Editorial | Our Undergraduate Assembly endorsements

Dan Bernick and Abe Sutton have the qualities to lead the UA as President and Vice President

· March 26, 2012, 1:43 am   ·  Updated March 27, 2012, 11:10 pm

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UA President | Dan Bernick is knowledgeable and has a fresh perspective

College sophomore Dan Bernick admits that he isn’t the obvious choice. Last fall, after losing the bid for Undergraduate Assembly vice president, he compared himself to Sarah Palin — “a good-looking politician who ran an unsuccessful campaign for vice president and is contemplating future presidential ambitions.” That day has come.

The College sophomore is eloquent, motivated and articulates a deep knowledge of all things Penn. He is committed to improving undergraduate life and will go the extra mile to solicit feedback from student groups.

His willingness to serve the UA — even after losing last year’s election — speaks to his tenacity and passion for student government. What is most impressive about Bernick, however, is his ability to take a step back and critically evaluate the UA’s effectiveness in serving students.

His opponent, College junior Jake Shuster, would also make an effective UA president. Shuster has proven his dedication to UA through his position as treasurer and has the institutional knowledge to hit the ground running if he is elected. But Shuster leads a staid campaign — one focused on continuing current projects and maintaining the status quo.

What Bernick brings to the mix is a fresh perspective and a unique vision. While he can be criticized for having spent nine fewer months on the UA, he is in no way less knowledgeable about the University and how to improve it.

UA Vice President | Abe Sutton has the vision to engage with student groups

Abe Sutton impressed us with his experience, work ethic and dedication to making the UA more relevant to students.

In comparison to his opponents — Engineering junior Matt Rosenberg and College junior Erich Reimer — Sutton demonstrated the best understanding of UA Steering, the assembly of over 30 student coalitions that the UA vice president leads in weekly meetings.

Sutton recognizes Steering’s value as a vehicle to enact change on this campus. He also has a realistic vision to transform weekly meetings into a lively forum for discussion. His proposed liaison system, where a UA member would be paired with a student group and advocate on their behalf, could lead to fruitful relationships and allow non-UA members to have a greater voice in student government.

While Sutton is the youngest vice presidential candidate, he has demonstrated his ability as the UA’s Academic Affairs committee director this past year. While Rosenberg has some new ideas on how the UA can utilize technology to further connect this campus, Sutton demonstrated a clearer vision and has the most robust platform out of the three candidates.

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