SGA President shares first report of cabinet

Written By Sarah Gibson

This week’s legislative body meeting of the Student Government Association (SGA) opened with President Dennis McDermott being one of the first executive cabinet members to share his report of the cabinet.

McDermott began by letting the legislative body know that the administration was moving forward to the semifinalist interview stage with the candidates for the provost position. He noted that there were a lot of great candidates, but that he couldn’t share much more than that. Following that, McDermott informed the cabinet that he had been chosen to help the administration in the process of picking a new president of the university once President Paul Hennigan retires at the end of the spring semester. 

McDermott then reminded the senators present that during this meeting, two new senators would be appointed, Darshil Patel, a freshman who would be filling an at-large position in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Francesca Bracey, who would also be filling an at-large position in the School of Business. 

Then, McDermott announced the creation of two new task forces. McDermott likened task forces to committees that students who weren’t in SGA would be able to be involved in. The first of these is the Title IX Task Force, to be led by student Maddie Corcoran and aided by a faculty advisor. The second task force mentioned was the Diversity and Inclusion task force, which McDermott had not yet found someone outside of SGA to chair. 

Parliamentarian Zachariah Washington shared that during his reports of the cabinet that after meeting with Treasurer Newman and Keely Sapienza in the SAIL Office, that one way they had thought of maintaining diversity and inclusion for clubs in the future would be to require clubs to add an appendix to their constitutions relating to diversity and inclusion.

Treasurer Newman thanked senators who had responded to a survey she had sent out regarding a “virtual pumpkin patch” event but encouraged more senators to respond, because at the time of the meeting, she only had ten responses. She also noted that the Fall II deadline for funding was next week. 

Communications Director Ziegler said that, in contrast to Newman’s survey, the Communications Committee’s survey for the “get to know your senators” social media campaign had received many responses, and he encouraged senators to keep that energy up when receiving surveys from other SGA members. 

During reports of senators, President Pro-Tempore Burkholder shared an update on the International Student Relief fund, which included sending thank you cards to those who had already donated. Burkholder also mentioned an initiative being taken by herself and several other SGA representatives and students to have pronouns used more often on Point Park websites. She noted that meetings have already begun to talk about what this would look like and would be continuing throughout the week.

Moving on to new business, Cole McCarthy, event coordinator of the Point Park Zombies, came to speak about bringing the club back and naming it the Point Park Esports Club. McCarthy shared that he, the president, and vice president of this club are all currently on the Varsity Esports team. Because the team is only competing in two games right now, Rocket League and League of Legends, they wanted to branch out to the student body. This would also offer students the chance to compete on behalf of the school in other games such as Super Smash Bros. and Call of Duty. After McCarthy finished his explanation of the club, the senate brought it to a vote, and the motion passed. 

Next, the motion was brought to the floor to appoint the two new senators at-large, Darshil Patel and Francesca Bracey. Neither candidate chose to speak to the senate before the vote was taken. The motion was brought to the floor and passed.

After this, McDermott took the time to announce that the total number of members in the legislative body was now 27. He noted that there were 3 open slots in the School of Education, 4 open slots in the School of Communication, and 3 open slots for senators at-large.