SGA to start spring with spirit

By Kaye Burnet | The Duquesne Duke

The Duquesne Student Government Association is expecting a busy spring semester, which will begin with a Tipoff Tailgate this Sunday to welcome students back to campus.

The tailgate will start at 1:30 p.m. in the A.J. Palumbo Center before the Dukes’ 2:30 p.m. game against La Salle.

The SGA is organizing the event in conjunction with the athletics department and the Duquesne Program Council. SGA president Attila Mihalik said he reached out to the athletics department in an effort to address school spirit issues.

“When I entered my position as SGA president, one of the biggest complaints that students approached me with was that Duquesne offered very little with sports and school spirit,” Mihalik said.

According to Mihalik, the game will be a “red-out,” with free t-shirts provided by the SGA to every student who attends. The t-shirts were designed in a contest between various student organizations. The winning design will be revealed at Dinner with the Dukes on Thursday.

Duquesne Athletics Director of Marketing and Promotions Nicole Bucholtz said she hopes for a big crowd.

“There were a little over 600 students last year, which was our largest student crowd for the season besides the annual City Game at Consol Energy Center,” Bucholtz said.

Activities at the tailgate will include face painting by the cheerleaders, games of corn hole, Velcro golf and music from a disc jockey. Parkhurst Dining and Jimmy Johns will provide free food. Over 25 student organizations will be represented, including Greek Life.

Also on the horizon for the SGA is the University’s election day on Feb. 20, where students can vote for candidates to take spots on the SGA Executive Board, SGA senate, Resident Hall Association and Commuter Council. Students interested in running for positions must fill out an election packet, which can be found on the SGA’s Campus Link page.

Throughout the spring, the SGA will also continue to improve the loop bus system, Mihalik said.

“We received a number of complaints about the bus tracking app,” Mihalik said. “We will be monitoring the buses to see how to serve the students better. There may not be a noticeable change in the buses right away, but there will be an improvement in the DoubleMap App.”

The app tracks buses along their routes via a tablet that is placed in each bus. However, on busy weekends the tablet is sometimes forgotten, misplaced or turned off by the bus drivers, meaning students cannot track the buses’ progress via DoubleMap.

The employees of the Pittsburgh Transportation Group, who run the buses and the application, are “being retrained on how to run the app,” Mihalik said.

Mihalik also said there will be an opportunity for students to give feedback about campus dining procedures in the coming weeks. Students will be able to discuss their opinions of Parkhurst dining in a forum.