Mullen/Dooley Ticket Answers the Tough Questions
In front of a crowd of about 20 in Alumni Hall, incoming UPUA President Katelyn Mullen and Vice President Brenden Dooley fielded questions for the final time before UPUA election day on Wednesday. The forum was hosted by our own Dave Cole and Daily Collegian Editor-in-Chief Casey McDermott, who both asked questions concerning the Mullen/Dooley platform and their vision for UPUA going forward.
The discussion started off with both Cole and McDermott asking general questions about the current state of UPUA. Mullen believed that UPUA’s greatest strength is that it has access to a wide variety of resources to get things done. She noted that UPUA’s good relationship with the administration gives UPUA more power when accomplishing things. Dooley, on the other hand, believed that UPUA’s greatest weakness is its lack of communication with the student body. As Mullen said, “We have to tell [our constituents] what we’re doing. We have to be more proactive.”
In addition, both Mullen and Dooley would like to hold the assembly more accountable in representing their constituents. Both would like to institute an attendance policy where an assembly member would be removed if they miss more than two meetings. Also, Dooley is looking to put a yearly agenda into place for UPUA so deadlines can be put in place for certain pieces of legislation.
Next, Cole and McDermott asked questions about the Mullen/Dooley platform. As a part of their platform, the ticket would like to start a bus program that would take students to away football games. It was pointed out that some may see this as Penn State refusing to deal with its “culture” problem, but Dooley didn’t see it that way.
“We don’t have a culture problem,” said Dooley. “We should be allowed to have fun here and it’s only fair that students get the chance to go to these games.”
Another big part of the ticket’s platform is the possible removal of the “dry campus” policy on campus. After talking with administrators, Mullen found that many don’t agree with the current alcohol policy on campus, which is something she’d like to focus on for the 8th Assembly.
“Many seem to disagree with the current alcohol policy on campus. If you’re of legal age, you should be able to drink in your dorm room,” said Mullen, to the applause of, well, 20.
Mullen and Dooley will also be working on making the student trustee position permanent. Currently, the student member on the board is appointed by the Governor, but both Mullen and Dooley would like to make sure that position is required and codified. As Mullen noted, “It’s quite imperative that we voice the students’ concerns.”
Aside from the big platform topics, here are a few other things that were discussed at the forum:
- A possible incentive structure for professors to either teach with a cheaper textbook or even no text book at all. Mullen also said more of an emphasis needs to be placed on resources available to students. For example, some textbooks are available for use in the library.
- A technology overhaul at Penn State. This includes everything from making Penn State completely wireless to expanding the role of PSU World Campus.
- A continued emphasis on sexual assault awareness around campus.
- More crowd sourcing from UPUA to represent the student body more accurately. Said Dooley: “We want to make people feel like they’re involved at Penn State.”
While there may be a few points where students disagree with Mullen and Dooley, know that they both have the students’ best interests in mind. They’re looking to push the student body forward from where the 7th Assembly left off, and won’t settle for the typical UPUA complacency that we have grown accustomed to over the years.
“Looking back, five years from now, I want be able to say that I’ve made a difference on this campus,” Dooley said.