SGB keeps it real

By Lindsay Carroll

An unusually large crowd packed the Student Government Board meeting room on the eighth floor of… An unusually large crowd packed the Student Government Board meeting room on the eighth floor of the William Pitt Union last night, even though three board members left early because of their respective sororities’ bid nights.’ ‘ ‘ Around 30 people attended the meeting, and about 20 were members of Keep It Real, a student organization that tutors refugee families and children in Pittsburgh. Keep It Real vice president Nick Brown said the group showed up in large numbers because they expected to get denied as a result of an allocation issue from last year with a different club. The SGB allocations committee initially advised the board to deny Keep It Real’s request for $1,390 because the group had requested money for the same event before, which SGB precedent has not allowed. Brown and the other members stood to address the board about the request. Brown explained that Keep It Real requested $1,895 last year for transportation costs, but prices were higher than expected this year because of rising gas prices, he said. The board denied the allocations recommendation that would have denied the request and motioned to approve the full additional cost of $1,390. Brown said he and the other members had expected the board to deny the request even after he explained Keep It Real’s situation. He said the difference between this request and the one the group submitted last year was that Keep It Real had no control over the unforeseen costs. ‘ ‘And to see it go smoothly, it kind of made me think differently about SGB,’ added Brown. Board member Amanda Reed introduced a resolution to the board that would recognize the Student Vote Coalition, an effort to register Pitt students to vote, as the ‘sole voter registration entity’ on campus recognized by SGB and Pitt administration. Reed said the resolution was necessary so that SGB could recognize a credible organization for student voter registration. She said the goals are to ensure that students can get their cards in on time for the presidential election and to encourage nonpartisan civic participation. The resolution would not ban other groups on campus from registering voters. After Reed and board member Perry Servedio read the resolution, the board tabled it to be voted on during next week’s meeting. Board member Ryan Haddad announced that online registration is now available for Pitt Make A Difference Day on Oct. 18, a board effort to have students do mass volunteering in Pittsburgh. The Web site is President Sumter Link said he hoped the program would encourage students to give back to the city.’ ‘ ‘ ‘Students may get a bad rap,’ said Link. ‘Hopefully it will encourage civic responsibility. This could show that we actually do care about Oakland and the city.’ Board members Nila Devanath, Francee Varner and Lacee Ecker left the meeting early. SGB Allocations Student Government Board denied a $3,398 request to the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity because the money requested was for travel expenses to an event outside of the country. ‘ ‘ ‘ A representative from the organization said that two years ago, the money had been approved for a similar request and that they would not be able to attend the conference if the money was denied. Pitt Outdoors Club requested $2,002 from SGB for a conference on the West Coast, but it was denied. A representative from that club said that the board denied the request because there may have been a closer conference. The Club, however, said there were no closer conferences. Students Taking Action Now: Darfur, requested money for event expenses, including member registration. The board approved $692.60 but denied $400 because of a policy that only allows registration expenses for four organization members to be covered by SGB.