In its first-ever live-streamed general body meeting, the Undergraduate Assembly turned its attention toward a number of projects in the midst of freshman elections.
Among other things, the UA discussed the G.O. Penn system, the creation of a mobile app for the University and the development of a campus-wide lost and found system.
UA President and College junior Dan Bernick explained that G.O. Penn is a system run by the Office of Student Affairs that functions as an online student directory.
“It’s awesome because it offers a list of all student groups but as far as I know students don’t use this website essentially at all,” Bernick said. The UA wants to try to get a “cheaper interim Wikispace that could do [what the current system does], but better.”
The current Go Penn system is very costly and is funded through the Student Activities Council, but SAC is already in the process of cutting this.
College junior and Daily Pennsylvanian columnist Ernest Owens, a UA representative, provided his insight into the matter.
“It’s obsolete. And I honestly think that right now would be a nice transition,” Owens said. “Nobody will really be affected and the time to upgrade and innovate would be now.”
In addition to talking about the future of G.O. Penn Sunday night, College sophomore and UA Representative Gabe Delaney discussed his goals to create a mobile app for Penn to supplement its mobile website that already exists.
“There are certain advantages to having a mobile app,” Delaney said. “Convenience, not needing a web browser to use it — overall it will be helpful for people going to school here.”
Delaney is currently working on bringing together a group of programmers to work on the app.
Also on Sunday, College sophomore and UA Representative Anthony Cruz presented an idea to create a lost and found system at Penn. As of now, the University does not have any centralized, formal system.
“If you lose something in Van Pelt you give it to the front desk, if you lose something on Locust Walk, you have to part with it,” Cruz said.
Other schools, such as Columbia and Cornell universities and UC Berkeley, have some variety of a lost and found system on campus, Cruz added.
Many of Cruz’s fellow UA members weighed in on the issue, including College sophomore and UA Representative Danielle Golub.
“I think the best approach would be to do it in a centralized manner — for example, everything [lost] in Wharton goes to Huntsman,” Golub said. “That way if you lose something in DRL you don’t have to go all the way to Huntsman to find it.”
Though the GBM was relatively short, the live-streaming of the meeting was part of an ongoing effort to bring the UA and the student body closer together.
“It’s very much like C-SPAN for student government — allowing citizens to see what their government is up to,” Bernick said. “The more educated they are, the more involved they will be.”