UPUA Kicks Off New School Year, Confirms Executive Board Positions

In its first meeting back for the school year, UPUA’s 10th assembly conducted, from what I understand, a very straightforward first meeting after a long summer. Though meetings weren’t held on a weekly, Wednesday night basis during summer session, the members of the assembly remained busy preparing for the school year.

“Thank you to all who worked very hard this summer,” Vice President Terry Ford said in his opening report to the assembly. As the meeting went along, the work done to better the assembly during the summer really shone through. Leading by example, Ford discussed the work done with the borough in his report. He spoke about a program that would allow fraternities to work off their borough points through community service. According to Ford, the borough was on board, though fraternities would only be able to remove non-criminal points for violations like neglecting snow removal and lawn care.

President Emily McDonald, whose report preceded Ford’s, kept her address short and sweet (she was also fighting a bit of a cold). Her address mainly spoke to upcoming events, including the fact that there are still some executive openings, and that student trustee Luke Metaxas will be attending a future meeting to speak to the assembly.

The majority of the business for the night came in the swearing in of the New College of Communications Representative, Karen Eberle, as well as six Executive Board confirmations. The voting was, for the most part, unanimous, and the positions and results are listed below:

  • Director of Records, Lindsey Hannon. Vote: unanimous
  • Director of Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention, Shannon Rafferty. Vote: unanimous
  • Deputy Director of Freshmen Council, Shannon Rafferty. Vote: 29-3-1
  • Deputy Director of Records, Brooke Novotnak. Vote: unanimous
  • Director of Communications, Jen Heckman. Vote: 33-0-1
  • Public Relations Manager, Nicholas Bambino. Vote: 32-2-1

President McDonald spoke highly of all six Executive Board members. When specifically asked what would make him the best man for the job, Public Relations Manager Bambino said, “I have a Twitter account.” So that’s good.

As far as Committee Reports, interesting updates came from Facilities Chair Adam Terragnoli and Academic Affairs Chair Andrew Ahr. Terragnoli noted that the umbrella rental program was facing some challenges, though he definitely noticed a need for the option. Additionally, Terragnoli reported the creamery ice cream truck is a “beast of a project,” but there is good bench-marking in place and meetings scheduled. Additionally, Penn State’s administration is on board, specifically a member from the food department. That’s good news when you’re dealing with an ice cream truck.

In his report, Ahr brought up the changes coming to both eLion and ANGEL. The system likely to replace eLion is going to get some student feedback from UPUA, but further along is CANVAS: the system up to take over for ANGEL. The assembly noted that the program is being actively integrated into a few large classes to see how it works. While there is no date for the official switch, it was also mentioned that ANGEL’s contract will be up in 2017.

The meeting adjourned in just under an hour and a half, which I was told is a blessing (and a nice welcome to UPUA meetings).

During her report, Speaker Emily Miller noted that this is a big meeting for UPUA, seeing as the student government is in its 10th year. “Think about what we ran on and what our goals are for the future. Reboot, think about why you were elected. Know there are people who would like to be in your seats. This is a big year, this is the 10th year for UPUA and that is a big step. We want to leave a legacy for the next 10 years,” she said.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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