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UPUA Confirms Ninth Assembly Executive Board After (Not So) Heated Debate

The UPUA Ninth Assembly came together at last night’s meeting, as a number of important Executive Board positions were confirmed on Wednesday night. Grant Brown, also an Onward State editor, was confirmed as the Chief of Staff, the position that runs the Executive Board of our undergraduate student government under the President.

In related news, president Anand Ganjam and vice president Emily McDonald have begun settling into their roles at the helm of UPUA as the new representatives continue to transition into their positions.

Before we get to the fun stuff, Ganjam’s weekly presidential support began by informing the assembly that Internal Development Chair Ryan Belz interviewed all of those up for confirmation earlier this week. Ganjam also said that a budget proposal for the Ninth Assembly has been submitted and will hit the floor next Wednesday.

He and McDonald also met with Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims, former president Katelyn Mullen, and former vice president Brenden Dooley this week to discuss the borough’s support of StateFest, a winter arts festival that will look to counter State Patty’s Day.

In McDonald’s weekly report, she discussed a Student Technology Advisory Committee meeting in which the switch from Webmail to Gmail was discussed. The outreach plan to work on the transition is still in the works and concerns about the privacy and security of research-related professorial e-mails are still being discussed, but at the very least the idea is making its way through the proper channels.

And on to what you’ve all been waiting for… the Executive Board confirmations!

Chief of Staff – Grant Brown:

Former UPUA Director of Communications Grant Brown was appointed to be the Ninth Assembly’s Chief of Staff. He addressed the assembly, saying that he has a good understanding of the Ganjam-McDonald platform and is confident that he’s the best person for the job.

Belz said that Brown passed by a vote of 9-0-0 through Internal Development, adding that he is highly qualified and that “a lot of success with past assemblies could be credited to Grant.”

He passed by a unanimous vote.

Director of Records – Lindsay Hannon:

Hannon has previously served as a YOUSRV intern for UPUA and said that she was mentored by Julia Schrank, who previously held the position and was also the UPUA Secretary. She added that she has worked with digitizing records. After Belz informed the assembly that she passed 9-0-0 through ID, Hannon was confirmed unanimously.

Director of Communications – Taylor Olson:

Olson previously helped run marketing campaigns for UPUA’s mental health awareness and sexual violence prevention initiatives, also serving as a UPUA intern, an on-campus representative, and the Executive Director of the Student Life committee.

Belz said that ID passed her 9-0-0 because of her ability to delegate, experience in UPUA in the past, and because she has no affiliation with any media organizations (heh) and therefore no conflicts of interest for the position.

Olson passed unanimously.

Press Secretary – Greg Schlosser:

Schlosser, also a writer for Onward State, told the assembly that his priorities if confirmed would be to assemble a media guide, be more proactive with press releases, and get all of the assembly’s members on Twitter.

Schlosser passed unanimously.

Webmaster/What To Fix Coordinator – Amanda Mahon:

Mahon had previously served as webmaster and also wants to get more involved through the What To Fix initiative. Belz said she is highly qualified for both positions and perfectly answered his question on how she’d get the third-floor HUB elevator call light fixed.

Mahon passed unanimously.

Director of Programming – Lauren Fellin & Deputy Programming Director – Danielle Jacobs:

This duo was slated together. Fellin and Jacobs are both freshmen and cited involvement in planning events and leadership roles from high school. Belz said that the two work well together and have a very good contact list for freshmen and hope to continue growing them.

They passed by a vote of 35-1. Who was that one? We’ll never know.

Director of Health Services – Scott Tomensky:

This former off-campus representative cited his work with expanding the CAPS program and the fact that he sat on Student Life, working with mental health and sexual violence initiatives that are applicable to this executive board role.

Tomensky was confirmed unanimously.

Director of Academic Services – Dennis Harp:

Harp is a freshman and sat on Academic Affairs as a YOUSRV intern. He said that he learned a lot from former committee chair Melissa McCleery and current chair Emily Miller, adding that he worked on the iClicker rental project.

Harp passed 34-2.

In the weekly reports, Speaker John Wortman spoke about finals week parking. While UPUA wanted to obtain all-night parking during finals week for students in the HUB parking deck, the university did even better, devoting half of the parking lots on campus for all-night finals week parking instead.

The assembly also broke into a work session to elect vice-chairs for all four assemblies. Steffen Blanco was voted in for Student Life. John Lombardo got the nod for Government Affairs. Garrett Warmbein earned the position for Internal Development. Tim Rinehart became the Academic Affairs vice-chair.

In more important news, we have in the past had weekly UPUA features at the end of each article. From Elias Warren Quote of the Week to John Zang Tie of the Week, it’s truly difficult to come up with something that compares and competes with features of the past.

As such, I took some time to mull over the Ninth Assembly before settling on the following.

John Wortman Quote of the Week:

UPUA’s wacky (in a good way), ultra-conservative, musical Speaker of the Assembly is, as they say, a character. At last night’s meeting, following an AHRS liaison report on what movie will be playing in the HUB this coming week, Wortman was the lone member of UPUA to ask a question.

“Would it be possible to serve popcorn?” he asked. “Because I’ve been to a lot of those, and they’re really long.”

This would be a discussion carried over to post-meeting conversations on the way out the door.

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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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