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UPUA Keeps It In The Family, Promoting Freshman Council Members To At-Large Representatives

The University Park Undergraduate Association met Wednesday to confirm five new at-large representatives who will join the organization for the remainder of the 13th Assembly. They also made enough cheesy jokes to last me a lifetime.

UPUA’s Steering Committee received 36 applications for the vacancies and interviewed 19 candidates as required by the organization’s governing documents. Speaker Bhavin Shah said choosing only five candidates to come before the Assembly was not easy and that the committee discussed its nominations for more than 45 minutes.

Though we couldn’t get exact numbers, “a lot” of these applicants were from the UPUA’s Freshman Council. Three of the five new representatives were pulled from Freshman Council, and one was pulled from UPUA’s Outreach Committee.

Erin Boas is a freshman majoring in international political economy who was a part of UPUA’s Freshman Council last semester. She’s also involved in CHAARG, a fitness organization, and Ohana, a special interest THON org. Boas already sits on the governmental affairs committee and hopes to sit on academic affairs, as well. She was confirmed unanimously.

Bryan Culler is a freshman studying aerospace engineering who was a part of UPUA’s Freshman Council last semester. He’s also involved in the Engineering Undergraduate Council. It’s unclear whether Culler and Facilities Chair Ben Cutler are, in fact, the same person.

Culler already sits on the facilities committee, is UPUA’s webmaster, and has worked with Shah on the UPUA election codes. Culler said he’s already sold his soul to Chelsey Wood to sit on the academic affairs committee, as well. He was confirmed unanimously.

Alex Moon is a junior studying political science and psychology with a minor in statistics. He got involved in UPUA’s then-new Outreach Committee in fall 2017 under then-chair Shah and has been involved this year as well under the leadership of chair Beryl Bannerman. Moon later joined the Lion Ambassadors executive board and was responsible for the organization’s haunted lantern tour this fall. He was confirmed unanimously.

Bailey Spates is sophomore studying biobehavioral health. She is involved in S.M.A.R.T. as a tour guide, has played club dodgeball, and is the director of this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, slated for Monday, January 21. Spates hopes to improve LateNight activities in the HUB to entice more students and is interested in serving on the student life committee.

Harry Weidner was also a part of UPUA’s Freshman Council last semester. He said he was advised not to start with a joke, but did so anyway:

“Have you guys heard the one about the pirate who walked into a bar?”

I’m still waiting on the punchline.

Anyway, he’s already involved with UPUA’s facilities committee and appears to be fixated on making sure students stay hydrated. He’s in the pre-med honors society and works in a research lab, but is hoping to use this semester to branch out to another organization. Weidner was asked what part of a bike he’d be, and responded, “I’d be the wheel because that’s how I roll.” You can’t make this stuff up, people. He elaborated that he’d be the wheel because he’s a mover and shaker and the wheel is what actually does the moving on a bike. Weidner was confirmed 28-1, sparking an interesting debate about whether those who vote no on a secret ballot should be obligated to explain their votes on the floor during discussion.

All five new at-large representatives were sworn in alongside new College of Health and Human Development representative Summer Rosendahl and new College of Earth and Mineral Sciences representative Kyle Munro.

The Assembly also passed one piece of legislation, Resolution 18-13: Support of Living Off Campus Website. This supports a new Living Off Campus Website powered by the Office of Off Campus Student Support, including a feature for students to buy and sell textbooks. The resolution passed unanimously.

Editor’s shameless plug: All of you 31 students who didn’t become at-large representatives, we want you because you care about Penn State and the student experience. Apply to Onward State by Friday.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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