UA Recap: UA debates with NEC over election procedure

UA also discussed Penn mobile app, a mural outside 1920 Commons, and funding requests

· October 8, 2012, 6:57 pm   ·  Updated October 8, 2012, 11:06 pm

Among other things at its Sunday night general body meeting, the Undergraduate Assembly had a heated discussion with one of its fellow branches of student government, the Nominations and Elections Committee.

The discussion focused on the current poster policy for campaigning — specifically, how that policy was used to disqualify College freshman Bill Ding for having more than two posters on the 38th Street bridge during last week’s freshman elections.

“The purpose of this rule is not fairness,” NEC Chair and Wharton and Engineering senior Alec Miller said, explaining that the NEC’s regulations stem directly from Penn policies. “Facilities only allows us to have a certain number of posters on the bridge — they’ve threatened to take away poster privileges during elections.”

College junior and UA Representative Ernest Owens, a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist, argued with Miller, emphasizing that issues like the NEC’s poster-hanging policy need to be discussed more openly so that they can be improved, rather than merely said behind closed doors.

“We keep this stuff internal,” Owens said. “When people comment, then things start to change.”

Other topics discussed at the meeting included the pre-development stages of a Penn mobile app, as well as a mural that may be created outside Class of 1920 Commons.

“Admissions is promoting Penn as this place where we’re very social and where we engage with other students, and I think this would be a perfect representation,” UA representative and Wharton sophomore Christian Cortes said of the mural. “There are over 3,000 murals over Philadelphia and not one is on Penn’s campus.”

The UA also voted to approve a contingency funding request by the Assembly of International Students, which is sponsoring the upcoming Ivy League International Students Networking Conference.

“The idea behind the conference is to bring students across the Ivy League together and talk about potential opportunities both inside and outside the United States,” Engineering senior and AIS President Sohaib Hashmi said. “The interesting thing is that there are students from all different backgrounds who are all interested in working in other countries.”

Finally, the UA passed a resolution regarding online syllabi for the spring 2013 semester. The resolution authorized the UA to email faculty to encourage them to upload syllabi for advanced registration, so students can get a feel for what the class is like before signing up.

“Academic Affairs thinks it’s important to have as many syllabi posted online as possible,” UA Representative and Wharton junior Lisa Xu said. “A sustainable way to do this is to email professors and encourage them to post their syllabi before course selection starts.”

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