Ryan Young wins SGB presidency for 2023-24 academic year


John Blair | Senior Staff Photographer

Winning candidates, supporters and current board members celebrate after the Student Government Board announced election results at their weekly meeting Tuesday night in Nordy’s Place.

By James Paul, Staff Writer

Ryan Young will serve as the president of Student Government Board for the 2023-24 school year. Young received 65.2% of the vote, defeating opponent Corbin Makar, an independent candidate, in Tuesday’s election — a margin of 620 votes.

Throughout his campaign, Young, who ran as a member of the Illuminate slate, said he would “make ending sexual misconduct a core mission of student government.” He said he felt grateful after hearing the results announced at Tuesday evening’s weekly SGB meeting.

“I’m feeling great,” Young said. “I’m really excited. I’m really thankful to everyone that voted. I’m really happy with the campaign we ran and I’m really excited to get to work next year.”

A total of 2,036 students voted in the election, which is about 11% of Pitt’s undergraduate student body. Turnout for this election is lower than last year, when 3,779 students turned out to vote. 

Despite his loss, Makar said it was “overall a good race,” and thinks Young is well suited for the job. 

“I think he’ll do really well, honestly, because working with Ryan has always been a joy and he always brings a new perspective to the organization,” Makar said. “So I’m really excited to see how it goes.”

SGB announced results for the presidency and board seats at its meeting in Nordy’s Place on Tuesday. Students were able to vote Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Since there are eight board seats available, all eight candidates who ran for the board won seats.

Sarah Siddiqui, another member of the Illuminate slate, received the most votes for board member. She received 969 votes, or 19.6% of votes for board candidates. Siddiqui said she is happy to have finished campaigning and grateful to be appointed.

“I hope to do everything that I promised the voters that I would do on my platform,” Siddiqui said. “I want to work to improve dining, I want to work to improve communication and I want to work on the Pitt ID app. But ultimately, I just want to advocate for students and ensure student voices are heard.”

Katie Fitzpatrick and Sarah Mayer will join fellow Illuminate slate members Young and Siddiqui on the board next year.

Katie Emmert and Olivia Rosati of the Disrupt slate also won board seats, along with independent candidates Matt Jurich, Ashley White and Braydan Issermoyer.

SGB appointed Issermoyer to fill a vacant board seat earlier this semester. He said he is excited to win a seat for next year and “to keep working on everything I’ve been working on.”

“I'm super excited to work with everyone. It's going to be a great, very productive year,” Issermoyer said. “A lot of [the candidates] are very interested in solving the same kind of issues, so being able to work together, I feel like we will make a lot of progress.”

About 92% of voters also approved a referendum of three constitutional amendments. There were 1,855 students who voted for the referendum, and 156 who voted against it. 

The first amendment changes the size of the elections committee to include a chair and between six and 10 members. Previously it was limited to just eight members, not including the chair. 

The second amendment changes the powers of the vice president for governance. Previously, the vice president could appoint and supervise all SGB representatives to shared governance committees, such as Staff Council or Senate Council. With the passage of the referendum, the vice president for governance will now only be able to supervise the SGB representatives, and the president will have the power to appoint them.

The third amendment gives the board and the judicial committee the power to edit the spelling, grammar or nomenclature of the constitution through a unanimous vote — as long as the changes don’t alter the meaning or effect of the current language. 


SCENE @ Pitt, a career advancement club for students who want to work in the film industry, requested $7,028.90 for film equipment not available for rent. The board voted to approve the request in full.

Engineers Without Borders, an engineering service organization, requested $27,305.05 for travel fees, host organization attendee fees and material costs for a service trip to Bolivia. The committee recommended the board approve the request to the amount of $13,752.50 and said material costs and other fees should be covered by the club. The board voted to approve the request to the amount of $15,728.92.

Delta Epsilon Mu, a co-ed professional medical fraternity, requested $2,167 to cover airfare and lodging for a national convention in Sacramento, California. The board voted to approve the request in full.

Health Occupation Students of America requested $2,530 to cover lodging and ground transportation for a leadership conference at Valley Forge Resort in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The board voted to approve the request in full.

Club swim requested $3,301.38 for registration, ground transportation and lodging for a national competition at Ohio State. The board voted to approve the request in full.

Strong Women, Strong Girls, a youth mentoring program, requested $2,969.20 for five Pitt charter buses to host an on-campus field trip for girls in the program. The board voted to approve the request in full. 

The Caribbean Student Association requested $1,406.55 to pay for clothes, equipment, a photographer and a DJ for their yearly cultural festival. The committee recommended the board approve the request to the amount of $1,062.84 to limit food costs to $3 per person. The board voted to approve the committee's recommendation.