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UPUA Loves Events With Dogs And ‘Catchy’ Names

Penn State’s University Park Undergraduate Association is back on its bullshit this week, passing only one piece of legislation — to support “Paws for a Pause.”

The sole open forum speaker, Christopher Carver, addressed UPUA’s announcement that its Judicial Board had voided the policy changes last week to add seats to the assembly for Penn State’s three multicultural caucuses. Carver said it was “just another ploy and tactic” to delay adding the seats, emphasizing one takeaway from his message: “Do better.”

Chief Justice Reilly Ebbs later explained the Judicial Board’s decision, saying the policies as previously passed do not allow other organizations to petition for seats and that Steering an the Assembly having a vested interest in which organizations are given seats is not fair or equitable.

“Our decision was not an attempt to silence this issue,” Ebbs said. “We look forward to any future policy and amendments [of similar purpose] and evaluating the policy on fairness and equity.”

Speaker Bhavin Shah announced he’ll hold another work session at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, October 11 to work through a new policy change to bring to the floor.

“I support the caucuses having a codified voting seat in UPUA,” Shah said. “I’m committed to making this happen as soon as possible, which in my mind means before Thanksgiving break.”

Damon Sims, Penn State vice president for student affairs, spoke about student engagement at Penn State, commending UPUA for its efforts to improve student life. He also outlined the university’s emphasis on shared governance (between students and administrators) and how much UPUA’s advocacy has made a difference in the student experience with things like responsible action protocol and the Student Fee Board.

The last time Sims spoke to UPUA was in spring 2017 shortly after the university had levied sanctions on Greek life. This time around, he reflected on all that’s happened in the past year and a half, explaining how he and President Eric Barron are now involved in national conversations around Greek life. The university is also looking at developing a center of research related to Greek life, researching outcomes and determining efficacy of its programs.

UPUA President Cody Heaton mentioned in his report that the student governments met to begin the process of choosing the next student trustee. He also took the time to invite students to the Semesterly Forum next week to give their feedback and input.

The only legislation of the night was Resolution 07-13, Support for “Paws for a Pause” (The Program Formerly Known as Dogs for Mental Health). UPUA will partner with Nittany Greyhounds to bring dogs to the HUB lawn from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, October 18. Unsurprisingly, the resolution passed unanimously.

Catch UPUA back next week at 8 p.m. in 233B HUB.

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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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