Despite conflict, Improv club is chartered

Tyler McNulty, News Editor

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Correction:

In The Advocate’s Feb. 22 story “Despite conflict, Improv club is chartered,” it was stated that Pitt Players and Improv Club members met and discussed a possible merger. According to Student Government Parliamentarian Sam Miller, the meeting did not take place.

A new campus organization to allow students to express themselves has been created, but only after challenges to obtain a charter.

Club founder Michael Ingrassia said he wants the Improv Club to create a relaxing space for students.

“(The club) is something new on campus, and it’s something that can be a stress-free hour for students,” Ingrassia said.

He also said club participation could help students with public-speaking skills, while they create shows on the spot

“Meetings will basically be similar to (the comedy show) ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’” he said.

Ingrassia said he has no prior theater experience but enjoys creating things.

“I’ve never been in a show before, but I play the guitar and create songs on the spot,” he said.

Ingrassia said there are 15 students interested, advised by  Academic Affairs Interim Assistant Vice President Kristen Majocha.

According to Majocha, she is only advising the club temporarily.

“I signed as the adviser, so the club could be chartered.

“I am their adviser until they can find an adviser that has training in theater arts,” Majocha said.

At a Jan. 31 student government meeting, senators debated whether those who chartered the club were as serious as other similar clubs.

Before a club can be chartered by student government, it has to be tabled for a week. During the week, Parliamentarian Sam Miller asked Ingrassia to attend the Pitt Players meeting.

At the Pitt Players meeting, the representatives from both clubs talked about possibly merging the Improv Club with the Pitt Players, a suggestion by Miller.

By doing so, the Improv Club would have access to Pitt Players funds, its prop room and the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center.

“(Pitt Players members) have their own rules, and I just want to be able to do our own thing,” Ingrassia said.

Miller said at a Feb. 7 student government meeting that it seemed Improv Club members seemed to lack cooperation with the Pitt Players members.

However, according to Miller, negotiations are still taking place between the Pitt Players and Improv Club.

“Both clubs, while similar, are different and most likely will just do their own thing,” Miller said.

Although Ingrassia said he has no problems with the Pitt Players, he wanted the Improv Club to be its own organization.

When it was time for student government members to vote on whether to charter the club, Miller said the Pitt Players organization is already a similar organization, and it would be best for the two clubs to merge.

Despite initially being against the club,  President Pro Tempore Madison Nick vouched for the Improv Club.

“They have every right (to be their own club),” Nick said.

Student government members chartered the club at the Feb. 7 meeting, with 28 senators voting for the charter, three against and five abstaining.

After finally being chartered, Ingrassia said the biggest challenge will be getting the members together.

He said it’s unlikely everyone will know everyone else in the club.

“It’ll be awkward at first, but (the club) will eventually get better through practice,” Ingrassia said.

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