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UPUA Funds ‘Steps For State’ Walk To Harrisburg For Capital Day

On the weekend leading up to Pennsylvania’s 2015 Capital Day, which will be held March 31, members of the University Park Undergraduate Association will take the long walk from Old Main to Harrisburg. Steps for State is in its second year, advocating for higher state appropriations and addressing student concerns about the high cost of tuition at Penn State.

UPUA passed legislation to fund Steps for State at its Wednesday night assembly meeting, providing $1,100 that will cover safety equipment like headlamps and reflective vests, water, Gatorade, snacks, and gasoline for cars that will follow the walkers.

During the open student forum portion of the meeting, former UPUA speaker John Wortman addressed the assembly. Wortman was an integral leader in planning the first iteration of Steps for State and is certainly passionate about the initiative. His speech concluded with a quote from Robert F. Kennedy: “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

“I just want to say that I am so excited that our assembly tonight in a unanimous decision decided to resupport Steps for State,” Wortman said after the successful vote. “I think that shows the significance that it holds within our body and I look forward to seeing it continue in further years to come.”

Following the passage of Steps for State funding, UPUA breezed through a packed agenda. The assembly confirmed Judicial Board justice Allen Vayner with a 30-6 vote.

“He jumped up and down when we said he was up for the board again,” Chief Justice Michael Perez said. “We need that type of character who is excited to be part of something that very many people may not be very excited to be a part of.”

The assembly voted unanimously to pass Resolution 29-09, recommending a system that would allow students to provide feedback on academic advisers, similar to the SRTEs used for professors, after meetings.

Resolution 30-09, also passed unanimously, supports amending a Faculty Senate policy to dictate that professors must provide updates on grades throughout the semester. Resolution 31-09 recommends a change to another Faculty Senate policy, requiring that professors provide electronic access to the syllabus. The resolution was passed unanimously.

Resolution 32-09 supports a limit to the number of times a student can attempt a course, a system which would replace late-drop credits. At-Large Representative Shawn Bengali voted against the legislation, arguing that the current system is fine and “makes sure that academic integrity is exercised.” He was the lone dissenter in a 35-1 vote.

The final piece of legislation on the agenda was Resolution 33-09, which supports a tier system for pre-requisite checking within LionPATH, which will replace eLion. The resolution was also passed unanimously, making for a night of limited debate and plenty of agreement among the assembly.

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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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