General Body Meeting


9:00PM Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

  1. Roll Call
  2. Open Forum
  3. Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Admin Meetings
  1. Business Services
  1. AVEN Survey
  2. Campus Conversation
  1. Vice President’s Report
  1. UA Steering
  2. University Council
  3. DACA Updates
  4. Group Meetings
  1. UMC, Lambda, IFC
  1. UA Report
  1. Next Week’s GBM
  2. Educational Moment of the Week
  3. Member of the Week
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  2. Secretary’s Report
  1. Discussion Papers
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. Evaluating Academic Advising
  1. Student Life
  1. Referendum to Reallocate UA Seats
  2. Integration of CAPS into Student Life
  1. Dining Sustainability and Facilities
  1. PennFaces Revamp
  1. Project Updates
  1. Dining, Sustainability and Facilities
  1. Huntsman Hall Improvements
  2. Student Rec Center
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. Hand Sanitizers in the Quad
  2. Priority Registration for Athletes
  3. Test Bank Policy
  1. Social Justice
  1. Expanding the GIC FGLI Library
  2. Tampon Initiative
  3. LOA Project
  4. Halal Food Access
  1. Student Life
  1. Student Registration and Financial Services
  1. Completion Reports
  1. Dining, Sustainability and Facilities
  1. Student Volunteer Massage Program
  2. Off-Campus Recycling Guide
  3. Advertising Quad Printing
  4. Water Dispensers in Houston Hall
  1. Student Life
  1. CAPS Forum
  1. External Seats
  1. Committee on Campus and Community Life Update
  1. Communications


President’s Report

  1. Admin Meetings
  1. Business Services
  1. This past week, Cabinet met with Business Services to discuss water fountains in different college residencies, AC is all on-campus residencies, the tampon initiative, and airport shuttles.  Kyle will be helping Business Services by doing a walking inventory to make sure water bottle refilling stations are stationed in enough places.  Business Services is keeping AC in mind as they move forward with renovations but are still looking for short-term solutions.  We are still continuing our partnership with airport shuttles with them.  For Business Service updates, they are continuing Swipt Out for Hunger, doing another marketing push for our water bottles, looking into more prominent pricing tags at Houston, marketing the new transportation website and SEPTA center, and requesting better representation for the Dining Advisory Board.
  1. AVEN Survey
  1. I have sent you guys all before this GBM the survey for AVEN.  Please fill this out for us to move on to the next step.  Please be aware that there may be sensitive questions so find a comfortable location to complete.
  1. Campus Conversation
  1. This Monday, administration is hosting a Campus Conversation Zellerbach Theater from 5-7PM.  I will be attending to interview President Gutmann and Provost Pritchett and I urge all of you to come participate and give recommendations to the university on what we can all do in this time of need.

Vice-President’s Report

  1. UA Steering
  1. This past week we had UA Steering and the topic was addressing sexual violence on campus. We had a presentation by Malik Washington (Associate Director of Sexual Violence Prevention), Paige Wigginton (Associate Director of Special Services), and Caitlin Doolittle (a work-study student) for the first half of the meeting discussing AVEN program, PAVE program, confidential offices on campus, and other initiatives Penn Violence Prevention is undertaking. For the latter half of the meeting, we broke up into discussion groups to talk about what students and administrators could do better as well as how we can change the culture.
  1. University Council
  1. This past Wednesday, University Council met with a focus topic of the state of research at Penn. From undergraduates, there was a statement made by APSC on behalf of the ASAM UAB regarding the situation and status of the Asian American Studies program. There was also a statement made by Lambda encouraging the faculty to be present at the UC meetings to effectively discuss important issues on campus.
  1. DACA Updates         
  1. Since we voted on the resolution, I have talked with Karu Kozuma, the students from Penn Law, Latinx Coalition, United Minorities Council as well as bringing up this issue up at our meetings with VPUL, the Provost, and the President. There was a page created on VPUL’s website to address resources, however there is still unclarity as to what the University will do if students will need legal help. However, the channels of communication are open which they were not before. To streamline communication, my next steps will be to try to ensure that the undergraduates and students are on the same page. Furthermore, we are thinking of methods to get direct feedback from students affected by DACA as that is what the administrators would like to know.
  1. Group Meetings
  1. This past week I met with United Minorities Council and Lambda Alliance. As of now I  will be meeting with Latinx Coalition and Interfraternity Council this week.
  1. United Minorities Council- They are an umbrella organization that has constituents representing Carribbean/African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, and Native American students. They aim to facilitate interculturalism and promote social justice.
  2. Lambda Alliance- They are an umbrella organization that advocate for queer students at Penn. It aims to not only focus on advancing legal and social LGBT equality, but also aims to serves to foster a community for its constituents.

UA Report

  1. Next Week’s GBM
  1. Next week’s GBM will be held at 9PM in the 6th Floor of Van Pelt.  Please note the change from the normal room.
  1. Educational Moment of the Week -- Trustee Committees
  1. What are the Trustee Committees?
  2. What are the functions of the Trustees?
  1. Member of the Week
  1. This week’s member of the week is...

Discussion Papers

Academic Initiatives

Evaluating Academic Advising

Authored by: Jay Shah, Jennifer Richards, Simon Miller



One area that has recently garnered significant attention is academic advising. While it is true that each school does have different policies regarding academic advising, most of them require students to meet with their academic advisors a minimum of once before advance registration. Later, after student have selected their major during sophomore year, usually they are assigned a major adviser, which is a faculty from the department in which the student is majoring.


Academic advisors are available to assist students in not only selecting courses but also defining goals and planning for the future. However, many students have felt that these latter two components are often left out, leaving them feeling uncertain about the future and unsupported. From conversations and administration meetings, it seems to be the case that there is miscommunication between what students are looking for in advisers and what advisers believe students want. To bridge this gap, students must effectively communicate what their needs are. On the other side, there must be mechanisms in place to make this possible. This was a point reaffirmed by Vice Provost Beth Winkelstein at our last Provost Meeting.


