ASG reviews constitution, establishes new cabinet

Allegheny Student Government dealt with constitutional questions and internal matters during its meeting on Tuesday, April 10.

To start the meeting, ASG discussed the constitution for the proposed Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department Organization.

Spencer Braunstein, ’21, said the club was an educational organization that would focus on expanding opportunities for students to get involved with local emergency response organizations, especially fire departments.

“We want to promote full [emergency medical technicians], firefighters, [emergency medical respondents]. We can also give them the ability to work in this capacity after EMT training, help them get training. We also want to provide awareness for fire safety,” Braunstein said.

Senators asked Braunstein how the proposed club differed from the currently existing Allegheny Emergency Response Organization.

“There is a striking similarity between the club that you’re trying to start and AERO here on campus,” Class of 2021 President David Roach said. Can you try to bring up how your club might differ from what AERO is already doing?”

Braunstein said AERO was focused on EMT training, while Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department Organization would deal with firefighting more specifically. This means while the clubs would work together on some initiatives, they would have access to different resources.

Braunstein said the club was not asking for any financial backing, but official school recognition would make it easier for Vernon County Volunteer Fire Department to advertise and partner with Public Safety when holding events.

Jayabalan suggested AERO would be willing to work with the club, and they are considering withdrawing their constitution from debate. Alexia Porche, class of 2019 president, suggested firefighting and emergency medical services were different enough that both clubs could coexist. She recommended the constitution not be withdrawn.

“I don’t understand how one could hurt the other,” Porche said. “If they’re close, it just seems like they’re just trying to get people interested in making the Meadville community safer.”

Class of 2020 president Jason Ferrante motioned the club table the constitution, Venezia suggested they could talk anyway, even if their constitution was denied. Ferrante withdrew his motion.

Zach Javorsky, vice president of the class of 2018, suggested a new club would be an unwise use of resources.

“Let’s not forget with the resources we have available, like a new club automatically gets $700, which might not seem like a lot, but it’s something to keep in mind as we have funds shrinking,” Javorsky said.

Gretchen Beck, associate dean of student leadership and involvement, suggested ASG reconsider Ferrante’s motion to table the constitution, but asked they refer the organization to her office for assistance in drafting the constitution.

“Doesn’t mean it goes away, it just means they have the opportunity to reorganize it, make it a little stronger and come back with a better, stronger organization,” Beck said.

After discussing the Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department Organization constitution, ASG passed a slate of revisions to its own constitution. These revisions involved adjusting and changing positions such as attorney general and treasurer to more accurately match the roles the organization felt individuals in those positions played.

Noah Dawgiello, ’19, addressed concerns about the website design. Elyse Cinquino, ’20, director of communications and press, recommended the problem be addressed during the summer, when the new cabinet would take over.

Trevor Mahan, ’21, mentioned he had heard concerns the website was hard to navigate and out of date. Roach asked students to bring their complaints directly to ASG in the future.

“We don’t know if something’s wrong if someone doesn’t tell us,” Roach said.

ASG President Mark MacStudy, ’18, discussed ASG’s role in nominating students for the AL Ballinger Award and the Flavia Davis Porter Award.

Beck said the Ballinger award was supposed to appeal toward an upper class student who has served Allegheny. The student must also be highly regarded by the student body, according to Beck. The Porter Award, for a highly talented student musician, did not always have to go to a member of the music department, Beck said.

As a final order of business, ASG confirmed the nominations of the 2018 cabinet. With the nominees not voting, there was no opposition or additional abstentions to their confirmation.