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Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

President and vice president candidates for SGA square off in debate

Photo by Gavin Petrone
SGA presidental candidates debate in Lawrence Hall 200 on Monday, March 18. The debate was moderated by junior Carsen Brunn.

Candidates for next academic year’s president and vice-president for the Student Government Association (SGA) held a debate in Lawrence Hall 200 this Monday to discuss key reasons for running and plans to improve the university. Meet the candidates:


Presidential Candidates

Photo by Gavin Petrone

Katherine Greissinger, first-year grad student in broadcast sports media documentary


Greissinger went to Gannon University for pre-med and was involved with their student government before coming to Point Park this past fall. She is the current president pro tempore and is also involved with U-View Television, the Graduate Student Association, sports comm club and is a live broadcaster for E-Sports. She is the graduate assistant for the School of Communication and an aide for the university’s Office of Violence Against Women. 


Greissinger’s main initiatives are commuter and community engagement. As a commuter student herself, she says she wants to work on finding more affordable commuter parking options Downtown. Greissinger also said she wants to make the start-of-the-year student organization fair bigger. 


“I think there’s a lot of gems here at Point Park, and I feel I’m just learning new things we have here,” Greissinger said. “We have so many spaces; I just don’t tend to see a lot of students interacting, and that’s what I think would bring this campus a more community feel.”


Greissinger also wants to bridge the gaps between student organizations.


“I’ve noticed there’s a lot of groups that tend to stay to themselves,” Greissinger said. “There’s a lot of great things [at Point Park], and I want to  make sure we’re highlighting those, but what I have noticed is community engagement across the board has been low for a lot of clubs and organizations, including student government.”


Greissinger does not have a vice-president candidate running mate.


At the debate, Greissinger touched on transparency between the administration and students.


“Whenever there is a meeting with administration or faculty committees, we report on those and bring it back to legislative body meetings,” Greissinger said. “We work with The Globe and have our meetings live-streamed with the help of U-View…it is very important that you as a student know what is going on, and you should want to be involved with your campus…I don’t believe that the administration and students want different things. We want to increase retention and make it better for students here and incoming students.”


Kyle MacLaughlin, junior political science major

MacLaughlin has been an SGA senator for one year and is currently involved with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and the Student Innovation Committees within the organization. He is also involved in the Point Park Political Science Association (PPPSA). 


MacLaughlin is running alongside vice-presidential candidate Dillion Peterson. Some key initiatives MacLaughlin says he wants to focus on as president are providing DEI trainings, representing queer students and growing service-based projects throughout campus.


“There are people who are outside of what majors might traditionally be given the most attention to, like COPA, and I think SGA could be a good outlet for them to really feel seen,” MacLaughlin said. “I know that there are some complaints among students; there’s Wi-Fi, there’s things with Adobe, food and all that and I want to make sure that students don’t feel like they’re being brushed off.”


MacLaughlin also wants to bridge gaps between students and student organizations.


“We as a student body aren’t going to be able to get what we collectively want and collectively need if we can’t bridge some of those divides,” MacLaughlin said.


During the debate, MacLaughlin touched on communication being a big focus for the next academic year.


“We need to communicate to the student body on what they can expect from SGA and what power they have,” MacLaughlin said. “We’re not trying to tear down the school; we want to work together and need to work together with administration.”


Tera Girma, sophomore SAEM major

Girma is an unaffiliated candidate who is an active member of the SAEM club as well as Pioneer Records. She has no previous experience in SGA.


“It’s just a fair presidential election between me and the other two presidential candidates,” Girma said. “I think it’s just about having fun and making a difference at Point Park.”


Girma is running under initiatives for student stress relief and mental health awareness.


“If any student around Point Park is feeling stressed, overwhelmed, then all they have to do is find a way,” Girma said. “When you ever see any other student who does have conditions or disorders and disabilities, you should always learn to be more reliable, and become a friend so that you can help others be more successful just like them.”


Girma said she sees the role of SGA as making resources more reliable and accessible to students. 


“I would use SGA to help Point Park become a better school and more reliable for other students to have more improvement in the students and for more improvement in their success,” Girma said.


While at the debate, Girma discussed the lack of resources for students with disabilities.


“This university has a lack of community, inclusivity and reliability,” Girma said. “We need to make it a space for all students no matter what issues they may have.”


SGA Vice Presidential Candidates


Christian Rangel, second-year computer science major

After transferring, Rangel joined SGA this semester and is currently on finance and rules committees. He is also the founder and president of Pioneer Tech Innovators (PTI), a tech club associated with the applied computer science program. 


Some key initiatives Rangel says he wants to work on within SGA are the efficiency of meetings, data and analysis of SGA surveys, and collaborating more with different university offices and clubs.


“I have a deep knowledge of the function and how the meetings work, and once I head the meetings I do want to bring some creative aspects into it, like make it a little quicker, more productive, and just more engaging overall,” Rangel said. “I want to collaborate with local schools more as well…We can piggyback and straight-up copy them and vice versa. We can be the center of attention and bring Point Park more attention.”


Rangel said he also wants to “spice up” orientation for transfer students. 


Dillion Peterson, junior psychology major with a focus in community

Peterson has been an SGA senator for one year and is currently involved in SGA’s DEI and Student Innovation committees. He is also involved with PPPSA, Point Park Students for Change and is currently working with the University Counseling Center (UCC) to create a student-run mental health club. 


Peterson wants to create specific senator beats like gender equity and social media engagement, work on mental health initiatives and increase student engagement with SGA.


“I feel like a lot of people in the student body aren’t even aware of anything that we do, so I’d just like to gauge what we do in response to their interests,” Peterson said. “Bringing [mental health and student interests] to the forefront is going to be a big thing for me.”


Peterson said that money is also not an obstacle for projects that students want to accomplish.


“It’s difficult to tell students that something might not be possible right away due to money, but I don’t think any goal is not possible… we need to create plans with steps to bring to administration,” Peterson said. “If things take a long time, we’re here to set the foundation for other [SGA] administrations to keep it going and get it done.”

Vice presidential candidates for SGA debate on Monday, March 18 in Lawrence Hall 200. (Photo by Gavin Petrone)

Voting for president and vice-president, along with senators, will open next Monday, March 25 and run until Friday, March 29. 

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