Complaint Filed to Board of Arbitration for UPUA iPad Purchase

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In order to modernize UPUA, Chief of Staff John Zang placed orders for two new iPads to be used for meetings and around the UPUA office. Zang, who felt that a lack of technology was limiting student government and it’s potential, placed the orders without the order being legislated or informing the assembly.

The two iPads came at a cost of $1,070, which means it would need to be voted on and approved by the assembly due to budgetary policy which says that all purchases over $1,000 must be legislated. However, the actual cost of the iPads only ended up being $998 because they were tax exempt. Although the receipt says the cost to be $1,070, Zang confirmed that UPUA will only be charged $998 because of the tax exempt status, putting it below the threshold.

Some members of the general assembly disapprove of the iPads and Zang’s move, as it’s spending money to directly benefit UPUA.

However, Zang felt this move was necessary for UPUA as it tries to modernize itself. In addition to the iPads, UPUA is also developing a new website and using programs like Dropbox to become more efficient and effective.

“The problem is that some don’t like the idea of modernizing or using student funds to only better UPUA and not students directly,” said Zang after the meeting.

UPUA’s ID Committee went into an executive session last night to discuss the matter according to Internal Developement chair Dray Krishnan. A complaint was filed to the Board of Arbitration with multiple cosignors that included representatives Dray Krishnan, Anthony Christina, Ryan Stephens, Elias Warren, and Curtis Houck. The complaint alleges that the cost was $1,070, which Zang says included tax, which was the result of a premature Association of Student Activities report.

The board will look at both sides and make a decision on whether the purchase was justified within the next few weeks.

“The Board of Arbitration will make a decision on the matter as soon as we can get the entire board together,” said Board of Arbitration Chief Justice Ryan Thomas. “Other than that, we really can’t comment.”

Zang has worked with the UPUA budget and said that he had the approval from UPUA president Courtney Lennartz and Chair of the Assembly Spencer Malloy to make the purchase.

However, Zang said that any decision the Board makes will only benefit UPUA as it will create a greater understanding of the budget and what is acceptable.

Photo By: Dave Cole
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Greg is a senior majoring in energy engineering at Penn State.

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