General Body Meeting

10/14/18

9:00 PM Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

  1. Roll Call
  2. Open Forum
  3. Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Past Administrator Meetings
  2. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  1. Vice President’s Report
  1. Past UA Steering
  2. Steering Group Meetings
  1. UA Report
  1. Membership Update
  2. External Seats
  3. Communications Team
  4. Speaker Pro Tempore Position
  5. Retreat
  6. Member of the Week
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  1. Emergency Contingency Request: Steven Lim from Buzzfeed
  2. Lambda Alliance Addition to Funding Steering Assembly
  1. Secretary’s Report
  1. Attendance Policy
  2. Penn Labs Meeting
  3. Airport Shuttles Committee
  1. Discussion Papers
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. All-University Access to JMHH Printers
  1. Student and Campus Life
  1. Online Club Recruitment Guide
  1. Communications


Reports


President’s Report

  1. Past Administrator Meetings
  1. Business Services Division - October 10, 2018
  1. Last Wednesday, Cabinet met with Business Services. We discussed issues such as the cost of on campus housing, pricing in dining halls and discrepancies between dining plans, and advertisement of SEPTA and other transit services. Arjun Swaminathan joined the meeting as a representative from the Dining, Housing, and Transit Committee.
  1. Council of Undergraduate Deans - October 3, 2018
  1. On Wednesday, October 3, CUD convened. We discussed the process by which claims against student conduct are handled, as well as how student input can be included in the implementation of the two-year housing program.
  1. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  1. EVP Craig Carnaroli - October 16, 2018
  1. Cabinet will be meeting with EVP Craig Carnaroli and AVP Tony Sorrentino on Tuesday. We will discuss issues of on-campus dining and retail options, facilities upgrades to campus living spaces, and prioritization of performing arts, cultural, and recreational space on campus.
  1. International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) - October 17, 2018
  1. Cabinet will be meeting with ISSS on Wednesday to discuss issues pertaining to the international student experience. Maher Abdel Samad will be joining this meeting.
  1. University Council Steering - October 17, 2018
  1. On Wednesday, University Council Steering will convene to approve the agenda for the upcoming meeting of University Council. On the agenda is a proposal from Fossil Free Penn on their refocused mission to urge the University to divest endowment funds from coal and tar sands companies. The UA passed a resolution in our September 9 GBM endorsing this proposal, and the text of the resolution is included as an appendix to their proposal.

Vice-President’s Report

  1. Past Steering Meeting
  1. This past Tuesday, Steering met and discussed a variety of university-wide issues in small groups.
  1. Steering Group Meetings
  1. Since last GBM, I have met with the Exec boards of Latinx Coalition and UMOJA. This upcoming week, I will meet with Penn First.

UA Report

  1. Membership Update
  1. Associate Members
  1. This past Sunday, we added some great Associate Members. Please welcome our new Associate Members: Kayla He, Vyshnavi Kosigishroff, Mikayla Gloub, William Wang, Sophie Lovering, Charles - Curtis Thomas, Robert Klopf, Samantha Mashaal, Mary Sadallah, Andrew Gegios, Ryan Bush, Kevin Arther, Jesse Fox, Obed Antoine, Tess Doran, and Jen Ahn. I will be holding an education for these members this coming Friday at around 3 PM
  1. Member Resignation
  1. Sahitya Mandalapu has decided to resign from the UA to focus on other things. I have reached out to the runner up, Nile Nwogu, to see if he is interested in filling the Wharton Seat.
  1. External Seats
  1. The UA holds a variety of external seats on different advisory boards. I will be sending out a form for you to select which external seat you would like to serve on. This will be for new members.
  1. Communications Team
  1. The Communications Director, Sravya Alla, will be selecting members to join the Communications Team for this year. The communications team is a great way to learn about various things the UA is working on and learn some marketing skills.
  1. Speaker Pro Tempore Position
  1. I will be sending out an application for a new SPT this week. This person will be responsible for a variety of administrative matters and social planning. The person must be an elected sophomore, junior or senior.
  1. Retreat
  1. This weekend, the UA held our retreat. We bonded, learned a lot of about each other and ate some great food.
  1. The Member of the Week is...

