S tudents at Penn often ask why these elections matter and what the candidates will ultimately do to positively impact their college experience.

Penn certainly has many challenges that need to be addressed over the next year, which range from truly addressing mental health to campus diversity issues. The Undergraduate Assembly structure certainly needs reform so that it is responsive to the needs of the student body.

As a member of the UA for the last two years, I feel as if I am uniquely qualified to speak to the merits of each presidential candidate. I can confidently say that Gabe Delaney is the candidate with both the necessary vision and leadership to be able to turn his platform proposals into a reality for students.

While his opponent may be well connected, she has not developed the kind of relationships with President Amy Gutmann, Provost Vincent Price and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli that Gabe has. Furthermore, the manner in which his opponent came off in the presidential debate is not the kind of personality that optimally translates into successful collaboration with those that possess dissenting points of view. We need a leader that focuses on forging unity and consensus within the UA.

While serving as vice president, Gabe has done an exemplary job of running UA Steering and acting as the external representative for the UA to student groups. His experience in this capacity uniquely positions him to draw upon relationships he has developed with both students and administrators in order to deliver outcomes as UA president over the next year.

He plans to increase the number of clinicians available at CAPS as well as engage with college houses and Greek communities to authentically address mental health on campus. Gabe will also push for greater diversity in the composition of our faculty, as was originally outlined within the University’s Diversity Action Plan of 2011-12.

Also, Gabe is the only candidate that understands that the UA desperately needs internal reform. The culture of the UA is not conducive to answering the needs of students, and we need a real reformer as UA president who is willing to make the necessary structural changes to the body.

Gabe offers tangible solutions through proposing the creation of individual liaisons between student groups and the UA to promote a healthy dialogue. He also suggests creating a communications committee to keep students better informed concerning the work of the UA.

These courses of action will play a critical role in addressing the concern that the UA is merely the “airport shuttle club,” and Gabe is certainly the only candidate for president that acknowledges the structural inefficiencies of the current UA. These are some of the reasons why critical groups on campus, such as The Daily Pennsylvanian, the Inter-Fraternity Council, the Latino Coalition and the Transfer Student Organization have recently endorsed Delaney’s campaign.

As president of the College Republicans and co-chair of the Penn Political Coalition, I have witnessed the level of involvement that both candidates have had within Penn’s political community. I can wholeheartedly say that Gabe Delaney is the candidate for UA president with a greater willingness to both engage with political groups on campus and stimulate civic engagement among the student body.

Both these organizations are largely supporting his candidacy for UA president because he authentically understands the genuine value of student activism. He has not only been involved in multiple constituent groups within the Penn Political Coalition, but also has actively fought to protect minority political expression on campus. Gabe understands that, in order for Penn to thrive, we need a healthy and active political dialogue that serves as an intellectually stimulating force for the student body.

Delaney’s detractors wrongly suggest that he fails to deliver results or is solely concerned with rhetoric, but the reality is that he has produced results for student groups over the past year as UA vice president. He also possesses the necessary passion and leadership ability to execute his plans for the student body over the next year as UA president.

I am proud to support Gabe’s candidacy for UA president and recommend that everyone visit his web site at gabedelaney.com. The site contains more information about him, the campaign’s platform, and his vice presidential running mate, Julie Bittar. When voting, join me in supporting his effort!

Anthony Cruz ??

Class of 2015?

President of Penn College Republicans?

Co-Chair of Penn Political Coalition

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