General Body Meeting

03/24/19

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. Upcoming University Council Meeting
  1. UA Report
  1. Removal Contestation Hearing
  2. Member of the Week
  1. Secretary’s Report
  1. Annual Report
  1. Project Highlights
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. CIS Advisory Board
  2. CAPS in Athletics
  1. Student and Campus Life
  1. Active Shooter Guide
  1. Equity and Inclusion
  1. Return from Leave of Absence Application and Reintegration
  2. Information Sessions for Less Advertised Wharton Concentrations
  3. CAPS Embedded Models Across Undergraduate Schools
  1. Sustainability and Community Impact
  1. UA x SRFS Middle Income Focus Groups
  2. Increasing Awareness for Campus Resources Via Video
  3. Life Skills Workshop
  4. Improving Sustainability Practices within Houston Market
  1. Completion Reports
  1. Student and Campus Life
  1. Penn Virtual Tours
  1. Equity and Inclusion
  1. Subsidizing Prescription Medication Copayments for Highly-Aided students
  2. Positivity Banners on Locust
  3. FGLI Guide
  1. Sustainability and Community Impact
  1. Van Pelt Basement Renovations
  2. Mindfulness Space in Van Pelt
  1. Communications

Reports


President’s Report

  1. Past Administrator Meetings
  1. Provost Pritchett - March 20
  1. On Wednesday, UA Cabinet met with Provost Wendell Pritchett and Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein. We began the meeting by discussing student wellness initiatives, including the Thriving at Penn programming, John Casey’s club recruitment online resource project, and the idea of embedding wellness in spaces across campus. We received some helpful feedback on the notion of CAPS embedded counselors across campus, noting that additional components of scheduling might push back on some of the efficiency gains that CAPS has made on reducing wait times. In addition, we discussed the implementation of pass/fail to reduce academic stress and encourage exploration, including the results of the Wharton Dean’s Advisory Board survey, upon which Jess Andrews can elaborate. Further, we discussed the flexibility in scheduling the academic calendar and how to communicate to students the elements that go into the academic calendar planning.
  1. Division of Public Safety - March 22
  1. On Friday, UA Cabinet met with VP Maureen Rush, Kathleen Shields-Anderson, and Stacy Ritchie from the Division of Public Safety. We discussed the possible implementation of utilizing the text-a-tip feature to call for a Penn Walk escort and promotion of the Penn Guardian app, which can be downloaded by searching “Rave Guardian” in the App Store or Google Play. Then, we discussed the changes to the electric scooter policy that the City of Philadelphia is considering and how Penn may plug into the policies. Relevant departments in the University are aware of the policy implications, including Business Services, DPS, and more. We also brought to VP Rush’s attention the issue of smoking on campus and how public safety officers can and do work to get smokers to respect the University’s tobacco-free policy.
  1. New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives - March 22
  1. On Friday, UA Cabinet met with Troy Majnerick and Andrea Naughton from NSOAI. Ariela Stein joined the meeting to discuss the progress with Preceptorials, revitalizing them, and reforming a Preceptorials advisory board/committee. This includes the notion of incorporating physical education into Preceptorials to encourage healthy habits. We provided feedback on elements of Cabinet members’ sophomore years to help inform second-year experience programming. In addition, we talked about the possibility to increase engagement with wellness and public transit (SEPTA) during NSO. We received feedback on the wellness point that NSO might not be the optimal time to communicate those messages, but that the NSOAI office is willing to help support messaging and awareness of resources when semesters get more stressful.
  1. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  1. UA Cabinet will be meeting with President Gutmann on Tuesday, March 26 at 2pm and will be meeting with Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Benoit Dube, on Wednesday, March 27 at 9am.

Vice-President’s Report

  1. Upcoming University Council Meeting
  1. This Wednesday, March 27, 2019, we will be convening for University Council at 4:00PM in Bodek Lounge. This meeting will feature the rescheduled Open Forum and Penn First Plus presentations, as well as a presentation on the Budget.

