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UPUA Passes Resolution Condemning Controversial Political Event

The 16th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association met on Wednesday night for another regularly scheduled meeting.

This time, the assembly was greeted by Carlos Wiley, the director of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center.

President Erin Boas and Vice President Najee Rodriguez later welcomed the group and provided individual reports before advancing into new business.

New Business

Bill 11-16 was the first item on the agenda Wednesday night. The bill asks UPUA to distribute $4,000 to fund a “Wellness In Words” workshop, which would provide mental health programming for students during Mental Health Awareness Week. The bill passed unanimously.

Next, Bill 12-16 requested just over $9,500 from UPUA to fund review materials for Fall Test Prep Week 2021. Test Prep Week organizers purchase 1,030 test preparation books from The Princeton Review that are accessible to students during this week. This one also passed unanimously.

The assembly also unanimously passed Bill 13-16, which provides funding for t-shirts to be made and distributed at the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity’s “Love is Louder” event on November 3. This bill will direct $500 toward the t-shirts for the event.

Additionally, UPUA canceled its scheduled assembly meeting on November 3 in order to attend the “Love is Louder” event in solidarity with the university’s LGBTIA+ community.

Next, the assembly passed Resolution 14-16 by a unanimous vote. The resolution called on UPUA to work to create more inclusive housing options for students who identify as gender non-conforming in the Penn State community.

UPUA then voted in support of a social media campaign called “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume.” The campaign will address racially insensitive Halloween costumes and encourage inclusive, mindful Halloween apparel. The bill passed unanimously.

Finally, the group spent the majority of the meeting discussing Resolution #16-16. The resolution at debate would condemn social provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’s “Pray the Gay Away” event scheduled for November 3.

Several members of the assembly expressed their displeasure with the event and acknowledged the lack of response from university administration. Penn State did release a statement condemning the event but acknowledged it can’t prevent free speech on campus.

Yiannopoulos’ lecture is coordinated by Uncensored America, a student organization founded to uphold freedom of speech. The only UPUA assembly member to speak in opposition of the resolution declared that they were voting in defense of freedom of speech.

Ultimately, the resolution passed 37-0-1. The previously mentioned assembly member abstained from voting.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a sophomore journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She also talks sports on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, naps, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to discuss your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley or send your best Spotify playlist to her email [email protected]

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