SGB appoints committee chairs

By Marissa Meredyth

The newly appointed Student Government Board committee chairs easily stood out amid the slew of… The newly appointed Student Government Board committee chairs easily stood out amid the slew of disappointed faces last night in Nordy’s Place.

In a meeting that lasted about an hour and a half, SGB denied almost $15,000 in requests from various student organizations. But the news wasn’t bad for all those in attendance, as the Board took time to appoint seven students to lead committees within the Board.

SGB has the power to allocate the Student Activities Fund — about $2.3 million — to certified student organizations. About $1.1 million of the fund is left for the 350 non-formula certified student organizations after “formula groups” like WPTS, Pitt Program Council and Panther Prints get their shares. The fund is replenished by the $80 fee non-College of General Studies students pay each semester.

One hotly contended request last night involved the Women’s Fastpitch Softball Club’s request to go to Florida for a spring training tournament.

Club president Lauren Rupert and student coach and fundraising executive Hyla Wallis asked the Board to uphold the Allocation Committee’s recommendation to approve the $5,569.02 they requested.

But the Board voiced concern with a $5,000 “guideline” for club sports. In 2009, the $5,000-per-year cap for club sports was repealed and has since remained as a guideline — normally broken in cases when a team made it to nationals.

SGB president Molly Stieber has previously mentioned the new 2011 Board’s interest in reinstating this cap. Stieber said after Allocations 101 a few weeks ago that this is unlikely to occur.

Still, Board member Zach Weber mentioned the guideline and asked Allocations Chair Mike Bane how much the club has received this fiscal year. Bane estimated $7,800 — or $3,000 for tournaments and $4,800 for practices.

“This would put you very far over that $5,000 guideline,” Weber said. “It’s tough to give that much over.”

Weber motioned to amend the request and completely deny transportation and gas.

Board member Emily Hoover said this request was extremely similar to Club Baseball’s request to attend spring training. She said transportation for the club should be provided during the Florida trip.

When Stieber called for a vote on the amended request, Weber was the only member to vote in favor of denying transportation and gas. Hoover, eyes locked on the ceiling, appeared annoyed.

Finally, Hoover motioned to amend the request to approve for seven days of travel, or $4,159.97.

The once-again amended request passed in a 5-to-3 vote. Board members Alex Zimmerman, James Landreneau and Weber voted against the request.

Allocations weren’t the only items of business during the meeting.

After a week of deliberation, the Board decided on chairs for its committees. A pool of more than 30 applications went through an interview process with the Board, and the appointees were announced during last night’s meeting.

Pooja Patel is the Academic Affairs chair and will address issues that involve improving the quality of undergraduate education.

Kari Rosenkaimer is the new Elections chair and will oversee the SGB election process.

All “green” issues will go through Rebecca Schroeder, the new Environmental chair.

Kyle Miller will deal with government issues that relate to Pitt students as the Governmental Relations chair.

The Transportation and Safety chair position went to James Snow, who will work to promote safety measures around campus, among other duties.

The Judicial Committee, which handles all violations of the SGB constitution, will be led by J.R. Cole.

Alex Amati will handle all forms of public relations as this year’s Public Relations chair, whose duties include generating fliers, brochures and other materials.

The final committee chair position of Webmaster remains empty because no one applied. Stieber said the Board is currently working on finding a student to take the role.

SGB Allocations Notes:

The Arnold Air Society requested $1,988 to send four delegates to a conference. The Board allocated money for one member and denied money for three members.

The Sociology Student Association requested $3,000 for a publication. The Board voted to postpone judgment.

The Pitt Women’s Volleyball Club requested $1,075 to attend a tournament. The Board allocated the request in full.

Alpha Kappa Psi requested $1,467 to attend a conference. The Board approved $602.50 and denied $864.50.

The Women’s Water Polo Club requested $1,460.24 to attend a tournament. The Board allocated the request in full.

The Sports Business Association requested $9,020 for a trip to New York. The Board denied the request.

The Student Emergency Medical Services Initiative requested $1,931.04 to attend a conference. The Board denied the request.

The American Institute of Industrial Engineers requested $1,864 to attend a conference. The Board approved $827.60 and denied $1,036.40.