Meeten Doshi was a hard man to get a hold of. With his hands tied down as the Blue and White Society president, on top of being a member of the leadership board for the FastStart Mentoring Program, a Learning Assistant for IST 110, and the Academic Affairs Delegate for the College of Information Scinece and Technology, it’s easy to see how scheduling a meeting with such an involved student could be a challenge. But when we finally got a chance to sit down together, Doshi was more than willing to lay it all on the table for me– he wants to be the next UPUA president.
A rising senior majoring in IST, Doshi is running on a ticket with his Partner in Crime, Kate Taylor. The two of them share the same work ethic — they’re motivated, born leaders, and unfathomably passionate about the cause of bettering student life. He wants to make our school better, and he knows how to do it.
“I want to make Penn State a better place. I want to hear more from students, analyze the big problems, and shift my focus to a bigger scale,” Doshi said. “I’m obsessed with hearing what we could do better as a community, and committing myself to fixing those issues.”
He went on to describe his vigor for building the Penn State community into something bigger than himself. He started at the very beginning, explaining that he’s only even lived in the United States for about five years: “I’m in the process of getting my citizenship now, actually, and I’m very proud of that. I moved here in 10th grade, and bounced around between Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and a bunch of states before finally settling back in Langhorne (which is coincidentally, James Franklin’s hometown). I got accepted here, and after I visited I knew this was the school I wanted to come to, despite the terrible weather.”
His beginning moments at our school were defining ones, he explained– while he came to Penn State not even knowing the rules for football, his first game watching the Nittany Lions against Indiana State left him truly moved.
“The first thing I saw was Chaz Powell running from one field goal to the other on the opening kick-off, and just seeing 110,000 people going nuts showed me how much spirit this school has, and told me that’s the kind of community I want to help build,” he said.
After realizing just how important that excitement for Penn State is to him, Doshi decided that he wanted to keep the hype rolling. We were going through a serious rough patch following the Sandusky scandal, and he wanted to make sure people understand that our school is more than just the actions of one person, and that we as a community are far stronger than that.
So to help counteract the stigma against Penn State, Doshi went to work cultivating the positive atmosphere he’s always loved here. He’s done work with the Blue and White society to incorporate pom-poms into the student section at football games, as well as construct a recycling program for the shakers to ensure that no money is being wasted on the project. He has spearheaded the “PSU I <3 U” Week project, which will be celebrated next year as a showcase of Penn State pride.
Ultimately, what it comes down to for this hearty candidate is a devotion to the enrichment of the Penn State experience. He’s hoping to enact changes over his potential presidency which would resonate with the whole of the population.
“I want to make it a better place, on a grand scale,” he said. “I’d be able to listen to the voices of the students and translate their qualms into actual policies that solve whatever it is they’re having to deal with.”
Beyond the role of correspondent between the students and the administration, however, Doshi and his running mate, Kate Taylor, have big plans they want to put into motion the minute they would step into office. They have fourteen big initiatives they’re planning on working towards, and these span from a consolidated Penn State app to free cab rides that help prevent sexual assault. Check out the detailed platform below:
Textbook Tax Rebate
Creating an initiative which would allow students to exchange books for a tax return, which they could then use to purchase the next semesters’ books.
Information Technology Upgrades
- Encourage and support research into the feasibility of replacing/revamping Angel.
- Advocating for improvements to the current system or investigating replacement options to make the site more user-friendly.
- Penn State App: Creating one Apple and Android-friendly application which would combine all of the different online services Penn State provides into one single space.
- Lion Cash on CATA buses
- Implementing a system where users would be able to swipe their Penn State ID and use Lion Cash to pay for fare.
- Revamp White Loop Route to include Highland Stops
- Creating a route that would run through the Highlands area where many off-campus housing and fraternities are located.
- Digitized bus times at more of the bus stops on campus: Installing digital maps at every bus stop which demonstrate the estimated arrival times of all CATA buses on route.Converting maps to GPS
- Easing navigations around campus and meeting the growing needs of 21st century college students by converting current maps into interactive maps which utilize GPS technology.
- Bike Share: Integrating a bike sharing program on campus to increase environmentally friendly transportation as well provide a cheaper and quicker service for students as compared to buses or cabs.
- Campus in Conversation: Discussiong rape culture, greek stereotypes, student involvement, academic vs. athletic culture, etc.
- Late Night Cab Rides: Pairing with taxi services in the area to provide free cab rides in case of an emergency will be an initiative that would help increase safety on campus and reduce sexual assaults and other crimes.
Housing and Food Services
- Gender Neutral Housing: Doshi intends to work on a test pilot program for gender neutral housing.
- Legal consumption of alcohol in residence halls: They believe that students 21 and older should be able to consume alcohol in their rooms within reason, just like they are legally able to do off-campus.
- Fireside Chats with Dr. Barron:They hope to bring back the “fireside chats” that President Rodney Erickson and Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims hosted, giving students valuable access to the new president and administrators.
There’s no denying that these would be ambitious, long-term projects which Doshi could only begin working towards during his time in office. But he’s convinced that, with the help of his running mate Kate Taylor, he can make serious strides over the course of one year. He’s known her since his freshman year, as she was a member of the Pollock Halls Residence Association and he was working with the East Halls, and they became close friends through that program. When Doshi got the idea to run for president, he didn’t have to think twice about asking Taylor to be his running mate.
As the on-campus representative for UPUA, as well as being the vice president of the Association of Residence Halls and an RA in East, she demonstrates the leadership capability Meeten Doshi wants for his right-hand woman.
“She’s an exceptionally hard worker,” he said. “She’s been going above and beyond with her duties, and she hasn’t batted an eye about getting no sleep for weeks on end. Most importantly though, she genuinely cares about the students.”
The Doshi-Taylor ticket is running on a platform of not only compassion, but also pragmatism. The presidential candidate exclaimed that through he and Taylor’s diverse leadership background, they’ve developed a wide array of relationships which would grant them an upperhand over their political challengers.
“We have very intimate friendships with the controllers of residence life, student leaders, administrators, and influential alumni,” he said. “We have the tools to actualize our goals for the office.”