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Onward State Endorses Ragland for President

Since its emergence from the shadow of Jay Bundy, the Univeristy Park Undergraduate Association has worked hard to establish itself as the legitimate student government of Penn State University Park. While his administration has not been without error, Gavin Keirans– the face of the UPUA for the past two years– has done much to increase his organization’s involvement in student life at Penn State.

However, Keirans has been unable to effect meaningful progress in the issue that is far and away the most pressing for our university– the ever increasing cost of a Penn State education.

We applaud the enthusiasm with which David Adewumi has approached this issue. His campaign has focused almost entirely on his 10.i.10 plan, a three-pronged approach to lower Penn State tuition to $10,000 per year in 10 years. We’re in favor of big ideas, and Adewumi’s proposal is certainly that. But with no legislative experience to speak of, Adewumi is not a viable candidate for UPUA president and we cannot support his candidacy.

The UPUA is not perfect, but to change the system, one must understand it.

Onward State is endorsing Christian Ragland in this year’s presidential election.

We reject Adewumi’s accusation that this UPUA election is a coronation (though we too find the royal imagery on the Ragland-Smith t-shirts ridiculous). To say such demonstrates an ignorance of the UPUA Election Commission’s efforts to make this as fair an election as possible, not to mention the earnest work of outlets like Onward State and the Collegian to inform the student body of the issues at stake.

While Ragland’s platform is indeed more exhaustive than Adewumi’s, the past few years of covering UPUA have shown us that many campaign promises will be lost in the legislative molasses. It is our hope that Ragland-Smith can enact at least a few of their more meaningful ideas, such as UPUA presidential roundtables, revitalization of the tenant-landlord mediation programs, and new campus safety initiatives. But what attracts us most to the Ragland-Smith campaign is the promise of continuing initiatives that have already begun to pay dividends. Though mobilizing students across the state is core to both campaigns’ platforms, only Ragland-Smith has experience in governmental outreach.

While neither ticket has as of today produced great amounts of “tangible results“, both candidates put forth platforms that could help develop the UPUA into the effective student government it was designed to be. However, we feel that Christian Ragland and Colleen Smith are more capable of doing so because of their experience in student government at Penn State.

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