General Body Meeting

12/4/16

9:00PM-12:00AM, Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

  1. Roll Call
  2. Open Forum
  3. Executive Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Administrator Meetings
  1. OFSL
  2. Elaine Varas, Director of Financial Aid
  1. Provost and the President’s Task Force
  2. CCTV Advisory Committee
  3. Council of Undergraduate Deans
  4. Anahuac Student Council Visit
  5. Provost Selection Committee
  6. President and Vice President Platform Mid-Year Status Report
  1. Vice-President’s Report
  1. Past University Council
  2. Next Semester UA Steering Dates
  1. UA Report
  1. Social Events
  2. Internal Budget
  3. Member of the Week
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  1. Funding Steering Assembly 2016-2017 First Meeting
  1. Secretary’s Report
  1. Airport Shuttles
  2. Penn Labs Update
  1. Budget Committee
  1. Penn Community Night Contingency Request
  1. Student Life
  1. Project Updates
  1. Course Cost Reduction
  2. Student-Accessible Printing Station in Williams Hall
  1. Discussion Papers
  1. Student Disability Services
  1. Social Justice
  1. Project Update
  1. Winter Clothing Drive
  1. Completion Reports
  1. IFC Education
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. Project Updates
  1. Unexpected nursing student expenses
  1. Completion Reports
  1. XCAT System
  2. Faculty Diversity  
  1. Dining, Sustainability and Facilities
  1. Completion Reports
  1. Greek Eco-Reps Program Investigation
  2. Quad Storage
  3. Hamilton Walk Gate
  1. Executive
  1. Attendance Bylaw Amendment
  1. External Seats
  1. Admission Dean’s Advisory Board
  2. Campaign for Community Steering Committee
  3. Penn Transit Advisory Board
  1. Communications


Executive Reports


President’s Report

  1. Administrator Meetings
  1. OFSL
  1. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life had to cancel at the last minute, so we were not able to meet.
  1. Elaine Varas
  1. Jane Xiao, Chair of SCUE, and I met with Elaine Varas, Director of Financial Aid. We discussed trends in Penn student life, like how upperclassmen tend to move off campus and leave university dining plans, and how these trends both affect and are affected by financial aid packages. We also briefly touched on how so many Penn students from across different socioeconomic backgrounds have to take out private loans to finance their educations. It was very nice to meet with Elaine and give her a better idea of what the Penn undergraduate experience is like, since she is new to Penn this year!
  1. Provost and the President’s Task Force
  1. Provost Price reached out to me to help select students to sit on the new task force he and President Gutmann are convening related to interpersonal violence, campus culture, and unrecognized student groups. VPUL and the Provost’s Office helped me create the application that was sent out to the entire sophomore and junior classes. My intention is to choose student representatives who come from diverse communities across Penn, including off-campus Greek organizations and anti-interpersonal violence advocacy clubs. The NEC is helping with the selection process. At least one student selected to serve on the task force will be a UA member.
  1. CCTV Advisory Committee
  1. The UA President sits on the CCTV Advisory Committee, a group chaired by VP of Public Safety Maureen Rush. The committee is responsible for approving the locations of safety and security cameras around campus, which DPS uses to guide their response to crimes. These cameras were first installed in the late 1990s and are now located in hundreds of spots around DPS's patrol zone. The CCTV Advisory Committee is very important because it allows for oversight of recording devices across campus.
  1. Council of Undergraduate Deans
  1.  The Council of Undergraduate Deans met this week. The meeting focused mainly on a presentation given by Professor Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, and Amy Gadsden and Nigel Cossar, directors of Penn Global and Penn Abroad, respectively. They presented data on how Penn is trying to make the undergraduate experience global, whether through semester study abroad, internships, or global seminar classes. They are trying to rebrand Penn Abroad as the one-stop resource for international opportunities spread across schools and organizations on campus. To facilitate this, they are working to create a new website. We als discussed how the change in the OCR schedule will affect students’ decisions to go abroad.
  1. Anahuac Student Council Visit
  1. Next Sunday, 12/11, a group of 20 student government representatives from Anahuac University in Mexico City are coming to Penn as part of a group trip to Philadelphia. We are going to meet with them to talk about what student government is like here at 4:00pm in Huntsman Hall (room TBD). After that a Kite and Key tour guide is going to give them a tour of campus. Everyone from the UA is welcome to both parts of the visit!
  1. Provost Selection Committee
  1. Congratulations to Provost Price for accepting the position of President of Duke University. President Gutmann is convening a selection advisory committee to find Penn’s next Provost and asked me to serve as one of the 2 undergraduate representatives. Jane Xiao, Chair of SCUE, is the other undergraduate rep. The committee will have a new Provost selected at some point next semester. Very much looking forward to being a part of this important choice for our university!
  1. President and Vice President Platform Mid-Year Status Report
  1. See the insert at the end of this agenda.

Vice-President’s Report

  1. Past University Council
  1. University Council took place this past Wednesday at Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall. There were presentations on increasing opportunities for student and faculty innovation/entrepreneurship from Pennovation Center, PCI, Wharton, Penn Design, Weiss Tech House, and the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. There were two open forum topics about prioritizing elections on campus and expanding resources for students recovering from addiction. Meeting minutes will be made public on the website after approval at UC Steering.
  1. Next Semester UA Steering Dates
  1. Currently, I am working on securing dates for next semester’s UA Steering dates. They will be available once UA and Class Board election dates for the next session are secured.

