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Sunday night marked the final meeting of this year's Undergraduate Assembly administration. And while government leaders admit that the year was not without flaws, most say they are satisfied with the work they have accomplished. Despite the failure of the UA-led push to restructure student government, outgoing UA Vice-chairperson Mike Feinberg said he felt the undergraduate student government achieved a lot. "At the beginning, we organized some far-reaching goals, but most were reached," Feinberg said. "We didn't bat a thousand, but you don't bat a thousand often." Duchess Harris, outgoing UA chairperson, also said this week she was pleased with the efforts of this year's representatives. Both leaders said the UA's played a large role in keeping down the rate of tuition increase, which, despite being the highest ever in terms of real dollar, was the same percentage increase as last year. "I think the administration, the Trustees, and the faculty take us more seriously," than in previous years, Feinberg said. "And the Trustees' meeting [at which the tuition announcement was made] last Friday proved it." "We took the power of the press into our own hands," she said, which enabled the UA to "directly communicate with our constituency." Feinberg said he looks for next year's UA to expand its publication from two issues to three. And despite the inability of leaders to settle on a new constitution to guide student government, Harris said the year's conventions were not in vain. She said even though the plan was not passed, leaders "at least acknowledge that student government can always be improved." "I never walked in and said [student government] wasn't flawed," Harris said. "I never walked in and said it couldn't be better." "I'm hoping that [the preliminary constitution] lays the groundwork for a lot more serious effort next year," Feinberg said. "I really hope that next year's UA takes the skeleton document and makes something out of it." Members of the new UA, who are being elected this week, will have their work cut out for them, both said. Harris said she hopes they will examine several issues which her administration did not adequately address, including the campus-wide security patrol program Penn Watch, the proposed General Fee increase to bring more funding to student activities and social events, and the PennCard expansion. Harris also left some advice for the new UA members. She explained that for student government to be effective, students must be informed about what the group is doing to help them. "It's all about visibility," she said. Feinberg added that members must see the UA as an "April to April job." "If you take a break, you're short-changing yourself and you're short-changing the students," he said. Members must also maintain respect for the importance of the organization, Harris said, otherwise the student body will not have respect for its goals. "People take the UA only as seriously as the chair and reps do," she said. She told incoming representatives to "always treat it seriously and like a job. Treat it with as much respect as you would want other people to treat it with."

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