Student Government Board President Zechariah Brown said at Tuesday’s SGB meeting that the board’s student task force on independent student organization names has yet to meet following its formation last week.
Brown announced on Sept. 6 that SGB will form a task force with student organization leaders to address new naming guidelines that will affect many student groups at Pitt. He added Tuesday that SGB Executive Vice President Anaïs Peterson, SGB member Eric Macadangdang, SGB’s Judicial Committee and its chair, Grace Nelson, will all serve on the task force. Brown said he reached out on Tuesday to 13 of the hundreds of clubs that could be affected by the change and is in the process of scheduling the task force’s first meeting.
Brown said there has been difficulty scheduling and making changes with clubs who want to be involved.
“We received all the responses and are coordinating a date right now,” Brown said. “There were some changes in terms of representatives from different clubs and which clubs wanted to be represented on the task force.”
SORC announced in late August that beginning fall 2020, its registration guidelines would prohibit the names of independent student organizations from including University trademarks or wordmarks like “Pitt” and “Panther,” instead encouraging clubs to use phrases such as “at Pitt” or “at the University of Pittsburgh.”
One way SGB proposes for student organizations to keep their names is by introducing a third tier of student organizations, lying somewhere in between independent and sponsored. In her report, Nelson said the Judicial Committee is working to research schools similar to Pitt that use a tiered system for context.
“This preliminary meeting will be to see where everyone’s head is at and how they would respond to a tiered system, and what the steps would look like in terms of reregistration if that’s something they’re okay with,” Brown said.
Brown added that SGB held its Chancellor’s Lunch on Monday and discussed college affordability. A college affordability town hall was scheduled to be held on Nov. 12, but Brown said the event is going to be moved to a different date that has not been announced.
“We’ve actually moved the date of our town hall so that we can get some better people to come out and speak to you all about the topic of college affordability and college debt and everything that falls under that umbrella,” Brown said.
Macadangdang said in his report that he, Wellness Committee Chair Nina Duong, Pitt Unmuted and SAFE peer educators met to discuss creating a new student-led coalition to educate students about sexual assault and misconduct on campus. He said he plans to reach out to other organizations to expand their team.
Board Member Lynn Dang’s report mentioned her work with the Office of the Provost concerning open-education resources. Dang has been working with Provost Ann Cudd’s office to expand awareness of what open education resources are and how students can access them.
Dang said they also discussed expanding the current use of OERs — which she said are mainly used in introductory courses in engineering and medical departments — to more schools in Pitt outside of those centered on STEM.
Phi Alpha Delta requested $1,946 for their Annual Pre-Law Conference. The Allocations Committee recommendation was to deny in full, but the board tabled the request for one week as there was no representative from PAD present at the meeting.
Hindu Students Council requested $3,471.72 for their Navratri Garba event. The board approved $2,259.33 and denied $1,212.39.
Avaaz requested $6,714 for the Jeena A Capella Competition in Austin, Texas. The board approved $5,000 and denied $1,714.
Women in Sports and Events requested $2,750 for dues to their national organization. The board approved in full.
Chabad House on Campus requested $4,865.63 for 250 Rosh Hashanah prayer books for the annual Rosh Hashanah services the club hosts on campus. The board approved in full.
Chabad House on Campus requested $5,240.63 for 250 Yom Kippur prayer books used for the annual Yom Kippur services hosted on campus. The board approved in full.
Chabad House on Campus requested $1,278 for 50 prayer books to be used in weekly Shabbat services. The board approved in full.