This week’s University Park Undergraduate Association meeting kicked off with a speaker for open student forum, which, if you’ve been following along, you realize is a rare occurrence.
Ben Schiavone spoke on a quote he read in The Daily Collegian about Ben Shapiro appearing on campus last year. While we couldn’t confirm with Schiavone directly, we’re pretty sure he meant this quote, which appeared in an article The Collegian published last week called “Looking back at Penn State speakers who came to campus in midst of university blocking Richard Spencer“:
“I don’t feel safe or comfortable with a racist asshole being on my campus,” one student formerly told The Daily Collegian.
“To read something like that, calling Ben Shapiro a racist, hurts me. Penn State’s home for me, and to hear that kind of stuff about another opinion really hurts,” Schiavone said. “We put so much emphasis on diversity, but we seem to be focusing on skin color, or race, and not so much on thoughts.”
“If we are Penn State, we need to be diverse in opinion, and if we fail to do that, well then, we’re not really Penn State after all, are we?”
Schiavone asked the UPUA to voice his concerns to President Barron to be addressed immediately.
After a special presentation from Director of Local Government and Community Relations Charima Young, UPUA President Katie Jordan opened her report addressing Schiavone’s concerns.
“Every student who goes here earned the right to go here,” Jordan said. “Every student who goes here earned the right to feel safe when they go here.” She urged the assembly to listen to what people are saying on campus and bring issues the student body is experiencing to UPUA’s committees and leaders to be addressed.
Oh, and the assembly managed to fit in some business, too. UPUA will sponsor an on-campus job fair for students looking for part-time jobs on campus this year. The fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, September 7 in Heritage Hall with employers like Campus Rec, Residential Dining, Ancillary Services, Commons Desk Operations, and University Police. Resolution 06-12, Establishment of the On-Campus Job Fair, passed unanimously.