UPUA’s 11th Assembly met last night to confirm two new academic representatives, three at-large representatives, and officially announce its treadmill desk pilot partnered with campus recreation.
The meeting began with a special presentation by Blake Bergey, Senior Manager of Learning Applications & Technologies. He spoke on a cloud-based printing service Penn State will pilot this semester called Wepa.
With Wepa, students would be able to print from any device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) and pick up the print job at any Wepa kiosk on campus. “Nothing will change for you other than hopefully better functionality,” Bergey said, explaining printing prices would likely stay the same.
University Park will have more than 1400 pilot accounts for this semester to be used at five kiosk locations. If all goes well, Wepa could replace Penn State’s current printing service as early as fall semester.
President Terry Ford reported on a meeting with IFC and Panhel leadership, where the organizations discussed ongoing projects like a potential shuttle service between Fratland and campus. This service would cost roughly $280 per night, and the current proposal is to run the shuttle on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
“The idea is that students would be able to take this bus service from the fraternity areas back on campus and not vice versa,” Ford said. The shuttle would be free for students.
The UPUA and Greek leaders also discussed ways to better advocate for students with the State College Borough and about enhancing diversity education for Greek council members using a video encouraging members to be more mindful and inclusive. Ford also highlighted the first official Student Fee Board meeting, which you can read more on here.
“It was a big day for us,” he said, “probably the biggest day for me personally, as I’ve been working on this, as you know, for quite some time.”
The next Student Fee Board meeting will be held on February 17, although Ford did not solidify a time or location. If you’re wondering why the date sounds familiar, it’s the first day of THON 2017.
UPUA members also met with staff from the governor’s office to advocate for Penn State’s state appropriation and to encourage the governor to continue the tradition of appointing a student trustee. Although the governor has appointed a student trustee since the 1970s, this could be jeopardized by 2014’s addition of a codified student trustee. Speaking of student trustees, Ford encouraged students to apply to be the next student-selected student trustee (or for the selection committee).
Vice President Katie Jordan said UHS is reevaluating its hours after numerous suggestions from students to extend weekend hours; she also emphasized the importance of students attending Capital Day in March to advocate to state legislators on behalf of Penn State students.
Finally, Jordan gave President Ford a well-deserved shout out for his work on the Student Fee Board. “He’s put in year’s of work on this and it’s literally amazing,” she said.
After a brief caucus breakout, the assembly confirmed three at-large representatives and UPUA’s Director of Communications before they were sworn in along with College of Arts & Architecture Representative Andrew Ahr. Here’s a brief bio on each:
- Ben Cutler spent the fall semester as a member of freshman council and is involved in Movin’ On and the Engineering House SLO. He said he wants to focus on bigger-picture initiatives. “There’s definitely other things we can do,” Cutler said, citing massage chairs as a counterexample. After numerous members of the assembly sang his praises, Cutler was confirmed 33-1.
- Fernando Mendez is a junior studying public relations and political science. As external vice president for Latino Caucus and administrative vice president for College Democrats, he said he’s inspired by UPUA because of all the people working together despite political ideals. Mendez has a strong background in grassroots organizations and advocacy work and hopes to become more involved with the State College Borough Council and in ensuring the longevity of All In diversity and inclusion initiatives. He was confirmed 32-2.
- You might know Johnna Purcell as the former president of Students for Hillary, but her experiences working with people from “both sides of the aisle” say even more about her character, according to Representative Michael Straw, who could not endorse her enough. “I’ve existed at the fringes of UPUA for what I feel like is a long time,” Purcell said. She wants to work on initiatives centered around women’s health, LGBTQA diversity and inclusiveness, sexuality and sex education, and civic engagement with the Borough and state legislatures. Purcell was confirmed unanimously.
- Colin Murtha is studying secondary English education and comparative literature. He served as Associate Director of Communications in the early part of the assembly after his experience on freshman council last year. Murtha hopes to continue growing the communications department by staying goal-oriented. He was confirmed unanimously.
During discussion, Representative Jorge Zurita-Coronado encouraged the representatives who voted no to “speak up and say why they don’t agree with the representatives steering put forth.” No one spoke out against any of the confirmed leaders.
In legislation, the assembly passed just one bill and one resolution. Bill 22-11, Funding for the Nutrition Habit Challenge Day of Advocacy and Registration, funds a promotional event with the College of Health and Human Development to promote its health challenge, which is open to anyone in Centre County. At the mention of prizes, the bill passed unanimously.
You can read more about Resolution 32-11, Announcement of Treadmill Desk Pilot with Campus Recreation, here. The Tread-Desks will be available starting Monday, and you can reserve them by calling the White Building or just walking in (if they’re available). Most importantly, though the Tread-Desks are housed in the White Building, you don’t need a gym membership to use them, just a student ID.
Things got interesting when Chief Justice Eric Love reported on what’s happening with the Judicial Board — UPUA elections are nearly upon us yet again. Here’s what the timeline will look like:
- February 7, 8, 13, & 14 — Elections Info Sessions
- February 20 — Registration Begins
- March 3 — Registration Ends
- March 29 — Election Day
This may seem run-of-the-mill, but the assembly is in talks of updating its Election Code that governs the process. “I encourage all of you to submit your ideas, because honestly, I have to enforce whatever you guys give me,” Love said. “I will enforce whatever you guys give me, but it becomes a lot harder when what you give me is unclear….last year was not great. Part of the problem was with the Election Code.”
Speaker Alex Shockley said he hopes to bring election policies to the floor at next week’s meeting. Also stay tuned for more info on massage chairs, which surely you woke up this morning and thought, “Wow you know what would make my college education better? A massage chair.”
The meeting adjourned at 10:18 p.m.