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UPUA Amends Constitution, Passes Bills To Fund ‘Women’s Empowerment Week’ Events

The 18th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) met once again on Wednesday to address proposed amendments to the UPUA Constitution and pass several pieces of legislation.

The meeting began with two special presentations. First to take the floor was Ben Lindgren, director of food justice, who handed out a sustainability survey for the assembly to complete. The survey pertained to sustainability practices at Penn State.

Following this, Ashley Campos from the Student Philanthropy Network announced applications are now open to apply for a position within the organization.

Old Business

After the two presentations, the assembly moved into Policy #04-18: Amending the UPUA Constitution, which was tabled during last week’s meeting.

Unlike last week, the assembly’s discussion surrounding policy changes was quick and to the point. Within Policy #04-18, many of the amendments were accepted without much deliberation. However, two notable amendments to the Constitution were suggested.

First was Article 6.3.9 under the First Year Council. This amendment touched on UPUA’s recent affiliation with THON and placed the leadership of “UPUA Benefitting THON” in the First Year Committee’s hands. While “UPUA Benefitting THON” will still be an organization-wide effort, the amendment suggested the First Year Committee serve as the organization’s THON Chairs and spearhead the endeavor.

Following this, Article 7.2 under Membership introduced an amendment that prioritized engagement within the assembly. The proposed amendment would require that Associate Justices of the assembly attend at least two General Assembly meetings per semester, including the meetings where the Election Code, Bylaws, and Constitution are passed. This amendment highlights the idea of checks and balances within the assembly, rather than having the various branches be separate.

Without much debate, Policy #04-18: Amending the UPUA Constitution passed unanimously.

Following a lighthearted moment where members had the opportunity to “pie” Chief Justice Hayden D’Elena in the face, the assembly moved into new business.

New Business

First on the agenda was Policy #05-18: Fifteen dollar-an-hour on-campus wage referendum for the 19th Assembly Election on March 27th, 2024. In an attempt to increase the campus minimum wage, the ballot for UPUA’s 19th assembly election will include the question, “Do you support a universal 15-dollar minimum wage for on-campus jobs?” While a majority vote on the ballot will not automatically increase campus minimum wage, the results will be used as evidence to support the policy when it is taken to university leadership. 

Policy #05-18 passed with a vote of 34-2-0.

Next was Resolution #17-18: Menstrual Advocacy at The Pennsylvania State University. The resolution would work to ensure there is an adequate supply of available menstrual products around campus for those who need them. It also tasks UPUA, in collaboration with other organizations, with spreading awareness of menstrual equity advocacy. 

Resolution #17-18 passed unanimously.

Following this was Resolution #18-18: Phi Alpha Delta x UPUA: GRE Test Prep Book Giveaway. By teaming up with Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, this resolution would allow the assembly to provide several GRE Test prep books at no cost to students. The books will be distributed on March 14 and 21 and can be found in the HUB.

Resolution #18-18 passed unanimously. 

Moving on, the assembly turned its attention to Bill #66-18: Know Your Campus Operations Resources. In order to spread awareness of various on-campus resources, the bill would allow UPUA to create a social media campaign that highlights resources particularly helpful to students. The campaign will include information about Penn State Go, on-campus buses, the Lyft program, and several others.  

Bill #66-18 passed unanimously. 

After this was Bill #67-18: Support for 2024 Sustainability Summit. The assembly aims to host its second annual Sustainability Summit. The bill allows it to take the lead in logistics and funding for the event. If passed, the summit will take place in April.

Bill #67-18 passed unanimously.

The next topic of discussion was Bill #68-18: Funding for Women’s Networking Gala. The bill tasks UPUA with funding and advertising for the gala, which will take place on March 22 in Heritage Hall. While the event is focused on female-based organizations on campus and brings a close to Women’s Empowerment Week, all are welcome to attend.

Bill #68-18 passed unanimously.

Finally, the assembly wrapped up new business with Bill #69-18: “Art & Advocacy: Paint and Learn” Funding. The event is also a part of Penn State’s Women’s Empowerment Week and will take place on March 18. It will allow women across campus to come together to paint with one another. With the passing of this bill, UPUA will be responsible for aiding in funding the event.

Bill #69-18 passed unanimously.

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About the Author

McKenzie Clauss

McKenzie is a junior majoring in psychology from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. She loves sharks, Kris Jenner, and taking naps. You can get in touch with her on Instagram @mckenzie.clauss or send an email to [email protected].

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