UPUA Approves Lewistown Shuttle, Readies for Elections
Toward the end of last night’s University Park Undergraduate Association meeting, Director of Finance Steven Hitchan revealed that the UPUA budget still has $86,000 left, minus money to be spent on Movin’ On and the S-Book. So there’s a ton of money left to be spent (it doesn’t carry over to next year) and somehow the Student Activity Fee is still going up in the fall. Go figure.
First, a couple of personnel changes as Michael Reale was confirmed to the Board of Arbitration, filling the last open spot there, and Alex Shovlin was confirmed as Deputy Elections Commissioner for IT.
All legislation except one policy was approved unanimously. The most interesting piece was a resolution that will put in place a shuttle from State College to the Lewistown Amtrak station through Nittany Express, Inc. It will run twice daily, since two trains pass through the station each day, and will cost $2,200 (including advertising costs). The UPUA is subsidizing this service for a trial period, from after spring break until the end of the semester. If ridership is strong, it could continue next year, though there is no provision in the plan beyond the end of this year.
There was supposed to be a dinner in Harrisburg with state legislators, that, while not a rally or lobbying event, would just highlight the merits of Penn State and its students. However, not enough people signed up for this, and given the low turnout for Tuesday’s tuition march and the previous week’s rally, it’s less than surprising. “For the money we allocated, there wasn’t a high enough return,” said T.J. Bard, Off-Campus Representative. So the event has been changed to a handful of student leaders having an event with legislators in the Rotunda where they bring Creamery ice cream and S-Books, and try have a similar effect.
And for election season, the Assembly approved a $6,250 budget. This covers a multitude of things from commissioners’ pay to $800 for food to $300 for balloons.
There was also a bit of debate over an amendment to the elections code which prohibits registrants (i.e., candidates before they get that status) from garnering endorsements more than 20 days before the actual election. The rationale here is, according to College of Engineering Representative Blake Bonnewell, “to stop someone from going to a student organization” and asking for an endorsement before the group had had the opportunity to find out about other registrants. At-Large Representative Anthony Christina claimed the measure was “unenforcable. You can’t stop someone from having a private conversation.” He also believed it “over-legislated the election process.” However, the amendment passed, 34-2-1.
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