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Student Fee Board Hears Allocation Request Presentations From UPAC, Office Of Student Activities

The University Park Student Fee Board heard allocation requests from the University Park Allocation Committee and Penn State’s Office of Student Activities Friday morning.

At-large Board representative Vansh Prabhu kicked off the session with a motion to enter a short executive session during UPAC Chair Dan Stauffer’s presentation, citing unreleased financial information as the reason for the restriction.

“There are pretty significant changes to UPAC’s budget from last year,” said Stauffer, a non-voting member of the Board. “And there are expenses between $100,000-$200,000 that I’d like to be able to fully explain to [the Board] that I wouldn’t be able to explain to an entire public forum.”

Despite an objection from at-large Board member Elissa Hill and a short period of deliberation, Prabhu’s motion carried 6-4 and the Board entered an abbreviated closed session for the second time this semester. When the session was reopened, Stauffer delivered a second, abridged version of his presentation.

UPAC is responsible for allocating and distributing funding to student organizations and initiatives ranging from individual student travel to Valley Magazine. Stauffer cited increases in the demand for program and travel experience funding last fall as the primary reasons for an increased proposed budget that totals $4,233,100.

Stauffer also explained that UPAC is working on moving its application process online via the program Org Central.

Darcy Rameker then led a massive presentation from the Office of Student Activities that featured various staff members and students involved with the office and the student organizations it advises, including Penn State Homecoming, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee, and the Student Programming Association.

Rameker noted that her office’s requested $425,139 funding allocation, a $42,000 increase over its previous total, would be used to improve social programming, fund student organization needs, and sponsor popular student trips like the office’s recent Hershey Park excursion.

“When we did the Hershey Park trip, the bus filled up instantly,” Rameker said. “Particularly, what we like to do is do some things to get students off campus.”

Penn State Homecoming representatives reported that a requested total of $126,602 would be used to fund increased security and production costs of its various events, such as the Allen Street Jam outdoor concert and Best of Penn State Carnival. Penn State’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee requested a total of $60,050, which Executive Director Awaly Diallo explained would be used to fund future speakers for the organization’s annual Evening Celebration and other service-related initiatives.

Christine Nyangwenyo, director of finance for the Student Programming Association and an at-large board member, then presented SPA’s $1,038,650 request. She attributed her organization’s approximate $30,000 request increase to the addition of a “large-scale comedian” to next fall’s performer lineup, additional funding for SPA’s noontime concert series, further support for Edventures programs, and an enhanced marketing budget.

“We’re seeing everyone increasing quite a bit,” Chair Tyler Akers said to the Board in reference to widespread, significant request increases ahead of the Board’s upcoming deliberations. “We’re going to have to think very critically.”

Editor’s note: In the interest of transparency, Student Fee Board At-Large Member Elissa Hill is the managing Editor of Onward State. She was in no way involved in the production of this post and will not be involved in the writing or editing of future Student Fee Board coverage.

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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