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Serving as a liaison between the student body and Penn administrators, the Undergraduate Assembly has the unique ability to institute change that affects the entire undergraduate population. In our experience, tangible change only comes with effective leadership, which is why we are supporting Michelle Xu for UA president and her running mate Jay Shah for UA vice president. Here’s why.

As leaders of the Junior Class Board and the Student Activities Council, we believe that Michelle’s experience and work ethic make her the most qualified candidate for UA president. Michelle has demonstrated her dedication to the UA through her work as UA treasurer, a member on the Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community and a member of four UA committees. We trust her ability to tackle the most salient issues affecting Penn, especially given her work on behalf of our organizations.

As a member of SAC’s Executive Board since April 2016, Michelle has represented the needs of over 200 SAC-recognized groups to the UA and Penn administration and served as a direct liaison for over 20 student organizations. We have observed her dedication to SAC’s mission of improving the quality of student life at Penn through her work with SAC and Wharton Council in helping to develop club recruitment guidelines in response to rigorous club recruiting processes that place unnecessary stress on freshmen and often have harmful effects on mental health.

In addition to her role on SAC, Michelle also allocates $2.4 million to undergraduate activities as one of her responsibilities as UA treasurer. As leaders of two groups that the UA allocates funding to, we can attest to Michelle’s dedication in ensuring that all undergraduate activities receive the funding they need through her budget meetings with over 50 student groups. Through Michelle’s advocacy as head of the UA budget committee, Class Boards have made Penn traditions such as Hey Day and Feb Club more affordable. As members of the junior class, we have observed firsthand how important these events are to the student body and know that Michelle will continue to work towards making them as financially accessible as possible.

Michelle and Jay’s goals — to prioritize mental wellness; to reduce the costs associated with attending Penn; to ensure that Penn is a safe, responsible and inclusive environment for every student; to increase collaboration and communication with student groups; and to modify current underutilized spaces for student group use — are tangible goals that they have been working towards in their current roles on the UA. With Michelle and Jay as leaders of the UA, we believe Penn can be transformed for the better.

If you’re interested in reading more about Michelle and Jay’s platform, check out

EDWARD JING is a College and Wharton junior and the Chair of the Student Activities Council. MAKAYLA REYNOLDS is a College junior and the president of the Class of 2018 Board. This article reflects the views of the two individuals and not their organizations as a whole.