UA Report

  1. Removal Contestation Hearing
  1. On Sunday, March 17, following an absence from GBM, Quinn Lawery (New Student Representative) was removed from the UA for having surpassed the allotted absence limit, missing 38.5% of GBMs. Due to the circumstances surrounding his removal, Quinn has decided to contest his removal at a hearing here today. The procedure for this hearing will run as follows, and is outlined in the copied Bylaws below:
  1. First, Quinn (or a surrogate), will have the opportunity to read his letter that he has written to the UA Secretary before the General Body.
  2. Then, the group will enter into a question-and-answer period that will be capped at 5 minutes.
  3. Following this, the Speaker will entertain a motion to descend to Executive Session, in which all members of the public (including AMs) and Quinn will have to exit the room.
  4. We will use this time for a pro and con debate caucus, which will be capped at 5 minutes.
  5. The Speaker will then entertain a motion to vote. The vote will be conducted by secret ballot. Ballots will be turned into the Secretary at the conclusion of voting and tabulated. Removal will be overturned by a vote of at least ⅔ of members in attendance.
  6. The Speaker will then entertain a motion to ascend from Executive Session, at which point the Speaker will invite Quinn and members of the public back into the room, and announce the results of the vote.
  1. Bylaws concerning removal contestation:
  1. A member wishing to contest their removal must submit a letter to the UA Secretary explaining the situation before the General Body meeting at which removal will be contested.
  2. A member who does not contest their removal will be automatically and permanently removed from the UA.
  3. If the removal is contested, a hearing will be held at the General Body meeting immediately after the letter has been received, and the member’s letter will be read aloud, followed by a question and answer period.
  4. The body can move the entire hearing into executive session, as per UA Constitution Article 19(a), with a two thirds majority vote following a motion to do so.
  5. The member in dispute shall then leave the room, and the body will debate whether to provide the minimum forgiven absences needed to maintain membership on the UA.
  1. Voting Procedure:
  1. Removals shall be immediately repealed by a vote of 2/3 of those members present at the hearing. The removal vote must be taken at the meeting of the hearing.
  2. The vote shall be conducted by secret ballot. Members may vote by absentee ballot if they so choose.
  3. The vote is final and may not be reconsidered.
  4. If the UA Secretary does not notify the entire body that the hearing will be on the agenda at least 48 hours before the hearing, the member in dispute has the right to postpone the hearing until after the entire body has been notified. This right must be exercised before the hearing begins.

Secretary’s Report

  1. Annual Report
  1. Remember to submit project overviews via this form by Wednesday, March 27th. As a reminder, a project overview should include details regarding what the project is, specific steps taken throughout the project, and completion/failure/future steps for the specific project.  Refer to the email I sent last Monday morning for examples!

Project Highlights


Academic Initiatives

CIS Advisory Board

Author: Sravya Alla

After several conversations about starting a CISAB, in order to centralize the effort rather than duplicate it, the CISAB will be merged with the town halls conducted by the Women in Computer Science (WICS) and Computer Science Society (CSS). More advertising will be done to encourage students from all 4 schools to attend. In addition, I am working on making sure CIS emails are sent to CIS minors as well. They are currently only being sent to those in Engineering & CIS Majors.

 

CAPS in Athletics

Author: Jen Richards

After contacting a Penn alumnus, I learned that this individual has secured funding for a CAPS clinician to be housed within Penn Athletics for 5 years. I’m currently working with administrators in Athletics like Matt Valenti to determine next steps in gaining Penn’s approval on implementation. Items to work out with this initiative include the location of the counselor, timing of appointments, and integration with other CAPS programming, but this ought to be a helpful asset for athletes in the future.

Student and Campus Life

Active Shooter Guide

Authored by: Nikhil Gupta and Dante Diggs

Following the active shooter tragedy at Dartmouth in November, we began to analyze Penn’s current active shooter policy and resources in order to determine whether they are truly comprehensive and meet the standards set by peer institutions. After meeting with Penn’s Department of Public Safety, we were informed that there will be a new guide that will be placed in academic buildings alongside a new video. The updated guide expands beyond our initial scope, as it details the critical response scenarios of Shelter-in-Place, Evacuation, as well as Active Shooter. We contributed by providing our suggestions for improving these drafts as well as their distribution; the DPS staff were very knowledgeable, friendly, and receptive. We hope that the UA can follow through with sponsoring safety trainings for the student body that are conducted by DPS.

