Matt Rosenberg | Because you matter
Guest Column | Vote Matt for Undergraduate Assembly Vice President
March 23, 2012, 12:20 am · Updated March 26, 2012, 12:44 am·
I’m Matt Rosenberg and I’m running for Undergraduate Assembly vice president. My campaign is about bringing the UA back to students. I believe the best work the UA can do is the work students want to see. I will channel the opportunities I’ve been given into a conduit through which any student can have their voice heard and make a difference.
Over the past year on the UA, I have overseen the creation of the Common Funding App as the Online Services Coordinator. As a member of the budget committee, I crafted the $2-million budget which has given me the opportunity to work with each branch of student government.
In crafting the budget, I was able to allocate $70,000 more to the Student Activities Council so that the money can get to your student groups. I’m running because I’m one of you and each of you matt-ers.
I think that any serious candidate for VP should reach out to everyone to inform them of his plans. So, I’d like to take the time to highlight the major initiatives I plan to tackle as VP.
First, I think we need to shift the culture of Penn so that students have pride in this university. The way to do that is through each and every one of you.
By working with the Red and Blue Crew and Penn Athletics to subsidize tickets, we can support our athletes. By partnering with the cultural and ethnic groups on campus to promote their education weeks, we can increase interculturalism. By partnering with the Netter Center, Fox Leadership and the Civic House Associates Coalition and reaching out to the West Philadelphia community through First Thursdays, we can increase and improve students’ ability to give back.
Instead of just reaching out to as many communities as possible and hoping we reach enough students, we need to be doing more to cater to the needs of the incoming freshman class.
By working with every class as it comes in, we can help instill Penn pride before students find their niche on campus. As a long-term strategy, this can and will lead to a culture shift on campus.
But we also need to support our students that are already here.
By partnering with the financial aid office to translate their policies and hold workshops for multilingual students, we can make sure everyone is able to get the aid they deserve.
By creating the Counseling and Psychological Services advisory board, we can make sure that mental wellness is not forgotten. Students with dietary restrictions — whether for health, religious, or moral reasons — can and should be supported by Penn Dining Services. This is something that can and should be addressed by the VP and something I’m already working on.
Finally, I’m working to expand the number of University Council seats that the Nominations and Elections Committee is able to allocate, so that more of your groups are able to effectively advocate for your issues — like the lack of space for performing arts groups. Many active groups rely on having one of their members run for UA in order to maintain their partnership. This should not be the case. By increasing the avenues through which student groups can advocate for themselves directly, we empower student groups.
Just as important as the overarching goals of a culture shift and support, is that of communication.
I plan to overhaul UA Steering. Steering is the organization that, theoretically, should guide the work that the UA does. I plan to expand Steering Circle, the time set for Steering groups to raise issues that matter to them. I also plan to contact every Steering group that does not attend regularly to check in and improve the relationship they have with the UA.
I want to shift from a system where the agenda for each meeting is set by the UA’s VP, to one where the agenda is set by the member groups.
Finally, I think the UA needs to do more than reach out to Steering groups. I plan to implement a liaison system that enables the UA to keep in touch with active non-Steering groups.
I have held consistently held more leadership positions on the UA than either of my opponents over the past year, have been a part of multiple communities and have managed to steer clear of student government politicism, maintaining my credibility.
Penn is ours and it’s about time we have our voices heard. I hope I can count on your support. Please contact me with your questions and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Rosenberg is an Engineering junior from Chicago, IL. His email address is email@example.com.
This article has been updated from a previous version to reflect the fact that Matt Rosenberg has consistently held more leadership positions on the UA than his opponents