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UPUA’s Great Leap Forward

Keeping with this semester’s theme of actually getting things done, UPUA had another eventful meeting last night.

Here’s the important stuff to know:

  • Mike Wallace, creator of Wallypalooza stepped down as Programming Committee Chair.
  • Nearly 1400 students used the White Loop’s new hours last weekend
  • Luke Pierce, former President of the IFC, was elected as the new Director of Strategic Implementation.
  • UPUA is planning on putting out a Freshman Handbook to be given to all incoming students.
  • Under a new policy, UPUA projects with budgets under $1000 no longer have to be voted before the funds can be spent.

At the beginning of the meeting, a representative from “Tree Swings for PSU” spoke, seeking support for their project. Also, Gail Hurley, Associate VP of Auxiliary and Business Services, gave a presentation on her department and all the aspects of university life that it handles. Hurley played a major role in both the implementation of the new White Loop hours, as well as the recent bandwidth limit increase, and she urged students to become more involved with the department so more changes like these can be made. Mike Wallace also took the floor to give what amounted to a farewell address, saying “it’s not you, it’s me” in regards to his decision to leave.

Luke Pierce will be serving as Director of Strategic Implementation, basically making sure UPUA’s current strategic plan is both feasible and actually followed. If his time with IFC is any indicator, this seems like Pierce is the right man to tackle a project of this magnitude.

President Gavin Keirans discussed the success of the White Loop’s first weekend with the new hours. He also shared his plan to get members of the IFC to volunteer as Ambassadors to ride the bus on weekends, per UPUA’s agreement with CATA. Whether it is a good idea to leave the Greek community responsible for monitoring students who are predominantly using the service as a “drunk bus” to get home from frat parties remains to be seen.

The budget for UPUA’s next big project, an effort to revive Penn State’s Freshman Handbook, was approved. The goal is to create a handbook that will be passed out to all incoming Freshmen, and possibly change of campus and transfer students as well. This handbook will serve as a guide to Penn State, including maps, campus organizations and services offered. While this idea seems like a noble on, little effort was made to hide UPUA’s secondary objectives with this project – gaining the loyalty of new students to further cement its legitimacy.  Members of UPUA will be responsible for every aspect of the guide’s creation, and will have absolute control over what information is included and what is left out. The fact that UPUA makes no provision for outside oversight or control is more than a little disconcerting. We’ll be sure to bring you more information on this project as it develops.

A resolution was also passed promoting the inclusion of the university’s non-discrimination policy in all class syllabi and a change was made to UPUA’s budget policy in an effort to better streamline small, time-sensitive projects. Low cost (under $1000) projects will no longer have to be voted on, though they will still be reviewed and submitted to the general assembly.

All in all UPUA, seems to be on a roll so far this semester. Hopefully the momentum keeps up.

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About the Author

Nick Johnson

Nick is a junior majoring in IST (the Internet) and CAS (saying things). He hopes to one day get paid to do this, but for now he is willing to do it for the fame. Besides writing for Onward State, he also puts things on the Internet here.

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