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UPUA Funds Two Bills To Support Student Mental Health During Finals Week

The 18th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) met Wednesday night to pass several pieces of legislation and confirm a new parliamentarian.

The meeting began with a special presentation by Caden Vitti from UPUA’s Department of Environmental Sustainability about the department and how representatives can get involved. The department was created in 2020 to encourage sustainability in UPUA and the student body.

After short reports from President Nora O’Toole and Vice President Giselle Concepcion, the assembly moved on to old business.

Old Business

The only piece of old business on the agenda was the confirmation of Sarah Beaver as parliamentarian. After a brief speech and questioning section, Beaver was confirmed as the newest parliamentarian.

New Business

With numerous pieces of legislation on the agenda, the assembly moved into new business after a brief caucus breakout.

The first piece of legislation on the agenda was Bill #27-18: Interview Prep Workshop with WorkLink. The Justice and Equity Committee will host a workshop for WorkLink students to prepare them for the interview process of recruitment. WorkLink is a two-year program to support students with disabilities in professional development. The bill proposed $338.91 in Panera catering for an interview prep workshop.

Bill #27-18 passed unanimously.

Bill #28-18: Establishment of the Fall 2023 “Stressed For Finals?” Campaign was next on the agenda. UPUA will run the “Stressed for Finals?” campaign from November 27 to December 1 and from December 4 to December 8. The campaign is a combination of the mission of the Know Your Academic Rights campaign and use of mental health resources on campus. The bill proposed $250 in funding for five Instagram ads to advertise the campaign.

Bill #28-18 passed unanimously.

The second piece of legislation was Bill #29-18: Funding for the Student Restorative Justice Initiative and UPUA Justice & Equity Restorative Justice Circle on Mental Health. UPUA will collaborate with the Student Restorative Justice Initiative to host a Restorative Justice Circle from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29. Students will have the chance to engage in self-care activities and reflective exercises to support their mental health. The bill proposed $92.96 in catering for two cookie trays from Penn State Bakery and Panera hot chocolate.

Bill #29-18 passed unanimously.

Bill #30-18: Funding for Destress with the PRCC and UPUA was next on the agenda. UPUA will collaborate with the Paul Robeson Cultural Center (PRCC) on a destress event. Students can destress at the event with food and beverages provided by PRCC and destress items provided by UPUA. The bill proposed $413.44 in funding for UPUA to purchase detress items, like stress balls, stress relief cards, and slime-making kits, for the event.

Bill #30-18 passed unanimously.

Bill #31-18: Funding For 2023 Together at the Table was up next. The 2023 “Together at the Table” is the third community celebration fostering inclusivity and understanding at the dinner table. A multitude of different cultural foods will be provided by the Black Caucus, Latino Caucus, and more for students to enjoy. UPUA will help fund the event in Heritage Hall of the HUB on Thursday, November 16. The bill proposed $82.45 in funding for beverages.

Bill #31-18 passed unanimously.

Bill #32-18: Sponsoring South Asian Student Association’s 2023 Diwali Celebration was next on the agenda. In collaboration with the South Asian Student Association (SASA), UPUA will provide funding to host a Diwali Celebration. Diwali is a five-day festival and one of India’s most celebrated holidays. The bill proposed $1,200 in funding to reserve Alumni Hall in the HUB for the event.

Bill #32-18 passed 30-0-1.

Bill #33-18: Sponsoring Sovereign Magazine’s Fall 2023 Release Party was the final piece of legislation on the agenda. Sovereign Magazine is Penn State’s first magazine for students of color on the University Park campus. On Thursday, November 30, Sovereign Magazine will host its fall 2023 edition release party. The event will include dancing, singing, and more from a variety of student organizations. The bill proposed $848 in funding to support reserving Alumni Hall in the HUB.

Bill #33-18 passed unanimously.

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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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