The other aspect of advising is peer advisors, who are upperclassmen who volunteer their time to help freshman navigate the campus early in the year. Peer advisors are chosen by an application process and undergo training on how to become an effective resource to their advisees. Requirements of peer advisors include introducing themselves to their advisees over the summer and being available to answer any questions that arise. However, the degree of communication is very dependent upon the initiative of the advisee and the accessibility of the advisor. The peer advisor is one of the first contacts new students receive and go to for guidance. Thus, their role is critical in making the transition to Penn as smooth as possible. However, they are very underutilized. Students have often felt a lack of caring from their peer advisor, someone who should be their first line of defense as soon as they get to campus. Peer advisors have no requirements after their initial tour, and often disappear from students’ lives soon after, without being able to make the impact they are meant to do.


Advising should be viewed from not only an academic perspective, but also from a mental health perspective. During the first several weeks on campus, academic advisors are some of the few individuals that students have sat down and talked with. Being in this position, advisers have great ability to guide students, help them acclimate to the college life, and in turn reduce stress.

As such this project aims to gather feedback from students in an effort to improve aspects of academic advising. Furthermore, it aims to investigate a formal feedback mechanism through which students can continue to submit feedback as the climate on campus changes over time. We will be working very closely with SCUE and doing whatever is needed to help them. SCUE will be sending out a survey very soon regarding students’ experiences with academic advising to obtain more feedback.



Student Life

Referendum to Reallocate UA Seats

Authored by: Samara Wyant


The UA serves as the representative branch of PSG, but it has come to my attention that there may be some groups that are underrepresented or not guaranteed representation at all. The groups that I have identified are: transfer students, nursing students, and part-time students. Nursing students are only guaranteed one seat, which can be burdensome on the single nursing representative if they have non-nursing-related projects that they want to take on. Having more than one perspective from the School of Nursing would also be beneficial. Transfer students can be elected as New Student Representatives, but they are put at a disadvantage when the vast majority of the voters in that election are freshmen who are likely to vote for other freshmen that they know. They have a unique experience at the university and are not guaranteed a seat. Currently, only full-time students are eligible to serve on the UA. Part-time students have a very different experience from other students at Penn, and no representation.


There are currently three nursing students and two transfer students on the UA. Two of the nursing students and one of the transfer students are associate members, but associate membership is up to the discretion of the Speaker, and is not guaranteed.


I am setting up a meeting with the NEC chair to discuss the possibility of re-appropriating (or adding) seats on the UA, because they are the branch that determines allocation of seats on the UA. Specifically, Article II, Section 3 and Article II, Section 4b would need to be amended. Section 3 says: “The UA shall be an elective body consisting of… members elected from five (5) mutually exclusive constituencies: the new students (inclusive of the freshmen class and the transfer population admitted that year)…” Section 4b says: “each constituency shall be guaranteed at least one seat.”


Changing the makeup of the UA would require changing the Constitution by referendum. A referendum can be called either by a 2/3 vote of the UA or a petition of signatures 5% of total undergraduate enrollment (524 students as of Fall 2016), and requires a majority of at least 20% of undergraduates to vote in favor of the referendum (2094 students as of last year).


Discussion Questions:

  1. Is this project worth pursuing further?
  2. Are there other constituencies besides nursing students, transfer students, and part-time students that are underrepresented?
  1. Is there enough interest from transfer students to guarantee them a seat on the UA?
  2. Should only new-student transfer students be guaranteed a seat on the UA?
  3. Is guaranteeing a seat for part-time students feasible? Is there enough interest?
  4. When should we conduct the referendum in order to have maximum participation?
  5. Is it more effective to hold it during UA and Class Board elections in the Spring?
  1. Is it worth attempting before the Spring elections?
  2. How should seats be reallocated?



Integration of CAPS into Student Life 

Authored by: Jessica Andrews and Kevin Zhou 



We have identified that some of the larger issues concerning access to CAPS is simple convenience, comfort, and fears about judgment for seeking treatment at CAPS. To remedy this, we believe that integrating CAPS into student life is an effective way to increase utilization of and reduce stigma surrounding CAPS. We met with Dr. Bill Alexander, the Director of CAPS, and and Dr. Meeta Kumar, the Director of CAPS Outreach, to discuss our main project ideas, which include having CAPS do a short 10-15 minute presentation during the College House meetings during the first couple days of NSO and implementing “satellite” clinicians in some academic buildings and/or college houses.  


The “embedded model” of satellite CAPS clinicians is already being piloted in the four graduate schools after the graduate schools surveyed to see if there was sufficient demand for the service. Additionally, other models are being implemented at other schools, such as the Let’s Talk program at Cornell University which serves as an intermediate between peer support and clinical psychology. We received great positive feedback from them, but some logistical problems were brought up (ie. staffing, funding) and we discussed what avenues are most effective for fulfilling these projects, including the timing of the NSO presentation and the demand for satellite clinicians in undergraduate buildings other than CAPS. We plan to meet with CHAS administrators and GAPSA to work through logistical problems and how having CAPS present during the College House Presentation of NSO can be effectively implemented.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Should we push for a CAPS presentation during the College House Presentations during NSO?
  1. Would this be an effective way to get information about CAPS to the most freshmen possible? Or would this be overwhelming for freshmen?
  2. Would this contribute to the reduction of mental health stigma and help to debunk myths about CAPS?
  1. Is having satellite clinicians in College Housing a good first step?
  1. Could we gauge student interest with a survey (ie. like the one sent out to graduate students)?
  1. How should we proceed in creating a survey to avoid biases?
  2. What specific questions should be addressed in the survey?
  1. Should we model the project off of the current embedded model in the graduate schools, or would something like Let’s Talk be more effective for students?
  1. Should we work with the CAPS Student Advisory Board to create social media informatics that release valuable statistics about CAPS utilization to the student body?  

