Meet the Candidates: Off-Campus Representatives
On Wednesday the student body will vote in members for the fifth assembly of the University Park Undergraduate Association. Today we will be publishing guides about each of the positions and the candidates running for them.
All candidates listed in the Penn State Directory were contacted and asked for the same information. Candidates had the choice of answering one of two questions for the short-answer section. The first was ‘Do you believe that UPUA has headed in the right direction during President Keirans’ term?’ and the second was ‘Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.’
There are 12 ‘Off-Campus Representative’ positions open to full-time undergraduate students who attend University Park and live off-campus. This year, 17 students are competing.
Ali Cook (Endorses Ragland-Smith)
Freshman, Smeal | Facebook Event
As an off-campus representative, I will improve the relationships between the borough and Penn State students. I will encourage UPUA to have a more concrete presence to borough officials and build positive working relationships so we can assure that the best possible solutions are attained.
Rob Ghormoz (Endorses Ragland-Smith)
Junior, Political Science | Facebook Event
I believe that UPUA would be greatly improved if representatives were more accountable to their students. For this reason, I want to create an ANGEL group where students will be able to contact their representatives through a drop box to communicate their ideas and concerns about UPUA policies and decisions.
Sean Goheen (Mutually endorsed with Ragland-Smith)
Junior, Political Science and History | Facebook Group
UPUA should have more town hall meetings, as well as open air office hours, primarily on the Ground and 1st floors of the HUB. The more face to face contact students have with their representatives, the better we can represent them and advocate for their wishes.
Dustin Holler (Supports Ragland-Smith)
Senior, IST and Spanish | Facebook Event
I would like to see all major UPUA decisions (such as the thousands of dollars allocated toward the Spring concert) go through approval via the student body. Just as the electoral college represents the public during U.S. elections, I feel all voting UPUA representatives should be required to meet with those they represent and vote how their constituents want, NOT how the representative him/herself feels is best. Obviously, this would not be possible for everything, but when more than $10,000 of student money goes to one event, all students should have the opportunity to voice their thoughts before a single vote is ever cast.
Sophomore, Political Science | Facebook Group
Create a special meal plan for students living off campus, as it is becoming extremely expensive to buy a meal at the HUB, or any other eatery on campus.
Richard Missett (Endorses Ragland-Smith)
Junior, Toxicology | Facebook Group
UPUA needs to take an active role in ensuring the safety of off campus students. During winter months, local businesses need to be held accountable for failure to clear their property and sidewalks after snowfall. Also, I believe that speed limits need to be better enforced on highly-trafficked roads, notably Beaver and College Avenues, and Atherton Street.
Sophomore, Public Relations and Political Science | Facebook Group
I do think UPUA took steps to head in the right direction during the term, but there is absolutely room for improvement. It is up to the President as well as the Representatives to ensure UPUA is true to its mission. All members of the assembly must be held accountable for their actions. I plan to lead by example.
Maggie Quinn (Endorses Ragland-Smith)
Freshman, Division of Undergraduate Studies
UPUA has definitely taken strides in the right direction under President Keirans. Gavin has taken to heart the needs of Penn State students when constructing programs such as Legal Services, the Online Book Exchange, and the White Loop Extension. Gavin also helped to solidify the presence and outreach of UPUA.
Mallory Reed (Supports Ragland-Smith)
I believe there should be a tangible level of accountability to which all of the representatives should be held. I realize that it is not feasible to expect every off campus student to attend UPUA meetings, so I would like to create an Angel group for off campus students to join where they can submit questions or comments to their representatives.
Mike Stegura (Supports Ragland-Smith)
Freshman, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering | Facebook Group
UPUA has accomplished a lot over the past few terms, but there is still much left to be improved upon. One policy I have is to improve communication between UPUA and other government organizations such as ARHS, IFC, and CCSG. I understand that our success relies on our continuous cooperation.
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