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SGB to add allocations alternate - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

SGB to add allocations alternate

SGB+member+Everett+Green+helped+organize+the+%22be+a+good+neighbor%22+month.+Photo%3A+Meghan+Sunners+%2F+Senior+Staff+Photographer
SGB member Everett Green helped organize the

SGB member Everett Green helped organize the "be a good neighbor" month. Photo: Meghan Sunners / Senior Staff Photographer

SGB member Everett Green helped organize the "be a good neighbor" month. Photo: Meghan Sunners / Senior Staff Photographer

By Lauren Wilson / Staff Writer

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Calling in backup, Pitt’s Student Government Board said Tuesday night it will add an alternate member to its Allocations Committee in case of future resignations.

In a unanimous vote at its public meeting Sept. 15, SGB approved a bill amending its governing code to add the position of alternate Allocations Committee member who would join the Board if a sudden vacancy occurs. The Allocations Committee is looking to fill four open seats, plus the new alternate position, by the end of the month.

According to Allocations Committee Chair Nick Reslink, the decision to add an alternate to the committee was not a result of the recent resignations. Reslink said SGB wanted to be on par with other boards’ subcommittees at other universities, like Penn State University, that have alternate members.

“Vacancies presented opportunities for this to happen, but it wasn’t done because of a vacancy,” Reslink said.

Reslink, who authored the bill, said the vacancies on the committee have not affected its ability to allocate funding from Pitt’s Student Activities Fee to student groups on campus.

In both May and earlier this month, members of the committee have resigned their posts, and Reslink said he is adding positions for two freshmen this fall.

Reslink said he will fill the four vacancies this semester, reserving two of them for freshmen, before the term ends in December. At the beginning of next year, the Allocations Committee will bring on 10 to 12 new members and one alternate. The alternate will not serve on the committee in any other capacity. 

Reslink said he and the committee have scheduled interviews this weekend to fill the positions. According to Reslink, the nominating task force will select the alternative committee member from the pool of applicants. So far, Reslink said, the committee has received about 15 applications for the positions.

According to the bill, if the alternative member is unable or no longer willing to fill the vacancy, the committee will open up applications for the position again.

“Vacancies happen because you never know what will come up,” Reslink said.

SGB president Nasreen Harun said other SGB committees, including the Judiciary and Elections committees, have similar policies, but that those alternates are similar to substitutes and have greater involvement in the committees.

In other news, SGB Governmental Relations Chair Pat Corelli said he and the Board are also working with the University to establish the Pitt Student Tenants Association, an administrative advocacy group that will assist students living off campus. Though Corelli said the Association is still in its planning stages, it will essentially act as the off-campus version of Pitt’s Resident Student Association.

“It will do two things. One is to be a go-between between residents, organizations and government bodies,” Corelli said. “The other thing is to help students with their landlords and promoting renters’ rights.”

SGB also passed a resolution Tuesday encouraging students to clean up South Oakland and be better neighbors, officially denoting Sept. 15, to Oct. 15, Be a Good Neighbor Month.

According to the resolution, SGB will “use all resources at its disposal to educate students about their rights as residents and responsibilities as neighbors.” As part of the resolution, Corelli said SGB will distribute literature on how and when students should place their trash on the curb. 

Corelli has been attending Oakwatch meetings with Harun and meeting with Pitt’s Department of Off-Campus Living. Corelli said Be a Good Neighbor Month will help students improve community relations.

“It shows SGB takes it seriously,” Corelli said.

According to Wanda Wilson, the executive director of the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, the designation is part of an overall solution to the bridge the gap between students and permanent residents of Oakland.

“These are positive activities that can’t hurt,” Wilson said.

Before the designation, Corelli said SGB has helped Pitt host Be a Good Neighbor block parties. According to Corelli, SGB has been advertising for Be a Good Neighbor Month on SGB’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

“A lot of times for students, it’s like [the neighbors] are the ones who call the cops. And for the neighbors, it’s like [the students] are the ones causing trouble,” Corelli said. “If you put a face to it on either side, it’s much easier to treat them with respect.”

Allocations:

The Mock Trial Organization requested $1,838.64 to attend a conference at Xavier University. The board approved the request in full.

The Women’s Ultimate Club requested $225 to attend a tournament at Penn State University. The board approved the request in full.

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SGB to add allocations alternate