This week, we’re voting for Kat McKay and her running mate Sola to become the first all-female team to lead the UA. Here’s why.
As leaders of Class Board, the Social Planning and Events Committee and the Student Activities Council, we think Kat McKay’s experience makes her the most qualified and passionate candidate. While we cannot and do not speak for the entirety of our organizations, we have each worked one-on-one with Kat, both in her current role as UA treasurer and throughout her tenure as a rising leader in (male-dominated) student government. All three of us have seen Kat’s level-headed, passionate and unwavering commitment to Penn students and their organizations in action. We believe that Kat McKay has the right experience, dedication and skills to lead a more effective, efficient and equitable UA -- for all of us.
One of the best examples of Kat’s dedication comes from her experience in SAC. A member of SAC’s Executive Board since April 2015, Kat has represented the needs of over 200 SAC-funded student groups, with special communication and advocacy for her 26 liaising organizations. Outside of meetings, Kat solidified funding guidelines for the Penn Publications Cooperative and strengthened SAC’s relationship with PubCo, which represents most on-campus student magazines, journals and reviews.
Within an assembly struggling to remain productive and on-mission for the past few years, Kat has made significant, tangible strides. She carries the same fair, comprehensive approach from SAC into her leadership of UA Contingency, a funding source she has fought to make more accessible to a wider range of students. In the bigger picture, she put institutional knowledge to work, allocating a $2.3 million UA budget with the support of Michelle Xu and Jacob Henner. Every line item received meticulous review as well as thoughtful dialogue with requesting groups. All three of us participated in those meetings and found them both substantive and collaborative. Kat’s mission, in our view, has been to provide Penn students with a fair, cost-effective allocation of its resources. Put into practice, Kat has enabled price decreases for Hey Day, Spring Fling, and Feb Club next year.
Her five-point plan to improve the Penn student experience — pushing the administration to reduce costs associated with attending Penn; advocating for mental wellness and sexual assault prevention; prioritizing freedom of expression and inclusivity; fighting to modify Penn spaces to best suit the needs of student clubs and organizations; and advocating for more academic options — is an agenda that includes concrete and achievable items with potential to transform Penn for the better. Sola Park, VP candidate and her running mate, has longstanding and impressive involvement in the UA Social Justice Committee. Her intersectional experience as an international, female minority student complements Kat’s efforts.
Above all, Kat McKay’s driving passion lies in halting further tuition increases and keeping administrators accountable, which is so important for keeping Penn an affordable place for all of us. After seeing her advocate tirelessly for clubs and organizations from all corners of Penn, we have no doubt she is the leader our student body needs. We are proud to support her for UA president!
If you’re interested in reading more about their platform, check out www.katandsola.com.
Jesus Perez, senior class president
Billy Clarke, SPEC treasurer
Jeremy Cohen, SAC chair
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