Equity and Inclusion

Return from Leave of Absence Application and Reintegration

Authored by: Jude Dartey and Andrew Gegios

I met with Penn Wellness and also Wharton Wellness to discuss how to move this project forward. Penn Wellness is still in touch with Taka from Student Intervention Services (SIS) and he has assured us that his team is still having discussions on whether they would like to host the form on their website. We will remain in touch with them since we are looking for some kind of system that will be working by RSO Fall 2019. So far representatives from all four schools have agreed on this initiative, so we plan on reaching out to them again and to see if they can move the conversation forward with SIS.

 

Information Sessions for Less Advertised Wharton Concentrations

Authored by: Danny Dontoh

I spoke with Joseph Harrington, the department chair of the Business Economics and Public Policy Department (BEPP), and he plans on reaching out to other faculty members and upperclassmen students in the department who will be willing to participate before the upcoming Fall semester. For the remainder of the 2019 Spring semester, I will continue to work with G95 in Wharton to determine sustainable funding for this initiative for years to come. He has spoken with Maggie Browdy and Andrew Howard, co-chairs of the Wharton Dean's Undergraduate Advisory Board (WAB), about collaborating with them in terms of reaching out for funding for these sessions and to other departments in the future.

CAPS Embedded Models Across Undergraduate Schools

Authored by: Mary Sadallah and Chase Serota

 

We have been working with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Engineering Dean's Advisory Board (EDAB), Wharton Wellness, Penn Libraries, and the offices of the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL) and Vice Provost for Education (VPE) to discuss implementing embedded CAPS models across all of Penn's undergraduate schools. In conversation related to Wharton’s embedded counselor, CAPS Deputy Executive Director Meeta Kumar commented that CAPS would be willing to implement the model but would not be able to provide funding. Mary presented previous survey data to EDAB and Dr. Sonya Gwak (Director of Student Life in SEAS), who spoke of the need for data from Wharton. Chase met with Sal Caputo (Director of Facilities Management) at Penn Libraries to discuss piloting a program in Van Pelt during Reading Days in the event that funding was found. VPUL also brought up the possibility of multiple schools co-funding a clinician since each of the undergraduate schools has separate profit streams and funding entities. We met with Anita Mastroieni (Executive Director for Graduate Education and Initiatives) and Jennifer Canose (Associate Director for Education) from VPE. They encouraged them to focus on piloting the program during Reading Days and exploring the possibility of co-funding clinicians between undergraduate and graduate schools. They also agreed to find out how much it costs for the professional schools to fund their clinicians, so that a proposal can be presented to the undergraduate Council of Deans.  

Sustainability and Community Impact

UA x SRFS Middle Income Focus Groups

Authored by: Natasha Menon

On Monday, March 18th, I met with Matt Sessa, Elaine Papas Varas, and Paul Richards from SRFS to discuss the facilitation of focus groups centered on the experience of middle income students at Penn, which is defined as students who fall in the $65,000 to $135,000 income bracket. This began with a discussion of how the new sophomore housing policy might affect students who only receive financial aid packages that cover tuition, as well as an acknowledgement that middle income students do not have a student lobbying group advocating for them. We also discussed greater financial guidance for Penn parents and increased dialogue about loans amongst the student body. These focus groups will hopefully help to elucidate hidden financial stressors faced by middle income students. We are aiming to hold these focus groups the second week of April and SRFS would like to begin with a UA-only focus group!  If you would like to participate, please reach out to me or Paul directly!

  1. Should the focus groups be facilitated by students with SRFS administrators taking notes, or by  SRFS administrators directly?
  2. What questions would you like to be asked?

Increasing Awareness for Campus Resources Via Video

Authored by: George Yang

I have created multiple videos in order to distribute knowledge about different resources on campus to (mainly) freshmen. Such video cast resources include how to acquire free textbooks, how to get Canvas calendar to sync with Google calendar, and how to submit a maintenance request. I am hoping to expand this video resource; please email me for suggestions.

Life Skills Workshop

Authored by: Vyshnavi Kosigishroff

 

The Life Skills Workshop is an informal colloquium of five smaller workshops designed to teach students about five specific life skills: financial literacy, cooking, self defense training, Microsoft Office proficiency, and interview skills. Charles Curtis-Thomas and I have agreed to push this workshop to next semester. We have contacts for all of our proposed life skill workshops and potential locations but hope to have the entire plan finalized by mid-April, with roll out estimated for the weekend of September 3-4.

