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Your Guide to UPUA: Off-Campus Representatives

There are 12 ‘Off-Campus Representative’ positions open to full-time undergraduate students who attend University Park and live off-campus. This year, 18 students are competing.

Anas Almathami (sophomore-mechanical engineering)
Mutually endorsed with Bard-Lennartz | Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
The UPUA has come to face recently the one of the most urgent issues the student body has faced, the budget cuts. These cuts are going to affect a big number of the Penn State students that cannot afford the new rise in tuition. This is one of the main issues that I feel that UPUA has to give a lot of consideration and time towards what would be the course of action if to at least minimize the effects of those cuts on our education and ability to remain in school. For this problem to be fixed or at least partially dealt with first we would need for the whole student community at Penn state to come together and actually voice out these concerns on a bigger level than ever before. The UPUA could only do so much, but with the involvement of our whole campus on one cause we would be able to make a change and we would come closer to finding a solution. My way to fix it is to get as many students involved and voice their concern over to as many sources of outlet as possible. I can’t say that it will solve our problem but it will put us on the right track.

Why are you running for UPUA?
My main decision for running for UPUA  is that I felt that I would be able to serve the off-campus community in Penn State from an international perspective. I wanted to represent the American and international students alike with taking both student bodies in consideration giving the international students a chance to voice their thoughts with their American peers.

Adam Boyer (junior-history and political science)
(Mutually endorsed with Bard-Lennartz)

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
The biggest problem facing UPUA is that people often think and act in a way that benefits themselves, rather than the student body as a whole.  I often get frustrated when people put personal gain ahead of the greater good.  I will attempt to fix this problem by bringing actions to light that I see as being wrong and unethical.  In addition, I believe that students’ money is often being wasted on unworthy projects.  I will make sure that we are spending our funds wisely, rather than spending money on initiatives with little benefit to students.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I became involved in UPUA because I saw it as a way to get involved on campus and make a positive difference in the lives of students.  I am running again this year because I wish to continue my goal of giving students the voice they lack.

Tiara Clay (junior-crime law and justice)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
UPUA needs a more diverse collection of representatives. People that can appeal to everyone, not just one mass audience.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I want to be involved with student affairs. I have also been an off campus resident since freshman year.

Tonia Damiano (sophomore-finance)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
Our single biggest problem is student outreach and engagement.  Even though we are only a 5 year old student government, we can put more effort into seeing what the students at University Park really want.  The formalities are important but successful and effective initiatives that will enhance everyday student life is really what we’re here for.  As a representative of the 6th assembly, I will work to pass initiatives that are not just the best for UPUA as an organization, but what is best for the University Park Student Body.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I was a part of UPUA for the past two years (freshman year as a YOUSRV intern and sophomore year as the DUS rep & DUS student senator).  I am very passionate about student government here at Penn State because students deserve to have a voice and to be properly represented  (I’m NOT involved with student govt just for another line on my resume or because I want to get into politics) .  The STUDENTS are what make this university so spectacular.

Chris Donohue

Eli Glazier (junior-international politics)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
The biggest problem UPUA faces is publicity. The vast majority of Penn State students simply do not know what UPUA is. As the student government, the advocate for students of campus, this is clearly a problem. UPUA is a fairly young organization and the greater recognition it receives, the more leverage it will have to do its job.

I will work to promote UPUA to the community through well-run, sufficiently advertised programs and through the completion of projects improve the student quality of life (Bike Share, Car Share, Off-Campus Meal Plan, etc). As the UPUA name is attached to these efforts, more students will be aware of what UPUA is doing, in turn holding the organization more accountable and more representative of Penn State-University Park.

Why are you running for UPUA?
After watching UPUA from the outside since freshman year, I felt it was time to step up and, instead of just commenting on what could be better, actually make the changes I wanted to see.

Sarah Gooch

Dave Harrington (sophomore-political science)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
One of the biggest challenges facing UPUA this year will be how to work with a potentially smaller budget while still delivering quality programs to students. I feel this can be accomplished by using resources we already have and applying them in new and efficient ways.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I’m running because I want to connect off campus students to UPUA, improve infrastructure downtown, and start green initiatives.

