SGB discusses Lauren’s Promise, election day absences

Student+Government+Board+at+its+weekly+meeting+in+Nordy%E2%80%99s+Place+on+Tuesday+evening.

Alyssa Carnevali | Staff Photographer

Student Government Board at its weekly meeting in Nordy’s Place on Tuesday evening.

By Kiera Ledermann, Staff Writer

Student Government Board President Harshitha Ramanan opened the board’s Tuesday evening meeting with a reminder about Pitt’s vaccine mandate, and encouraged students with questions or concerns to email her at [email protected].

“If you have not already uploaded your vaccine cards make sure that you do so,” Ramanan said. “If you still have to get your vaccine, please utilize the Pitt CoVax clinic. They can answer all of your vaccine-related questions and can help you pick out the best vaccine for you.”

Along with the vaccine mandate, board members discussed excused absences on election days, Lauren’s Promise, shuttle problems and CPR classes.

Ramanan also announced that a guest from Pitt IT will speak at the board’s Nov. 16 public meeting.

“If you have any questions or concerns Pitt IT can definitely help you understand how tech stuff like Wi-Fi works here,” Ramanan said. “And bring friends if you think they’re passionate about IT-related concerns here at Pitt.”

Board member Matt Moore said he met with a representative from PittVotes to work on drafting a proposal to allow for excused academic absences for election days in the future, which was discussed at last week’s meeting. Moore said he hopes the initiative will be adopted by next year’s midterm elections.

Danielle Floyd, vice president of initiatives, said SGB connected with Provost Ann Cudd and Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Clyde Pickett about “setting up a game plan for implementing” Lauren’s Promise at Pitt.

Lauren’s Promise states “I will listen and believe you if someone is threatening you,” and advocates for campus safety. Professors across the country added Lauren’s Promise to their syllabi after Lauren McCluskey, a University of Utah student, was killed by her boyfriend after making multiple reports to police and campus officials.

Floyd said SGB passed a resolution last year to call on adding Lauren’s Promise to syllabi and other academic documents “to emphasize the importance of empathy and awareness in matters of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking.”

Both Floyd and board member Caroline Goodwin participated in the University’s Committee on Student-Focused Public Safety Concerns last Thursday for the first time where they discussed past efforts, such as the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement Project. Floyd said she encourages students with questions regarding public safety to connect with either her or Goodwin before their next meeting on Nov. 9. 

Floyd said SGB also met with members of the administration to “start a discussion on diversity in the classroom.” According to Floyd, the conversation centered on how to create an atmosphere that empowers students to report incidents of racism in the classroom.

Isabel Lam, chair of the facilities, technology and transportation committee, announced that the website for Buses Home for the Holidays — Pitt’s annual holiday bus program — went live Monday at 9 a.m. and encouraged students to book their tickets “as soon as possible.”

Lam also said she met with the Parking, Transportation & Services to discuss issues students are having with the shuttles. 

“Long story short, they really need drivers, and that’s why a lot of the routes keep getting shut down,” Lam said. “The best way to find out which routes are not running is by following their social media which is @pittmobility.”

Lily Schneider, chair of the wellness committee, said she and Lam are gathering information about the state and abundance of AEDs on campus. Scheider is also working with the Student EMS club to host CPR classes for students. The classes will include Narcan and Stop the Bleed training.

Ramanan closed the meeting by encouraging students to utilize Fix It Pitt! and the Pitt Concern Connection. Ramanan also announced that there will be themed “dress-up days” for this month’s public meetings. Next week’s meeting’s theme will be “neon.”

“If you guys have any bright colors that you want to wear, to brighten the mood, that would be awesome,” Ramanan said.

Allocations

The allocations committee reviewed 10 requests for a total of $27,843.60. The committee approved a total of $3,060.57. Of the 10 requests, five required board approval. The board approved a total of $16,625.56.

Sailing club requested $5,101.72 to fund airfare, a rental car and a hotel for a competition in Hawaii. The board approved $4,703.72 in accordance with the allocations committee recommendation to fund for only the essential competition days.

Club Golf Team requested $3,516 for registration and lodging for a competition in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The board funded $3,455 to cap.

Ballet Club requested $2,060 to fund costumes, a photographer, videographer and a venue for an on-campus performance of The Nutcracker on Dec. 5. The board approved in full.

Keep it Real requested $4,432.40 for transportation to tutoring in Northview Heights. The board approved in full.

Men’s Ultimate Frisbee requested $2,812.19 for gas, lodging and the entrance fee for regionals in Columbus, Ohio. The board approved $1,974.44 in accordance with the allocations committee recommendation to fund only the undergraduate students.

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