UPUA to Move Forward with Student Association
This Saturday, President of the University Park Undergraduate Association Christian Ragland and Governmental Affairs Executive Director Travis Salters will travel to Harrisburg. There, they will meet with representatives from the student governments of the 14 state-related universities in Pennsylvania to discuss forming a unified Pennsylvania Student Association between them all.
The UPUA passed a resolution last night supporting the action, and backed the formation of such an organization without much debate; the silence indicated the sense of need for a unified voice for college students across the commonwealth. The resolution passed by a vote of 35-2-1.
Tuition is the primary issue behind the group’s inception, but Salters said the Association would pertain to all issues that affect college students. However, Penn State’s tuition being linked to state appropriations and public funding would require that this group be made up of students from publicly funded universities only.
The legislation passed is nothing final; no commitments have been made and Salters and Ragland may come back from Harrisburg empty-handed. They also might come back with a major step forward in lobbying for student interests. With a few students here and there bothering them, politicians can easily ignore what they are saying. With a large, unified base, we are much harder to ignore and have a much better chance of getting through to Harrisburg.
The UPUA also heard a special presentation from Director of Student Legal Services Carolyn Larrabee. She spoke about how Legal Affairs has evolved since its beginning operations in March. They have taken on a huge amount of traffic; Larrabee said that they have had consultations with over 370 students, and the majority of those in this semester alone. She discussed how Legal Affairs represents students, the infrastructural organization of the office, and the informational and educational resources they are making available to students (especially the landlord-tenant learning module to be up soon; you can learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, in the impossible event that you have a dispute with your landlord).
Three other resolutions were also passed:
- An official logo was chosen for the UPUA Book Exchange.
- The UPUA Diversity Roundtable for November 29 was okayed.
- The UPUA officially recognized and congratulated Joe Paterno for his 400th win.