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[Disclaimer] Onward State’s Coverage Of The 2016 UPUA Election

UPUA election season is officially upon us, as the ballot for the next student government election was released this morning. Onward State has covered UPUA and its election with depth and critical analysis since our inception in 2008, and this year will be no different.

Regular Onward State readers will notice a familiar name on the ballot this year for UPUA. Megan Fleming, who had served as our managing editor since May 2015, is stepping up to the challenge of representing the student voice as a Vice Presidential candidate along with Divy Agnihotri. The two will compete for the presidency alongside current Vice President Terry Ford and Katie Jordan.

Onward State has always enjoyed participation in other organizations within the university community, particularly UPUA — nearly a dozen current and former staff members have served as representatives in the Assembly. We’ve even had editors run for President and Vice President in the past. However, Onward State’s top editor running for a top position in student government obviously presents a number of challenges to ensure our coverage of the election is fair, appropriately critical, and objective to our readers.

To avoid this conflict, Megan is stepping down from her position as Managing Editor indefinitely, and she will take a hiatus from staff to focus on her campaign. As such, Megan will not be involved in writing or editing any of Onward State’s UPUA coverage going forward. We do not plan to name a new managing editor until May.

We would also like to affirm that the Agnihotri/Fleming ticket does not carry Onward State’s implicit endorsement. Unlike in previous years, we will not make any official endorsement of any candidate or campaign this election cycle.

We will treat every ticket with steadfast objectivity. We will report on every public campaign meeting, every debate, and every adjudication hearing for potential campaign violations. We will run a profile on each ticket, giving you an introduction of who they are and why they are running, and we will ensure that coverage of the Agnihotri/Fleming ticket is written and edited by staff members who do not have a personal relationship with the candidate. If any ticket decides to hold a press conference on campaign violations in the basement of Irving’s, or spend $3,600 on plane tickets to Illinois, or spend $800 on pink elephant balloons, well, we’ll cover that, too.

We hope this disclaimer reinforces Onward State’s commitment to quality reporting on the selection of one of the most important positions at Penn State. We wish the best of luck to all candidates as they dedicate their time and leadership abilities to make Penn State better for all students. Please feel free to reach out to [email protected] or comment below with any questions or concerns.

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