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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

The Other Penn State: Chris Morell

As a freshman here at University Park, I arrived and was completely blown away. I had only been here two times, and never really had the Penn State experience. I quickly realized how different Penn State was from my high school, and I fell in love with it. But a time came when I realized that I was not very involved at my own school, and I decided that was not the way I wanted to go through college.

I first heard about UPUA in high school, when the now defunct USG was being disbanded, and I thought that looked like something I would enjoy doing. So when the election season started coming closer, I decided that I wanted to run for office. I won my off campus representative seat, and was also voted in as Chairman of the Internal Development committee by the newly elected general assembly.

Honestly when I chose to take office I really did not comprehend how much work it was going to be, but I was excited to serve my constituents, and work for positive change.

My committee, as I mentioned earlier, is in charge of internal development of the UPUA, meaning that all things internal from executive appointments, writing the bylaws, and most recently passing a budget all come through our hands. The budget has been one of the most difficult things I have had to work on here at Penn State.

Currently UPUA must receive all of its funding from UPAC (University Park Allocation Committee), a system which requires a line item budget for all expenses. I along with all of my fellow committee chairs worked numerous hours to complete this task, which for an organization like UPUA seemed unreasonable.

We were forced to plan a year and a half in advance for an organization, which is constantly growing and changing to serve the needs of the students, a task that again was challenging to say the least. I hope that in the future the policies of UPAC, a non-elected board of students, can change to accommodate the needs of UPUA serving the students.

However, my experience has been a very positive one so far, I have learned so much from people like Gavin Keirans and Ralph Crivello. Also I have had the privilege, of serving the Penn State students every day, while continuing to discover how much Penn State has to offer. While finding my niche took time, actually choosing to get involved, has been one of the best choices I have ever made.

I would encourage all students who are interested, to stop by our office, and see if UPUA is for them. Especially for next year, we will have two freshman seats on the assembly, the more people that get involved; the better UPUA can serve Penn State.

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