UA Report

  1. Social Events. I met with Kaylee to talk about Social Events for the rest of the semester. We will be having an event this upcoming Friday and then a Study Break on December 13th, which is the first reading day. Kaylee is going to come up with a plan for next semester to make sure we have weekly events.
  2. Internal Budget.This week, I worked on our current internal budget. Eric and I are currently preparing our budget request for next year: if you have any input, please let me know.
  3. Member of the Week. This week’s member of the week is...

Treasurer’s Report

  1. Funding Steering Assembly 2016-2017 First Meeting
  1. This past Saturday (12/3/16), the FSA of 2016-2017 had their first meeting where we discussed the following topics:
  1. How to improve the Common Funding Application
  2. Funding Calendar
  3. Change for Community resource

Secretary’s Report

  1. Airport Shuttles
  1. During Thanksgiving Break Airport Shuttles we sold a total of 597 tickets for a profit of $1098.48. Thank you to the everyone who made this happen! Special thanks to Simon, Elena, and Jordan! If you have feedback on the effectiveness of flyers or any other aspect of the service, please let me know.
  1. Penn Labs Update
  1. These are the projects that have been taken on over this semester.
  1. PennMobile, PennCourseReview, Office Hours Queue, Pennvovlement
  1. PennMobile - We have  been fixing the usual bug fixes. We are adding a new home page with weather, your class schedule, open study rooms in VP, dining info, and an interactive calendar to see school events and deadlines listed on the 3-year calendar. Also working on showing for each laundry room, graphs of the usage so you can better plan when to do your laundry.
  2. PennCourseReview - We have updated the data, fixed a couple bugs, and we are putting finishing touches on a course cart feature to allow you to better plan your classes. They are also working on including qualitative reviews to put on PennCourseReview through Amazon Mechanical Turk. The way this works is that the comments are uploaded with the the names of students/professors/Penn filtered out, then filter non-vulgar, non-rude, and finally add the Professor and Penn’s name back. Then the raw comments are published to PCR.  
  3. Pennvovlement - Working closely with Kaylee and Aren to finish the platform for launch. They have debugged all the issues that they could find. If there are other issues, they will come from organizations when they put up information. Adam said it is pretty much done from Penn Labs side and they are close to launch.
  4. Office Hours Queue - General platform for professors to control office hours. We are in the process of partnering with different departments at the school to make sure it is widely adopted. Still in development.

Budget Committee


Penn Community Night Contingency Request
Submitted by: the Undergraduate Assembly

Total requested: $573.00

Budget committee recommendation: $0

Background: The UA and the 4 Class Boards hosted Penn Community Night on November 16th. Around 600 students came out for dinner, games, and good company during what was an extremely difficult time for many across campus. We’re very proud that the UA was able to provide this space for our community to come together.

Food for the event cost $2265 and space-related expenses cost $598. The UA is splitting these costs with the 4 Class Boards, so we are responsible for $573.00 in total. We are requesting to use contingency funds to cover these costs.


UA contingency guidelines state that our funding cannot be used to cover events retroactively or food-related line items, but we are asking that the UA make an exception in this case. There was no way for the treasurer to budget for this event during last February’s annual budget process, so we don’t have a line-item to draw funds from. We think that although Penn Community Night was unexpected, it was worthwhile, and so are asking the UA to give us $573.00 from contingency to cover the UA’s portion of the event costs.


Student Life


Project Updates

Course Cost Reduction

Authored by: Kat McKay

SCUE, PennFirst and I worked to put together a 5-page executive summary of course costs recommendations for the 4 undergraduate deans. Our recommendations were in part based on the results of a survey that we distributed to all students in October. For the next phase of this project we are convening advisory groups for each of the deans. These groups will consist of UA members, PennFirst members, SCUE members, and other students from each school who can provide more details about the costs associated with their school's coursework. CUD is meeting on December 14th to get status updates from each dean on how their school is implementing the recommendations.

Student-Accessible Printing Station in Williams Hall

Authored by: Maria Curry

This Friday, I engaged in a series of email exchanges with Williams Building Manager Maria Romeo and SAS Director for Instructional Technology John MacDermott about the possibility and feasibility of installing a student accessible printing station in Williams Hall.

The conversation was encouraging and productive. Both administrators appreciated my inquiry, and Director MacDermott committed to set up and run a pilot printing station in Williams' Silfen Study Center for the Spring 2017 semester. With that said, he did explain that the idea of such a printing station had been discussed among the IT Department in the past, and that some of the following obstacles do exist, and will be researched for the pilot:

• A sufficient demand from students should be present.

• There is no computer lab in Silfen, so all printing would be wireless (already possible, however  requires "some setup," and could "discourage use" from students).

• It is possible to print from other kiosks outside of Silfen, but they are managed by another Penn group and will require further coordination.

• A practical location.

Discussion Papers

Office of Student Disability Services

Authored by: Gabrielle Jackson

Background:

The Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) is a department at Penn that offers resources to students with disabilities. Most people’s connection with SDS is through the Weingarden Center. However, SDS also offers services to students with physical disabilities and temporary injuries.

