Bus fare, PointSync topics at first USG meeting of new semester


Photo by Gracey Evans/Globe

Oath of Office: USG President, Blaine King, has new members take an oath for office on Monday. Pictured are, [left to right] Maddie Aicher, Shayna Mendez, Mario Avila, Shannon Sagar, and KacieJo Brown. (Gracey Evans/Globe)

Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

Kicking off the fall semester, Point Park’s student government president swore in a new executive cabinet after a universal senatorial vote.

United Student Government (USG) President Blaine King swore in Charles Murria as parliamentarian, Davion Heron as recording secretary, Amedea Baldoni as treasurer and Sabrina Bodon as press secretary at USG’s meeting in the Student Center on Monday, Aug. 29.

Voted in as senators at the end of last year’s spring session, Brianna Adams, Daniel Murphy, Gracey Evans and Kayla Damazo were sworn in, as well as appointed senators KacieJo Brown, Maddie Aicher, Mario Avila, Shannon Sager and Shayna Mendez.

King also appointed Michael Gieseke, Dean of Student Life, as co-advisor to USG, joining Keith Paylo, Vice President of Student Affairs.

Due to lack of a student body census, which dictates the amount of money USG can allocate to clubs and organizations, USG cannot set an official amount for funding.

However, Paylo insisted that an estimate should be put into place for funding until USG receives the official census.

“The [lack of census] should not stop your funding moving forward…Take last year’s spring semester budget, and I would say, take $10,000 from it, just as an example, and use that total…at least for now,” Paylo advised USG.

He also added that in the past, USG has stopped funding because of not having a definitive number.

During last school year’s sessions, a budget crisis hit USG after payments from the 2014-2015 year for the University’s bike program, OrgSync and Playhouse tickets were charged during the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

OrgSync, a website used to connect the student body to campus organizations, has been replaced by PointSync, an updated website which features new tools for student engagement.

Students can now address their concerns, such as elevator, food service and Wi-Fi problems, on campus through a new online form via PointSync, according to Bobby Bertha, USG Vice President.

Mendez added that PointSync is easier to access than OrgSync, which will make it easier for students to voice their concerns.

“When you click it [on the Point Park official website], it now says PointSync and it takes you directly to the Point Park OrgSync portal,” Mendez said.

Vice President Bobby Bertha and King briefed senators with a strategic plan to accomplish in this year’s USG sessions.

“Some of the big points that we touched on were maintaining a positive communication with the student body to make sure that we’re communicating with them,” Bertha said of the strategic plan.

“We’re making sure we’re letting them know we’re their voice—any problems they see or any problems that they have, they can come to us and talk about it.”

King and Bertha also added Pittsburgh Port Authority bus fare to the plan, citing frequent student body complaints.

“Since it’s become a hot button topic every year, seeing us actually picking it up would be beneficial for our opinions for the student body,” Bertha said.

Bertha announced budget proposals from clubs and organizations need submitted by Sept. 6.

The president pro-tempore of USG, the liaison between senators and the executive body, will be elected after the election of incoming freshman senators, which is set for mid-September. Ballots for new senators are due to USG by Sept. 9.

No meeting will be held next week due to Labor Day.