Treasurer’s Report

  1. Emergency Contingency Request: Steven Lim from Buzzfeed.
  1. On Tuesday, October 2nd, Exec held an emergency contingency vote. Exec voted 5-0-0 to fund APSC’s Steven Lim from Buzzfeed Event at an additional $400 for the speaker’s transportation. While the event will not happen until October 23rd, the negotiations with the speaker required a swift reply.
  1. Lambda Alliance Addition to the Funding Steering Assembly
  1. The Funding Steering Assembly (FSA) is responsible for facilitating constructive communication between all student-run funding sources on campus and for coordinating a cohesive timeline for student group funding request timelines. While not a funding board themselves, Lambda Alliance can provide meaningful insight to the funding conversation, so after speaking with Exec and the Budget Committee, I have added the organization has been added as a member of the Funding Steering Assembly.

Secretary’s Report

  1. Attendance Policy
  1. Members elected in the Spring
  1. You cannot miss more than 4 GBMs and more than 3 Committee Meetings
  1. Members elected in the Fall
  1. You cannot miss more than 3 GBMs or more than 2 Committee Meetings
  1. Associate Members appointed in the Fall
  1. You must attend 1 GBM , and you cannot miss more than 2 Committee Meetings
  1. Penn Labs Meeting
  1. I met with the Board for Penn Labs which includes Rob Nelson (Executive Director for Education and Academic Planning), Katie Bonner (Executive Director, Office of Student Affairs), James Choate (Executive Director of Technology Services), and the two new directors, Emily Tan and Dominic Holmes. We discussed their plans for the semester, which focus on three main pillars: providing a link between courses, clubs, and student life. They’re mainly focusing on the centralization of existing technology like Penn Course Alert, Penn Course Search, and Penn Course Review, and new projects like Penn Basics, an online version of Penn Mobile, and Penn Course Search which is a higher functioning version of all of the existing course related websites.
  2. Rob mentioned a new advisory board that will be created for a program called PATH that Penn will be the first to use. This program will aid in the creation and implementation of NGSS (Next Generation Student Systems), and a sophomore Penn Labs member will serve on this board.  
  1. Airport Shuttles Committee
  1. The UA partners with Business Services and Penn Transit each year to provide Airport Shuttles for students traveling to the airport for Thanksgiving break at the lowest cost possible. Coordinating and planning this requires help, so if you are interested in this, please apply to be on the committee. I am currently looking to take about 2-3 people. Responsibilities include communicating with Penn Transit, advertising, and motivating members to sign up for their shifts.

Discussion Papers


Academic Initiatives

All-University Access to JMHH Printers

Authored by: Elena Hoffman

 

Background: One tool that is central to students’ studying abilities is printing. Two popular places to study on campus are Van Pelt Library and Jon M. Huntsman Hall. Van Pelt offers printing abilities to students university-wide, while only Wharton students can print in Huntsman. However, students from across the four colleges study in Huntsman for a variety of reasons:

     They live west of 38th St, and VP is far. This includes all residents of high rises, and the majority of students that live in a fraternity/sorority house or off-campus.

     They are taking classes in Wharton, whether it be because they are minoring in Statistics and/or an interschool minor, or just completing electives.

     They are in Huntsman for a club meeting, as many non-Wharton clubs rent out spaces at night.

As it stands now, non-Wharton students studying in Huntsman have two main options: get a friend to print for them, or leave JMHH for Van Pelt, the IT room in their respective dorm, or elsewhere. For this reason, I am lobbying administration to open up Huntsman printers to students from all Colleges.