I am interested in establishing a connection between the UA and SDS, because one does not currently exist, which means an important population of Penn’s physically and learning disabled community is not represented. Thus, earlier this week, I emailed an assistant director of SDS Grace Conte, asking her on what she thought of establishing such a connection. She seemed excited about the project and then passed me on to the SDS Director, Dr. Susan Shapiro. After meeting with Dr. Shapiro, we discussed getting SDS resources more public attention, and we agreed to meet again after the break to discuss more concrete objectives.

The aspect of SDS that I have been focusing on has been on accommodation for students with temporary injuries. My reasoning is twofold: The Americans with Disabilities Act does not recognize temporary injuries, like broken bones, therefore Penn is not legally obligated to provide services to people with these injuries, and these injuries are handled on a case-by-case basis. Also, since temporary injuries are usually unplanned, I feel like people who get them are rarely aware of how to determine what services Penn does have to offer in this department and become overwhelmed by the burden of having an injury.

My plan was to first, get a better idea of what SDS has to offer, because their website is pretty uninformative and to go from there, finding a way to consolidate the information I acquired and finding a way to make it more accessible to students.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think focusing on temporary injuries, for now, is the correct route to go, or should the focus be more on Weingarten services?
  2. Have you, or any of your friends had a temporary injury, and if so what problems have you/they encountered that should get addressed?
  3. By what means should we increase SDS visibility?
  1. Infographic
  2. Media Campaign


Social Justice


Project Updates

Undergraduate Assembly Winter Clothing Drive

Authored by: Jordan Andrews

In the spirit of giving, SJ is coordinating a UA clothing drive that will focus on winter coats, jeans, socks, personal care items, and backpacks. All of the proceeds will be donated to Broad Street Ministry, a local nonprofit and one of Penn’s community partners through Civic House. The drive will run from December 5-December 12 and the donation areas will be College Houses and other central spots on campus.

Completion Reports

IFC Education

Authored by: Justin Hopkins

After meeting several times with the new IFC President Bradley Freeman, IFC agreed to further change its sexual education policy to make MARS education mandatory for each fraternity new member. Instead of occurring in large lecture rooms in Huntsman, these presentations will now take place in fraternity houses. This policy supplements another new sexual education measure established this year, in which the Daily Pennsylvanian will publish the exact percentages of each fraternity’s new pledge class that attends MARS education programming. After several months of discussions with two IFC Boards, I am very pleased to see these policy changes.


Academic Initiatives


Project Updates

Unexpected Nursing Student Expenses

Authored by: Ian Jeong

I met with the School of Nursing’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Julie Sochalski, on November 19th to discuss unexpected nursing student expenses as part of SCUE and the UA’s work reducing course costs. Mainly, three expenses were discussed: late/absence clinical/lab fees, transportation cost, and scrubs and lab coats. Before the meeting, I surveyed nursing students for their thoughts on these expenses.

1. Lab/absence clinical/lab fees:

74.4% of students believe that students who miss or are late to their clinical/lab should not pay a fine. 78.2% of students do not know how the school uses these fines and would like to know exactly how the fines are used. 48.3% of students report having difficulty paying the fine on time. More than 55% of students report sometimes, rarely or never having more than $300 (the usual cost for missing clinical/lab) in their bank accounts or in cash. Julie said she will talk to the department chairs and investigate how the money is used and how the policy can be changed.

2. Transportation:

100% of students believe the school should cover transportation fees if the site is not in walking distance. Julie will investigate will transportation cost can be charged to student bills or be incorporated into clinical charge.

3. Scrubs and lab coats:

A lab coat is not necessary for students’ education but is presented as such to freshmen. Students asked for improved communication on what equipment is actually necessary and for alternative payment methods, such as using bursar accounts to pay for scrubs, stethoscopes, and lab coats.

Completion Reports

XCAT Guide

Authored by: Taylor Becker  

I have created a document (below) that explains the process and expectations for incoming students who need to use XCAT. Thank you to Communications Director Michael Krone for making it look fantastic. It will be sent out by the College Advising office in an official email to all incoming transfer students and will also be sent and distributed by the Transfer Student Organization (TSO). Some next steps will be to disburse it to other advising offices in the other schools so their transfer students get it as well. I will also work to disburse it to study abroad offices, and if anyone has any contacts or ideas for this, I would appreciate hearing those.

Faculty Diversity Reporting Check-In

Authored by: Calvary Rogers

As always, the university could be doing more to maximize faculty diversity across all departments and schools to maximize representation. Anita Allen and the Faculty Senate have decided to release the data regarding diversity yearly on their website and have separated different minority groups from each other in the report. Historically, administrative reports regarding faculty diversity had inconsistent wording, delayed release dates, and problematic phrasing and methodologies. The new Faculty Diversity and Inclusion report will include hiring details, diversity headcounts, and will narrow data down on a proper basis. The report will come every four years (next in February 2017), because every November the university takes a snapshot of university data and faculty typically respond best every four years. The snapshot of university data will be released yearly. In terms of hiring trends, the Faculty Opportunity Fund seems to be working well for the SAS and Medical school, however Wharton, the law school, etc. have seemed to not use the fund as often as they should. Lastly, in terms of Faculty Diversity awards, Anita Allen proved to be a great source of help and mentioned attaching a reward / fund with the rewards.


