9/13 GPSA Meeting Recap: Two Bills pass, Pennsylvania budget updates

The Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) met on Wednesday, September 13 at 6 p.m. in 108 Wartik.

The meeting opened with a special presentation from Laura Hall, the Senior Director of Campus Recreation. Hall explained the different facilities and programs offered and that all students should now have access to the gyms. She emphasized the new IM Building expansion completion, the availability of outdoor recreation through Stone Valley and Campus Recreation’s commitment to making their facilities more inclusive for all student body members.

In his report, GPSA President Matt Krott stressed the importance of contacting state representatives in order to get the Pennsylvania budget passed. Penn State is counting on over $300 million from the state, but it has been over two months since the July 1 budget deadline and the University still has not received its appropriation from the state legislature. Letters to representatives can easily be submitted through this link, or a phone number can be found on this link.

Bill 67-12 “Co-Sponsorship of Science Policy Society Panel” was passed by majority roll-call vote. Science Policy Society representative Grayson Doucette said this event would be open to all, and the speaker plans on highlighting the importance of science “in our daily lives as graduate students.”

Bill 67-13 “Graduate Student Leadership Roundtable” passed unanimously. Delegate Gerald Knapp is planning for three roundtables in the fall semester with the intent of GPSA learning and better communicating about the needs of other graduate student organizations.

Graduate and Professional Student Homecoming Court Application

For the first time in history, Penn State’s Homecoming Court will feature 2 graduate or professional students!

To learn more about these new members of the Homecoming Court and how they will be selected, read the press release from Penn State Homecoming here. To apply for one of the spots on Court, complete the application and send it along with a résumé or CV to gpsaoffice@gmail.com by the application deadline of Wednesday, September 13th at midnight. 

Please contact GPSA President, Matt Krott (krott@psu.edu) with any questions regarding the application. Good luck. For The Glory!

Answers to some common health insurance questions

Since Penn State’s transition to United Healthcare Student Resources and the implementation of new insurance requirements for international students, there have understandably been many questions over the last few weeks. Here are the answers to some of the most common ones that GPSA and UHS have received. If you do not see the answer to your question listed here, you can contact UHS for help by email at uhs-insurance@psu.edu or by phone at (814) 865-7467.

LionPATH Activity Guide vs. UHS Enrollment/Declination

The purpose of the LionPATH Activity Guide (under My Information/Health Insurance in LionPATH) is so that UHS can collect information about the insurances that Penn State students utilize. International students will not see the Health Insurance Activity Guide, as they have the mandatory health insurance requirement that must be completed with First Student (www.firststudent.com).

It is important to know that filling out the LionPATH Activity Guide is not a substitute for declining your medical, dental, and/or vision coverage or adding dependents on the UHS website through the Graduate Benefit Enrollment System (GBES) at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/services/insurance/graduateassistant.shtml.

Why did I get an email from United about obtaining my ID Card information, even though I declined coverage on the GBES?

To speed up the process of getting students their insurance cards, the Graduate School has provided UHS with a list of processed assistantships and fellowships that was then forwarded to United Healthcare Student Resources – which is why you received this email.

If you decline your benefits through the GBES (not just on LionPATH) before September 5, your information will be deleted from the final enrollment files Penn State sends to UHCSR, and you will not have the premiums deducted from your paychecks.

Special notice for international students:

Please note: selecting “Waive Your School’s Insurance” on the First Student website does not indicate that you wish to decline SHIP coverage, rather, that you acknowledge the Penn State SHIP and agree to the monthly paycheck deduction schedule.

For more information, visit the Student Health Insurance page for International Students at http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/services/insurance/international.shtml