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UPUA Walking To Harrisburg To Advocate For State Funding

As if UPUA isn’t facing enough of an uphill battle after the events that unfolded during the elections, the organization is now literally climbing the Pennsylvania mountainscape as it journeys to Harrisburg on foot to advocate for state appropriations. This is the third consecutive year UPUA has made the trek, which intentionally falls on the days leading up to Capital Day tomorrow.

The journey, called “Steps for State,” began from Old Main’s steps yesterday afternoon and will take UPUA across 114 miles of Pennsylvania terrain on the trip to the state capital. The whole idea behind the walk is to advocate for higher state appropriations that would help lower tuition, of which Penn State boasts one of the highest in the state and Pennsylvania as a whole is notorious for.

Though Steps for State is in its third year, the legislation to get the walk set up faced some friction in the 10th Assembly’s penultimate meeting before it was passed less than two weeks ago in its final meeting. There were initial concerns over risk management and media coverage, but with the addition of first-aid professionals on hand, Steps for State got the green light (and all of the sunscreen and granola bars that go with it).

This year’s walk comes just days after the state finally passed its budget, which sat in limbo for nine months all the while scaring Penn State by not giving the university its budget. UPUA advocated for the passing of a budget, making trips to Harrisburg and organizing hashtag campaigns to get Penn State the money it relies on.

Though the long walk unfortunately includes unseasonably cold temperatures this year, at least there’s some late night (early morning?) hot chocolate.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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