General Body Meeting

02/24/19

9:00 PM 6th Floor Conference Room, Van Pelt Library

  1. Roll Call
  2. Open Forum
  3. Budget
  4. Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  2. UA Seat Apportionment Changes
  1. Vice President’s Report
  1. Past Steering Meeting
  2. University Council Update
  1. UA Report
  1. Remaining GBM and Committee Meetings
  2. Membership Update
  3. UA Tabling
  4. Member of the week
  1. Secretary’s Report
  1. Airport Shuttles
  1. Executive
  1. University Council Appointment Process Confirmation
  1. External Seats
  1. Dining Advisory Board
  2. Business Services Focus Groups
  1. Communications

Budget



Reports


President’s Report

  1. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  1. UA Cabinet will be meeting with the Dr. Val Cade, the Vice Provost for University Life, and Tamara King, the Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs, on Wednesday, February 27 from 4:30-5:30pm. Please let me know if you have any ideas for what we should speak about with them!
  2. The Winter Trustee meetings will be taking place this week, largely on Thursday and Friday, February 28 and March 1, at the Inn at Penn. Attending Trustee meetings is a great way to learn more about the highest levels of governance of the university. All meetings are generally open to the public, but the culmination will take place at the Stated Meeting of the Trustees on Friday, March 1 from 11:30am-12:30pm.
  1. UA Seat Apportionment Changes
  1. Due to increases in the student population, in accordance with UA Constitution Article II § 4, the total number of school-specific representative seats will increase to 37 seats. The seat apportionment by school is:
  1. College - 15 seats (no change)
  2. Wharton - 5 seats (formerly 4 seats)
  3. Engineering - 5 seats (formerly 4 seats)
  4. Nursing - 1 seats (no change)
  5. New Student Representatives - 9 seats (no change)
  1. The changes above are reflections in increases in the size of the new student constituency and the proportion of students in the Wharton and Engineering schools over time. If you have questions about the apportionment, please consult NEC Vice Chair for Elections, Kiley Marron at (elections@penn-nec.org). The Spring General Election Packet is available here.

Vice-President’s Report

  1. Past Steering Meeting
  1. This past Tuesday, we convened for the third Steering meeting of the semester. We were joined by senior staff from Student Registration and Financial Services. We also did small group responding to challenges facing students.
  1. University Council Update
  1. Due to inclement weather and the Snow Day on Wednesday, University Council was cancelled this week. I will update the body with details about the status Open Forum and the Penn First Plus presentation when they are announced.

UA Report

  1. Remaining GBM and Committee Meetings
  1. GBM Meetings (Ben Franklin Room at 9 PM)
  1. March 17th
  2. March 24th
  3. March 31st
  4. April 7th
  1. Committee Meetings
  1. Week of February 24th
  2. Week of March 10th
  3. Week of March 17th
  4. Week of March 24th
  1. Membership Update
  1. This past week, Santosh Nori decided to resign from the UA. He will be focusing on academics and would be happy to speak with people about his past projects.
  1. UA Tabling
  1. The UA will be continuing its Tabling on Locust throughout the remainder of the semester. Here are the dates for the committees. Be sure to sign up to help out!
  1. DHT: Tuesday, March 12th
  2. SCL: Wednesday, March 13th
  3. SCI: Wednesday, March 20th
  1. Member of the Week
  1. This week’s member of the week is...

Secretary’s Report

  1. Airport Shuttles
  1. Airport Shuttles will run on Thursday Feb. 28 from 10am-7pm and Friday, March 1 from 7am-7pm.
  2. Shuttle shifts count for 1 committee attendance point: .5 for advertising and .5 for attending a shift. AMs are included in this attendance requirement. 
  3. Airport Shuttles Committee will be flyering on Locust on Tuesday, and Comm Team will also run a Facebook ad this week to boost sales.
  4. Important Reminders:
  1. Show up to your shift on time!
  2. Everyone will be shared on an excel sheet containing a list of each passenger on each specific shuttle. It will be the UA member’s job to check off the people as they board the bus to make sure they paid for a ticket. If someone arrives and does not have a ticket, they can go to the website and purchase one if the shuttle is not full. Call me if you have any issues!
  3. Add the frame to your profile photo on Tuesday at 5pm. Social media advertising plays a huge role in the success of shuttles.

Executive


University Council Appointment Process Confirmation

Authored by: Michael Krone

On February 16 and 17th, the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) conducted their annual interview and deliberation process for appointments to University Council. As per the guidelines for nomination, I sat in as a UA observer on the process as an individual who is not eligible for reelection or application to the seats.

