Free Microsoft Office among projects proposed at first UA session
Projects varied from MERT funding to a comprehensive mobile app
September 9, 2013, 7:02 pm · Updated September 9, 2013, 10:06 pm·
The Undergraduate Assembly held its first session of the academic year on Sunday night, outlining all of its future projects for the year ahead.
UA President and College and Wharton Senior Abe Sutton urged members of the Assembly to embrace their roles. “Now is the time to…ask ‘How can I go about doing this?’ to get started,” he said in an email.
Different members presented their projects to the Assembly. The projects varied from funding for the Medical Emergency Response Team to creating an app that would provide Penn students with a comprehensive resource guide.
The Daily Pennsylvanian takes a look at some of these projects.
Penn Mobile App
UA Vice President and College junior Gabe Delaney returned to the podium to present updates on creating a Penn mobile app that would integrate several different Penn websites and online services into one place. The list currently includes Penn Transit and Penn Dining. He said that Penn Dining has “essentially agreed” to have their information on the app but that he was looking into contacting other departments.
The project will be done in collaboration with PennApps.
Free Microsoft Office
College sophomore Yessenia Moreno, who is the director of the Academic Affairs committee, introduced a project on giving Microsoft Office to all students for free. Faculty already have free access to the software. Moreno has contacted other universities who currently offer the software to students without charge.
Currently, Computer Connection offers the software for a discounted price to students.
Engineering sophomore and UA representative Lauren Reeder of the Dining, Sustainability and Facilities committee addressed a new fine for forgetting one’s Penn Card six times when returning to campus housing. Details on the fine were not available at the time of the meeting but Reeder said she planned to meet with the Residential Advisory Board in order to discuss the issue.
Reeder plans to lobby to get rid of the fine or find an alternative penalty.
Sexual Assault Policies
College junior and Social Justice committee director Joyce Kim announced that her committee would will looking into revamping new sexual assault policies in the wake of a New York Times article published this summer that drew attention to possible weaknesses in Penn’s current policies. She is working with One In Four — a sexual violence prevention group, and Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention.
Civic Service Training
Kim also announced the UA’s Intercultural Civic Engagement Training Institute for Sept. 20..She noted that it had been brought to her committee’s attention that students who volunteer in West Philadelphia often feel undertrained.
The long-term goal of the four-hour workshop is to open a dialogue with student organizations about training their volunteers more comprehensively.
College sophomore Aidan McConnell, editor of The Red and the Blue is heading an initiative to find additional funding for the Medical Emergency Response Team. MERT currently has a total budget of $24,000, which comes from the Undergraduate Assembly, Fox Leadership, Student Health Services, and the Division of Public Safety. McConnell said that while no official funding goal has been set, the UA has discussed trying to get as much as $800,000.
A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that MERT’s funding comes from SAC.