UPUA Moves On From Movin’ On
It’s unusual to have much real debate at UPUA meetings. It’s even more unusual to have a piece of legislation fail to pass through the assembly. But that’s exactly what we had last night at the weekly UPUA general assembly meeting as our student government debated funding for the annual Movin’ On music festival.
But before we get into that, CCSG President Jalon Alexander was there to speak and answer questions, specifically regarding the student Board of Trustees position. Alexander has proposed pushing the governor to appoint two student members — one for University Park and one for the Commonwealth campuses. The Assembly seemed uneasy with that idea because it might be asking for too much, although ambition is nothing to scoff at.
After President Alexander’s remarks, the Assembly got into the legislation.
Policy 05-08- Budget Updates
Simply procedural, this policy passed unanimously to move around funds from different areas of the budget.
Bill 06-08- Movin’ On Allocations
This was, I am told, one of the closest votes in UPUA history, and the debate reflected that fact. The bill stipulated that UPUA allocate $7,000 to the annual student-run music festival Movin’ On — $5,000 to honoraria for the various acts, $1,000 for pizza for volunteers, and $1,000 for security t-shirts (although the frivolous $2,000 would be amended out of the bill with almost unanimous support).
UPUA has earmarked varying amounts of money to Movin’ On over the last several years, including $12,000 last year. Movin’ On was founded on the principle of collaboration — in fact, UPUA used to put on their own concert each year (the guy who started it, Mike Wallace, had the balls to name it after himself) and they even got Asher Roth to come one year. Movin’ On was born out of a desire for groups like UPUA to scrap their own end-of-the-year concerts and collaborate for one big one, like we have now, instead of several smaller concerts.
It seems simple enough, but there was a sense that this bill had big problems from the start. It included many new stipulations designed to restrict future funding to Movin’ On, including some that required the organization to provide documentation to UPUA in advance of next year with specific financial information.
Student Life Chair Caleb Fernandez echoed that sentiment by insisting the assembly vote yes but added, “We should reconsider our relationship with Movin’ On in the following year.”
Rep. Kevin Horne, also Onward State’s editor, had a speech drawn up, passionately asking the assembly to vote no on the funding.
“This is a vote I have been waiting on for the entire year — not because of what it means necessarily to Movin’ On or our budget in the immediate future, but because of what our decision will say about student government at Penn State,” Horne began. “This vote, to me, is not about the money, but about what we aspire the UPUA and student government to be here.”
He insisted that while $7,000 would not make or break Movin’ On or UPUA, it was not the student government’s role to provide funding to outside organizations.
“We are a student government. We are not a bank,” Horne added. “We are not an extension of UPAC, or an allocating body for student organizations to tap at will.”
Those who spoke in support of funding Movin’ On seemed to do so tepidly, not because they loved the event but because they felt a commitment to the organization after years of co-sponsorship.
“I think the precedent we need to set is that we uphold our commitments to organizations,” Rep. Katie Quinn said. “I see no reason why we need to take this away from them.”
In the end, however, most agreed that Movin’ On would have enough time to fundraise in other ways, and that it simply was not the UPUA’s responsibility. After all, though some of its members dress like bankers, UPUA is not a bank.
The bill failed in an intense 18-21-0 vote.
Bill 07-08- Blue & White Brigade to OSU
To everybody’s relief, this bill was much easier. As promised by the Mullen Dooley Campaign, UPUA will provide free buses for students to Columbus for the Ohio State football game. In reality, though, we all have about 20 cents invested because UPUA is paying $9,273 for three 47-passenger buses. We covered the first Blue & White Brigade here. To increase efficiency, UPUA will set up next to the Bryce Jordan Center the morning of the student ticket sale. You can register for your bus ride right after buying a ticket for the game, or you can do it online (registration is not open yet).
The bill passed unanimously mostly because everybody was exhausted at this point.
On one hand, it’s good to see that UPUA has the ability to actually not pass something that falls into their hands on Wednesday nights. On the other, it’s interesting to see that legislation for $9,000 that can only help 141 students passed without any debate, but a $5,000 to a concert with 15,000+ attendance failed. In any case, it was an entertaining meeting and one that will better define what the assembly will and will not pass for the rest of the legislative session.
Social Media Manager Ali Fogarty, Rep. Katie Tully, and Rep. Caleb Fernandez
Rep. Evan Riddick (winner)
I guess it’s officially sweater weather, because cardigans were everywhere. Riddick channeled his inner Mr. Rogers best though and annihilated not one but three competitors. Talk about a beautiful day in the neighborhood. At the end of the day, at least Fogarty, Tully, and Fernandez can all say they’re still warm after that chilling defeat.