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Penn Student Government organized a "Celebration of Cultures" with the United Minority Council to honor Penn’s diversity on March 20. Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

This year's Penn Student Government Week looked to honor College junior Sarah Katz and her dedication to raising awareness about heart health education. 

From March 20 to March 24, the Penn Student Government held its annual PSG Week. Hosted by the six student government branches, the programming aimed to offer students a chance to voice their opinions, raise awareness of projects, and increase student involvement with the government. In addition to usual programming, PSG Week included events honoring Katz, the former membership coordinator of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education who died earlier this school year. 

The Penn Student Government is primarily in charge of funding student groups, planning social events, and advocating on behalf of the student body. It is made up of 6 branches, including SCUE, the Nominations and Elections Committee, Social Planning and Events Committee, Student Activities Council, and Undergraduate Assembly. 

On Monday, students were invited to Houston Hall to participate in the Class Boards' and United Minority Council’s "Celebration of Cultures," which included food and performances to honor Penn’s diversity. The same day, the NEC held their State of the School event, where the head of each branch gave a speech highlighting their accomplishments and goals for the future. Interim Vice Provost of University Life Tamara Greenfield King also gave a speech.

"PSG Week, since its start over a decade ago, has served as a five-day period of saturated PSG publicity and programming overseen by the NEC," Wharton sophomore Hana Le — the NEC's vice chair of education and chair of Penn Student Government steering — wrote in a statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian. "It was nice to highlight the hard work done by PSG’s members, especially since it is a special year for PSG given the Undergraduate Assembly’s 50th Session and SPEC Spring Fling’s 50th anniversary."

The rest of the week consisted of opportunities for students to express their opinions to the different branches and get free merchandise, food, and drinks, with a raffle giveaway of Spring Fling, Connaissance, Jazz&Grooves, and SPEC-TRUM tickets during SPEC’s Rafflepalooza. 

This year, PSG Week was dedicated to raising money to honor Katz, who was involved with spreading heart health awareness as a Red Cap Ambassador with the American Heart Association and as the CPR training project chair of SCUE.

The two components specific to this cause include Medical Emergency Response Team’s CPR training and the AHA bake sales. The CPR training occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday on Locust Walk, where MERT's trained members used mannequins, first aid kits, and hot/cold packs to teach students how to conduct CPR in case of an emergency. The bake sales were organized throughout the week, and students could scan a QR code to donate money directly to the AHA. 

Chair External for SCUE and Katz’s close friend College junior Rawan Wadi said said she believes CPR training plays an important part in achieving SCUE's mission.  

“A lot of the time, people think that SCUE is related to education, but education doesn’t always mean academics — education is about making people aware of how to be in the know of everything, how to be a well-rounded person, and know what to do at the right time, and that can be medical related,” Wadi said.

SCUE members told the DP that the student government branch has plans to continue to honor Katz’s legacy.

"We're doing a lot of things internally that are in the works about how we can honor [Katz]," SCUE Chair Internal and College sophomore Michelle Wen said. “We're really trying to figure out how we can continue keeping her name around both PSG and the entire Penn community.”