SGB looks to fill positions for next year


Hannah Heisler | Staff Photographer

Last evening’s SGB meeting took place in the William Pitt Union Ballroom, instead of its usual location at Nordy’s Place.

By Maureen Hartwell, Staff Writer

Four weeks ago, Pitt students chose Zechariah Brown as next year’s student government president and selected the eight board members who will serve with him. But there are dozens of positions left to fill, from chief of staff to a member of the elections committee.

SGB is accepting applications for nine committee chair positions, each due Sunday at 8 p.m. The board also encourages students to apply for committee member positions, each of which has varying deadlines.

Though many positions remain open, incumbent Allocations Chair Ethan Gertzman announced Ben King will be the Allocations Chair for 2019-20.

King, who is a copy editor for The Pitt News, is a sophomore and has been on the Allocations Committee for two years. He currently serves as the vice chair, and said the committee is a great opportunity for students because it allows them to have a lot of influence over what happens on campus.

“It’s students’ money being controlled by students and for students,” King said.

Though Women’s Empowerment Week is in full swing, Wellness Committee Chair Eric Macadangdang announced that this week also marks the inaugural Nutritional Health Week, which aims to address how students fuel themselves while on campus.

Macadangdang said the Student Dietetic Association will deliver a presentation on healthy food choices on campus on Wednesday evening as part of the week.

He also said Meg Mayer-Costa, an instructor in the department of sports medicine and nutrition, will discuss the science behind nutritional health Thursday. Macadangdang said Mayer-Costa will also address the prevalence of eating disorders on college campuses, highlighting the importance of eating right.

“Our physical activity and mental health often get the spotlight,” Macadangdang said. “But I feel like being mindful of what we put into our bodies every day, whether it’s portion control or what kind of food you’re putting in, is important too, especially on a college campus.”

Board member Albert Tanjaya also stressed the importance of quality campus food at this meeting, focusing on obtaining third-party caterers for student organization events. Tanjaya said he wants to collaborate with board member Jahari Mercer, the assembly and the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development to write a proposal to facilitate third-party catering.

In the current process, Tanjaya said, student organizations and their respective caterer must fill out stringent paperwork such as insurance forms and food exemption forms together. He said this causes a lot of caterers to turn down student organizations because they don’t understand the forms.

“Oftentimes there are language barriers where the caterers don’t understand what it means to their business or their insurance company,” Tanjaya said. “If they don’t get legal counsel from their insurance company, they don’t really know what they’re getting into.”

Tanjaya said he experienced this process firsthand through the Asian Student Alliance when several restauarants rejected the ASA because they didn’t understand the forms. He said the ASA had to provide a translator to aid the restaurant owners in understanding the documents.

He hopes to expedite this process for restaurants by creating a waiver that would allow these restaurants and local businesses to cater at Pitt more easily than under the current system. Tanjaya said he believes this will benefit the local businesses and will help make Sodexo more culturally competent.

“Make it easier for us,” Tanjaya said, addressing the University. “You’re trying to be diverse, you’re trying to be the Year of Pitt Global, so let’s do something about it.”

Tanjaya also announced at this meeting that the second floor of David Lawrence Hall is available for student organizations to book through the Event Management System. Previously, students had to call the David Lawrence building itself in order to book a room.

He said he’s now advocating for Posvar and more rooms in Benedum to be available through EMS.

“This is a great expansion because booking rooms is a pain for student officers,” Tanjaya said. “Other spaces that are not on EMS become a fight to grab among student organizations.”

Board member Rajaab Nadeem asked for a moment of silence during his report for the victims of the shooting in New Zealand last week. Nadeem said, now more than ever, it’s important to amplify the voices of the Muslim community.

“I think we need to support our communities, especially marginalized ones,” Nadeem said. “Islamophobia is a huge problem not only across America or Pittsburgh, but across the world.”

As a Muslim, Nadeem said it strongly affects him because he has grown up with similar principles to the victims of the shooting. He said students need to start focusing more of their attention on the safety and inclusion of these marginalized groups.

“The saddening thing is that, whether it’s a mosque or a synagogue, these things aren’t coming as surprises anymore,” Nadeem said. “And that says volumes about where we are as a species.”


The Political Science Student Association requested $2,984.07 for its annual trip to Washington D.C. The board approved in full.

Pittsburgh Club Baseball requested $2,129.76 for its Penn State Conference Series. The board approved $1,912.14 and denied $217.62.

HOSA requested $2,661.68 for its State Leadership Conference. The board approved in full.

The South Asian Student Association requested $1,607.56 for its annual SASA show. The board approved $1,575.56 and denied $32.

Some of God’s Children Gospel Choir requested $2,415 for its annual spring conference. The board approved in full.

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