UPUA Funds Voter Registration, Confirms Five New Representatives
The 14th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association convened in the HUB Wednesday evening for its third meeting of the semester. Members passed legislation to sponsor the 2019 PSU Votes Drive and confirmed five new members to the assembly.
The meeting began with a special presentation from Cheryl Zeljack of Penn State’s Child Care Subsidy Program. The program, which provides childcare and other related services to student-parents, has aided students at the university for more than 20 years. Zeljack encouraged UPUA representatives to continue spreading the word about the program and supporting its initiatives.
Next, President Laura McKinney delivered her weekly report.
McKinney began by thanking assembly members for their efforts throughout Red Zone Action Week, which featured events to educate students on sexual assault prevention and to raise awareness for the cause.
She also noted that she met with officials over at the university’s Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). McKinney encouraged members to never shy away from learning of the services provided by CAPS and do whatever they can to promote them and make them visible to all students at Penn State.
McKinney also thanked representatives for their work at Tuesday night’s LION Bash, which brought students and State College residents together for a night full of food, music, and many, many dogs. She noted that maintaining a strong relationship with downtown residents is vital to UPUA’s success.
The president also stated that she, along with Vice President Jake Griggs and other UPUA big-wigs, will meet with various figures such as University President Eric Barron at the first Board of Trustees event of the fall semester to discuss the organization’s initiatives.
Vice President Griggs then spoke briefly about his trip to the groundbreaking ceremony of a solar panel project that will eventually provide 25% of the university’s electricity across its 22 campuses. More than 150,000 solar panels will be spread out across 500 acres of land in three different locations in Franklin County.
Before delving into the night’s legislation, the assembly confirmed College of Arts & Architecture Representative Alex Wu, Director of Development and Alumni Relations Bhavin Shah, Director of Outreach Rachel Chormanski, Director of Sustainability Nora Van Horn, and Director of Wellness David Weiss. The group was later sworn in alongside College of Engineering Representative Grace Hageman.
The evening’s legislative portion began with a bill to fund the 2019 PSU Votes Drive.
The annual event encourages students to register to vote through a variety of events and sign-up opportunities throughout the fall. In correspondence with a variety of campus orgs such as College Democrats, College Republicans, and Penn State’s Interfraternity Council, UPUA will host voter registration clinics in the HUB September 23 to September 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be voter registration at Findlay and Pollock Commons on September 23, Waring and Warnock Commons on September 24, and Redifer Commons on September 25 — all from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00p.m. The bill, which passed unanimously, received $1,075.69 in funding.
Next, members proposed a piece of legislation that would establish International Student Acclamation Week (ISAW) at Penn State. Stretching from September 16 to September 20, this event would feature a mixer sponsored by Penn State Pals — a mentorship program for international students — on September 16, a downtown scavenger hunt, and an evening presentation titled “How Do You Say? A Day with Different Languages” on September 20. At the event, students will be able to learn basic phrases and words in multiple languages and accents. The bill received $300 in funding and passed unanimously.
Last, the assembly unanimously passed a resolution to push UPUA to further research and investigate the costs of textbooks around the university as well as mandated custom textbooks. Members believe that the use of custom books drives up the prices of required texts, which can prevent students from receiving the materials they need for their classes.
The assembly observed a brief moment of silence to honor the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks before adjourning at 10:23 p.m.
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