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UPUA Passes Four Simple Pieces Of Legislation With Ease

UPUA’s tenth assembly met for its weekly meeting Wednesday night in the HUB and passed four pieces of legislation with ease. Much of the discussion focused on Mental Health Awareness Week and plans for future meetings, but nothing particularly ground-breaking was brought up.

The first of four, Bill 09-10, “Funding of TurboVote,” passed with a unanimous decision. The Bill was introduced by Representative Ryan Valencia and strongly supported by Representative Adam Terragnoli, saying that voter turnout would increase with the passing of the Bill. The proposal would have UPUA make a contract with TurboVote to help students receive ballots for the state or area in which they live. Valencia argued on the basis that 200 universities are currently using TurboVote, and their voter turnout has increased since instituting it.

Bill 10-10, “Sexual Violence Prevention and Awareness Week Speaker Eve Ensler,” proposed by Representative Steffen Blanco, supported the appearance of popular feminist and” Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler at the university for Sexual Violence Prevention and Awareness Week. The Bill passed with a 34-2 vote. The only disagreement on the Bill came when representatives raised concerns about the event not being attended by students. However, with the immense amount of support and cosponsors that have already donated to the appearance of Ensler, it seems there was practically no point in anyone not supporting the Bill.

The third Bill of the night, Bill 11-10 “Funding of Professional Attire Closet Flyers,” passed unanimously as well, and only took about five minutes to discuss after an initial disagreement about what constitutes an actual bill. One representative fired a question at Rep. Terragnoli, who proposed the Bill, arguing that such a small Bill was unnecessary to put into legislation. The Bill proposed was to support a clothing drive in December and January to help students in dressing for career fairs and interviews. Considering UPUA actually had a piece of legislation to decide whether or not they should support the advertisement of a helpful student service, the question was a fair one and raises a good point.

The final piece of legislation, Resolution 16-10 “Adoption of the Penn State Legislative Platform,” proposed by Rep. Valencia, passed easily as well, with unanimous consent. The platform proposed to have a better legislative outreach from UPUA and other student governments in order for students to have a larger voice in Harrisburg.

The most interesting part of the night came when Speaker Emily Miller discussed alcohol in the Bryce Jordan Center. According to Miller, in her discussions with the Bryce Jordan Center, when alcohol was sold for the Garth Brooks concert, fewer alcohol-related incidents were reported. Although she emphasized this may not solely be because of the presence of alcohol, she did say the BJC may continue with pilot programs in selling alcohol again at other concerts of different genres to see if the presence of alcohol keeps the number of reported incidents down.

The two-hour meeting was for the most part uneventful, but appeared productive with four pieces of legislation passed. Following legislation dicussions, conversation started for planned bills in the coming weeks such as contacting artists for Movin’ On. Though four pieces of legislation were passed, nothing particularly earth-shattering was discussed, but at least things are moving in a productive direction.

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About the Author

Matt Coleman

Matt Coleman is a writer for Onward State. His hometown is North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, a little under an hour from Pittsburgh. He is a sophomore majoring in Natural Resource Engineering in Biological Engineering. Please e-mail questions and comments to [email protected] Also, follow him on Twitter @cole_man2.


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