Former Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Dan Debicella called it "the most substantial thing the UA has done this decade." But Project 2000 is not being supported by this year's UA, according to UA Chairperson and College senior Lance Rogers. Last February, Debicella, then a Wharton junior, submitted Project 2000 to the UA body for approval after working on it for more than a semester. The body passed 21 of the 25 recommendations in Project 2000, all pertaining to specific areas of the University. Rogers said while he supported several ideas from Project 2000, he disagreed with many others. "Like the idea to clean up SEPTA stops on campus: I mean, let's be serious -- that's a joke," he said. Debicella appealed to the UA body to implement the plan at a meeting earlier this semester. While several members of the body expressed interest in Project 2000, few members attended a separate meeting called by Debicella to discuss implementation of his plan. College sophomore and UA member Wendy Mongillo, who attended the meeting, said she went because she was curious about Project 2000. But she added that Debicella has not followed up the first meeting. Debicella said his plan is still influencing some of the projects the UA body is currently working on. He added that he sees himself as playing "the senior statesman role" for this year's UA, serving in an advising capacity for many of the members. One of Debicella's recommendations was to implement a debit card system, which would allow students to put money on their Penn Cards at the beginning of the year and make purchases with it around campus. This is one of the main projects the UA's Student Life committee is working on. Wharton sophomore Alan Danzig, who is chairperson of the Student Life committee, said he has been working closely with Debicella. Danzig added that his committee is also working to improve pedestrian safety and dining services on campus. Both of these issues were addressed in Project 2000. But College senior Christian Hensley, who is chairperson of the Residential Living committee, said his group came up with its goals without consulting Project 2000. Some of the goals of the Residential Living committee include improving Residential Maintenance's response time and giving preference to upperclassmen in the Residential Living lottery system. Another issue addressed in Project 2000 was increasing the level of English fluency among teaching assistants and professors -- the main project of the academics committee. Debicella said Project 2000 has had "at least a minor impact" on several administrative issues, including opening minors in the College of Arts and Sciences to Wharton students, the creation of student advisory councils and keeping the tuition increase less than 5 percent. Rogers said that while Project 2000 did offer some tips, it was generally not useful. "We did take ideas from Project 2000, but as a whole, it is just not what this UA is focusing on," he said.Comments powered by Disqus
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