Student Government Board member resigns

By Abbey Reighard / Staff Writer

The sole independent candidate who won a seat on the 2014 Student Government Board has stepped down after less than two months in office.

The Student Government Board announced in a public statement Thursday that Jake Radziwon, a junior marketing major, resigned from his position as Board member.

Radziwon, who is also captain of the Pitt men’s rugby team, was one of two independent candidates who ran without a three-person slate in the 2013 election.

Radziwon said he thinks resigning from the Board will allow him to focus more on his roles as a member of the SGB Recreation Committee and a student representative to the University Senate Athletics Committee. 

“Shifting my roles to these new ones that I’m taking on will allow me to better focus on those goals,” Radziwon said.

In his letter of resignation to the Board, Radziwon said that his position was taking time away from personal affairs and aspirations.

“I realize the fulfillment of my roles, whether as a leader or companion, has not met the high standards to which I hold myself,” Radziwon said.

Radziwon said that he first notified SGB President Mike Nites of his decision to resign from the Board at his one-on-one meeting after the weekly Student Government Board meeting this past Tuesday night.

“I figured that would be an appropriate time to notify [Nites],” Radziwon said.

Radziwon said he ran for a position on the Board to improve Pitt club sports.

“I wanted to become a Board member mostly because of club sports,” Radziwon said. “I saw the opportunity to run for Board, and I figured that might be my best shot at doing the things I wanted to do for club sports.”

In his campaign, Radziwon proposed revising the on-campus housing selection process, offering tickets for Pitt holiday shuttles online, making the athletic complexes more accessible to club sports groups and extending the hours of operation of campus workout facilities.

Nites said Radziwon will be able to continue pursuing these initiatives as member of the Recreation Committee and in his role with the University Senate Athletics Committee.

Radziwon said he is currently developing his ideas to improve club sports, but does not have any “fully developed” proposals yet.

Radziwon encouraged any student “who has ideas and wants to make a difference and achieve things” to consider applying for the now-vacant Board member position.

“Your status shouldn’t discourage you,” Radziwon said. “If you have an idea and a means to achieve that idea, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Board member or a brand-new freshman. We’re all Pitt students here.”

Nites also said that he is looking for someone to bring new ideas to the Board to fill Radziwon’s position.

The SGB Judicial Committee met with Nites last night to discuss the application and interview process for the open Board position.

The interviews will be held publicly by the Board. Nites said that he is not sure if the deliberation process between the Board will be public or private, but he confirmed that he has discussed the matter with the Judicial Committee at their meeting.

Nites said that if the Board does not receive a significant number of applications by the deadline on March 4, the Board will extend the deadline to a later date. If there is a significant number of applicants by the end of the week, Nites said the Board will vote on the applicants by the end of that week.

Nites said times and locations of the public interviews will be announced on the SGB website when they are determined by the Board.

The online application is currently available on the SGB website.

“I think any student who wants to get involved in student government and who has ideas about things they want to change should apply,” Nites said.