Remarks by the President and Vice President at the January 29th, 2021 Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG) Council Session

8:47 P.M. EST 

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening everyone, it’s so great to see you again. We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy. Much has happened since we last addressed you in November, and Lexy and I are so excited to share with you some of the things we as a student government have been up to. 

THE VICE PRESIDENT: With wellness days rapidly approaching, reports of professors disregarding the idea and assigning work anyway have started to come in. The UPUA’s Academic Affairs Committee and our new Department of Rights and Equity are working to create a streamlined means of reporting professors who break these guidelines to the University Faculty Senate. 

THE PRESIDENT: The General Assembly has been working to support students by funding mutual aid to combat period poverty, providing funds for personal health and hygiene kits at our campus’ We cAre event, supporting the creation of Ally House Jr. and its transgenger dysphoria relief fund, and by funding speakers Monica Ramirez, Reema Zaman, and Chanel Miller to speak with our students about preventing sexual violence. A virtual book club will also be created leading up to Miller’s presentation, and will provide interested students a copy of her book Know My Name.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Our Committee on Justice and Equity is spearheading an initiative that commemorates Jesse Arnelle and Wally Triplett at University Park, most likely in our HUB, in the form of a mural or head bust. Alongside this, Zach, I, and the Committee’s leadership are continuing to advocate the creation of a plaque to be put up at University Park recognizing the Native American land the campus sits on. The Land Acknowledgement, worked tirelessly on by the Indigenous Peoples’ Student Association, is being finalized by Penn State administration and its legal team. This land acknowledgement also covers the land that Commonwealth campuses also sit on. 

THE PRESIDENT: Our Departments have been hard at work creating detailed reports on recommended sustainable materials and products such as those available to students ordering styrofoam bowls from the creamery, compiling comprehensive research from our voter registration efforts in the Fall 2020 election, digitizing and making accessible records from the UPUA’s past—as well as its predecessor, the Undergraduate Student Government, creating newsletters for those interested in keeping up to date with all we’re doing, and integrating community service into our work as a student government. 

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Today, we released a statement responding to the news that members of our campus’ Black Caucus were subjected to an egregious interruption of their involvement fair, full of racial slurs, expletives, and worse. The UPUA stands with the Black community at University Park in condemning these actions, and in calling for these perpetrators to be tried to the fullest extent of the law possible. We hope to have your support in condemning these actions on our campus.
THE PRESIDENT: To keep up with even more of what the UPUA’s been up to, including the legislation of the General Assembly, you can visit our website at www.upua.org. It’s been so great to see everyone again! Take care, stay safe, and good luck this semester. We Are rooting for you from University Park!