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UPUA Elects Big Ten Liaison & Determines 2024-2025 Budget 

The 19th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) met on Wednesday to elect the Association of Big Ten Schools liaison and pass five pieces of legislation. 

The meeting opened with a special presentation regarding the UPUA budget by Speaker Fletcher Port, President Zion Sykes, and Executive Director of Finance Yifan Bu. The trio explained how the UPUA receives its funding, the mechanics of how funds are allotted to certain programs, and the overall wage distributions for the assembly.

Following reports by Sykes and Vice President Rasha Elwakil, the assembly moved into elections.

Elections

The only election of the night was for the Association of Big Ten Schools Liaison. This position requires attending monthly discussions with other Big Ten liaisons to share and solve issues targeting students across the universities. In addition, the elected liaison is responsible for sending updates after each meeting to the chair of governmental affairs and the speaker of the assembly. 

First-year Emily Milton, nominated by Chair of Student Life Henry Wagner, shared how valuable the communication between the Big Ten schools is and how she would do her best to represent Penn State during each monthly meeting. Milton expressed her willingness to collaborate with these universities for the betterment of the undergraduate student body. 

Following discussion within the assembly, Milton won the election of the Association of Big Ten Schools Liaison.

New Business

First up for new business was Policy #01-19: Budget for the 2024-2025 Fiscal Year. This policy thoroughly details the budget of the UPUA assembly for the upcoming school year and allotted funds to various events, initiatives, and resources for students. Overall, the budget is listed at $150,798.83, with around $11,000 carrying over from the 2023-2024 budget. 

Policy #01-19 passed unanimously. 

Next was Bill #01-19: Electronics Recycling Lion Surplus. This bill supports sponsored Instagram posts to promote the Lion Surplus electronic recycling event on Wednesday, May 1. Lion Surplus is a Penn State-affiliated store on campus that resells second-hand electronics and other items donated by the State College community. 

The electronic recycling event will allow students to deposit any used electronics they do not wish to keep or cannot travel back home with at the end of the semester. The Instagram posts will enable UPUA to promote the event and minimize student e-waste on campus. 

Bill #01-19 passed unanimously.

Following this was Bill #02-19: Funding for Spring 2024 Coffee For Finals. This bill aims to fund the free coffee and snacks available to students in the HUB during finals week. The station is set to be located near the “High School Musical” staircase in the HUB and will be open from 9:30 to 11 a.m. through Monday, April 29, to Friday, May 3 of finals week. 

Bill #02-19 passed unanimously. 

Next was Bill #03-19: Establishment of the 2024 “Know Your Academic Rights” Campaign.  The bill supports sponsored Instagram posts to highlight the relevant state policies regarding student academics. These policies include grade mediation, deferring grades, and overall grade forgiveness procedures. It will allow UPUA to bridge the gap between grading policies and student awareness just in time for finals week.

 Bill #03-19 passed unanimously. 

The last piece of legislation was Bill #04-19: Funding for Summer Break Lyft Subsidy. The bill calls for the UPUA to provide Lyft subsidy codes for students to travel to the University Park Airport for summer break. The assembly will fund up to 133 $15 ride coupons from Sunday, April 26, to Wednesday, May 15, to ensure all students have an affordable way to reach the airport. To use the subsidy, students can be picked up from any location in State College but must be dropped off at the State College airport to receive the discount.

Bill #04-19 passed unanimously. 

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About the Author

McKenna Murphy

McKenna is a second-year agricultural science major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is a Disney enthusiast, a proud ginger, and an iced coffee addict. You can follow her on Instagram @mckenna.murph or email her at [email protected].

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