SGB planning events to celebrate Black History Month


Hannah Heisler | Senior Staff Photographer

SGB president Zechariah Brown speaks about new allocations bill at Tuesday evening’s weekly SGB meeting.

By Anushay Chaudhry, Staff Writer

Student Government Board began their meeting Tuesday night with an announcement from President Zechariah Brown about events SGB is working to host during Black History Month. 

“Myself, board member Cedric Humphrey, as well as representatives from Pitt Dining, Black Action Society, African Students Organization and more organizations are working to create dining events centered around this month,” Brown said during the opening.

Both Brown and Humphrey are working on the specific details of the event, but hope to have more information to share soon, he said.

Last week, Brown met with Student Organization Resource Center coordinator Lynne Miller to discuss SGB’s proposed solutions to new naming guidelines, but declined to elaborate on the content of the meeting.

SORC’s registration guidelines 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.” 

The board released three possible solutions to the problem at its Nov. 5 meeting, with its preferred solution allowing clubs the use of University trademarks or wordmarks as long as sponsorship is not implied or stated.

As of now, SGB’s proposals have been brought directly to Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner for review, Brown said. 

Following Brown’s opening remarks, SGB voted on bill B.B.64, Updating Allocations Budget Submissions Procedures. The now-passed bill allows SGB to enact revisions to the governing code that will allow the Allocations Committee greater flexibility in examining budget submissions more efficiently. 

In a second vote, SGB passed resolution B.R.2020.07, Statement of Support for Sami’s Law. The bill is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of State-Related Students. The resolution was introduced after the passing of New Jersey resident Samantha Josephson, a student at the University of South Carolina, who was kidnapped and murdered by a man who claimed to be her Uber driver. 

The legislation aims to require rideshare drivers to have both front and rear license plates and a scannable code on the windows for riders to verify that they are entering the correct vehicle, among other instruments meant to protect riders. 

“The University of Pittsburgh Student Government Board, on behalf of the over 100,000 students at the Pennsylvania state-related institutions represented by the Pennsylvania Association of State-Related Students (PASS), urges Congress to pass [Sami’s Law],” the document reads.

During board reports, Humphrey informed students that registration for Pitt Day in Harrisburg is open. The event will take place on March 17 and more information on registration will be available on the community and governmental relations website.

“It’s a great chance for students to network and advocate to legislators on how we can increase higher education funding for the university,” Humphrey said. 

Community and governmental relations chair Tyler Viljaste announced that his committee will host an Immigrant and Student Resources panel on Feb. 11 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in William Pitt Union Dining Room A.

“It’s going to feature a lot of University departments like the Office of International Studies, Pitt police and some representatives from different cultural organizations who are going to talk about different issues in the immigrant community,” Viljaste said.

Diversity and Inclusion Chair Ravi Gandhi reminded students about the Diversity and Inclusion mixer event taking place Feb. 5 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the WPU Assembly Room. Gandhi mentioned that there will be grant money offered by Student Affairs to organizations planning on-campus events to promote diversity and inclusion. The event is open to student leaders who are managing a diversity and inclusion-related organization.

Elections chair Nick Bibby notified students about the upcoming Meet the Candidates event which will be held tonight from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the WPU Ballroom, hosted by Andew Dow from Pitt Tonight. Candidates running for board and committee positions will have the opportunity to discuss and expand on their platform and policy initiatives.

Additionally, Bibby discussed the presidential debate taking place on Feb. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Nordy’s Place. Moderators will include Janine Faust from The Pitt News and Savannah Sowell from the Pitt Political Science Student Association. 

“Each slate will have the chance to introduce themselves and talk about their platforms and then the presidential candidates will sit down for a formal debate,” Bibby said.


Club Requested allocations Approved allocations Purpose
Panther Habitat for Humanity $6,258.40 $6190.90 Panther Habitat for Humanity is requesting for ground transportation for their service trip from Mar. 7 to 15. They are taking 35 Pitt students to work on houses.
Luso-Brazilian Student Association $3,710 $2,460 Luso-Brazilian Student Association is requesting for honorarium and services for their annual Brazilian Festival in the Union on Feb. 15. The committee made cuts due to the food rule, which restricts funding for food served at events.
Panther Swim Club $7,200 $5,533.48 Panther Swim Club is requesting for airfare to attend their nationals competition in Charlotte. The committee made cuts due to the club sports funding cap.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy $2,448.26 $1,698.61 SSDP is requesting to attend their conference in Baltimore from Mar. 27 to 29. The committee made cuts due to conference lodging rules.
Women’s Water Polo Club $2,735 $2,718.30 Women’s Water Polo is requesting for their conference dues. The committee made cuts due to the club sports funding cap.
National Society of Black Engineers $2,000 $1,334.20 NSBE is requesting for airfare to attend their national conference in San Antonio from Mar. 25 to 29. The committee made cuts due to the conference funding cap.