Graduate student and GPSA Vice President Marina Cotarelo announced this morning that she will run for a seat on the State College Borough Council. Cotarelo is currently pursuing her masters of education in higher education and also did her undergrad at Penn State, earning a Bachelors in kinesiology.
Cotarelo says she is focused on diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, and student rights, the latter of which has suffered under the current Council, despite the fact that students make up more than 70 percent of the State College population.
“State College needs strong leaders who will listen to concerns from all residents of the Borough,” Cotarelo said in a press release. “I am committed to ensuring that the interests of all residents are represented in local government, including the voices of students and young professionals.”
Through her involvement both at and outside of Penn State, Cotarelo has a history of both service and leadership. As GPSA Vice President she has served on the inaugural Student Fee Board and filled a student government seat on the Board of Trustees. Additionally, she spent her summer biking across the country as a participant in Bike and Build, where she and others advocated for affordable housing by traveling from Connecticut to California and fundraising and volunteering in the communities they passed through to assist in building homes.
“State College is a special place, but only when we all work together,” she said. “I believe that it should be the priority of Borough Council to work together and to enact policies aimed at strengthening the community for all residents. We have a tremendous opportunity to empower our young community members, and to help them to view State College as a place they can call home — both during their time at the university and upon graduation.”
Though Cotarelo will be graduating in May, she plans to stay in State College and, hopefully, serve the community as a member of the Borough Council.
The primary elections, which UPUA president Terry Ford pointed out during his State of State talk are the most important in electing the next leadership of State College, will take place on May 16. If you won’t be in State College (the primaries are more than a week after finals are over), you can (and should) register in the Borough and request an absentee ballot.