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UPUA Candidates: David Adewumi & Sri Pisupati

David Adewumi: Presidential Candidate

Basic Information:

Senior from State College; majoring in Spanish.

What organizations are you involved with here at Penn State?

Brother in Beta Theta Pi, co-founder of Innoblue, 2010 Corporate Relations Homecoming captain, member of the Student Alcohol Advisory Council led by Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims.

What is your political background?

Ran for UPUA President in the 2010 election, losing to current president Christian Ragland.

Why have you chosen to run for the presidency of UPUA?

While many believe that UPUA is a training ground for politics, I have no interest in a future career. I’m more worried about student advocacy and fighting for student interests. I fundamentally believe that while our student government has been doing good things, it could be doing more. Other student governments, such as Ohio State’s, have achieved so much for their students, but a large student-centric university such as our own isn’t doing as much as it could.

When you look at THON and other student organizations, they have come up with a model for getting students engaged, involved and working on issues. UPUA still needs help finding that model. No matter the size of the issue, if you can’t let the students know how it is going to benefit them, they will not continue to care. As it stands now, the student government does not make it clear what is in it for the students, only for themselves.

We want to make sure that students know who their student government is and what they are doing. We want students to realize the benefits they are receiving from putting their representatives in office. If you consider student government like a business, the shareholders (students) have not been receiving dividends (benefits) for a long time and we want to change the equation.

Some people say we have a different way of doing things. But if you consider technology a different way of doings things, there is a strong, initial pushback when people present those new ways. The iPod was made fun of when it was first proposed and now it is the quintessential mp3 technology. We (Adewumi and Pisupati) are just starting.

Sri Pisupati: Vice Presidential Candidate

Basic Information:

Freshman from State College; majoring in Bioengineering

What organizations are you involved with here at Penn State?

University Park Undergraduate Association – Schreyer Honors College Representative; executive in the Schreyer’s Honors College Student Council; member of the Penn State THON Donor and Alumni Relations Committee; stage manager for Dandia on Fire 2011; Public Relations Chair for the State College Community Diwali Program; member of the Penn State South Asian Student Association

What is your political background?

I was a four year class president at State High, but I don’t think that necessarily counts as a political background. Any politics that I follow are purely for sport and entertainment value. Honestly I love having genuinely challenging discussion and I like solving problems. That’s what I did for State High, and that what I continue to do as the Schreyer Honors College UPUA Representative.

Why have you chosen to run for the vice-presidency of UPUA?

I think it’s very easy to get caught up in bureaucracy, but the focus should always be on getting things done, not just talking about getting things done. To me there is something that is just fundamentally unsettling about politicians, false hope, and fake promises but I think there are many leaders in the world and at Penn State that just want to make things better. That’s what I hope to do.

A lot of people get confused with how my major contrasts with the things I choose to get involved with. I want to make an impact wherever I can and take full advantage of the opportunities presented to me. This is a perfect time for someone like me to run, because the issues that face our University today not just resonate with me from a student’s perspective, but as the son of two faculty members. The discussions I have with University officials and student leaders are the same discussions I have with my parents when I go home on weekends. Most students develop professional relationships with community officials and leaders within the University, but we have personal relationships because we’ve grown up in this community.

While most students are here for 9 months out of the year and graduate in four years, Penn State is something that has affected me since I was born, and will continue to affect me for the rest of my life.

ONEPSU started out as a set of ideas that a variety of student leaders thought would help out Penn State, and so those ideas have been incorporated into a campaign that will lead to implementation of these student ideas. It’s important to note that these ideas we’ve developed from our conversations with student leaders have been incorporated into what we are running on, they will continue even after March 30th. We have already been working on developing the relationships we need to execute these ideas, but a lot of the resources we need to do this rely on having a student government backing.

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About the Author

Dan Vecellio

Dan is a graduate student in meteorology, hailing from Bradford, Pennsylvania. His interests include sports, Penn State and commons cheesesteaks. Feel free to contact me through my email or follow me on Twitter.

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