Committee members pursue initiatives

Taylor Fowler, Features Editor

Pitt-Johnstown’s Student Government Association is gearing up for a new semester with plans to improve campus life.

Last year, student government senators had individual initiatives for different campus projects to improve student life. This year, initiatives are being managed by members of five committees, including student affairs, student policies and foods.

Student Government President Noam Burns said each student government committee is working on initiatives as a group, which is a new approach compared with previous years.

“(Individual initiatives) could come back,” Burns said. “(The change) is not set in stone; it depends on how well things are executed.”

Although Burns said that things could be subject to change, he said everyone has been working hard and that he hopes to see it continue, especially when first-year students are able to join the association.

President Pro Tempore Stephen Torquato stressed the importance of freshmen student government involvement at the association’s weekly Sept. 9 in the Cambria Room.

“We need fresh ideas and to prepare them for filling the shoes of graduating senators,” he said.

Torquato said the goal is to receive 30 petitions from first-year senators to fill 10 senator slots for freshmen.

Food Services Chairperson Nolan McGuire said changes are to be made in the cafeteria, such as the implementation of a healthy eating plan and a campus dietitian.

Student Affairs Co-Chairs Luke Trotz and Allen Skoranski said their committee has plans to improve campus cell-phone service conditions and to find a solution to the low laundry equipment-to-student ratio.

Smaller initiatives are also to be in place, such as putting alarms on Wellness Center back doors to prevent non-students from using the center without paying.

Committee members are also trying to have numerous potholes on campus filled to improve driving conditions. The amount of parking to be located near the nursing building is also in the process of being finalized.

“Personal initiatives will not be needed if committees do their job,” Trotz said.

One of the larger projects to be pursued is matching Owen Library hours with those of Hillman Library at Pitt-Oakland. Hillman Library is open 24 hours Monday through Thursday and late hours on weekends.

Student Policies Committee Chair Josh Beck presented proposals that are to be brought to the attention of Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar.

Committee members are proposing a change to the transfer-credits policy. Currently, any student holding 60 academic credits may submit transfer credits only from another University of Pittsburgh institution.

The committee is proposing that any student with any amount of credits be permitted to transfer 15 approved credits from any institution.