PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Four UPUA Representatives Disregard Capital Day, Constituents, and Democracy

“Half of democracy is about just showing up.” – Ralph Nader

(Update: 12:22 P.M.  – A previous version of this article incorrectly included Justin Laskowski on the list of people not attending Capital Day.  We regret including him in this article.)

When the bus leaves for Harrisburg on April 4, carrying most members of your student government, three representatives won’t be on it. Capital Day, as it states on the website, “brings together alumni and student advocates for Penn State and connect them with their state legislators. ” It seems like the ideal event for student leaders to attend, but that is not the case for four members of our student government.

The following three members of the UPUA have decided that it isn’t important to represent you and the student body in Harrisburg to Pennsylvania state legislators:

Anas Almathami (Off-Campus Representative)

Dan Florencio** (IFC Representative)

Nick Grassetti (Off-Campus Representative)

*Dan Florencio responded to my e-mail stating, “I am not attending because I do not hold the office of IFC representative any longer.” UPUA Chairwoman Kelly Terefenko, who is in charge of membership, said in an e-mail that Mr. Florencio has not submitted his resignation and still holds the position of IFC Representative. Further requests for clarification to Mr. Florencio were ignored.

Anas Almathami, Dan Florencio, and Nick Grassetti ignored repeated requests to justify their absences.

Governmental Affairs Chairman Adam Boyer has championed the effort to encourage the 6th Assembly to attend Capital Day. Although it is not a constitutional requirement for the 6th assembly to attend — the assembly’s final meeting was last night — Boyer set the ultimatum this year.

“From the beginning, UPUA has played a significant role in sponsoring Capital Day,” Boyer said. “What a better way to help your constituents? We couldn’t have made it any easier to sign up.”

Indeed, with Penn State appropriations proposed to be cut in half last year (ended up being an 18% cut) and another 30% proposed this year, it is essential for our University to be represented in Harrisburg. Capital Day provides a convenient outlet to meet with state legislators to speak on behalf of the student body. But how can we be properly represented if members of our student government (Anas Almathami, Dan Florencio, and Nick Grassetti) don’t even deem it important enough to attend?

Boyer noted that he “sensed apathy” in the assembly, which inspired the campaign to get everyone in UPUA signed up. “It’s really not that much of a burden,” he said. “If [the appropriation cuts] aren’t a wakeup call, I don’t know what is.”

The democratic process is a two-way street. It doesn’t work unless both sides — the policy makers and the public — constantly interact with each other. For Anas Almathami, Dan Florencio, and Nick Grassetti, this process apparently isn’t important enough. Not only is the leadership of Anas Almathami, Dan Florencio, and Nick Grassetti in serious question, but repeatedly ignoring messages from a concerned constituent would seem to indicate a lack in communication skills as well.

Penn State students are also able to sign up for Capital Day. I urge you all to do so. If you’re in a fraternity, your representative won’t be there for you. If you live off-campus, two of your representatives won’t be there for you, either. If Anas Almathami, Dan Florencio, and Nick Grassetti won’t do it, it’s up to us to make sure we’re represented.

More importantly, it’s up to us to hold our student leaders accountable.

(Note: Alyssa Wasserman (Treasurer), Ryan Thomas (Board of Arbitration), Chris Donohue (Off-Campus Representative), and Chris Ferri (Eberly College of Science) regret that they can not attend Capital Day due to academic and professional obligations. Jarod Hughes (Schreyer Representative) will not be attending for personal reasons.)

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

Comments

State College Links
More by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters

Athletics

Tony Carr Signs With Octagon Basketball Agency

Carr will join Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokoumpo at one of the NBA’s premier talent agencies.

Penn State Baseball, Lion’s Pantry Join Forces To Help Fight Food Insecurity

Penn State Men’s Gymnastics Sophomore Stephen Nedoroscik Crowned Pommel Horse National Champion

Penn State Baseball’s Offense Better Suited For Football

Club Cross Country Hosts Not-Hoosier Half Marathon After Nationals Cancellation

Student Life

Life Is A Journey To Be Experienced, Not Solved: Nathaniel Pinskey’s Senior Column

“I made mistakes, I changed my major, I made a fool of myself more often than not, and yet I somehow made it to the last week of classes.”

Night Of Remembrance To Honor Students Who Passed Away This Year

Penn State Baseball, Lion’s Pantry Join Forces To Help Fight Food Insecurity

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

The Grades Are In: How Blue-White Players To Watch Performed

Micah Parsons, Nick Tarburton, and Lamont Wade all did themselves well in new positions over the weekend, while Sean Clifford showed us what he’s capable of.

Two Found Guilty In Murder Of Penn State Professor

Two people will spend the rest of their lives in prison after a Centre County jury on Monday found them guilty of murdering Penn State professor Ronald Bettig in August 2016.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Oh, The People You See On A Nice Day In State College

Nice weather brings everyone out of their caves. Here are some of the types of people you may see if you step outside of yours.

Send this to a friend