ASG approves cabinet for upcoming academic year

The Allegheny Student Government’s eighth meeting of module two involved the voting-in of cabinet members for the upcoming academic year and provided updates regarding the student code of conduct amendments.

With Dean of Students April Thompson as guest speaker, ASG’s general assembly commenced with cabinet reports at 7:06 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, via Zoom.

Chief of Staff Emma Godel, ’21, started off her report by talking about the upcoming senate elections.

“I’m very pleased to be receiving materials from so many interested candidates,” Godel said. “I have also been receiving a lot of incomplete applications that do not have the required 25 signatures from their class.”

According to Godel, she and Attorney General Jack Parker, ’22, have decided to extend the materials deadline to Friday, April 30.

“If you feel truly really confident in your candidacy, you now have more time to organize your materials and the rest of your application,” Godel said.

Godel also stated that should anyone face any issues with the senate application process they should contact her immediately.

The focus then shifted to the upcoming Pennsylvania municipal elections on May 18.

“In November, we had a record-breaking voter turnout for the presidential election,” Godel said. “We now have to keep those numbers up for the upcoming election.”

Godel stated that the registration to vote in the election is open until May 3. She also mentioned that a mail-in ballot can be requested.

“A mail-in ballot is not the same as an absentee ballot because it simply allows you to vote without having to visit polling stations and expose yourself to (COVID-19).”

Parker commenced his report by stating that he has been working on drafting an amendment for the role of parliamentarian.

“The parliamentarian will essentially be the gatekeeper of ASG and will work hand-in-hand with me in drafting legislations,” Parker said.

Director of Finance and President-elect Noah Tart, ’22, has been working alongside him to draft the amendment over the last fortnight, according to Parker.

Director of Communication and Press Bree Gray, ’23, followed with her report, talking about her work with ‘Why Not Us?’ to update the Title IX section on the ASG website.

“There are going to be some changes with the terminology and a couple of more resources are going to be added,” Gray said.

Gray also mentioned that she had been working to make the website more mobile-friendly.

“I’m putting the final touches on the mobile version of the ASG website, it should be functional very soon.”

Tart commenced his report by commenting on the April 29 deadline for the club budget applications. He also mentioned that the budget reviews will be held between April 30 and May 2.

Thompson then commenced her address by opening discussion on the student code of conduct. She started off by offering an explanation on how the changes to the code of conduct are determined.

“Annually, we review the code of conduct,” Thompson said. “Any material changes to the code have to be voted on by a majority vote from the faculty and ASG. It is important for us to recognize that most, if not all, changes to the code of conduct come about because something has happened and there is clearly a void in the existing policies.”

Thompson said that changes have been made to more clearly state the rights of employees or victims. She also mentioned that the opportunity to appeal has been expanded for all those who are victims of violence.

“Previously, for cases not in the Title IX category, only the accused could appeal, but we now expanded the policy so that those who are victims of violence may also appeal,” Thompson said.

Thompson stated that the appeal board has been given the opportunity to adjust sanctions in context with specific cases.

Thompson then talked about how the deadline to appeal will be reduced from 14 days to five days.

“We have received a lot of complaints from students that the appeal process drags on too long so we’ve decided to shorten the appeal time to mend this,” Thompson said.

Thompson mentioned that the appeal board will now serve as the final appeal decision in all cases and circumstances.

“We want every layer of our process to include students, faculty and staff to act as community representatives to make a decision instead of just some one person doing so,” Thompson said.

Thompson then reinforced that Title IX policies will be changed in order to reflect the new national standards. She also mentioned that Title IX will be made simpler so that students are better able to understand it.

“Currently there are a lot of pages to read when it comes to Title IX and this can confuse a lot of people, so we’re looking to simplify things for everyone,” Thompson said.

Thompson continued her address by talking about updates to the definition of the word “harassment.”

“We are making changes to the definition of this word because we have received a lot of complaints over the last year about behaviors that constitute harassment but are not necessarily discriminatory in nature,” Thompson said.

Sophie Adams, ’22, followed with the transition report by presenting the parliamentarian cabinet position amendment.

A motion was called to approve the amendment and passed unanimously.

Adams then announced the upcoming academic year’ selected cabinet and each candidate was voted in individually by the GA.

Parker will continue as Attorney General. Gena Pena, ’22, will serve as Chief of Staff. Rachel Harris, ’23, will serve as Parliamentarian. Lucas Biniewski, ’23, will serve as Director of the Treasury. Jennifer Peralta, ’22, will serve as Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Ryder Sullivan, ’22, will serve as Director of Communication and Press. Elizabeth Graham, ’22, will serve as Director of Student Affairs. Andi Reiser, ’23, will serve as Director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs. Kyrie Doniz, ’23, will serve as Director of Community Relations. Crystal Hernandez, ’23, will serve as Director of Organizational Development.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:42 p.m.