Assembly Votes to Fund Great Debate

The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) met on Wednesday evening in room 302 HUB-Robeson Center. Starting at 8:00 p.m., the February 18 meeting was filled with great discussion because of the six items under New Business.

Before any official business was discussed, Student Trustee Allie Goldstein presented on the unprecedented, new opportunity for students: sitting on the Penn State Board of Trustees. Students interested in applying for the position can fill out the application here by February 27th.

Following reports from President Ganjam and Vice President McDonald, the assembly moved into a ten minute caucus breakout due to the extensive legislation and items under new business. The first of which was the potential censure of College of Communications Representative Ryan Belz. As defined, a censure is an extreme disapproval of one’s actions through such acts as working against an organization’s values, fraud, and misconduct. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that censuring Representative Belz would not be the best course of action. The motion failed with a vote of 17-17, as a two-thirds majority was needed for the motion to pass.

The next item on the agenda was the Confirmation of Elections Commissioners. Needed for the upcoming election, five of the six commissioners were confirmed with a vote of 30-1. The other commissioner failed to obtain a simple majority of the assembly’s votes, and the selection process for a new candidate is underway.

Policy 14-09, Reallocation of the UPUA Budget, passed with a vote of 32-1. This policy reallocates funds to efficiently utilize the budget and Student Activity Fee (SAF) allocation.

Following this was Bill 11-09, Great Debate Co-Sponsorship. The Great Debate is an event that pits a liberal and conservative speaker against one another in a political debate. After decreasing the money allocated to the Great Debate from $30,000 to $25,000, the bill passed with a vote of 23-11. The Great Debate participants have yet to be chosen, but an official announcement will come in the near future.

The final two pieces of legislations were resolutions. Resolution 27-09, Support for Increased Student Engagement with University Budget passed unanimously. This resolution encourages active student engagement with more budget-related decisions. Resolution 28-09, Continued Support of the Course Watch List, passed with a vote of 33-1.

Wednesday’s meeting ended at 10:48 p.m. The UPUA’s next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 25 in 302 HUB-Robeson Center.