The 2013 University Park Undergraduate Association Encampment weekend will take place this Saturday and Sunday to allow collaboration among student leaders from several organizations.
UPUA Encampment Director Josh Wimble said the weekend will be a great opportunity for student leaders to come together and discuss how each other runs his or her organization, while also learning from others.
“Encampment weekend is a way to get student leaders all into the same room,” Wimble (senior-advertising and political science) said. “It’s a collaborative effort to address issues student leaders are facing.”
Wimble created individual invitations for each organization and the responses have been positive, he said.
Wimble said almost 150 student leaders from 55 to 60 organizations are expected to attend. Among the organizations invited to the weekend event are the Red Cross Club, Relay for Life, Penn State Thespians and individual college councils. Invitations were also sent out to representatives from each Commonwealth Campus.
Encampment weekend is financed by UPUA. According to the UPUA 2012-13 budget approved in April, the director of Encampment was allocated $10,000 in funds.
Wimble said he was allocated $9,000 in funds after he took over the position to use on Encampment, but had spent below that.
Secretary for Penn State Thespians Matt Kaye, who will represent his organization, said he has never attended UPUA Encampment before but is excited for what the weekend will bring.
“I want to hopefully learn new leadership skills, have a good time and just meet new leaders,” Kaye (junior-telecommunications) said.
Wimble said he wanted Encampment to be diverse and as inclusive as possible to help in the weekend’s theme, which is “Defining Penn State Culture.”
“The more diverse, the better,” Wimble said. “We wanted to include as many people to help define what Penn State culture really is.”
The theme was chosen to get students thinking about how they and their organization impact the quality of Penn State, Wimble said.
“Some students haven’t even had the opportunity to define what Penn State culture is,” Wimble said.
Saturday night of Encampment weekend will consist of guest speakers and a dinner for all student leaders, Wimble said. Nine guest speakers are scheduled for the evening, including welcoming remarks by President Rodney Erickson.
Some of the speakers that will attend include State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, Director for the Center of Women Students Peggy Lorah, women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose and Dean of Schreyer Honors College Christian Brady.
Kaye is most excited to see Rose speak, he said.
“It will be interesting to hear what he has to say because of all his success here at Penn State,” Kaye said.
Goreham will speak to the student leaders about how students are part of the community and not just the university.
“We’re all students, part of State College, and students should take part in the community such as doing service,” Wimble said.
Lorah will talk about how to create an environment that is not welcoming or conducive to sexual harassment and abuse, Wimble said.
Wimble said the guest speakers will also attend dinner with the student leaders to have a chance to talk to them individually.
“Most of the speakers plan to sit down with the students to engage with each other and network,” Wimble said.
Encampment will continue on Sunday morning with brunch, and about seven student leaders will facilitate discussion with their peers.
Some of the issues that will be discussed include resources for organizations, funding, and building and celebrating diversity within an individual organization, Wimble said.
“I want students to not just learn but interact and collaborate with each other and improve Penn State overall,” Wimble said.