Dining, Sustainability, and Facilities


Completion Reports

Greek Eco-Reps Program Investigation

Authored by: Dante Miele-Elion

After hearing about interest from some students in bringing back the Greek Eco-Reps program, I reached out to student leaders in both the Greek and Sustainability communities. While there was a moderate degree of interest, the endeavor is not possible due to the restructuring of the Eco-Reps program. The program now consists of a group of paid interns rather than representatives from different chapters. If people are interested in pursuing a Greek associated sustainability program they would have to form a different group and apply to SSAP for funding.

Quad Storage

Authored by: Michelle Lu

Following move-in this year, I reached out to my GA to ask to move my dresser since there is not enough space in my room for it. My GA told me that residents of the Quad are not allowed to move or store unwanted furniture during the year.

After my exchange with my GA, I contacted the house dean and asked if there are storage facilities for students in the Quad. I was told there is not enough room on-campus for storage and I would have to look for storage off campus. Since Penn Student Agencies endorses School Storage, a company located in suburban Pennsylvania, I looked into their services. However, School Storage requires out-of-pocket payments that may present a challenge for students with financial need. In the future, the RSAB will continue discussing this issue.

Hamilton Walk Gate

Authored by: Michelle Lu

Last week I met with Mr. Damesa Bennet from Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) to investigate opening a gate on the South side of the Quad facing Hamilton Walk to help students who have class behind the Quad. After our discussion, we concluded a new gate would be exceedingly expensive since a new gate would require a security officer to make sure the gate is used properly and is not left open. Furthermore, the gate would require the installation of an electronic portal which is currently not in place. Therefore, this project will not be moving forward.


Executive


New Business

Attendance Bylaw Amendment

Authored by: Jay Shah, Naomi Kadish, and Eric Tepper

Background

It was brought to our attention that a situation where a member has to miss more than the allotted absences for legitimate reasons (including but not limited to religious holiday observance) was not adequately addressed in the bylaws. In order to clarify such a situation, the Executive Board has agreed to put forth the following amendment to remove any ambiguity in the future. The bylaw amendment we are suggesting is listed below among the original text as subsection “d.”

The new bylaw will be placed in the existing bylaws as follows.

  1. Process of Removal
  1. When a member is absent for either
  1. 25% of the total number of committee meetings that semester (including airport shuttle shifts as above), or
  2. 35% of the total number of General Body meetings that semester,
  1. The member will be removed from the UA for all purposes at the next UA General Body meeting occurring no sooner than one week after notification.
  2. The UA Secretary must notify the member within 24 hours after the member is 1 or 1.5 absences (from either committee or general body meetings) away from reaching the absence limit, as well as when the member has reached the absence limit.
  3. Any UA member who expects to miss more than the allotted GBM or committee meetings in a semester, and who has valid excuses for those expected absences (including but not limited to religious holiday observance) must meet with the Executive Board within the first two GBMs of his or her election to discuss these expected absences. Each case will be treated on an individual basis.
  4. In case of systemic religious or medical absences, a member may request a variable length exemption from the attendance policy for no longer than one semester. The Executive Board may approve or deny such requests.
  5. Any time the Executive Board approve such a request, it is required to notify the UA General Body immediately. In the cases of medical absences, the Executive Board will not be required to divulge specific conditions affecting the member receiving the exemption. The General Body shall have the option to veto this approval with a simple majority vote at the next General Body meeting. If no vote is called for by any member of the General Body, the approval is automatically upheld.

Enactment

The Undergraduate Assembly hereby resolves to add the following to the UA Bylaws in Section I: Members (Process of Removal), Article 5, listed as subsection d:

Any UA member who expects to miss more than the allotted GBM or committee meetings in a semester, and who has valid excuses for those expected absences (including but not limited to religious holiday observance) must meet with the Executive Board within the first two GBMs of his or her election to discuss these expected absences. Each case will be treated on an individual basis.


External Seats


Admission Dean's Advisory Board

Authored by: Kat McKay

ADAB had its first meeting of the semester this week. ADAB's membership consists of representatives from the UA, the 5B, PRISM, Kite and Key, the undergraduate dean's advisory boards, and the general student body. We discussed our impressions of Penn as students, Penn's application and recruitment process, and admissions outreach to isolated and underserved communities. The board is going to meet more often next semester to come up with more concrete suggestions for the Office of Admissions.

Campaign for Community Steering Committee

Authored by: Brian Goldstein, Natasha Menon, Hong Nguyen

This past Tuesday, the C4C had its second meeting of the year. At this meeting we reviewed applications for funding from the C4C. We also discussed our funding policies for events in the future. Throughout next semester we will be unrolling a marketing campaign to increase awareness about C4C and its funding capabilities. The next meeting will be held in late December.

Penn Transit Advisory Board (PTAB) Semesterly Meeting

Authored By: Elena Hoffman

At the PTAB meeting we talked about UA Airport Shuttles, Penn Transit Ambassadors, the SEPTA Travel Center @ Penn opening, and advertising transport services. One way to improve the Shuttles for Spring Break would be to charge slightly less for the Shuttles at less popular times. Furthermore, the potential of adding return trip shuttles from PHL to Penn was discussed.

