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UPUA To Vote On SAFER Act At Final Meeting

Tonight marks one step closer to the end of the school year, as the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) holds their last general assembly meeting of the semester. But they’re not finished quite yet, as four pieces of legislation are up for vote at tonight’s meeting.

We’re nearing the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but the UPUA has decided that their contributions towards the effort to stop sexual violence won’t stop here. After sponsoring Sexual Violence Awareness Week earlier in the month, they will now vote to support the SAFER Act.

H.R. 1523, also known as the SAFER Act, is a congressional bill that aims to establish the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry (SAFER). This registry will work to meticulously track the course of evidence from rape cases as it makes it’s way through the testing and processing system. There is too often an accumulation of evidence or important information that gets held up somewhere along the way, and SAFER will be responsible for avoiding those issues.

UPUA will vote on a resolution at tonight’s meeting to institutionally support the SAFER Act. This will allow them to promote the SAFER Act to Penn State students through social media, and also to lobby our congressional representatives — including Glenn Thompson — asking them to join the 31 current sponsors in support of the bill. They will also encourage students to reach out to their representatives for the same purpose. This seems like a no-brainer resolution that should pass with ease. Free and inarguably good — maybe even Anthony Christina will vote yes.

The next piece of legislation is the Finals Frenzy Funding resolution. UPUA will distribute bluebooks, pens, pencils, apples, and donuts in the HUB for the ninth consecutive semester to keep students fully stocked and prepared for the upcoming finals. If passed, they will also hand out Student’s Rights pamphlets which inform students of their educational rights and responsibilities in relation to finals week. The event will cost a total of $1,000, and should pass easily as it has the past eight semesters.

UPUA will also vote to to create a commission on the University budget. This commission would be responsible for finding areas in our budget that may be ambiguous and seeking to find answers from the administration. Basically, the commission would advocate on the behalf of students to create a more transparent budget.

The fourth and final resolution is a revised partnership agreement with The Princeton Review relating to their test preparation courses. This resolution will provide students with convenient and affordable courses for the MCAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, DAT, and OAT. The new agreement will allow The Princeton Review to offer discounted prices for their comprehensive and streamlined programs.

I’d expect all four of these resolutions to pass with a successful vote tonight. If you have a pressing question or comment that you’ve been holding in all year, remember that there is an open student forum at the start of each meeting and this is your last chance to speak up before summer. The meeting will be held in 302 HUB at 8 p.m. as always.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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