USG rolls out stricter funding policy, swears in new senators


Photo by Alex Grubbs | The Globe

United Student Government President Blaine King, far right assisted by Parliamentarian Charles Murria, second from the left, swears in sophomore broadcasting major Samiar Nefzi and senior sports, arts and entertainment management major Priscilla Nevarez into student government.

Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

United Student Government (USG) swore in two new senators as the student government rolled out stricter funding period windows for clubs and organizations.

Senior sports, arts and entertainment management major Priscilla Nevarez and sophomore broadcasting major Samiar Nefzi join USG as it cracks down on funding submissions after weeks of persisting PointSync problems.

“We’re not opening it again. I know in past semesters, we… let things slide,” Treasurer Amedea Baldoni said. “We’re getting stricter regarding that policy.”

During the fall semester, PointSync issues persisted for almost three weeks after initially closing its funding window. Club and organization budgets were not submitted correctly under the new system.

The first budget window for this semester closed Jan. 10 at midnight and will not reopen until the second funding period.

Due to the new semester, enrollment numbers may have shifted, which will lead to the adjustment of money that can be given out to clubs and organizations. Dean of Students Keith Paylo told USG he will provide the current enrollment after the add/drop period ends next week.

“If there is an adjustment [in enrollment], it will be really slight,” Paylo said.

Continuing the meeting, USG approved Active Minds, a new organization regarding mental health.

“Their purpose is to establish and express mental awareness of students, faculty and staff on campus,” Senator Hayley Hoffman said.

According to its website, Active Minds is a nonprofit organization and has chapters at universities and colleges across the country. Its goal is to remove stigma regarding mental health problems and create an open dialogue about them.

The student government also looked into the future as President Blaine King’s two year tenure is coming to a close.

“With about ten weeks left, I already planned out what we are going to do for the rest of the semester,” King said.

Upcoming events include a visit from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Monday, Jan. 23, a State of the Union address similar to the one given by the U.S. president, USG elections and Pioneer Community Day, which is an opportunity for students to volunteer.

Elections for USG president, vice president and senators will take place in April. Other executive positions, such as treasurer, press secretary, recording secretary and parliamentarian positions are appointed. According to USG’s constitution, the current executive cabinet will designate a day as Election Day, which is to be announced.

Other events USG stressed for students revolved around Martin Luther King Day and the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

The university is showing the film “Selma” in the GRW Theatre and providing shuttles to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 16. in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There, students will visit the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture for only $10.

The Campus Activities Board will also have shuttles to the inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20 for $15, including an unlimited D.C. metro pass.

Due to Martin Luther King Day, the university is closed, resulting in no meeting next Monday. An emergency meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 to allocate funds to clubs and organizations on campus.