Political Science and Economics
My name is Zechariah Brown, and I’m a sophomore in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences majoring in Political Science and Economics. I’m the vice president of the Pitt Political Science Student Association, a member of Phi Alpha Delta, the Black Action Society, and I work at Nordy’s Place on the ground floor of the union. My time at the University of Pittsburgh has been much more than I ever thought it could be. When selecting a college, I thought that I was just selecting a school to receive an education at, and while that was not completely incorrect, I’ve found that the friends, mentors, and programs that I have been fortunate to be apart of have helped to develop me into the person that I am today.
The people that I’ve met during my time at this university, are the reason why I’ve decided to run for SGB. I want the next class of Pitt students, as well as our rising sophomores and juniors, to feel the same way that I do about their time at this school. While Pitt is an amazing university, ripe with opportunities to advance yourself professionally, to develop yourself as a student, and form lasting relationships with your peers, we can still do better for our students.
My top initiative on board would be to improve and expand upon our current Saferider system to make our students safer while getting around Oakland. One way to do this would be lightening the Saferider workload. I’d like to do this by starting a dialogue between the university and Uber or Lyft to provide students with discounted rides, making it easier for students to get home during Saferider peak hours, Thursday through Saturday, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Additionally, utilizing Blackboard Technologies to pay for Ubers with Panther Funds could provide students with an added layer of comfort and make this system more affordable. With colleges including Georgetown, the University of Southern California, and the University of Texas all implementing versions of this system, I believe that it’s time for Pitt students to be afforded this same option.
Another initiative of mine is Allies week. A great many friendships are not initiated because of cultural, or sexual ignorance. As someone who was fortunate enough to grow up in a medium-sized town, close enough to New York City to merit frequent excursions, I learned how to be an ally to communities that I was not a part of. I think that this is incredibly important for Pitt students as well. While I believe that we do a good job of creating a campus driven by inclusion, we can definitely do more and do better. To continue to foster a campus of allyship and inclusion, I believe that we have to promote cultural competency and sexuality awareness. The best way to do this is to include workshops and seminars that promote this in orientation week for freshmen, that when completed will hopefully inspire our freshman to continue to foster a campus of support, understanding, and tolerance.
Another main initiative of mine is improving Pitt’s online student health services. I think that we deserve a user-friendly service that allows us to not only ensure that we are feeling well physically but ensure that we are feeling well mentally as well. Our fellow Panthers should have a quick and easy way to check in with a mental health professional. A comprehensive all-inclusive Student Health Services website would facilitate the development of an overall healthier student body, which is something that each and every panther can benefit from.
Other initiatives that I’m interested in include improving the already amazing mental health awareness week that we had this year, increasing SGB visibility, and coordinating with campus organizations and Greek life to improve sexual assault awareness week.
I am truly passionate about making these initiatives a reality, and with your support, I can. My passion for this university, experiences, and drive to improve the place I call home is what has motivated me to run for Student Government Board. I sincerely hope that you decide to vote for me because of the strength of what I hope to achieve and because you’d like to see a better and more connected Pitt. If you have any thoughts or ideas please feel free to reach out to me! Hail to Pitt!