UPUA Mtg April 14, 2021

After the inaugural meeting of the 16th General Assembly Wednesday night, which stretched four and a half hours, the University Park Undergraduate Association swore in its new legislative assembly and conducted internal elections for leadership positions.

Before beginning internal election nominations, former President Zach McKay administered the oath of office for UPUA executives and representatives who were elected March 31.

The only contested internal election was for Speaker of the General Assembly. Representative Matt DeAngelis nominated the academic representative from the Smeal College of Business, Cathy Zhou. Following this, Representative Lakyn Meeder nominated the academic representative from the College of Engineering, Sydney Gibbard.

Gibbard (sophomore-biomedical engineering) ultimately emerged victorious over Zhou (junior-risk management), delivering her first report as speaker in the closing phase of the meeting.

The remaining positions, namely chair roles for the various committees of the legislative branch, went uncontested.

Lewis Richardson (junior-political science and philosophy), nominated by Patricia Birungi, became the chair of the Committee on Academic Affairs.

Cara Fliegel (sophomore-biology), nominated by Joshua Reynolds, became the chair of the Facilities Committee.

Lakyn Meeder (junior-public relations and political science), nominated by Noah Robertson, became the chair of the Committee on Government Affairs.

Aarathi Kallur (sophomore-health policy and administration), nominated by Marie Misener, succeeded current Vice President Najee Rodriguez as chair of the Committee on Justice and Equity, UPUA’s newest committee.

Samantha Browne (sophomore-accounting), nominated by Sean Terrey, became the chair of the Committee on Student Life.

Two students, Sean Terrey (junior-political science) and Noah Robertson (junior-communications arts and sciences and philosophy), took on positions in Penn State’s Student Fee Board. Also taking a role in the board, Najee Rodriguez (sophomore-international relations and history) was nominated by President Erin Boas.

Boas also nominated Sarah Jordan (junior-secondary education), who served as her campaign manager, as chief-of-staff.

The final confirmation saw Jordan Zaia (sophomore-political science and history), who served as head commissioner of UPUA elections, retain his position as the Chief Justice of UPUA’s judicial board.

This meeting will be followed by public General Assembly meetings for the remainder of the semester on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

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James Engel is a student government reporter at The Daily Collegian. He is a freshman studying digital and print journalism and classics and ancient Mediterranean studies with a minor in French.