UA passes UPennAlert resolution
March 23, 2011, 3:38 am · Updated March 23, 2011, 12:00 am·
Sunday night, the Undergraduate Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging the Division of Public Safety to recognize the importance of issuing UPennAlerts.
The resolution cited three events — the Nov. 21 on-campus shooting where an alert was issued through email and on the DPS website but not through text message; a series of assaults near campus on Jan. 22 after which no alert was issued; and the March 1 shooting at 41st and Pine streets where alerts were issued through text message, email and phone — that incited student responses and prompted the UA to reach out to DPS.
“There was a strong response from students about the need for and the importance of issuing a UPennAlert,” said College senior and UA member Mo Shahin, who wrote the resolution.
Shahin explained that “this resolution allows us to more effectively express the sentiments of the undergraduate student population to DPS.”
He added, “this will provide DPS with a tool to using when deciding whether or not to issue an alert and asks for a little more flexibility in issuing the UPennAlert.”
The UA also unanimously passed a resolution that hopes to increase Penn’s ability to hold electronic companies it works with or has shares in accountable for the minerals they use.
Penn Society for International Development collaborated with the UA to pass this proposal to the Executive Vice President.
According to the resolution, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has around $24 trillion worth of mineral deposits such as gold, tungsten, tin, and tantalum that are used in electronic goods such as cell phones and laptops nationwide.
The resolution noted that “all major armed groups in the eastern Congo, including the national army, profit handsomely by illicitly trading and taxing these minerals.”
“When Penn enters into a contract with Dell or Apple, or buys shares in other major technology companies, it becomes a part of this complex supply chain,” the resolution added.
Currently, Penn ensures that its electronics suppliers are part of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, which sets certain ethical standards for its members.
This resolution urges the University to put pressure on both companies that it get supplies from as well as companies that the University holds shares in to pursue conflict-free minerals.
College junior and PennSID President Ben Brockman, a co-author of the resolution, said this resolution urges Penn to “hold companies’ feet to the fire.”
College freshman Abe Sutton, who co-authored the resolution, said “it’s a popular issue not just at Penn but around the country.”
Although there is a national awareness of conflict minerals, “certain companies are making progress and others are lagging,” Sutton added.
Brockman hopes that continued pressure and “incentive for companies to move in this direction [so] that conflict free products can be available on the market and that this becomes the standard.”
“The Penn administration took our initiative very seriously and very warmly,” Brockman added.