SGB unanimously votes to amend bylaws

By Danielle Fox / Staff Writer

Before the 2012-2013 Student Government Board leaves office in January, it will leave its mark on SGB’s rulebook. 

The Board voted unanimously at the final meeting of its members’ terms Tuesday night to amend its own bylaws. While the majority of the revisions are semantic, SGB President Gordon Louderback said the changes were necessary in order to reflect recent changes to the constitution as well as to officially outline additional responsibilities for the president and Board members.

Under the amended bylaws, Board members must attend meetings for committees to which he or she is appointed and meet “once a month and as needed” with the committee chair for whom he or she is a liaison. 

Louderback said the revisions to the bylaws — the rules that govern the responsibilities and processes of the Board  — are “nothing significant.” 

“There is nothing outstanding, like, ‘Whoa, we put that in there?’” Louderback said.

Louderback said he believed the addition of section 1.15 to the bylaws, which requires the president to “guide and coordinate the transition process between the incoming and outgoing boards,” is a significant revision. 

Louderback said Board members and presidents were already expected to handle these responsibilities, but it was not officially noted in the bylaws.

Louderback already required current Board members to submit “transition documents” detailing the projects on which they worked during their terms. SGB also hosted a meeting between the incoming and outgoing Board members and a meeting between SGB’s incoming and outgoing committee chairs Monday night.

Although the current Board decided on the revisions, the incoming Board members will be the first to test the amended bylaws. 

SGB’s Judicial Committee drafted the revisions. Joseph Kozak, the committee’s chair, said he and the other members briefly considered last month whether to leave the decision to the next Board because it is so late in the term. 

Kozak said the proposal for the revision was mostly complete by Oct. 24 but that his committee was “sidetracked” by the revisions it wrote for the SGB Constitution and could not review it until Nov. 7. 

He said he was initially apprehensive about introducing the revisions because campaign season had already begun, and the revisions would influence prospective board members who were unaware of the additional responsibilities outlined in the amended bylaws. 

Louderback disagreed.

“The revisions were public before the election, so if [the candidates] had any disagreements with them, they could have withdrawn themselves from the race,” Louderback said.

Louderback said it is typical for boards and committees to change documents at the end of their terms to “reflect on what they’ve learned in the past year to better the document.”

Despite apprehension, Kozak agreed with Louderback that the changes were necessary to reflect the updated constitution. 

One of the three referenda approved by the student body in last month’s SGB election removed Section 2 of the SGB Constitution and inserted it into the Board’s bylaws as sections 1.11 and 2.05. These sections state that the president and the three Board members who receive the highest number of votes in the SGB election must serve as representatives to the University Senate Council.

Kozak said that if the incoming Board does not agree with the revisions, its members can choose to change the bylaws themselves.

Mike Nites, the incoming Board president, said he supports the revisions. The incoming Board discussed additional revisions when it met Tuesday night. 

Nites said the incoming Board has discussed immediately introducing a revision to allow outgoing committee chairs to help pick their replacements, in addition to other bylaw revisions.

“We are going to take it one step further,” Nites said.

In other action:

Louderback introduced a resolution to publicly support future involvement with the Atlantic Coast Conference Student Government Conference. 

Pitt’s SGB partnered with Florida State University’s student government to host the inaugural ACC Student Government Conference on Sept. 1-2. Student governments from 12 of the 15 ACC member schools attended the conference at Pitt.

“It was a great way to meet other SGB members of the ACC and open that line of communication where I can easily call or text one of them and get their opinion or help on a project that I’m working on,” Louderback said. 

Although the Board will no longer meet publicly, Louderback said they will vote on the resolution over email after one week, which Louderback said will allow for a period of discussion.

The Board voted to appoint Nasreen Harun, a sophomore who served on the Allocations Committee this term, as the allocations chair for the upcoming term.

The Board voted to approve the Community Outreach Committee’s bylaws.


The Catholic Newman club requested $1,600 for four members to attend the Student Leadership Summit in Dallas. The Board approved the request in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

Cru requested $1,343.81 for four members to attend the Radiate Conference in Washington, D.C. The Board approved the request in full.

The Panther rugby club requested $5,689.20 for 12 members to attend the Las Vegas Collegiate Invitational. The Board approved $1,555 and denied $4,051.20, a portion of the costs.

Before the meeting, the Board earmarked $800 to The Pitt Pulse and $820 to Model United Nations.

The Board has allocated $182,678.73 so far this year.