SGB announces Pitt reaccreditation, closes next year’s committee applications


Patrick Cavanagh | Senior Staff Photographer

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

By Donata Massimiani, Staff Writer

Student Government Board President Harshitha Ramanan began the second-to-last meeting of the year by announcing that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccredited Pitt.

MSCHE is an association that defines, maintains and promotes educational excellence for higher education institutions, according to its website. It accredits institutions in Delaware, D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“The Middle States team evaluating Pitt commended the University on every level,” Ramanan said. 

SGB held its weekly Tuesday evening meeting in Nordy’s Place, where it discussed the sports dome demolition, excused absences on election day and Forbes Street Market price benchmarking. The board also introduced two new bills regarding changes to judicial committee bylaws.

Ramanan announced that transition meetings for next year’s president and board are over.

“It’s an exciting time seeing and being a part of this change, and I’m excited to see what the new board is going to do next year,” Ramanan said. 

Brennan Conway, a board member and the vice president of initiatives, attended a meeting with Student Affairs, Campus Recreation, Athletics and club sports leaders to discuss its impending demolition and how this will affect practices and competition schedules. 

“We’re going to be forming a smaller working group that will be in close collaboration with Student Affairs to try and figure out alternate practice sites,” Conway said. “Rec sports are a huge part of our campus and we don’t want to lose that.”

Conway also announced that incoming board member Alison Linares Mendoza will take over the financial wellness initiative, which aims to improve the University’s financial wellness program, next year.

Ryan Murphy, a board member and the vice president of governance, said the petition for excused class absences on election day is live on the SGB Instagram and urged students to sign it.

Danielle Floyd, a board member and the president-elect, said the interviews for next year’s committee chairs are completed and she will announce the positions next week. She also announced that committee applications have closed, but added that they could potentially reopen at the end of the academic year or over the summer. 

Isabel Lam, the chair of the facilities, technology and transportation committee, said results are out for price benchmarking of Forbes Street Market, which was completed in hopes of lowering the store’s prices. She said anyone interested in the data can reach out to her and she will share the spreadsheets.

“Surprisingly, the price difference is not as large as we might think,” Lam said. “There are very few items that were overmarked by a high amount.”

The board also introduced two new bills, JB 2021-1 and JB 2021-2, that will amend judicial committee bylaws. The board waived the reading of the bills, and they will be posted on the SGB website under proposed legislation for students to view and comment on. 


The University Handbell club requested $4,914 to pay for the refurbishment and shipping costs of its bells and chimes. The club mentioned to the committee it would be willing to pick up the bells to cut down on shipping costs, so the committee recommended approving $3,075 to cover refurbishment costs. Board member Aboli Kesbhat moved to amend the motion and change the approved amount to $3,189.12 to cover the costs for gas. Kesbhat’s motion passed. 

The Men’s Water Polo Club requested $2,045.09 to pay for balls, bounceback boards, weight belts, targets and equipment cages in which to store its equipment. The club has a remaining cap of $2,000, so the board approved $2,000.

Global Medical Brigades, an organization that supplies eyeglasses to people in Honduras who can’t afford them, requested $1,400 to pay for 20 suitcases to transport the eyeglasses and equipment. The board approved the request in full. 

Plant2Plate requested $1,850 to pay for professional video and photography of its Planet to Progress festival, a celebration  with live music the day after Earth Day. The board approved $1,735 to the documented costs.

Club Baseball requested $1,118.19 to pay for three new baseball bats. The board approved the request in full. 

Sailbot, an organization that builds a boat from scratch and competes in a competition at the end of the year, requested $1,144.66 to pay for new parts for its electrical and mechanical teams. The board approved the request in full.