UPUA Holds Last Meeting of Semester, Confirms New Positions and Discusses Future


The University Park Undergraduate (UPUA)  held their last meeting Wednesday night in 302 HUB with an hour delay due to the Great Debate.

The meeting kicked-off with a speech by UPUA adviser Barry Bram, who said a few words about his role within the organization and what it means to be in UPUA.

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Addressing the members of the 12th Assembly, “The biggest role you play is at the table that you sit…being the legitimate voice of the undergraduate students on this campus is very very important, something that the university values,” said Bram.

Photo Credit: Leo Massey | The Underground

With that being the opener to the meeting the 12th Assembly moved right into talking about all their upcoming goals and plans in the works for the next school year.

President Katie Jordan began by mentioning all the already-in-the-works goals UPUA has. These include:

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  • Working with Vice President for Student Affairs, Damon Sims, on getting medical amnesty for students involved in medically related violations with the Officeof Student Conduct.
  • Making this summer’s Lion Bash more diverse and inclusive by showcasing multicultural organizations on campus. (Something that had not been done in the past).
  • Speaking with UPUA’s 11th Assembly president, Terry Ford, about the Off-Campus Student Union to handle matters concerning thing like summer events held in the State College borough and Greek life.
  • Having a seat on the Young Alumni Committee to increase alumni engagement specifically among recently graduated alumni.

Jordan also spoke about the student fee board and the new initiative that she is hoping will come to pass.

This would be an $38 increase in the student fees, which would be added to every student’s tuition in the Fall 2017 semester, and it would go towards student activities and recreation. The increase would eliminate the university’s fitness pass fee of $60 per semester that students now pay.

“At most other Big 10 universities you don’t pay a separate membership fee…so that’s sort of the [route] we’ve been trying to go for awhile now…[and] this is a really good time for us to keep up with standards of the Big 10,” said President Jordan in her closing remarks.

The increase amount is supported by the Fee Board with a 7-5 vote and come July, when it will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees, if it gets approved, every student will now have a gym membership starting Fall 2017 semester.

UPUA has also been doing work on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the Association of Big Ten Students in Washington D.C. where the Governmental Affairs committee recently visited for a conference where they presented student issues for discussion.

In new UPUA business, the 12th Assembly passed the resolution to increase the presence of the university’s All In campaign during New Student Orientation (NSO). This will involve getting the campaign’s message to incoming students right when they get introduced to the Penn State community.

“It will be the starting point with the symbol of all we are trying to do with diversity and inclusion throughout this assembly,” said at-large representative and community diversity liaison Helia Hosseinpour.

Another resolution to support the year-round Pell Grant Restoration Act also passed unanimously.

The Assembly also confirmed the following positions for UPUA:

  • Chair of Outreach– Bhavin Shah
  • Freshman Council Directors– Claire Kelley and Maura Ellsworth
  • Director of Finance– Daniel Terek
  • Director of Sustainability– Sam Anawalt
  • Director of Donor and Alumni Relations– Kyra Rogan

The last two positions are new within the assembly.

Upcoming events for the rest of this week include:

 

Photo Credit: Leo Massey | The Underground 

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Kaleah Mcilwain

Kaleah is a sophomore at Penn State double-majoring in Print Journalism and Political Science. She likes to collect quotes and will never turn down a good argument. She hopes to one day be an international journalist and get to tell stories about different people from around the world.