D’Oh! UPUA Makes Circus of Doughnuts
I’ll start with the good news: the University Park Undergraduate Association voted 34-1-1 in favor of a program to produce “Know Your Rights” cards for possible downtown run-ins with the law (gasp!) Also, Jessica Roberson was confirmed as the liaison from the Off-Campus Student Union (OSCU).
However, the most controversial issue last evening was the creation of UPUA Donut [sic] Day. The Programming Committee wanted to hand out doughnuts and flyers in the HUB once a month to promote the UPUA and reach out to a larger portion of the student body. Citing the success of similar milk-and-cookie socials at Ohio State, the resolution was put before the Assembly.
IFC Representative Nick Grassetti agreed, saying, “We’re college kids. One of the best incentives is food,” as opposed to overtly ignoring those in the HUB who might simply be handing out flyers. However, numerous Assembly members wholeheartedly disagreed with the principle. Among them was At-Large Representative Tim Dooley, who claimed, “If it takes a doughnut to coerce a student that we matter, then we’re doing something wrong.” Others stressed that media coverage, i.e. the UPUA’s “name in the paper every Thursday” was enough to simply get the name out there, and some also mentioned attending constituency meetings as an important part of getting in touch with the people.
Money was the other problem. The original resolution called for four Donut Days next semester, at the beginning of each month, and the cost of doughnuts was estimated at around $960. An amendment that would have made a single doughnut handout for trial’s sake, and lessened the cost, failed. For fear that students would take the doughnuts and run, however, and not be engaged with the UPUA, an amendment passed that would require a student to fill out a feedback form to actually receive the sugary goodness.
In the end, On-Campus Representative Tyler Doppelheuer realized, “We’re making so many amendments that we’re basically rewriting the legislation.” He said that the idea was a good one, but that the resolution needed to be more refined, particularly the financial aspects. The Assembly ultimately voted to send the plan back to the Programming Committee, who will take another crack at it and resubmit it.
Tim Dooley said it best: “What we’re doing is making a circus out of doughnuts [in dragging out debate over three weeks].”
Number one, learn to spell “doughnut.” Number two, yes, the plan is a good idea. The name recognition at least would reach some of Penn State’s more apathetic masses, and that would be well worth at least one Do(ugh)nut Day (but scrap the feedback form; that won’t work). While several people thought it irresponsible to spend almost $1,000 on doughnuts for students (while I wouldn’t mind), $250 is an entirely different, acceptable figure. Number three, name recognition could use some work, because I didn’t know that there were such things as constituency meetings, and I’ve been to every UPUA meeting since the end of September. And finally, there’s no need to bicker endlessly about little details like this—the result of whether Doughnut Day happens is not the end of the world. There was way too much politicking and not enough common sense last night.