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UPUA Confirms Outreach Chair, Supports Vote Local Initiative

While most of the Penn State world was abuzz with news that quarterback Tommy Stevens has reportedly entered the NCAA transfer portal, the University Park Undergraduate Association’s 14th Assembly met for the third time Wednesday night in the HUB.

Per usual, President McKinney kicked things off with a brief report highlighting the events of the past week, including the Big Ten on the Hill Conference in Washington, D.C. McKinney, Griggs, and Sarabok convened in the nation’s capital to collaborate with their Big Ten peers and advocate for this year’s ABTS legislative agenda.

McKinney also mentioned a new meal point donation initiative that will be implemented at Penn State in the remaining weeks of the semester. Anyone with spare meal points will now have the opportunity to make a donation of either $5, $10, or $15 at the register of any dining hall on campus. This money will then be filtered through the emergency meal fund and allocated to students in need.

The Assembly resumed the election for Community Diversity Liaison that was unsuccessful last week. Percy Motley was once again nominated for this position, and this time around, things went much more smoothly.

In a short speech, Motley outlined his plans to serve as a voice for every person in the community, both on campus and off. Noting that there is a clear lack of diversity in State College, he said he hopes to diversify the workforce downtown, increase the representation of international students and students of color, and gain new perspectives on various aspects of everyday life at Penn State.

Sophomore Lexy Pathickal was then confirmed as Outreach Chair for the 14th Assembly. Though this is a chair election, it wasn’t held during the first meeting because Outreach is still technically a sub-committee and not a standing committee.

Pathickal said she’s devoted to bringing people together to spark debate, exchange ideas, and create change on campus and around the world. She emphasized the importance of making sure every single person at the university is given a seat at the table in order to promote UPUA’s goal of diversity and inclusion.

“As an organization we cannot simply stand by and work on initiatives that are aimed for everyone. We also have to work harder to help and support the minoritized groups on this campus,” Pathickal said. “We are not their voice because they’re already being loud and clear. It’s up to us to turn our heads and listen to them.”

Two initiatives from the 13th Assembly Pathickal said she hopes grow and expand include Penn State Pals — a program created for international students to have pen pals at other campuses — and Penn State value posters, which help spread important messages that all students are welcome here, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Pathickal also made it clear that she’s in full support of making outreach a standing committee.

Jonathon Kinney was then confirmed as Parliamentarian of the Assembly. He plans to be a resource for all of members of UPUA, while simultaneously helping them become more familiar with the policy in the organization’s constitution and bylaws.

After these confirmations, McKinney swore in Earth and Mineral Sciences Representative Amanda Byrd and Interfraternity Council Representative Tom Dougherty (who also happens to be running for Borough Council).

The only legislation of the night was Resolution 02-14, Establishment of PSU Votes Local 2019. The resolution, which passed unanimously, supports a programming series from April 23-25 for members to table in the HUB giving out absentee ballot request forms to students.

The meeting adjourned at 9:59 p.m., making this the 14th Assembly’s shortest meeting yet. We’ll catch you next week for the final UPUA meeting of the semester.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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