PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

UPUA Plans To Increase State Funding One Step At A Time

When UPUA Rep. Ted Ritsick first heard of the idea for Steps for State, he wasn’t sure what to think. Organizing a 114 mile walk to Harrisburg, while for a good cause, would certainly be a daunting task.

“Initially when [Rep. John] Wortman brought this up I said, ‘John, you’re crazy, but I’ll help you,'” said Ritsick, a co-sponsor of the resolution. “But we’re sitting here today and it’s looking like it’s going to be a great success. We’re all really excited about it.”

For those unfamiliar with Steps for State, UPUA has decided to organize a walk to Harrisburg in order to advocate for more state funding. The walk will start at 12:30 p.m. on March 30, and will come to an end at 4 a.m. on April 1 in Harrisburg, with representatives walking the 114 miles in between. Five UPUA representatives will be walking at a time, and they’ll take turns walking in shifts lasting four hours each.

So why does UPUA feel the need to casually stroll to Harrisburg on the eve of Capital Day? Pennsylvania public schools normally have notoriously high tuitions, and are usually among the highest in the US. With the support of UPUA President Katelyn Mullen and Vice President Brenden Dooley, as well as Chair Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Panichelli, Wortman hopes this walk will open some eyes regarding higher education funding in Pennsylvania.

“Our big thing is obviously how broken the way that [Pennsylvania] is structured in higher education. If you break it down, the top two most expensive in state universities are Pitt and Penn State, and Pennsylvania also has 8 out of the top 17 in the country,” said Wortman.  “This isn’t about a political party; it’s about how the entire system of higher education is broken in Pa. And that’s what needs to be reformed.”

Obviously, a huge concern for an event like this the safety of the students; it’s not exactly hard to imagine why a few UPUA representatives walking on a road outside of Harrisburg at two in the morning would be considered dangerous. However, Wortman and the rest of the resolutions co-sponsors (Rep. Ritsick, Rep. Stephen Payne, and Rep. John Lombardo), ensured that safety was the highest priority when planning the route. There are checkpoints in place, and one of the two EMTs in UPUA will be walking with the group at all times. In addition to the EMT and medical supplies, there will be a vehicle driving along with the walkers at all times, as well as directions to the nearest hospital if a medical emergency does arise.

“This [route] isn’t the fastest or most direct way to get to Harrisburg, and that’s our point. We hope that it’s the safest way to get people to Harrisburg,” said Payne.

“We really based our safety procedures off of what THON does with canning,” added Wortman. “We’re going to have a workshop the week before the event to ensure everyone realizes what they have to do and knows the safety measures just in case a situation arises.”

All in all, UPUA is hoping this event will put their name on the map at Penn State while grabbing the attention of Governor Corbett in Harrisburg. And for a young organization still trying to gain legitimacy in the Penn State landscape, this seems like a good place to start.

“I think this makes it very hard for those students who say ‘Oh, student government? They don’t do anything,'” said Ritsick. “Well actually we are walking 114 miles to Harrisburg on behalf of you to raise higher education funding, so I’d say that’s something.”

No matter the  outcome, it’s safe to say that the UPUA is making some steps in the right direction.

About the Author

Greg Schlosser

Greg is a senior majoring in energy engineering at Penn State. He is a big fan of Pittsburgh sports and sandwiches with coleslaw and french fries. You can email him at [email protected] or find him at the Phyrst drunkenly requesting the band to play "One Headlight."

Comments

More by Greg

Make The Most Of Happy Valley: Greg Schlosser’s Senior Column

They say there are three inevitable certainties in life: Death, Taxes, and Graduation. Or at least I think that’s the saying, anyways.

Penn State Football Selects 2015 Leadership Council

Peter and Ann Tombros Offer Donation To Improve Basketball Facilities

Athletics

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Tony Carr might have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to make his NBA debut.

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Indigo Closes, Future Plans For Nightclub Space Await

Indigo Nightclub announced that it would be closing following Arts Fest, but it doesn’t sound like the Hotel State College bar space would be empty for long

Playa Bowls To Open State College Location

Famous on the Jersey Shore for its brightly colored bowls and smoothies, Playa Bowls’ menu includes everything from açai and pitaya bowls to fresh juices.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Doggie’s Rathskeller And Garden Opens With Hopes Of Returning To Its Roots

The All-American Rathskeller is no more and Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden is officially in business — opening with its “sneak peak” at the new bar Thursday afternoon in time for Arts Fest.

Send this to a friend