Dining Sustainability and Facilities

PennFaces Revamp

Authored by: Kanishka Rao and Jason Kim

In partnership with Penn Faces, we are considering a social media campaign in which students post “imperfect” Facebook profile photos along with captions containing personal stories related to their insecurities or sources of stress as Penn students. The aim of this campaign is to diminish the Penn Face and hypermasculinity on campus—the tendency for students to hide insecurities or difficulties in fear of being judged by their peers. Students should know they are not alone in their struggles and there are people around to share problems with. We aim to prioritize the participation of student leaders in this social media campaign.

Example for Kanishka

"I worry I'm not likeable. I have body image issues. I worry I'm disappointing my family.

PennFace is something that affects us all. No matter what we look like on the surface, we all have insecurities and difficulties we are afraid of sharing. But how many people would really share with you if they're going through very hard times? I want to share what's really going on with me so you will share what's going on with you. No one needs to suffer alone - and more honesty will prevent disasters before they happen. Let your friends know you are going through tough times as well and that they don't have to suffer alone. Change your picture to share what's behind your PennFace, and never hesitate to reach out."

Discussion questions

1. Is Facebook an appropriate medium?

2. Does this actually solve the problems stated?

3. What theme for the Facebook profile photos is appropriate?

4. There have recently been many PSG initiatives related to mental health on social media. Is another one too excessive in such a short amount of time?

5. Is the description addressing the issue the right way?

Project Updates

Dining Sustainability and Facilities

Huntsman Hall Improvements (Equipment Borrowing and Printing)

Authored by: Elena Hoffman

This past week, I met with Alex Milne, the Technical Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Wharton School, to inquire about implementing an equipment borrowing station (similar to Van Pelt Library’s) in Huntsman Hall. This station would allow students to rent out chargers for their laptops. To ensure students return the chargers, the students would be charged a fee for every day a charger is not returned. Mr. Milne appreciated the concept, and informed me that his team had considered adding a station like this a few years ago. I also inquired about adding an all-school-access printer in the building, as printers within Huntsman can only be used by Wharton students. After the meeting, he told me his team would spend the week investigating Van Pelt’s program and researching costs associated with both the station and an all-school-access printer.

Student Rec Center

Authored by: Kanishka Rao

I want to create a place on campus for students to meet each other and hang out late night without going out. I proposed the idea to Katie Bonner in OSA and she was optimistic about the possibility of making Houston Hall a true student center. Historically, the problem has been who will organize the programming and schedule group performances and events in the space. I reached out to the Senior Class Board and they expressed interest in Class Board taking on the mandate to manage this going forward. Possibilities could include an acapella group host karaoke night, ping pong tables and tournaments, lots of board games for signout from the main desk, movie nights, and more. Next steps include meeting with Katie to schedule a pilot, and determining what programming is desired.

Academic Initiatives

Hand Sanitizers in the Quad

Authored by: Sravya Alla and Kyle O’Neil


I have been collaborating with Kyle to bring hand sanitizer stations in the Quad. Director of First Year Houses & Paraprofessional Training Dr. Kahiler has recently agreed to pilot the program in a location in the Quad. We sent them our top three locations in Ware (4th floor Butcher, Morris-Bodine Lounge in Ware, and 2nd floor Butcher), and they will be installing the sanitizers very soon. Based on the feedback and the usage of the hand sanitizers, they will install the sanitizers in other locations in the Quad, continuing the Purell at Penn initiative from the previous year.

Priority Registration for Athletes

Authored by: Jennifer Richards


Athletes are often at a disadvantage when getting the classes they need to take to graduate or are passionate about taking. Practice times often limit athletes to specific hours during the day designated for scheduling classes, which drastically decreases the number of classes available to them. For example, Women’s Tennis cannot schedule classes before noon and Men’s Tennis cannot schedule classes between 2pm-5pm. A discussion with Rob Nelson indicated that Penn has an egalitarian course selection system and will be expanded in the Next Generation Student Systems (NGSS). This has been an issue that was brought up in the past and the University decided against any policy change, and instead would just have work around solutions such as overriding section selections. He mentioned that there is potential for this to come back through Faculty Senate this year and influence the NGSS design.


Thus far, I’ve contacted other Division I tennis players at various institutions to find out how registration for athletes operates. At Villanova, athletes register early before everyone else thus they have no problem getting the classes they want at the times they need. At Yale, athletes are not given early registration or priority getting into popular classes; however, if they note that they are an athlete in the comments section, they get priority in course section within a class. At Cornell, athletes are not at a disadvantage because no classes are held from 4:25pm-7pm thus all sports schedule practice then as far as I’m told. At Brown, the current system is very similar to Penn.


Test Bank Policy

Authored by: Kevin Myers


After meeting with Julie Nettleton (Director, OSC) and Rob Nelson (Executive Director for Education and Academic Planning), I wrote-up an initial draft of the language to be used for the new test bank policy. I then got comments on this language from both the Academic Affairs Committee of the University Honor Council and Julie. The second draft appears below. Once this language is approved by Julie, I’ll send it over to Rob and meet with him to discuss next steps.


Test Bank Directive

Statement of Procedure                                                      

The creation and use of test banks, academic archives, and collective study materials does not violate the Code of Academic Integrity.


Definition of “Test Bank”

These types of resources (henceforth referred to as “test bank” or “bank”) include – but are not limited to – prior exams, prior assignments, study guides, etc. Such resources are often – but not exclusively – amassed by on and off-campus student organizations over a period of time. The gathering of these resources frequently involves students saving academic materials from their own prior coursework and uploading them onto a collectively used and shared bank of materials.


Permissible and Impermissible Use

While using these types of materials as a study aid is acceptable, these materials may not act as a template for one’s own work. For example, if a test bank contains an exact copy of a problem set which a student is working on, then that student may not simply copy the answers from the prior problem set. However, students may use prior problem sets in order to understand the principles of the topics which they are studying.

Another example of an area where the use of test banks may raise questions is essays. In some cases, test banks contain essays written in the past on topics that are still assigned by professors. In these cases, students may not simply turn in the essays to which they have access or derivatives thereof. Rather, students may only use the prior essay as an aid or guide, directing them in the type or style of writing for which they are responsible.



