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Lauren Rubovitz, Board Candidate (The Blank Slate)


Hi y'all! My name is Lauren Rubovitz (she/her), and I’m so honored to be a candidate for Student Government Board with the Blank Slate! I’m a sophomore, majoring in Politics & Philosophy with a Sustainability Certificate and a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. I'm from Atlanta, Georgia, and I’ve loved getting to call Pittsburgh my home for the last two years! Outside of school, I have been doing police accountability research with the Allegheny County Policing Project here at Pitt. In addition to that, I'm a copyeditor for the Policy and Political Review. Besides my Pitt-related commitments, I love to play outside and stay up-to-date on (and mildly pretentious about) movies. If you see me with my headphones in, I'm probably listening to Odie Leigh, Lauryn Hill, Ama Lou, or Mt. Joy—on Apple Music, don't hate me.

As someone who had little awareness of SGB prior to my current role of Communications Director, I understand the importance of outreach and student engagement to the work that SGB does. I recognize the value of how we present information and how often we reach out to student organizations and individual students. In a Board Member role, I would love to increase initiative-specific communication with student organizations and maintain frequent communication with students to ensure we're best reflecting their needs. We can't expect students to communicate their concerns with SGB when they either don't know what it is or when they have to fit reaching out into their busy schedules. Additionally, Board Members' initiatives would totally benefit from the input of and partnerships with relevant student organizations, so creating a system of mutual change would be very beneficial.

Beyond student-centered communication, I recognize the absence of sustainability in the recent work of Student Government Board. As a Board Member, I would lead multiple initiatives that help to protect the environment. I remember being a first-year student, eating most of my meals in dining halls, getting frustrated at the large amount of food waste that accumulated. I would love to respond to this problem with a food waste task force that aims to divert this (and other University-created) food waste from landfills through the creation of a potential compost infrastructure and partnering with existing food recovery organizations at Pitt or in the Pittsburgh area. Another thing I noticed early on was the insane amount of construction happening, that often obstructs student mobility. Also, the pollutants released from these developments can have a detrimental impact on student health. Working with Pitt administration to ensure that any new construction allows student mobility and safety would be one construction priority for me. The second of these priorities would be making sure that any new construction is developing sustainable infrastructure, without decreasing the greenery and other components of the visual environment on campus. Often, constructing sustainable buildings comes at the cost of other equally important environmental factors on campus, which should not be a tradeoff for students. The last major sustainability priority I hope to pursue is continuing to push Pitt administration to divest from fossil fuels. The fact that our tuition money goes towards extractive practices is unacceptable, and I will advocate for an end to it.

Because I, like many other students, do not have a meal plan this year, the need for an accessible, affordable grocery store on campus is something I really feel. Having an alternative to Forbes Market so central to campus would improve the food security of students, particularly when weather prevents easy or safe travel to faraway grocery stores. The University has a responsibility to students to put student over profit, whether that be through new construction, usage of University space, or retail options. A grocery store would just be one small part of that.

As a Board Member, I would advocate for student-inclusive initiatives, an environmentally forward mission, and student-focused usage of University space. I will amplify the voices of Pitt students, encourage fundamental changes to the relationship between SGB and the student body, and help make necessary changes to make Pitt better. Student Government Board is supposed to represent students, and I would not take that responsibility lightly. If you have any thoughts or concerns about my stated initiatives or about anything else you would like to see done at Pitt, please reach out to me at my email (! Let's fill out this Blank Slate together!