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Student Fee Board Hears Funding Requests From UHS, Student Farm, & HUB Reserve

Penn State University Park Student Fee Board met Friday morning to hear allocation requests from University Health Services (UHS), the Student Farm at Penn State, and the HUB Reserve.

Dr. Micah Griffin, the new senior director of UHS, started the meeting off with a presentation on its sexual health pilot program and sexually transmitted infection campaign.

UHS supports the health and well-being of Penn State students through its services. One of their most-used services includes STI testing. The office plays a large role in health prevention.

Its new campaign, “Test Game Strong,” supports sexual health through access to free STI testing. The campaign requires funding to ensure they meet the demand for student testing and is aimed to fully immerse and educate students.

UHS was originally going to request funding for 10,000 tests but is now requesting it for all students who wish to be tested for in the spring 2021 and fall 2021 semesters, effective immediately. The sexual health program and campaign focus on education, peer involvement, prevention, and treatment.

Since UHS is expecting test demand to almost double from last year, most of the funding will be allocated toward free STI testing for students. The office hopes the campaign and efforts can be a model for other college campuses.

Claire Byrnes, executive student director of the Student Farm at Penn State, presented the organization’s funding request of $200,000 for the second fascial year.

The Student Farm is a five-year program and was given one acre of land when it first open. The organization just finished its four-year pilot, and Provost Nick Jones granted it growth to 3.6 acres. With the new expansion, the farm will be able to grow every season, support campus dining, and accommodate more trips.

If funding is received, it will be allocated toward operation expenses and programs, such as staffing, farming equipment, transportation, and programming and education outreach programs. The funding will also help increase student employment, grow capacity for volunteer and educational programs, and support expansions of hydroponic operations.

The final request was presented by Mary Edgington from the HUB Reserve student activity fee for furniture, fixtures, and equipment. The HUB Reserve is requesting an allocation of $200,000 for the 2021-22 academic year.

If provided, the funding will be used for expansion and fixed assets. Edgington said there are no plans to request any expenditures this year, but the funding will help maintain the HUB, meet the expectation of students, and “plan for the unknown”.

The Student Fee Board will meet next week to start deliberations, but the requests made today from UHS, Student Farm, and HUB Reserve, will not be addressed for another couple of weeks.

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About the Author

Aubrey Miller

Aubrey is a third-year landscape architecture major and a writer for Onward State. She is from North Carolina, but can't stand country music. Aubrey is obsessed with her four cats, and some would say too obsessed. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @aubreymillerr to see her cat posts.

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