Improving Sustainability Practices within Houston Market  

Authored by: Chase Serota and Mikayla Golub

 

In meetings with the Dining Advisory Board, we discussed ways to enhances sustainability practices in Houston Market by decreasing the use of plastic containers, decreasing the use of plastic bottled water, and promoting proper disposal of food waste. Since the recent renovations of Houston Market, the addition of a dish cleaning station has made possible the use of dishware and silverware within the space. Nevertheless, employees within Houston Market rarely ask students if they’d like to utilize the “to-stay” option and automatically default to using plastic containers even when students opt to eat in. We proposed standardizing the practice of asking people to stay or to go by include this in a memo to all employees, adding a script, and enhancing training of all employees in Houston to include asking each customer if they’d like “to stay” or “to go”.  We also discussed expanding the capabilities of all food stations within Houston Market to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary plates and dishes to accommodate a “to-stay” option. We proposed installing a more accessible water tap in a more centralized location within Houston Market with washable cups made available, similar to those in other dining halls. Additionally, we recommended that signage be placed near the garbage station redirecting students who’d wish to have their remaining food waste properly disposed to the dish rack.


Completion Reports


Student and Campus  Life

Penn Virtual Tours

Authored by: Kayla Prezelski

Over the session, I compiled a proposal regarding the merits of creating a virtual Penn tour that would better accommodate students who cannot physically come to Penn’s campus when they are applying to college and urging Penn admissions to pursue this initiative. Low income, international, transfer students, and others could benefit from a virtual tour of Penn’s campus which would aid in making touring Penn’s campus equally accessible for all students. I worked with a representative from YouVisit, a company that peer institutions have used to provide virtual tours, and Nexo Productions, a student group that specialized in videography projects. Statements of support for adding virtual tours were also collected from representatives of Penn’s Assembly of International Students (AIS), Transfer Student Organization (TSO), and Penn First. Since reviewing the proposal, the Vice Dean of Penn Undergraduate Admissions has confirmed that Admissions plans on working with YouVisit over the next several months, so a virtual tour should be created in the near future.

Equity and Inclusion

Subsidizing Prescription Medication Copayments for Highly-Aided Students

Authored by: Carmen Duran

SFS clarified that not only can prescription medication copayments be accounted into a student's cost of attendance, but other occurring expenses such as miscellaneous medical expenses or childcare expenses are guaranteed to be taken into account in a student's cost of attendance (COA) as well. SFS also clarified that there may be potential for other items outside of these categories to be calculated into a student's COA, but these situations are to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Students should meet with and notify their specific advisors about any concerns or questions they may have for expenses they need assistance in covering. Lastly, it is intended that this information will be distributed in Penn FIrst's upcoming guide to be distributed to first-generation, low-income (FGLI) students to make this information more widely known to students on campus.

 

Positivity Banners on Locust

Authored by: Jude Dartey

The purpose of this project was to get some form of a permanent banner on Locust Walk that would have a positive message on it to aid with wellness on campus. VPUL loved this idea but after a conversation with Katie Bonner, it looks like this will not be feasible. The banners that are currently displayed on Locust cost about $600 dollars on average. The company also charges $200 every time they put a banner up and another $200 for every time they have to take the banner down. This positivity banner cannot stay up there permanently because other ones are constantly put up to get different messages across to students. Moving forward, there is definitely room for conversation to be had with VPUL about a banner that stays up for an extended period of time. There could also be talks about a different location on Locust than the place where most of them are located but until VPUL agrees with this, I am marking this project as complete.

 

FGLI Guide

Authored by: Jude Dartey and Santosh Nori

This past Sunday I met with Lyndsi Burcham from PennFirst to talk about the FGLI guide that the organization is making and how the guide that the UA began to make can fit into it. The guide that they are looking to make is more extensive than the currently guide held by the UA. PennFirst is following the University of Michigan’s “Being Not Rich at UM” model and they will be in touch with the UA if they need any further assistance. Sebastian Gonzalez has a copy of our guide so they will pull any information out of it if necessary. Moving forward, there could be conversations had about renaming this guide so it doesn’t have a demeaning connotation but as it stands now, PennFirst will be taking over making the FGLI guide.

