UPUA Opens Office, Regrets Decision?
Gavin Keirans & Co. have had an unprecedentedly successful year with UPUA, but it seems that there is concern that our student government is being too productive. UPUA’s new downtown office opened a week ago, and Keirans and several other leaders have said the project was handled improperly from the outset.
Last year, UPUA found it had a couple extra thousand dollars lying around at the end of the year (I hate when that happens). They decided to put this money to use and lease office space downtown. Even now, however, there are few definite plans on how the space will be used. Suggestions include:
- UPUA’s Tenant-Landlord Mediation Center
- Place for UPUA to meet with off-campus groups
- More accessible office for off-campus students
Another issue is how delayed the opening ended up being. The 12-month lease expires at the end of June, and the office is just opening now, less than 6 months before a decision has to be made whether or not to spend another $5200 on the space.
In the end, I feel this was a somewhat half-baked idea that was both implemented too quickly and then not made enough of a priority to be finished on schedule. There is no inherent problem with UPUA having a space downtown for any of the reasons above, but it shouldn’t have been leased without a definite plan and timetable.
This being said, I don’t think this effort is inevitably destined to become a failure. In particular, the concept of a Tenant-Landlord Mediation Center seems promising. It seems at least some of the rental companies operating in State College take advantage of students’ inexperience and na·ïve·té and this would be a great place for students to seek advice and support.
It’s up to the UPUA now to decide whether to turn this situation into a success or a resounding failure.