UPUA Elects McCleery To Chair Academic Affairs Committee

Last night’s University Park Undergraduate Association general assembly meeting was certainly eventful. In fact, even before the meeting began there was Christmas music blasting. Assembly members were dressed in red and green, including Diversity Committee Chair Dutch Markward, who wore Christmas-themed suspenders. Legislation was proposed to give some more of your student activity fee money to Movin’ On because they can’t afford the acts that they want. There was even a new Academic Affairs Committee Chair elected. Now that I have you hooked, please read on.

President Courtney Lennartz started her weekly report by talking about the first Diversity Awareness Task Force meeting that took place on Friday. She said that the group plans to meet every two or three weeks. After break they will officially decide whether or not to be a part of UPUA’s Diversity Committee or an independent body. The task force will have a conference call over break, according to Lennartz.

She also added that Deputy Director of External Affairs Vinnie Lizza has resigned from his position. No reason was provided.

Vice President Katelyn Mullen mentioned that she, along with Chairman Spencer Malloy, spoke with Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims about the Commonwealth Campus Student Government asking for University Park student activity fee money. There is a current policy in the Student Activity Fee Handbook that says that commonwealth campuses should each provide a certain percentage of their students’ fees to fund CCSG, but that policy hasn’t been enforced and Sims will look in to it.

Policy 07-07 — Movin’ On and Borough Council Representative Bylaw Amendment:

This policy legislates that the assembly will elect a Movin’ On Liaison at the beginning of each school year in order to act as a bridge between UPUA and Movin’ On. The legislation would require that liaison to sit on the Student Life committee. The policy similarly has the already-existing Borough Council Representative position, currently held by Laurel Petrulionis, sit on the Governmental Affairs committee. This is already common practice, but why not put it on paper too? Bureaucracy is king.

Resolution 16-07 — Movin’ On Allocation:

Representative Rishi Mittal, who works with Movin’ On, explained that there is concern about having enough money to fund performing acts in addition to headliner MGMT at this year’s event. This resolution would allocate $12,000 to be given to Movin’ On in order to provide flexibility with their honoraria budget.

Representative Anthony Christina rose to speak against the legislation. “I’ve been a supporter of Movin’ On for the last three years, but in the past UPUA always allocated money to them on a budget line item,” he said. “This kind of looks like an eleventh hour move to pay for the acts. I can not in good faith vote for this and go to my constituents and tell them that our largest spending of the year went to pay for the honoraria budget for Movin’ On.”

Christina then motioned to postpone voting on the legislation until after Steering can commit the legislation to a committee — most likely Student Life, citing section 8.8.28 of the budgetary policy which states that co-sponsorship legislation needs to be brought to the floor via committee, not via a two-thirds vote, which was the case with this resolution. President Lennartz added before the vote that “we have the money for this, I think that UPUA supports this legislation, and we are by no means voting this down if we pass the motion.”

The motion to postpone passed by a vote of 27-4-0, thus there was no vote on the legislation.

Policy 08-07 — Guideline For Listserv Usage:

The moral of the story is that you might be getting spammed by UPUA, but there are at least guidelines on what they can send you. This passed unanimously.

Academic Affairs Internal Election:

Representative Laurel Petrulionis nominated representative Melissa McCleery for the vacant Academic Affairs Committee Chair position, which Rick Pooler stepped down from as he will be studying abroad next semester. “There is a lot of workload and manpower on the committe that is unutilized sometimes,” McCleery said when addressing the assembly. “I am good at communication. In addition, I think I’m very qualified for the position, because I’m the only one running and also because I have experience on the committee and have worked closely with Ricky [Pooler].”

McCleery was unanimously voted in and will immediately begin her work as the new committee chair. In addition to McCleery, there were two new UPUA members that were sworn in last night. Mike Mancini will be the Representative for the Schreyer Honors College and Chris Brennan will be the Representative for the College of Engineering, effective immediately. Katie Quinn formerly served as the Schreyer representative, but resigned at the meeting as she is also going abroad.

Elias Warren Quote of the Week:

During Comments for the Good of the Order, Warren rose to address the assembly: “I rise in support of all that is well and good in the world. I wish all of Penn State a happy Christmas, Chanukah, etc. I look forward to working with everyone here after our two-hour break. That’s basically what it is.”

This is most likely my last University Park Undergraduate Association assembly recap, as I will be going abroad next semester following the example of Rick Pooler and Katie Quinn. I hope that you have enjoyed reading, and I assure you that my replacement will do a fine job.

Until next time.

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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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