Sustainability and Community Impact

Van Pelt Basement Renovations

Authored by: Chase Serota and Jesse Fox

 

Roughly two months ago Chase and Jesse met with Sal Caputo from Penn Libraries to discuss the presence of broken outlets in the basement of Van Pelt. Chase, Sal, and Jesse conducted a walk through of the outlets and we decided to consult Penn FRES to conduct an audit of all the electrical equipment in the basement. After further investigation it was determined that a large portion of the wiring would need to be replaced in order to repair the broken outlets and the carpets would need to be removed to conduct a full rewiring. As part of the approved renovations that will take place this summer all of the outlets will be repaired and rewired, all soft furniture including all couches and lounge chairs will be replaced and upgraded, new modern carpet will be installed, the space will be repainted, and all the lighting and fixtures will be replaced with brighter and more sustainable options.  

Mindfulness Space in Van Pelt

Authored by: Jesse Fox and Chase Serota

 

In collaboration with CAPS, Penn Wellness, and Penn Libraries we will be piloting a mindfulness space within Van Pelt that will be available this semester by reading days. We will be meeting with CAPS and the facilities team from Penn Libraries on Thursday, March 28th to discuss specific details for the implementation and roll out of the space. The mindfulness space will offer students the opportunity to escape the pressures of their work and allow students to refresh with the option to engage in guided meditations.


