The Pitt News

SGB makes progress on two groups

Patrick Corelli, Natalie Dall, and Joe Streets of Student Government board discussed support for students living off campus at Tuesday's meeting.   Kate Koenig | Staff Photographer

Patrick Corelli, Natalie Dall, and Joe Streets of Student Government board discussed support for students living off campus at Tuesday's meeting. Kate Koenig | Staff Photographer

Patrick Corelli, Natalie Dall, and Joe Streets of Student Government board discussed support for students living off campus at Tuesday's meeting. Kate Koenig | Staff Photographer

By Lauren Wilson / Staff Writer

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Looking to emulate the Resident Student Association, Pitt’s Student Government Board is forming a resource and support group for students living off campus.

At SGB’s weekly public meeting Tuesday night, Board member Natalie Dall said SGB will host an open information session in Room 538 of the William Pitt Union 7 p.m. today for students interested in joining the Pittsburgh Student Tenant Association. The group will connect students to city or University resources when they have a complaint about their apartment or landlord.

The association will help by connecting students to SGB’s lawyer or the city’s building inspection office.

Applications for the association are live on SGB’s website, and Pat Corelli, SGB governmental relations chair, said the deadline will “most likely” follow finals week. SGB will appoint an executive director, a program director, an advocacy director and five neighborhood chairs.

According to Corelli, the purpose of the information session is to inform students about their responsibilities if SGB appoints them to the association, including organizing programs to encourage student involvement in their communities.

“Once we get them appointed, the next step is getting them certified as a student organization, then draw[ing] up the constitution and hav[ing] a faculty adviser look over it,” Corelli said.

Corelli said SGB is not sure who will act as the association’s faculty advisor.

“We know the interest is there, there’s just the question of getting the spots filled,” Corelli said.

Corelli said he expects the association to work on the rental rights workshops and introduce programs to provide campus students a “better quality of life.”

Dall said SGB will interview applicants during the first week of January.

Dall, Corelli and Board member Everett Green will vote on candidates, though Dall said the selection process is not final. Once the inaugural members are in place, the association will be self-sufficient, and SGB will take a less involved role.

Dall said SGB plans to meet with and assist the association during the first semester.

“We have a lot of connections we are going to need moving forward, like our relationship with Oakwatch,” Dall said.

Dall has worked with Corelli to write the association’s constitution since the summer.

“We really want [the association] to act as a voice for their neighborhoods to bring concerns to neighborhood meetings, build the bridge between permanent residents and students and work on getting an idea of the climate off campus,” Dall said.

Dall said she would like to see the association develop ways to get off-campus students more involved with their neighbors.

“A lot of students are at the point where they don’t really know their neighbors, and there can be a lot of tensions between permanent residents and students,” she said.

In other action:

The Bike Task Force will have its second meeting 11 a.m. this Friday in the William Pitt Union, Room 510.

The task force, a group of students working to make Oakland better with bike safety, plans to discuss its progress so far and include administrators in their discussions.

The Bike Task Force first met on Nov. 4, to set goals for the force, such as making brochures for the bike lanes and increasing bike safety training during freshman orientation.

Joe Streets, chair of SGB’s environmental committee and a member of the task force, said the need for the group arose from meetings between the environmental and transportation committees in April and meetings with student representatives in September.

“Out of the second meeting [of the committees], we figured out we need some sort of committee and some sort of club to advocate for biking.”

Streets said the Bike Task Force, which currently has about 10 members, is open to all students.

“The task force is meant to represent the diverse community of students,” Streets said.“It’s open, but we try to get lots of student representatives from all parts, such as students working with city government and people concerned about the environment.”

After the second meeting between the environmental and transportation committees, Streets said students wanted to promote cycling awareness.

“There are tons of new bike lanes that have popped up, but we want to have a student voice in those conversations moving forward,” Streets said. “Having a bike safety task force was necessary.”

Streets hopes the task force will communicate with Pitt administrators and the Department of Parking, Transportation and Services.

“This is an effort to put students in the conversation. [Bike safety] is very much is going to affect us the next few years,” Streets said. “We have a need to get involved. There’s a lot of students with good ideas.”


There were no allocations requests at Tuesday’s meeting.

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SGB makes progress on two groups