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UPUA Confirms Liaisons, Funds Coffee For Finals Week

UPUA’s 12th Assembly held internal elections last night, confirming a new director of communications and three outside organization liaisons before passing one bill to fund coffee for finals week.

In a usually-barren open student forum, three students spoke to the assembly. Former representative Tomas Sanchez advocated for increased diversity initiatives for faculty, including training current professors on cultural competence. “Professors should know how to address all different types of students and engage them,” he said. Washington State University has a similar program.

Kylie Thomas, the president of Turning Point USA’s Penn State chapter, expressed concern over free speech within a new policy UPUA is implementing regarding interviews of assembly members. UPUA will adopt a policy similar to other student and professional organizations where interviews must be arranged through the Department of Communications. UPUA will also hold a press conference after each weekly meeting.

The assembly also heard a special presentation from the Newspaper Readership Program, which provides free newspapers and digital news access to students from The Daily Collegian, USA Today, The Centre Daily Times, and The New York Times.

President Katie Jordan and Vice President Alex Shockley reported on meetings with various administrators, as they’ve clearly hit the ground running in their new positions. Jordan said the Student Fee Board hopes to solidify a fee recommendation at the final meeting April 26 for President Barron.

The following positions were confirmed for the 12th Assembly:

  • Communications Director Lexi Shimkonis (also an Onward State editor) with a vote of 28-4
  • Interfraternity Council Representative Matt Marano
  • Pennsylvania Association of State Schools Liaison Zach Robinson with a unanimous vote
  • Association of Big Ten Students Liaison Nick Karafilis with a vote of 26-5
  • Movin’ On Liaison Chris Chavez with a vote of 19-11-1

Bill 02-12, UPUA Funding for Coffee for Finals, will provide $455 of free coffee for students in the HUB during finals week. The bill passed unanimously, so stop by the HUB after 10 p.m. April 30-May 4 for your caffeination needs.

Resolution 02-12, Call for Installation of Sharps Containers by OPP, asks OPP to install sharps containers for student use by the beginning of the fall semester. The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution 03-12, Support of Faculty Senate Recommendations for Curricular and Co-Curricular Learning Pathways to Promote the Well-Being and Safety of First-Year Undergraduate Students, supports the work of the Faculty Senate Joint Committee on First-Year Student Well-Being and Safety in recommendations including:

  • Expand gen ed classes that focus on alcohol/drug use, gender and sexuality, relationships, sexual health, or sexual risks.
  • Create a “well-being and safety” (WS) designation for some courses, three credits of which would be required to graduate.
  • Offer more sections of MATH 034 (The Mathematics of Money) and AYFCE 270 (Consumer and Financial Skills).
  • Update and enhance SAFE and AWARE programs.
  • Expand residence life materials like Stall Stories to other campus buildings.
  • Develop financial literacy modules online for students to complete before they begin their schooling at Penn State.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Comments for the Good of the Readers: Speaker Brent Rice recently adopted a new Austrailian Shepherd puppy named Hunter. See the photo below for your enjoyment.

Editor’s Note: Former Onward State Managing Editor Lexi Shimkonis was confirmed as UPUA’s Director of Communications for the 12th Assembly. Three other Onward State editors have previously served UPUA in this capacity for earlier assemblies. In the interest of transparency, Lexi currently serves in a transition role as assisting managing editor and will take the role of staff writer following the conclusion of this semester.

Onward State is committed to accurate and fair reporting on UPUA and this will in no way affect our coverage of the organization or its activities moving forward. Obviously, Lexi will not be involved in writing or editing any posts related to UPUA. Please direct any questions or concerns to Managing Editor Elissa Hill ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior 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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