Board passes green resolution

Board passes green resolution

By Danielle Fox / Staff Writer

The Student Government Board wants student environmental groups to have the ability to come together under one, environmentally sustainable roof.

The Board voted to advocate the establishment of an Office of Sustainability, which would fall under Student Affairs, to the University. The Environmental Committee, the Green Fund Advisory Board and SGB have been pushing the office since 2012, and the idea was reintroduced by Board member Sarah Winston last Tuesday. 

The decision was supported unanimously by the Board, including Board member Thomas Jabro, who said that it was a mistake that he was not originally listed as a co-sponsor on the copy of the resolution last week. He said that the omission of his name was a typo.

Winston had been working on the resolution with Mizane Johnson-Bowman, Environmental Committee chairwoman, as well as a chairwoman for the Green Fund Advisory Board, a subcommittee of the Environmental Committee that allocates funding to student environmental groups.

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Isaac Freedman, president of the Green Fund Advisory Board, said establishing this office would increase communication between environmental groups on campus as well as their access to funding and allow them to operate on a level on par with such offices at other universities.

In addition to the green efforts, the Board passed a resolution to approve committee bylaws. Each member also gave a report on progress toward achieving the projects on which members campaigned in the 2012 election.

President Gordon Louderback campaigned on plans to establish a campus improvement project form to allow students to work with chair members who campaigned on similar project platforms, to make the allocations process more transparent and to create a fundraising and advertising committee. 

Louderback has completed all three projects. He established the campus involvement project form in January and worked with Alexander Majchrzak, chair of the Allocations Committee, to include the amount of funding each student group receives in the Allocations recommendations summary. He appointed Erin Worbs to chair the fundraising and advertising committee last January.

Louderback also sponsored a resolution to support Pitt adopting Google Apps for Education.

Board member C.J. Bonge’s original platform was to work for a lasting, casual student-alumni communication, improve the Safe Rider system and expand the Pitt Arts community.

Bonge worked with Board member Sowmya Sanapala to establish a Panther-to-Panther speed networking session last year, and he also organized a letter-writing campaign during Homecoming week to increase communication between students and alumni.

Board member Amelia Brause campaigned to improve the Healthy U campaign, to organize a week devoted to fundraising on campus and to make Pitt Portal more interactive for Student Organization Resource Center organizations.

Brause launched her Healthy U project this semester, and her “healthiest student organization on campus” competition is ready to launch in the spring. Brause also worked with Board member Sowmya Sanapala on the Panther leadership summit last semester and was involved in a marketing push for Princeton Review surveys.

Jabro campaigned to increase allocations to service organizations, to communicate to the University that there is a need for professors’ scores based on surveys by the Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching to be published and to develop a food committee that comprised student and Sodexo representatives.

According to Jabro, allocations to service groups such as Strong Women Strong Girls have increased. He and Nuwan Perera, Academic Affairs chairman, created a petition for OMET scores to be published.

Jabro and Board member Mike Nites established a food committee and said they have met between five and seven times with representatives from Sodexo and have hosted events. 

Nites campaigned to upload allocations reports online, to improve University transportation and to increase allocations to Student Organization Resource Center groups. 

According to Nites, he worked with Abigail Zurschmit, transportation chairwoman, to fix the 10B schedule along with the arrival and departure for Pitt shuttles at the William Pitt Union. Nites’s resolution to increase budget process for student resolution groups was passed earlier this year.

Nites has also been working with Lauren Barney, a junior majoring in Chinese and political Science, to eliminate Saturday finals.

Board member Dave Rosenthal campaigned to implement cooking classes for students, to establish student transportation to the airport for school breaks and to host informational seminars about living off campus.

According to Rosenthal, the first cooking class was hosted last semester and two are scheduled for November. 

In addition to Rosenthal’s campaign initiatives, he successfully acted as a liaison  to the Collegiate Readership Program, which offers non-College of General Studies undergraduate students free copies of The New York Times and USA Today. He worked to renew the program.

Sanapala’s campaign projects included advocating for the University to become affiliated with the Worker’s Rights Consortium, increasing sexual education on campus and instituting a Student Government multicultural committee.

Sanapala has ceased work on her project to institute the committee and has instead devoted her efforts to having the Board undergo diversity training. She said she has been successful in both of her other projects. 

Board member Sarah Winston campaigned to take the student health appointment system online, to establish a textbook swap on campus and to create an Office of Sustainability. 

A resolution to create the Office of Sustainability was passed unanimously last night, and Winston said the online student health appointment system will function by next semester. Winston did not provide an update on her textbook swap initiative. 

Board member John Cordier was not present at the meeting to report an update on his initative progress. Cordier received an unexcused absence for the meeting, which he missed because the Pitt Soccer game went into overtime. Cordier plays for the team. His campaign initiatives included improving off-campus living, extending the external wireless connection on campus and increasing the amount of visual display boards in academic buildings.

Allocations

The ping pong club requested $4,000 to purchase equipment. The board approved the request for $3,769.05 and denied $230.95, a portion of the costs. 

EMSA requested $5,871.81 to cover costs to attend the EMS Today conference in Washington, D.C. The request was approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

Off the Hook requested $1,000 to bring a speaker to campus. The request was approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

The Pittsburgh Fencing Association requested $1,557.20 to cover costs for transportation to a tournament. The Board approved in 1,321.64 and denied $235.56.

Phi Alpha Delta requested $1,340.50 for four members to attend a pre-law conference in Atlanta. The request was approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

Pitt Parliamentary Debate requested $840 to provide refreshments at a debate tournament that Pitt will host. The request was denied in line with the Allocations Committee.

Active Minds requested $647 for four members to attend its national conference in Georgetown. The Board approved $597 and denied $50 of the request.

The Panther Swim Club requested $2,045.43 to attend an invitational in Ohio State. The request was approved in full.

The Center for Russian and East European Studies requested $1,650 for refreshments and two performing groups for their Russian and East European festival hosted on campus. The request was approved in full in line with the Allocations Committee.

The Pitt Pulse requested $800 to print one of the issues of its magazine. The request was approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

The Pitt sailing club requested $2,000 to cover costs for a storage rack for the team’s boats. The request was postponed to next week.

The Hindu Students Council requested $1,799.00 to cover costs for their Navratri Garba event. The request was approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation. 

The Pitt tennis club requested $3,369.99 to cover court rental fees and tennis balls for the upcoming year. The request was approved in full.

The Allocations Committee has allocated $82,697.92 so far this semester.

Old Business

Resolution: Jabro clarified that he was in support of the resolution even though he was not a co-sponsor of the resolution. Louderback said this was a typo on the resolution. 

The Board approved committee bylaws.