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UPUA Votes To Fund 2020 Test Prep Week

The 15th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association met virtually Wednesday for its 11th fall semester meeting.

During this week’s special presentation, UPUA heard from Tim Benally, a senior who is the president of The Indigenous Peoples Student Association (IDSA).

Benally shared what the organization has been up to, some of its goals, and asked for UPUA’s continued support in advocating for these students. Specifically, Benally said that one of the group’s objectives is to advocate for more financial support for indigenous students.

President Zach McKay and Vice President Lexy Pathickal gave their reports via email this evening before the assembly moved into new business.

New Business

The first piece of new business for the evening was supposed to be the confirmation of UPUA’s executive director of finance, Rachel Chormanski.

There was some discussion regarding Chormanski’s appointment, given the fact that she previously served as UPUA’s chief of staff. Under UPUA’s constitution, once a member resigns from their position, they are no longer allowed to re-enter the organization. Arguments made on both sides shared thoughts on whether Chormanski actually resigned, or simply just transitioned to a new position.

Ultimately, Chormanski’s appointment failed 17-9-10.

Bill 07-15 was the first piece of legislation for the evening.

This bill continues to support UPUA’s “What To Fix” initiative, which encourages students to share with the organization what things they would like to see fixed around campus.

UPUA’s “What To Fix” day will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday, November 9 on the HUB patio. This bill allots $50 of UPUA’s budget to hand sanitizers and stickers free to any students who stop by the event. Bill 07-15 passed unanimously.

The next piece of legislation for the evening was Bill 08-15, which aims to fund an event that would address mental health concerns students have. UPUA would partner with Art With Impact, an organization that hosts innovative-art based workshops to host promote mental wellness.

The event will take place on November 30 and show three award-winning short films related to mental health. Participants will also have the opportunity to participate in discussions about the stigmas surrounding mental health, and their impact on under-represented communities.

Bill 08-15 passed unanimously.

Bill 09-15 was the next piece of legislation. It funds and establishes UPUA’s Test Prep Week. Every year, the organization funds test prep materials for the MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, and GRE.

Test Prep Week 2020 will take place from November 16 to November 18, and will take place on the HUB patio. UPUA will spend $7,175 of its budget on purchasing the materials. Bill 09-15 passed easily.

The first resolution for the evening was Resolution 36-15.

Resolution 36-15 is in support of formal recognition of Native American Heritage Month. UPUA will partner with the IDSA in continuing its advocacy and representation for Indigenous people on campus. The two groups hope to create an advocacy day and bring guest speakers to campus that will bring awareness to issues facing Indigenous people.

UPUA is going to continue its advocacy work in implementing official recognition of the university for Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Resolution 36-15 passed unanimously.

The next resolution for the night was Resolution 37-15.

Again, UPUA is working with the IDSA in calling on the university to adopt a land acknowledgment that recognizes the fact that the university was in part established through the purchase of land stolen from Indigenous tribes. A draft of the acknowledgment has already been created by the IPSA.

Resolution 37-15 passes 32-0-1.

Next, Resolution 38-15 was up for discussion. This resolution is in support of the demands made by the PSU Climate Action petition. In April, members of Penn State’s Climate Action Coalition released a petition calling on the university to take acting combatting climate change.

Some of the specific demands include the university reaching carbon neutrality by 2040, diverting fossil fuel investments into green energy, and prioritizing sustainability-centered research. Resolution 38-15 passed.

The final piece of legislation for the night was Resolution 39-15.

Resolution 39-15 supports any Election Day university mental health resources Penn State is currently offering. Students Affairs and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are offering services to help students address any election stress or anxiety they are feeling. Resolution 39-15 also passed.

Following a few brief reports, the meeting adjourned at 10:01 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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