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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

UPUA Progressing Slowly, Appointing Unelected Students

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.


The ongoing saga that is the UPUA continues to make headlines in The Daily Collegian this week. I called what UPUA is coming to represent “a runaround democracy” in an article published last week on Inside Higher Ed, and I meant it.

So far, there is very little to suggest that those within are there by the consent of the students. In fact, out of the 35 seats on UPUA, only four or five of the representatives were actually democratically elected. That small number includes my position as an off-campus representative.

Jay Chamberlin was appointed UPUA President after the administration-approved elections commission disqualified democratically elected, though media crazy candidate Jay Bundy. Chamberlin promised to have UPUA functional with all its seats filled within a month. He’s moving toward accomplishing that, but at what cost?

Democracy, apparently. Because of an overwhelmingly uninterested student body and bizarre elections codes, 23 of the 29 electable seats were left with no winner after the Oct. 11 elections. The remaining six seats of the 35 seat UPUA are, by rule, never elected but rather always appointed.

What does all this mean? It means that once UPUA does become fully function, whether in a few weeks, a month or a semester, that close to 90 percent of UPUA representatives – or 29 of the 35 seats – will never have been elected by Penn State students.

At Penn State, your vote really doesn’t count, does it? Students are realizing in increasingly large numbers that Penn State is screwing them over with their ever more overtly anti-student policies. Each week in The Daily Collegian there are roughly half a dozen Letters to the Editor questioning what’s going on at this school. The administration needs to wake up.

Dr. Vicky Triponey, why are you ruining Student Affairs at Penn State?

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[…] We all remember how that turned out: after voting irregularities, the replacement of the presidential seat winner Jay Bundy, and numerous other problems, it’s difficult to call the 2006 UPUA elections a resounding success … even if we drop the word “resounding.” […]

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