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Is UPUA Flying East to Illinois?

This is a map of the drive from Penn State University to the University of Illinois. Here is a link to the same map.

Listen, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to take it easy here my last semester at Penn State… have fun, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, all that. But then UPUA has to go ahead and spend $3,600 ON AIRFARE to send three students to Illinois. This is the same student government that wants you to be excited because they just bought 30 clickers for 40,000 students to share.

According to that Collegian article, John Zang (@John_Zang), Katie Quinn, and Courtney Lennartz (@C_Lennartz) found spending $3,600 of your Student Activity Fee to be the most cost-effective manner to travel to and from Illinois to attend a conference on student government, where they will likely hear advice like, “Don’t spend $3,600 of Your Constituents’ Student Activity Fee to travel to and from Illinois.”

I live in Boston, MA, which is an eight hour drive from Penn State. I made that drive three days ago—it was long, but I’m still alive. When I was a sophomore, my improv troupe Full Ammo Improv (@fullammoimprov) was invited to perform at a theater in Boston. Do you know what we did? We drove there.

I don’t understand how these Elected Officials can look at the 99% resentment that has resonated not just through Wall Street, not just through the country, but throughout the fucking world these last couple months. This is a world where men are setting themselves on fire in the streets because their governments don’t care about them. And yet John Zang (@John_Zang), Katie Quinn, and Courtney Lennartz (@C_Lennartz) still choose to spend $3,600 of your Student Activity Fee rather than take a god damned road trip like rest of you filthy and untouchable proletariat plebeian underclass.

I was kidding last semester when I evoked Thomas Hobbes’ distrust of human nature, but I seriously think this shit proves UPUA is totally out of touch and unable to govern us. At least when they were spending a bunch of money shamelessly last time, we at least got free cups and sunglasses out of it (right? I never actually saw even one of those goddamned things).

To the three of you flying on my dime: what have you done to deserve $1,200 of Your Constituents’ Student Activity Fee? There is a fine distinction between being a representative of your peers and being a crook abusing your power. There’s right and there’s wrong. Why should I have to pay for your trip to Illinois? How is that the best possible use of those funds?

So, fuck it, let’s look at some other models we could follow: a vote of no confidence to throw out the bourgeoisie. UPUA didn’t work. Surely there must be another model we could follow?

UPDATE 3:36pm In an earlier version of this post, the author messed up the name of one of the UPUA members flying to Illinois. He apologizes to the UPUA member in question.

UPDATE 10:00pm The UPUA voted tonight to send only one delegate to the ABTS conference. 

UPDATE 10:36pm UPUA President TJ Bard just tweeted:

Dennis McNamara (@dennismcnamara) is a senior international relations major and grad-level armchair political commentator.

About the Author

Dennis McNamara

Dennis McNamara is a senior studying International Relations. The product of a long and muddy Irish lineage, Dennis blames that sour heritage and his Boston area upbringing for the flaws in his character. The only paid writer for Onward State, Dennis has never been described as a team player as he often thinks of himself as “the smartest guy in the room.” In addition to contributing to Onward State, Dennis is also Creative Director for Full Ammo Improv. Dennis isn’t sure when he’s kidding either.

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