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UPUA Gets Rolling on Mental Health Week

Though no legislation was initially on the agenda this week at UPUA, a true Wednesday miracle happened, and legislation was in fact added at the last minute. Hallelujah.

The meeting kicked off in a rare occurrence with multiple students speaking at the Open Student Forum. Bobby Walter, Homecoming Executive Director, addressed the harassment Homecoming grand marshal John Amaechi has been receiving from some alumni. We covered that here. Peter Khoury, the current student on the Board of Trustees, also made a quick appearance to say hello.

Alicia Thomas and Suzanne Zakaria were there to represent the new State of State conference, which will be held next March. It sounded to me a lot like a TED conference, except completely focused around Penn State issues and speakers. However, the real show stealers were directors from Movin’ On. UPUA’s involvement in the event was discussed but the true question on everybody’s minds was “Why didn’t MGMT play Kids last year?” Never forget.

UPUA gave Movin’ On $12,000 last year, but many representatives offered some thinly-veiled objections to this year’s similar budget request. That vote should be coming in the weeks ahead.

Two freshman representatives were then confirmed. Holler at Nicole Keller and Garrett Warmbein. Their confirmation was unanimous (no haters yet).

Bill 05-08, Mental Health & Wellness Week 2013 — Kevin Breel Speaker

As a last minute addition to the agenda, this bill proposed having speaker Kevin Breel attend Mental Health and Wellness Week 2013. The teenager’s TED talk went viral and he is currently planning a tour around college and high school campuses. Two one hour-long information sessions would cost $4,900, which Representative Caleb Fernandez insisted was a great deal. Though there was initial hesitation, the powerful speeches of several members changed the opponents minds. Representative Katie Tully (also an Onward State staff member) insisted, “even if you don’t have depression you can relate to depression, you can relate to how people feel.” Taylor Hiester, Chief of Staff, added, “I’ve watched this assembly argue about ice cream, so this should be a no brainer.” He really brought the crowd back down to Earth.

National Mental Health and Wellness Week will be held November 10-16, and more programming is expected from UPUA to help plan for the week.

In the end, the bill passed 35-1-0.

Tie Wars

Caleb Fernandez

photo (1)



Fernandez’s floral tie reminded us all of the beautiful flowers we only have a few more weeks to enjoy before winter comes and kills everything. Fernandez says that while he knew the tie was a risk, he also knew he was just crazy enough to pull it off. What a beautiful ode to everybody’s favorite mother, Mother Nature.

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