USG attempts to change name of organization

Senators question decorum in legislative body debate

Written By Sarah Gibson, USG Beat Writer

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At their second meeting of the year on Sept. 9, the United Student Government (USG) introduced a resolution for a student vote to change the name of  “United Student Government” to “Government of Point Park University,” which would shorten to “GoPPU.”

“We thought why not change the name and the process and give us a fresh start and re-energize this organization,” President Jake Berlin said of the resolution before it opened for comment. “The Government of Point Park University will eliminate the ‘student’ component, which cheapens us.” 

Berlin also made a point to say that the group’s current name and acronym could be confusing to those who were just coming in contact with it.

Photo by Sarah Gibson
Senator Dennis McDermott argues why USG should keep its traditional moniker after a proposal suggesting a rebranding effort.

Senator Dennis McDermott said he had “several” concerns regarding this resolution, the first being the cost to the organization. President Berlin clarified that if the students vote for GoPPU, only merchandise and other items being bought in the future would have the name changed, and nothing would be replaced until it had to be. Berlin made the example of the engraved door bearing USG’s current name, which would be kept until a point in time when it needed to be replaced. 

McDermott said that rebranding USG would not change how the student body saw the body, and that changing the actions of USG would be the only way to get rid of the stigma surrounding the organization.

When it came time for comment, USG Communications Director Kari Dettorre and President of the Black Student Union (BSU) Brandon Rodgers both took time to mention that they thought the opportunity to have the student body decide whether or not to change the name of USG was a good idea. Dettorre mentioned that rebranding was a good idea from a communications standpoint, and Rodgers agreed that there was a negative connotation with USG. Rodgers noted that if the organization represented the student body, the students should have a say in the name if there was going to be a change. 

During this discourse, Parliamentarian Jess Wrzosek expressed to Senator McDermott that not only is it incredibly common for businesses to change their name when they want a fresh start, but that every person who had taken the floor to speak had something positive to say except Senator McDermott. She implied that McDermott had not said a single positive thing about the new board. McDermott responded by saying that he believed in the organization but hadn’t gotten the chance to share his ideas about the upcoming year. 

After a vote, the resolution failed to get a three-fourths majority, and the motion failed, with two nays from Senators McDermott and Mya Jackson and one abstention from Senator Kasey Newman. 

The meeting then passed several more resolutions, including one that allows electronics to be used during meetings so that USG can be completely paperless. All resolutions except for the one regarding USG’s possible name change referendum passed unanimously. Also, Kari Dettorre and Jess Wrzosek were officially sworn in as Communications Director and Parliamentarian, respectively.

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