If an instructor specifically notes that materials from their course may not be distributed by students, then these materials may not be used in a test bank. Further, instructors may override this directive and institute course policies via syllabi or other communication to students which prohibit the use of outside resources.

Social Justice

Expanding the GIC FGLI Library

Authored by: Mercedes Owens

Last Wednesday, I met with Valerie de Cruz, director of the GIC to discuss the possibility of expanding the FGLI library. Instead of focusing on expanding the library itself, she advised that I focused on reconstructing the way in which financial aid is handled. Penn emphasizes that as a university, it meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need of its students. In reality, though, a lot of students, especially those who identify as FGLI, are overwhelmed by the costs once arriving and are unable to afford to live comfortably. The next step for this project is to meet with Elaine Varas, the director of financial aid, to better understand how financial aid works and how Penn could better meet the financial needs of its FGLI students.


Tampon Initiative

Authored by: Jordan Andrews, Mary Bready, Maher Abdel Samad

On Thursday, we met with Anna from the Penn Period Initiative to discuss past avenues and future collaboration. We have decided to propose a pilot program in Ware College House, and we will be reaching out to SHS about their capacity to provide feminine hygiene products. We are also setting up a meeting with Penn Women's Center to gain insights on how best to advocate for this initiative.

LOA Project

Authored by: Jordan Andrews

After an initial meeting with some returned students, we have decided to hold off on creating an advisory board until greater participation can be confirmed. The students were on board with planning Returning Student Orientation and we will be moving forward with that first.


Halal Food Access

Authored by: Jude Dartey, Baktiar Choudhury, Shaina Zafar

Currently the dining hall in Kings Court English house is the only dining hall that has halal as an option for Muslim students. The dining hall is however closed on the weekends, which means that Muslim students with strict dietary restrictions are unable to have a halal meal from a dining hall on campus. The goal of this project is to get at least one dining hall to serve halal food on the weekends so Muslim students are guaranteed at least one place to eat every day of the week.

Things that were discussed from the meeting include that Gourmet Grocer has frozen halal food on the weekends, Halal meat needs to be expanded from chicken to other kinds of meat, there are lots of cross contamination in the dining halls, which is a big concern for some Muslim students, Halal meat generally costs more than regular meat, workers at dining halls are on separate union contracts so Penn dining is not a collective body. The next step is to do more research on what peer institutions are doing to aid Muslim students who have to eat halal. We also need to figure out how many Muslim students are affected by this issue per class. After we do some research and gather some numbers, the MSA suggested that we meet with Hikaru Kozuma and Steve Kocher to see what our next step should be.

Student Life

Student Financial and Registration Services

Authored by: Max Grove


This past Wednesday, Sam, Sravya, Maher, and I met with Elaine Varas and Student Registration and Financial Services to discuss the Outside Scholarship Policy. If you receive an outside scholarship, it firsts eliminates the student’s summer contribution, then work-study, then the Penn Grant, then the family contribution. We discussed eliminating the Family Contribution before the Penn Grant. SRFS also wants to see this happen eventually, but we are still deciding how we can go about this. SRFS recommends students receiving outside scholarships reach out to their donor and ask if they can split the donation over several years if it is greater than your combined work-study and summer savings contribution. We will also be working with SRFS to create a “Guide to Financial Aid” at Penn.


Completion Reports

Dining Sustainability and Facilities

Student Volunteer Massage Program

Authored by: Elena Hoffman

Last year, I learned that Columbia University has a program called Stressbusters, which is essentially a volunteer program that allows for students to give free massages to others during midterms and finals seasons. It is run by Columbia’s student health system. I met with Ben Bolnick, who founded Penn Wellness, and Padma Ravichandran, a representative of Columbia’s student health system, to gather information on how to best implement a stressbusters program at Penn. However, I found this program is not feasible because Student Health Services provides students one free professional massage per semester and there are complex logistics that would go into maintaining a recurring project that has already been done by Class Board.


Off-Campus Recycling Guide

Authored by: Elena Hoffman

This past week, I contacted Barbara Lea-Kruger, who works within Penn Business Services, to see if she would be able to send the UA Off-Campus Recycling Guide to all students residing off campus. An email was subsequently sent out.


Advertising Quad Printing

Authored by: Jesse Fox

Recently, students have mentioned walking all the way to Van Pelt or Huntsman to print papers is an inconvenience. Considering printing costs money and is cumbersome due to the walk, many students have been spending unnecessary money on printers for dorm rooms. I contacted Dr. Lulu Kaliher (Director of First-Year Houses & Paraprofessional Training) about this issue and she made known the fact that there are printers in the Quad in the computer lounges. After asking many students and realizing most were unaware about the ability to print in the Quad, I emailed Dr. Kaliher and asked if she would include printing resources in the next Quad-wide update.


Water Dispensers in Houston Hall

Authored by: Arjun Swaminathan

Recently, it has come to the UA’s awareness that numerous Accupure water dispensers in Houston Hall were broken. I reached out to Kristine Werez, the Houston Hall Building Manager, regarding the situation. Ms. Werez ticketed the dispensers with the vendor for repair. The dispensers have since been fixed.

Student Life

CAPS Forum

Authored by: Anthony Williams, Maria Curry, Michelle Xu


Previously, many students authored articles circulating weaknesses in CAPS as a resources, not knowing enough about CAPS, and about CAPS in a way that suggests that they are unaware of so many of the other wellness resources on campus. However, hopefully this will happen less as more initiatives geared toward educating undergraduates about the truth behind Penn's efforts to support mental health are successful. We are proud to say that this event was one of them.


The CAPS Forum event with SPEC and the Class Board(s) was successful. We had a strong turnout in terms of the student body, and an effective showing in regards to the members of CAPS and Penn Wellness that agreed to give their time. Additionally, it was great to see members of the UA helping out as well. The dogs, hot chocolate, and chocolate fountain were all utilized.


