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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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)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

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)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Senate Council discusses plan for Pitt, student organization updates

%28Left+to+right%29+Student+Government+Board+President+Ryan+Young%2C+Vice+President+of+Operations+Sarah+Siddiqui%2C+Vice+President+of+Initiatives+Katie+Fitzpatrick+and+Vice+President+of+Policy+Sarah+Mayer+listen+to+the+Senate+Council+meeting+on+Thursday+in+2700+Posvar+Hall.
Evan Fuccio | Staff Photographer
(Left to right) Student Government Board President Ryan Young, Vice President of Operations Sarah Siddiqui, Vice President of Initiatives Katie Fitzpatrick and Vice President of Policy Sarah Mayer listen to the Senate Council meeting on Thursday in 2700 Posvar Hall.

Chancellor Joan Gabel began Thursday’s Senate Council meeting by providing an update on the Plan for Pitt, an initiative launched in the fall of 2021 that clearly outlines the University’s plans in all areas, such as funding, academics and employment. 

“A lot of strategic plans in higher education look exactly the same, but they don’t talk about what the University can do uniquely well,” Gabel said. “There are things happening at Pitt that can only happen here.” 

Senate Council met Thursday afternoon in room 2700 Posvar Hall and over Zoom. At the meeting, they discussed Plan for Pitt updates, FAFSA delays and heard reports from several student organizations. 

Gabel said Pitt had a record number of applications for the 2024-25 academic year. Some other topics discussed in her report include student retention and providing affordable education.

Gabel also provided an update on FAFSA delays that are affecting university admissions country-wide.

“We have had over 60,000 applications this year and over 3,000 students in attendance at admitted students programs,” Gabel said. “We are monitoring FAFSA delays to accurately set our hard deadline for prospective students’ decisions.” 

President Robin Kear presented the Senate Service Award to John Stoner, a professor in the history department, during Thursday’s meeting. Senate Council confers the Senate Service Award for “outstanding contributions to the University of Pittsburgh through service in the University Senate.” 

“John is a generous and compassionate colleague,” Kear said. “He is willing to listen and take in new information, and he always works towards making Pitt a better place.” 

Stoner joined the University Senate in 2014. He has been a member of the Senate Educational Policies Committee since 2016 and has served as its co-chair for 4 years. 

Kear urged Senate members to attend a general education reform task force listening session. 

“This is the beginning of conversations about revisioning,” Kear said. “I want to stress that I believe this process is taking our existing puzzle pieces and fitting them together differently for our students.”

Kear announced that a survey will begin circulating soon which the general education reform task force will use to inform their decisions. 

Student Government Board President Ryan Young reported the board’s latest happenings, including a food accessibility town hall and a meeting with the office of admissions and financial aid about recruiting diverse students. 

Young also provided an update on the student leader remunerations proposal that has been a work in progress since January. The proposal would provide stipends for different student leaders on campus. 

“After this Senate Council, we will be finalizing our remunerations proposal to pay more student leaders for the work they do in our community,” Young said. “This process was led by students representing various remunerated positions on campus.” 

College of General Studies Student Government President Skyler Cheevers provided an update on recent CGSSG events, which include a logo design contest, a reception to honor CGS staff and a silent disco. 

“We’ll be increasing our outreach to CGS students through monthly emails and continuing our social media,” Cheevers said. “We’ll also be providing more networking opportunities and bringing back CGSSG’s town hall meetings.” 

Claire Dunning, the executive administrator for the Graduate and Professional Student Government Board, stepped in for President Rithika Behera to give their report at Thursday’s meeting. 

Dunning outlined events GPSG held this semester, including a Spring Fling, board elections and networking events. 

“The Spring Fling was an amazing opportunity for graduate and professional students to network and meet new people,” Dunning said. “We had an amazing turnout.”

Staff Council Parliamentarian Caitlin McCullough began her report by recognizing five staff council members who received awards at the Faculty Honors Convocation, which took place on April 5. 

McCullough also announced the onboarding of a new staff council manager, Bob Slepsky.

“We are very excited to have that position filled and we look forward to Bob starting with us,” McCullough said. “We look forward to onboarding what I think is an improved job description and improved plan for the position.”