Minutes


  1. Roll Call
  2. Open Forum
  1. Simon: Congrats to Maria and Mary for being two of the eight semifinalists in the Big Idea Wellness contest. A lot of projects are still being considered and implemented although they did not technically win.
  2. Arjun: RSAB virtual room tour. We are missing a few room types, so reach out to me if you know anyone in these room types.
  3. Michael: If anyone needs help with elections, please reach out.
  1. Reports
  1. President’s Report
  1. Past Administrator Meetings
  1. Michael: On Wednesday, Cabinet met with Provost Wendell Pritchett where we talked about student wellness initiatives and received really good feedback. We talked a bit about pass/fail as well. On Friday, we met with DPS where we talked about the Penn Guardian app and integration of Penn Walk. We also talked about scooter laws as well as smoke-free campus initiatives. Later that day met with NSOAI where we were joined by Ariela and talked about the sophomore experience and the overall student experience.
  2. George: What are they doing to enforce smoke-free campus.
  3. Michael: DPS is hoping to enforce this in a more indirect way as Penn Police would like to stray away from directly targeting individuals. They want to, instead, motivate students to be more proactive about smoke-free campus.
  4. Arjun: How soon will changes to preceptorials take effect?
  5. Michael: The first step is getting students for the advisory board, and they will get that infrastructure in place over the summer to integrate this into the actual academic year.
  6. Chase: Did you talk about next steps on the CAPS initiative?
  7. Michael: His hypothesis was that is we add more things to the CAPS counselors, the counselors won’t be used in the optimal way. They will review Wharton’s data and move forward.
  8. Mikayla: Tobacco relate to juuling?
  9. Michael: Juuling would be considered within that policy.
  1. Upcoming Administrator Meetings
  1. Michael: We have President Gutmann on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, we will be meeting with Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Benoit Dube. If you want specific projects on the wellness, please reach out to me or your committee director.
  1. Vice President’s Report
  1. Upcoming University Council Meeting
  1. Michael: UC will meet this Wednesday, featuring the rescheduled Open Forum, Penn First Plus presentations, and Budget presentation. Be there! There will be one more in April.
  1. UA Report
  1. Removal Contestation Hearing
  1. Brian: For those who are unaware, Quinn was removed from the UA for having surpassed the allotted absence limit, missing 38.5% of GBMs.
  2. Thomas: Could you speak to the projects that you are working on?
  3. Quinn: EpiPen project and Nap spaces in libraries.
  4. Janice: How many GBMs do we have left?
  5. Brian: We have two left: on March 31st and April 7th.
  1. Member of the Week
  1. Vysh and Charles!
  1. Secretary’s Report
  1. Annual Report
  1. Mercedes: Please submit project overviews by Wednesday, March 27th. Check the email I sent last Monday morning for examples and details!
  2. Mikayla: What time on Wednesday?
  3. Mercedes: 11:59pm is fine.
  1. Project Highlights
  1. Academic Initiatives
  1. CIS Advisory Board
  1. Sravya: CISAB will be merged with the town halls conducted by WICS and CSS. There are a lot of initiatives within these two groups that are talked about, so I think this would be very helpful. More advertising will be done to encourage students from all 4 schools to attend. In addition, I am working on making sure CIS emails are sent to CIS minors as well. They are currently only being sent to those in Engineering & CIS Majors.
  1. CAPS in Athletics
  1. Jen: I met with a Penn alum who secured funding for a CAPS clinician within Penn Athletics for 5 years. I will keep you guys posted on updates!
  1. Student and Campus Life
  1. Active Shooter Guide
  1. Nikhil: After a really productive meeting with DPS, we learned that there are making a new guide that is more marketable and reader-friendly. The guide extends past active shooting. They also created a new video to be shown at NSO. We are looking to host safety training in the Fall. Reach out to DPS with any initiatives.
  1. Equity and Inclusion
  1. Return from Leave of Absence Application and Reintegration
  1. Jude: We are still waiting for SIS to help us create a VPUL affiliated site. We are reaching out to the other three undergraduate schools to push for this initiative via student input.
  1. Information Sessions for Less Advertised Wharton Concentrations
  1. Danny: I spoke with Joseph Harrington, BEPP department chair, about two weeks ago and he plans to reach out to other faculty members and upperclassmen in the department. This will likely be a pilot, and a collaboration between UA and WAB. We are reaching out to G95 for funding.
  2. Arjun: What other departments are you looking into besides BEPP?
  3. Danny: Real Estate, who encouraged me to reach out next semester.
  4. Nikhil: I would model this after the OIDD department information session.
  5. Max: Did you speak to Nile?
  6. Danny: Yes, and he gave great feedback.
  7. Michael: What is the current source of knowledge of concentrations?
  8. Danny: Students are provided with very broad overviews of concentrations. I hope to highlight more niche areas with this project.
  1. CAPS Embedded Models Across Undergraduate Schools
  1. Mary: Most recently, we met with the Vice Provost for Education. On the graduate level, they support the idea but encourage us to try this on a very small scale. We plan to pilot it this year during reading days in Van Pelt. We hope to encourage collaboration between schools to address funding issues.
  2. Chase: Sal is very open to housing an embedded model of CAPS within VP. The funding is the only issue. We are hoping to gain support from the Provost’s office down.
  3. Mikayla: You mentioned that getting individual schools to agree would be a long process, but how do you anticipate having more people involved in making the final decision extending this timeline?
