Statement From The President And The Speaker Of The UPUA
by UPUA President Emily McDonald and Speaker Emily Miller
In light of recent events, we would like to update the university community on the action we have taken since the leadership of the UPUA became aware of a GroupMe account belonging to the Agnihotri/Fleming Executive Ticket. The GroupMe involved members of the 10th Assembly’s Executive Board and the General Assembly.
On Thursday, March 17th all members of the GroupMe that could be identified from the leak were called to a meeting. The oath that every member takes upon becoming a part of the UPUA was read aloud to the group followed by the mission statement of the UPUA.
The individuals were given a chance to voice their opinions, ask questions, and defend their statements. At the close of the meeting the individuals were asked to evaluate their actions and compare the things they have said and done to the oath and mission of the UPUA. If they could not defend what they had taken part in, they were asked to submit their resignations. We recognize that every individual in the group had varying levels of involvement and a resignation might not be necessary for every person.
We waited over 72 hours before releasing a statement in order to give the representatives ample time to consider their resignation. Since that time, no resignations have been received.
The one member of the Executive Board, overseen by President McDonald, that was actively a part of the GroupMe was removed from her duties on Friday March 18th.
We do not condone the actions of these individuals and we have taken every step that our respective roles allow to ensure that the UPUA is following its mission. The 10th Assembly has the power to bring representatives up for removal if they have not fulfilled their duties. They will have the opportunity to take action at the final meeting of the 10th Assembly if they see fit. The meeting will take place on Wednesday March 23rd at 8 pm in 233B Hub.
We understand first hand that campaigns will often be competitive in nature and sometimes relationships are strained, but at the end of the day those aspiring for positions in the UPUA understand their roles as leaders and representatives of the student body. This election thus far has not represented the proper intentions of those vying to represent the undergraduate student body.
At this time the Elections Commission is handling any violations in regards to the election code and they will release information as violations become official.
Our number one priority continues to be ensuring that the UPUA fulfills its mission and works towards the betterment of student life.
The mission and oath of the UPUA:
“§2.1 The mission of the University Park Undergraduate Association shall be to provide:
§2.1.1 A governing body for the undergraduate student population as legitimized by free and fair elections.
§2.1.2 A unified and informed voice representing undergraduate students to the University faculty and administration and, with that voice, advocate on behalf of undergraduate students.
§2.1.3 A forum for ideas and concerns of students.
§2.1.4 The necessary communications link between undergraduate students and other members of the University Park community so that student concerns may be addressed effectively.
§2.1.5 Event programming that benefits the education and the quality of student life of undergraduate students at the University Park campus.
§2.1.6 The listing of objectives by no means indicates priority.
§2.2 All actions of the University Park Undergraduate Association and its membership pursuant to
§2.2.1 Shall strive to have a tangible, positive impact on the student experience and/or facilitate efforts towards that goal.
§2.2.2 Shall strive to effectively and efficiently utilize the UPUA’s various resources.
§2.2.3 Shall strive to be inclusive, accessible, and mindful of the UPUA’s constituencies.”
The UPUA Oath:
I promise to faithfully uphold the constitution of the University Park Undergraduate Association and to defend the rights of each individual student while working toward the betterment of student life. I shall perform to the best of my abilities the responsibilities and duties that have been entrusted to me by the University Park Undergraduate Student Body through virtue of the office that I hold.
Disclaimer (3/21): The Agnihotri/Fleming campaign, now facing five elections code violations, refuted claims made in this letter, specifically the part about UPUA leadership asking for resignations.
Agnihotri stated that at no point did McDonald or Miller indicate that they wanted members of the campaign currently involved in UPUA to resign. “In this statement, they clearly say, ‘We gave the representatives involved about 72 hours to think about what they did.’ Which no one was given a timeline or anything,” Agnihotri said.
Fleming also said that Miller and McDonald never asked for resignations (Fleming is not a member of UPUA currently so it would not have applied to her) and that it was “incredibly inappropriate” for Miller to comment on the matter because she was directly implicated in those messages and will be brought forward if this is pursued.”
“She is the one dictating the narrative which I find incredibly inappropriate,” Fleming said. “They [UPUA] said, ‘If by Wednesday you cannot defend what was said, then you should be prepared to answer questions from your peers and the assembly.”
Read our original disclaimer regarding Onward State’s coverage of the 2016 UPUA elections.