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Should all JMHH printers be open to non-Wharton students, or just a select few?
  2. Would Wharton students be irritated by this change? Are there currently major lines to use JMHH printers?
  3. What are some of the costs associated with opening up JMHH printers for non-Wharton students?
  4. How would printing work considering non-Wharton students cannot log into Huntsman desktops (which is where you print from)?

 

Student and Campus Life

Online Club Recruitment Guide 

Authored by: John Casey

Background:

Like many aspects of Penn, the club recruitment process is decentralized and confusing, especially for new students who do not know how to navigate the system. The primary way new students can learn about campus organizations is through the SAC Activities Fair, but that can be chaotic, confusing, and intimidating. Although there is a web resource that attempts to provide information about student organizations (GO Penn), few students use it.  

 

My proposal is to create an online resource that provides students with vital information about different student groups. Pieces of information that can be included on the website are (1) a search feature, (2) contact information, (3) link to application, (4) link to social media pages (FB events, IG, etc).

 

Questions:

  1. How can the UA enforce standards that we attempt to place on clubs for recruiting processes?
  2. Does anyone have a particular experience with club recruiting that they are willing to share?
  3. How did you find/ hear about clubs to join, especially when you were new to campus or unfamiliar with the group?
  4. What can be improved about the club recruitment process? What should be sustained?
  5. How can we ensure that any online resource we create will be utilized by students for years to come?

