UPUA Confirms New Associate Justices, Passes Legislation

The 18th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association met for the first time this fall semester Wednesday night. The assembly confirmed two new associate justices, swore in new representatives, passed two bills, and practiced making amendments to resolutions.

The meeting began with a special presentation from Chief of Staff Ben Brauser about the importance of tabling for all UPUA representatives in order to engage the student community in UPUA initiatives.

President Nora O’Toole reported that she is actively working on a UPUA endowment to benefit students struggling with food and housing insecurity.

Old Business

Associate Justices Mike Fowler and Jack Wilder were confirmed during Wednesday’s meeting. Fowler, having experience as a representative, expressed his desire to grow UPUA and make election code deliberation more efficient. Wilder has a unique background as an editor for La Vie, the Penn State student yearbook, but conveyed his passion for introducing new students to UPUA.

The assembly also swore in International Student Council representatives Alan Bijoy and Roman Bahadursingh, Latino Caucus representative William Santana, and Lion Pride representative J Carvalho.

New Business

Inspired by the 15th and 16th UPUA assemblies, the 18th assembly presented a practice resolution to allow representatives a chance to practice amending a resolution, making inquiries, changing language, and deliberating. Resolution #01-18 proposed to establish Sheetz as “the official chain” of University Park. After much discussion over whether or not 7/11 should be included and which convenience store chain was the best, Sheetz was not established as University Park’s official convenience store.

Resolution #01-18 failed to pass 15-18-1.

Next on the agenda was Bill #05-18: Funding for Mike Domitrz. The bill would allow UPUA to help the Gender Equity Center and the Interfraternity Council fund to host speaker Mike Domitrz, author and founder of The Center for Respect, to educate students about consent and intimacy. The bill would provide $1,000 to fund the event.

Bill #05-18 passed unanimously.

Finally on the agenda was Bill #06-18: Funding to Support the Latino Caucus’ LatinX Orientation. The bill would provide $292 to the Latino Caucus’ LatinX orientation to fund room rentals. The event serves as an introduction to the Penn State community for LatinX students.

Representative Micah Chandler expressed her concern that the bill possessed partisan language and that UPUA “should not provide funding for an event that is not available to the entire student body.”

Representative Rasha Elwakil, the Chair of Justice & Equity Committee, assured the governing body that the event is designed for LatinX students but open to all students.

Representative Fabiana Corcino expressed her support for the bill. “It starts with one. We should eventually have a similar event for all caucuses to represent the entire student body. As a Latina, I believe this first step is important,” Corcino said.

Representative Chandler reaffirmed her concern about partisanship to which Representative Elwakil stated that “not passing this [bill] is backtracking on our work for diversity and inclusion.”

Bill #06-18 passed 29-4-0.

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About the Author

Gracie Mullan

Gracie is a senior from Delaware County, Pa, studying telecommunications with a minor in English. In her free time, Gracie likes to read, write, and drink coffee. Get in touch with Gracie on her Instagram @gracie.mullan and for more formal inquiries [email protected].

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