I noticed that while there were some attendees who simply arrived to collect food and leave, did just that. Albeit, the majority of people stuck around to talk to the clinicians and Penn Wellness, as well as to engage with the dogs and all of us, which spelled out an effective use of our resources at this event. I feel confident that students really enjoyed it, and hope to see or push for a DP article to be written to spread news of the event. It was well attended; members from the DP were there as well as other leaders of campus organizations, not to mention the support from President Amy Gutmann herself.

External Seats

Committee on Campus and Community Life Update

Authored by: Samara Wyant


The Committee on Campus Life and Community met on Monday for the first time for the year to discuss its charges for the year. CCCL is a UC committee that advises the Council on the relationship of Penn to the surrounding community, advises administrators on matters of safety and security, and monitors communication and general community life of both graduate and undergraduate students. The specific charges for the year are monitoring access to mental health, reviewing and reviewing Penn’s local community engagement. The committee is also charged with identifying issues that should be given highest priority for the committee in the upcoming year (2018-2019).


  1. Roll Call
  1. Jennifer
  2. James
  3. Jess
  1. Open Forum
  1. Ben: I just want to bring up initiative on green living survey. Students are encouraged to take an exam on green living and is very educational and in depth. Do you have any ideas to advertise it.
  2. Natasha: Post in listservs
  3. Jay: What is it?
  4. Ben: You get certified as bronze silver or gold certificate and you get a ticket to a lottery to win cool stuff.
  1. Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Admin Meetings
  1. Business Services
  1. Michelle: This past week cabinet met with business services and talked about more water fountains in college dorms. Kyle will do a walking inventory in quad and hill. We talked about AC in all on-campus residencies. They have a 5 year plan and are looking for short term solutions. We talked about airport shuttles. We are thinking of getting shuttles for more breaks. They are looking for more pricing tags at Houston. They want help marketing the SEPTA center in bookstore. They want better representation for DAB because the people aren’t on the dining plan.
  2. Jordan: I will pass out SEPTA stuff
  3. Michelle: They are also in charge of ice skating rink and we might have an event there.
  1. AVEN Survey
  1. Michelle: Please fill out this survey. Once all 50 of us have filled it out we will move onto training.
  1. Campus Conversation
  1. Michelle: Tomorrow 5-7 PM the President and Provost are hosting the conversation. For the second hour students will provide recommendations to the administration. It can be a powerful event
  1. Vice President’s Report
  1. UA Steering
  1. Jay: This past week we had UA Steering on Tuesday. In the first half we had a discussion on the AVEN and PAVE program. We broke up into groups of six. I will be posting projects in master sheet. Next Steering is November 7th and we will have EVP and Karu.
  2. Michael: I will bump the master project list. Please utilize this.
  1. University Council
  1. Jay: On Wednesday we had UC and undergraduates there was a statement about APSC. Sean Collins urged people to be present
  2. Kevin: What was the response?
  3. Jay: We will have response in the future
  1. DACA Updates
  1. Jay: There have been a lot of meetings since UA Steering. There is still unclarity in what the university will do if student’s face situation where they do need assistance. We have an open communication channel. The administration wants to hear from students affected by DACA. I will set up group to streamline from DACA students.
  2. George: I mentioned DACA to a lawyer and she said that many lawyers may not be too helpful in DACA
  1. Group Meetings
  1. UMC, Lambda, IFC
  1. Jay: I will update projects on for these groups on the project list. UMC aims to facilitate interculturalism and promote social justice. Lambda alliance is the umbrella organization that aims to foster community. I will probably be meeting with IFC and LatinX and PanHellenic Council
  1. UA Report
  1. Next Week’s GBM
  1. Michael: Next week’s GBM will be taking place in 6th floor Van Pelt. Sal Caputo might provide dinner for us.
  1. Educational Moment of the Week
  1. Michael: Trustee committees donate money and run university and hire Amy Gutmann. They deal with high level policy things. We have eleven committees
  1. Member of the Week is Jennifer
  1. Treasurer’s Report
  2. Secretary’s Report
  1. Discussion Papers
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. Evaluating Academic Advising
  1. Jay: Academic advising has been a big issue. Each school has its own policy for academic advising. Each school has a pre major advisor. Students should view their role has a way to help them guide their direction in life. Big lack of communication between advisors and students. Students believe there is not great communication.
  2. Simon: Peer advisors are for upperclassmen who help students go on a direction. One of the biggest problems has been commitment and communication.
  3. Jennifer: On campus they give a tour and that is the main thing. After NSO the peer advisors fall out of the loop with students.
  4. Simon: It is a critical point of time and everyone knows their peer advisor and we really want them to stay more supportive.
  5. Maher: What is procedure when someone has an advisor that does not care. I have had a lot of friends where their advisors did not care. Many students do not know what to do.
  6. Jay: Every school goes by it differently. There is a procedure to request another advisor. The question goes back to what is it that the student wants that is not being heard.
  7. Maher: The issue is that some people have very niche questions.
  8. Maria: Being in Huntsman it is very difficult to have good advisors because it's difficult. I feel like it's connected with pennintouch because the worksheet does not work well. For peer advisors we are having a wharton session coming up soon.
  9. Will: From personal experience my advisor did not reach out initially. She was very unresponsive. My only communication was the one email.
  10. Jordan: I would say that peer advisors surround different tracks. SOmetimes it is too random. The first time I met with him before I got very bad feedback. I think that once you finish your courses you can submit feedback on your advisor. I think that we should have an evaluation process on peer advisors. I don’t think it should be on them to decide.
  11. Samara: I think that one thing that applies is that academic advisors are qualified for mental health resources. They are all trained in a base level in how to help students. I think that they should be saying that to their advisees. They are in some capacity that they have some knowledge in how classes can be handled. Make that information known. Icare training could be good for all advisees
  12. Michael: There is not currently any icare training for peer advisors
