Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Ben Pugh Elected Student Borough Council Rep.

Last night marked an historic event for the Penn State student community and State College residents, as the University Park Undergraduate Association General Assembly elected At-Large Representative Ben Pugh the first non-voting student representative on the State College Borough Council by a vote of 26 to 13. He beat out Vice President Colleen Smith for the position.

Pugh has a unique perspective on town-and-gown relations as he is both a Penn State student and a lifelong State College resident. Being a member of both groups, Pugh said he knows the “clash between students and ‘townies.'” In explaining to the Assembly why he would be an ideal choice for the seat, Pugh cited his experiences working for State College businesses, including local landlords (tenant-landlord relations being an issue he particularly stressed).

“We don’t own this town; we share it,” said Pugh, underscoring his intent to bridge a gap that has noticeably widened even over the past year between University students and the Borough of State College. “What we don’t want,” he warned, “is a list of demands nailed to a door.”

Colleen Smith brought to the table her experience last year as Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee, which helped to quell the head of steam that nearly passed the Nuisance Gathering Ordinance and nearly turned off the Garner Street lights downtown, building concrete connections with Borough officials in the progress. However, the Assembly chose Pugh’s nuanced knowledge of the “complex beast” (his words) that is State College.

Pugh will serve as the interim Council member rather than the full one-year term. He will begin officially sitting on the Council at meetings beginning December 1. Especially for such a position that was initially controversial, someone with as much experience on both sides of the issues as Pugh has makes him a valuable asset to have blaze the trail with the Borough. While they’re transitioning into having formal student input in their proceedings, it’s good that they have someone with whom they can truly identify as well. It took a lot of work to pass, let’s hope all goes smoothly.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Dan McCool

Dan is a senior and has been writing for Onward State since January 2010. Did you miss him? Nah, neither did we. He's returning after a semester abroad in England and will be serving as Arts Editor. Favorite things in life include references to The Big Lebowski.

No. 12 Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Secures 15-14 Come-From-Behind Overtime Victory Over No. 9 Yale

After scoring only two goals in the first half, TJ Malone and the Nittany Lions came back to win in sudden death overtime.

Penn State Men’s Hockey Edges Ohio State 2-1 In Regular-Season Finale

Dane Dowiak’s two goals guided the Nittany Lions to win a close game in Columbus.

Penn State Hoops Blows Lead To Minnesota In 75-70 Road Loss

The Nittany Lions coughed up a 23-point lead in the final road game of the regular season.

Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Dan

Erase Your Expectations: Dan McCool’s Senior Column

Don’t worry about what you should be doing, or how what you’re doing is going to fit into the cadre of college—or Penn State, for that matter—predetermined by our culture. Go make your own Penn State, without any expectations; you’ll be much happier.

After Condom Spat, UPUA Approves Funding for Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness Month

UPUA Is Walking to Harrisburg, Not Much Else