The University Park Undergraduate Association met Wednesday night to swear in its freshman council and reaffirm its support for the new Campus Recreation policies implemented this semester.
Resolution 08-12, Support for a Student-Focused Approach to Campus Recreation, recognizes the Student Fee Board’s decision to fund universal fitness memberships and commends Campus Recreation for expanding hours and programming. Facilities Chair Cody Heaton quickly amended the resolution as he presented it, most notably adding a course of action for UPUA to present details on the changes to the University Faculty Senate.
After some confusion and multiple amendments to the resolution, At-Large Representative Zach Robinson moved to recommit the legislation to the Facilities Committee so it could be further revised to a cleaner cut that everyone in the assembly could agree on.
Vice President Alex Shockley explained not voting on the resolution during Wednesday’s meeting would delay the presentation to Faculty Senate by a month because the Senate’s agendas are created a month in advance — or, for the next meeting, by this Friday. Shockley and President Katie Jordan clarified the confusion with faculty, and the resolution ultimately passed unanimously.
“It’s been thought that this was decided by Campus Rec that faculty isn’t allowed to use the facilities on campus, but it was totally a student decision,” Heaton said after the meeting, “Really we’re just trying to back Campus Rec in the programming that they’re offering because it does aligns with a lot of the platform initiatives that we do have for the 12th Assembly.”
Freshmen Troi Pryor and Quinn O’Neill were confirmed unanimously as UPUA’s Freshman Representatives for this year, and the duo was sworn in by Jordan along with the rest of the Freshman Council.
The assembly also heard a special presentation from the Penn State Performing Arts Council’s Vice President for Community Relations, Eleanor King. She explained a new initiative the Council is working on to create a mobile app, which will house calendar and scheduling information for various arts events happening around campus. PAC has been working with UPUA Representative Anthony Stem to make the app a reality and hopes to roll it out for Apple and Android during the spring semester.
The meeting ended with a quick discussion on the current state budget impasse and the importance of advocating for Penn State’s funding, specifically on social media.
“It is not glamorous to be retweeting things about the budget for months and months and months,” UPUA President Katie Jordan said. “We know it’s not fun.”
— PennStateStudentGovt (@UPUA) September 13, 2017
Both Jordan and Governmental Affairs Chair Isaac Will reiterated how important the state budget is to Penn State’s funding, especially with comments some representatives have made about cutting funding for state-related institutions (like Penn State) altogether.
“There’s about a $2.2 Billion gap [in the state budget],” Will said. “Funding to state-related institutions…are up in the air.”
Editor’s Note: In the interest of transparency, it’s relevant to note Elissa Hill is also president of the Performing Arts Council.