Whether or not you made it here on purpose, you are now reading the weekly UPUA recap, and I implore you to read on. The meeting opened with a special presentation from Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes who wanted to discuss what her position entails.
She spoke about how great it is that Penn State is so regionally dispersed throughout the state. Hanes stressed that “[Penn State] is not a system. We are not a main and a branch. We are a multi-campus university.” She went on to say that there are about 5,000 transfers among the Penn State campuses every year.
Graduate student and Board of Trustees member Peter Khoury, who briefly attended the Lehigh Valley campus, followed Hanes. Khoury started at University Park, but had to go home because of health issues, which luckily for him was about five miles down the road from Lehigh Valley. “I am living proof of the fact that we are all one university,” Khoury said.
CCSG President Ben Clark, who works closely with Hanes, spoke next, explaining that as was tradition in his family he applied directly to Penn State Altoona and began there before transferring to University Park. Clark is, of course, a strong advocate for the commonwealth campuses. “Part of what makes Penn State great is that we can all graduate with the same degree,” he said. “The transition [between campuses]is seamless.”
Representative Elias Warren asked Hanes about the decreased number of applications to Penn State this year, and why that is the case. “Students are making a choice to apply to less colleges because of application fees,” Haynes responded. She also answered questions about tuition increases, stating that “the last two years we’ve seen the most modest tuition increase in my years at Penn State.” Khoury added that a tuition increase is typically the last option once all others are entirely exhausted.
In President Courtney Lennartz’s weekly report, she informed the assembly that she had a lunch meeting with the Tavern Association, who said that they will not close down again for State Patty’s Day this year as they lost $100,000 in revenue last year by doing so.
Resolution 13-07 — i>clicker Program Expansion:
The UPUA i>clicker rental program, in which the assembly loans i>clickers to students for a safety deposit that is returned at the end of the semester, has been a huge success. All 215 i>clickers that UPUA purchased for the program were rented out in only one day during the current semester, and demand continued after the supply was exhausted. This legislation will provide funds to purchase an additional 215 i>clickers from the manufacturer for $6,447.85. Weirdly enough, Anthony Christina rose in support of the legislation during discussion, and I think that half of the assembly gasped in horror while one or two may or may not have passed out from shock. It, of course, passed unanimously — but this might be a UPUA initiative that deserves unanimous support.
Encampment Funding Act of 2012:
Encampment is an annual event in which Penn State student leaders gather for roundtable discussions, collaboration, and seminars to help them better serve the students that they represent. Encampment generally takes place twice a year, but instead Director of Encampment Josh Wimble is organizing a two-day event that will take place in late January. Wimble’s budget called for $8,981, the majority of which will be spent on catering.
The assembly took issue with a number of the budget items that Wimble listed. Academic Affairs Chair Rick Pooler asked why the budget is so high even though encampment is only taking place once as opposed to twice as it usually does. Representative Kevin Cannon asked why 73% of the budget was to be spent on food and wanted to know if alternative catering options were explored. Representative Rishi Mittal asked why Wimble plans on spending $3 per pen on customized encampment pens when he has bought them for just 18 cents a pen in the past.
You could say Josh Wimble and the exec were visibly pissed that their budget was being torn apart.
Cannon then rose and motioned to recommit the legislation to the Student Life Committee to get some more eyes on it and to help research alternative pricing options to help Wimble reduce some of the costs listed on his budget. President Lennartz said that the legislation has “already been extensively researched” and that there is “no benefit to [recommitting]this.” Chairman Spencer Malloy echoed this sentiment.
The assembly then voted to recommit the legislation, with Christina and Cannon acting as the lone supporters. The budget went on to pass 34-2, with the same two voting it down. The budget passing does not mean that Wimble can go ahead and begin organizing encampment, but simply that the money has ben allocated for the event.
The budget will continue to be reworked, as Wimble intends to spend as little money as possible and asked the assembly to send him any ideas they had for price breaks. “I’d like to come in way under budget,” he said. “That’s how I roll.”
John Zang Tie of the Week (.5 out of 5):
Chief of Staff Zang did not wear a tie this week. I am not happy about it. But I commend him for switching it up, and I award him half a point for his ballsiness.
Elias Warren Quote of the Week:
During Comments for the Good of the Order, Warren said: “Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and for those of you that celebrate Diwali — thats a pretty cool holiday — so have a happy Diwali.”