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Op-Ed: It Is Our Time to Reclaim State College

The Borough of State College was officially colonized forty-one years after the founding of Penn State. Since then, it has served as home to hundreds of thousands of students, alumni, and townspeople who all contribute to the spirit of our university community.

The Borough is home to about 42,000 residents, and more than 70% of them are Penn State students. No matter the day of the week or time of the day, students fill the restaurants, stores, and shops that line College Avenue. The University and its students serve as the heartbeat of the town and drive the local economy. Yet when it comes to our town’s elected leadership, there is a profound lack of support for student residents.

The time has come for our local government to actually represent the makeup of the community it claims to serve. It is time for a change.

Tomorrow, November 7, is the General Election for the Borough of State College. Your vote can help to make a difference. There are more student-friendly candidates running in this election than in any election in recent history. Whether it be advocating for increased downtown lighting, or simply showing respect to the majority population in the Borough, the ballot tomorrow is filled with a sense of hope for the future of State College as a place to live and learn for ALL residents — students and long-term residents alike.

Despite the fact that students make up the majority demographic of the town, they historically vote at a far lower rate than long-term residents. The last mayoral election was decided by little more than 600 votes. If only a small fraction of student-residents turn out to vote, the student-friendly candidates will win. Your vote can help decide the future of State College.

Tomorrow, cast your vote for candidates that will support you and work toward fostering a creative, vibrant community that is truly representative of all residents.

For Mayor…
– Michael Black

For Borough Council…
– Dan Murphy
– Evan Myers
– Write-in: Marina Cotarelo

If you would like to learn more about the individual platforms of each candidate, visit www.bugpac.org. Join us in ensuring a safe and inclusive community for all Penn State students — past, present, and future.

In Solidarity,

Alex Shockley and Jennifer Heckman
BugPAC Co-Chairs

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