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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
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New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
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By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Student Government Board launches new allocations platform

Allocations+chair+Maddie+McCann-Colvard+speaks+at+the+weekly+public+meeting+in+Nordy%E2%80%99s+Place+on+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+26.
Nate Yonamine | Senior Staff Photographer
Allocations chair Maddie McCann-Colvard speaks at the weekly public meeting in Nordy’s Place on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Student Government Board Vice President of Operations Sarah Siddiqui introduced Experience Pitt, a new platform for allocation requests, at the board’s public meeting on Nov. 8. 

“We’re really excited to announce that Experience Pitt will be up and running at the beginning of the spring semester,” Siddiqui said. “This means we are going to have a more streamlined process and a better platform for allocations requests.”

Experience Pitt, run by the program Campus Groups, is set to replace the current allocations platform, Jot Form, in the spring 2023-24 semester. Typically, student organizations use the Jot Form to submit supplemental requests to the Allocations Committee for funding used for events and other various expenses. 

Although all allocations policies and procedures are staying the same, allocations chair Maddie McCann explained what aspects of the supplemental requests process will change once Experience Pitt is implemented. 

“[Experience Pitt] is going to be like a progress report,” McCann said. “It’ll say ‘your supplemental request has been submitted,’ ‘you’re under review,’ and it’ll have our final decision. Jot Form did not have that capability.” 

Siddiqui said Experience Pitt will offer a much more “user-friendly” format for student organizations to manage their funding. 

“Student groups are able to see directly where in the process they are with their allocations,” Siddiqui said. “We’re trying to make that communication a little bit easier.” 

Siddiqui added that the platform will serve as an archive for all allocation requests a group has made. 

“They’ll be able to pull up what requests they submitted a year ago, for example,” Siddiqui said. “It should make the allocation process a lot easier. 

Experience Pitt will also help organize general information about student organizations. 

“The idea behind [Experience Pitt] is that we’ll now have a centralized location for all money and information for each student organization,” McCann explained. “Club rosters will be powered through Experience Pitt, so anybody can pull that information if needed.”

McCann said the allocations committee held improving communications as a priority when working to build Experience Pitt. 

 “Obviously we will still communicate with groups through email and at hearings, but Experience Pitt will tell them our decision, how much money they’ve been approved for, and even our reasoning behind it,” McCann said. 

Experience Pitt will provide a place for student organizations to upload documents, making for a “faster” process, according to Siddiqui.

“Groups should be able to upload documents directly through Experience Pitt instead of through email. This will make things much more direct and provide a faster process.” Siddiqui said. 

One of Pitt’s branch campuses has already successfully tested and introduced the Experience Pitt platform, according to Siddiqui. 

“[Experience Pitt] has been [on] trial run at one of the branch campuses. They transferred them a little bit earlier than us just to see how it goes,” McCann explained. 

“The transition has been smooth,” Siddiqui said. “We do have over 700 student organizations at the Oakland campus, so it will be a bit different. In theory, [Experience Pitt] should run pretty similarly here as it does at the other campus.” 

In addition to a trial run at one of Pitt’s regional campuses, Student Government Board is administering a trial run of their own to prepare for the spring launch. 

“We are doing a trial process right now within SGB to see what the process looks like from a student perspective,” McCann said. “It’s our goal to make things a bit easier for [student] groups.”

McCann plans to make the transition to Experience Pitt “smooth” on the Oakland campus. 

“Experience Pitt will be launched at the end of the calendar year between the fall and spring semesters,” McCann said. “The idea is to allow a clean break to organize things for when we return in the spring.”

Siddiqui explained the steps SGB will take to help student organizations understand the new platform. 

“We plan to hold some type of informational session about [Experience Pitt] to inform students about how it’ll work and what will be different,” Siddiqui said. “There will likely be a learning curve for me, all of SGB, and ultimately student organizations.”

In addition to informational sessions about the new platform, McCann plans to increase communication with student organizations in January to ensure everyone understands the platform and its changes. 

“I’ll have an updated ‘Allocations 101’ presentation on our SGB website to answer any questions,” McCann said. “Hopefully, we’re going to get as many groups as possible to know about the switch, and we’ll have tons of open meetings about how the platform will run.”

Siddiqui confirmed that the allocations committee’s policies and processes will remain the same despite the change in platforms. 

“None of our policies are changing because of this flip in the platform, just the process of submitting supplemental requests is changing,” Siddiqui said. “We don’t want any groups feeling confused after the switch, so we’ll collect feedback frequently and adapt as we go.”