After a yawner of a meeting last week, UPUA was able to pick up the slack and actually get some stuff done last night. Not only did the assembly pass two pieces of legislation, but each garnered healthy debate and we learned a tough lesson on parliamentary procedure along the way.
The meeting opened with two lengthy special presentations. The first session, delivered by the Senior Director of Union and Student Activities Mary Edgington, outlined the 54,000 sq. ft. HUB expansion (plus 52,000 sq. ft. of renovations) and the different entities that would be moved around, like the LION radio station and a new THON store.
After Edgington’s introduction, the head architect for the HUB expansion spoke to the assembly about the current progress, and detailed the plans going forward. He discussed the plans for putting the THON store at the main entrance as well as making the new book store two stories tall. In addition, the HUB expansion will feature a renovated food court, a small cafe near the bookstore, an improved entrance from the parking deck side, and several multi-purpose rooms.
The next presentation dealt with peer-to-peer financial counseling, which was a focal point of the Mullen/Dooley platform. Apparently, Pennsylvania students have the second-highest debt levels in the United States, which is probably not a surprise to any of you considering waning appropriation levels. In order to teach better money management during college, there are plans to give students the chance to get peer-to-peer money counseling on the subjects of budgeting, credit cards, and student loans. This counseling has been successful elsewhere (specifically Texas Tech) and the peer-to-peer aspect is supposed to make it more comfortable for students.
After the presentations and reports from Mullen and Dooley, the assembly jumped into the new business:
Bill 05-08: Test Prep Week Funding
This bill continues the relationship that UPUA has with the Princeton Review. UPUA spends about $3,800 on test prep books to give out to students, and in return the Princeton Review will offer free graded and proctored LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE tests. In addition, students will get to take test prep classes at a discounted price.
However, as Internal Development chair Katie Esarey pointed out, the contract with the Princeton Review had already been signed, making the vote essentially pointless. Esaray moved to pass the bill with unanimous consent. No one voiced an immediate objection and the bill passed. Rep. Wortman, who we would later find out opposed the bill, was confused on parliamentary procedure and asked Vice President Dooley to reopen discussion after he discovered his folly. Dooley refused (at that point he looked like this), but Wortman continued to protest. That lasted all of 10 seconds (by then, Dooley looked like this) and Wortman received a death stare for the ages and a stern “You will respect the decision of the chair!” command.
And then there was silence. Cold, awkward UPUA silence.
Resolution 06-08: Support of PA Senate Bill 410
There is a bill right now stuck in the PA Senate that would require one of the gubernatorial appointments on the Board of Trustees be a permanent student trustee position. As it stands now, Pete Khoury is the student on the BOT. However, there is no guarantee a student will be picked for the position in the future; it is simply an unmandated tradition to select a student. Instead, UPUA wants a permanent student trustee on the BOT that is selected by students. With this resolution, there is now an official UPUA stance on the subject, which of course means very little.
Still, the resolution passed unanimously.
Tie Shoe Wars (Laurel Petrulionis vs. Melissa McCleery)
Did I feel weird taking pictures of ladies’ feet? Sure. But still, it was time for the UPUA women to get their shot in the weekly fashion game. Laurel’s shoes really jump out from the get go because of the giraffe pattern, and everyone knows giraffes are pretty cool. Melissa’s shoes definitely scream business casual (for some reason), but it’s not enough to take home the crown in this week’s Shoe Wars.
(Note: I am even less qualified to judge women’s shoes than I am ties.)
Winner: Laurel Petrulionis