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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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

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Alex Borg poses for a photo with an accordion on Soldiers and Sailors Lawn.
Alex Borg: Her accordion anchors a ‘no-man Jimmy Buffett band’
By Patrick Swain, Culture Editor • April 12, 2024
Opinion | CPCs, get off our campus
By India Krug, Senior Staff Columnist • April 12, 2024

SGB hosts protestor rights town hall, introduces new resolution

Members+of+Student+Government+Board+speak+during+Tuesday+night%E2%80%99s+meeting+in+Nordy%E2%80%99s+Place.+
Alex Jurkuta | Senior Staff Photographer
Members of Student Government Board speak during Tuesday night’s meeting in Nordy’s Place.

Socials: Student Government Board introduced a new resolution expressing solidarity with Hong Seng Knitting and hosted a protestor rights town hall at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Board Member Matt Jurich started Student Government Board’s Tuesday night meeting by introducing a new resolution calling for the University to terminate its contract with Nike. The board will vote on the resolution at next week’s public meeting, but SGB stands in “unyielding solidarity” with the workers at the Hong Seng Knitting Factory. 

“The University of Pittsburgh Student Government Board adopts this resolution as the public opinion of the Student Government Board,” Jurich said. “Less than 1% of the workers at home said they have been compensated for the suspended pay.”

DaVaughn Vincent-Bryan, director of involvement and student unions, wants to remind students they have a right to express themselves.

“We want to underscore that students have the right to be heard on campus,” Vincent-Bryan said, “And we’re going to encourage folks to think about how they organize, whether that’s via town hall meetings or things like this. We want to make sure that folks have the ability to scan and consider risk. So we don’t expect our students to know all the things, but we’re going to help our students think about from start to end and how to manage that.”

Clyde Pickett, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion at Pitt, encouraged students to seek out information about protestor rights.

“I think part of it is providing an opportunity to have information that’s available to students,” Pickett said. “One of the ways in which you can do that is working directly with Student Affairs and others to amplify the information to pass forward messages in terms of the protections and support there in place so that our students, when they elect to exercise their right to protest, have the appropriate information in support.”

Carissa Slotterback, professor and dean of the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs, said the school year’s theme of discourse and dialogue will continue into the 2024-2025 school year. Slotterback also said protesting is “one of the tools in the toolbox” that students can use.

“I will say I’ve never been one to attend a protest. It’s just not my space. I’m all about working in the system,” Slotterback said. “I think understanding and getting to know yourself and what your set of tools are, what your skill sets are and how you are going to channel all of that energy and all of that aspiration that you have in ways that are most comfortable for you is how you build up some of those new skills in spaces.”

Slotterback also said students have a right to disagree with University decisions.

“We also recognize that anyone in this university, whether you as a student, whether colleagues as staff or faculty, has a right to challenge any decision that we make or any statement that we make,” Slotterback said. “I think it’s less about staying within the bounds, but to acknowledge obligations and responsibilities that we have in our particular roles and that we have as an institution.

Pickett said the administration is available to support students but is focused on representing the institution. 

“We always have to represent the interests of the institution — in this case, the University,” Pickett said. “I think as student leaders, you can further amplify that as a part of considerations and to understand that you too at different times may be faced with a discussion where a particular issue you may agree or disagree with, but your responsibility, especially as student leaders, is to get the students who are interested in protesting the appropriate information to understand what are the protocols and procedures to move forward and in different situations.” 

Allocations: 

PennPIRG requested $2,237.72 to attend a lobby day in Washington D.C. The board amended and approved this request. 

Students for Justice in Palestine requested $10,000 to bring a speaker to campus. A member from this organization withdrew this request.

Women’s club water polo requested $4,215 for member dues. The board amended and approved this request. 

Men’s club volleyball requested $5,679 for flights to the national championships. The board amended and approved this request. 

Hydroponics Club requested $5,000 for hydroponic plant equipment to be kept in Benedum Hall. The board amended and approved the request in full.

Reform University Fellowship requested $2,288.80 to attend a conference. The board approved this request in full.



About the Contributor
Adrienne Cahillane, Senior Staff Writer