UPUA Speaks Out at Borough Council Meeting

Normally we wouldn’t subject you, the reader, to a dull recap of the Borough Council meeting. But since your student government UPUA was involved this week, we figured you might be more interested (Oh wait…)!

But in all seriousness, the State College Borough Council did a good thing this week. The controversial Pennsylvania Voter ID Law was upheld by the courts last week, which requires voters to show ID’s at the polls, and potentially disenfranchises thousands of voters who didn’t have the foresight or means to obtain proper ID. Borough Council decided to hold a public forum where citizens could come and voice their opinion on a council resolution that would condemn the new law.

In all, 16 people spoke during the session (15 against the voter ID law and 1 in support), including UPUA Chairman Spencer Malloy and UPUA On-Campus Representative and Borough Council Speaking Representative Laurel Petrulionis.

UPUA has taken a strong stance against the Voter ID law all along, and passed Resolution 09-06 last fall echoing their official condemnation of the bill. The Borough Council meeting was no different, with both members offering support for a resolution.

“We will continue to oppose any effort at blocking, delaying or otherwise limiting the ability of our constituency to participate in the democratic process,” Chairman Malloy said. “We cannot, for one moment, fail to be watchful of those who would benefit from making it more burdensome for students to vote.”

“Not only are out of state students barred from voting in Pennsylvania elections by the new law, Pennsylvania students who simply don’t have a photo id will also loose their constitutional right,” Representative Petrulionis said. “Though the UPUA was able to work with our university to ensure that all Penn State student ID’s will count as state issued photo id at the voting booth, we still oppose this law that disenfranchises our peers at other universities statewide.”

Indeed, although any type of Borough Council resolution opposing the law will likely be meaningless, it’s good to see our local student and local government leaders standing up on the side of justice. Borough Council will vote on the resolution at its September 10th meeting.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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