  13. Jay: Do you think academic advisors should go further into asking what else they can do.
  14. Michelle: You should see what else they can do.
  15. Noah: I do not think it is necessary for icare training
  16. Arjun: I met with my academic advisor recently and they did not inform me that I had to take extra courses for the course I wanted to take. The advisors need to have better general knowledge. Make a monthly meeting can be useful
  17. Natasha: My advisor cares more about my well being than my classes. I feel a little frustrated with striking balance between good and bad advisor. I was given too much freedom in my freshmen year. I felt confused on how to go about that process.
  18. Simon: Do you think it would be better to give guidance for more routine
  19. Natasha: Having advisor point things out are useful
  20. Sravya: Everything is decentralized regarding advising. I am not sure how that advising feedback actually makes changes. I think advisors should be cognizant and aware of different courses. I think they should be aware of all courses.
  21. Jennifer: If Wharton counselor didn’t know the answer they should contact you with others
  22. Jason: All schools are very stratified. Over 30% of students do a dual degree. The dialogue with students in other schools is very necessary.
  23. Jay: Julianne is working deliberately on that
  24. Michael: On pennintouch there is a pre-major advisor and a college contact. My college contact is the same as my pre-major advisor. I think getting a college contact is necessary
  25. James: Is there a ratio of students to advisors
  26.  Jennifer: Potentially sixteen for peer advising
  27. James: Academic advising the ratio is low.
  28. Simon: I think the ratios vary dramatically
  29. James: I know some advisors are very small
  30. Jay: It is supposed to happen when you declare your major.
  31. Michael: Part of algorithm. One pre-major advisor will have two peer advisors that assist. And ratio is never quite too large. You can also change your peer major advisor
  32. Max: With academic advising I thought of that we can’t register for classes until we fill out survey for advisor. I think the questions could be useful. As far as knowing advisors knowing things across schools, I think that could be confusing.
  33. Simon: How would you feel about dual degree advising?
  34. Brian: Walk in appointments
  35. Kevin: Doing feedback is a good idea. You should look into supply of pre major advisors.
  36. Sahitya: Are academic advisors supposed to advise for career stuff. Advising is a mess in Wharton.
  37. Sravya: You can sign up for one
  38. George: Two nursing advisors quit and we have very few left. Are there advisors overworked and do not have enough funding. The other nursing advisors moved into other positions and redirected career path. Make their job satisfaction better. I am curious of system that they have access to. I feel that some of the basic advising things could be useful
  39. Jennifer: Over the summer you can watch videos.
  40. Kevin: Is there a centralized system that evaluates advisors. I feel like that would be useful
  41. Jay: It would be a dean.
  42. Kevin: We should get them to have feedback
  43. Samara: I think they are different things, and they should be viewed differently.
  44. George: For peer advising it is decentralized. In minority advising the nursing school has some. The formal peer advising channels do not seem very used. The students who went to quaker days helped students
  45. Ben: Are peer advisors or academic advisors paid extra?
  46. Michael: Peer advisors not paid
  47. Ben: Look into an incentive
  48. Jennifer: It is the issue that it was set up like that.
  49. Maria: For our cohort we had students reach out to advisor.
  50. Delaney: For incentives, if you get a lot of stuff you can get points
  1. Student Life
  1. Referendum to Reallocate UA Seats
  1. Samara: This was brought up by Alec. One of the things that he wished he had done was to give seats to students who were not represented. I think it would be great for the UA to have more than one nurse. I think adding a seat for transfer students could be helpful. I think for transfers it takes a little more effort. The final group would be part time students who cannot serve on the UA. It would take a referendum to change the constitution. Referendum can be from ⅔ students of the UA. What constituencies should we be working on. I would have to check on if seniors could vote. How should the seats be allocated?
  2. Kevin: Are seats on the UA the best way to represent these groups. I worry about the slippery slope we would create. If we do want to add groups we should add not reproportion
  3. Michelle: I agree with Kevin and consider adding a bylaw to fill associate members diverse groups
  4. Michael: Part-time students is interesting because the bylaw for associate members says full time students.
  5. Natasha: Part time students would be harder for them to identify themselves
  6. Maria: If this goes forward, I think that study abroad students could be added to this.
  7. Jordan: I think something good would be UA Steering. Because some people lost their seats.
  8. Samara: How about nursing seats?
  9. Jess: I think the am seat is different. I think two nursing reps would be powerful
  10. Ben: What is population
  11. Samara: The constitution says every school gets one rep
  12. George: I think that it was initially good bt two thousand people would be tough. I feel that I am a minority in nursing program. I am a dual degree and a male nurse. I also started very late. It is hard to understand what others are going through
  13. Sravya: Do we have to change the bylaws
  14. Maher: I don’t think transfer students are at a disadvantage
  15. Arjun: When to conduct a referendum would be best during elections. How would the change take place after that?
  16. Samara: I was asking when because we would have to wait until next year to elect these students. I have to meet with NEC to determine how that works.
  17. Max: Look into previous years to see how many various groups ran into student groups
  18. Ben: I think that potentially transfer students could live in the quad
  19. Sahitya: I do not know if housing the best.
  20. Anthony: For TSO you more so mix with transfer students and there are less people. Maybe look into other programs that better acquaint transfer students
  21. Maria: I will email you regarding study abroad because you can do that for some semesters
  22. Anthony: I lost because of related issues.
  1. Integration of CAPS into Student Life
  1. Jess: We met with Dr. Alexander to talk about our initiatives to get CAPS integrated into student life. We talked about having short college house presentation during NSO. They were not sure of the best times to introduce CAPS to students.
  2. Kevin: We talked about satellite clinics across campus. Cornell has similar system. CAPS said they are fully for this and have a lack of funding.  We think that stations would be helpful. We want these to be at college houses and major academic buildings
  3. Jason: Penn Benjamins could be a potential alternative.
  4. Kevin: We thought it would be in between them.
  5. Jess: CAPS gives an initial consultation and can schedule resources for the future.
