UPUA Opposes Board Of Trustees Resolution

It’s a busy week for Penn State Governance. The Board of Trustees will meet at the Penn Stater on Thursday and Friday and the University Park Undergraduate Association had its final meeting before Thanksgiving break.

Here’s a rundown of what the tenth assembly discussed Wednesday night after the meeting was called to order at 8 p.m.

First up was adding resolution 18-10, support for transgender day of remembrance, to the agenda.

Darian Gist opposed the resolution immediately, noting “I think it’s ridiculous.” She pointed out 66 percent of student life legislation has been brought up by 2/3 vote instead of by committee. She continued to claim that Student Life Chair Steffen Blanco, who also writes for Onward State, can’t do his job.

“We need to think about who we’re putting in leadership,” Gist said. She said ridiculous five times, but despite her grievances the addition of the amendment passed 29-3.

Speaker Emily Miller moved to add a work session at the end of the meeting, which was also approved.

In her weekly report, President Emily McDonald updated the assembly on various initiatives, including the greek life task force and meeting with fellow Big Ten school presidents. McDonald is also working with Damon Sims and Lion’s Pantry to identify how to help homeless and hungry students. Currently the greek life task force is working on figuring out subcommittees. She will sit on two subcommittees but doesn’t know which two yet. She also met with the association of Big Ten students and other Big Ten presidents to discuss standing with students all over the country in light of what happened at the University of Missouri. McDonald hasn’t signed the letter that was drafted yet because she’s waiting for particularly negative language to be edited.

In his report, Vice President Terry Ford talked about a possible mental health fee that he’s working on with the Council of Commonwealth Student Government. He also gave an update on the bike share program, which should be ready by spring, and the car share program that will be ready by next fall. He noted that currently bikes are not allowed on the sidewalks on campus and they’re looking into possibly adding bike lanes.

Borough liaison Sean Bengali said they received more positive responses than negative from homeowners and there was enough support to add another street light near Prospect Ave.

After the other uneventful liaison reports there was a five minute caucus breakout.

After the caucus breakouts the assembly unanimously approved resolution 18-10, which will honor those who have lost their lives due to transphobia. The LGBTQA student resource center is hosting a candlelight vigil at Old Main at 8 p.m. on Friday to “honor and lift up the transgender individuals who have lost their lives over the past year due to hate crimes.”

Next up was resolution 19-10, which opposes the $7.5 million installation of a turn-style entrance, as seen in the Intramural Building, to Rec Hall and the White Building. At large rep Adam Terragnoli presented.

The proposed funding for building modifications came about because chapter 10 in the Freeh report addresses those facility recommendations. Section 5.2 of the Freeh report states, “evaluate security and access protocols for athletic, recreational, and camp facilities and modify as necessary that provide reasonable protections for those using the facilities.”

The money necessary will come from general fund and gym membership revenue. In addition to the initial costs, it would cost $420,00 to keep up yearly operations.

“This seems like pure posturing to me,” GPSA President Kevin Horne, who also works for Onward State, said. After some healthy discussion from the assembly the resolution passed with a vote of 30-2. The hope is that this resolution is addressed in committee meetings on Thursday and doesn’t even make it to the full board meeting on Friday.

Speaker Miller reminded the assembly (and maybe members of the media) that they have a lot coming up when they return from break. “I fully expect us to finish strong,” she said.

Representative Gist announced at the end of the meeting that she is resigning at the end of the semester to move to New Hampshire and work for Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign. She told fellow members of the assembly to “hold their applause.”

And we finally heard from the freshman council! They’re in charge of UPUA’s Instagram account and encouraged everyone to follow (they follow back) @upua_psu.

With that the committees moved in to a work session. That’s all for this week. Be sure to follow along with our coverage and recaps of #PSUBoT.