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UPUA Supports Demands Made By Department Of African American Studies

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

The meeting began with a special presentation from Dr. Ben Locke from Counseling and Psychological Services.

Locke discussed how despite the hiring freeze Penn State enacted due to the pandemic, CAPS was able to move forward with filling vacant positions and hiring new staffers. CAPS has also been working to expand its telecounseling department, especially during this time of uncertainty and difficulty for students.

“We entered this year with more staff, more resources, and more options than we’ve ever had,” Locke said.

UPUA Vice President Lexy Pathickal gave the executive reports on behalf of herself and UPUA President Zach McKay before moving into new business.

New Business

The assembly began by confirming executive director of student and organization rights advisor Lewis Richardson and executive director of first year council Catherine Zhou.

The first piece of legislation for the evening was Bill 04-15, Purchasing Penn State University Park’s PLAN (Post-Landfill Action Network) Membership.

PLAN is an organization that works with college campuses across the country to improve waste management. By purchasing a PLAN membership, schools have unlimited access to manuals and resources, leadership training and workshops, and discounts to zero-waste companies.

UPUA is allotting $1,000 of its budget to purchasing a PLAN membership reserved for large universities with 15,000+ students.

Bill 04-15 passed unanimously.

The next piece of legislation for the evening was Resolution 30-15, In Support of the Demands Made by Penn State’s Department of African American Studies.

This legislation, on behalf of UPUA, supports all of the demands made in a letter by the Department of African American Studies in June. Some include Penn State severing ties with local police forces and disarming campus police, establishing a task force on policing and communities of color, and increasing student aid and mental health resources for Black students.

After choosing to vote by roll call, resolution 30-15 passed 34-3-1.

Later, many representatives expressed concerns over the nature of the conversation for resolution 30-15. Some reps said they thought there were racist undertones or slighted comments made towards one another during the discussion for the resolution. Ultimately, reps said they need to do better.

In a clear effort to wrap up assembly before the vice-presidential debate began, the meeting adjourned at 9:08 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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