SGB discusses violence prevention, public safety council at weekly meeting


Romita Das | Senior Staff Photographer

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

By Pamela Smith, Contributing Editor

Student Government Board is helping start a chapter of It’s On Us, a group aiming to prevent sexual assault on college campuses, according to President Danielle Floyd. This decision follows a reported sexual assault in the Cathedral of Learning in October. 

“We want to really try to avoid repetition and not trying to overshadow current sexual violence prevention efforts,” Floyd said. “Right now we’re just working with this group of student leaders to figure out the best way to establish this potential student-led chapter on campus.”

SGB held its weekly meeting in Nordy’s Place on Tuesday night to discuss its upcoming initiatives and allocations requests. In addition to sexual violence prevention initiatives, the board discussed the Public Safety Advisory Council and collaboration with the College of General Studies’ Student Government.

Board member Ryan Young said he met with student leaders to make sure that the potential chapter of It’s On Us, as well as SGB’s plans for an ad hoc committee focused on preventing sexual violence, “fits into existing student activism.”

“We’re continuing to work with [Associate Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX] Katie Pope to discuss ideas and questions, and to see how we can position the task force to be most effective and not duplicate efforts,” Young said.

Floyd also said she will bring student concerns to the Public Safety Advisory Council soon.

“The whole purpose of this committee was to better educate all constituencies, so students, staff, university administrators and faculty members, about public safety issues around campus, policing issues students are having, with a focus on Black voices and perspective,” Floyd said.

Floyd encouraged any students interested in the council to reach out to her.

“Anyone who’s just passionate about public safety, who maybe has their own experiences … feel free to reach out to me if they want to be involved in that work,” Floyd said. “The committee is set up so that we have direct connection to the chancellor’s office, so these concerns do go to him.”

SGB is discussing plans to possibly merge with the College of General Studies’ Student Government. The plans are not “solidified,” but only “initial conversations” have begun, according to Floyd.

“The whole point of us meeting and having these conversations is to figure out what is the best way we can position CGS to still continue their structure to represent non-traditional students,” Floyd said. 

A student asked if SGB could do anything to make Election Day a holiday on the University calendar. 

Board member Daniel Temmallo said efforts to make Election Day a University holiday were “absolutely ongoing,” but not in time for this year’s midterm election.

“It’s something that I hope I’m working on moving forward and I hope that we can at one point loop towards that, but there did seem to be some hesitancy on the point of administration and whatnot,” Temmallo said.

Board member and vice president of governance Derek Dressler encouraged students to voice their concerns directly to University officials.

“We as SGB have power, but not as much power as 19,000 individual voices talking and reaching out. So I would say definitely reach out, make your voice heard — that’s what democracy is all about,” Dressler said.


American Sign Language Club requested $4,946.31 to send 40 students and four professors to Gallaudet University, the largest deaf university in the world, for immersive ASL practice. The board approved the request for $4,757.79 to fund for only four students to a room as per the allocations manual. Board member Derek Dressler voted no to the approval because he said “there is a complete absence of shared responsibility” in the request, as ASL club did not document any previous fundraising for the trip.

Lady Panther Lacrosse, an undergraduate women’s lacrosse club, requested $21,478.77 for flights, lodging and registration for a competition. The board approved the request for $10,557.33, which is their funding cap.

PIST Ski and Snowboard requested $13,550 for travel expenses for trips in January and February. The board approved the request in full, with board member Isabel Lam abstaining from the vote.

Club Wrestling requested $1,896 to buy uniforms. The board approved the request in full.

Pitt Student Ventures, a private equity and venture capital club, requested $4,163 to cover travel, lodging and registration expenses for six students for an upcoming competition. The board approved the request for $3,662.55 as the club already paid for registration fees.

Club Running requested $3,706.08 to cover travel expenses and registration for an upcoming competition. The board approved the request in full.

The board voted to approve the charter for a “Refreshing the William Pitt Union” task force. The board did not read the charter at the meeting. The task force is meant to organize collaboration between the task force and Student Affairs to renovate the sixth floor of the William Pitt Union, where student organizations have reported limited space. 

“The task force is a critical component in guaranteeing that on-campus spaces are able to meet the personal, cultural and academic needs of all undergraduate students,” Floyd said. “By refreshing the student space, we hope to foster a community where all identities feel welcomed, represented and included.”