USG declares 15 clubs ‘inactive’

Rules committee requesting updated club information


Written By Alexander Popichak , USG Beat Writer

When United Student Government (USG) Parliamentarian Zac Seymour sent an email to club leaders in November, he requested each club provide information. His email was sent with understanding that clubs would be deemed inactive if they did not comply. At Monday’s USG meeting, 15 clubs were held to that promise.

“We have a few clubs who did not respond with any information that was requested,” Seymour said. “In that email it was made clear that they would be declared inactive if they didn’t turn in those forms. Today during the rules committee update there’s going to be a motion to declare a few clubs inactive that are active on campus but did not submit the proper forms.”

The USG Constitution requires the rules committee to reach out to club leaders to update their list of officers, list of members and their Constitution. As a motivation to complete this, Seymour told club leaders that noncompliant clubs would be deemed inactive. Inactive clubs are able to operate as normal clubs – however they cannot request additional funding from USG.

Clubs affected are: AdFed/PRSSA, All Things Horror, Body of Christian Fellowship, Feminist Collective, Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Alliance, John P Harris Society, Lighthouse Collective, National Press Photographers Association, Photography Collective, Rugby, Sports Arts and Entertainment Management, Society for Professional Journalists, Strong Women/Strong Girls, Student Human Resources and the COPA Theater Club.

While the review itself is mandated by the USG Constitution, the “inactive” designation is not expressly defined in the Oct. 25, 2017 revision of the USG Constitution and bylaws.

“I want to stress that it’s not a big deal what [the clubs] need to do,” Seymour said. “They just need to send me an email with the ten members, the list of their officers and a copy of their constitution and we can reactivate them at the following Monday’s meeting.”

According to Seymour and USG’s news release, inactive clubs may still request spaces and use internal holding accounts to fund events but cannot request for new funding from USG. The clubs can be reactivated as soon as next week’s meeting, however the legislative body requests all documentation be turned in and for any inconsistencies to be fixed at least two weeks prior to the next funding meeting.

According to Seymour, after three years of being designated “inactive,” USG clears the club’s file completely. Once cleared, in order to become “active” in that instance, the club’s board must petition USG for recognition.

The measure making these designations was recommended by the rules committee. While open for discussion or amendment, senators neither moved to change the designation nor asked Seymour questions.

The legislative body also heard from Lib Rosemeyer, Point Park’s Title IX coordinator, for what was billed as an “interactive discussion” between senators and administrators. Rosemeyer’s office deals with the law that prohibits discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.

While the Title IX office has been actively looking to expand awareness of resources available to students, Rosemeyer sought input from senators on how to make students comfortable with reporting instances of discrimination or harassment to the university.

“One of the things that we do know is that students are not likely to tell the university that something happened,” Lib Rosemeyer said.

Rosemeyer cited data from the most recent campus climate survey – a survey conducted by the Title IX office to gauge students’ awareness of the office’s initiatives and resources.

Rosemeyer said roughly 10 percent of students experience some sort of sexual assault during their time at Point Park. According to Rosemeyer, this statistic falls below the national average.

Of particular concern to the Title IX office are unreported instances of sexual assault and harassment. When asked what might contribute to students’ hesitation to report instances of assault and harassment, senators said students may be concerned about retaliation from other students and faculty.

For instances involving professors, the university employs a “no retaliation” policy meaning students should feel comfortable reporting a professor without fear of impact on their grades.

Speaking alongside Rosemeyer, Dean of Student Life Michael Gieseke said the university’s goal is to provide a safe environment for learning and growth.

“We do our best to [conduct Title IX investigations] as quickly as we can because we understand that this is something that’s weighing over individuals’ heads,” Gieseke said.

The university has a 60-day policy on Title IX investigations and in many cases, individuals can report anonymously. The Title IX section of Point Park’s website has a space to anonymously report incidents to the Title IX office. In some cases – such as filing for a protection from abuse order or requesting to be removed from a course – individuals must disclose their identity.

“Obviously, anybody who has done something wrong that we are aware of, we want to hold them accountable for it,” Gieseke said. “We are just as committed to making the person that this happened to be as whole as they can.”

In addition to its discussion with Title IX, the legislative body welcomed a new member to its ranks. USG President Robert Bertha appointed sophomore legal studies major Kelly Saal as a senator for the School of Arts and Sciences.

“I decided to join the United Student Government because I plan to become an attorney and do criminal defense,” Saal said after the meeting. “I feel this is really beneficial to my career to get experience and also I’m big on the issues they discuss.”

Saal transferred to Point Park from the University of Akron and was inspired by USG’s recent focus on serving student concerns.

The communication committee is in the final stages of completing a listing of discounts available to Point Park students. According to USG Press Secretary Josh Croup, the listing will be posted on the library’s section of the Point Park website.

The student concerns committee unveiled a new design for its student concern slips. The slips will be placed outside of the wood boxes around campus. The new slips, designed by USG Graphic Designer Isabelle Opsitos, feature the USG concerns email address and a larger area to write on. The boxes are one of several ways the committee hopes to receive concerns from students, including semi-regular tabling events and via email submissions.

Disclaimer: Josh Croup also serves as co-sports editor for The Globe.