Statement by the President Regarding Further Presidential Appointments to the Judicial Board

May 20th, 2020

Following the enactment of Resolution #02-15: Establishment of Summer 2020 UPUA Assembly and Committee Meetings, the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) established rules for the transaction of business throughout the summer months in accordance with Article VIII of the UPUA Constitution. This summer schedule ensures the UPUA will both continue operating on behalf of the student body in the wake of COVID-19 and have an early start on various initiatives, including increasing transparency, effectiveness, and collaboration through organizational restructuring. 

At the UPUA’s first summer General Assembly meeting, a concern regarding appointing Associate Justices to the Judicial Board was raised during the approval of the agenda. Historically, students interested in serving as an Associate Justice have been considered on a rolling basis. This process, as was argued,  currently favors students with relatively unobstructive and privileged quarantine circumstances. Students who may wish to serve as a Justice but who are affected by technological barriers related to COVID-19, or who will attend University Park for the first time, are thus disadvantaged in the application process.

Nevertheless, the Judicial Board plays a vital role in the UPUA’s functioning — with its many responsibilities outlined under Article VII of the UPUA Constitution — and cannot be denied a fair number of Justices to carry them out in a timely manner, especially with constitutional changes abound.

In recognition of these concerns, I will move to interview and appoint one (1) final Associate Justice before temporarily halting any further appointments to the Judicial Board. All students who’ve applied before 5:00pm EST on Friday, May 22, 2020 will be interviewed and considered together for this appointment. This means the Board will consist of five (5) Associate Justices throughout the remainder of the summer months — an odd number to ensure each Justice is given a vote on the Board. All current and incoming undergraduate students at University Park, including those who are not appointed as the fifth Associate Justice, will be able to apply for the remaining four (4) appointments now through the first week of classes in the Fall semester. Those applicants will be considered together in the Fall rather than on a rolling basis.

I look forward to working with various UPUA Representatives to bring policy to the General Assembly’s floor which ensures the presidential appointment process for all members of the Judicial Board grows even more fair, equitable, and effective for all future time.