SGA president announces university is making an effort to increase transparency regarding tuition spending

Written By Amanda Andrews, Editor-Elect

Point Park will be taking action to clarify tuition and make the allocation of those funds more transparent to students, Student Government Association (SGA) President Dennis McDermott announced at Monday’s legislative body meeting. 


McDermott said to the legislative body that he had recently met with President Paul Hennigan and Dean of Students Keith Paylo about the issue of transparency and tuition dollars. The university will soon be sending the student body a basic outline of how tuition dollars are being spent at Point Park, although McDermott was not certain whether that would be sent through email or another form of communication. However, McDermott is still insistent that while this is a good first step, there is more that is ultimately needed to be done by the university administration in this matter.  


“And also, I’m going to keep pushing so it’s even more specific so we can have even more transparency going forward, to the point where I’d just like a dollar by dollar breakdown of each department [the money] is going into and just more specificity all across the board,” McDermott said. “But I’m very happy with that start. I was very surprised that was something they were so willing to do and willing to provide. I told them that I think a lot more students would be willing to pay the tuition if they knew exactly how it was being spent and would be less apprehensive about it, and I think they agree.” 


Vice President Bryce Hayzlett also had some major updates to provide. Among them, Title IX will be sending a survey next semester about new training programs they are developing, Disability Services will be renamed to Accessibility Services and Pioneer Experience will be held virtually for incoming students in the Spring 2021 semester. 


Hayzlett also said that in a recent committee meeting, the issue of student participation in clubs and activities had been brought up. 


“We did have some discussion that it’s been really difficult even outside of our own events here in SGA to get student engagement,” Hayzlett said. “And there are even some university-sponsored events that had zero students attend. So that just seems to be a whole university-wide issue and not just us. We are going to try and work on brainstorming some more ways to try and get better attendance at events.”


In regards to SGA, Hayzlett proposed to change the current policy surrounding unexcused absences. In light of many absences among senators this semester, Hayzlett would like to institute a suspension policy in order to achieve quorum for meetings despite several absences in the legislative body. He said that there would be an appeal process where the legislative member could explain the reasoning for their absences and resume their suspended seat. The current process per the SGA Constitution involves a censure trial after three unexcused absences, which he said wastes valuable time at meetings. It is likely the relevant resolutions will not be voted upon until the first meeting of the spring 2021 semester, according to Hayzlett.


SGA also voted to recognize Project Outreach, a club for volunteer opportunities for people on campus. According to Senator Grace Tyler Frank-Rempel, Project Outreach will partner with different national organizations for events. 


Senator Jade Steele chimed in with happy news of her own towards the end of Monday’s meeting.


“So this isn’t very SGA related but since I’ve been a part of this organization for the last couple years, you’re all very near and dear to me, I thought that I would announce to all of you that over Thanksgiving Break I got engaged!” Steele announced. 


Legislative body members clapped for her as she showed her engagement ring to her webcam. 


The legislative body also wished Senator Mady Piper a happy birthday. 


SGA will hold their final meeting of the semester on Monday, Dec. 14.