UPUA Joins Pennsylvania Association of State-Related Students To Combat Budget Stalemate

The University Park Undergraduate Association is teaming up with schools around the Commonwealth to re-establish the Pennsylvania Association of State-Related Students (PASS).

“The purpose of PASS was to represent more than 100,000 students at state-related institutions to the legislature through advocacy and legislative outreach,” the resolution at Wednesday’s meeting read. The resolution, which will re-establish PASS in light of recent state budget issues, passed unanimously.

The assembly also passed a resolution, which was a call to action for students to take including a social media campaign and by writing letters. “This is something that has the potential to be really big so when you vote on this I encourage you to think of that,” President Emily McDonald said.

UPUA wasted no time getting down to business Thursday morning, and they mailed a letter (see below) to Governor Tom Wolf and state representatives. Later they launched their social media campaign using the hashtag #PassIt.

Penn State hosted the student governments from Pitt, Temple, and Lincoln to re-establish PASS last Saturday.
“We began with reforming our bylaws in order to serve a greater purpose beyond its original intentions — looking at how to effectively advocate for students at all levels of government together and collaborating to better student life at all our institutions,” Chairman Ryan Valencia said. A large focus of the conference was the budget impasse in Harrisburg.
“Together, we put out action steps to how we are going to approach the situation, specifically calling on Governor Wolf and the legislature to pass any budget that would mean students across Pennsylvania getting their PHEAA grants,” Valencia said. “At the moment, the lack of PHEAA state-aid going out to students means that many are without the proper funds to be at their universities. In fact, at some institutions, students are dropping out. In the coming weeks, every student government of PASS will be sending out joint-letters to those responsible and will be conducting an active campaign to advocate for a budget that gives higher education funding.”
For the unfamiliar, PHEAA loans and aid are absolutely impacting students at Penn State, Valencia explained. Many Penn State students rely on PHEAA to fund major pieces of their education. “Many students here at Penn State can probably find a friend that has recently received an email saying they won’t be receiving their aid,” he said. “I personally know some.”
If you want your voice to be heard in Harrisburg retweet this tweet. And visit the PASS website for more information.

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