The Pitt News

Board members propose to reestablish disbanded committees

By Abbey Reighard / Assistant News Editor

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Two retired Student Government committees may make a comeback under the new Board. 

At last night’s Student Government Board public meeting, Board members Jacky Chen and Natalie Dall discussed reintroducing the Multicultural Committee and the Traditions Committee, which the last Board did not reintroduce. The two committees would work on multicultural issues and Pitt pride traditions, respectively. Chen and Dall do not know when they plan to reestablish the committees. 

If Chen and Dall go through with their plans, the two committees would be ad-hoc, temporary committees that each board can disband if board members decide the committees are no longer necessary. Board members do not have to vote on the establishment of ad-hoc committees, as long as one Board member agrees to head the committee. 

Chen said the Multicultural committee will help cultural groups on campus, such as the Asian Student Alliance and Black Action Society, to advocate cultural initiatives and inform the student body about diversity issues. Chen said he doesn’t know the subjects of initiatives yet, as he intends to collect ideas from the cultural groups. 

Chen is still researching when and why the Multicultural committee disbanded.

“Students can advocate for certain issues and programming,” Chen said. “It could also help the people who maybe didn’t grow up in the most culturally diverse area.” 

The Pitt News reported on Dec. 8, 2013, that then-Board member Sowmya Sanapala said she had intended to introduce the Multicultural Committee at the beginning of her term, but changed her mind after speaking to multicultural student leaders about their needs.

“[The organizations] didn’t feel like it was necessary anymore,” Sanapala said in the article. “They already felt comfortable coming to the SGB office or a representative to speak about any issue they might have.” 

Chen said he plans to individually meet with cultural group leaders so he can gauge what each group thinks about bringing back the committee. 

Dall intends to reintroduce the Traditions Committee. Previous SGB president Mike Nites said Board member’s interests determine ad-hoc committees, and his Board chose not to run the committee during their 2014 to 2015 term.

Dall said the Traditions Committee will increase school spirit by bringing back traditions, such as rubbing the Pitt Panther statue’s nose for good luck and student groups creating flags in support of athletic teams. 

Dall said she is still developing strategies on how to re-popularize the traditions and has already emailed approximately 300 student groups about the Traditions Committee. Dall, President Graeme Meyer and Rachel Cawley, president of the Blue and Gold Society, will host an open meeting to discuss ideas for the Traditions Committee on Sunday at 4 p.m. in room 540 of the William Pitt Union. 

Allocations 

Women’s Club Ultimate Frisbee requested $1,579.52 to send 18 people to the I-85 Rodeo competition in Aflen, N.C. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

There were no representatives from Women’s Club Ultimate Frisbee to discuss the request. The Board members agreed to vote on the request without the representatives present. 

Model United Nations requested $2,604.18 to send 13 people to a national conference at the College of William and Mary. The Board approved the request in full, despite the allocations recommendation to deny in full because the request went over the group’s cap by about $2,500, according to Allocations Committee Chair Nick Reslink. 

Board member Lia Petrose said Model United Nations is different from other organizations because they don’t request supplies or equipment and said she believed the Board should allocate funds for the conference. Board member Jack Heidecker disagreed. He and Executive Vice President Nasreen Harun voted against the amendment.

“These caps are here for a reason,” Heidecker said. “We’re asked to go over caps from a lot of other student organizations and we should be consistent in what we do.” 

Pitt Mock Trial requested $2,589.70 for opening round championships. The Board approved $1,943.83 and denied $645.87 in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Pitt Men’s Rugby Football Club requested $1,877 to send 24 players to a tournament in Nashville, Tenn. The Board denied in full in line with the allocations recommendation in accordance with the new club sports policy. 

Pitt Men’s Glee Club requested $3,700 for ground transport to Washington, D.C. to fly to Italy for their 125th Anniversary Tour. The Board denied in full in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Hindu Student Council requested $1,365 for their annual Spring Garba dance event. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.  

Women’s Water Polo requested $2,354 for their annual league dues. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

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Board members propose to reestablish disbanded committees