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(Community Content) Young Alumni: Few Hours Left to Vote Gavin Keirans for Board of Trustees

This post was submitted as part of our community content program. You can have your content published on Onward State by submitting it here. We happily accept columns from any Board of Trustees candidate.

I’m running for the Penn State Board of Trustees as one of a diverse field of candidates. The decisions of thousands of Penn State alumni over the course of the next few dozen hours will decide the fate of this election. These races have become extremely competitive, and I believe this year’s victors will be determined by a few hundred votes.

I know how easy it can be to feel apathetic when facing a barrage of good people asking for your time and attention, but since you’re trusting me with yours now let me explain why I think your vote is so important.

If you’ve been following my campaign for Penn State trustee, you know I served as a two-term student body president. What you might not know is that I was nearly a three-term student body president. The first year that I ran (as a freshman) I came up short by 124 votes. There was no more powerful or personal lesson for me than that first loss to remind me how important it is to share your passion and vision with every voter, and to connect in meaningful ways with those whose trust you’re asking for through the power of the ballot.

Over the course of my years as a leader on campus, and later as a member of the Executive Board member for the Penn State Alumni Association, I sought to fulfill the trust of the thousands who had cast a ballot in my name. I learned the importance of diversity of thought, age, and background to addressing the opportunities and challenges of making an impact at Penn State.

And I’m continuing to use these final hours of this year’s campaign to remind fellow Penn Staters that single votes do matter, and that our alma mater’s great history, tradition, and vision for the future are determined at the level of the Board of Trustees.

The spirit of the Board and its composition matters, and are determined by the choice not only of those of you who vote in the next few hours, but also by those of you who have already voted. One vote is powerful, yet one passionate voter who ensures his friends and family also vote can spark a movement.

A theme of my campaign for Penn State trustee has been that I believe I have the experience and vision for our alma mater—and not only Penn State experience, but also extensive Fortune 500 Management Consulting experience. It’s true that I am younger, and some seem to think my youth is a disadvantage. However, I see this as one of my greatest strengths and know that I’ll bring the time, energy and passion to be a successful trustee. I’ve been to 22 board meetings over the last 6 years, and have deep current relationships across the Penn State community that will allow me to be a coalition builder.  And, finally, as final votes as cast and tallied this week, I count myself as fortune to be running as an independent candidate.

The most youthful alumni have a special chance to shape this election. I’m grateful for their passion and energy leading into these final hours of the campaign. As an independent candidate, I hope to represent all Penn Staters and be accountable to every Penn Stater—past, present, and future. I also believe in transparency, and for many years have made myself accessible and accountable to those who I’ve represented. It’s a tradition I’ll continue.

These are the final hours, and your vote can shape Penn State. Please do whatever you can in these final hours to call/text/email your Penn State networks. A surge in these final hours could be all the difference in allowing me the opportunity to once again serve Dear Old State.

About the Author

Gavin Keirans

Former UPUA President, current Board of Trustees candidate.

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