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UPUA Candidate Profiles: Off-Campus Representatives

With UPUA election day quickly approaching, we reached out to the candidates to help you make an informed vote on March 28. There are 14 students running for 12 Off-Campus Representative positions this year.

Anthony Christina (Junior, Political Science and History)

Presidential Endorsement: Quinn/Fegali | Facebook Event

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

In terms of improving UPUA itself I am not afraid to call out Malarkey when I see it. I have taken on the “establishment” before during my time as an At-Large Representative two years ago defeating wasteful legislation such as “Doughnut Day” and I will do so again. I am not beholden to a special interest, I don’t have an “agenda”, and EVERY VOTE I make as a representative will not be a ruberstamp but will be vetted against what’s in the best interest of my constituents.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running because after taking a year off from the organization.  I believe that now more than ever the student body needs responsible student leaders who are pragmatic and bold in finding solutions that effect students at a time when Penn State is at a crossroads.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part isn’t a  particular building, team, or organization. But rather is in her traditions “Strong & Great”. Traditions in the past, and Pride from the student body in her future have gotten this University through some of her toughest times. 

Ryan Stephens (Junior, History and International Politics)

Presidential Endorsement: None | Facebook Event

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

Too few students understand what UPUA is or how it works. Many students feel that UPUA is inept and does nothing that really affects the student body. This is evident from the low voter turnout each year relative to the number of students. This must change. I hope to make students more aware of what UPUA can do for them. The student body needs to find its voice and realize that UPUA is the venue for that voice to be heard.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running for a representative position because currently, too many representatives do not understand what their constituents want or realize that many goals are unattainable. Goals of UPUA need to be realistic and be what the students want. Lower tuition is something that has been promised in the past by candidates. This is not a real and attainable goal for UPUA nor could it be accomplished in one term. Something as simple as ensuring that each classroom has tissues, more recycling bins, supplying two-ply toilet paper in stalls, more water bottle filling stations, and easily accessible drop boxes for library books are realistic and plausible with the funds UPUA has. This is what I want to bring to UPUA, practicality. Practical thinking that will improve the daily lives of students on campus and off.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part of Penn State has to be our overwhelming sense of community. Being from Texas, I was a bit nervous about coming to such a large school and not knowing anyone. After being here for three years, I know that fear was unfounded. The Penn State community is a strong and welcoming family and this past year has taught us how important the Nittany Lion family is. We are all here for a common cause, to learn, excel, and to make the world a better place. For me, this is what makes Penn State unique and why our alumni and students are the best in the world.

Daniel Heitlinger

Hannah Kendig (Junior, Political Science and Economics, minor in French)

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen | Facebook | Twitter

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

I am interested in providing students with more information in regards to off-campus housing options and pushing back the date when students must sign a lease.  I would like to introduce a booklet or website to give to students to organize apartment companies, cost of rent, deadlines for signing a lease, alternative housing options, and other related housing information.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

Having benefited from the wealth of experiences that Penn State has to offer, I chose to run for off-campus representative so that I can give back to the school and further improve the quality of life as a Penn State student.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

Penn State has the best late night eating options like my favorite spot, DP Dough.  Also, the Penn State community is very strong, and I never have a lack of ways to explore my interests or meet friends.

Ryan Naylor (Freshman, Political Science, minor in Economics)

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

 I am running for Off-Campus Representative because I believe that students should be able to choose their off-campus housing in the easiest and least stressful way possible, which if elected, I will work to accomplish. I also believe that I can increase the efficiency of UPUA funds by reducing the amount of wasteful spending.Most importantly, I will run on the promise to represent my peers by working with people as passionate as myself about service. My biggest goal is to help organize and develop a stronger University, which I believe we can only achieve with the help and collaboration of its students.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part about Penn State is our strength and sense of community. Being a part of THON this year was one of the most memorable moments of my life. It is amazing to see a group of people come together to work for change and I am privileged to be a part of making a difference. WE ARE PENN STATE!

Curtis Houck (Sophomore, Political Science and History)

Presidential Endorsement: Quinn/Feghali

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

I would see to it that a new off-campus database comes to fruition. I’ll be the first to admit the housing situation at Penn State can seem daunting and scary for some folks and can easily take a turn for the worst, having been down that road myself during my time here thus far. A new, updated and comprehensive site would allow my hopefully future constituents (off-campus students) to have a reliable resource that they can use to search in one place for housing and make educated decisions on what mode of housing, set-up, location and price is best for them and their families.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

Put it simply, throughout my entire life, I have always found joy in serving others. Through my involvement as an intern my freshmen year for then-President Christian Ragland and as Director the YOUSRV program (freshmen internship program), I have seen UPUA grow leaps and bounds as people have come and gone through the Assembly. I have also seen areas where UPUA can grow, including becoming much more relevant and something that students can point to as something they’re proud of voting in and have trust in the representatives they elect that they will represent them in all possible arenas we might enter into. Through the positions I’ve held and experiences I have had, it has allowed me to be the the perfect match between a complete outsider with little knowledge of how UPUA works and being an insider who only follows the status quo, I think I have earned the chance to show the student body what I can do and make an impact.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

I would have to say the fact that it’s one of the only places I know where anyone can come to find it as home. Students come from a diverse array of backgrounds and places across the world and arrive here knowing maybe only a few people from home and have the ‘butterflies’. The fact that anyone can come here whether their entire family went here or they’re the first member of their family to go here and be a part of any organization imaginable while reaching a level of feeling accepted to the point that they feel as if they belong here. That’s just so incredible to me and wholeheartedly believe that Penn State is one of the only places that allows you to arrive not knowing what to expect and leave a changed individual in do many ways.

