Kearns elected president, Arp elected vice president


Photo by Alexander Popichak

USG President Robert Bertha announced the results of March’s elections during Monday’s meeting in 701 of the Student Center.

Written By Alexander Popichak, USG Beat Writer

Nearing the end of a year noted for changes in leadership, Kaylee Kearns and Brittany Arp have emerged as the student body’s next president and vice president respectively.

United Student Government (USG) President Robert Bertha announced the results of March’s election at USG’s regular Monday meeting.

Current Vice President Kaylee Kearns defeated President Pro Tempore Hayley Hoffman in the race for USG President. Kearns received 66 votes, and Hoffman received 41 votes. Kearns, a sophomore Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management major, has served on USG for the past two years.

Following the meeting, Kearns said she wants to work on improving communication in the organization and improving clubs’ relationships with USG.

“I want to work to find the root of [USG’s communication problems] and fix it in a sense,” Kearns said Monday.

During the USG debate, Kearns said she wanted to work on uniting the Point Park community, especially commuter students.

According to USG records, Kearns is the first elected female president since 2007, and the first female president to serve since 2009 when the vice-president succeeded the elected president who resigned.

Arp ran unopposed and received 103 votes. Arp, a freshman political science and legal studies double major, has served on USG since being elected at the beginning of the school year.

In addition to Kearns and Arp, Montana Gabriel, Kelly Saal and Hannah Steiner were elected to represent the School of Arts and Sciences. Megan Ortego and Matt Spadaccia were elected as senators for the Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Voter turnout was just over half of last year’s voter turnout numbers, with 115 students voting on PointSync this year compared to last year’s turnout of over 200 students. With the number of eligible voters numbering around 3,000, as graduating seniors were ineligible for voting, the voter turnout rate was less than five percent.

While no student formally ran for the School of Communication or Rowland School of Business, Bertha said there were several write-in candidates who would be hearing shortly from USG about serving on the legislative body.

Following Monday’s meeting, President Pro-Tempore Hoffman resigned her position.

Hoffman said late Monday her decision was a combination of the result of the election and an increased role in Playhouse productions. Hoffman is a sophomore stage management major and said via phone she anticipates the opening of the new Playhouse will leave her little time for much else.

“There was going to be tension and I don’t want there to be [tension] in the organization, I want the organization to flourish,” Hoffman said Monday.

Hoffman also serves as the vice president of the technical theatre club. Hoffman served on USG for the past two years.

In addition to announcing the results of the election, the legislative body discussed this past weekend’s Pioneer Community Day (PCD) event.

Students, faculty and staff contributed 108 man-hours toward community service projects over the course of Saturday morning. According to Matt Bauman, USG Parliamentarian and event chairman, a total of 31 people braved near-freezing temperatures to complete projects for Light of Life, A Giving Heart, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the OakCliff group.

“I imagine the snow was a huge deterrence,” Bauman said in the USG office following the meeting. “But it showed those that did attend had huge hearts and motivation to really help the community.”

Dean of Students Keith Paylo said Saturday’s event had a positive impact on the OakCliff group. Paylo said that OakCliff organizers were commending the work Point Park’s rugby team put in over the course of the day.

No new business was passed Monday, but the legislative body discussed several current projects, including the Finance Committee’s inventory of USG’s shared closet and the Student Concerns Committee’s continuing efforts to address the laundry pile-up in the Lawrence Hall laundry facility.

Kearns and Arp will be sworn in at USG’s last meeting of the semester April 23.

Correction: An earlier version of this article transposed Montana Gabriel’s name as “Gabriel Montana.”