UPUA meeting

The UPUA meeting at the HUB-Robeson Center on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.

The 14th Assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association had a busy Sept. 11 meeting, as UPUA members confirmed directors and passed bills regarding International Student Acclimation Week and Penn State University Votes Drive.

Cheryl Zeljak, program coordinator of The Student-Parent Child Care Subsidy Program, was first to speak to the assembly about how the program helps to fund childcare for student parents at Penn State.

She said the average cost of childcare in Centre County is $1,400 and upon questioning, told the assembly that she is still working to manage program data including the success rate of student parents in the program and how much money is actually provided by the program.

Following an empty open student forum, President Laura McKinney thanked representatives for their efforts throughout Red Zone Action Week and at LION Bash during her opening remarks.

During Vice President Jake Griggs’s opening comments, he spoke briefly about Penn State’s involvement in the largest solar program in the state, calling it the first of its kind.

Next, Alex Wu was confirmed as the College of Arts and Architecture’s representative for UPUA. During Wu's speech, he spoke about his goal to unify students within the college, his personal strengths and weaknesses, and what projects and initiatives he hopes to work on while on UPUA.

Bhavin Shah was confirmed unanimously as director of development and alumni relations. The fifth year senior and UPUA veteran spoke about his resume, stating that he has been a first year representative, at-large representative and speaker.

He said that all of those roles have prepared him well. He went to the microphone prepared with three upcoming projects, including an alumni luncheon the weekend of the white out football game.

Rachel Chormanski was confirmed as director of outreach. The first-generation college student discussed the importance of Penn State’s resources and creating an interactive dialogue about education within the student body.

At-large representative Zachary McKay, who has known Chormanski since high school, said she’s always coming up with new and innovative ideas to connect people from all walks of life.

Nora Van Horn was confirmed unanimously as director of sustainability. The  candidate was backed by her extensive resume as a member of the student sustainability advisory committee, a member of Eco Action, an eco representative, and sustainability advocate in Hiester Hall in South Halls. She said she strives to help administration and students in sustainability efforts.


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“I’m always down to talk about sustainability over coffee, because I love caffeine,” Van Horn said.

David Weiss was confirmed as director of wellness. According to McKinney, who nominated Weiss, this new director position will be dedicated to mental health and physical wellness.

Weiss will meet with McKinney and CAPS physicians to speak more about the importance of mental health awareness amongst the student body. Weiss proposed sending bimonthly emails to students to remind them of health resources to turn to and a positive note system to encourage and uplift others.

Following the swearing in of directors and College of Engineering representative Grace Hageman, McKay amended funding regarding the 2019 Penn State University Votes Drive, followed by amendments proposed by at-large representative Tyler Akers. The bill passed unanimously.

Jacob Klipstein discussed a proposed bill to start International Student Acclimation Week, adding the acronym of ISAW coordinated well with one of the planned events during the week, “I Saw Scavenger Hunt.” The scavenger hunt will help international students learn more about downtown State College’s stores and restaurants. Later during the session, he thanked his colleagues for supporting his small idea and making it a reality.

The assembly adjourned on a solemn note, with McKay giving a closing statement and holding a moment of silence in remembrance of 9/11 victims.

Additionally, at-large representative Genevievre Miller gave statement in which she said an unnamed member of UPUA allegedly associated drinking with sexual assault at a Red Zone Action Week event and apologized for agreeing that condoms should be provided at the tabling events.

Miller said she was informed of both incidents by her friends who have been sexually assaulted.

“Consent and sexual assault are two important conversations that need to happen, but they’re two different conversation,” Miller said.


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