USG adds social media standards

Photo by Chloe Jakiela
Director of Planning Derek Eversmann discusses changes coming to the buildings owned by Point Park along with asking students about the strengths and weaknesses of Point Park in general, during USG’s Monday meeting in the JVH.

Written By Alex Grubbs, USG Beat Writer

Student government rolled out a new social media code of ethics as a way to keep professionalism within the organization. A local architect company also spoke to USG about transforming the infrastructure on campus.

“Practice discretion… to the best of your ability [in] what you think is necessary for your position and as person who represents this organization,” Parliamentarian Charles Murria said to the United Student Government (USG) legislative body.

Known as Resolution 2062017, it amends 104.4 and following bylaws to the USG Code of Ethics section of the constitution.

The new amendment requires that “all members of USG must maintain professionalism and respect when posting on social media by taking into consideration the feelings of others while facilitating or taking part in high[ly] emotional discussions.”

It goes on to include members being respectful of differing views, refraining from degrading content regarding race, sex, gender, ethnicity and physical disability, not posting discontent with other members or the organization and posting information of committee meeting deliberations.

However, all committee meetings are open to the public.

According to President Blaine King, this new code has been in the works for months, stemming from an incident two years ago when former Recording Secretary Shanah Hupp shared a controversial post on Facebook.

A petition was started, calling for her to be removed from her position. Hupp apologized for sharing the post.

In light of the recent presidential election cycle, it was another reason to roll out the new social media code.

“President King and I asked Parliamentarian Murria and his committee… to create a social media bylaw because of the raw emotions that were seen in the past six months,” Vice President Bobby Bertha said.

Senator KacieJo Brown inquired about if a person reacted in a rude manner to a social media post. Murria responded by saying that members should handle the situation responsibly.

Also in the meeting, with the changing Downtown landscape, a local architecture company reached out to USG for feedback on what it can do to transform the campus.

WTW Architects, which works with several universities to scale out master plans for their infrastructures, has been working with the university in its efforts in the development of Village Park, expanding Thayer Hall, building the new Pittsburgh Playhouse and redeveloping the Student Center.

After showing USG what is in store, WTW Architects Director of Planning Derek Eversmann asked student government and present students what strengths and weaknesses the university has in terms of infrastructure.

According to the students, strengths at the university include natural light in lobbies, the renovated café and how close buildings and the library are.

But students also listed the lack of residential housing, small space in the dining hall, small student center facilities, lack of cheap parking and outdated technology. Students put high priority on getting residential housing.

The company’s current goal for its master space plan at the university is “to create a dynamic and identifiable campus that complements and enhances the downtown community” which lines with the message of Point Park.

At the end of the meeting, President Pro-Tempore Shaniece Lawrence, who oversees the Pioneer Community Day (PCD) committee, announced Friends of the Riverfront and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership will collaborate with USG for its annual Pioneer Community Day, a volunteer event for students.

Afterwards, Brown informed the body about how students posted photos on the Point Park Class of 2019 Facebook page of no food being ready at the café during key times on Sunday.

“I was there yesterday morning, and no food was made,” Sen. Hayley Hoffman said, reaffirming the lack of food.

Brown said she does not think the problem is with CulinArt itself but the workers.

CulinArt Manager Kristy Weiss will speak to USG next week in the Student Center Room 701 at 3:15 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13.