Minutes


  1. Roll Call
  1. Stephen- NEC Observer
  2. Jen- AM on AI
  3. Mary- AM on EI
  4. John- AM on SCL
  5. Charles- AM on SCL (.5)
  1. Open Forum
  1. Stephen: The NEC is in the process of appointing various university-wide external seats to campus leaders that want to be involved. If you are interested, or if you know anyone who is interested, please reach out.
  2. Brian: I encourage you all to follow up with him after the meeting.
  3. Elena: Do you have information of the existence of the Library Advisory Board?
  4. Stephen: I do not, but I will follow up with them and with you.
  5. Kristen: What exactly does the Student Affairs Awards Committee do?
  6. Michael: It is a committee dedicated to interviewing students primarily in the Spring to select the ones who will win various awards. It is worth it because of the amazing people you will meet.
  7. Simon: One thing we want to do for the Fall Festival with GAPSA is find a student who is comfortable filming a video explaining their mental health journey. This will initiate conversation and show the student body that mental health is real and genuinely affects their classmates.
  8. Max: The NGSS project just released the final version of the University Catalog. Please have a look at it and give them feedback on the site.
  1. Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Past Administrator Meetings
  1. Michael: Cabinet and Arjun met with Business Services last week and discussed a lot of important student services/initiative as well as our continued partnership with Airport Shuttles.
  2. Michael: CUD had a lengthy discussion about academic integrity and student input on the sophomore housing policy. I presented the UA’s idea of publishing a report, and they were receptive.
  1. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  1. EVP
  1. Michael: If you have any questions or topics of discussion, please let me know!
  2. Thomas: Could you bring up the mold issue in the Quad?
  3. Kristen: What do you mean by space?
  4. Michael: Essentially the lack of space for performing arts groups on campus as well as the prices they have to pay to use these spaces.
  5. Elena: I would bring up centralizing the cost of spaces for performance groups as well. I have received a lot of complaints about how much of a waste of space of Franklin’s Table is because of the lack of business and expensive price point.
  6. Michael: We will definitely discuss the possibility of affordable food options on campus, specifically the addition of a Panera.
  1. ISSS Meeting
  1. Ammar: Do you have specific issues that you will be bringing up in this meeting?
  2. Michael: I am going to co-create the agenda with Maher, Priya, and Cabinet.
  3. Natasha: It will probably be centered around the roll-out of the International Student Guide that Maher created last semester.
  4. Jordan: I will also bring up points from my meeting with AIS.
  1. UC Steering
  1. Michael: This week’s UC Steering will be centered around the divestment of Penn from Coal and Tar Sands Industries; it has taken me a while, but I am making my way through a 50 page layout of the issue published by Fossil Free Penn. UC will be the following Wednesday from 4-6. You all can attend the UC meeting as members of the public.
  1. Vice President’s Report
  1. Past UA Steering
  1. Jordan: This past Steering meeting went well. There were no administrative guests, so we had breakout sessions that focused on various overarching issues. There were a lot of great points brought up.
  2. Stephen: It was great. My group discussed messaging and how the university could be more transparent to general Penn students.
  1. Steering Group Meetings
  1. Jordan: I have been meeting with various constituent groups over the past few weeks, and those meetings have been going well. I will be meeting with Penn First this coming week; If you are working on a relevant project, I will let you know when the meeting is so that you are able to plan accordingly.
  1. UA Report
  1. Membership Update
  1. Brian: We have some really cool new associate members! Welcome to the UA. I will be holding education this Friday at 3pm. It is mandatory for members who missed the presentation on Saturday. This past week, Sahitya resigned from the UA. She wishes the best for us all, but she wants to focus on other things. I reached out to Nile, so a special election will be dependent on his response.
  1. External Seats
  1. Brian: Spring elected members have already been assigned, but newly elected members will be sent a form tomorrow with more information about this opportunity.
  1. Communications Team
  1. Sravya: I am the communications director, and for comm team you will be helping provide access to information between the student body, the UA, and the DP. You will also learn a lot of graphic design skills. If you have any other questions, reach out!
  2. Michael: Do it, it’s fun.
  1. Speaker Pro Tempore Position
  1. Brian: Given that Sahitya was the former SPT, there is a vacancy. The SPT handles a lot of administrative details for me; you will also be responsible for social planning. It is a huge time commitment. The position is open to senior level AMs and upperclassmen elected members. If you have questions, please reach out.
  1. Retreat
  1. Brian: We bonded, had a lot of great food, and became educated. 10/10.
  1. Member of the Week
  1. Maria: This member of DHT is impressive, active, and has extremely impactful projects. The Member of the Week is Armaun!
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  1. Emergency Contingency Request: Steven Lim from Buzzfeed
  1. Natasha: Tuesday, Exec voted to fulfil an emergency contingency request for this event that we previously voted to fund in full. We funded an additional $400, bringing the full total to $12,860.
  2. Arjun: Did they need to have the money on hand three weeks in advance?
