Admittedly, last night was the first time I have attended a UPUA meeting in nearly a year, and it was also my first time actually having to pay attention (which is harder than it may seem). I, like any reasonable person, came into the meeting with high expectations. I was hoping for an enlivened Anthony Weiner-esque speech from President T.J. Bard, a Joe Biden signature f-word slip up from VP Courtney Lennartz, or perhaps even a leftist Kucinich style outburst from fan-favorite Elias Warren. After all, galvanizing democracy is what I have come to know from my student-leaders, so why would I assume any different?
You can imagine my disappointment when the words “No new legislation” passed by T.J. Bard’s lips. But not all was lost! Dr. Jeremy Cohen, the VP for Undergraduate Education, was in the house to deliver a captivating speech.
After speaking about his initiative to change the General Education program, Cohen moved into more interesting and universal topics, such as pacifism, Vietnam, and poetry. All kidding aside, Cohen had some great insight. My two favorite lines of the night were, “Any faculty member who doesn’t see you [the students] as their legacy shouldn’t be here,” and “Wikipedia is stronger than the United States Congress…you are stronger than Old Main, you just don’t know it.” Preach on, Dr. Cohen.
Next up were VP Courtney Lennartz and Chairwoman of Student Life & Diversity Katie (not Maggie) Quinn. They both delivered a presentation on what exactly they experienced at the ABTS conference, which as you can probably recall, cost $1200 of students’ money in travel expenses (plus another $1200 privately donated)–down from the $3600 originally budgeted before negative student reaction forced them to scale back. I’m sure Ms. Lennartz and Ms. Quinn got
their our money’s worth, as they spoke about a conference whose only tangible benefit seemed to be sponsoring the “Big Ten on the Hill” event for another year.
With the exception of a few odds and ends being reported–the next PASS conference is this weekend, in Harrisburg–that was the entirety of the meeting. Right before adjournment, it was also brought to my attention that the UPUA iClicker rental program is being extended for another week. So, get on that if you need one of those puppies.