Every year when Undergraduate Assembly elections come around, the student body is given the opportunity to elect a new President and Vice President. Too often, this election is met with disinterest and apathy from the student body. The UA President and Vice President have the capacity to implement policies that positively affect the experiences of all Penn’s undergraduates. We want to be your UA President and Vice President because we know how the UA system works, we have proven that we can accomplish tangible change and we have the best ideas for how to serve the student body.
Each of us has served on the UA since getting elected in our freshman fall. Over the course of the past few years, we have seen how different leaders shape the organization. The President and VP set the pace at which the UA works, so it’s clear to us — based on the fact that this past UA didn’t accomplish nearly enough — that the UA needs fresh blood in its leadership. We need efficiency in accomplishing project results and integrity in representing those who vote for us. The UA needs a change of pace. Our platform incorporates projects that have both long and short timelines.
Penn is insanely expensive and unfortunately, it gets more expensive every year. Kat started pushing administrators to justify tuition increases in her role this year as the UA’s treasurer. It’s going to be difficult to get the administration and trustees to lower the rate of tuition increases — or even better, to freeze tuition increases to the rate of inflation — but the UA has a responsibility to push for policies that benefit the undergraduate student body. The conversation around this complicated problem needs to start somewhere, and we intend to start it. We also want to work with the Deans to make sure professors know that undergraduates prefer cost-effective course materials, like making more readings available on Canvas.
The UA can serve two roles related to mental wellness on campus: developing resources and policies to help serve students’ mental health and marketing resources that already exist. We want to push the administration to establish single-semester mental health leave. We also want to make sure that students who takes leaves of absence still have access to Penn’s resources (like health care, support systems, and more) that they need.
Sexual assault prevention is one of the most challenging issues facing college communities today. Over the course of the next year we plan to expand the reach of resources for survivors of sexual assault of all different identities. The UA pays a professional lawyer to consult pro-bono for Penn undergrads. We want to make sure everyone is aware that if you survive a sexual assault, you have a safe and free place to turn to learn about the legal process.
Penn is a large school with a diverse student body. With the many communities at Penn, it is important to modify spaces to best suit student needs. Whether it be through increasing performing arts spaces by lifting the PAC moratorium or creating an international student resource center, we want to make sure all of us feel at home at Penn.
At the end of the day, we are all at Penn to learn. We want to advocate for new academic policies like more half credit classes and an introductory computer science class — like a CIS 001 — that focuses more on breadth than depth. We want Penn to be a place where students can explore different academic fields without feeling too much pressure.
The two of us come from diverse backgrounds and communities. Between us we have the ability to bring together various perspectives at Penn. We have different skills and knowledge that complement each other and that will help us to lead the best UA possible. With our good working dynamic, we can lead the UA to its best year yet.
Running for UA President or Vice President isn’t a decision that should be made off the cuff. Over the past few years we have demonstrated that we have the integrity, efficiency, and drive to work for what really matters to students. For more information, check out our platform at katandsola.com. Be sure to vote for us this week for the best UA possible!
Kat McKay is a junior in the College studying Economics. Sola Park is a sophomore in the College studying PPE. They are running for UA President and Vice President, respectively.Comments powered by Disqus
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