  3. Natasha: Yes, it was necessary in order to secure the contract.
  4. Mandi: What is the event?
  5. Natasha: Stephen Lim will talk about the struggles and pride that comes with his Asian identity.
  1. Lambda Alliance Addition to Funding Steering Assembly
  1. Natasha: We decided to invite LAMBDA to be a part of FSA because of their knowledge of different financial boards on campus.
  1. Secretary’s Report
  1. Attendance Policy
  1. Mercedes: Review the Member guide provided during education.
  1. Penn Labs Meeting
  1. Arjun: Will Penn Labs be included in upcoming Transit website and app remodelling?
  2. Mercedes: I am pretty sure they will be involved in the creation of the app itself.
  1. Airport Shuttles Committee
  1. Mercedes: The application will be included in the same form as Comm Team and External Seats. Please apply! (:
  1. Discussion Papers
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. All-University Access to JMHH Printers
  1. Elena: Huntsman Hall has printers, but not all students are able to use these printers in this central location. This could be useful for groups who are not wharton affiliated but meet in Huntsman, and students who have minors within Wharton. I want to get your thoughts on this topic.
  2. Ben: I would be in favor of this. There are always printers available, and there are never any lines. This would make Huntsman more inclusive to the entire student body. What is the main argument against this policy?
  3. Michael: One of the major arguments is that each of the four schools are responsible for their own profit and loss, so the policy currently exists in this way beauce Wharton essentially has a built in cost included in the tuition for their students to use these printers.
  4. Kristen: Do other schools have a built in printing with a stipend?
  5. Jess: Nursing does not have a stipend, but students need to have a Nursing login to print from the Nursing computers.
  6. Daniel: Wharton students’ printing allocation is essentially just factored into their cost of attendance, so it is not really an “given” or “free” cost.
  7. Quinn: If Wharton students have a selective system, all of the schools should have their own systems because that would eliminate the feeling of a hierarchy of the schools.
  8. Elena: I agree; College students should either also be given a central location to print or all have access to the Huntsman printers.
  9. Kristen: I agree. I think it should at least be factored into the tuition of all students so that everyone has the same ease and convenience when it comes to printing funds.
  10. Elena: I appreciate all of the feedback. I want to highlight the first two questions. Do you think this will bother current Wharton students?
  11. Chase: In order to increase access to College students, would you consider adding college specific printing to the new Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics building?
  12. Jenn: No, because at that point I might as well go to Van Pelt.
  13. Nikhil: I would not mind other students using Wharton Printers, but this could cause long lines at the two non-Wharton student printers.
  14. Dante: I don't think this would cause long lines, but I do worry about the role that donated money and technology plays in this decision.
  15. Natasha: I see the need for this discussion. There are no printing opportunities for students on the west side of campus especially since the computer labs in residential buildings and college houses are excluded to residents.
  16. Elena: I agree with this because there are no printing opportunities on the west-side of campus realistically.
  17. Sravya: A solution to the last question is offline printing from students’ laptops.
  18. Nick: I like the idea of a $20 line item because it is extremely convenient for me as a dual degree student. I have never used Penn Cash. I do not have an issue with non-Wharton students using the printers, but it could be an issue giving them computer access. I think there could be a USB drive system.
  19. Ammar: This is definitely a long term project, but a short term solution is having a college specific printers in Huntsman.
  20. Daniel: Instead of having a select number of printers, there should be a floor dedicated to non-Wharton student printing. One of the upper floors could be dedicated as a pilot program. The College is decentralized in comparison to Wharton, so that is a reason for something similar not existing in the College currently.
  21. Maria: I would also suggest adding printers in places where they don’t currently exist. I feel as though printing should be available in each academic building, and implementing that could be as simple as it was to add printers to Williams.
  22. Michael: We could also work to reduce printing from the academic side. A lot of Wharton professors require slides and hard copy papers to be turned in, which seems unnecessary in some cases.
  23. Elena: True, but a lot of people print out the readings, assignments, and professional documents for their own personal use, so this would continue to be a problem.
  24. Jess: I encourage you to collect hard data in regard to the first two questions because administration responds best to data.
  25. Janice: You could sent out a school wide survey and a Wharton specific survey to get this information and analyze data from both perspectives.
  1. Student and Campus Life
  1. Online Club Recruitment Guide
  1. John: This biggest issue I have been trying to address is how students learn about new clubs on campus. With our decentralized structure, we have a lack of resource for education on clubs and club recruitment. In this online application, there would be a search feature based on keywords, contact information, and links to the application and social media pages. It would be an all encompassing website for new students and the entire student body. The SAC activities fair is a bit hectic, so this would be a more organized and long lasting alternative. We need to make this resource able to continue after my time at Penn.
