SGB endorses homecoming candidates

By Marissa Meredyth

After approving two allocations, the Student Government Board moved on to the real business of… After approving two allocations, the Student Government Board moved on to the real business of the night: homecoming endorsements.

The Board questioned 14 candidates vying for the two endorsement positions on various campus issues. It asked about voter registration, participation in volunteering events and what each would do with the title of homecoming king or queen.

President Charlie Shull made the group stand up with the Board to sing Pitt’s alma mater. “I’m watching you,” Shull said as they began.

The Board took about an hour after the meeting to choose its preferred candidates, Jamil Alhassan for King and Board member Laura Paiewonsky for Queen.

Shull said the endorsement will include advertisements on the SGB website, Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as future endorsements at public meetings and a 1/4 page black-and-white Pitt News ad featuring a picture before voting day.

But first, the Board will make sure the advertisements do not violate any allocation policies, Shull said.

To an audience decorated with glittered ensembles, cheetah prints, blond highlights and sport coats and ties, Shull said, “I’m a fifth-year senior. I’ve seen candidates trash our campus with campaign flyers.”

“I’ve seen candidates hold computers up to freshmen’s faces and not let them into their dorms until they vote for a specific candidate,” Shull said. “Do not do this.”

Board member David Petrone is also running for homecoming king.

During the meeting, Petrone and Paiewonsky left their seats to join the other 12 candidates in the audience.

Shull first asked all candidates if anyone was not registered to vote.  No one raised their hand.  Shull also asked if anyone did not participate in Pitt Make a Difference Day. Three candidates raised their hand — two had prior work commitments.

Next, one by one, each candidate answered questions about why they wanted to become king or queen, and what the title meant to them individually.

Brittany Moreland was one of only three candidates present who was not involved in Greek life.

“I’m not a part of Greek life, but I’m still a part of the University,” she said.

Alhassan is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He said following the meeting that he is the first member of his family to attend college.

“I’m from Philly, but I’m always told how lucky I am to be at Pitt from kids who live 10 or 15 minutes from here,” Alhassan said. “They can’t go here because of low GPAs and SAT scores.”

One of his main goals is to help low-performing high school students earn better SAT scores.

Allocation Notes:

Panther Equestrian Club was allotted the $1,568.95 it requested to attend a competition.

National Society of Black Engineers requested $4,030.24 to attend a competition. It received $922.42 and was denied $3,107.82.