Separately, the administrators serving on the board want a few UA members to serve as Penn Transit ambassadors. The role of these ambassadors would be to find creative ways to pass information about Penn Transit on to the student body. Administrators would also appreciate if UA members show up to the ribbon-cutting event for the new SEPTA Travel Center @ Penn opening this Wednesday. The event will occur at the back of the bookstore at 4:30pm with refreshments and requires RSVPs.


Minutes


  1. Roll Call
  1. John
  2. David-NEC
  1. Open Forum
  1. SSAP- They are looking to get space for sustainabiliity on campus
  1. Cal- Can we get name tags for people who work in Commons?
  2. Elena- Sal Caputo wants the UA to give him more feedback with regards to teh policy
  1. Krone- the people are friendly
  2. Justin- agree
  3. Sam S- Naomi, they want a physical space
  4. Natasha - all good
  5. Elena- Sal Caputo put the 3 friendliest security guards in charge
  1. Executive Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Administrator Meetings
  1. OFSL
  1. OFSL cancelled so we did not meet with them on Friday
  1. Elaine Varas, Director of Financial Aid
  1. Jane Xiao, the chair of SCUE and I met with Elaine Varas who is the new Director for Financial Aid. We talked about trends in student life and give her a better idea of Penn. She did not know that a majority of upperclassmen move off campus and people move off dining plans. She is looking to get more information on this and of Penn overall.
  1. Provost and the President’s Task Force
  1. Provost Price and President Gutmann are coming together to create a task force and get undergraduates on it. They asked me to pick undergraduates. The task force will address issues related to interpersonal violence, campus, culture, and unrecognized student groups. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration because of what could happen. 42 people have applied we are taking 4. One of the person will be from the UA.
  1. Justin- what type of people are you looking for?
  1. We definitely want people of recognized and unrecognized greek groups
  1. CCTV Advisory Committee
  1. The committee is responsible for approving location of cameras and other safety equipment on campus.
  1. Council of Undergraduate Deans
  1. The meeting focused on how Penn is trying to make the overall Penn experience more global through internships, seminars, and study abroads. They are trying to make Penn Abroad a resource for everything global and are thinking of doing this through a new website.
  1. Anahuac Student Council Visit
  1. There is a school coming from Mexico City and they are looking to do a exchange with the student government heret. We will present to them and give them idea of student government here and if you are free please come next Sunday 12/11. There will be a tour from Kite and Key as well.
  1. Provost Selection Committee
  1. I am one of the 2 undergraduates that will sit on this committee that will get to choose the next Provost.
  1. Tunmise- Are they interviewing any penn people
  1. We don't know yet
  1. PSG steering
  1. PSG week- Kasey is in charge of interbranch and PSG week will be the end of January. We can discuss what people can do.
  1. President and Vice President Platform Mid-Year Status Report
  1. See the end of the agenda for report. If anyone has questions please ask
  1. Eric- For item 2, is it UA or just Kat?
  1. Just Kat
  1. Elena- what would a Veteran center would entail?
  1. I think they have a distinct need. Someone in career services who is trained to help these individuals find jobs. Often times they have distinct mental health needs so there should be someone at CAPS. Space would also help.  
  1. Kat- for next semester we will focus a lot more on mental health leave. Also, we will bring it up at the trustee meeting in the spring that there are other ways to deal with the costs.  
  2. Tunmise- Can you make this a question for the next provost?
  3. Lawrence- How are you going about this? The half credit courses
  1. The first goal is expanding. Maybe reducing the time for the courses
  1. Lawrence- I would suggest that look at the Wharton model because they have those
  1. Sam S- For the wharton model, these courses can actually be intense and feel like a full credit.
  2. Riad- We are trying to make courses exploratory while the Wharton model focuses more on depth.
  3. Calvary- For freshman, they have 4.5 CU and a lot of time students end up taking 5 credits.
  4. Tunmise- Is there access to half credit directory?
  1. Nothing right now
  1. Vice-President’s Report
  1. Past University Council
