Never can I imagine a time when representatives stop attempting to market sunglasses as a branding strategy for UPUA — or a time when at least one person opposes spending student fee dollars on said sunglasses.
The old sunglasses debate (aka miscellaneous swag) resurfaced at UPUA’s meeting last night when the assembly brought up legislation to rent three inflatable bounce houses and purchase 192 pairs of sunglasses to give away at Movin’ On.
UPUA spends a chunk of money each year on Movin’ On to supplement the group’s efforts to bring a music festival to Penn State. For the last two years, UPUA allocated $10,000 to Movin’ On to fund the musical acts, and last year got its name and logo on the sponsorship banner for the donation. This year, the assembly is part of a Movin’ On effort to provide more than just a concert and some food.
Movin’ On asked multiple organizations to donate to a fun, festival-themed lot adjacent to the main concert. UPUA decided it would best contribute to this by renting three large inflatable bounce houses, setting up a table, and handing out branded sunglasses for $2,221, which is almost four times less than it allocated to the festival last year. Though some members of the assembly had reservations about using student fee dollars for moon bounces, most of the opposition came with the sunglasses.
Rewind to 2011 when the student body — and even some administrators — voiced significant concern when UPUA wanted to spend $3,000 on UPUA-branded sunglasses, cups, pens, and other promotional items. Though these sunglasses will only cost the assembly (re: the student body) $263.50 for the 192 pairs, the sunglasses argument remains to be one that divides assemblies.
“Even though this isn’t a lot compared to [what UPUA allocated]last year, I have a problem allocating student dollars to moon bounces and sunglasses,” Governmental Affairs Chair Shawn Bengali said. He argued that students would throw the glasses away after picking them up at the UPUA table, but didn’t get the support needed to remove the glasses. An amendment to remove the glasses failed 31-4 (four people voting to remove them) and the resolution as a whole passed 30-5.
If you’re upset that your student fee dollars are funding sunglasses that you probably won’t even get a pair of, don’t stress too much: The glasses cost less than $0.01 per student. If you do get your hands on a pair, however, you just scored a super cheap piece of UPUA swag that will always remind you of your time at Movin’ On and those massage chairs you probably never used.
One student, Frank Esposito, came out for open student forum this week mentioning an incident at the Allen Street Gates on Monday where one student was arrested. Esposito, a reporter for The Daily Collegian, asked the assembly to get the Penn State Police to do media briefings similar to the State College Police so members of the media can have transparent access to information on incidents like the one that happened Monday.
In his report, President Ford talked primarily about Monday night’s Borough Council meeting and how impressed he was with the student turnout. He admitted it was the best he’s ever seen at what can definitely be a long, boring meeting. Ford said he finds the fence ordinance discriminatory to students, as they’d be the ones primarily affected. He assured the assembly he would oppose any party registration resolution that may be brought up and touched on how the meeting was, unfortunately, a good representation of the student relationship with the Borough Council.
“Monday night we didn’t even speak yet and a member of the Borough Council left the room in frustration,” Ford said. “Hopefully going forward we can craft a better relationship with [the Council]and maybe, just maybe, find some replacements for some of these people.”
If you weren’t at Monday night’s meeting, here’s a glimpse of what Ford was referencing:
Theresa Lafer is unfit to run a bake sale, let alone a town with 42,000 ppl. The May primary is 98 days away. Register to vote & end this. pic.twitter.com/71RnMNtTix
— Kevin Horne (@KevinHornePSU) February 7, 2017
When it came time for legislation, there wasn’t much going on other than the sunglasses and moon bounces. The assembly passed Bill 25-11, the Elections Commission Budget, with a vote of 33-0-2. This gave the commission $3,068.96 to spend promoting this year’s UPUA election, buying themselves election t-shirts, and ordering pizza for election night.
The other resolution was #37-11: Support for Changing University Faculty Senate Policy 47-70 Online Student Progress Report (Early Progress Reports). Essentially, Faculty Senate mandated Early Progress Reports for all undergraduate students as opposed to just first-semester freshmen, and UPUA is supporting that change. Early Progress Reports give students a heads up on Starfish early in the semester if they are doing poorly in a class (below C-level). The resolution passed unanimously.
UPUA election season is also coming in hot, and during his report Chief Justice Eric Love announced the dates and times of the two information sessions for anyone intending to run for UPUA this spring. Those interested in running for an executive or at-large position must attend at least one of the information sessions, which are as follows:
- Tuesday, February 14 at 7 p.m. in 233A HUB — this session will be more geared toward students who are already in UPUA and have a general idea how the assembly and elections work.
- Wednesday, February 15 at 7 p.m. in 233B HUB — this session is for people who are new to UPUA and the election process and may need a more detailed explanation.
Both sessions are open to anyone, whether you have any experience with the assembly or not. The second session was strategically scheduled before next week’s assembly meeting so those who are considering running but have no experience with UPUA have the opportunity to attend the meeting and see what it’s like.