USG tables meeting

Written By Margaret Davis

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Point Park’s United Student Government (USG) was forced to cancel its weekly meeting on Monday, March 28 as the legislative body failed to make quorum. At least six of  USG’s ten members must be present in order to bring issues to vote. Due to car troubles and looming due dates, meeting attendance did not reach the necessary six attendees. One member voiced that she would rather be taking a nap. Shortly after the 3 p.m. scheduled time, those in attendance, including the University’s Dean Keith Paylo, were sent home.

Both the president and the vice president of the USG, Blaine King and Gabe Dubin, respectively, confirmed the agenda for Monday’s cancelled meeting, including reallocation of funding for the Feminist Collective, planning for Pioneer Community Day and the results of last weekend’s forum for student concerns. Dubin stated that the meeting’s agenda also included changes in the USG’s line of succession and Lobby Day in Harrisburg.

The Feminist Collective is appealing for funding to pay for a guest speaker at Title IX’s Break The Silence event on April 7. The Collective previously applied for $2,000 during the funding period in March, but the issue was tabled by USG, as the Collective did not present their specific needs at that time.

Pioneer Community Day (PCD) is an annual event aimed at getting Point Park students involved in community volunteer work. Running for its sixth year, PCD will be held this Saturday, April 2, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Students will volunteer at various organizations in the area from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., followed by an after party in Village Park. According to Dubin, USG conducted a “dorm storm” advertising campaign, going door-to-door in the residence halls to raise awareness about the event.

Dean Paylo was present for the canceled meeting to discuss USG’s prep meeting for Lobby Day. Lobby Day is an opportunity for Pennsylvania residents to lobby state and federal legislators for additional student aid, grant money and funding for universities. The prep meeting will take place Thursday morning in Room 200 of Lawrence Hall. Lobby Day itself will occur April 12 in Harrisburg, Pa.

USG was set to review the results of the annual open forum, held over the weekend, where Point Park’s student body voiced a number of concerns, including transportation, quality and availability of on-campus Wi-Fi, lackluster food service by Aramark and unspecified Physical Plant issues regarding on-campus facilities. 

Students have called for changes in the shuttle program, requesting extension of shuttle hours and expansion of available destinations.

USG will also take into consideration a recent petition to reinstate student bus passes. USG has subsidized bus passes in the past, but found that too few students were using the passes and cut the program.

Point Park’s contract with Aramark is on the chopping block after USG gave the food service company a vote of no confidence, in response to feedback from students, faculty and staff. A committee will establish a new contract through a process called “Requests For Proposal.” Food companies bidding on the contract, include Parkhurst Dining, CulinArt, Metz Culinary Management, Chartwells and the incumbent Aramark. Dubin expects the process to be finished by the beginning of May.

Additionally, USG is debating a change to its line of succession. As it stands, if both the president and vice president were to resign or be otherwise removed from office, the position of president would pass to the president pro-tempore, who would act as a locum tenens. However, some within the USG feel that, as a placeholder position, a president pro-tempore may lack the necessary experience. The third spot in the USG’s line of succession may be changed to treasurer or parliamentarian.

Monday’s canceled meeting is rescheduled for Wednesday at 9 p.m. The agenda for next Monday’s meeting will include planning for Pioneer Community Day and the upcoming USG elections. 

President King confirmed he will be running for re-election, but Vice President Dubin declined to comment on the matter. Both have will have held their current offices for one year at the end of the spring semester.

Elections are set for the week of April 11, with an anticipated voter turnout of 200-300 students.

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