UPUA holds special presentation, passes two resolutions, Shockley speaks out about NCOD
The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) held their weekly meeting, in which they began with a special presentation from Student Financial Education Center (SFEC).
The SFEC student director, Alyssa Levans, spoke to the twelfth assembly. The Penn State Student Financial Education has been present on campus since 2014. Levans informed the group that the organization’s main goal is to promote financial education on campus. The SFEC has both appointments and walk-in options for students seeking the resources to become knowledgeable about their finances. Levans stated that the semester goal was to make financial education fun for students, and aim the services towards freshmen so they are informed by the time things like student loans become a serious concern for them. The center also is not meant to advise students, but equip them with the knowledge and resources to make smart financial decisions.
The meeting continued as UPUA President Katie Jordan gave her report. She emphasized the importance of the recent culture and climate survey sent out by the university. The survey is an attempt to better understand cultural relations on campus and would aid in moving forward with the All In initiative currently in place at Penn State.
Jordan went on to recap PSU Votes week. “It was a really big success. We got about six hundred new [people] registered.”
Jordan then proceeded to discuss a new planned initiative for UPUA to work with the borough council for a diversity and inclusion campaign, in hopes to show support for a more diverse atmosphere on campus.
On top of that, UPUA is holding a drive for Puerto Rico. “They are still in grave disaster,” said Jordan.
Vice President Alex Shockley proceeded to give his weekly report. This past weekend he attended a conference sponsored by the American Cancer Society for creating a tobacco-free campus. This is in relation to last week’s unanimous passing of the resolution to create a task force to promote a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus. Shockley did point out that typically initiatives like this usually only work at smaller campuses, but larger universities like the University of Kentucky and Virginia Tech have accomplished the feat.
Shockley also discussed his hand in helping with the ‘All In’ video. To further progress Penn State’s latest initiative, he hopes to have professors show videos to their students to spread a message of inclusivity. This very much related to what the vice president finished his report with.
This week is National Coming Out Week, with October 11 being National Coming Out Day. Shockley, a gay man, choked up as he talked about his experience with coming out and what it meant to be a member of the LGBTQIA community.
“Coming out is something that we have to do every day… even in times where we need to speak for our community… It takes pride and it takes hope.”
Having felt as though his sexual orientation was not worthy of a conversation, he stated that people’s tales of coming out are stories that inspire. He said that anyone in the LGBTQIA community should know that they are welcomed and loved. He also urged those who are not in the community to support those who are.
“Your student government will be with you til the end,” he commented before hanging the gay pride flag along with Katie Jordan for the remainder of the meeting.
The meeting then moved on to the liaison reports. The liaison for the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments began his report by soluting Vice President Shockley on his speech. He informed the assembly that this past weekend was the first council weekend, in which the commonwealth governments come up and share ideas with the main campus government. The student life committee director advised that the commonwealth campuses should create Excel spreadsheets of the active organizations on both their campus and main campus. This would ease the transition for students who transfer into the main campus. The University Park Allocation Committee liaison reported that a standing allocation review for Movin’ On has been completed, and a review of their regular budget would be presented soon.
The twelfth assembly had two resolutions brought to the floor this week. Resolution 13-12, Support of Senate Bill 1864 and House Bill 3840 the Affordable College Textbook Act, and resolution 14-12, Support of HR. 3870 E-Book Act of 2017, are very similar in terms of the main focus. Both aim to find a solution to the high cost of higher education textbooks. Resolution 13-12 would show support for a bill that creates a grant program which would lower the cost of textbooks for students. Assemblymember Stem mentioned to the assembly in his presenting of these resolutions that if resolution 13-12 was passed, it could potentially help us receive a grant since Penn State would be involved from the beginning. Resolution 13-12 proposes support of legislation that will expand access to digital academic materials and create a grant program for schools to better digital materials to aid in the education of their students. Both resolutions to show support for these bills were passed unanimously.
Assemblymember Stem mentioned to the assembly in his presenting of these resolutions that if resolution 13-12 was passed, it could potentially help us receive a grant since Penn State would be involved from the beginning. Resolution 13-12 proposes support of legislation that will expand access to digital academic materials and create a grant program for schools to better digital materials to aid in the education of their students. Both resolutions to show support for these bills were passed unanimously.