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UPUA Talks Drop/Add Period, Promises It’s Being Productive

The University Park Undergraduate Association met for its weekly meeting with the full assembly in the HUB on Wednesday night.

At the beginning of the meeting Representative Andrew Ahr moved to add three pieces of legislation, resolution 12-10, 13-10, and 14-10. The resolutions were ultimately added to the agenda.

In her weekly report, President Emily McDonald updated the assembly on things she discussed last week and who she’d met with since the last meeting. On her list of meetings were the Student Presidents of each of the Commonwealth campuses, and one thing that came out of those meetings was the need to make the transition to University Park easier. She also touched on the B1G mental health campaign that UPUA is helping to spearhead at the beginning of the month.

Despite a lack of new resolutions and fresh ideas thus far in the McDonald/Ford tenure, President McDonald claimed 32 of her platform’s 41 ideas have been started, initiated, or completed.

Vice President Terry Ford followed with his weekly report and echoed McDonald’s closing statements adding that he appreciated the hard work the initiatives have taken to complete.

Borough Liaison Shawn Bengali said he’s received positive responses for increased lighting downtown, particularly at the intersection of Foster and High Street.

Following the liaison reports, the assembly took a five minute caucus breakout, and Eric Love was unanimously confirmed as the newest member of the Judicial Board. The meeting continued with new business. Bill 06-10 was passed unanimously and will fund speaker Dora McQuaid.

The majority of the meeting focused on the three resolutions Ahr moved to add at the beginning of the meeting. Before addressing the resolutions, Ahr apologized again for bringing these up last minute. The faculty senate will meet next Tuesday and in order for the resolutions to take effect they need to be brought up at that meeting.

The first resolution, 12-10, was approved unanimously and will support the change to the university policy that would eradicate the 16-credit late-drop limit. This isn’t new, however, as the ninth assembly supported this same policy last year. The only difference now is that the faculty senate will vote on the policy next Tuesday.

Resolution 13-10 was discussed at length, because it would shorten the course drop/add period from ten days to six days. Ahr claimed that according to ongoing discussions with professors, they are not able to assess as often as they’d like because they can’t begin assessments until after the drop/add period is over.

Representative Alexandra Levantis argued in opposition to the resolution. “It’s a crucial period and we shouldn’t be touching it,” she said. The resolution ultimately failed 2-33.

Resolution 14-10 would limit students to repeating a course a maximum of three times. “This was the compromise we made with the senate,” Speaker Emily Miller said. “This ensures students won’t abuse the unlimited late drop and attempt to retake a class over and over again.” The resolution passed unanimously.

In her committee report, Speaker Miller announced she will release a progress report for the assembly before the end of the semester. The rest of the reports were uneventful.

The potential changes to the add/drop period and late-drop credits are huge, but UPUA is only offering its recommendation. Ultimately the decision is completely up to the faculty senate.

Obviously the most notable tidbit to come out of the meeting was President McDonald’s claim that 32 of her 41 initiatives were started, in progress, or completed. Assuming she’s relying on the fact the majority of those initiatives are only in the early stages, that could be true. Given the fact I can count on one hand the number of new initiatives that have been brought up at meetings, they still have a long way to go if they want to be able to call the tenth assembly a success.

The meeting concluded at 9:44 p.m. As always, we’ll be back again next week for much of the same.

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