USG hosts Chief Besong as speaker

Written By Sarah Gibson, USG Beat Writer

In a highly anticipated guest speaker event, The United Student Government of Point Park University (USG) welcomed Chief Jeffrey Besong and Deputy Chief Nicholas Black to speak on behalf of the Point Park Police and to answer questions from the legislative body.

Besong began by talking about the turnstiles that will be installed in Lawrence Hall, which according to Besong, should be going in over Thanksgiving break. He explained that the turnstiles would be located inside of the Lawrence Hall doors. He added that they would be rather tall and that he doubted someone would be able to circumvent going through them.

Parliamentarian Jess Wrzoseck brought up the topic of PointALERT notifications. Besong noted that these notifications are meant for when there is an active threat to Point Park’s campus, such as if an armed gunman robs a bank and runs off in the direction of the university. Besong noted that ever since the incident at Virginia Tech, it was the law that universities notify students whenever there was an immediate threat. In situations where there is a threat in the area that is immediately taken care of, Besong stated that sometimes the Department of Public Safety doesn’t know about it until well after it has been taken care of. President Berlin stepped in to ask why Public Safety can’t “go beyond the bare minimum Department of Education requirements”, to which Besong answered that PointALERTS were to be used for immediate threats so students would know that a situation was serious.

President Berlin took the time to ask some questions about Public Safety, including why a Public Safety officer had taken someone into custody over the summer and proceeded to put them in the library for holding, instead of in the designated holding facility. Berlin noted that the library is a quiet space for students, and it concerned him that the police could bring possible bad actors into environments with students. While this was a situation that neither Besong nor Black claimed to know about, Besong did add “if there was a person in the library, there was probably a good reason to put them in the library.”

After Chief Besong had finished answering questions, Vice President Lake reported back the results of the advisory referendum sent out to students several weeks ago. While students were not receptive to “GoPPU” as a new name for USG, a majority of students were in favor of changing USG’s name. The majority of students wanted the name changed to “SGA,” short for “Student Government Association.” Another question on the referendum showed that more students supported the current budgeting system rather than a new budgeting system, drafted by Vice President Lake and based on student involvement in club activities.

The USG-hosted “Come Complain!” event, which occurred on Thursday, October 24, was reported to be a success, with the Student Concerns Committee receiving 87 complaints at the event, some of which were in the course of being solved as the event was going on. Recording Secretary and chair of the committee, Jordyn Hronec, thanked Senator Bryce Hazlett specifically, who emailed Chris Hill during the event in regards to complaints received about the temperature in one of the laundry rooms in Lawrence Hall.

The appeals budget for the Fall II funding period was passed and $2,517 in funds were allocated to five clubs, The Fix, The Factory, BSU, Tech Theatre club and Pinnacle Productions.

Alysse Baer was also appointed as USG’s new graphic designer. She was unable to speak or acknowledge this at the meeting as she had to leave early for a Graphic Design club event.

Finally, Camryn Drabenstadt was appointed as the newest senator from the School of Communications. Senator Jade Steele raised an issue with this, stating that when she herself was going to be appointed to USG, several senators had issue with it, including President Jake Berlin, who had been a senator at that time. Steele didn’t see how her own appointment and Drabenstadt’s were different. Berlin explained that he disagreed with the process under which Steele was appointed, not her appointment in and of itself. When the legislative body voted on whether or not to appoint Drabenstadt, there was only one senator who audibly dissented, which was Senator Steele.

DISCLOSURE: Jordyn Hronec is the Editor-Elect and Alysse Baer is a graphic designer for The Globe.