Your guide to the 2022 SGB elections

By Donata Massimiani and Kendall Swift

Polls will open Tuesday at 8 a.m. for the 2022 Student Government Board elections. Four slates — including two presidential candidates — and one independent candidate are vying for one presidential position and eight seats on the board.

Students can vote from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at, and results will be announced that night at SGB’s weekly public meeting in Nordy’s Place. The eight board candidates who receive the most votes will serve for the 2022-23 academic year under the winning presidential candidate. Pitt students are allowed to vote for one presidential candidate and up to three different board members.

Dream slate

The “Dream” slate. From left, Danielle Floyd (presidential candidate), Alison Linares Mendoza (board candidate), Derek Dressler (board candidate) and Isabel Lam (board candidate). (Images via Student Government Board)

Danielle Floyd is the presidential candidate running on the Dream slate. Slate members Isabel Lam, Alison Linares Mendoza and Derek Dressler are running for seats on the board.

Floyd, a current board member, said the slate’s main goal is to be an ally and advocate for the entire student body. One way she plans to accomplish this is through creating a student task force to aid in the process of making constitutional changes to SGB.

“If our mission is to serve students, and we are a student government board who sets out to represent the student body, we need to include students — non student-leaders and student leaders with smaller organizations — into the process to figure out how to make sure it is working for everyone, not just the bigger governance organizations,” Floyd, a junior economics major, said.

She also said she plans to work with Pitt administrators to figure out how they can put more funding toward hybrid class options and supporting professors in keeping this option available as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Lam, the current chair of SGB’s facilities, technology and transportation committee, said she has heard many complaints from students about having issues scanning their Panther cards while trying to enter University buildings. She said she wants to create a Pitt ID app, in collaboration with Pitt IT and “students who have a STEM background,” to make the process of entering buildings easier.

“It will make our lives as students a lot more efficient, being able to not worry about things like study spaces, parking and forgetting your ID,” Lam, a sophomore political science and economics double major, said. “These are concerns that we as students should not have to worry about.”

Linares Mendoza, a sophomore industrial engineering major, said she plans to bring environmentally focused student organizations together to discuss how Pitt can improve sustainability efforts. She also said she plans to work toward improving experiences for international and transfer students, ensuring they have ample support and resources.

Dressler, a member of SGB’s government and community relations committee, said he plans to create a student task force focused on advocating for improved living conditions in off-campus housing. Dressler, a sophomore political science and psychology major, also said he hopes to work with Pitt’s various schools to write and pass a resolution urging a tuition freeze.

For You Panthers slate

The “For You Panthers” slate. From left, Arjun Manjunath (presidential candidate), Bhuvitha Chagantipati (board candidate), Celeste Lintz (board candidate) and Sophia Shapiro (board candidate). (Images via Student Government Board)

The For You Panthers slate consists of Arjun Manjunath, Sophia Shapiro, Bhuvitha Chagantipati and Celeste Lintz.

Manjunath, a first-year marketing major, is running as a presidential candidate. He said his most important initiative is to create stronger communication between SGB, the student body and Pitt administrators by utilizing surveys and social media.

“It’s as simple as an Instagram DM to actually contact us, making sure that students actually know where they can go, just making it more of an easy process for SGB to be able to listen to students and for students to actually be able to reach out to us,” Manjunath said.

Shapiro, a sophomore urban studies major, is running as a board candidate. She said she plans to enact an “In Case You Missed It” initiative — which would give students back the opportunities they missed due to the pandemic — and create a more welcoming on-campus community. She said that as a Jewish student, she wants to update Pitt’s definition of antisemitism and make sure that all students are secure at Pitt.

“I’m most passionate about […] making sure all of our minority studies on campus are safe and protected,” Shapiro said.

Chagantipati, a junior music and cultural history and biology major, is also running as a board candidate. She said she hopes to increase campus resources for LGBTQ+ students. She said she also wants the University to employ more diverse mental health professionals and train the current ones so students feel more comfortable.

“I want students to feel comfortable being able to talk to someone who knows what they might be going through,” Chagantipati said.

Lintz, a junior bioengineering major, is running as a board candidate and said she plans to work on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. She said she has experience with this from her role as vice president of DEI in her sorority, Phi Sigma Rho, and membership in diversity groups. She said she plans to create legislation within SGB that builds on the diversity statement added last year.

Reform slate

The “Reform” slate. Andrew Hunt (board candidate), left, and Tom Von Iven (board candidate). (Images via Student Government Board)

The Reform slate consists of Andrew Hunt and Tom Von Iven, both running for board seats.

Hunt, a sophomore political science major, said he wants to improve communication between potential transfer students and the University by “initiating a system” where transfer students hear back about their applications at a quicker rate. He also said he plans to work with the University to identify issues with the Student Health Service, improve response times to students and establish a rule that states if a student calls regarding COVID-19, the health center must respond within 24 hours.

Hunt also disagreed with SGB’s initial vote against releasing a statement in support of faculty unionization. The board eventually released a supportive statement in October.

Von Iven, a junior political science and history major, said he wants to improve communication between SGB and students by creating a new page on the SGB website that features information such as why a board member voted a certain way on a bill or what the most pressing issues are within SGB at that time, along with board members’ stances on them. He also said he wants to work with Pitt to reduce prices in grocery stores on campus, freeze tuition and promote diversity and inclusion.

Steel City slate

The “Steel City” slate. From left, Daniel Temmallo (board candidate), Zeyad Amr (board candidate) and Vidya Surti (board candidate).
(Images via Student Government Board)

The Steel City slate consists of three board candidates — Daniel Temmallo, Vidya Surti and Zeyad Amr.

Temmallo, a sophomore political science and public & professional writing double major, said his primary goal is to reform communication between SGB and the student body. He specifically plans to do this by creating an up-to-date website that tracks and records progress on SGB initiatives.

“I think centralizing [information into a website] should increase the efficiency of what we’re able to get done, as well as external communication, such as reaching out directly to organizations more often,” Temmallo said.

Surti, a sophomore anthropology, English, chemistry and global health major, said she plans to reform the Office of Disability Resource and Services by responding to concerns raised by DRS employees, as well as Pitt students. She said she plans to advocate for all disabled students, including students with “invisible disabilities” and students in need of gender affirming care.

Amr, a first-year political science and urban studies double major, said his most important initiative is dining services reform. He said he plans to make Pitt dining more accommodating by increasing the number of on-campus options for students with dietary restrictions, as well as extending off-campus dining dollars to more local businesses.

Independent candidate: Corbin Makar

Independent candidate Corbin Makar (board candidate).
(Image courtesy of Corbin Makar)

Corbin Makar, a sophomore communication rhetoric major, is running independently as a board candidate. He said his motto is “safe food, safe campus, safe space.” He said he plans to accomplish this by expanding dining options for students, creating more safe spaces on campus and supporting minority organizations.