USG swears in 11 new senators to legislative body

Reverend Jennifer McCurry advocates for faith-based groups on campus to USG

Written By Sarah Gibson, USG Beat Writer

The United Student Government (USG) swore in 11 senators at this week’s legislative body meeting. While there are 17 senators total that were voted in, several were not able to attend the meeting and will be sworn in at a later date.  A majority of the senators sworn in at this meeting were freshmen.

Newly-elected senator Bryce Hayzlett, a sophomore Information Technology major, frequented previous USG meetings and was inspired to become a senator in USG. He felt it will allow him to serve a vital role in the context of his department.

“The IT department […] feel like they have no representation or voice or even when they reach out they feel somewhat ignored, so I’m trying to be a voice for them,” Hayzlett said.

For freshman senator Public Relations and Advertising major Brisa Bastida, the issue of student safety particularly comes to mind when discussing topics she’d like to approach at USG.

“[In] Lawrence Hall, the security is really low during the day,” Bastida said. “Like, the doors are unlocked, I never have to scan my card when I go in. I live in Lawrence, so that’s a concern to me.”

USG also recognized two clubs at this meeting, Phi Beta Lambda and Students for Warren. It was clarified that while Point Park has had a branch of Phi Beta Lambda in the past, this club would be a new version of the group with a new constitution, and thus, would need to be approved as a club instead of simply being reactivated. Before the legislative body voted on the Senators for Warren group, it was clarified that recognizing it wouldn’t be an endorsement by USG for the Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

President Berlin made the legislative body aware that he had met with university President Paul Hennigan, who had said that he thinks the USG is on track for having one of the most productive years in the group’s history. Berlin also stated that Hennigan talked about the petition for shuttles for Point Park students.

According to Berlin, the petition that students have already filled out is not an accurate representation of how much need there is for the shuttles because many alumni or non-Oakland residents signed it. Berlin suggested that USG members go out into the Oakland community and get signatures as well as Point Park ID numbers of students. The goal of this would be to get a real idea of the percentage of PPU students who would use the Oakland shuttles.

The USG also saw their first guest speaker of the year, Reverend Jennifer McCurry, who was hired as the Point Park Coordinator of Spiritual Life in the spring. She explained that in her position, she would serve as a resource for students who were looking for guidance in matters of faith. Conversations with McCurry would be confidential, much like they are at the school nurse or at counseling.

She also noted that if a student were to approach her while trying to find a group that aligned with their faith, she would help them find one, even outside of the university. She hopes to draw more attention to university-based faith groups and religious holidays of all sorts. She also encouraged students to put her in connection with students who were planning on starting new religious groups at the university.

Vice President Alexa Lake regarded the first guest speaker at USG as being a success and announced that next week USG would welcome another guest speaker, Allison Harnden, the City of Pittsburgh Nighttime Economy Manager.