  6. Jason: Satellite resources do they have enough resources
  7. Simon: Even if it is an intermediary, there might be a problem of confidentiality
  8. Kevin: If it is an actual problem, would you limit access to CAPS.
  9. Simon: Sometimes they are under legal binding to keep confidentiality
  10. Jess: In grad school it is a pilot program
  11. Max: You could try trial funding for a week.
  12. Ben: Maybe look into see for satellite clinicians to see if grad students can work in college houses.
  13. Max: For a CAPS presentation during NSO I think that would be great.
  14. Jason: They said it was not possible due to funding
  15. Max: I think it is necessary.
  16. Jess: I will meet with other college house deans to see if it is feasible.
  17. Natasha: In college houses I think it could be good. We have leverage at this point for safety of students. You have a good argument
  18. Ben: People are adverse for tutoring. But make it easy for people to confidentiality to do it
  19. Mercedes: have you gotten any feedback on current pilot program
  20. Kevin: They got a very high demand, and are expecting same result.
  21. Jess: Students that have not used this resource yet do feel more comfortable
  22. Jennifer: Maybe have peer advisors take their students to CAPS
  23. Sravya: Is there a referral process for CAPS. I want to know if I can refer a friend
  24. Natasha: I know when it is very serious, CAPS can intervene
  25. Jay: If you have not talked with Kathryn Dewitt I would set up a meeting with her. Integrating it with other college houses.
  26. Jess: Dr. Alexander said it was taxing for the CAPS staff.
  27. Kevin: Because peer advisor is showing you around we can have them show them around.
  1. Dining Sustainability and Facilities
  1. PennFaces Revamp
  1. Project Updates
  1. Dining, Sustainability and Facilities
  1. Huntsman Hall Improvements
  1. Kyle: Elena is working with Huntsman operations, to allow students outside students to have more options. She wants to work on that to improve efficiency
  2. Sahitya: Empty GSRs can be reappropriated
  3. Ben: Would it just be chargers
  1. Student Rec Center
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. Hand Sanitizers in the Quad
  1. Sravya: Kyle and I have been working to get hand sanitizers in the quad.
  2. Sahitya: Currently someone else worked on it.
  3. Kevin: There should be one where the trash is.
  1. Priority Registration for Athletes
  1. Jennifer: I am working on project for athletes registering for classes. I cannot take classes before noon. Julianne: is working on the project with me. They are working on policy changes and there are a lot of ethical issues. I have been contacting athletes at other schools. Other schools have some stuff in place. In Cornell there is a time where no classes are held. In Yale they can note which classes they want
  2. Kevin: It would seem strange for the university to codify athletics over academics. A better way to do this would be to speak with faculty. Potentially get sports moved.
  3. Samara: It makes sense why athletes might need preference. Have you had the problem where athletes faced a specific situation. Are there ways around that?
  4. Jennifer: It depends on sports team. I cannot schedule classes before noon. I would find something to substitute that. It depends on the coaches
  5. Ben: I want to commend you for working on these times. Some classes are restricted. Is it always like this
  6. Jennifer: It always depends on the year.
  7. Brian: Other programs are restricted
  8. Natasha: It is comparable to other programs and should be allowed to take classes they need to.
  9. Max: I would be interested to see why other schools gave priority. Some classes are small so it could be ethically wrong
  10. Ben: Maybe not having required classes during a specific time period
  11. Michelle: In Cornell it is more of a space problem. I think it is interesting to pursue the project
  12. Natasha: Cornell is a culture thing
  13. Simon: Maybe not getting courses themselves priority but recitations themselves. Give athletes for recitations
  14. Jennifer: Yale has a more advanced system and have technology to make notes.
  15. Nick: I would push this on the sports side. For some sports we must book court time.
  16.  Kyle: Athletics has space problem
  17. Kevin: Perhaps academics should come over athletics space problem
  1. Test Bank Policy
  1. Kevin: I have had some good progress with this. This is not the final version of this.
  2. Natasha: Is there any consideration to show this to faculty senate.
  3. Kevin: I will send this to Rob and then see what is next.
  4. Sravya: Is there any discussion on which group have test banks.
  5. Kevin: Julie wants to go through what groups to do.
  6. Kevin: If it does go through it depends on the level
  7. Ben: What are your ideas for enforcement?
  8. Kevin: There is not a lot of enforcement here but office of student conduct does handle enforcement
  9. Ben: You have two back to back clauses for grammatical
  10. Kevin: Thank you
  11. Samara: In terms of how this will work. Dennis PPHE311 says that all of his work should not be used outside of class
  1. Social Justice
  1. Expanding the GIC FGLI Library
  1. Mercedes: I met with valerie deCruz and we discussed the possibility of expanding the library. She suggested that I focus on financial aid instead. Next I will focus on contacting Elaine Varas and talk about how it can be better effective in getting books.
  2. Kevin: I think you should push the library thing
  3. Mercedes: She was hinting that it wasn’t really the problem. They are also working with nursing school to get more books
  4. Jay: I spoke with Sebastian who is on FGLI and I think it would be helpful to talk with him. Financial aid also includes course of books but I do encourage you to reach out to Sam.
  5. Mercedes: I spoke with Sam and she said they cannot speed up process.
  6. Natasha: The FGLI library was only started last year. They have restraints for funding. Graduate student runs the library. It is all about funding. Mercedes can work on the fact that grants for students are not being met
  7. Samara: I think a lot of students would be willing to donate to FGLI library
  8. Kyle: Penn has some book drives on campus. Engineering has one every year
  9. Jay: At end of year there is a book drive and students drop them off in boxes.
  10. Jordan: In my tuition there was a line item for a cost for books.
  11. Mercedes: Communication is very difficult for financial aid.
  12. Max: When you get your refund that is how it comes in
  13. Jay: Essentially it shows what is being covered by financial aid. It is factored in but not showed
  14. Max: You can appeal to get your refund earlier for housing but I am not sure if you can do that for textbooks. Push the guide George made and after the meeting I can talk about financial aid thing.
  15. Michelle: SFRS is an admin meeting we will set up this semester. Make students more aware of the $1000 credit.
  16. Ben: Is there an interest
  17. Michelle: no
  1. Tampon Initiative
