Provost introduces self to USG


Photo by Gracey Evans

Provost John Pearson, spoke during Monday’s USG legislative body meeting about himself and what his job is about.

Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

The new provost John Pearson reached out to student government officials in hopes to get involved with the student community.

“I think that’s really powerful, and so far, a missing part of the group of people I routinely talk with and get advice from,” Pearson said at United Student Government’s (USG) meeting talking about getting involved with students.

As a former English professor and a former associate vice president of student affairs at Stetson University in Florida for 26 years, he became Point Park’s new provost in May. A provost is a chief academic administrator at universities that oversees academics within the schools.

He called a lack of a student advisory committee at the university a hard adjustment to Point Park. At Stetson, a student advisory committee held open discussions about the problems on campus and the possible solutions to fix them. It also helped him make decisions regarding the school.

“I would talk to students all the time,” Pearson recalled.

Pearson hopes to create the same dialogue and discussion about campus and work culture and how it can change in a way that could make life easier in the university.

“We might decide we don’t want to make any changes, but we should never be afraid to talk about those things,” Pearson said.

Meetings for an assistant provost have been underway and are set to continue on Friday, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4.

During the meeting, USG parliamentarian Charles Murria addressed a motion for a censure trial of one of the senators. He then announced that the executive cabinet retracted the motion.

“This isn’t a joyous time for us, so I would like for you all to take this extremely seriously,” Murria said.

In a censure trial, a disclosed USG member submits a censure motion request for the legislative body to oversee. During the meeting, the accused member speaks on their behalf for five minutes. The body votes and with if a majority votes yes, the member is given a censure, which lasts for 60 days after the vote. If the member gets two additional censures within those 60 days, they are automatically impeached by USG.

According to a redacted copy of the censure motion request, the senator missed two meetings and an office hour.

“Everybody has to do their office hours. Everybody has to be at the committee meetings,” President Blaine King said as a warning following the censure retraction.

“We have to treat this organization seriously because we are representatives of the student body,” King continued. “We want to show that we’re working hard for everybody.”

Keith Paylo, co-advisor to USG, vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students, asked for a minimum of two USG volunteers to form a food service committee.

“I want a hard working committee… We will address good things, bad things, ideas,” Paylo said. He also said the CulinArt general manager, as well as himself, will be at these meetings.

It will oversee food services from present-time to the future, including the Lawrence Hall Dining Room, Point Café, Starbucks at Conestoga Hall and Premieres at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in Oakland.

The legislative body recognized Tri Trebles, an acapella group that will compete in shows across Pittsburgh while representing the school. President Noah Skowron and Treasurer Trinity Helm represented the club at the meeting.

USG will also hold its annual forum in the Lawrence Hall Ballroom on Friday, Nov. 4 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.