Point Park Globe

USG sees improvement after tumultuous start

Written By Max McAuley, For The Globe

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The United Student Government (USG) is recovering from a rocky semester following censures against President Kaylee Kearns, the resignation of Parliamentarian Alexander Popichak and divisions within USG’s legislative body.

Matt Spadaccia assumed the role of parliamentarian two weeks ago and has already made headway toward the organization’s goal of amending the USG constitution, a mission put on hold after Popichak’s resignation.

Sophie Burkholder, a freshman senator of USG and member of the finance committee, said, “We are trying to make communication run better
throughout USG.”

Communication was a core problem for USG earlier in the year; senators complained that the executive cabinet failed to establish proper dialogue with students prior to an executive order retracting subsidies for student tickets at the Playhouse.

The executive order led to two censures against President Kearns, and left some junior senators feeling there was a disconnect between USG and the
students.

“We are trying to become an ally again with the student body,” Burkholder said.

The major project for the finance committee at the moment is to clearly state and communicate their priorities on assigning funding for clubs.

Coming into this year, President Kearn’s main goal has been to nurture USG into a large healthy
community.

“I wanted to bring in a bigger group this year. When we started out we only had five or six senators,” Kearns said. This semester, the organization has appointed 20 senators, filling nearly all available seats with fresh faces.

With regards towards the new members, Kearns said, “I wanted them to know that they have a voice and everybody in this room is here to project their voice, and everyone is also going to listen as well.”

Another focus for Kearns this year is retention.

“I’m trying to keep members engaged and involved so that we can keep our size, and then we have more voice to conquer more things,” she said.

Also new to her executive position is Vice-President Brittany Arp, who is now on her second year as a member of USG. As vice-president of USG, Arp oversees the various committees of the organization.

New this year is the disabilities accommodations committee, a committee focused on seeking out locations on campus that aren’t accessible to people with disabilities, and making efforts to fix them.

Arp said she’s seen development in discussion of issues beyond simply voting in legislative body meetings.

“Last year we didn’t really discuss things openly in a meeting. Going into the meeting we always knew what we were voting on and how we were voting,” Arp said. “I think it’s great because we’re actually discussing issues and we’re making sure that we’re seeing every single angle.”

President Kearns, a junior sports, arts and entertainment management major, will hold the office of president through next semester. This is her third year as a member of USG, and will be her second year as a member of the executive board. Last year she was appointed vice-president in the fall semester.

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