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As UPUA Elections Roll On, Candidates Discuss Strategies For Success

We’re past the halfway point for today’s UPUA elections, as polls close at 10 p.m. tonight. We checked in the with the four tickets to see how they were winning votes in advance of tonight’s final tally. If you’ve yet to vote, do so now here.

Ryan Belz and Zach Longstreth

Belz, clad in his orange attire, has been traveling all around campus this morning in an effort to solicit votes — from underclassmen at Pollock and East Halls, to students walking through the HUB, Thomas Building, and outside Willard. The rest of the day he will find himself following the election’s code and regulations, rules that he says other candidates have not been following.

Belz didn’t specify the types of violations that have potentially occurred, but 10 violations have been reported for the election thus far. Violations can stem from a host of issues, including where candidates attempt to solicit votes.

Belz also said that his morale for the day is incredibly high for two reasons, despite the apprehension that is paired with an election.

“Not only is it high because I really would appreciate the opportunity to be elected President, but also because I know that I am following the rules, to a tee, as set forth by the 9th Assembly of the UPUA and Elections Commission,” he explained.

Emily McDonald and Terry Ford

Onward State-endorsed candidate Emily McDonald has been everywhere today. She was downtown with iPads earlier this morning, stopping passerby’s with requests to vote. The ticket’s also been on top of social media spreading its platform, a strategy it plans to continue throughout the day.

“When we ask voters to vote we give them a few one-liners about what student government is and how our ticket plans on benefiting them,” McDonald said.

McDonald also suggested her team’s moral was high, given the hard work that culminated in this day. She also urged all students to exercise their right to vote, no matter for whom they cast their ballots.

“Student government really aims to do what’s best for students so it’s important for people to vote,” she said.

Shannon Rafferty and Gokul Sundar

Rafferty has also campaigned across campus today, mainly near the HUB. After students that she has waived down select their choices on her own iPhone, Rafferty is quick to give them a sticker to thank them for voting.

“Everyone is excited to learn the outcome, but we’re working until the last minute,” she said.

Hamsa Fayed and Dylan Sundy

Fayed and Sunday have spent a busy day raising awareness for their oft-overlooked ticket and student government.

“The average student isn’t aware of the UPUA so we are trying to use relevant UPUA student body references to understand the benefits of the UPUA and its inclusion in their every-day affairs,” Fayed said.

Fayed spoke to her ticket’s “humble means of mobilization.” She acknowledged that her ticket assumed an underdog role, but urged other UPUA hopefuls to take that chance. With that mindset, she suggested that the success of her campaign “cannot be quantified.”

There is no prerequisite for change and activism,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t know about UPUA or aren’t as involved – be critical and get your voice heard.”

With just a few hours left until the polls close, make sure you log on to, read candidates’ platforms, and get out the vote.

About the Author

Brandilyn Heckman

is a junior majoring in Secondary Education (English). Though she commutes to class from her home in Penns Valley, she refuses to be called a 'townie.' Along with Onward State, she currently interns with the Centre Daily Times. In her spare time, she is unafraid to show her love for Penn State, Landon Donovan, and Captain America. You can follow her on twitter at @Brandilynh or contact her via email with [email protected]


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Staff Picks: Grabbing A Drink With A Prominent Penn Stater

If you had the chance to hear about Penn State from (or throw down at a State College bar for a night with) some of its most prominent figures, who would you want to grab a beer with?

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