After observing 8 hours of interviews and 8 hours of deliberations, I am happy to report that there were no issues regarding the fairness of the nominations process. Each group representative was given sufficient and equitable time to answer the NEC’s questions and demonstrate their eligibility. The process respected the NEC guidelines and the NEC Chair encouraged deliberation to the best of his ability. During deliberations, each member of the NEC was provided time to express their views, and both sides of each deliberation were elicited and heard in full.The NEC Body deliberated until an overwhelming majority was ready to move to voting process, and ensured that all information was discussed and arguments were made before decisions.

I would also like to applaud the NEC for an efficient and fair process. Once the individuals who have been appointed to the seats, the current and next UA Exec's will liaise with the NEC Exec to determine the allocation of the remaining seats to guarantee that all four schools are represented.

Enactment:

The Undergraduate Assembly hereby affirms the fairness of the interview and appointment process used by the Nominations and Elections Committee to appoint representatives to the University Council for the 2019-2020 academic year.


External Seats


Dining Advisory Board Updates

Authored by: Obed Antoine and Kevin Zhou

The Dining Advisory Board (DAB) met with faculty in charge of the dining system on February 13th. At the board meeting, the following topics were discussed: progress on the “Eat and Greet” program, cross-contamination of Halal and non-Halal foods, the expansion of Halal options in Houston Hall, protocol for dining during Ramadan, expansion of vegan options, and issues facing Kosher options. The “Eat and Greet” program pilot event in Hill College House on February 6th was a success and DAB is currently exploring options to expand the program by having a launch week in the near future.  On top of the aforementioned topics, DAB administrators are also planning on looking into reusable straws for sustainability purposes and replacing some paper-based to-go boxes that get soggy at times.  

Business Services Focus Groups

Authored by: Michael Krone and Maria Curry

As a follow-up from our Cabinet conversation with Business Services, two divisions within Business Services have expressed interest in forming focus groups to help improve programming. Details are below. Focus groups would take place in the Business Services Conference Room in 3401 Walnut St. Suite 440A :


