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UPUA Funds Name-Change Vouchers, Continues Support For Transgender & Non-Binary Students

The 15th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association met virtually Wednesday night for its fifth spring semester meeting.

The meeting began with a special presentation by Cheryl Zeljack of the Child Care Subsidy Program. The Child Care Subsidy Program is a federally funded initiative that helps qualifying, low-income student parents pay for child care they may need. Zeljack shared that there was no waitlist for the program at that time.

Nyla Holland, the Black Caucus President, gave the second special presentation of the evening. Holland shared that the organization’s mission is to promote and protect the safety and well-being of Black students, as well as to educate the public and bring awareness through social and political means.

Holland encouraged UPUA representatives to be diligent in their advocacy and emphasized the fact that there is always more work to do in terms of supporting and educating the public on issues pertinent to the Black community.

Following reports from UPUA President Zach McKay and Vice President Lexy Pathickal, the assembly moved into its new business for the evening.

New Business

The first piece of legislation for the night was Bill 17-15.

Bill 17-15 provides funding to students who need assistance with the costs associated with undergoing a name change. This bill continues UPUA’s advocacy for the transgender community and aims to alleviate any financial burden that students may encounter should they choose to legally change their names.

The fees associated with a name change typically come from the fact that one undergoing a name change must pay for a filing fee, and pay to provide notice to two newspapers of general circulation, or one newspaper and the Centre County Legal Journal. The cost can run someone up to $250.

UPUA is allotting $5,000 of its budget for the name change vouchers. Penn State’s Office of Student Legal Services will assist in distributing the vouchers. Bill 17-15 passed unanimously.

The second piece of legislation for the evening was Bill 18-15.

Bill 18-15 will help fund a “Nurturing Community of Care” event that UPUA will host along with the Student Farm Club and the Council of Sustainable Leaders. The event will take place virtually on March 26 as part of the Sustainable Showcase Series. During the event, speakers will touch on issues related to food security and access.

Part of UPUA’s budget will go toward providing microgreen growing kits to attendees. The kits will grow microgreens that attendees can add to their own food to boost the nutritional value. Bill 18-15 passed unanimously.

The final piece of legislation for the evening was Resolution 49-15.

This resolution on behalf of UPUA expresses its support for Student Disability Services and commits to continuous advocacy for students with disabilities. In the legislation, UPUA also expressed its support for a webinar hosted by SDR that would promote awareness of both student disabilities and the resources provided by SDR. Resolution 49-15 passed unanimously.

Following executive and committee reports, the meeting adjourned at 8:41 p.m.

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About the Author

Ryen Gailey

Ryen is a junior 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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