RMU student elected president of Pittsburgh Student Government Council

Malyk Johnson

A student at Robert Morris University was elected president of the Pittsburgh Student Government Council. The council is made up of student governments from colleges in the Pittsburgh area.

Danielle Wicklund is a sophomore accounting major at RMU. After the April meeting of the Pittsburgh Student Government Council, she was elected president of the council. Wicklund is also involved with organizations on campus such as the Student Government Association and is a founding member of RMU’s Autism Speaks chapter. Wicklund decided to use the skills she has gained through her involvement on campus.

“I wanted to be more involved with Pittsburgh-wide policy. I just really wanted to get to do this sort of thing more. Since I am so involved on campus, I figured I can use my leadership to really help the city and college students too,” Wickland said. “So that’s a passion of mine, and I am really thankful for getting involved, especially with the help of SGA.”

The council has student leaders from schools around Pittsburgh. The students meet and discuss different issues that affect college students in the area, such as sexual assault and tuition.

“We have student leaders representing CCAC, Carnegie Mellon, RMU, Carlow and about nine others,” Wickland said. “So basically, our primary responsibility is to talk about important issues that college students face, so like sexual assault tuition and that kind of stuff.”

In order to be elected, the student must attend the meetings and be nominated by either themselves or another member of the council. Afterward, the nominee gives a short speech and is voted on by other members of the Council.

“I was nominated. I nominated myself to be the president, and to be elected you have to be nominated by yourself or another on the board,” Wickland said. “It’s pretty much once you get nominated all the other members will vote on you, and you have to give a little speech about why you would be a good candidate for this position.”

The president of the Pittsburgh Student Government Council serves a term of six months — although Wicklund plans on changing the term limit to one academic year.

During her time as president, she hopes to have the council perform more community service. She also hopes that in the long term that the council will organize a Pittsburgh Advocacy Day.

“I hope we can do some, maybe, cleaning up the rivers — maybe volunteering with local shelters like the food bank something like that,” Wickland said. “I hope we could invite more public officials to drum up support.”

The council was formed in August of 2010 after successfully protesting a tax called the Fair Share Tax, also known as the tuition tax. The Fair Share Tax was proposed by former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. The tax would put a one percent tax on tuition for students that went to school in the city of Pittsburgh.

“When we were first created, that fair share tax, that was supposed to tax our tuition and it was supposed to go way up high,” Wickland said. “That was proposed by former Mayor Ravenstahl and so all of the student governments came together and they fought against the city of Pittsburgh to get rid of that tuition tax and they were successful.”

For more information on the Pittsburgh Student Government Council, visit their website.