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Why You Should Care About UPUA Elections This Year

Look, I’m not going to lie to you — I don’t know much about UPUA, I don’t particularly like UPUA, and I honestly haven’t even remotely cared about UPUA until the last month. I don’t expect you to understand its structure, bylaws, or history of worthless spending. However, I do strongly encourage you to lend an ear to this year’s UPUA election coverage over the next ten days, both on this site and from other outlets. And more importantly, I encourage you to vote.

I’m not here to endorse a presidential ticket or complain about UPUA’s often-chronicled wrongdoings. I’m here to tell you that given Penn State’s current administrative transition, there is a greater opportunity for student representation than has ever existed before. In an attempt to foster more transparency, Rodney Erickson has been incredibly receptive to student leaders. University officials are now more accessible than ever before. For once, student leaders actually have the opportunity to foster important change within the Penn State community. Simply put, there is hope yet for student government at Penn State.

The next UPUA president will not only be the voice FOR Penn State Students within the university, but outside of State College, he or she will be the voice OF Penn State students. To all of you students who have been concerned about the student body being misrepresented amidst these trying times, I have a message for you: Like it or not, the newly elected UPUA president will be the one in front of the cameras when hell breaks loose again. Don’t believe me? See herehere, here, here, here, and here.

In addition to considering the ideas on the respective presidential platforms, I also urge you to envision the person you will vote for next Wednesday answering questions in front of a national audience. When the spotlight returns to Happy Valley–and I assure you it will–keep in mind that the newly elected student body president will likely be speaking to millions on behalf of you, me, and our great school.

You have the opportunity to choose that person. Vote your heart.

About the Author

Ryan Beckler

Ryan is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He is a Lion Ambassador who loves giving tours to prospective students. His favorite activities include distributing news and consuming Chipotle.

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