SGB presidential candidates talk platforms, accountability and plans for restructuring

By Cristina Holtzer and Harrison Kaminsky / The Pitt News Staff

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SGB Presidential candidates on: their main platforms, how to hold Board members responsible for their duties and their plans to restructure Pitt’s Student Government.

Andrew Stefanik

Main platforms: Bring a level of professionalism to SGB “that it completely lacks right now,” restructure the Board and improve student services. “There’s more to be done than just increasing gym hours.”

Holding Board members accountable: Set goals up front that are specific, measurable, attainable and realistic, complete with a timetable and accountability system in which communication is key. 

Plans to restructure: Change elections process: Half of the Board should be elected popularly by the student body, the other half should be elected indirectly by presidents of certain organizations — the people who rely on student government the most will have a greater voice than the average student. Survey and evaluate what the student body wants and what is available. 

Wasi Mohamed

Main platforms: Improve academic quality by helping departments work with students to fit certain classes in their schedules before cutting the classes entirely, help students work with administrators on initiatives they care about and serve as a liaison between the student body and faculty. 

Holding Board members accountable: Form an Internal Improvements Committee to hold the Board accountable to the student body. The Committee would post progress of Board members’ initiatives online and use various benchmarking techniques to gather information.  

Restructuring student government: Create structures like a campus senate to enhance the student voice and utilize student voice better. “This will affect every other advocacy initiative we have.” 

Graeme Meyer

Main platforms: Restructure student government, improve campus safety through efforts with campus and city police and advocate for students living off-campus, such as ensuring that Oakland apartments have been inspected by the proper authorities.

Holding Board members accountable: Have honest conversations with Board members at the start of the term about what’s possible, how to get things done, laying out expectations and making sure members aren’t discouraged.

Plans to restructure: Create a student assembly to see more involvement from non-Board members, outline clear responsibilities for each position, implement a new format — such as an executive branch with two judicial branches — and hold weekly meetings with Board members to formally check in. “A lot of people aren’t very aware of what we do.”

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