  4. Mary: Ideally, each school won’t have to develop this plan on their own.
  5. Chase: Each school has their own budget, so we will have to measure the data from Wharton and move on from there.
  6. Jess: I applaud you both for doing this project.
  7. Simon: Reach out to me offline about this.
  8. Michael: Have you reached out to VP of Penn Libraries, Constantia Constantinou?
  9. Chase: Sal tried to work this out himself and internally, so I think he did reach out to her. We will follow up with him on this.
  10. Michael: I would encourage you to reach out to her and put the student perspective in mind.
  1. Sustainability and Community Impact
  1. UA x SRFS Middle Income Focus Groups
  1. Natasha: These focus groups will help put the middle income perspective into the minds of SRFS. This focus group will hopefully be the week of April 2nd. There will also be a push for decreasing the stigma around loans. They have a couple of questions, which are listed above.
  2. Mikayla: It is helpful to have administrators asking the questions in order to lead a more goal-oriented discussion.
  3. Simon: This is a topic that could be really difficult to talk about, so I think it would be best to have administrators lead this group.
  4. Armaun: Would this group be focusing on the middle income experience at penn or the effect of the housing policy on middle income students?
  5. Natasha: Both essentially.
  6. Armaun: Mercedes, Kevin, and I are working on a project that could benefit from the discussion that comes from this focus group.
  7. Simon: I would also include the positive effect greek housing has on middle income students.
  8. Sravya: Would past UA members be able to attend?
  9. Natasha: Yes. Slack me for more information!
  1. Increasing Awareness for Campus Resources Via Video
  1. George: I have created a lot of video discussing various resources on campus. These videos are mainly targeted toward freshmen. If you are a peer mentor or a freshman, share this information! I am hoping to expand this video resource; please email me for suggestions.
  2. Thomas: I would reach out to NSO and work on incorporating this into NSO materials.  
  3. Sravya: Thanks for making these. Distribution will be an issue-- how do you plan to combat this?
  4. George: I am hoping to gather the help from other people as I am not social media savvy.
  5. Janice: I would contact Troy to replace TAP videos with yours. This could encourage students to actually watch the videos and also incorporating more relevant and practical information.
  6. Vysh: I would collaborate with CAPS as well.
  7. Sam: I would also work with Janet Tighe to create this as a consistent freshman resource.
  8. Chase: There was an admissions rep on the facebook page. Maybe utilizing that resource would be nice. I would also collaborate with the DP on their video series.
  1. Life Skills Workshop
  1. Vysh: This is a project Charles and I have been working on which consists of a collection five smaller workshops designed to teach students about five specific life skills. We hope to have the entire plan finalized by mid-April, with roll out estimated for the weekend of September 3-4. Work with DPS for sure!
  2. Mikayla: Elaborate on your choice of doing it after NSO?
  3. Vysh: We wanted to do it after to make sure people were not overwhelmed with activities.
  4. Jess: NSO also does not typically add things to their very packed and strict schedule.
  1. Improving Sustainability Practices within Houston Market
  1. Chase: We have been working on this for a while. With the new renovation of Houston Market by decreasing the use of plastic containers, decreasing the use of plastic bottled water, and promoting proper disposal of food waste. Employees within Houston Market rarely ask students if they’d like to utilize the “to-stay” option and automatically default to using plastic containers. We proposed standardizing the practice of asking people to stay or to go by including this in a memo to all employees, adding a script, and enhancing training of all employees in Houston to include asking each customer if they’d like “to stay” or “to go”.  
  2. Mikayla: There is also a conveyor belt system that we would like to add more signage to in order to increase overall sustainability. We have to consider the amount of staff able to work this if it were to become widely used.
  3. Priya: Why does the university not do self composting?
  4. Mikayla: The average person does not know how to properly compost, so instead of compromising the entire “batch”, they separate it for you.
  5. Natasha: We can also push this within our friend groups.
  6. Priya: You should work with Kev to push the use of the conveyor belt through DAB.
  1. Completion Reports
  1. Student and Campus Life
  1. Penn Virtual Tours
  1. Jess: Over the session, Kayla lobbied for the creation of a virtual Penn tour experience that would better accommodate students who cannot physically come to Penn’s campus. She gathered statements from relevant student groups and sent it to administrators. Since reviewing the proposal, the Vice Dean of Penn Undergraduate Admissions has confirmed that Admissions plans on working with YouVisit over the next several months, so a virtual tour should be created in the near future.
  2. Will: Has she worked with Kite & Key?
  3. Jess: Yes, they weren’t comfortable with the idea of lobbying for this initiative just in case the university was opposed to the idea.
  4. Priya: I think it would be nice to combine Maria and Arjun’s virtual room videos with this virtual tour.
  5. Michael: Having the capacity to visit campus, but given this option, would you still visit over simply viewing the virtual tour? Is there any added value in physically visiting campus?
  6. Thomas: A physical tour provides a genuine vibe of campus that is unmatched by a virtual tour.
  7. Mary: I did both-- the virtual tour would let me know if wanted to actually visit the school in person or not.
  8. Janice: I ended up visiting schools where I did both, and the real tour was more impactful.
