Board of Trustees’ Public Comment Sessions Moved to Morning
Penn State announced today that public comment sessions will now be held in the Friday mornings before Board of Trustees meetings after the board fielded a bevy of complaints from public commenters during its interminable meeting in November.
When the board began its public comment sessions in July 2012, they were held near the beginning of the trustees’ Friday meetings. But at its September meeting, the board moved the public comment session to the very end of the meetings, a switch bemoaned by some meeting regulars and the UPUA in a December resolution. By moving the time, the board could vote on its whole agenda before hearing from the public.
For the board’s January 16 meeting, the public can address trustees from 11:15-11:45 a.m. after its executive session. This way, the press release says, student speakers can better fit their public comment into their academic schedules. The session will be live-streamed, and a viewing room will be available for those watching at the meeting.
Since the public comment sessions generally cause the crowds’ most rambunctious moments, meetings might become more, dare I say, civil. Of course, a handful of trustees always seem to ignore or hurry along the public commenters, so it’s a mostly meaningless move in the grand scheme of things.