The Graduate Student Association General Assembly began its biweekly meeting with a guest speaker presentation delivered by Director of Transportation Services Teresa Davis, and Assistant Director of Transportation Ryan Givens.
Davis, who has worked for Penn State for 17 years, discussed her role in the transportation department, as well as graduate student specific programs that her department is involved with.
“We have a parking upgrade for Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants, for which we’ve currently validated 632 parking spots, 407 of which are currently utilized by graduate students,” Davis said, celebrating the success of the program.
Davis also mentioned a new parking area that was opened near East Halls at the request of law students who were struggling to find parking spots in that area of campus.
Additionally, Davis and Ryan discussed potential transportation developments with the general assembly including new CATA electronic Smart Stops, further development of a campus transportation app, and incorporating Zimride, a ride share system, to help facilitate transportation to and across campus.
“UPUA [University Park Undergraduate Association] has offered to provide money to help us install more smart stops, but we aren’t sure whether it would be more beneficial to spend money to improve the app instead,” Davis said.
An informal poll showed overwhelming GSA support for improvement of the app over implementation of new smart stops. For the time being, the topic is still under open discussion by the transportation services staff.
GSA President Wanika Fisher’s report immediately followed Davis and Givens’ presentation.
Fisher provided updates on her involvement in a multitude of different activities since the last GSA meeting.
Prominent among these was the announcement of the new confirmed date of the upcoming Graduate Cup.
“The new confirmed date of the Graduate Cup is April 13. There are too many other athletic events happening on April 6, and logistically this just makes more sense,” Fisher said.
She also noted her excitement about the 411 official registrants for this year’s Graduate Cup.
“I’m so excited. I never thought this many people would end up involved,” Fisher said.
Fisher also discussed her involvement in the creation of a State Patty’s Day video put together by student leaders, as well as reiterated her stance on the recent discussion about University Park Student Activity Fee funding for the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments.
Fisher’s presentation was followed by reports by the rest of the GSA Executive Board, UPUA and University Park Allocation Committee liasons, and Standing Committee members.
Judiciary Chair David Simpson utilized this time to update the General Assembly on upcoming GSA elections.
“Elections will be held on April 2 and April 3. Please try to get the word out,” Simpson said.
Nominations will be accepted until the weekend before elections, and the newly elected staff will be presented at the Graduate Cup, according to Simpson.
The meeting concluded on schedule, with members of the assembly departing for a GSA General Assembly Mixer at Dante’s Inferno.