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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

Two Years Later: Is the UPUA our Student Voice?

After two years of existence, the UPUA is heading into its third election cycle. While the UPUA is referred to as the Student Voice, has it lived up to that designation.

On this campus there are a plethora of student organizations which many would argue have a great deal more power than the UPUA.

The Student Programming Association (SPA) is in charge of all the programming including concerts, speaker series, organization programs and even Late Night now. One could easily make the argument that they yield the power.

Another organization, the University Park Allocation Committee (UPAC) has the activity fee under its belt. They help fund student organizations on a daily basis making it possible for many organizations to put on initiatives that they would have otherwise not been able to do.

Further, there are a plethora of other groups, one could argue act as the student voice. Many could easily make the argument that groups like the Black Caucus, better represent African Americans. LGBTA members may believe groups like Speakout or the Undertones better represent them as well.

Now back to my original question, is the UPUA the Student Voice? The answer is NO.

I do believe that it can be. For this to occur it is imperative that the right people get involved who are not afraid to rock the boat in order to act as the Student Voice.

Right now there is legislation in the UPUA for a 5 year integration plan of all the alphabet soup organizations into the UPUA.This legislation is exactly what needs to be done, but 5 years is completely ridiculous.

In 5 years, no one who wrote the legislation or is a University Park student will be here to see it through.No one can predict what will be going on in student life 5 years from now.

Just as no one would have expected the dissolution of the student voice 5 years before former VP for Student Affairs Vicky Triponey came into power.

A timetable needs to be set in order for this to occur during most of our times here at Penn State, set the mark at two years. Put the challenge on ourselves to ensure that this occurs and do not leave it to future generations to have to deal with.

In closing, the UPUA is beginning its third election cycle.

If you are fed up with the lack of production and the outright lack of power student’s have, then run for a position. Not everyone wins a position, but the biggest losers are those who do not have the guile to stand up and make their voices heard.

You want to make UPUA the Student Voice, then step up and have your voice be heard.

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