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Mass UPUA Overhaul to be Voted on Tonight, Greek Seats in Jeopardy

At tonight’s UPUA meeting, the assembly will tackle something that transcends pink elephant balloons or Movin’ On ice cream socials: a total Assembly overhaul.

The proposed restructuring plan would completely reshape membership criteria for the next election cycle, and if approved, would strip the four Greek councils of the voting power that they have fought for valiantly.

Here are the major changes that will be voted on tonight:

  • Assembly membership would be dropped from 45 representatives to 33. Rather than designate off-campus and on-campus constituencies, there will be 20 at-large representatives. There has always been murmurs about getting rid of the location-based system because UPUA doesn’t really tackle issues that place of residency would impact, nor is there much location-based representation in reality.
  • The other 13 seats would be made up by the 13 academic colleges. The Schreyer Honors College representative would no longer have a seat under this proposed legislation.
  • The four voting seats for the Greek councils would be turned into non-voting liaison positions. All other current liaison seats would remain (ROTC, UPAC, etc.)
  • The six standing committees would be condensed into four: Internal Development, Student Life, Governmental Affairs, and Academic Affairs. Diversity and Facilities would be absorbed. The steering committee will still exist. UPUA is calling these committees “CORE” — critical for Operations, Research, and Execution.
  • Signatures needed to appear on the UPUA ballot would be lowered — 500 down from 1,000 for the executive ticket and 250 down from 500 for representatives. No signatures would be needed for the academic colleges.
  • The Chair of the Assembly would change titles to Speaker of the Assembly (hello résumé!). The Board of Arbitration would be changed to the Judicial Board.
  • The Academic Affairs committee would open up its membership to non-academic representatives in UPUA. Currently, the committee is unique in that it only grants voting power to representatives to the academic colleges.

This proposed restructuring, which came out of the Internal Development committee after months of collaboration, is sure to face some serious opposition. More than 30 members of the Greek community showed up at Monday night’s Internal Development meeting to plead for their seats. As it stands, more than 1/3 of the representatives in the assembly are in fraternities or sororities.

Many of those changes noted above are likely to be amended, split, and struck down or approved individually. Because most of the changes require amending the constitution, they’ll take a 3/4 vote to pass. But one thing is for sure — the stage is set for an intense meeting in 302 HUB at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Other new business will also be considered tonight, including the approval of the Elections Commission and funding for the Steps for State walk, but restructuring is sure to take up most of the evening.

About the Author

Greg Schlosser

Greg is a senior majoring in energy engineering at Penn State. He is a big fan of Pittsburgh sports and sandwiches with coleslaw and french fries. You can email him at [email protected] or find him at the Phyrst drunkenly requesting the band to play "One Headlight."

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