Minutes


  1. Roll Call
  1. Obed: AM on AI
  2. Kevin: AM on DHT
  3. Armaun: AM on DHT
  4. Bayley: SCUE
  5. Ryan: AM on EI
  6. Emily: SAC
  7. Sal Caputo
  8. Valencia: Penn Labs
  1. Open Forum
  1. Sal: I am the Director of Facilities of Penn Libraries. I would like to address the issues you guys raise in emails to me. Sometimes people forget why we are here-- the students. Always come to me first with an issue; it’s super important to directly address this issue so that we can take appropriate action. Likewise, give me time to work on issues that you bring to me. I will be the first to tell you if I am unable to do something. The Library Budget works differently than other places.  Every dollar of the budget essentially has a place with very little surplus. Bag checks will be eliminated, not as fast as the article promised, but soon. There has to be a testing period. I will have to have a back-up plan which may entail randomized bag checks. The main reason for the checks is not for Penn students, but for general public or alumni. This is the reason that security does not check students as strictly. The random checks will likely be a randomized number system or just a random day a month. The technology will be implemented in the next week or so.
  2. Maria: Are there plans to renovate the basement of Van Pelt? Is there room within the budget to get new lighting?
  3. Sal: I would recommend publicizing the fact that students can directly report issues with facilities. So far, we have ordered new carpeting and the electrical system will be redone; in the future we are planning extensive renovations for this space.  
  4. Chase: Can you reiterate the monthly meetings?
  5. Sal: There will be monthly meetings between the UA and me or a Penn Libraries representative to establish a clear line of communication between us.
  6. Kev: Do you do a routine check of outlets or do problems have to be reported?
  7. Sal: We have 3-4 checks a year-- during reading day periods and before classes begin. I recommend telling students to report directly to staff who are stationed here within VP. This is a high use building-- we see a million people a year.
  8. Chase: Thanks for being so accessible and easy to work with.
  9. Elena: It is hard to find the type of compassion in other areas of the university that the library system has towards helping students.
  1. Budget
  1. Brian: With a vote of 31-0-0 the budget passes.
  1. Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  1. Michael: Wednesday, Cabinet is meeting with VPUL. Let me know as soon as possible if you have topics.
  2. Maria: What does VPUL do?
  3. Michael: Everything relating to student life; her portfolio touches every aspect of your life that does not directly relate to academics
  4. Chase: Could you please bring up expansion of the CAPS embedded model project?
  5. Michael: The Trustee meetings are also this week. I would recommend attending if you are interested in learning more about what they do and bringing up pressing issues facing the student population. The Stated Meeting of the Trustees is on Friday from 11:30am-12:30pm at the Inn at Penn and is open to the public.
  6. Kev: Are we expected to bring up specific topics or are we allowed to ask general questions?
  7. Michael: The focus of my committee is on the international student experience and global programs. The Stated Meetings is more updates.  
  1. UA Seat Apportionment Changes
  1. Michael: As of next year, the UA will gain 2 more seats; we will have an additional Wharton and Engineering representative.  
  2. Elena: Any updates on the resolution?
  3. Stephen: It is up to the discretion of the Vice Chair of Elections to actually put it in writing, but we have approved the resolution. We are thinking of amending our bylaws and the joint bylaws in the future. It will also appear in the candidate packets in the Fall, but not the Spring.
  4. Mandi: Why not Nursing?
  5. Michael: The populations apportionment is a very difficult process. The allocations are decided by an algorithm.
  6. Thomas: How will it be enforced if its not in the bylaws?
  7. Stephen: We are generally really efficient and consistent, but we also have time to amend the bylaws before next year’s elections.
  8. Maria: Why were the candidate packets released so early?
  9. Stephen: We figured giving more time to get signatures is better than less time. There is obviously no pressure to start now.
  1. Vice President’s Report
  1. Past Steering Meeting
  1. Jordan: We had a great steering this past week. We had a great presentation from the Sr. Staff of SRFS who presented updates on highly aided initiatives, progress on their website redesign, and made themselves available by email to us all. We will debrief at our last steering on March 12.
  2. Brian: I encourage you all to attend. The last one will be the Tuesday after Spring Break.
  3. Jordan: I definitely recommend. There will be a Teach-In from Penn Wellness.
  1. University Council Update
  1. Jordan: I am not sure about the UC meeting being rescheduled after it was cancelled for the snow day, but I will keep everyone updated.
  1. UA Report
  1. Remaining GBM and Committee Meetings
  1. Brian: The magic number is 4. The session is coming to an end as this is how many meetings we have left. Be aware of your attendance, and finish up current projects.
  1. Membership Update
  1. Brian: Santosh decided to resign. He wanted to focus on academics in his spring semester of his senior year.
  2. Thomas: He is such a great guy.
  1. UA Tabling
  1. Sravya: The weather has not been great, but we are planning to do DHT on Tuesday March 12. If anyone on EI wants to sign up for that, I would recommend doing it.
  1. Member of the week
  1. MOTW is Ariela from last week and Janice this week!
  1. Secretary’s Report
  1. Airport Shuttles
  1. Mercedes: Airport Shuttles will run on Thursday Feb. 28 from 10am-7pm and Friday, March 1 from 7am-7pm. Shuttle shifts count for 1 committee attendance point: .5 for advertising and .5 for attending a shift. AMs are included in this attendance requirement. We will be flyering on Locust on Monday and Tuesday, and we will be doing the second phase of social media promotion on Tuesday at 5pm.

  1. Executive
  1. University Council Appointment Process Confirmation
  1. Michael: The way the UA plays into this process is that we have to approve the process is fair. I sat in on the process and it was a great and fair experience. The NEC runs a really efficient ship. The enactment essentially says we approve the fairness of this.
  2. Kev: Where can I find the full list of groups on UC?
  3. Michael: They are listed online.
  4. Ben: Pro. I think that the entire process was transparent and fair. The questions were productive.
  5. Natasha: Pro. Having a forum to voice the concerns of  underrepresented groups is important.
  6. Brian: With a vote of 29-1-0, this resolution passes.
  1. External Seats
  1. Dining Advisory Board
  1. Obed: DAB has made a lot of progress this semester. A section of Ramadan falls on our calendar for the first time in 36 years, so we are thinking about what we are doing about that. In general, the administrators we work with are always open to suggestions, so always bring these things up to Kev and I so that we can voice your concerns to DAB. They are doing a lot of great things to improve campus environment like the green flag system in Hill. Our next meeting is this coming week, so reach out with any topics.  
  1. Business Services Focus Groups
  1. Michael: Divisions within Business Services are working on creating focus groups: Penn Transit is creating one to discuss functionality and improvements to the Penn Rides on Request app, Penn Dining is hosting a focus group to discuss signage in relation to food waste in dining halls on campus, and Residential Services is creating a focus group to discuss  feedback about housing preferences and amenities within college houses. If you have any insight or interest in discussing any of these topics, please try to visit these groups at the listed times.
  2. Maria: I really pushed for student input, so please try to come to these meetings if you are passionate.
  3. Daniel: Does NCHW interior design refer to general structure or furniture and colors?
  4. Michael: Essentially they want to get updated feedback on what students who may be living in NCHW would want to see in those rooms.
  1. Communications