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UPUA Top 5 Highlight Reel

At the risk of ESPN suing me, welcome to SportsCenter meets C-SPAN: the top five plays from the University Park Undergraduate Association this semester. The first full semester under President Christian Ragland has gone well. There have been a few missteps, but that’s to be expected of any organization a) made up of students, and b) only at its fifth crack at this. People like to rag on the UPUA a lot (awful pun not intended—sorry, Christian) but hopefully this will convince you that they actually are doing a lot of good for us.

5. “Know Your Rights” Town Hall Meeting

Let’s face it: one of the main concerns of John Q. Undergrad is alcohol. For those of you (a lot of you) who missed this UPUA-sponsored talk with State College attorney Andrew Shubin, you really missed a treat. His 411 on police encounters downtown and the Centre County justice system is useful to us all, just in case.

4. Subsidized Test Prep Classes

Now students and faculty will be able to get instruction from the Princeton Review at a deeply discounted rate for just about every graduate and professional standardized test there is. Anyone who’s seen my current bank account balance knows how useful that is.

3. Work on eLion Improvement

Yeah, it’s really annoying and dates back to when I was in preschool, but eLion hopefully won’t be this irksome for long. The UPUA has gotten students on the eLion Re-Modernization Committee. The UPUA’s Academic Affairs Committee did integral, extensive research of other schools’ equivalent systems to make this happen.

2. Creation of Pennsylvania Student Association

This hasn’t officially happened yet, but it most likely will, and it stands to greatly benefit public university students across Pennsylvania. Student government representatives from Penn State, Temple, Pitt, Lincoln, and possibly a few other state-related universities will be meeting at Temple this coming Sunday to discuss its formation. A united front between universities gives students an infinitely more powerful body to lobby with in Harrisburg.

1. Non-Voting Student Borough Council Representative

This is probably the crowning achievement of the UPUA to date, especially amid all the mounting tension between town and gown of late, and having to show the Borough Council that this would benefit them as well as us. It is a huge step forward in relations between the two. Now students and borough residents have a formal channel of communication, and students have the official recognition that they comprise a major portion of the community and should be represented in local government. Ben Pugh will be sworn in as the first representative in January.

I’d say it’s been a pretty successful semester on the third floor of the HUB. And if you still think they’re not up to par, then look no further than the United States Congress. I rest my case.

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.

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