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State of the School Credit: Luke Chen , Luke Chen

The Sheraton was abuzz with chatter as students and faculty leaders gathered Wednesday night to discuss the future of student life and government at Penn at the State of the School address.

This year’s event featured discussions of new innovations for the upcoming year by speakers from six different student government committees, followed by a Q&A session. This year’s State of the School commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education.The event cost $2,300.70, according to last week’s Undergraduate Assembly GBM. It also introduced two new awards for a selected student government faculty member and undergraduate participant.

The need for student engagement in government and the importance of serving the community as undergraduate representatives was a widely discussed theme of the night. Vice Chair of Education of the Nominations and Elections Committee Elizabeth Oppong, a College junior, opened with a speech about this topic, and Executive Director of the Office of Student Affairs Katie Hanlon Bonner also touched on it in her keynote speech.

President of the UA and College senior Joyce Kim announced the upcoming launch of the Penn Mobile App next month. The app was born of a partnership between Penn Labs and the UA and will function as a directory for student and faculty contacts and as a collection of course locations and service hours of Penn Dining locations. She also talked about the addition of a student advisory board composed of members of the 5B Coalition of minority groups onto Student Financial Services.

Next, College senior Lucas Siegmund, chair of Student Committee on Undergraduate Education announced that the 2015 White Papers, a pent-annual compilation of policy reports and recommendations for undergraduate education, are in the process of being compiled. He said that SCUE hopes to create new opportunities to increase civic engagement among students by holding symposiums for them to share their opinions on the White Paper findings.

Wharton junior Devin Grossman, chair of the NEC announced the addition of an undergraduate advisory committee to the Dining Board, which works with Penn Business Services and Penn Dining on dining-related issues.

College senior Renata O’Donnell, chair of the Student Activities Council, announced a partial lift of the moratorium, thus allowing some new student groups to receive SAC funding. She also discussed a new policy that will give SAC-funded groups up to $100 that they can choose to use toward advertisements in the Daily Pennsylvanian at reduced rates. O’Donnell then introduced new resources for student organization treasurers. SAC office hours will begin at the start of the next budget cycle, allowing club treasurers to drop by to discuss budget planning with the group. New modules on Canvas will also be available to train treasurers.

After, the Class Board presidents announced their latest tasks. College senior Ariel Koren announced plans for the annual Feb Club activities, College junior Jesus Perez announced the 100th anniversary of Hey Day , College sophomore Darren Tomasso announced Harry Potter T-Shirt distribution on Nov. 23, and College freshman Vadim Ordovsky-Tanaevsky announced a pre-finals spa day on Dec. 10.

The event was closed with the presentation of the two new awards. The Penn Student Government Steering Faculty Award was awarded to Executive of Alumni Relations Elise Betz. The Student Leadership Award was presented to Co-Chair of UMOJA Denzel Cummings.

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