The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

Senate council discusses recent UPMC shuttle accident, Pitt funding

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Zoom screenshot
The Senate Council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 12.

David DeJong opened Thursday’s Senate Council meeting by addressing the recent shuttle accident and loss of Emily Watson, the supervisor of the transport department at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. 

“We mourn that loss, and the Pitt community’s hearts go out to her family, her friends and her colleagues at UPMC,” DeJong, senior vice chancellor for business and operations and professor of economics, said. “To everyone here, please know that the safety and well-being of the University community is our absolute top priority.”

Senate Council met Thursday afternoon in room 2700 of Posvar Hall and over Zoom for their last meeting of the fall semester to discuss the accident involving Emily Watson, the recent approval of Pitt funding and preparing for the winter weather in the upcoming semester. 

A UPMC shuttle bus struck Watson on Terrace Street on Nov. 29. DeJong said Pitt is continuing to work with UPMC to provide a safe campus. He said students and faculty have provided continued feedback and support after the accident.

“We have ample channels for engagement on this imperative, including the Senate Cost Committee and the Campus Utilization Planning and Safety Committee, and I’m so glad that safety has become a part of their oversight,” DeJong said. “Of course, our student groups and the Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee meet regularly.”

Joseph McCarthy, interim provost and senior vice chancellor, said the Pennsylvania General Assembly has approved Pitt’s funding, and Pitt will receive nearly $152 million for the 2023-2024 academic year.

“We’re very thankful to the legislature for helping to ensure that in-state tuition for PA students will remain as low as it can,” McCarthy said. “I’ll note that in combination with the money that we received from the state that is therefore able to give a discount to in-state students or more than 16k in any given year.”

McCarthy said the funding would save the average undergraduate student around $64,000. He added that 16,000 students across the five Pitt campuses will be positively impacted by this change.

Senate Council President Robin Kear said it was important to remind everyone of the possible inclement weather conditions that could arise next semester.

“If the University closes, you know, there are numerous communication plans activated including the emergency notification service, the websites and social media,” Kear said. “Please stay aware, and if there’s inclement weather and the University is not closing, a friendly reminder to be aware and discuss and be ready for inclement weather procedures in your school or department.”

Ryan Young, Student Government Board president, said several sexual misconduct prevention initiatives have been advanced through the support, advocacy and prevention committee, and SGB will lead a prevention coalition. 

“We’re also currently serving students on their experience with the Title IX process and working to create a survivor support network at Prevention at Pitt and just completed the display of our teal gallery, which was an exhibit of art from student survivors,” Young said.

About the Contributor
Khushi Rai, Senior Staff Writer