  1. Jordan: It is moving forward and I brought this up at business services. This project would be to get free or subsidized feminine hygiene products in college houses. People have worked in past years, and big issues are funding and stocking. We tried reaching out to vendors. Our vendors do not open up to that. Maher has meeting with Penn Women’s center. We want to run pilot program in Ware college house. Our goal is to provide pilot with SHS. We will do all in female and gender neutral bathrooms. We will send out an email with a survey.
  2. Jay: In college houses they have condoms where is the funding.
  3. Jordan: They did not want to pay for feminine hygiene products because of budgeting issues
  4. Natasha: Gregory and Stouffer already have free feminine hygiene products
  5. Samara: Push back on cost issue. I don’t think it is crazy to ask GAs to stock products
  6. Sola: Brown pushed this forward as a school wide thing
  7. Jordan: Our goal is to have them stock bathrooms. Work Study students already go to the bathrooms to check for products. It is definitely a timing thing
  8. Natasha: I know that an RA had a bag against the wall that said candy or condoms
  9. Ben: The issue is if the RA and GA were a guy would they pay for them?
  10. Jordan: No, college houses would reallocate their budget to purchase those
  11. Ben: If you did have them in bathroom make sure they are restocked.
  1. LOA Project
  1. Jordan: One hurdle we have come to is that Kathryn Dewitt reached out to her friends and all of them were not willing to serve on the board.  They do want to plan a orientation in the spring. I want to meet with her to make sure we are on the same plan. Many faculty workers have been working very well. Some faculty want to advocate for partnership. Currently there are some confidentiality issues that leave students restricted to certain places. Faculty has been pushing to have him reach out to students. They are working with the faculty senate to get a faculty advisor with the group
  1. Halal Food Access
  1. Jude: I walked into dining hall with friend and he said he wanted halal food. This past wednesday I met with the MSA. I am trying to work on project to get halal food more access. I met with MSA this past wednesday and they said gourmet grocer has some but is limited. They only serve halal chicken and eat it five days a week. Most Muslim students decide not to go on meal plans. They wanted to be guaranteed that they have food. Dining halls are not a collective system. You have to go through whole separate process.
  2. Kyle: We talked at DAB and they advertised that chicken and hamburgers should always be Halal. Now the ask has increased for meat on weekends. Now there is push back because students want more.
  3. Jude: This has happened multiple times. A concern was that anyone can eat halal. Apparently Hillel packages certain type of food and brings it to houston hall
  4. Noah: Hillel is not open until saturday until sunday. It is an issue for orthodox community. Some students go to houston for pre made wraps.
  5. Samara: I have been told that all kosher meat is also halal
  6. Natasha: I think there are two different avenues of miscommunication one between business services staff. I am not sure if staff just doesn’t know. I think you could reach out to business services. Business services said they were okay with not having meat on the weekends
  7. Jay: I think it is ludicrous that they don’t have food option for all seven days. Miscommunication issue. Do you know where the meat comes from? If meat in King’s court is halal is it different process
  8. Jude: Halal meat costs a lot more. It is bought in bulk. I think that is where the extra expense comes from.
  9. Maria: I don’t think it is a stretch to ask for food seven days a week
  10. Natasha: Chefs are the ones which ingredients are added to food
  11. Noah: What have Muslim students done on the weekends?
  12. Jude: Either gourmet grocer. I also don’t know and it just seems unfair to me.
  13. Noah: Did MSA give you a number for the students?
  14. Jude: There is an inconsistency. I am trying to identify as many Muslim students as possible and see how many eat halal.
  15. George: Can they eat at food trucks. Ask food trucks where they get their meat from?
  16. Jude: There is someone working to get dining dollars at food trucks. They can eat there but not use dining dollars
  17. Ben: It would be largely an issue for new students
  18. Jude: They told me during the meeting that there were not many students on the dining plan eating halal
  19. Jay: it should not matter how many students
  1. Student Life
  1. Student Registration and Financial Services
  1. Max: This past Wednesday we met to discuss the outside scholarships. Currently outside scholarships take away from other grants before parent contribution. SRFS is encouraging scholarship donations to be applied every year. We also talked about that it takes away from work study. We will make a guide to financial aid at Penn
  2. Jordan: I don’t think it should take away summer opportunities. In my experience work study is pocket money. A lot of students use that money for other resources. I think it should be taken into account. In the long run it should directly increase how much you are expected to pay. I do not understand the difference because if I pay tuition it is through parents.
  3. Max: In family contribution it is split up between students and parents. If you get rid of student contribution it reduce family contribution
  4. Jason: You said SRFS wants to see this eventually.
  5. Max: not financially feasible
  6. Mercedes: How does it affect FGLI students?
  7. Max: That is the problem and we are trying to ensure Penn Grant does not get rid of
  8. Natasha: I think we should talk about getting rid of summer contribution
  9. George: We could also get rid of student contribution
  10. Max: That is the dilemma because some students do pool their contributions
  1. Completion Reports
  1. Dining, Sustainability and Facilities
  1. Student Volunteer Massage Program
  1. Kyle: The UA will not be running a massage program anytime soon
  1. Off-Campus Recycling Guide
  1. Kyle: The off-campus recycling guide was sent out
  1. Advertising Quad Printing
  1. Kyle: Jesse bought printer because he did not know they could print. Lulu advertised through newsletter
  2. Ben:Anything past the newsletter. I think that would be good for new students to know
  1. Water Dispensers in Houston Hall
  1. Arjun: Water fountains are now fixed in Houston
  1. Student Life
  1. CAPS Forum
  1. Anthony: It was a success and people came by. Amy Gutmann came by. Successful event
  2. Michelle: Olin had facebook page so look at it for photos. Kathryn and Penn Wellness felt they had good discussions about it. Make sure you reach out to Penn Wellness with projects
  3. Anthony: project redux reduce the stigma
  4. Noah: I go to penn wellness every other week
  1. External Seats
  1. Committee on Campus and Community Life Update
  1. Samara: UC committee and advises on matters of safety and security. It only meets a few times with students on it. There are a couple chairs who focus on access to mental health.
  2. Jay: They focused on mental health and I brought up expanding the resources. Push the causes
  3. Natasha: I think taking critical look at community engagement could be helpful
  4. Samara: They like to bring in outside groups for feedback.
  1. Communications