Urban Studies and History & Philosophy of Science
Hello all! My name is Eric Macadangdang, and I am running to be a board member of the 2019-2020 Student Government Board of the University of Pittsburgh. I’m currently in my second year at Pitt studying Urban Studies and History & Philosophy of Science, with a certificate in Community Health Assessment. I currently serve as the chair of the Wellness Committee for SGB, and I was a member of the First Year Council last year. Additionally, I am a student manager within the William Pitt Union, so you can usually catch me in Nordy’s Place.
I am running for SGB because both Pitt and Pittsburgh are my home. I was born and raised about 20 minutes from campus, and I can vividly remember trips to the Cathedral of Learning, Schenley Park, and the Carnegie Museum of Art when I was in grade school. I want to give back to a community that has given me so much during my life by being an advocate for all of the undergraduate students here at Pitt. In order to do so, I have some main priorities that I would seek to achieve if I am afforded the chance of serving.
First, I want to continue my work to expand and reconfigure the way mental health services are administered to students. Sometimes, it can be difficult to take those steps into the Wellness Center, especially if you have never had any past experience with therapy. To this, we can and should bring the Wellness Center to the students via small pop-up clinics at residence buildings and frequently visited locations on campus. Additionally, issues regarding substance abuse and addiction sometimes are intertwined to mental health, so I want to work to establish a permanent space where our panthers who are in recovery can have somewhere to feel safe, secure, and free from unwanted pressures.
Second, the university recently released a master plan which reveals how the landscape of our campus will change in the coming years. I openly welcome the ambitious goals of the plan, but I want to work to make sure that students’ voices and concerns are heard at every step of the plan. I would work to create a student oversight committee that would regularly meet with administrators who oversee the execution of the campus redesign process. At the end of the day, if the campus does not work for its students, it does not work at all.
Third, I want to work on fostering a more formal relationship between the City of Pittsburgh and the university itself. Specifically, forming a civic engagement partnership with local government officials and student leaders who have an interest in advocacy and policy work can create meaningful and impactful effects. Pittsburgh is city full of opportunities that is continuing to grow every day, and we as a student body should push the boundaries and utilize the resources the City of Bridges has to offer.
Some other goals I have if I am given the the chance to serve as a board member is working to create free access to menstrual products on campus, facilitating ally, diversity & inclusion, and mental health first aid training to student organizations, and reexamining the inclusivity of facilities in regards to people with disabilities and those who identify as nonbinary or gender-fluid.
Pitt has given me a sense of purpose from the first day I officially stepped on campus. It has afforded me the chance to excel both academically and socially. Now I want to work to ensure that all students can have this sense as well. Whether you are a first year student or a senior on your way out, a Pittsburgh native like me or an international student who has never stepped foot in the country before, I want to represent everyone and be your voice. Thank you, and as always, Hail to Pitt!