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Board to put SGB changes to student vote

By Danielle Fox / Assistant News Editor

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The Student Government Board approved putting a series of constitutional changes up for student vote in next Tuesday’s election. 

Board member Graeme Meyer said the changes aim to help students better understand SGB’s operations and functions. Students will vote on the changes through referenda on the ballot. 

The Board held its weekly meeting in the Kurtzman Room on the first floor of the William Pitt Union Tuesday night, instead of its usual spot in Nordy’s Place, where an election event took place.

The constitutional changes include appointing the Board member who receives the highest number of votes in the election as the executive vice-president —formerly called the president pro-tempore — changing the constitution wording to reflect that SGB’s bylaws are now part of its Governing Code. Another proposed change includes adding SGB committees, such as Academic Affairs, into SGB’s bylaws, making them “slightly more permanent,” Meyer said.

The changes also include adding a student assembly to student government as a lower legislative body to student government, and making it so if three Board members abstain from a vote, the vote would need unanimous approval to pass instead of a two/thirds majority. 

While campaigning for president last year, Board President Mike Nites began working on adding a student assembly of student leaders to provide feedback to the Board. 

Nites said the president traditionally appointed the Board member with the highest number of votes to pro tempore, and the change would make it an official standard as well as changing the title.  

The Board also postponed voting on a bill to update the SGB governing code until next week. 

Nites said the Board did not have time to discuss the bill because of last week’s dismissal of former Elections Chair Lauren Barney. 

Nites was not available to comment further on Barney’s case.

In other action:

Judicial chair Audrey Winn said the Judicial committee will publicly hear Barney’s appeal on Thursday at 10 p.m across from SGB’s office in the WPU. 

Board member Abby Zurschmit said, starting Monday, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut will now be open until 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. Taco Bell hours are extended from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, and SubConnection will now be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Additionally, Tutto Fresco will also remain open until 11 p.m. every day, and Market Central hours on Friday and Saturday will be extended from 10 to 11 p.m. 

The Board approved a resolution supporting Pitt’s Hillel Jewish Student Union installing an interactive art display. The display is part of Hillel’s Holocaust remembrance, “Kristallnacht: The Night of Broken Glass” on Nov. 4. 

Allocations:

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers requested $1,641 to attend a conference in Atlanta, Ga. The Board approved $1,613 and denied $28, in line with the allocations recommendation.  

The Black Action Society requested $9,300 to bring a comedian to campus. The Board approved the request in full in line with the allocations recommendation. 

Pittsburgh Intercollegiate Snowboard Team requested $1,494.65 for their annual rail jam event on the Cathedral lawn. The Board approved $1,230.48 and denied $264.17 in line with the allocations recommendation. 

The Club Golf Team requested $6,218.60 to compete in its national tournament in Jackson, Miss. The Board amended the request to reflect a fee and approved $3,064.70 and denied $3,228.60. 

Lady Panther Soccer Club requested $7,522 to compete in its national tournament in Memphis, Tenn. The Board approved $3,832.33 and denied $3,690 in line with the allocations recommendation.

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Board to put SGB changes to student vote