Your Guide to the 2023 SGB Elections


Ethan Shulman | Senior Staff Photographer

SGB election candidates during the “Meet the Candidates” event on Feb. 16.

By James Paul, Staff Writer

Polls will open Tuesday at 8 a.m. for the 2023 Student Government Board elections. Two slates and four independent candidates are vying for one presidential position and eight seats on the board.

Students can vote from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Results will be announced Tuesday evening at SGB’s weekly public meeting in Nordy’s Place. Pitt students are allowed to vote for one presidential candidate and up to three different board members.

Since there are eight board members, the eight candidates running for board are basically guaranteed to win a seat. However, the presidential race — which pits two veteran SGB members against one another — is more contentious.


The Disrupt slate consists of board candidates Olivia Rosati and Katie Emmert.

Disrupt slate’s main objective is to make SGB more accessible to students and “to change the status quo of how the University runs,” according to Rosati, who is currently a member of SGB’s wellness committee.

“Right now it feels that the administration is very closed off and SGB is hard to access, despite being a really great resource,” Rosati, a junior political science and international studies co-major, said. 

Rosati’s initiatives include increasing student access to health and wellness resources — such as the University Counseling Center — and improving the accessibility of SafeRider transportation services. Rosati said she also wants to advocate for student worker wage raises and push Pitt to “divest from fossil fuels.”

Emmert, a sophomore political science and law, criminal justice and society double major, ran for a vacant board seat in February, which she did not win. If elected, she said she would work to increase student representation within Pitt’s administration and “advocate for bringing medication abortion” to the Student Health Center. She also said she would work to “improve how the University addresses sexual misconduct and sexual violence on campus” by examining Pitt’s prevention methods and Title IX policy. 


Ryan Young is the presidential candidate running on the Illuminate slate. Sarah Siddiqui, Katie Fitzpatrick and Sarah Mayer are running for board seats.

Young, SGB’s current vice president for governance, said the Illuminate slate’s primary objective is to “more effectively and efficiently” bring student voices to Pitt’s administration.

Young also said he wants to “make ending sexual misconduct a core mission of student government.” If elected, he said he would establish a permanent committee with a focus on Title IX policy and survivor resources. Young also said he wants to help improve communication between student leaders at Pitt and University administration, and further plans to consider reorganizing the structure of SGB.

Siddiqui, a sophomore sociology major and chair of the wellness committee, said she would build off the work of current board member Isabel Lam to create a Pitt ID app. This initiative would give students the ability to use their phones for Panther Funds, swipe access and meal plan use. She also said she will expand dining options for students with dietary restrictions and “generally just improve the quality of dining across campus.”

Fitzpatrick, a sophomore political science and psychology double major and chair of the community and government relations committee, said her first act as a board member would be to renew the charter of the recently created disability resource services ad hoc committee and then work with student organizations to “create a comprehensive list” of other DRS reforms to present to the department. She added she also wants to clarify the financial aid process by creating a centralized resource for students to access scholarships. 

Mayer, a sophomore neuroscience and psychology major and a member of the allocations committee, said if elected she would encourage professors to include “a class layout or past syllabus” in PeopleSoft before registration, so students “can have that transparency right from the start.” She also said she would also want to create “a user-friendly guide” for clubs who want to request allocations and improve the accessibility of SGB’s office hours to include more outreach. 

Independent Candidates

Corbin Makar

Makar, a junior communication and rhetoric major and current board member, is running for president as an independent candidate. He said his primary initiatives include raising student worker wages and increasing “support and transparency” for LGBTQ+ students and survivors of sexual misconduct in light of the recent student backlash to “transphobic events” and the reported sexual assault in the Cathedral of Learning last semester. 

“I’m here to listen to you, and I’m here to be a voice for you,” Makar said. “And if there’s any way that I can potentially bring your feelings to the other people that might not be aware of those. I serve as that guide and I feel like I could do that best.”

Matt Jurich

Jurich, a first-year philosophy and political science double major with no prior experience on SGB, is running independently for a board seat. Once elected, Jurich said he will push Pitt to give students a day off on election day.

Jurich added he would be “very vocal” in support of unionization efforts across campus and work to create a standing committee to address sexual misconduct and assault on campus. Jurich said “the overarching goal of my campaign is to empower students’ voices on campus.”

Ashley White

White said while she has no prior experience on SGB she served in student government in high school. If elected, White said she will work to “bridge the gap”  between SGB and student cultural organizations.

“Especially when it comes to more like ethnic or cultural clubs, a lot of times they don’t feel that some members of SGB really represent and understand their point of view and their values, simply because of different identities,” White, a sophomore psychology major, said.

White, who said she is registered with DRS, cited her own frustrations with having professors not honor her or other students’ accommodations and said it’s something she would want to improve as a board member. She also said she would also look at improving shuttle services to better serve students with mobility issues. 

Braydan Issermoyer

Issermoyer, a junior political science and psychology double major and current board member, is running independently for a board seat. SGB appointed Issermoyer to the board in February to fill a vacant seat, and he said his campaign is based on “carrying over what I started.” His initiatives include making DRS easier to navigate for students, and overhauling the first-year academic advising process to make it run “more smoothly.”