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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration


Daily Collegian: Don’t Let Galen Foulke Fool You

Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on the website of “Safeguarding Traditions Of Penn State,” which was the precursor to Safeguard Old State. It appears here for posterity.

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As originally appeared on the Op-Ed page of The Daily Collegian today. I love that they wrote this in the form of a letter, signed by Penn State students. Hopefully, Spanier, Triponey, etc. will listen to the voice of students and alumni who are urging restraint, and not USG President Galen Foulke. As the Collegian Wrote:Dear President Spanier:

What do the current Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and its proposed replacement have in common?

They’re both for undergraduate students.

And you, President Spanier, are not one of them.

In the campus-wide referendum held Tuesday, 4,266 students voted — about 10 percent of the total student body — and about 6 percent of the overall student body voted to support the proposed University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA).

USG President Galen Foulke plans to bring the results of this “student mandate” to you in an attempt to persuade you that this is what the student body really wants.

But don’t let him fool you, this is a student issue and you should have no part in determining the future of student representation at Penn State.

A group created to advocate for the students and by students shouldn’t be implemented or controlled by administrators.

But nevertheless, Foulke will bring you the results, and it would be in the best interest of the students for you to request that he take the rest of the semester to gather legitimate student input.

From the beginning, little student input has been an obvious trend. Rather than organize a grassroots campaign to elicit student opinion, Foulke commissioned a secret, independent group of students and administrators who held closed meetings for the past year to work on restructuring USG.

The commission only held one public meeting showing what it had been working on. Since that open forum almost a year ago, there were little, if any, changes made to its plans for UPUA.

In addition, Foulke and his supporters waited until a week before the scheduled referendum to advertise UPUA to the students it was supposed to represent.

Foulke thinks the “evidence is very clear” that students are satisfied with UPUA. But that’s just a small slice of the Penn State pie.

This is a reflection of not only the way the planning and advertising of UPUA was handled, but also how USG has been run for the last few years. But unfortunately that is just what happens when projects and proposals are hastily slapped together at the last possible minute.

Instead of creating more commissions, committees and advocacy groups, USG should work together, reach a compromise and involve students to voice their input on better student representation.

Let’s face it — Foulke should not run to you to fix the mistakes of our student leaders.

We need stronger representation, but it needs to be left up to the students.

Sincerely:

Penn State students

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