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UPUA Changes Parliamentary Procedure, Approves PSU Votes Election Day Event Funding

Andrew Woodman

In the ninth meeting of the 14th Assembly, the University Park Undergraduate Association Assembly convened in 233B HUB to discuss and pass five pieces of legislation. Two resolutions were added to the agenda at the start of the meeting.

The sole special presentation of the evening was given by Assembly Parliamentarian Jonathan Kinney detailing rule changes to parliamentary procedure that would be implemented if the assembly adopted Modern Rules of Order, codified in “Modern Rules of Order, 4th Edition” by Donald A. Tortorice. The assembly currently uses Roberts Rules of Order, but wants to switch to a framework that is less legalistic and will facilitate more fluid discussion.

At the conclusion of Kinney’s presentation the Assembly transitioned to Open Student Forum where student Ethan Benjamin addressed the assembly regarding the controversial forum hosted by Turning Point USA (TPUSA) taking place the same night. Benjamin had participated in a protest of the event featuring controversial YouTubers Sargon of Akkad and Hunter Avallone earlier that day and implored the Assembly to pass a resolution to call for the de-platforming of TPUSA at Penn State.

In her President’s Report UPUA President Laura McKinney reflected on her first “Mondays with McKinney” event calling it, “Everything that I’d hoped for and more.” She went on to describe meeting many new students and educating them about UPUA and what it could do for them.

After a brief report by Vice President Jake Griggs, Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG) Liaison Ninon Nelson gave a statement informing UPUA that Vice President of CCSG Ryan Godbey had resigned from the executive board of CCSG on Friday, October 18. Nelson thanked Godbey for his service to the Commonwealth but would not elaborate on the circumstances of the resignation.

The first order of New Business for the night was the adoption of Policy 02-14, Revisions to Constitution to Establish Modern Rules of Order. Explained in the special presentation by Kinney, this resolution would officially begin the transition from Roberts Rules of Order to Modern Rules of Orders. For those not familiar, Modern Rules of Order is a less rigid and more informal structure of parliamentary procedure which will allow more free discussion. The resolution passed 42-0-1.

Next up was Policy 03-14, Revisions to Bylaws & Operational Code to Establish Modern Rules of Order, which amended the UPUA Constitution to recognize the change in the bylaws making Modern Rules of Order the new official framework of parliamentary procedure. This resolution passed unanimously.

To fund the the purchase of food for the PSU Votes Election Day Event the Assembly passed Bill #14-14, Funding of the 2019 PSU Votes Election Day Event 42-1-0. With disbursements totaling almost $700, UPUA will provide the student body with five gallons of Starbucks Coffee, eight dozen donuts from Duck Donuts, 15 pizzas from Domino’s Pizza, and six gallons of ice cream from the Creamery starting at 8 a.m. throughout the day. These refreshments will be provided near polling stations in the HUB and are meant to boost student turnout. Student At-large representative Jacob Klipstein was the sole nay vote articulating concerns over cost.

The final two resolutions passed unanimously with the first being Resolution 16-14, Support of H.R. 3262 and S.1871 (Sami’s Law) a resolution that supports the passage of Sami’s Law in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sami’s Law is a bipartisan piece of legislation that requires Uber drivers to prominently display lighted signs and a scannable QR code as a safety regulation in light of issues tied to the ride-sharing service. UPUA believes this legislation will increase the safety of Penn State students on and off campus.

In light of Halloween approaching, UPUA passed Resolution #17-14, Support of “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” Social Media Campaign, a resolution to run “We’re a Culture Not a Costume” social media campaign from October 24 through November 4. “We’re a Culture Not a Costume” aims to educate students to be conscious of the cultural and racial insensitivity they may perpetuate if they choose to wear stereotypical Halloween costumes that could offend minority communities on campus.

Committee comments were short and the meeting adjourned at 9:54 p.m.

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About the Author

Andrew Woodman

Andrew Woodman or "Andy" as his friends don't call him is a senior majoring in Political Science and Business hailing from the enchanting land of DELCO. When he isn't reporting on stimulating UPUA meetings Andrew can be found at Canyon Wings the best wing place in State College. Forward all correspondence to his myspace account @woodrowwW97

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