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A sense of youthful optimism is a defining characteristic of the Undergraduate Assembly’s new executive board.

Following internal elections Thursday night, College sophomore and UA Speaker Will Smith, College junior and UA Treasurer Jake Shuster and College freshman and UA Secretary Joyce Kim will be joining College sophomore and UA President Dan Bernick and College and Wharton sophomore and UA Vice President Abe Sutton on the new executive board.

“They are as excited as anyone I’ve ever met, and I’m confident we will work together to deliver a better UA,” Bernick said. “They offer the ideal mix of experience and new ideas, and all have a real passion for serving Penn students.”

Smith, who served as the UA’s secretary this past year, is still trying on his new role for size.

“It’s a little strange because when I first joined the UA last year as a freshman, I never would have imagined that I’d be speaker, and definitely not this quickly,” he said.

Despite feeling pleasantly surprised, Smith is vocal about steering the UA in a new direction.

“I think it’s really important to help the body move forward from a lot of what has happened this year,” he said. “I want this UA to be innovative and open to new projects, and as a servant of the body, I’m really looking forward to working with administrators and other groups to carry out and push its agenda.”

Smith will again be working closely with Shuster, who will be serving his second UA term as treasurer of the body.

As the oldest member of the executive board, Shuster believes that “old or young, everyone has a lot of growing to do when taking up new leadership positions.”

He believes next year’s UA budgeting process “will be even easier and go more smoothly” than it has in the past.

“I will still continue to work on procuring credit card readers, creating a political fund and combining funding sources for student groups,” he added.

Kim, the only freshman on the new UA executive board, said she feels nothing but excitement for her new position. She summed up her vision for the new UA in two words: “cohesion and awareness.”

“I’d like the student body to become more aware of what the UA does on campus,” she said. Kim hopes to implement initiatives such as Lunch-with-a-UA-member and Penn Student Government Week.

“It’s all about engaging in more dialogue this coming year,” she added.

Bernick has high hopes for this new executive board.

“This executive board knows how to make change happen, and they will be integral to the great work we accomplish this year,” he said.


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