The fall semester has been a very productive one for the Undergraduate Assembly. From student safety to off-campus living, we have strived to tackle the issues that are important to you. As part of our continuing outreach program, the UA has decided to publish a mid-year report to inform the students about what we have accomplished and what issues we will work on next semester. One way we seek to represent students is through the use of surveys. Surveys are an important first step of every project so that we can see what aspects of each issue we should concentrate on. We did surveys on student preferences for future retailers in Sansom Common and the 40th Street area so we can better advocate for retail in these places. Among other things, these surveys have helped us learn that students would like to see a store like Abercrombie & Fitch in Sansom Common and an Italian restaurant in the 40th Street area. We also did a different type of outreach with the landlord survey, where students were asked to rate their off-campus housing. The results will be distributed in January, so that students will be able to make more informed housing decisions for next year. The UA also conducted student safety survey in conjunction with the Division of Public Safety to gather information on where further security efforts should be concentrated. We have also tried to take positive steps in the area of community relations. We co-sponsored "Communiversity Days" with Civic House -- we took 15 middle-schoolers from the area with us around Penn and to our classes for a day. The UA and the Center for Community Partnerships have also planned a symposium for January 13. Students, administrators and community leaders will get together to discuss local concerns. The UA has also done a significant amount of work examining computing facilities at Penn. Our preliminary suggestions to the administration in September earned us the first student seat on the Information Technology Steering Committee, which examines computing facilities across the University. In addition, the UA has done a student survey and looked at the quality of computer labs across campus. At some point next semester, we will release a detailed report of our findings. We also hope to create a guide about computing that will include the attributes of each lab and a rating of all the labs to be distributed next fall. In addition, we are working to address many other student concerns, including: · Several students complained about the fee for use of the Katz Fitness Center in the Gimbel Gymnasium and the need to pay that fee in cash or by check. We worked closely with the Department of Recreation to allow students to place the charge on their bursar bill beginning next fall. · The UA co-sponsored -- along with Civic House and the United Minorites Council -- a symposium for a group of student leaders to discuss minority recruitment issues. · We are working with SEPTA to get more token machines on campus, more service in the University area and better publicized route and timetable information. · In conjunction with Drug and Alcohol Resource Team, we are in the process of creating a poster that contains alcohol awareness information and information about what to do if someone is overly intoxicated. The poster are intended for display in college and greek houses. · Many students complained that they have had a hard time publicizing events, while others complained that too much stuff is taped to the ground on Locust Walk. To combat these problems, the UA worked to get the bulletin board kiosks back on Locust Walk. · Upperclassmen have said that some freshman are losing out on the "freshman experience" by living in the high rises. We will be testing this hypothesis by doing a survey examining how satisfied the average freshman is with their residential experience in the high rises versus their residential experience in the Quadrangle. In addition, we will be further developing our outreach efforts in the spring by having a UA table out on the walk for several hours each week, so come see us and tell us your hopes, dreams, worries and concerns or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Comments powered by Disqus
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