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Business Reports, Sustainability, Porn, and UPUA

Welcome back to your favorite weekly Onward State student government recap, folks. In this week’s University Park Undergraduate Association general assembly meeting, there was legislation involving a business report, a presentation about a sustainability committee, and a comment about porn. Yes, you heard me right — porn. If any or all of that sounds interesting to you, read on. If you just want to read about the porn comment, use Ctrl-F.

The meeting began, as always, with Open Student Forum, except there was actually someone there to speak last night. Two members of the Penn State Student Black Caucus made there way to the microphone to voice their concerns with insensitive costumes they saw over the Halloweekend.

They detailed seeing several students in blackface — some dressed as Obama, others as the characters from Cool Runnings — as well as others in “Arab garb,” potentially attempting to dress as a terrorist. They asked that UPUA addresses the concerns and that its Diversity Committee work on initiatives to make students more culturally aware. “I find these acts deplorable and completely unacceptable,” said one of the students. “I am reaching out to UPUA in hopes that they will address these issues.”

Next up was a special presentation on the Student Sustainability Advisory Council from three of their members: Matt Barnes, Megan Ruffe, and Onward State’s own Dave Cole. The three council members essentially explained their role to the UPUA assembly, detailing their formation in 2011 when Graham Spanier founded the Student Sustainability Advisory Council to advise the administration on anything and everything related to sustainability. They are currently working on the formation and implementation of a Sustainability Strategic Plan.

In President Courtney Lennartz’s weekly report, she discussed a meeting that she had with the alumni council this past week. She went on to say that the tentative date for Capital Day is April 9th. She also attended a Board of Trustees meeting on Friday where they discussed allowing the university to approve payment of settlement claims related to the Sandusky case.

And now the most tantalizing part of UPUA meetings: New Business — “where nobody asks questions and everybody votes yes,” as they say.

Policy 06-07: UPUA Annual Business Report

This policy would effectively give the UPUA Department of Records the responsibility of compiling an Annual Business Report to be released to the public “detailing the organization’s projects, goals, and actions” from the preceding year. The policy states that the Internal Development Committee and Department of Recordings will work together to complete the report. Chairman Spencer Malloy said, “This sort of thing is the Hallmark of a refined organization.”

The legislation, of course, passed unanimously, though I’ll give the assembly some slack this time as it was actually some no-brainer legislation.

During “Comments for the Good of the Order” — the final section on the agenda before closing roll call –UPUA’s resident loudmouth Justin Laskowski stood to inform the assembly that he was disappointed in their lack of Halloween spirit. You may remember Laskowski from the #CensureLaskowski movement last week. Donning a ’70s-esque black wig and mustache, Laskowski said, “For those of you that were wondering, I was going for the whole ’70s porno look, except with clothes. Spencer said that I had to wear clothes.”

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

Chief of Staff Zang was wearing a charcoal grey suit, some sort of pin, a white buttondown, and a blue and white striped tie. It was a slick outfit and gets bonus points for school spirit.

Elias Warren Quote of the Week:

Representative Elias Warren was not present at this week’s meeting, which was a real shame, but to make up for it, here’s an @EliasWarren tweet from two weeks ago: “If I was asked that question, I’d say the difference between myself and G.W. Bush is ‘good looks.'”

I can’t be sure which one of them has the “good looks”, so I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

Tune in next week for more student government fun.

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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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