David Harrington (Junior, Policial Science, minoring in Biology and History)

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen | Facebook

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

Most of the ideas I have stem from my experience on the Facilities Committee and include integrating more transportation access to students who use LionCash as well as furthering the development of tech-friendly study lounges around campus. I also want to work with the Board of Arbitration to give more venues for students to hold UPUA accountable.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I decided to run for reelection because I felt that there were still many projects that I had to finish and wanted to continue my work within the assembly. It is important to me that I continue to serve my school and UPUA gives students one of the best opportunities to do so.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part of Penn State would have to be the diversity in the activities students can participate in. The sheer number of clubs and student activities around campus acted as the main incentive for me to come to Penn State. Since starting here I have had so many wonderful opportunities, from clubs I had joined, to cultural events, to sporting events, and of course the great community service offered through Penn State.

Dutch Markward

Kerven Moon (Junior, Crime, Law & Justice, Sociology)

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

Briefly, my ideas on improving for the future include making off housing more accessible by creating online database, meal plan option for off campus students, shuttle service offered to students during late night hours, improvement to the freshman alcohol entrance course and having a student elected Board of Trustee member. I hope these ideas can come into fruition and become reality during my time as a representative, if elected.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running for Off-Campus Representative because I feel I can offer new perspectives and ideas to the assembly. This is my first time I would be part of UPUA, but I have been involved with many campus organizations so I feel I have a good interesting of Penn State and how things work. I hope to use that experience to help UPUA move forward.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

Penn State is a special place and a school that is unique. Penn State offers
so many opportunities but what I like most about it is the passion and tradition that lives in all the
students, alumni, and faculty. The pride people have for this school is unmatched and one of the biggest reasons why I ended up coming to Penn State. It truly has a family atmosphere and embodies the name of “Happy Valley”.

Benjamin Forrest (Junior, English)

Presidential Endorsement: Quinn/Feghali | Facebook 

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

Actually focusing on our student body and what they want. We are people, not politicians, representing our student body to make the decisions they want. If we are going to put a program together, it needs to be one that helps Penn State, not a select minority.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running for Off Campus Rep because I want to represent my student body, not govern them. The fact 45 people show up to a presidential debate shows you that UPUA isn’t reaching out to students and that needs to be the goal of everyone that is running this semester.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

The best part about Penn State is that you can make the experience here whatever you want. Every student is in control of things up here if they get involved and try to make an impact.

Michael Kramer (Sophomore, English, minor in Anthropology)

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen | Website

Please explain one policy or idea you have for improving UPUA.

I hope to enact legislation to move at least one meeting a month to the first floor of the HUB to encourage students to attend and participate. Also, to couple that, these meetings would have Open Student Forum throughout their entirety to allow open discussion with students.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I look at the current views of some students about UPUA, and find that many are unsatisfied with the decisions their representatives make. However, what I don’t see are students voicing this dissatisfaction to their representatives. I’m tired of hearing so much negative rhetoric. I want students to have pride in UPUA, and feel confident that their representatives will be even more receptive to criticism than praise. I want to help create an atmosphere of student government that promotes encouragement. Encouragement for students to speak out, and for representatives to continue trying their best to listen and respond accordingly. I want to join UPUA so that I can be stopped on the street between classes by students who keep abreast of issues UPUA faces, and tell me exactly what they want me to do.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part of Penn State is hard to choose. I don’t mean to be cliché, but that’s a choice between the student section, the fact I’m constantly learning about new clubs and activities, our ground-breaking research, the enormous library I’ve gotten lost in on more than one occasion, kids on a rope, the alumni duck pond, the ice rink, the HUB lawn, the Lion, and the astounding number of incredible people I’ve met on campus. My favorite part of Penn State is being a student here.

Ryan Gerst

Andrew Austin Turner (Junior, Political Science and History)

Presidential Endorsement: Quinn/Feghali

Please explain one policy or idea you have for improving UPUA.

I am improving UPUA, because I bring diversity to the assembly. I grew up abroad in Luxembourg. International students are vastly underrepresented on the UPUA and I feel I can help solve that issue. Also, I am a former Art student here at Penn State. I value the School of Art and Architecture and support their needs. Finally, I am the president of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. I fully stand by the Greek community’s interests and ambitions.
Why are you running for a position in UPUA?
I am running for Off Campus Representative, because I want to make an impact. I have always been involved with student life here at Penn State and I believe I have gained enough experience and knowledge in administrative positions to be a leader and contributor to the UPUA.
What is your favorite part about Penn State?
My favorite part about Penn State is the students. The student body never ceases to amaze me. We are the most active college undergraduates in the country. THON is a constant reminder of that fact. So are the hundreds of philanthropy events and thousands of community service hours our fraternities and sororities log in. My fellow students here at University Park have shown me what it means to be involved and a leader. I have been blessed to go here. The least I can do to give back to this wonderful school is to the best job I possible can as Off Campus Representative.

Sika Abbey

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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]

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