and governmental relations committee, hopes to take a group of students to Pitt Day in Harrisburg in an effort to convince lawmakers to continue funding Pitt and Pennsylvania’s other state-related institutions.

The annual event, which will take place on March 26 this year, takes students, alumni, faculty and administration to the state capital to lobby the General Assembly. When Bajpai attended the event in the past, Pitt advocated for issues like medical amnesty.

“We talked about what we were doing on the campus level and asked for their support,” Bajpai said.

Bajpai also said SGB tackles university policy at the national level. She said ACC Advocacy Days, held in February, take the SGB board and the community and governmental relations committee chair to Washington to advocate for funding alongside other ACC schools.

But she’s looking forward to returning to Pitt Day in Harrisburg. Bajpai said that when she attended as a first-year, she networked with members of the legislature, alumni and current students.

“It really is more than just going there to get more money,” Bajpai said. “It’s about sharing our experiences.”


Pitt Men’s Glee Club requested $11,278 for its annual tour. The board approved in full.

First Class Bhangra requested $1,676.91 for a competition. The board approved in full.

Mastana Fusion Dance Club requested $1,248.75 for a competition. The board approved $1,094.85 and denied $153.90.

The Musical Theatre Club requested $6,720.32 for its production of “Pippin.” The board approved $6,690.39 and denied $29.93.

Nrityamala requested $4,679 for a dance competition. The board approved in full.

The Salsa Club requested $3,000 for a set of workshops. The board approved in full.

The Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club requested $1,437.16 for a tournament. The board approved in full.

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