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World Campus Forms Student Government Association

Penn State World Campus has formed its own student government, making four — count ’em, four — recognized student governments across the Penn State system. Penn State President Eric Barron approved the formation this month.

The World Campus Student Government Association will officially take office for the fall 2019 semester, complete with executive board members and committee chairs elected through online voting.

The new government, the first in the 21-year history of the World Campus, will advocate for the interests and concerns of the more than 14,000 online students at Penn State.

“We hope all Penn State students will have meaningful engagement experiences during their time with Penn State, and student government is a wonderful way to build skills while making a difference,” Barron said in a release. “I’m thrilled that the World Campus student body will now have their own government, and I look forward to working with the leadership so we can better meet the needs of our online students.”

The following students have been elected to serve as the inaugural leadership team of the association:

  • Sean Walsh, president
  • Tanya Near, vice president
  • Johanna Welsh, speaker of the assembly
  • Jessica Ringenary, treasurer
  • Meghan Neel, secretary
  • Amber Thomas, academic affairs committee chair
  • Stacy White, student affairs committee chair
  • Danielle Potter, marketing committee chair
  • Matthew Hansen, technology committee chair
  • Alexandra Stratos, government affairs committee chair

Walsh, though obviously a World Campus student, is actually from State College. He said the association must first establish its own constitution and hopes to enhance World Campus clubs and organizations.

“Penn State World Campus students should be afforded the same opportunities as a student enrolled at any of the physical Penn State campuses,” Walsh said. “Having the World Campus Student Government Association advocating on their behalf will bring students’ ideas and concerns to the forefront of those who can help make Penn State a better academic institution for all.”

Penn State’s other three student governments — the University Park Undergraduate Association, Graduate and Professional Student Association, and Council of Commonwealth Student Governments — are funded in annual increments through Penn State’s Student Fee. It should be interesting to see whether the World Campus SGA will follow a similar model as it continues to develop and organize.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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