As of last Wednesday’s meeting, UPUA has implemented changes for general assembly meetings in order to maintain professionalism and focus.
The changes that the University Park Undergraduate Association made include banning the use of electronics during meetings and members having to stand in order to be addressed. Also, speakers must address the vice president when speaking, yield the floor in an organized manner and must speak within a certain time constraint.
Although these are not major changes to the decorum, UPUA Chairman of the Assembly Spencer Malloy said they were necessary.
“With a more mature environment, we would be able to get more done,” Malloy (senior-philosophy and agroecology) said. “They aren’t particularly crazy changes, but we are trying to act in a more professional manner to serve the students.”
UPUA Vice President Katelyn Mullen said a main reason why the changes were made was because the assembly was not retaining focus during the meetings due to distractions from electronics.
“The main reason why we decided to make these changes was so that everyone will stay focused during the meetings,” Mullen (junior-supply chain and information systems) said. “We realized that when they were using Twitter and Facebook to communicate, it took away from discussion and debate.”
The change regarding the banning of electronics during the discussion of business applies to the whole assembly with the exception of the Board of Arbitration and the Executive Board, excluding the president and vice president.
Although the changes were applied only for the first time last week, UPUA President Courtney Lennartz said she already senses a positive reaction from the assembly.
“We saw a number of them being implemented, and no one had a big problem with it,” Lennartz (senior-health policy and administration) said. “People were standing to show they wanted to talk, speaking minutes were enforced, and it helped make sure people were getting to the point quicker.”
Smeal College of Business Representative Rishi Mittal said he felt the assembly accepted the alterations, which helped the last meeting, run smoothly.
“I feel they are taking it seriously,” Mittal (junior-finance) said. “I think they are accepting it very well. They are reacting efficiently, and they readily adopted it.”
Mullen said she thinks the changes will benefit the organization as a whole for the future.
“If they are paying more attention at the meetings and being more productive, they’ll do more to help out the organization, which in turn helps out the students,” Mullen said.