  1. Nick: Was your plan to make GoPenn better, or recreate a completely new source?
  2. John: GoPenn is good on the administrative side, but it is not on the student side. I think that recreating this from the bottom is important and necessary.
  3. Quinn: As someone who missed the SAC fair, I think this would be very useful.  
  4. Arjun: Do you have an idea of how to actually create this technologically?
  5. John: Penn Labs is the easy answer, but not the one I want to pursue because they are busy enough with their projects. I am open to suggestions.
  6. Thomas: I think that an app would be an easier user interface
  7. Kristen: I really like this idea. I think we also need to focus on the club recruitment process overall. If you miss the SAC fair, you are not able to join clubs or learn information about clubs in time. I was only able to attend the SAC fair because a class was cancelled. I think that this a really good idea! I think clubs should be less selective in general; students are not able to do what they love because of the fear of rejection. Groups that are supposed to be open to anyone, especially Alliance groups, should not be exclusive. This could create a better culture overall on campus.
  8. John: I do mention the club recruitment process in this discussion paper, but lets focus on the program itself for now. I could  have limited the scope of this discussion by deleting these questions. Do you all think a website is more helpful than a model similar to the huge word document that was sent out by Wharton over the Summer? If anyone has any comments on the feasibility and convenience of a word document vs a website, please let me know.
  9. Ben: I think that having tips for the interview process for these clubs would be very helpful. I also think that exclusivity in some clubs is necessary. I think that because of rejection, we are able to be humbled.
  10. Dante: Thank you so much for bringing this up. How would this work in collaboration with SAC  and the SAC fair?
  11. John: SAC sends out a map of the club placement so they could help by providing information about the clubs. There aren't that many opportunities to collaborate.
  12. Janice: Maybe you could streamline the existence of clubs. There could be smaller versions of SAC fair or expanding the event over a week. You could also have each club create a profile for itself with what to expect and other information.
  13. Elena: Natasha and I are involved in SAC exec, so if you have questions, let us know. Get Involved at Penn is very new and, we would like to expand it, so we would like to work with you on this idea. The only issue is that Penn students do not go out of their way to find resources, so we have to find a way to attract students. I would love to collaborate.
  14. John: Please take a look at Get Involved at Penn and give me feedback everyone.
  15. Michael: While I agree that some clubs and teams may need to smaller logistically, some groups do not need to be that selective. To the SAC fair over two-days point, it is a logistical nightmare, so this idea is not feasible. A digital tool is more helpful overall. We have a lot of separate resources dedicated to the same issue because we are decentralized. This proposal should bring all of the existing resources into one. Club recruitment is a long-term issue, and it has a lot of working parts, so I recommend creating a working group to discuss this topic. As you all move up in the leadership, don't be afraid to pushback on your group’s recruitment techniques.
  16. Ammar: This is a good idea in theory, but this could be tackled in a different way. There could be more general overviews of clubs during NSO as well.
  17. Chase: An App would be the most convenient; look into the students who created U-Time.Also something that could be helpful is a Calendar with club application deadlines. We could also have a UA point person to monitor this calendar and alert clubs that have the same deadline.  
  18. Danny: To make competitive clubs less exclusive, I think that clubs could have competitive board positions, as well as a general body that is open to anyone who is interested.
  19. Mandi: You could also have Penn Club Review (modeled after Penn Course Review) to have student input.
  20. John: There was a lot of pushback on this idea because of the practicality. It was not as feasible, but in the future we can reconsider the possibility.
  21. Nikhil: Students might not look at all of the flyers they receive at the SAC activities fair because it is overwhelming. For the idea of a club deadline calendar: current events, first GBM information, and deadlines could be linked to the Facebook pages of these clubs so that they would be kept up to date.
  22. Daniel: At the SAC fair you are trying to fight to get on the listserv of a club, we could have a listserv page on this website. You could have a list of the group names and a link to a listserv which would make this process much easier.
  23. Regan: I think with the amount of clubs on campus it is important to include all of the clubs, including the newly formed ones. It would be nice to be able to tell the University the types of clubs you’re interested in as a Freshman, and be emailed a list related groups on campus.
  24. Stephen: Is this specifically for undergrads at this point?
  25. John: Yes, at first.
  26. Ben: As to not be misquoted, I do not think that every club should be selective, but I do think that some clubs should be. When it comes to the actual process of organization at the SAC fair, the sections are difficult to distinguish by number so we could create a better map.  
  1. Communications