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UPUA Recommends Making Election Day University-Wide Holiday

The 15th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association met virtually Wednesday for its sixth fall semester meeting.

The meeting began with a special presentation from Jennifer Guyer, general manager of the Penn State Bookstore. Guyer discussed some of the precautions the bookstore has implemented to follow social distancing and health guidelines.

She also talked about the new Apple-affiliated tech store that will open in the HUB in a few weeks. Guyer shared that by the second week of October, the store will hopefully be open.

UPUA President Zach McKay then gave his report and urged representatives to remain civically engaged ahead of the upcoming election. He also shared that he will now be hosting office hours for students who wish to discuss any ideas or concerns about things on campus with him.

Following brief a report from UPUA Vice President Lexy Pathickal, the assembly moved into new business for the evening.

New Business

The first piece of new business was the confirmation and swearing-in of first-year representatives Anna Taylor and Kyle Quinn.

The first piece of legislation for the evening was Resolution 28-15, Support for Governor Wolf’s Decision to Fund Mail-in Ballot Postage and Creation of a Mail-in Voting Educational Program.

UPUA said funding postage for mail-in and absentee ballots will make voting more accessible for students. The legislation also highlights how being in the middle of a global pandemic may make voting more difficult and confusing for students.

Through this legislation, UPUA’s Department of Communication would be in charge of creating an educational campaign designed to teach students about how to appropriately vote by mail.

Resolution 28-15 passed 29-1-0.

The second piece of legislation for the evening was Resolution 29-15, Support For Voting Opportunity and Turnout Enhancement. Under the recommended course of action for this resolution, UPUA hopes to work in tandem with the Faculty Senate and university officials to plan ahead for Election Day.

UPUA recommends that the Faculty Senate create legislation that would deem Election Day a university-wide holiday. The organization is trying to ensure that students have the time and resources needed to cast their ballot on Election Day, without fear of missing class or activities.

In discussion for the resolution, representatives acknowledged that although these changes may not be able to be fully implemented before Election Day, they are hoping it creates a precedent for future elections to come.

Resolution 29-15 passed 28-0-1.

After executive reports and comments of the committees, the sixth meeting of the fall semester adjourned at 9:56 p.m.

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About the Author

Ryen Gailey

Ryen is a senior early childhood education major from "right outside of Philly" - or in exact words, from 23.0 miles outside of Philly. She loves all things Penn State and has been a huge Penn State gal since before she could walk. Send her pictures of puppies, or hate mail at [email protected]

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