SGB stresses need to fight budget cuts

By Marissa Meredyth

Student Government Board president Molly Stieber began the second to last board meeting of the… Student Government Board president Molly Stieber began the second to last board meeting of the semester last night by once again acknowledging student efforts in the battle against proposed funding cuts to education.

“We’ve made a difference, but it’s not yet over,” Stieber said.

The Board canceled last week’s meeting because of a lobbying trip to Harrisburg. The trip brought students from across Pennsylvania to speak out against Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget cuts to higher education.

The cuts are a part of Corbett’s first budget, which he proposed in early March. The budget includes more than $900 million in cuts to higher education, including a 50 percent reduction in Pitt’s state allocations, which will fall from about $160 million to $80 million.

It is now up to legislators to propose amendments to the budget, which has a deadline of June 30.

Stieber said that previous rallies and Pitt’s student-led letter-writing campaign all culminated in the lobbying effort in Harrisburg. Even so, she stressed that the letter-writing campaigns at Pitt will continue and that students should still visit their representatives.

She also talked about her meeting with Corbett’s chief of staff, William Ward. Stieber said Ward appeared sympathetic to the student cause, and like others in the state capital, he said it was likely that Pitt and other institutions will get some of the cut funding back.

“Even a 25 percent cut would be unprecedented,” Stieber said after the meeting adjourned.

Board member John Hasely agreed that Pitt Day achieved its goals. He congratulated Kyle Miller, SGB governmental relations chairman, on a “successful day.”

Board member Emily Hoover congratulated her intern, sophomore communication major Madeline Beyer, for her work on the white board photo project that encouraged students to finish the sentence, “If you cut our funding … ”

The pictures were compiled to create a booklet that was handed out to legislators during Pitt Day in Harrisburg. A video montage of the photos was posted to various social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook.

Allocations Notes:

Shotokan Karate Club requested $1,081.04 to attend a conference at Duke University. The club was allotted $858.49 for four delegates to attend and denied $222.55 for two additional delegates. Precedent is to only fund four delegates to attend a conference.

Reformed University Fellowship was allotted $1,555.06 to send four members to a national conference.

Premedical Organization for Minority Students requested $1,812.20 to attend a conference. The request was postponed, as no one from the organization was present at the meeting.

Alpha Kappa Psi requested $1,611.86 to attend a conference. It was allotted $1,205.86 to send two delegates and denied $406 for two registration fees, as the group reached the $2000 conference cap for this fiscal year.

Delta Sigma Pi requested $2,395.20 to attend a national conference. It was allotted $1,027.25 for one delegate to attend and denied $1,367.95 for three additional delegates to attend, as the group had already received funding to attend a similar workshop this fiscal year.

Lady Panther Club Lacrosse was allotted $716.04 for transportation to a regional tournament.

Ambassadors for Christ filed two requests. The club was denied $974.80 to bring Danielle Williams to campus for a second visit this school year and was allotted $774.80 to bring Jackie Hill.

A $2,000 budget-modification request was approved so National Pan-Hellenic Council can host a promotional event before the semester closes.