In addition to endorsing a new alcohol safety pilot program, the Undergraduate Assembly turned its attention to a number of other projects at its Sunday night general body meeting.
Among other things, the meeting featured a discussion about the UA’s new practice of live-streaming GBMs online.
UA President and College junior Dan Bernick agreed with many of his fellow members in saying that live-streaming is a good way to actively engage the student body in the UA’s discussions.
“My personal opinion is that we should do as much as we can in terms of transparency and engagement,” Bernick said. “All students can attend or watch the videos afterwards and it gives members an opportunity to speak and give their own input.”
Wharton junior and UA Representative Lisa Xu, however, expressed concern over whether recordings of the live-streamed meetings will be posted on websites like YouTube.
“Lots of funny stuff happens during our meetings, and no one wants to be embarrassed,” she said.
Tensions ran high Sunday night when the meeting turned its attention to a debate over the future of oPennEd — a Student Committee on Undergraduate Education project that aims to give students more access to online Penn lectures and other academic materials.
While the UA voted last semester to support the project, PennApps Labs — a student developer group responsible for creating and maintaining services that will serve the student body — reported last night that it no longer views oPennEd a viable endeavor to pursue.
SCUE Chair and Wharton senior Scott Dzialo responded negatively to claims that oPennEd is not relevant to the student body.
“I do draw personal objection with the belief that it has no bearing on the students and on the lives of students,” he said. “We have done many different focus groups talking to students about these things, and we’ve received good student feedback about oPennEd.”
After a lengthy discussion about oPennEd, the UA took a “straw poll” vote on the future of the project. By a narrow margin, the body decided that it will encourage PAL to discontinue its involvement in oPennEd moving forward.
Dzialo was not pleased with the UA’s decision.
“I believe deeply in commitments, in personal responsibility and in standing up for what you believe in and following through with what you do,” he said. “We have followed through on every single end — we have spoken with administrators who also have agreed that we are useful, that this is useful.”