UPUA Confirms Executive Directors, Puts Legislation on Hold
Last night was the first meeting of the Sixth Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association with legislation on the table. First, however, the Assembly heard from and questioned President T.J. Bard’s appointees to this Assembly’s Executive Board. All of the appointees were confirmed to their posts.
The positions are different from those of the Ragland administration, however. Here are the newest members of Bard’s Executive Board:
Will Sheehan – Chief of Staff
Curtis Houck – Director of You-Serv (Intern Program)
Maggie Quinn – Press Secretary
Colleen Cannon – Director of Encampment
Katie Esarey – Director of Multicultural Affairs
Rishi Mittal – Director of Business Services
More appointees will appear at next week’s meeting.
Facilities Committee Chair Tyler Doppelheuer moved to recommit a resolution to his committee after its provisions were found to be in violation of Student Activity Fee Board policy. The measure was supposed to be financial support for the Penn State Tea House’s art gallery, but SAF money cannot be used for upgrades to student lounges, even purchasing decorations for them, which the resolution would have done: all $5,500 of it. Though the money would come from the Fifth Assembly’s budget, it still makes me raise my eyebrows. Maybe it’s because I don’t like tea.
Another resolution was also recommitted, which was one to create the Core Council Review Commission, designed to be a mechanism whereby students could share their input on the Core Council’s recommendations, which decides what programs to cut, or “downsize” to conserve University money and efficiency (and is also begging for an Office Space reference). However, it still remains to be seen how the administration is going to approve this, if at all, since it seems contrary to their interests to have those pesky students after them.
The resolution was met with strong objection from Council of Commonwealth Student Governments Liaison D.J. Ryan, who decried his organization’s lack of inclusion in the drafting process.
“We wholeheartedly condemn this legislation,” he said. “We have not been communicated with for this at all.” CCSG, he claimed, would be underrepresented both de jure and de facto, and have limited power within the Commission. It is set to be chaired by the UPUA Academic Affairs Committee Chair, John Zang, who would have the power to “increase or decrease membership as he sees fit with the consent of the Academic Affairs Committee,” the unchecked nature of which worried Ryan. He warned that if the bill passed as was, that CCSG would not participate in the Commission.
Graduate Student Association Liaison Rodney Hughes agreed with Ryan’s feelings vis-à-vis his organization, saying, “I think it’s a great idea, a great initiative. I just think it needs to be a little more collaborative.”
UPUA Vice President Courtney Lennartz, the primary author of the legislation, apologized for the lack of dialogue and assured Ryan and Hughes that there was no malicious intent on her part; simply oversight. The Assembly ultimately decided to recommit the bill and to redraft it alongside the other two student government organizations.
However, the Assembly did pass something: namely an ice cream social to promote Movin’ On. This will cost $1,250 from the Fifth Assembly’s budget, and passed unanimously. Many representatives said they saw it as a great marketing opportunity for the UPUA, citing the success of the event last year. And with the ice cream social in Harrisburg earlier, because I have to have a little fun with this, I am officially dubbing T.J. Bard the State College King of Ice Cream Socials. Enjoy your new title—it’s way better than President. Trust me.