The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) serves as Penn State University Park’s student government, and was formed in 2006 to work to improve student life for all undergraduate students at Penn State’s University Park campus. The UPUA, like the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) before it, serves to provide students a platform for representation at the highest levels of administration, government, and the public, as well as build and sponsor programs which benefit undergraduate students at University Park.

The UPUA’s structure mimics the United States’ Federal Government, and consists of an Executive, a Legislative, and a Judicial Branch:

The UPUA’s Executive Branch is responsible for carrying out Acts of the General Assembly, providing services to the student body through programs such as the Student and Organization Rights Advisors (SORA), and maintaining the day-to-day operations of the UPUA. The Executive Branch is led by the Chief Executive Officers: the UPUA Student Body President and Vice President, who together work to represent the undergraduate student body on the Penn State Board of Trustees, the Faculty Senate, the University Park Student Fee Board, the Alumni Council, and more. The branch consists of various Executive Departments which aid the advocacy of the UPUA by facilitating research, financial management, records-keeping, organizational outreach, and internal development. The heads of each Executive Department, known as Executive Directors, are appointed by the UPUA President and serve as members of the Executive Cabinet, which serves as an advisory body to the President and confirms the Directors which make up the various Departments. The UPUA President has the power to nominate Executive Directors and Judicial Board Justices, appoint members of the UPUA to external bodies, and issue Executive Orders creating Executive Departments or directing them to act. Further, before legislation passed by the General Assembly takes effect, the UPUA President may either sign or veto the act. The Executive Office of the President consists of Executive Staff aids in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the UPUA President, and is led by the President’s Chief of Staff. The UPUA Student Body President and Vice President serve one-year terms and are elected as a ticket each spring semester. Executive Directors serve terms that officially end with the swearing-in of the next Chief Executive Officers, but may be kept in their roles by the incoming President for a time before re-confirmation to ensure the continuity of the organization. Members of the Executive Departments do not serve terms and may remain in their roles for as long the President sees fit and so long as they remain undergraduate students at University Park.

The UPUA’s Legislative Branch, the General Assembly of Student Representatives, sponsors, debates, and votes on legislation on behalf of the undergraduate student body. The General Assembly is made up of Student Representatives elected by the Academic Colleges, Community Groups, or the at-large student body. It is led by the internally-elected Speaker of the Assembly, and consists of various Legislative Committees, led by Committee Chairs, which work to introduce, debate, and pass legislation before it comes to the floor of the General Assembly. Legislation can take the form of Bills which authorize the expenditure of the UPUA’s Budgetmade up of Student Fee Dollars, Policies which amend the Constitution of the UPUA as well as the Bylaws and Operational Code of the General Assembly, and Resolutions which serve as the official opinions of the University Park undergraduate student body. Committees also consist of Committee Staff and Committee Coordinators, who aid the Committee Chairs and Speaker in the drafting of legislation and gain insight into the UPUA’s legislative process. The General Assembly also has the power to confirm presidential appointments and overturn presidential vetoes. Representatives serve one-year terms and are elected each spring semester.

The UPUA’s Judicial Branch, the Judicial Board, works to ensure the UPUA follows ethical practices by debating and issuing Decisions of the Judicial Board on Policy Changes in the interest of fairness and equity, adjudicating internal conflicts which may arise, and ensuring the UPUA abides by its Constitution. It consists of 9 Justices, including the Chief Justice of the UPUA and 8 Associate Justices. The Judicial Board also serves as the UPUA Elections Commission each spring semester, and as such oversee the UPUA Elections. Justices are appointed to their posts by the UPUA President with the advice and consent of the General Assembly.

The UPUA General Assembly meets Wednesdays at 7:00pm EST via Zoom. Meeting documents, including Zoom links, can be found HERE.  Meetings are open to the public and include an open student forum for constituents to share any sentiment they may wish to the organizatio

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