  1. Sola-It was this past Wednesday was an open forum meeting. Open forum- prioritizing elections on campus maybe like making it a holiday. More resources for student recovering from addiction. Also talked about increasing opportunities for student and faculty innovation
  2. Calvary- Do they have a mold of how they are going to do that?
  1. A student presented it and he might have had a plan but he just presented
  1. Naomi- How were they looking into increasing entrepreneurship?
  1. They mostly looked at current things that exist. Pennovation prize. They talked about connecting more resources with the students.
  1. Naomi- What admins were interested in expanding resources?
  1. All the ones that are listed there
  1. Next Semester UA Steering Dates
  1. I am going to wait until the election date is finalized
  1. UA Report
  1. Social Events
  1. I met with Kaylee. We are going to have an event this friday and a study break. I will send out an email. Kaylee will figure out plan for next week
  1. Internal Budget
  1. Eric and I will prepare the budget for next year.
  1. Member of the Week
  1. Jordan!!
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  1. Funding Steering Assembly 2016-2017 First Meeting
  1. I attended the FSA meeting this past week. We talked about improving the Common Funding App, the funding calendar, and change for community resource.
  2. Lawrence - Financial advisors are aware of the CFA app. Is there a disconnect between how OSA understands it and how the students perceive it?
  1. Michelle- I don’t think there is.
  1. Airport Shuttles
  1. Jay-Great job to the airport shuttles committee! Special thanks to Jordan, Elena, and Simon!
  2. Jordan, Elena, Simon- We sold 597 tickets for a profit of $1098. Thank you to everyone for coming out and helping make this happen. Thank you for changing your cover pictures too!
  1. Penn Labs Update
  1. See report
  1. Budget Committee
  1. Penn Community Night Contingency Request
  1. Kat-Penn Community Night was a response to what had happened over groupme. We don't have internal funds, so that is why we are requesting it from contingency. All the class boards and us have to pay an equal share. They are paying from it with their own funds
  2. Budget Committee- We can't fund retroactively and we do not fund food. We do not feel comfortable using the funds for ourselves because if this were another club, we would have rejected them. This was an important event but there are lots of other important events that we reject.
  1. Kat- There is no way for UA to have used the contingency budget. This was such an important time that this was something that had to be done. They are guidelines not rules, so they are meant to guide us.
  1. Brian- Do you foresee more contingency requests coming?
  1. Michelle- We get requests every week but we reject a lot of them because they break the rules. We have about $9800 remaining. We believe that the spring semester is cultural heavy and that we will have more requests coming.
  2. Kat- The cost of the space was about $500. If you don't want to pay for food, then you don't have to think of it like that. The money can go toward space.  
  1. Tunmise- That sounds right. Where is the rest of the money coming from?
  1. It is split among class board
  1. Tunmise- airport shuttle profits? Where is that going?
  1. That will go into internal budget
  1. Ian- Can we apply to campaign to community
  1. Kat- No we couldnt
  1.  Brian- they could look into that because they have a lot of money
  2. Max- This is like asking any other funding board to pay for it.
  1. Sam S- Would we be able to defend the class board because they might want to come to contingency?
  1. Yes
  1. Lawrence- If the UA doesnt get the money, where does this money come from?
  1. Kat- We would take a hit in the internal budget. If we knew this was going to happen this would not have happened because we would have allocated budget for it. But there is no way we could have expected something like this to happen.
  1. Natasha- we should pay for it because class board paid for it too
  2. Kat- Class Boards have the ability to absorb funds, we don't
  3.  Naomi- this event was for the student body not us
  4. Aren- I do think it should be funded.
  5. Taylor- I don't agree with funding this retroactively
  1. Kat- We can say that the money went toward the space
  2. Tunmise- This will not be used for food. It could not have been voted previously. This is not like the UA used money to party or anything.
  1. Budget Amendment introduced by Justin Hopkins:
  1. PCNCR Amendment
  1. Due to the exceptional nature of this event, the UA should suspend its budgeting guidelines and fund its fair share of Penn Community Night at $573.00

