USG holds emergency funding meeting, approves budgets in lump sum and deactivates clubs

Pittsburgh mayor to speak at next meeting


Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

The United Student Government (USG) disengaged inactive clubs and approved budgets for the first budget period of the new semester in an emergency meeting Tuesday evening.

The emergency meeting was held Tuesday, as classes were not in session for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. USG meetings are to continue on Mondays, resuming next week.

Senators voted to deem inactive six student organizations: Cheerleading, Feminist Collective, Global Cultural Student Organization, Pitchburgh Pioneers, Pioneers for Kindness and Point Park Student Solidarity Organization.

Senator KacieJo Brown questioned why these organizations were deemed inactive.

“They have not put anything in their file all year,” Sen. Kayla Damazo said. “They have not made funding requests.”

Parliamentarian Charles Murria added that these clubs have not formally held meetings in the past year.

Elsewhere in the meeting, USG opted to approve $16,441 to clubs and organizations on campus in a lump sum rather than granting each budget individually. The move was made due to time constraints.

In order to lump the budgets together, senators suspended Title 605 for the duration of the meeting. Although not part of the USG constitution, Title 605 ensures that senators cannot vote on budgets of the clubs and/or organizations they are actively involved in.

“We can [only] suspend this title because it is not in our constitution,” Murria said.

Club leaders and student government officials voiced budget concerns before a unanimous approval of all student organization and club budgets as recommended.

Pinnacle Theater Productions initially requested $2,074 but USG recommended only $1,673. The funding reduction was specifically denoted as advertising money.

Representing Pinnacle Theater Productions, Jillian Bradshaw asked USG why only half of its advertising requests were approved.

Treasurer Amedea Baldoni pointed out that USG cuts requested advertising budgets in half for all organizations.

“If there’s a club that… asks for a large amount of money in advertising, … we often cut that in half,” Baldoni said. “So we have to do that for every club.”

However, Brandon Rodgers, the chapter adviser and president of Phi Beta Lambda, a business organization, questioned the governing body on the “logic” behind receiving a lower budget recommendation for an event.

Baldoni responded by attributing it to a previous decision to allocate only half of requested advertising money to all clubs and organizations on campus.

“We like to keep it fair,” Baldoni said. “If we notice that there are clubs getting full advertising and others that don’t get full, it can become an issue on our part of us not being consistent in how much we allocate.”

Phi Beta Lambda took a budget cut for its previous “PBL Pass It On” event from $324 to $174. The finance committee rejected the Chipotle catering money requested for the event.

Sen. Daniel Murphy questioned the budget cuts to Table Top Tirade, the Photography Collective and Dance Club.

Table Top Tirade took a budget cut from $650 to $108 for an upcoming event called “Nerd Auction.” Most of the money requested for the event was for prizes.

“We view prizes as personal item[s] and [don’t] benefit the whole club,” Damazo said. “It only benefits one person.”

The Photography Collective also took a budget reduction from $1880 to $940 for a New York City trip to multiple galleries. Sen. Riley Frank said the finance committee felt that the students could go to a variety of galleries in their spare time on the trip.

USG did not allocate any money towards Dance Club’s request for the use of an outside venue for an event. Damazo attributed this specific cut to spaces across campus free for club use.

USG’s Student Concerns committee announced its emphasis this semester to better accept submissions to its student concern boxes located in various areas across campus, and through a form on PointSync.

The committee will also work towards monitoring Point Café and dining hall hours when it comes to opening and closing times. Members will also concentrate on assessing the reliability of shuttle rides to and from the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

On Monday, Jan. 23, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto will speak to USG in the Lawrence Hall Ballroom at 3 p.m.