UPUA Pledges Support To Transgender Community

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UPUA met last night in 302 HUB to pass a litany of legislation as the assembly nears its final days, including one resolution that confirms support for Penn State’s transgender community. This piece of legislation comes just days after a change in federal policy on the rights of transgender students to use gender-specific restrooms. Penn State also released a statement yesterday reaffirming support the university’s support along the same lines.

“The UPUA believes that every student should have the right to use the facilities that correspond to their gender identity and should be free of harassment and discrimination because of their gender, perceived gender, and gender identity,” UPUA’s legislation reads. The resolution passed unanimously.

The assembly also passed another resolution and two bills. Here’s what you need to know about each.

Bill 29-11: Funding for Capital Day Buses

This one is pretty self-explanatory. The bill funds buses to transport students to Harrisburg for Capital Day, an event where students travel to meet their state legislators and advocate for Penn State. This year’s Capital Day will be held March 22. The bill passed unanimously.

Bill 30-11: Funding of Sexual Violence Awareness & Prevention Gala

UPUA plans to collaborate with Lion Ambassadors to host a gala benefiting the Centre County Women’s Resource Center on Friday, March 24. This legislation provides funding for catering, decorations, a photobooth, and keynote speaker Pulitzer Prize winner Sheryl WuDunn. The bill passed unanimously.

Resolution 40-11: Support for HB 29: Income Tax Credit for Interest Paid on Student Loans

This resolution supports a bill going through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would provide an income tax credit for the interest paid on student loans. It’s likely students will work to advocate for this bill during Capital Day. After discussion on whether this type of support should be placed at the state or federal level, the resolution passed 31-1-3.

During open student forum, one student passionately spoke on the possibility of marking Election Day as a holiday — free from classes, exams, or meetings. Though the assembly has just two meetings left, he encouraged members to lay the groundwork for future UPUA assemblies to work on this initiative.

The assembly also heard a special presentation from Laura Hall, Senior Director of Campus Recreation. Hall discussed in detail what Campus Rec has in the works for the next few years, outlining her proposal to the Student Fee Board to increase the Student Initiated Fee allocation to Campus Rec by about $40.

Speaking of the Student Fee Board, UPUA President Terry Ford said the Board will meet the Friday following spring break. Future meeting dates for the remainder of the semester are not set in stone.

UPUA elections for next year’s assembly are on the horizon as candidates can begin campaigning on Monday, March 13. For more info on elections, you can visit the elections website here.

The meeting adjourned at 9:54 p.m. We’ll be back after spring break with comprehensive elections coverage.

Photo By: Trevor Hayes
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Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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