SGB approves new vice president, discusses transportation issues


Alyssa Carnevali | Staff Photographer

Student Government Board at its weekly meeting in Nordy’s Place on Feb 22.

By Donata Massimiani, Staff Writer

Brennan Conway will serve as Student Government Board’s vice president of initiatives for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year, filling the remainder of president-elect Danielle Floyd’s term in the position.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday night to appoint him to the position after President Harshitha Ramanan stripped Floyd of the title in late February for allegedly violating SGB rules.

SGB held its weekly Tuesday evening meeting in Nordy’s place and discussed transportation issues, a proposed tuition tax, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Oakland Crossings plan. Ramanan said the board will be focusing on “transitioning the new board and president while bringing initiatives to a close” for the remainder of the spring semester.

Isabel Lam, the chair of the facilities, technology and transportation committee, met with the Parking, Transportation and Services Office before spring break to address common questions she receives about SafeRiders and the Transloc app.

Students expressed concern over SafeRiders dropping students off at shuttle stops by Hillman Library and the Cathedral of Learning instead of their intended destination, she said. Lam said they only do this during “peak hours” to reduce wait times and maximize the number of students who can use the service.

Lam also said students have been having issues trying to call for a SafeRider, and that calls take a long time once answered. This is due to the lack of dispatchers, and using the app to request a ride compared with calling is “faster, more efficient and convenient,” according to Lam.

“There is a button or feature on the Transloc app where you can request a SafeRider,” Lam said. “Be sure to do this. You can totally bypass the entire wait time with a dispatcher, and you’ll be on a waitlist faster for a SafeRider.”

Dominic Victoria, the chair of the community and governmental relations committee, said Rev. Ricky Burgess of the Pittsburgh City Council has proposed a 1% tax on all higher-education student tuition, and that this could cause students to pay “a few hundred extra dollars every year.” He will attend a Wednesday hearing to discuss the proposal and fight it, and urged other students to attend and share their thoughts as well.

Victoria also noted that the city of Pittsburgh has released its Oakland Plan, and hopes students will provide feedback since the plan determines “the future of the community.” In other development news, Victoria said Walnut Capital and Mayor Ed Gainey have reached a deal on Oakland Crossings, and said the plan’s latest iteration minimizes the number of students being displaced and promotes affordable housing.

Ryan Murphy, a board member and the vice president of governance, said he is working with Sydney O’Hara from PittServes as well as other University departments to develop programming for students regarding Russia’s recent war on Ukraine, as well as planning open discussions about the conflict for students.


The Collegiate Panhellenic Council requested $5,000 to host Archie Messersmith-Bunting,

a mental health speaker, for an event during Greek week. The board approved the request in full.

Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary service sorority, requested $821.28 to fund registration, ground transportation, lodging and parking for its yearly district convention. The board approved $814.72 to the documented costs.

Women’s Club Gymnastics requested $5,258 to fund flights and lodging for 18 undergraduate members to attend their national competition in Milwaukee. They have $5,029.28 remaining in their club sports cap, so the board approved $5,258.

Ballet Club requested $2,204 to pay for marley flooring bags and rent out Bellefield Hall for a performance in April. The board approved the request in full.

UPTV requested $1,304.71 to purchase camera batteries, a steamer, dolly rails, a box and a glide cam for use by club members. The board approved the request in full.

Salsa Club requested $1,200 to fund lessons for members starting this Sunday through the end of the semester. The board approved the request in full.