  1. The amendment passes
  2. The request passes and the UA is funded $573 for Penn Community Night from Contingency

  1. Student Life
  1. Project Updates
  1. Course Cost Reduction
  1. Kat- I worked with PennFirst and SCUE to put together a summary of course cost recommendations for the 4 deans. We are know looking to advisory groups for the undergraduate deans. December 14th i will get an update as to the progress of the recommendations at the CUD meeting.
  1. Student-Accessible Printing Station in Williams Hall
  1. Maria- This friday I emailed the building manage of Williams and asking about the possibility of installing a student accessibly printer in Williams. Now they are working on working on a pilot printing station for the spring.
  1. Lawrence-Can you elaborate on the middle two points
  1. DRL has it, McNeil has it, the others have a computer lab
  1. Eric- Did it have a computer?
  1. I did not notice it but there could be a printer there
  1. Discussion Papers
  1. Student Disability Services
  1. Gabrielle-There is no relationship between UA and SDS currently and so I want to get that started. The director was enthusiastic and some of the things that could be worked on are like infographic for resources and spreading the message. Maybe we can focus on temporary injuries. Please look at the questions on there.
  1. Naomi- In regard to this, I had a friend with temporary injury. Figuring out a solution to people who are in a regular wheelchair could be something that could be looked at. We could also work on getting more representation like having maybe SDS connection with steering.
  2. Ian- I think SDS could work with SHS. The doctor from SHS put me on a priority list with Penn Transit. A solution like that would be great.
  3. Jordan- I have a friend with a temporary injury. If you have to miss a lot of classes, I don't know if there is a way to work with professors in place.
  4. Krone- I can do infographic
  5. Kat- I wonder if this is part of a larger issue. I think students could turn to their academic advisors and that that is an underused resource.
  1. Samara-I found my academic advisor not useful for anything else and not even for classes
  2. Michelle Lu- I work in the college office. There are Case advisors in the office who deal with cases of injury.
  1. Social Justice
  1. Project Update
  1. Winter Clothing Drive
  1. Jordan- This drive starts tomorrow. I was inspired because this is the time of giving. The organization I worked with, Broad Street Ministries, tailored it more with clothing. I have a facebook banner if you want to update cover pictures. There will be locations around campus.
  1. Brian- If you need any help please let me know
  1. Yes we could definitely use help. I made a spreadsheet. I will share it. We will need people to pick up the clothes at the end of the day  
  1. Ian- Broadstreet ministry is queer friendly and they have good programming for the community so yeah this is great!
  2. Elena- I live in Stouffer Mayer so I can pick them up everyday
  3. Krone- send me the cover picture
  4. Lawrence- No one from the high rises reached out?
  1. No they are doing their own drive. One did not want to do it for logistical reasons
  1. Kat- Is it used and new clothing?
  1. For personal items, new. For other items, they could be gently used.
  1. Completion Reports
  1. IFC Education
  1. Justin Hopkins-I met with IFC to talk about member education. Now the percentage will be 100% mandatory attendance. The education will take place in each fraternity
  1. lawrence - When was this going to start
  1. Spring
  1. Sam S- What happens if they don't get 100
  1. They will probably be fined but nothing major like kicking them off campus
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. Project Updates
  1. Unexpected nursing student expenses
  1. Ian-I met with Julie Sochalski who is Nursing’s Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to discuss unexpected course costs. We talked about the 3 main expenses. One was the lab fees/absence fee. Through the survey students believed that they shoudl not be paying the fine. The next expense was transportation and students believed that that should be covered too. The final cost was scrubs and lab coats which are presented as students’ education but are not really necessary. Julie said that she will work with freshman year students.
  1. Kat- Ian was a part the Nursing course cost advisory board. We are making one for each school.
  2. Lawrence- how are the fines structured?
  1. Students can’t complete the course until they pay the fine in cash or check. Most students do not have this kind of money on them  
  1. Completion Reports
  1. XCAT System
  1. Naomi-Taylor is sending this XCAT that will be sent out to transfer students through the College Advising Office. (A picture of the guide can be found in the report)
  1. Faculty Diversity
  1. Naomi-Calvary has been working on this project. The next step of this project is how political diversity plays a role in faculty diversity. He is working with Anita Allen. If anyone wants to work on this, please let us know
  1. Dining, Sustainability and Facilities
  1. Completion Reports
  1. Greek Eco-Reps Program Investigation
  1. Dante-The program does not exist anymore and there was interest in bringing it back. Eco-rep said it is not possible to bring it back.
  1. Samara- I was trying to figure out how to get bins in greek houses and was told to go through eco-rep
  1. Dante-The reason why it can't happen anymore is that they have turned the position to paid interns
  1. Kat- I was in a greek organization when this existed. They came to the chapter and would give out laptop stickers. I think there should be recycling in the houses.
  2. Samara- there is no giant recycling place by the off campus houses either
  1. Quad Storage
  1. Michelle Lu- We were trying to get storage in the Quad because sometimes there is not enough room in dorms to fit all of the furnitures. This will become an RSAB project. There is School Storage but that is an outside company that students have to pay for and maybe be a barrier for students on financial aid.
  1. Elena- We do not own the storage
  2. Jordan- If you request early in the year, there was a way to do it. Speakman basement could be used for space
  3. Krone- What kind of furniture? Why doesn't it fit?
  1. The configurations are different
  1. Hamilton Walk Gate
  1. Michelle Lu- I met with Mr. Damesa Benner from FRES to see if it was possible to open a gate on the south side of the Quad. He said it was not possible because it would be very expensive since it would require security officers.
  1. Executive
  1. Attendance Bylaw Amendment
  1. Eric- It's important for the future to stay in the future because there could be important things in the future.
  2. Naomi- This is why everyone should be reading the agenda to see if there is anything important on the agenda because something like this is very important.
  3. Motion to table
  1. Passed
  2. Amendment is Tabled for next GBM
  1. External Seats
  1. Admission Dean’s Advisory Board
  1. Krone- Why does this exist?
  1. Eric- They use it for suggestions for outreach
  2. Justin- ADAB- last year they talked about what they could be best used for
  1. Campaign for Community Steering Committee
  1. Brian, Natasha, Hong- Last  week, we met with them. They have a lot of money and don't know what to do with it. We want to do a marketing campaign. They also believe in funding food because they see that as something that brings people together.
  1. Samara- What are the guidelines?
  1. It is meant to bring people together so it is broad in that sense. There could be a lot of things that could bring people together.
  1. Krone- Is this under the common funding app
  1. No its not on there
  1. Sam S- Who affirms the emergency funding?
  1. Val Cade, Dr. Winkelstein, and someone else
  1. Penn Transit Advisory Board
  1. Elena- We talked about airport shuttles. One of the things that we talked about was charging less for less popular times. Maybe also have return shuttles from the airport. They also want penn transit advisors to increase the communication. They want us to advertise the bus services they have
  1. Kanishka- thank you Elena for filling in. The travel center is a big deal. I will be speaking at the ceremony. Important for students to know the resources they have
  2. Lawrence- Charge for the travel center?
  1. Communications


President and Vice President Platform Mid-Year Status Report

December 4, 2016

Undergraduate Assembly Agenda Insert

Reduce tuition increases

Eric and Kat have worked with administrators from the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the EVP’s Office, and many others to convey how important it is that Penn limit the expenses students and their families are expected to bear. They are working on a presentation for the Trustee Committee on Budget and Finance’s upcoming meeting in February. They have also been in touch with Secretary Kruhly about meeting with the Trustee Chair of that committee over winter break.

