Point Park Globe

USG reactivates 12 of 15 clubs, approves two more

Photo by Jared Murphy
Dr. Hudson explained Monday the new major is focused on “combining, not reducing,” by focusing on the profession of journalism rather than the name or delivery platform.

Written By Alexander Popichak, USG Beat Writer

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One week after 15 clubs were deactivated, Point Park’s United Student Government (USG) re-activated 12 of them and added two new clubs to their roster.

The mass deactivation last Monday was brought on by clubs’ failure to comply with a request from USG for a member listing, officer listing and constitution. Over the past week, 12 of these clubs worked out the discrepancies with the governing body and are once again able to request funds.

The 12 clubs that were re-activated were: AdFed/PRSSA, All Things Horror, The Body Christian Fellowship, Gender and Sexuality Spectrum Alliance, John P. Harris Society, Photography Collective, Rugby, Sports Arts and Entertainment Management, Society for Professional Journalists, Strong Women/Strong Girls, Student Human Resources and the COPA Theater Club.

The three remaining clubs – the Feminist Collective, Lighthouse Collective and National Press Photographers Association – are able to request to be re-activated at any point in the next three years. An inactive club, while able to reserve spaces and use its holding account, cannot request new funds.

In addition to re-activating 12 clubs, the legislative body recognized two new organizations: the Graphic Design Club and Pioneer Center Stage Show Choir. The Graphic Design Club seeks to connect students with graphic design professionals and engage in thoughtful networking opportunities. Pioneer Center Stage Show Choir will showcase student vocal talent in an extracurricular setting outside of formal conservatory shows and the university’s official choir, the Point Park Singers.

School of Communication professor Dr. Tim Hudson spoke to the legislative body about the changes the school made to its journalism program.

Effective in the fall of 2019, the existing broadcast reporting, photojournalism, mass communication, environmental journalism and journalism degrees will be phased out completely in favor of a new, unified journalism degree. Current students are not affected by the change.

The legislative body and students in attendance were able to ask Hudson and Professor Chris Rolinson questions about the changes.

Hudson said restructuring the School of Communication as a whole had been in the works as early as 2009 when he began working at Point Park.

Hudson said the change was motivated in part by the structure of programs at “competing schools,” which Rolinson and Hudson identified as Penn State, West Virginia and Slippery Rock universities.

USG Press Secretary Josh Croup asked why concentrations are not part of the new journalism degree.

“When you use the term ‘concentration’ or ‘sequence,’ it basically is just a synonym for ‘major,’” Hudson said. “The movement,for 30 years really has been to focus on the profession. Now, you can still take those courses; we didn’t get rid of any of those intermediate or advanced courses in any of those majors, so you can take those courses and you can call it an emphasis, or say that you concentrated on this. And people can work with their advisors on including that in their portfolio.”

While not eliminating courses, Hudson said earlier in the meeting that another goal of the consolidation is to increase the enrollment in those intermediate and advanced level courses.

USG President Robert Bertha asked Hudson what type of professionals were consulted prior to advancing the proposal.

“There are six full-time faculty members in journalism and it was a committee-of-the-whole,” Hudson said. “Among us, we know a lot of people and different groups of us were constantly in contact with other groups.”

While Hudson explained his personal history and anecdotal contacts, he did not mention any specific professionals consulted during the consolidation. Instead, he pointed to the review of the broadcast reporting major and its consultation with industry professionals in revising the existing degree.

In addition to Hudson’s open forum, the legislative body angled its focus on the future with the announcement of club funding applications and elections for the upcoming school year.

USG Treasurer Justin Stocklas said the application for club and organization funding is now live on USG’s PointSync portal and the finance committee will be taking applications through March 6. Any active club may petition for student funds.

Bertha, speaking for the executive cabinet, announced that forms for the upcoming USG election are now available. Any current student may run for a position in his or her respective school. Student affairs distributed the election forms via email Monday and students have until March 9 to submit their application.

Croup said the USG Debate will be held March 21 at 8:00 p.m. in the Center for Media Innovation. The debates will be livestreamed to U-View Television’s YouTube channel and carried on WPPJ Radio. Students are invited to attend a watch party that evening as the candidates for president, vice president and senatorial candidates discuss their visions for the future of Point Park and the student government.

USG will not meet during spring break and will hold its next meeting
March 5.

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

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