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UPUA Passes Legislation Funding Day Of Service, Supporting Ride-Sharing Services

UPUA met in 129A HUB (yet another new location) Wednesday night to discuss ongoing initiatives and pass two pieces of legislation.

The meeting began with Writers Organized to Represent Diverse Stories (W.O.R.D.S.) performing three poetry pieces on issues of race, segregation, and grief. W.O.R.D.S. performer Davon Clark invited UPUA members to attend poetry slams the organization hosts throughout the semester, which he insisted are more energetic than a typical UPUA meeting. The assembly got a chuckle out of that one.

President Terry Ford reported on his involvement in the Board of Trustees meeting last week, discussing his committee work on the state appropriation request, demolition and replacement of Fenske Lab, Zack Moore’s appointment as Vice President for Government and Community Relations, and the We Are All In Campaign and its kickoff event.

Ford also said the Student Diversity Commission met for the first time Friday and will present to the Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life at its February meeting. He commended the assembly for its involvement in Stand for State Action Week and said he and Speaker Alex Shockley will be involved in interviews for a second Stand for State coordinator to work with Katie Tenny.

Vice President Katie Jordan also discussed the Board of Trustees meeting in her report, mentioning the board’s decision to grant emeritus status to former trustees Al Clemens and Keith Eckel.

Jordan said she met with the president of the Muslim Student Association to discuss concerns about eating on campus. She met with a representative from campus dining about possible partnerships with vendors downtown and expanding halal meat options to additional dining locations on campus.

“There’s not very many halal meat options, only in North where there’s a gyro station,” Jordan said. “Obviously they’re really good, but you don’t want to eat them every day.”

She also touched on the We Are Worth Funding campaign, which will allow student organizations including UPUA, Lion Ambassadors, CCSG, College Democrats, College Republicans, Blue & White Society, and the Penn State Grassroots Network to present a solidified message to state legislature on issues with state appropriations.

“We’re going to start calling it WAWF,” Jordan said, soliciting another giggle from members of the assembly.

Borough liaison Morgon Goranson updated the assembly on the Borough’s proposed amendments to Property Maintenance Codes, explaining that the Centre County Realtors organization is an ally for UPUA. “If they don’t get it done by [December] 12, they’ll wait until we come back in January,” Goranson said. If passed, the amendments will likely take effect July 1.

“At the [Borough Council] meeting, a man got up to speak and his name was Dean Phillips,” Goranson said. “He was the first and so far only student elected to council when he was 21 back in the ’70s.” Phillips expressed interest in speaking to student leaders at Penn State. Perhaps it’s time for the second student member on the Borough Council?

After a brief caucus breakout, UPUA planned to swear in National Panhellenic Council Representative Stanley Enosse, but Enosse didn’t show up to the meeting.

In new business, Student Life Chair Kyra Rogan brought Bill 09-11 before the assembly to fund 10 buses for the Nadav Ezra Day of Giving on October 16. “There are 42 organizations that have already committed their involvement to this day,” Rogan said.

The bill passed unanimously, committing a total of $2500 from UPUA for the Day of Giving.

Facilities Chair Brent Rice brought Resolution 10-11 before the assembly to continue support of ride-sharing services. The ninth assembly passed a resolution supporting Uber’s operation in State College, so this resolution would expand that to include other ride sharing services like Lyft, which recently launched in State College. The resolution passed unanimously.

Governmental Affairs Chair Shawn Bengali reported PSU Votes week is next week. “[I’m] pretty high key excited about it,” he said.

Facilities Chair Brent Rice said tomorrow is the last day to sign up for UPUA’s Blue & White Brigade to Michigan this weekend.

The meeting adjourned at 9:18 p.m. UPUA will be back next Wednesday (hopefully in 233 HUB).

About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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