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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

A Public Declaration: What Representation Means

I am tired of tip-toeing around the issues. I no longer fear “monopolizing” meetings or prompting infighting. Apparently I have already done both. I have accepted that I will never be a “favorite son” of the administration or of UPUA. There is no turning back.

For everyone who speculated that I joined UPUA to ensure its failures, to all those who projected I questioned the qualifications of Committee Chairs out of malice, you are wrong. To everyone who believes they have the ability to control my dissenting opinion, you are also incorrect. And while I am negating claims, I do understand the role of a committee within a council, and I will never participate in ice breakers in lieu of forming bylaws.

I will not stop fighting until we have independent student representation, so please do not expect anything less. I am offended by the proposition that administrators should act as entrusted guardians of the student body. Each action deliberately opposing the will and the interest of the students continues to fuel my fire.

Yet my fiercest words are reserved for each of the student leaders who willingly accept the limited role of students and unquestionably sacrifice their ability to act as agents of change; to such a group I will never belong. But I am here to stay, unpopular opinions and all.

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Kate, I’m really afraid that you might not get invited to the end of year bash that Dr. Triponey throws every year for the “real” student “leaders” (kind of like “real advocacy”). Welcome to the club.

yeah, you probably blew your invitation to encampment next year too.

Well Andy, at least I get my file in Old Main. Perhaps it is next to yours.

I couldn’t get the trackback feature to work, so here is a copy and paste job.

Democracy & A Cup of Coffee: A few fundamentals about Penn State


ill tell ya… ive been reading the collegian on and off, and i have some constructuve criticism:

KAte — i hate to sound like an ass, but youre coming off like a total bitch. I hate to be vulgar, but i just dont know any other way to put it… if you were a guy it would be a lot more vulgar, believe me.

its right there in blackwells laws of public policy — dont stop to kick every barking dog. Its important to fight the good fight, but its also just as important to maintain some kind of credibility. INstead of going after all the committee chairs or whatever just go after the worst ten times as viciously.

Being the oppositionand depending on being in the minority isnt activism, its bald-faced cowardice.

I tghink if you t6ake you and hund/shalely and devide by 2, then youve got something close to the right idea.

Quite honestly, I don’t know who you are. And that’s fine. Maybe this is directed towards the wrong person, but I would love to explain a couple of things.

By saying “I don’t care if you hate me”, I am not intending to imply that I hope everyone hates me, or that I will adopt actions to make people hate me. It means that I am no longer afraid of someone calling me a “bitch” on PSU Stop. Go ahead. Once upon a time I would be incredibly offended.

While I respect many of the staff writers for the Collegian, perhaps if you attended a meeting, or ever met me in person, you might adopt a different position. I am absolutely in favor of criticism, but in order for it to fulfill its intended purpose; it first needs to rely on correct information.

In your public policy scenario, you used the analogy of a barking dog. Growing up, my mom put it slightly different, “Lose the little battles.” But in our quest for independent student representation, we have lost nearly every battle.

And as for Chair positions- I voted in favor of every person present that day. The only time I voted in opposition concerned a committee chair that was not present at the meeting, nor had ever attended council. Approving individuals not in attendance at the time of their confirmation is a battle worth fighting. The rest of the raging minority (apparently the majority at that time) postponed the vote until the following week. The Chair was approved at the next meeting.

My comments made on this site act as a rebuttal to the then current editorial. I do not think that I monopolized the meeting or prompted infighting, but my sarcasm referred to the invalidated claims made in the editorial. If not considered in the time frame of the events, I can understand why someone would read it as me, once again, being a “bitch”. For the intended audience, I did not think I needed to explain the context.

And finally, let’s talk about activism. This subject is of great interest to me. It’s interesting that your definition of activism differs so greatly from that taught in Rhetoric and Public Controversy, or in my Civic and Community Engagement Minor, or in the larger history of activism at Penn State.

You might not perceive my comments as activism, but I would also propose that typing on a blog with your initials as to not allow direct responsibility for your views is also not activism. While defining by the negate is useful, in this case, I would actually benefit from hearing your definition of activism. I join an organization because I believe it is the right thing, I ask the same questions I have often asked of my best friends in USG, and now I am criticized. I am either the devil for joining UPUA and selling out, or I am the devil for wanting it to be as close to true student representation as possible.

I am in the minority of students at Penn State due to my involvement in Student Government/Council/whatever the term is this week. I am in the minority of USG Senators due to my involvement within UPUA. However within UPUA, I have no intention of being in the minority. I did not join UPUA because I need to be involved in another activity. I joined UPUA to ensure it functions to the fullest of its potential. It is because of this motivation that I will work as hard as needed, and with whoever is required. Yet this motivation will also require that sometimes I voice opposition.

And at the end of my response, I am sure you probably think I am still a “bitch”. That’s okay. I hope you have a great day. Keep your nose clean and I’m sure we’ll hear from you soon.

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