UPUA: The Only Government You Can Count on to Not Shut Down
The United States government may have shut down this week, but UPUA was chugging along as usual.
The meeting kicked off with an appearance by ROTC member Brent Gosselin. Gosselin spoke about the possibility of creating an ROTC liaison position in the UPUA, which would allow speaking privileges at meetings. He was very enthusiastic about the idea and even hopes that ROTC will one day gain a voting seat. UPUA has several liaison positions for organizations like CCSG, Off-Campus Student Union, UPAC, and others, but only about half show up on any given week. If ROTC is willing to send someone to sit through UPUA meetings every week, they’re both braver than me and deserve a liaison position.
Peter Zaki swung by to tell us about the Student Red Cross Club’s donation challenge against Michigan State. Apparently Penn State has won thirteen times and Michigan State only six (he then gave an adorable “whoop” and the crowd roared). Last year UPUA co-funded the event. Their $900 allocation was spent on pizza. So, if you ate pizza after giving blood last year you have UPUA to thank. If you think it’s ass-backwards for a student government to spend our money on pizza, then you have UPUA to hate.
A new College of Nursing Representative, Nicole Massaro, was then sworn in. Congrats to her.
Then some new business was brought to the floor:
Policy 04-08: Bylaws Overhaul
The Internal Development committee has spent the first part of the legislative session overhauling UPUA’s governing documents, including the bylaws. What edits were made is a mystery to me, as the 20+ page document doesn’t really outline changes and there was no discussion on the floor (read: no objections) to any of the changes. For all we know, UPUA threw in a line that gives them the right to quarter your apartment when they feel like it. But it was probably just meta.
This policy passed unanimously.
Resolution 09-08: The UPUA Opinion on Tuition Rate Increases
This resolution would allow the Vice President and President of UPUA to send letters to the Board of Trustees and administration in order to have the student body’s voice heard with regards to tuition increases. Chairman Anthony Panichelli moved to recommit this resolution to the Governmental Affairs Committee explaining that further understanding of Penn State’s finances is needed to make an accurate judgement on the resolution, and he called the legislation too vague.
There would be no vote on this night, and the policy was recommitted to the Governmental Affairs Committee.
Resolution 10-08: Support of John Amaechi for 2013 Homecoming Grand Marshal
The resolution was simply to make an official statement on behalf of students in favor of John Amaechi as our 2013 Homecoming Grand Marshal. Amaechi, a distinguished alumnus, reportedly received hateful messages from a group of alumni for comments he made in November 2011 on the Sandusky Scandal.
Here’s how a small part of the legislation reads:
Comments made by Amaechi in November of 2011 have since been taken out of context, resulting in verbal harassment and attacks directed at his character…On behalf of undergraduate students at University Park, the UPUA supports the selection of John Amaechi as Homecoming Grand Marshal.
UPUA’s unanimous vote reflects the student body’s stance on the matter in theory, but Amaechi’s opponents will just claim that UPUA doesn’t matter and choose not to believe that students actually support the guy. Either way, it passed unanimously.
Rep. Katie Tully
Rep. Melissa McCleery
Winner: Rep. McCleery
Rep. McCleery was rockin’ that bubble necklace. For anybody who’s wondering why Rep. Tully’s face is not in her picture, after rejecting three photos, she finally asked to be cropped. It’s obvious that she brought her A game, but McCleery was channeling a nautical color block effect that Tully just couldn’t keep up with.