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Board appoints Judicial Committee

By Emily Ahlin and Abbey Reighard / The Pitt News Staff

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Former Student Government Board President Mike Nites’ power still lingers over the current Board’s decisions. 

The Board voted to approve nine, including one alternative, Judicial Committee member nominations at its public meeting on Tuesday in Nordy’s Place.

A Nominating Task Force selected nine out of 16 applicants after interviews on Feb. 1 in the William Pitt Union. The applications were available last November, according to Board President Graeme Meyer.

Nites, Meyer, Executive Vice President Nasreen Harun and former and current Judicial Committee Chairs Audrey Winn and Kyle Hoch, respectively, sat on the task force.

This is the first year that such a task force has selected standing committee members, who were previously selected by committee chairs. Standing committees include Judicial, as well as Elections and Allocations. The creation of the task force ultimately resulted from Bill 024, passed on Nov. 11, which Meyer could not provide at the time of publication. 

The passage of Bill 024 created the Code’s Article 4, which states that former and current presidents would select standing committee chairs and members. In this case, those members were Nites and Meyer. 

Nites, who graduated last December, could not be reached for comment before publication.

Revisions to the committee selections processes were just a few of many changes adopted by the former Board in its SGB Governing Code on Jan. 14, 2014. Nites drafted the code, according to a previous article in The Pitt News. 

The Board then voted to changed the nominating task force’s makeup from its initial conception last year once more on Nov. 11, Meyer said. It originally had an even number of seats, thus lacking a tiebreaker, Meyer said.

Article 4 also states the committees’ outgoing chair, outgoing vice chair and, if the “Committee bylaws do not state a fifth person to sit on the nominating task force,” then the incoming Executive Vice President or the Outgoing Executive Vice President, will fill the fifth seat. 

“It gave the new Board too much power to pick the Judicial Committee,” Meyer said. “The committee could’ve been composed of all the new Board’s best friends, if they’re the ones picking them.”

In Other Action:

Vice President and Chief of Finance Matt Sykes said the Board is currently working on reclassifying student organizations into categories so that the Board can monitor allocations. With the reorganization, Sykes hopes to make weekly online reports on how much the Board allocates to each category. His reports will also include information on the Research Travel Grants program.

Sykes said this measure will help “increase transparency between the students and the Student Government Board.” 

Currently, the totals for Research Travel Grants and funds allocated to student groups by both the Board and the Allocations Committee are available on SGB’s website, and Sykes said he hopes the reclassifications will be completed by the end of the semester so that the spending categories will also be on the website.

Allocations:

Pitt Men’s Volleyball Club requested $6,338 for registration, airfare and lodging for a tournament in Kansas City, Mo. The Board approved $6,134 and denied $204 in line with the allocations recommendation.

Panther Swim Club requested $1,404.24 for registration, ground transportation and lodging for their trip to Penn State. 

The Board approved the request in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

Steel City Bhangra requested $2,234.64 for ground transportation and lodging for a Bhangra conference. The Board approved the request in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

Pitt Archery Club requested $2,835 for registration and ground transportation to attend seven practice sessions at a local practice facility. The Board, with the exception of Board member Jack Heidecker, amended the allocations recommendation of approving $2,240 and denying $545 to approve $1,215 and deny $1,620. 

The Board amended the allocations recommendation because the club has done very little fundraising. Vice President and Chief of Cabinet Natalie Dall told the group that if it fundraised in the future, for instance by raising dues by $5 or $10, then the Board would be more lenient with allocations.

The Board has allocated $67,183.62 this semester. 

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Board appoints Judicial Committee