Guest column by Ariel Koren and Jesus Perez

The Right Joyce: Why we support Joyce Kim for UA president, and why you should too

· March 24, 2014, 5:36 pm   ·  Updated March 25, 2014, 1:48 am

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The University of Pennsylvania is an amazing place. But it isn’t perfect.

In recent months, our community has united to make considerable progress in combating issues surrounding mental health. Still though, resources are often decentralized, mental illness is stigmatized and students who seek support from Counseling and Psychological Services often must wait weeks before seeing a counselor.

Penn has a need-blind, no-loan financial aid policy. Still though, there are students with extenuating circumstances who fall through the cracks.

Organizations like ASAP, 1-in-4 and The Vagina Monologues continue to expand their footprint and to make a big impact. Still though, rape culture pervades. One of every four women is sexually assaulted here, but few of these sexual assaults are reported. Survivors of assault still have to face stigma, marginalization and ubiquitous rape myths that, amongst a plethora of other factors, often coalesce to make healing feel impossible.

Women are doing huge and inspiring things here. Still, though, females continue to be underrepresented in elected student government positions: The UA has had only six female chairs since its 1972 establishment, and since the UA’s adoption of a school-wide election process, no woman has ever run for UA president.

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Penn needs a student body president who is equipped to work tirelessly to solve the aforementioned problems, and UA presidential candidate Joyce Kim has the track record, the vision, the relationships and the commitment that it takes.

She has served as the chair of the United Minorities Council and in this capacity has worked ceaselessly to improve minority student life at Penn by helping to save Multicultural Scholars Preview from cancelation, orchestrating Unity Month and advocating for her peers.

She has expansive knowledge of and experience in the UA because she has served as UA Secretary and UA Social Justice Director, and in this capacity has sought endlessly to better our University community in many ways, including encouraging professors to release major grades in advance of the course drop period.

She has relationships with students from cultural organizations, members of Greek life and athletics and University administrators. She has friendships with students from disparate walks of life. And she has a propensity for bringing them all together.

She has a platform that provides concrete and achievable solutions to issues surrounding mental health, financial aid, integration of international students, cultural sensitivity and sexual violence prevention.

She has a deep understanding of the challenges that face our community, and she has a diehard dedication to rising to meet them. She is the leader that we need.

We are proud to support her candidacy for UA President. We encourage you to learn more about her, her platform and her running mate at joyceandjosh4ua.com. And when you vote for your next student government leaders this week, we urge you to make the right “Joyce”!

Ariel Koren

Class President, 2015

Jesus Perez,

Class President, 2016

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