USG implements monthly Sunday meeting

Written By Amanda Andrews, Co-News Editor

For the first time this semester, the United Student Government (USG) legislative body met on a Sunday instead of their typical Monday meeting. This week’s shift was due to USG’s participation in the monthly faculty assembly on Monday, Sept. 16. Notably, none of the three faculty advisors (Coordinator of Student Involvement Rachel Phillips, Director of Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) Bradley Kovalcik and Dean of Student Life Michael Gieseke) were present and President Jake Berlin had an excused absence from the meeting.

President Berlin did not provide a precise excuse for his absence, but Vice President Alexa Lake said that a few absences were expected due to prior obligations and the shifting of the regular USG schedule.

“[The advisors] were aware of what days to come in,” Lake said. “I understand that they aren’t able to attend, but luckily since we are going to save the contentious things for days that we’re not meeting on Sunday, that they’ll still be around hopefully to give advice on issues that arise.”

Lake also noted that there will be one Sunday meeting on a monthly basis due to USG’s collaboration with the faculty assemblies. She said that major decisions are made through the committees at the assemblies, like major and minor requirements, so USG felt it was important to attend. USG has also secured two positions on a few of the committees.

“It’s a sacrifice [but] we thought we might as well provide an external voice and suck it up for once a month so that we can make sure that we’re providing input on issues that happen that affect all of us,” Lake said.

Three new clubs were recognized at this week’s meeting. Senators unanimously voted in favor of recognizing New Culture, Yoga Club and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

New Culture is a spiritual club about bringing a more youth-focused approach to religion. A member of the club, sophomore acting major Victor Gariseb, said that it felt “great” to have their club recognized by USG and that the club can start moving forward.

“Our founder felt like…mak[ing] it easier for the youth to have a different approach to religion instead of feeling like they’re being pushed,” Gariseb said. “We all just have a different way or different cultures [where] we have been raised into our religion where it was mostly like…forced upon onto us, and we just felt like this is a chance for people to take religion for themselves in their own way, in a more youthful way.”

Gariseb said that the location and times of the meetings were yet to be determined.

Yoga Club is being led by two junior dance majors, Maddie Dugan and Zia Mancuso (who is also majoring in psychology). Both separately received their certification to teach yoga and were inspired to bring this club not only to dance students but students of all majors.

“I just wanted to personally just bring yoga and to teach others and to gain teaching experience because I just love teaching yoga,” Mancuso said. “And I just wanted to spread health and wellness and mindfulness.”

“[I wanted] to bring Point Park students together more like a community,” Dugan said. “Just kind of like a nice little break for the week.”

Yoga Club has an instagram account called “ppuyogaclub” and have already gained 223 followers as of Sept. 16. The club plans to meet on Sunday mornings in the GRW dance studios.

No representative from Students for Sensible Drug Policy spoke at the legislative body meeting.

Senators additionally unanimously approved of the student operating budget, totaling to a little over $18,000, and a drafted internal budget of $8,900 for USG itself. The newly recognized clubs will have to make appeals to USG’s Finance Committee to allocate funding for the semester.