Senators chart improvement projects

Taylor Fowler, Copy Editor

Pitt-Johnstown Student Government Association is consistently working to improve student life.

Student government members are aiming to improve campus life, residence life and the overall experience of being a UPJ student.

Student Government senators have had a hand in removing parking meters in front of freshmen residence halls, and altering hours at Blackington Hall and Owen Library.

Student Government Student Affairs and Campus Development Committee chairman Stephen Torquato said that senators have a driving force to complete initiatives.

“Currently, I am working on weekend life,” said Torquato, “Director of Student Life Sherri Rae and I have come up with a schedule of student activities for Fridays and Saturdays.”

Based on more than 150 responses to a student survey, Torquato and Rae have created opportunities on and off campus for students to become involved with weekends.

“We started last year taking concerns dealing with grounds and halls; any complaint other than food,” said Torquato. “Any concern that students have, we work on within our committees to address.”

Student Affairs/Campus Development co-chairman Alexis Kelly is also involved in the movement.

“I am taking on two initiatives,” said Kelly. “One of them is opening the Varsity Café of the Living Learning Center on the weekends, and the other is getting a weekend shuttle to take students to local areas like the Galleria, restaurants and bars.”

In order to see her shuttle bus initiative happen, Kelly said she plans to speak with Student Affairs Vice President John Wescott. In attempts to see the Varsity Café open on weekends, she is to speak with Sodexo officials.

“I don’t live in the LLC,” Kelly said, “but, because of the bad weather that usually hits Johnstown, and the construction from the nursing building, I think this is a reasonable request to consider.”

Other Student Affairs/Campus Development initiatives include more washers and dryers in the Living Learning Center, bathroom cleaning during holidays and printers in all academic buildings.

Student senator Kiel Gerlach has an initiative to make sure laundry equipment is working properly.

“I spoke with Auxiliary Services Executive Director Joyce Radovanic to make sure staff is checking and fixing machines right away,” said Gerlach. “She told me everything I asked is being done, and will be sending me a report to confirm.”

As student government officials work to improve campus life, Campus Commuters Committee member Mark Stephens faced difficulty due to circumstances outside of his control.

“My initiative at the beginning of the year was to get expiration dates on student ID’s,” Stephens said.

ID expiration dates would have been required on student ID cards for them to serve as acceptable idenfitifcation at polls in November’s election. But the state law requiring voter identification has been struck down by a judge.

Due to this inconvenience, Stephen’s initiative fell through.

“Now, I am working on having more options for guest meals. I want to increase the number of guest meals students can use, without increasing the price,” said Stephens.

Stephens is also attempting to schedule a Commuter Relations Day for Nov. 14. Commuters will be asked to complete a survey regarding events they would like. Committee members will choose the events that are to take place on this appreciation day.