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Student Fee Board Hears Requests From CCSG, GPSA, & More

The University Park Student Fee Board met Friday to hear allocation request presentations from the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG), Graduate and Professional Student Association (GSPA), and Office of Student Activities.

Hibah Akbar, the president of CCSG, kicked the Board’s round of hearings off with a presentation of her organization’s request.

CCSG is an organization made up of student representatives from both the Commonwealth Campuses and University Park that advocates on behalf of the Commonwealth. CCSG works toward streamlining the voices of the Commonwealth Campuses.

Akbar outlined CCSG’s request of $4,096 for the 2021-2022 funding cycle. This request is less than years past because the Board is accepting carry-forward requests, allowing offices to bring any unused funds into the 2021-2022 funding cycle.

These funds are an integral part of fostering the leadership of CCSG that would otherwise not happen. Without them, CCSG wouldn’t be able to fund retreats, travel, office and apparel supplies, and more.

One of CCSG’s main events is the Central Staff Retreat, which is an opportunity to train the staff, hand out contracts, and host leadership sessions. The retreat increases the relationships between central staff members who work closely together throughout the year to promote advocacy across the Commonwealth.

Alex Zhao, the president of GPSA, later outlined GPSA’s allocation request of $74,040.77 for the 2021-2022 funding cycle. Additionally, GPSA anticipates to carry forward unused funds from this year’s funding cycle.

GPSA is a student government for Penn State graduate and professional students at University Park. It consists of an executive board, judiciary, and assembly, which is further broken down into various committees.

Throughout the year, GPSA organizes programs for graduate and professional students, including professional development events such as writing bootcamps, workshops, and an opportunity to get a professional headshot.

In addition to these programs and events, GPSA holds regular meetings with leadership at Penn State, often constructing open letters, public statements, and resolutions on behalf of the graduate and professional students.

The majority of GPSA’s allocated funds are used for programming and community outreach, with the remaining funds going toward internal development, executive expenses, and professional development.

The final presentation of the meeting was given by Jen Grossman Leopard, assistant director of Student Organizations.

The Office of Student Activities facilitates student learning by fostering exploration, community engagement, and development through educational and experiential opportunities.

Several organizations are found within the Office of Student Activities, such as student activity programs, the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Student Committee, Penn State Homecoming, and the Student Programming Association.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Student Committee, found within the Office of Student Activities, honors the life and legacy of Dr. King by planning and executing events throughout the academic year. The committee’s events aim to engage the community in service and social advocacy, fostering progress toward social justice and reconciliation.

The Office of Student Activities requested an increase in allocated funds to $1,896,376.67 for the 2021-2022 funding cycle.

These allocated funds go toward a multitude of campus programs and events offered to students, including the Center for Arts and Crafts, involvement fairs, and Fresh START Day of Service, which is an event held at the beginning of the year geared toward connecting first-year students to the Penn State community.

The Student Fee Board will continue to hear allocation request presentations from the University Park Undergraduate Association, University Park Allocation Committee, and Student Orientation and Transition Programs at its next meeting on Friday, February 5.

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About the Author

Abby Han

Abby is a freshman chemistry major from Hershey, Pennsylvania -- which means she's your gal whenever you have a craving for some chocolate. Born and raised a Nittany Lion, she loves all things Penn State. You can typically find her watching Friends, drinking Bubly, or taking timer pics on Snapchat. If you want to exchange cheesy puns, follow her on Twitter @_abbyhan.

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