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UPUA Swears In Eight New Representatives, Passes Eight Bills In Productive Meeting

The 18th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) met on Wednesday evening to confirm and swear in a handful of new representatives and pass a total of eight bills.

Before diving into the busy evening, the assembly heard from Maggie Fechtman of the Performing Arts Council (PAC). Fechtman discussed the purpose of PAC, which is to promote and support student performing arts from dance to theater organizations.

Old Business

The assembly then moved into confirmations. Amanda Garcia was the candidate for the Smeal College of Business representative. Additionally, a total of seven At-Large Representatives were also up for confirmation, including Maguire Younes, Methila Zaman, Suzanne Kozloski, Erik Bolang, Jacob Oberle, Katarina Hogan, and Velavan Shanmugasundaram.

Following a short speech and brief questioning of each of the candidates to ensure they were fit for their respective roles, the new representatives were confirmed through a majority vote and sworn in.

New Business

The only resolution of the evening was Resolution #11-18: Support of the Arts and Architecture Advisory Lounge at Palmer Museum. Building off of a similar resolution passed in the 17th assembly, this resolution reaffirms UPUA’s support for the formation of the Arts and Architecture Advisory Lounge. The lounge would go into the soon-to-be vacant space of the Palmer Museum, which will be relocating to the Arboretum.

In the current proposal, the area would include studio spaces, a wellness lounge, administration offices, offices for student organizations, an auditorium, and more. The official proposal is still being reviewed by the administration within the College of Arts and Architecture.

Resolution #11-18 passed unanimously.

The first bill was Bill #44-18: Establishment of the Spring 2024 Exam Conflict “Know Your Academic Rights” Campaign. This bill supports several sponsored Instagram posts containing information about final exam conflicts, including the types of conflicts that students may encounter along with the final exam conflict filing period dates.

Bill #44-18 passed unanimously.

Next was Bill #45-18: Establishment of the Spring 2024 Late Drop Awareness “Know Your Academic Rights” Campaign. Similar to the previous bill, this sponsors a few Instagram posts to give students information regarding dropping a course and the late drop deadline.

Bill #45-18 passed unanimously.

The following piece of legislation was Bill #46-18: Funding for the Reestablishment of the Spring 2024 Student Council Roundtable. The roundtable will bring student council members, college-associated organizations, and UPUA representatives from each academic college together in one meeting to open and encourage communication between all groups.

The meetings will occur once per semester and give student leaders a chance to identify issues that may stretch across colleges. The bill provides $432 of funding for the room rental and catering.

Bill #46-18 passed unanimously.

Bill #47-18: Funding for Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Speakers was then introduced. UPUA is partnering with the Gender Equity Center to bring in two speakers for SVAP month, which is in April. Singer Jessica Browning and actor Matt McGorry will speak about their personal experiences in sexual violence activism. The bill allots $2,000 to bring both speakers to campus.

Bill #47-18 passed unanimously.

After that was Bill #48-18: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Mr. Black Penn State Pageant. The pageant, hosted on February 17 in Alumni Hall, will aim to empower and uplift Black men on campus, showcasing a wide variety of their qualities. In exchange for contributing $350 to the cost of the DJ, Zeta Phi Beta will include UPUA’s logo on promotional materials and give the organization a short speaking segment during the pageant.

Bill #48-18 passed unanimously.

Bill #49-18: NAACP Gem of the Season: Elegance Unveiled was introduced next. The NAACP Gem of the Season event takes place annually and recognizes Black Penn State students who “make a commitment to advocacy within the Penn State community.” The bill proposes $350 for the cost of a videographer for the evening, ultimately displaying UPUA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and support for minority groups across Penn State.

Bill #49-18 passed unanimously.

Bill #50-18: Funding for Resource Week 2024 was presented. UPUA plans to host a resource week from February 12-16 and will provide resources on a wide variety of resources available to students. The bill allocates $694 for Instagram ads, snacks, and a pair of Apple Airpod Max headphones to be raffled to increase student engagement.

Bill #50-18 passed unanimously.

Finally, Bill #51-18: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., “Get Out & Get Together” was discussed. The bill provides $300 in funding to the Gamma Nu branch of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to rent the Freeman Auditorium. The group will host a showing of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” which will be followed up by a discussion about the themes of race displayed in the film.

Bill #51-18 passed unanimously.

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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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