Daniel Heitlinger

Ernestine Jallah

Brendan McNally (sophomore-public relations)
Mutually endorsed with Bard-Lennartz) | Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
The most pressing issue UPUA faces is rising tuition and shrinking state appropriations, yet it is an issue that UPUA has far too little control over.  I’d like to change that. First, I commend the efforts of student leaders to organize protests against shrinking appropriations in Harrisburg.  But I don’t believe that strategy is the most effective one.  There are hundreds of legislators in Harrisburg, and very few will be put at risk of losing their seat if they vote to decrease Penn State’s funding.  So why not focus our effort on those lawmakers who have an incentive to represent us students? Sen. Jake Corman represents State College and is in a powerful position as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee to determine the make-up of the state budget. He is a Penn State graduate and knows that keeping the Penn State community happy is a big part of his job.  UPUA should continually meet with him to get an idea of the outlook for the next year’s appropriation and to hold him responsible for our funding.  Some candidates have proposed using UPUA funds to support certain candidates.  Unfortunately, Penn State is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, and, therefore, cannot support political campaigns.  As an alternative, I would like to create an independent, student-run political action committee to solicit donations from alumni, support Penn State friendly candidates, and bolster student turnout in elections.

Why are you running for UPUA?
As a Daily Collegian reporter, I worked on stories involving tuition increases, crime and student groups, becoming well-acquainted with the issues that are most important to students. I learned about the problems facing Penn State, not just as an observer, but as an advocate for awareness of the issues. I spoke with Graham Spanier about tuition increases. I interviewed Mayor Elizabeth Goreham about town-and-gown relations. I met with police everyday and learned the real impact drinking and partying can have on the community, and I made sure to ask Rep. Scott Conklin and Sen. Jake Corman the tough questions about our state funding.  In short, I saw all the problems Penn State faces, but learned what together we can do to fix them.  I’d like to take that experience to the UPUA assembly because I know we can make a difference.

Chad Miller (sophomore-international politics)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
UPUA is not very well known throughout the student body. By gaining access to student listserv, UPUA can make its presence known in a more efficient way.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I really want to get involved in the decision making process of government, no matter how small it may be.

Malcolm Pascotti (sophomore-english and political science)
Endorses Bard-Lennartz | Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
Tuition. This may seem like a cliché at this point, but it is too important not to address. I want to continue utilizing the Governmental Affairs committee to speak with state legislators about unfair budget cuts that hurt students.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I served as an Off-Campus Representative this year, and I want to continue working hard for off-campus students next year.

Jake Plevelich (sophomore-history and political science)
Endorses Salters-Quinn | Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
Tuition: Like companies that profit from student debt, students should be able to influence elections. I will work to amend the current rules that prohibit UPUA from influencing elections.

Why are you running for UPUA?
The PSU student body represents new ideas and enthusiasm. I feel I embody that creative energy.

Richard Pooler

Mallory Reed (junior-political science)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
One major issue with the current UPUA system is the lack of accessibility and accountability of the representatives.  I believe there should be a tangible level of accountability to which all of the representatives should be held.I would work to amend the UPUA Constitution to hold representatives responsible for attending their constituency meetings by bringing them up for removal if they miss too many.  Similarly, if we establish a caucus system, each set of representatives can really work together to focus on the needs and wants of their specific constituency.

I realize that it is not feasible to expect every off campus student to attend UPUA meetings, so I would like to spearhead the project of producing a bi-monthly newsletter or email updates to be distributed to downtown apartment complexes, the IFC, the Off-Campus Student Union, etc.  I believe it is our job to inform our constituency of what we do, and be easily and readily available for questions and concerns through this newsletter, email, more town hall meetings, office hours and our presence at constituency meetings. UPUA is still a new organization, and we must earn the approval and trust of the student body.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I want the opportunity to bring accountability to UPUA.  During my year in the Assembly, I learned not only what works, but more importantly, what does NOT work.  I hope to mix that knowledge with a passion for positive change to push UPUA to a higher standard of service.  This year, I’ll bring a healthy dose of humility to the table, and help to bring about the realization of accountable and accessible student representation at Penn State.

Victor Schleich

Jill Seifrit (sophomore-political science)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
I believe that the biggest problem that UPUA faces is truly working for the students. Being in UPUA for two years already shows me that many students do not know who their student government is and that is UPUA’s fault. By working with more student groups on campus and creating events that students will want to partake in will spread the word. Once students know that UPUA is here to help them I believe that more ideas will come to the assembly that will benefit students.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I decided to run for an off campus representative for UPUA because I believe that I can represent the ideas of off campus students. I also believe that I can give back to State College and the surrounding area by holding this position in student government. Furthermore, I have good ideas for UPUA such as, working on lighting and the sidewalks downtown, creating a way that students can sell back their printing pages or trade them with other students, and creating a spring arts fest featuring students art.

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