Hennigan reiterates mission statement

Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

Point Park President Paul Hennigan appeared in front of United States Government (USG) Monday to reaffirm his office’s letter to students and faculty with the university’s mission statement.

“The message is… we’re a country with laws and protections and freedoms and Bill of Rights,” Hennigan said. “We are a university community that adheres to all of that.”

“We not only tolerate diversity but we promote it, and we will not tolerate any… behavior that gets in the way of individual freedoms and liberties,” he continued.

Following the Nov. 8 presidential election, several faculty and students signed a petition calling for Hennigan and the university administration to address concerns with increasing hostility in the country, which received more than 450 signatures.

His office released a letter to all students and faculty Nov. 17, two days after the petition was posted online.

“It was not in response to the petition,” Hennigan said. “We were planning [for days] to send it anyhow.”

Hennigan also talked to USG members about the status of the Pittsburgh Playhouse construction, which is slated to finish at its downtown Forbes Avenue location by summer 2018 with shows starting in the fall.

Treasurer Amedea Baldoni and Senator Kayla Damazo, who both work in the university’s Admissions office, asked questions regarding this construction as prospective students ask of its update.

Per Hennigan, the new Playhouse will have more to offer for students. The current Playhouse, located in Oakland, started with one theater, but add-ons were constructed.

The scene shop, a room where sets and platforms for shows are assembled, in the current Playhouse is also too small, using the main stage for building, Hennigan said.

These add-ons ushered in challenges that led to acoustic problems when it came to containing noise. Additionally, only two theaters can be used if the scene shop is not, and one theater and the scene shop can be used if the other theater is not.

But these challenges may disappear as a larger scene shop and larger acoustically-isolated theaters are built for the new theater. It will also sport large windows where the public can see the behind-the-scenes work during rehearsals and stage building.

With the Playhouse moving downtown, Damazo asked what will be the future for the shuttles to Oakland. However, there is no definite answer on what it may be.

“We’re probably going to survey students and get a sense for what the interest is,” Hennigan said.

As the meeting went on, USG struck a resolution that was in the meeting’s agenda after Damazo moved to strike it.

The resolution was to amend the student government’s constitutional ethics section, adding social media guidelines for all members to it.

Parliamentarian Charles Murria said it will not be ready, despite projecting it would be done by late November.

“That’s a project we will take on the next few weeks and will be added hopefully next semester,” Murria said.

Baldoni also said that funding meetings for next semester will be planned soon. Due to PointSync issues this semester, some budget requests from clubs and organizations were either received late or not received at all.

She hopes USG can help clubs and organization fix this issue in the future.

Vice President Bobby Bertha announced Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto will visit the university to speak to USG Monday, Jan. 23. The location is to be determined.