Changes have been detailed for extracurricular groups


Matt Churella

Assistant athletic director Abby Gearhart (right) speaks to student organization leaders at a meeting Sept. 11 as student government members look on.

Matt Churella, Editor-in-Chief

Budget modification guidelines are set to become a thing of the past before September ends so student organization officers can enjoy a simpler process, according to student government treasurer Olivia Albert.

With a budget modification, if a student organization lacked necessary funding for a line item, a representative would have to fill out a form and meet with the student government’s allocations committee members to transfer the amount needed from a different line item.

A committee member would then move to approve the budget modification at a general meeting.

“It’s a waste of your time, it’s a waste of our time,” Albert said of the process during a meeting with student organization representatives last Wednesday in the Cambria Room.

Student government members, Activities and Engagement Director Heather Hall and assistant athletic director Abby Gearhart each led a portion of the meeting.

Albert said line items are still a part of the budgeting process because it is a university policy, and the committee members need proof of how an organization’s allocated funds are going to be spent.

Allocated funds from the student activity fee must be used before the academic year ends, and Albert said organizations can use their money for anything that is approved.

“If you did not have it in your original budget but you need it, you can use the money for that,” she said.

Some items that will not be approved include party supplies, alcohol and fundraising items. T-shirts and uniforms also will not be approved.

Hall addressed new changes for student organizations as well, including how they contract speakers to appear on campus.

According to Hall, students are not legally allowed to commit to a contract to bring guest speakers onto Pitt-Johnstown’s campus.

They are allowed, however, to request availability, pricing and to hold a date for the guest to arrive, but then Hall has to work with employees of the purchasing office to finalize the deal.

Hall also addressed how student organizations can properly fundraise money for themselves.

“I was given a directive to let all of you know that exchanging money on Venmo and all of those electronic options is really not approved,” Hall said. 

“There are more and more cases on our campus, and within Pitt as well, where that money is getting transferred to individuals but not making it to a student organization.”

Hall said that students can utilize Pat Cigich in the campus activities and engagement office to collect funds for organizations and to deposit money into the appropriate account.

Gearhart said she wants to help student organizations collect money, too. Her plan involves generating school spirit at the soccer, volleyball and basketball games.

Gearhart said she wants every home game to have a theme, and that she’s going to revamp the Mountain Cat Maniacs—the student fan section at games—by calling it the Pitt Pride.

“We want to generate school spirit. We don’t have football here, but we have really, really great sports teams.

 “We could have a Greek night, you could wear a toga in the student section and raise money for philanthropies.

“I want to make it a good experience,” she said, adding that the cheerleaders have already reserved two nights to raise money for their spring trip.

“I’m not just talking about athletics,” Gearhart said.

“If you have a community service project, I’m looking to get our athletes involved.

“If you need help advertising stuff, what a better way to do it than at our games?”