Since the start of the 2012-13 school year, UPAC has focused on reviewing its current 375 general allocation requests and 11 standing allocation requests and also ensuring committee members are knowledgeable of UPAC policies.
Of the 375 general allocation requests the University Park Allocation Committee has received to date since the start of the semester, UPAC has probably seen all but 40 of them, UPAC Chair Jesse Scott said.
General allocations are mainly for student organizations that need an allocation for an event cost or travel cost. Standing allocations, on the other hand, are university-wide and must be requested early on in the year.
Last year, UPAC had a total of 616 general allocation requests for the academic year, an increase from the 540 requests of the previous year, Scott said.
“We have done, I think, a very good job of keeping up with budgets,” Scott (graduate-computer science and engineering) said. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of making sure organizations have access [to their request] in a timely manner.”
Most recently, UPAC has been working on allocations for Movin’ On, the popular music festival held every spring. Scott said he thinks the preparation on UPAC’s part for Movin’ On is the smoothest it has ever gone.
“We’ve done a lot of preparation with Movin’ On to make sure not only the leadership but the full committee was aware with what’s going on,” Scott said.’
Movin’ On Overall Director Tim Gould said he’s pleased with UPAC’s efforts so far and that everything has been clear throughout the process.
Staying updated with organizations’ requests is important because it greatly affects how much time the organizations have to plan their event or trip, Scott said. If their requests are granted further in advance, it’s easier for them to organize what needs to be done.
“We’ve also spent quite a bit of time working with the committee to make them more knowledgeable on the UPAC policies,” Scott said. “We spend a lot of our energy trying to educate the committee as a whole. They should be very knowledgeable of the policies to make sure that they’re being followed.”
Additionally, there were four policy requests submitted by UPAC member Kevin Horne that will be reviewed as standing allocations, Scott said. UPAC would like to have them reviewed before the summer, he said.
The policy submissions included two for the requestor handbook and two for the UPAC constitution. They would require that UPAC post its meeting minutes online, make voting at policy meetings open to the public, have a report of semester allocations and have the UPAC chair act as a liaison for the University Park Undergraduate Association and the Graduate Student Association to UPAC.
“They would help bring transparency to the organization that a lot of people don’t know about,” Horne (junior-print journalism and media studies) said.
UPAC has also kept busy by focusing on keeping better records about what happens at each meeting.
“We’ve also been working on improving our minute-taking process. Our minutes are available in the UPAC office. We’ve been working on improving our minutes quality on the web,” Scott said.