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UPUA Funds Busing To International Airports, Movin’ On Quench Buggy

The 17th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association met Wednesday night for its final meeting under current leadership.

Wednesday’s meeting opened with two special presentations. First, Jason Zajac spoke on behalf of University Police and Public Safety. The other special presentation came from Brian Patchcoski, the assistant vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Penn State.

UPUA President Sydney Gibbard and Vice President Carter Gangl gave their reports, and the assembly moved into new business. It was quite a busy night, with nine pieces of legislation on the agenda.

New Business

First up was Bill #53-17, which would provide funding for the NatureServe “Biodiversity in Focus” information campaign. A recent report published by NatureServe outlined areas of biodiversity and specific ecosystems that are currently threatened, along with how students can combat the problems. UPUA will create and share an infographic summarizing the information released in the NatureServe report.

Bill #53-17 passed unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was Bill #54-17, which petitions to supply funding for the “Know Your Rights While Protesting” roundtable. The event is scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 10, in 131 HUB and will bring representatives from various organizations across campus to inform students about the rights that they have during protests.

Bill #54-17 passed unanimously.

Then, Bill #55-17 was introduced. This bill supports the continuation of funds for busing to international airports. State College’s airport doesn’t offer international flights, so international students must travel upwards of three hours to reach a global airport. In collaboration with the International Student Council, UPUA will provide charter buses to nearby airports.

Bill #55-17 passed unanimously.

Bill #56-17 followed immediately after. The bill would provide money for the rental and staffing of a Quench Buggy during the annual Movin’ On festival, which provides hydration for students who may be outside for long periods of time. UPUA sponsored this initiative for the past several years.

Bill #56-17 passed unanimously.

The following bill was Bill #57-17, which provides financial support for Sexual Violence Prevention and Awareness Week. The funding will aid speakers, tabling events, and social media campaigns throughout the week, which will likely occur in April.

Bill #57-17 passed unanimously.

The final bill of the night was Bill #58-17. The bill plans to allocate money to support Lambda Theta Alpha’s 2023 Take Back the Night event. Take Back the Night is an annual march around campus that encourages students to protest against sexual violence and share their stories.

Bill #58-17 passed unanimously.

Following the bills, several resolutions were discussed. Resolution #20-17 was first, which requested support for the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act. The REACH act is a piece of federal legislation that aims to provide increased awareness and education regarding hazing on college campuses.

Resolution #20-17 passed unanimously.

The second resolution was Resolution #21-17. The resolution included details about how many students were utilizing Student Disability Resources compared to estimates of how many students actually had a disability. It is predicted that many students are not using SDR based on accessibility and potential stigma regarding the use of resources. As a result, the resolution supports a social media campaign to inform students about their disability rights and services in the classroom and across campus.

Resolution #21-17 passed unanimously.

Finally, Resolution #22-17 was introduced. The resolution explains that many students living in the north part of campus often struggle to find study locations that are near their residences and academic buildings. With the Palmer Museum of Art relocating to the Arboretum, UPUA has issued its support for the creation of the Arts and Architecture Advisory Lounge (AAAL). This would house offices for arts and architecture student organizations, faculty, and advisors and serve as a wellness lounge for students.

Resolution #22-17 passed unanimously.

This was the final meeting for the current assembly, including UPUA President Sydney Gibbard. Previously, Gibbard served as Speaker of the Assembly. Along with founding Girls Code the World, she is a member of the Schreyer Honors College, Skull & Bones, and the Student Fee Board.

Election day for the 18th Assembly will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29. Students can cast their votes via an online form.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a senior studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is fueled by dangerous amounts of caffeine and dreams of smashing the patriarchy. Any questions or discussion about Taylor Swift’s best songs can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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