Reduce course costs & increase cost transparency

Kat, SCUE, and PennFirst have worked together to circulate a survey to students about course costs. We first raised the issue at the Council of Undergraduate Deans’ October meeting. Since then we created a 5-page executive summary of the survey results and recommendations to limit costs. CUD is meeting on December 14th to review each school’s status implementing those recommendations. The executive summary will be included in the UA’s next annual report.

Create a standard six-month mental health leave policy

Cabinet has raised the issue of inconsistent and unclear leave of absence policies to President Gutmann, Provost Price, Craig Carnaroli, VPUL Val Cade, and other administrators. Since the undergraduate schools each set their own policies, SCUE and the UA are going to bring the topic to CUD next semester, most likely in March. Active Minds Penn has reached out to the UA asking if we will help them distribute a survey on leaves of absence early next semester. One possible outcome is changing how Penn denotes a leave of absence on a student’s official university transcript.

Expand students' access to Penn resources during leaves of absence

This project is closely related to standardizing six-month mental health leaves. The UA will work closely with Active Minds and SCUE to improve this aspect of the leave experience during our work on the topic next semester.

Publicize Penn's wellness resources

The UA has been working to help spread mental health awareness around campus in a few ways. We produced a new peer community wellness guide with PUHC and Penn Wellness, which the Communications Team is distributing to different resource centers around campus. We intend to give two copies of the guide to every RA/GA in the College Houses to tape to their doors. Jason and Simon have been working on a project to promote Penn Benjamins, a peer-led mental health services club on campus. They are trying to help Penn Bens acquire permanent space in the college houses, especially the Quad and New College House. Bringing this organization closer to students, especially freshmen, will help reduce the stigma of getting help for mental health-related problems and will expand the accessibility to non-CAPS wellness resources.

Targeted community resource outreach

The SL committee is working to create an outreach program for freshmen high school students in the Penn area. Many of these students don’t have a deep knowledge about the college admissions process, so by the time . Roberto is designing a program where Penn students meet with local freshmen to help them learn more about the benefits of going to college and how to best position oneself to get admitted. He has met with administrators from the Netter Center to talk about scaling the project through their community outreach student groups. Roberto is giving a formal presentation to the Netter Center this week to see about integrating the program with their existing GEAR UP program. Depending on the outcome of this proposal, classroom presentations will begin next semester.

Emphasize every student's freedom of speech, opinion, and viewpoint

The UA exists to support the experiences of all Penn students. Kat wrote a guest column in the Daily Pennsylvanian before freshmen elections to draw students from many different backgrounds to run. She wrote that “it doesn’t matter where you come from, what your background is or whether or not you were involved with student government in high school. Every type of person has been and can be successful in Penn Student Government.” In general the UA’s leadership tries to be supportive of our diverse student community.

Connect survivors of interpersonal violence with UA Legal Services and other resources

This is a project Sola is looking to work on through next semester. She is planning outreach to the Penn Violence Prevention Office, DPS, the Women’s Center, and administrators in other spaces students may turn to when they experience interpersonal violence.

Add performing arts spaces on and around campus

Jay has met with the Performing Arts Council executive board to discuss their concerns regarding performing arts spaces. Cabinet has mentioned presented the need for new performance spaces to FRES (Facilities and Real Estate Services), Provost Price’s office, President Gutmann, and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli. In the short term, existing spaces are being evaluated by EVP’s office to determine if they can be modified to fit performing groups’ needs. Laurie McCall, director of the Platt Performing Arts House, and PAC Exec have put together a comprehensive document that outlines performing arts space supply and demand (in terms of hours of space requested and awarded). This document also includes the cost of using each space so administrators can better understand the financial aspect of this problem. Jay is going to connect PAC Exec with Vice Provost for Faculty Anita Allen, who is working on an assessment of performing arts at Penn on behalf of the Provost.

Create a Veterans resource center

No work has been done on this project yet this year.

Create an international student center

With the creation of Perry World House, the UA has explored the possibility of creating an international student center in that space. Although ISSS exists, the center serves as an administrative building dealing with immigration and visa issues. The UA is looking to work with the Assembly of International Students to create a physical space to bring international students together in the Perry World House. Sola has been in contact with Katelyn Leader, the PWH Program Associate, to determine the feasibility of this project.

Expand half-credit courses

The UA is working with SCUE to circulate a survey to students about half-credit courses. We intend to present curricular options to the deans of all 4 undergraduate schools at the February CUD meeting. The Academics Initiatives committee has also been pursuing this concept through extracurricular platforms. Wharton piloted three non-seminar credit courses this semester: Design and Photoshop, Financial Modeling and Excel, and “Learn to Code.” AI has been in touch with the College Dean’s Advisory Board and the Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board about creating similar ‘courses’ in their schools. Nile is going to present a more detailed pitch to the College Dean’s Advisory Board in January.

Offer introductory computer science courses that appeal to students from diverse backgrounds

The AI committee has done some work related to creating a “CIS 001” course. If the course is housed in SEAS, it cannot fulfill sector or other requirement for students in the other schools. Since we feel it is important that this course draw students from across the 4 schools, we are going to work with the Provost’s Office and the deans to see if it can be created as an interdisciplinary program. It is also possible to teach computer science or coding skills through non-credit-bearing courses like those offered by WDAB.