Marathon ASG Assembly discusses public safety incident, rejects ‘Donut Club’ recognition


Sami Mirza

ASG Vice President Sophie Adams, ’22, prepares prior to the Feb. 1 ASG General Assembly.

Gaveled to order at 7:32pm on Tuesday, Feb. 1, Allegheny Student Government’s first in-person General Assembly of the semester featured a guest speaker in Provost Ron Cole, ’87, who addressed the body for the third time on his new staffing plan and the Academic Program Review that guided it. Following Cole’s presentation, ASG recommenced its regular duties. 

Following President Noah Tart, ’22’s update to the Assembly, the last of the cabinet reports, Adams asked if anyone had any further questions for him. Two students, Charlie Schwartz, ’25, and Katie McLendon, ’25, asked him about an unspecified incident with public safety that happened on Sept. 26 of last year.

“When I talked to (President Hilary) Link about student safety and how this was an issue, yours wasn’t the only pressing issue that we discussed,” Tart said. “I expressed these concerns to her; she said she would have reached out directly to you and resolved that … but she also reiterated that Public Safety is having a difficult time finding people to fill its roles because the school I think pays … like $13 an hour.”

McLendon and Schwartz described an incident in which a group of students was assaulted by another student. When Public Safety was called and arrived on the scene, they allegedly did nothing. Schwartz said that when the officer was informed that a student had been, “choked (and) almost died,” the officer said, “I know,” and departed the scene. According to The Campus’ Crime Blotter from Oct. 1, which includes all incidents recorded in the crime log for the previous week, no incident was entered into the crime log for Sept. 26. 

McLendon said that they have been trying to get the issue resolved at multiple levels, but have received no substantive response.

“As far as we’re aware, we were attacked, we’ve been begging for help, from every place that we can think of, and no-one has helped us.” McLendon said. “No-one helped us with all the classes we’ve fallen behind on. We don’t feel safe here.”

Schwartz also charged Tart with being negligent in responding to their petitions.

“I also would like to know why you never responded to (McLendon),” Schwartz said. “That is not fair to her. I understand if you thought Link would reach out to her specifically. However, (McLendon) has multiple times tried to reach out to you in-person, tried to go up to you, but you avoid her and her eye contact. I would like an explanation for why you thought that was an appropriate response.”

Tart apologized, saying he was not sure when he had been approached in-person about the issue and noting that, “apologies perhaps aren’t just for this occasion.” He was then interrupted by Acting Dean for Institutional Diversity Tevis Bryant, who is serving as ASG’s advisor in the absence of Dean of Students April Thompson. 

Bryant noted that the primary grievance over the Sept. 26 incident was against the administration, and met with Schwartz and McLendon in private after the Assembly adjourned to discuss the matter in greater detail. Schwartz declined to comment to The Campus due to ongoing conversations with the administration.

The formal business began much earlier, with Tart swearing in two new class senators: Natalie Davidson, ’24, and Hunter Goerman, ’25. 

Director of Finance Lucas Biniewski, ’23, announced that financial reports have resumed and finance committees will resume the following week. 

During the exceptions policy period of the previous two weeks, Biniewski approved $1,500 for an event to be hosted by director of Diversity and Inclusion Jennifer Peralta, ’22. He also approved $850 for a Lunar New Year celebration to be hosted by the Association for Asian and Asian American Awareness, as well as $645 for an International Club event, $265 for an additional International Club event, $345.98 for new gear for the Allegheny Outing Club. 

Under normal circumstances, finance requests would first need to be approved by the Finance Committee and then by the General Assembly. However, since ASG did not hold a General Assembly on Jan. 25, requests ran through Binewski, Tart and Vice President Sophie Adams, ’22.

“Next week, I’ll be bringing the financial report for annual spending so far,” Biniewski said. “There’s been some contract issues recently. Please alert me if you are filling out a contract in the first place so I can make sure it gets directed to the correct people.”

Biniewski also announced that there are currently vacancies on the Finance and Facilities Committee, and to contact Chief of Staff Genesis Pena, ’22, if interested.

Peralta reminded the rest of ASG about her upcoming multicultural event, as well as an Association for Black Culture general meeting and a Valentine’s Day trivia night for Black History Month.

Director of Student Affairs Elizabeth Graham, ’22, spoke about possibly incentivizing the Student Life Survey so that more students fill it out.

Director of Sustainability Andi Reiser, ’23, discussed a meeting she attended regarding an environmental project that is beginning to gather student input.

Director of Community Relations Kyrié Doniz, ’23, encouraged everyone to attend the First Friday event in Meadville that Friday, Feb. 4.

Adams, on behalf of Director of Organizational Development Crystal Hernandez, ’23, issued a reminder regarding emailing about taking hours to ensure that students receive credit for these hours.

Attorney General Jack Parker, ’22, spoke about upcoming general elections and said that further information would be put in a MyAllegheny email to be sent the next day. 

Parker also introduced Kyle Stallard, ’23, who put forth the candidacy of the “Allegheny Donut Club” — a formal ASG recognition of his “Allegheny Donuts” group that has been handing out donuts since last spring.

“To put it simply, it’s just a club where people hang out, make friends and give out donuts.” Stallard said.

But Skylar Romele, ’23, raised concerns about how the club would be funded, and Binewski noted that just giving food away, Allegheny Donuts’ main activity, is against ASG’s financial guidelines.

“It is technically a gift,” Binewski said. “It is incorporated in our policy, (and) college policy does not allow us to give out things.”

After eight minutes of discussion, Donut Club’s candidacy was put to a roll-call vote, but it failed to attain the two-thirds majority to pass the body. However, this is not the end of the line for the group’s bid for ASG recognition, as several members of ASG offered feedback on ways for the club to overcome any opposition.

“I would be willing to sit down and meet with (Stallard) to try and figure out some way to structure the club or phrase the constitution to make it follow the (Financial) guidelines ” Parker said.

Three motions to approve three students for college committee councils were all approved.

Peralta announced two seats available on the college committee councils as well as reported that two groups of class senators had not yet sent her their meeting times.

The assembly adjourned at 9:15 p.m.