SGA votes on funding for Election Day shuttles

Written By Amanda Andrews

The Student Government Association (SGA) held a vote on Monday to determine whether they would provide funds for bussing students to PPG Paints Arena to vote on Election Day. 

According to Treasurer Kasey Newman, the Student Activities Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) office asked Newman if SGA could help fund shuttles to PPG Paints Arena for students living on campus or in the downtown area. 

“And so I graciously said yeah we could do that because we have the funds to do that,” Newman said during the reports of the cabinet. 

“If you live in the area, even though you don’t live on campus, if your polling is still where we sending [people] obviously students can still use the shuttles,” said Michael Gieske, Dean of Student Life. “It’s not just for residential students, but it’s for students who live in this residential area.” 

Vice Chair Treasurer Maggie Hier moved to allocate $1,275 to the internal budget for the shuttles. It was seconded by Burkholder and approved by SGA.

President Pro-Tempore Sophie Burkholder said in her report that senators could excuse not doing some of their office hours this week if they were voting if they marked so accordingly. However, she said that some senators consistently over the weeks have been failing to do their office hours. 

“Just keep in mind that that’s adding up. And on my personal record, it shows that you have an abundance of unexcused office hours [not] served, and office hours is one of the prime responsibilities of a senator,” Burkholder said. “So just keep in mind those are adding up against some of you. And I’ve reached out and other people have reached out in that regard to some people, so we just want to make sure that we don’t have to censure you for office hours.” 

In a surprise turn of events, former Vice President Alexa Lake, who transferred to the University of Pittsburgh last year, made an appearance during Monday’s meeting. Lake started by saying she was attending the meeting due to concerns for her friend group still at Point Park. 

“A goal of my administration, the [former President Jake] Berlin administration, which still gives me shudders to say, is accountability and evidence-based action and really utilizing the leverage that we have as representatives of students in cooperating with faculty and administration in bettering the university,” Lake said. 

Lake brought up the topic of surveys and how SGA might be able to incentivize responses to surveys about funding with potential rewards for those who respond. 

SGA will hold an event for student concerns called Come Complain from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5. The event will be held entirely through Zoom and will feature breakout rooms.  

President Dennis McDermott was unable to attend Monday’s meeting as he was attending a faculty committee meeting.