SGB welcomes new members, announces Counseling Center changes

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SGB welcomes new members, announces Counseling Center changes

SGB announced new committee chairs at Tuesday night’s meeting.

SGB announced new committee chairs at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Hannah Heisler | Senior Staff Photographer

SGB announced new committee chairs at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Hannah Heisler | Senior Staff Photographer

Hannah Heisler | Senior Staff Photographer

SGB announced new committee chairs at Tuesday night’s meeting.

By Maureen Hartwell, Staff Writer

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With the academic year coming to a close, Pitt’s Student Government Board spent its Tuesday meeting passing new legislation and introducing new members for SGB 2019-20.

The Board approved four pieces of legislation, postponing the vote for Board Bill 62 until the meeting next Tuesday. Board Bill 63, passed Tuesday night, clarifies protocol for a tie in the race for executive vice president. Three Board resolutions also passed Tuesday evening, stating SGB’s support for the Choose to Reuse program, use of Venmo for student organizations and a raise in the student activities fee from $80 to $100.

The student activities fee was last raised to $80 from $60 by the Board of Trustees in 2004, following a recommendation from SGB. The Board of Trustees will vote on this fee increase in its upcoming May meeting. SGB Executive Vice President Jahari Mercer said the increase in the student activities fee will ultimately benefit Pitt students.

“Even though it’s an increase in the fee, it will help to better serve more organizations that we all interact with,” Mercer said.

Wellness Chair Eric Macadangdang announced the University’s Counseling Center will consolidate its appointment process, effective immediately.

Currently, Macadangdang said, each student who visits the Center must complete a mental health screening, have a preliminary meeting with a clinician and then wait another two to three weeks before another appointment. With the new changes, students will be able to see a clinician, who will determine on the same day if that individual should receive individual, group, couples or workshop therapy.

He also said the Center plans to revamp the website over the summer so that students can more clearly view the options of clinicians and services at their disposal. Macadangdang said as these changes come, he wants to ensure student voices are heard.

“I want to make sure the vision doesn’t stray from what students see on a day-to-day basis,” Macadangdang said.

Macadangdang also announced he’s trying to create a student task force to assess the O-Week programs regarding sexual assault by leaving comments on the existing material so the University can adjust the content accordingly. He said with this student input, he aims to push for more “proactive,” not “reactive,” content.

Macadangdang said though he often approves of the ideas put forth by administrators and professionals in meetings where he is present, he recognizes he is just one student and more input would be valuable.

“Having a solid foundation of students willing to help with this could be very productive,” Macadangdang said. “We are a diverse student body with different issues and values, so I want to make sure we have as many voices as possible to produce the best policy and program outcomes.”

The Board also announced Ritika Bajpai will serve as SGB chief of staff and Matthew Niedoba will serve as Facilities, Transportation and Technology chair for the 2019-20 academic year.

Caroline Unger, the current Facilities, Transportation and Technology chair, announced campus recreation centers will now allow students to rent equipment and lockers electronically. Unger said under the current system, students must rent equipment and lockers in person at each respective recreation center, providing their student ID as collateral.

Unger noted that the campus recreation centers currently offer everything from basketballs to exercise bands to squash rentals, but students might not be aware. She said the current system of giving up a student ID and speaking with recreation center employees deters some students from even renting in the first place.

Effective next semester, students can rent online — a convenience that Unger thinks can facilitate a healthier campus culture.

“We always want to advertise a healthy campus,” Unger said. “And showing that it’s going to be easier to access these items can make the idea of living a healthier lifestyle as a college student a little less daunting.”

Allocations

The Fourth Wave requested $2,797.25 for its semesterly magazine print publication. The Board approved in full.

The Club Cross Country Team requested $1,343.88 for its NIRCA Spring Nationals. The Board approved in full.

Girl Up requested $1,370.95 for its annual leadership summit. The Board approved $1,233.51 and denied $137.44.

Chabad at Pitt requested $15,027 for its annual Passover Seder. The Board approved $5,779 and denied $9,248.

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