  9. Mikayla: I would keep in mind the importance of integrating a personal story vs. detailed information or facts and figures. It may be hard to translate this goal into a virtual tour.
  10. Simon: I totally agree with Janice. The real impact came from real tours.
  11. Will: I think campus tours are pointless in the sense that they highlight the best aspects of a university. The value and reality of them come from seeing the actual campus rather than seeing the perfect photos and videos compiled by the university. I can send information from about our new tours if that would be helpful.
  12.  Nikhil: The schools that took the initiative to make virtual tours stood out to me personally.
  13.  Ammar: A lot of people use the virtual tour as a point of reference when considering transferring or attending a university.
  1. Equity and Inclusion
  1. Subsidizing Prescription Medication Copayments for Highly-Aided students
  1. Carmen: Copayments are costly to FGLI students. Elaine clarified that prescription medication copayments can be accounted into a student's cost of attendance and other occurring expenses such as miscellaneous medical expenses or childcare expenses.We discussed distributing this information to Penn First's upcoming guide to be distributed to FGLI students to make this information more widely known to students on campus.
  2. Janice: Do you think they would be open to adding long-term therapy to the cost of attendance?
  3. Carmen: I would ask SRFS, but recurring expenses would likely be included.
  4. Jess: Does reporting of these expenses need to happen ahead of time or retroactively?
  5. Carmen: There is an option to note recurring expenses when applying for financial aid, and if something happens mid-year, you can note this with your advisor.
  6. Chase: Is there an option for contingency funding?
  7. Carmen: Ideally, students should talk to their advisor as soon as possible.
  8. Janice: How would these payments be disbursed?
  9. Carmen: This will be accounted in overall financial aid package and disbursed accordingly.
  1. Positivity Banners on Locust
  1. Jude: Last semester, I saw the nice messages chalked on Locust which I believed fostered community on campus. The current banners on Locust are more stressful than uplifting. After a conversation with Katie, it looks like this will not be feasible due to costs. I may submit this in the next big idea contest.
  2. Michael: This would be very impactful. When FRES hangs banners, could this be a collaborative effort between offices to fund the costs.
  3. Jude: I will definitely look into that and continue working on this project.
  4. Armaun: Having a permanent banner in place is a great goal. I think a temporary solution would be having small yard signs.
  5. Daniel: I think it is surprising that the University would not consider this as an option considering the relatively inexpensive cost for a potentially impactful initiative.
  6. Vysh: Is there any empirical data surrounding the benefit of this project?
  7. Jude: I wanted to have simple messages like “You Belong” that encourage students to simply exist at Penn. There is not empirical data, but it is worth a try.
  8. Vysh: I am confused about how this would make more Penn students feel better.
  9. Jude: I wanted this to be a surprising burst of positivity on campus. I guess this is a conversation that should be had on whether it is wanted or not.
  10. Vysh: Having a focus group might be helpful by framing the discussion in a constructive way.
  11. Michael: I would consider trying a pilot with Campaign for Community funding.
  12.  Sam: I don't think that this would have a significant impact on mental health and would instead play into the University’s message of wellness on campus.
  13. Mikayla: The smaller scale yard signs could work better.
  1. FGLI Guide
  1. Jude: Santosh has been working on this guide for the past two sessions. I met with PennFirst to talk about the FGLI guide that they are making and how Santosh’s efforts can be integrated. The UA should advocate for the change of name of the guide. There are seven schools who have this type of guide, all with similar names.
  2. Kristen: The name is kind of restrictive to those who are First Gen. FGLI does not imply being “not rich.”
  3. Brian: I would also push for them to be a bit more concise.
  4. Quinn: Does FGLI use “or” or “and”?
  5. Jude: It is “or” for more inclusivity.
  6. Sam: Part of why this title is more well received is because it sounds more “student made” and buys into the social movement. At the other schools, it could be more targeted to low-income.
  7. Natasha: If the students are the prominent stakeholders, this should alleviate the perception of administrator overtaking.
  1. Sustainability and Community Impact
  1. Van Pelt Basement Renovations
  1. Chase: About two months ago Jesse and I met with Sal Caputo from Penn Libraries to bring the amount of broken outlets in the basement of Van Pelt to his attention. This has led to a complete renovation of the basement. The monthly meetings are a great way to voice your concerns. Thursday at 1pm is the next meeting.
  2. Armaun: Will you also be looking at structural renovations such as the removal of the turnstile gate.
  3. Chase: It would cost the university $2000 to remove it. We do want to reconfigure the space though. Ammar brought up the notion of making the dead space a tutoring center.
  4. Mikayla: This is something that is not branded as wellness but directly impacts wellness. I would pitch this to multiple offices in order to gain funding through collaboration.
  5. Daniel: Where is his office?
  6. Chase: It is on the second floor. I can meet you in the lobby if you’d like.
  1. Mindfulness Space in Van Pelt
  1. Chase: This idea is based on the possibility of a CAPS embedded model within VP. We will be piloting a mindfulness space within Van Pelt that will be available this semester for reading days. We are hoping to have some sort of support organization available that is not CAPS but are trained in dealing with issues of mental health.  
  2. Jess: I would reach out to Penn Bens and RAP line.
  1. Communications