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UPUA Donates Pizza To Red Cross Blood Challenge

61 minutes. That’s how long last night’s UPUA meeting lasted — by far the shortest general assembly meeting of the legislative year. Legislation voting was quick. Committee and liaison reports were short and to the point. There were no special presentations. Even the President Courtney Lennartz didn’t show up!

The meeting opened with open student forum as always, and this week they actually had a whopping one student — well, a pair of students that spoke together — step up to the microphone. Peter and Emily from Student Red Cross Club wanted to thank the UPUA for their support of the 19th Annual Blood Challenge, which takes place from October 29th to November 15th. UPUA had legislation that would greatly assist the blood drive on the agenda, so these representatives wanted to thank them in advance since UPUA legislation always gets passed.

And next came the most anticlimactic discussion of an assembly motion in the history of UPUA — and that’s really saying something. As you may remember — since you’re surely a loyal reader of these tantalizing weekly student government recaps — there was a motion by Internal Development Chair Dray Krishnan last week to censure Student Life Chair Justin Laskowski for abusing the legislative process.

Chairman Spencer Malloy opted to speak before the motion discussion began. Malloy urged the assembly to either postpone the vote indefinitely or to vote the motion down. He explained that UPUA representatives are supposed to serve the students “through the virtue of the offices which we hold” and that by simply debating the censure motion in the first place is both frivolous and disappointing.

He added that there are people who “wish that students played a smaller role in decision making”, implying that the motion would give those people reason to cut off UPUA power. Malloy concluded his speech by explaining the difference between government and governance, claiming that the censure motion falls under the former and that confusing the two might mean that UPUA “will not be around much longer”.

Brave words from the assembly’s valiant chairman. Dray Krishnan, hat in hand, opened discussion by explaining that he has learned that the purpose of censure is to “put the weight of the 44,000 undergraduate students along with the motion” and that he did not intend for that to be the case. It’s a good thing that Krishnan educated himself on the purpose of censure before deciding to use it. Regardless, Krishnan motioned to postpone the motion indefinitely and the assembly voted unanimously in favor of his motion to kill the motion.

Buzz kill.

And then came new business.

Resolution — Red Cross Blood Drive Co-Sponsorship:

This legislation essentially donates — sorry, Elias — $909.77 of UPUA Diversity Committee funds to pay for pizza throughout the upcoming blood drive. Unfortunately, it’s Papa John’s pizza, which does nothing to support local business, but that’s not the point. In return for their donation — sorry, Elias — UPUA’s logo will be featured on 2,700 challenge t-shirts, 4,500 posters, 10,000 mailbox inserts, daily press releases, and daily e-mail updates to the Challenge list serve.

So basically, UPUA is spending student activity fee money to promote themselves while providing pizza for a small percentage of the student body in the process. Though this is perhaps well-intentioned, it is still a fairly foolish use of nearly $1,000 of student activity fee funds. Off-Campus Representative Laurel Petrulionus voiced her displeasure with the resolution, stating that blood donation is commendable but assisting a program that excludes men who have had sexual relations with other men is not, citing the fact that gay men cannot donate blood. She also pointed out the irony in that the Diversity Committee was the one helping fund a discriminatory program. Representative Anthony Christina scoffed at a 5% tip allocated for the pizza delivery, referring to it as a “smack in the face”.

But shockingly, the legislation passed with a vote of 30-7-0. I wonder why there were five representatives that voted against the resolution but didn’t voice their concerns during the discussion period. There’s a reason that legislation being voted down is extremely rare, and the reluctance of UPUA assembly members to speak up and offer their opinions plays in to that.

Motion — Assembly Position on Dry Campus Policy:

Governmental Affairs Chair Rachel Franchesino motioned to have the assembly offer an official position on the current Dry Campus Policy. Essentially, voting yes on the motion allows Franchesino to speak on behalf of UPUA and say that the assembly believes that the school’s on-campus alcohol policy is a failure. Representative Michael Kramer said that he has spoken to constituents (read: students) are in favor of amended what he called a “failed policy”. The assembly voted overwhelmingly to not support a dry campus.

Elias Warren Quote of the Week:

Whilst discussing the blood drive legislation, the exuberant UPUA representative Elias Warren explained that he can’t donate blood. “My blood is toxic,” he said. “I go to El Salvador.”

John Zang Tie of the Week (4 out of 5):

Searsucker. That’s all that needs to be said.

About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a StateCollege.com 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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