UPUA Co-Sponsors the “Great Debate,” Votes to Distribute Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Prep Books, and Supports Expansion of Pennsylvania Loan Forgiveness Programs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Feb. 15, 2017​ – The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) met Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. in 302 HUB.

The meeting began with a special presentation from Dr. Joe Salem, Associate Dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campus Libraries. In his role, Dr. Salem is a key part of the Libraries’ administration collective leadership team where he leads Library Learning Services, the Knowledge Commons, the Commonwealth Campus Libraries, and Penn State World Campus support. He spoke of several current initiatives including the Open Textbook Network, which encourages professors to utilize textbooks that have been licensed for free use and distribution. These textbooks can be made available to students as a free resource.

At-Large Representative Johnna Purcell brought Bill #27-11: “Great Debate Co-Sponsor” to the floor. The bill would call on UPUA to support funding for “The Great Debate” which is scheduled to be held on April 26, 2017. UPUA would equally and directly pay a portion of the honoraria of the two speakers: $4,000 towards the honoraria for the contract of the liberal speaker and $4,000 towards the honoraria for the contract of the conservative speaker. Through the passing of this bill, the UPUA would become a co-sponsor of the event along with Young America’s Foundation, the Schreyer Honors College, and the College of the Liberal Arts. With amendments, the bill passed 32-0-1.

Next, At-Large Representative Lydia Scheel brought Bill #28-11: “Funding of Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Preparation Books” to the floor. This Bill would call on the UPUA to purchase 50 copies of Barron’s FE: Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, 3rd Edition. These books would be distributed to students on a first come, first serve basis during the Spring 2017 Test Preparation Week, scheduled for the week of February 27th. With amendments, the bill passed unanimously

Finally, At-Large Representative Michael Straw brought Resolution #38-11: “Support for Loan Forgiveness Programs in Pennsylvania” to the floor. The resolution would call on UPUA to assist in the advocacy of H.B. 120 to the Pennsylvania State Legislature. If passed, H.B. 120 would be an expansion of loan forgiveness programs for students attending higher education institutions in the Commonwealth. Specifically, this bill would establish a separate program for students seeking careers in counseling. With the passing of this resolution, the UPUA would also encourage attendees of Capital Day to advocate for H.B. 120 if the bill has not passed General Assembly at that time. The bill passed unanimously.


The University Park Undergraduate Association works to provide students representation at the highest levels of administration and build programs to the benefit of undergraduates at University Park.

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