UPUA Candidate Profiles: On-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 5 students running for 7 positions this year (That’s not a typo).

Dray Krishnan (Freshman, Accounting and Economics) Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen

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

Having served on the sixth assembly as an On-Campus Representative, I’ve embedded myself in several projects that are continuing on even after the new assembly is duly installed. Something new that I would like to bring to the table is better advocation for student financial literacy. This was something that was brought up by the Senate Committee for Student Life on the Faculty Senate and is a well known issue. As student debt increases along with rising tuition, the need for a strong understanding of student loan agreements is more pressing than ever. If elected to serve on the seventh assembly, I will work with the student life committee to create a program that informs students about this growing issue.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running to be an On-Campus Representative for the University Park Undergraduate Association because I want to be a voice for the students in our student government. Serving as West Halls President and as the presidential voting delegate to the Association of Residence Hall Students, I am constantly inundated with the wants and needs of the students who live on campus. I want to take these student concerns to the student leaders and administration who have the influence and general know-how to make the changes that our students want.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part of Penn State is the unparalleled desire by the administration to hear the voices of the students. I have worked with the heads of Housing, Food Services, and Residence Life in almost every initiative that I have worked towards within my role as West Halls President and I have never had an administrator close their door to me. Yes, there have been times when an initiative I brought up was simply not feasible, but each and every time I asked I was given a meeting to express student concerns. Penn State’s administration constantly seeks our input and empowers the student voice, and this support motivates me to keep working for the greater good.

Tom George (Junior, Crime, Law, & Justice)


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

UPUA exists to serve the student body of Penn State at University Park. To better serve our students, we must be accessible to them in order for us to hear their needs. If we are unaccessible by the students, how will we hear their concerns? I will advocate various ideas, one of them being to organize the President of UPUA to interact with students on a more frequent basis through open forums at the HUB and by holding periodic open-air conferences.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

My slogan “Bridge The Gap” summarizes why I’m running for student government. I feel there is an incredibly wide gap between our students and their student government. Many students don’t know what UPUA does, nor do many of them care what it does. This is a huge barrier to being able to provide a fully functional student government. If a good proportion of UPUA’s constituents are indifferent about their government, UPUA’s mere existence becomes in vain. After having recognized this problem, I will strive to bridge the gap between the two bodies, which in turn, will help UPUA better serve its students!

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

Togetherness. I love Penn State’s ability to come together as a single body; whether it be at football games, THON or other events such as the Candlelight Vigil that took place several months ago, this characteristic is simply beyond awe-inspiring.

Alex Angstadt

Taj Magruder (Junior, Political Science)

Presidential Endorsement: Quinn/Feghali | Facebook

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

Better management of how UPUA spends its money. Most of us remember the debacle last year when UPUA spent $3,000 on a self-promotion campaign. That should never happen again. I propose directing money back to the students through programs such as test subsidies.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I’m running for UPUA because I want to give back to the school that has given me so much. I also want to ensure that students receive the education and services they deserve, doing whatever I can to make a positive difference for my peers during our time here.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

The unwavering pride students and alumni take in our school. ! I come from a family of about ten Penn State graduates. Whether they graduated five or fifty years ago, my family always speaks of their alma mater with a deep love and appreciation. That story isn’t unique. So many students are descended from Penn State families, with blue and white running through their veins. Even in our darkest moments, we come together and stand as one for Dear Old State.

Victoria Woods (Freshman, English)

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

One of the points of my platform concerns UPUA visibility. As I stated, while gathering signatures for my petition to run, I learned that some of my floormates, classmates, and friends didn’t really understand what UPUA is or how it impacts them as Penn State students. It’s important that the student community is aware of UPUA’s presence and of what it does on and off campus. To improve UPUA, I would like to help get students more involved in the governing body of their university. By further publicizing the weekly meetings or inviting students to a monthly forum to illuminate UPUA’s progress that month, the organization may be able to increase its visibility and foster an understanding of the work it does for the student body.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I’m running for on-campus representative because I hope to have a positive impact on the university. Thanks to my extracuricular involvement now and in the past, I feel I have developed skills that would make me especially useful in advancing the goals of the organization, the student body, and Penn State as whole.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part about Penn State is the student body. We’re such a diverse bunch in terms of age, experiences, hometowns, activities, and so much else. But, despite all those differences, whether we’re cheering at Beaver Stadium, dancing in the BJC, or standing in front of Old Main, we unite behind the things that are important to us. Almost 40,000 students being able to pull together as one Penn State family is amazing to me, and it’s the reason I love my school so much.

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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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