UPUA passed seven pieces of legislation during the 11th Assembly’s penultimate meeting last night, including support for a number of initiatives and funding for a Black Women Rock event hosted by the Black Student Union.
President Terry Ford discussed a few products he’s working on in the final weeks of his term. The Student Fee Board will meet twice this week, first to hear standing allocation proposals on Thursday and then for a regular meeting on Friday. Ford expects the Fee Board will consider a budget for renovation and expansion of the LGBTQA student resource center before the end of the semester.
Borough Liaison Morgon Goranson outlined recent meetings with representatives from the borough and a few of the neighborhood associations closest to downtown centered on the party registration ordinance Borough Council is considering. He said the borough seems open to compromise on this, but currently they’re looking at regulating gatherings of more than 150 people and mandating the gatherings end by 1 a.m. There could be a fee associated.
“The first major change is that this will only apply to outdoor gatherings, nothing that’s inside,” Goranson said. “[The ordinance] will only apply to events that serve alcohol, so nothing philanthropy-related.”
The legislation passed is all pretty straightforward, so here’s a quick rundown of what you should know about each of them.
Bill 31-11: Funding for the 6th Annual Black Women Rock Event
This bill provides UPUA funding for Black Student Union’s Black Women Rock event, which will be held this weekend. UPUA’s contribution totals $2,522 to be used for a stage, audio equipment, decorations, and awards. The bill passed unanimously.
Resolution 42-11: Establishment of Sexual Health Awareness Day
This resolution does exactly what it says — establishes a Sexual Health Awareness Day. UPUA will partner with UHS to staff a table in the HUB on this designated day to “provide information and resources to students.” The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 43-11: Support for Changing University Administrative Policy 84 (Preferred Name & Gender
This resolution establishes UPUA’s support for proposed changes to Administrative Policy 84. These changes would change gender and name designations on various university forms to preferred name and gender identiy rather than requiring the legal forms of each. Some forms legal in nature could obviously be excluded, like financial or background check documents. The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 44-11: Supporting the Addition of Specific Student Resources to First Year Seminar Courses
This resolution would require first-year seminar instructors to teach students about resources at Penn State including CAPS, Women’s Resource Center, LGBTQA Resource Center, Paul Robeson Cultural Center, Multicultural Resource Center, Safe-Walk, University Police, Office of the Bursar, Office of the Registrar, LionPATH, Title IX, University Libraries, and Student Disability Resource Center. The resolution passed 34-1.
Resolution 45-11: Support for H.R. 1127 — Student Loan Fairness Act
This resolution supports a Bill in the House of Representatives advocating for federal expansion of loan forgiveness programs, caps on interest rates for federal student loans, and the ability to refinance private loans. The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 46-11: Opposition to Proposed Amendments to State College Commercial Incentive District Signature Development Project Requirements
This resolution is perhaps the most confusing of the legislation passed at the meeting. Basically, passing the legislation advocates for the Borough Council to allow development in the “West End district” of downtown by not imposing height limits on new buildings. As you can expect, there was some debate about the trade-offs between creating more student housing and maintaining the spirit and culture of downtown.
“I think preserving the identity and culture that Penn State has — that small-town feel — is a really big thing,” Representative Isaac Will said. “I think one of the things we should be doing is fighting to preserve what Penn State is.”
The resolution ultimately passed 29-6. Borough Council is slated to discuss the amendment to its policies next week.
Resolution 47-11: Call to the Pennsylvania General Assembly for Increased Support to Penn State
With Penn State Capital Day on the horizon, this resolution says UPUA will urge the Pennsylvania General Assembly to increase financial support for Penn State in the 2017-2018 general budget “however possible.” The resolution passed unanimously.
The meeting adjourned at 9:32 p.m. UPUA’s 11th Assembly will meet for the final time next Wednesday at 8 p.m. If past final meetings are any indication, it could be a long one, so bring your popcorn, folks.
Comments for the Good of the Readers: Ford also alluded to an exciting announcement about Borough relations coming next week. “Next Tuesday, we will have a very important announcement about our borough efforts…so be on the lookout for that,” he said. “I want to leave you all on your seats — the edge of your seats, in fact.”