Tyler Ernst | Take control of your Penn experience
I hope to leave you with just one message — ‘Have It Your Way’
March 28, 2011, 4:00 am · Updated March 28, 2011, 12:00 am·
9:46 a.m. — Wake up halfway through first class. Decide to focus on getting to the 10:30 on time.
10:32 a.m. — Somehow still manage to be late. Sneak in the back unnoticed, only to sit in the squeaky chair.
12:00 p.m. — Working lunch before class at 1:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m. — Work-study until six (hello, Facebook and Gchat).
6:30-8:30 p.m. — Board meetings.
9:00-11:00 p.m. — Team project in Van Pelt Library. Why am I doing all the work?
11:00 p.m.-1:30 a.m. — Squeeze in an episode of Modern Family and finally get to actual homework.
Does this sound familiar?
Packed schedules and diverse activities are part of what we love about Penn, but they are also what stress us out the most. Regardless of who you are or what you do, it’s likely that you really value your time.
As such, I am running for president of the Undergraduate Assembly on the belief that we, as Penn students, should have the most control possible over our experiences here. The UA should empower the student body with tangible resources and services that save us time, make our Penn experiences a little more customizable and address real student needs in an efficient and effective manner.
I’m proud to be running alongside vice presidential candidate Faye Cheng, and I hope to leave you with one message: “Have It Your Way.”
Our platform is focused on increasing the resources available to you and empowering you in your academic, community and personal lives.
First, our academic mission is one of flexibility and control for students. This involves educating advisors on the rights of student-athletes to ensure academic and athletic requirements are balanced; simplifying your course planning by creating a Penn InTouch waitlist and integrating Penn Course Review with Penn InTouch; reminding professors about religious holiday policies throughout the year; continuing to increase the number of syllabi posted online; and working with the 5B minority coalitions, the Penn Consortium of Undergraduate Women and other campus organizations to ensure that diversity in faculty recruitment and retention begins to see actual change.
Second, our community mission consists of resource expansion and group empowerment. Faye and I will advocate for credit cards for student groups; work to restructure Penn Transit so that it actually fits students’ needs, thus enabling greater exploration of West Philadelphia and the areas east of campus; host a funding fair to educate organizations on the numerous existing monetary resources; develop online educational modules on budget writing, transition planning and event execution; create an online logic-based funding generator to help guide your funding applications; and establish a new service to provide your organizations with technology office hours — to help upkeep your websites and other tech needs — free of charge.
Third, our personal mission is one of helping you maximize control over your genuine day-to-day needs. Increasing the variety of dining options on campus; expanding mental-health resources; developing a campus-wide bike share; improving the responsiveness of Facilities and Maintanence to repair requests; reshaping the exchange-student experience; and producing new websites and mobile applications for off-campus housing, dining and other needs are all crucial components of this advocacy area.
I would not want you to rely on our mere word that these projects will become reality. Instead, I hope you consider our experience as representative of our capabilities. Faye and I have a collective five years of experience on the UA, during which we have developed close relationships with many student groups, campus leaders and key administrators.
Our approach has led to concrete results like Penn InTouch grade notifications, new funding sources for Greek organizations, the Dining Advisory Board and better housing options for freshmen, among many others.
We hope that this is the beginning of a conversation and a relationship with you as an individual and with the groups and communities to which you belong. Our platform is generated from your voice and the voices of your peers, and we will continue evolving to fight for student needs.
Tyler Ernst is a Wharton and Engineering junior from Franklinville, N.J. He is a UA member and a presidential candidate. Check out Tyler's candidate page here.