I am Robert John Klopf III and I am running for President of Undergraduate Assembly not because I care about the UA, but because I love Penn. I have no direct experience as a representative on the UA and this is my greatest strength. I view the UA with an outsider’s perspective and possess an innovative style of thinking adapted from the critical thinking required for majoring in mathematics and economics. I ask the questions others have not and am willing to fight for what has been previously established as impossible.
Still, I am qualified for this position and have the utmost deference for it. The most important role of UA President is to represent the student body. I have been involved with performing arts, civic engagement, religious, leadership, and business groups on campus while also being a varsity student-athlete.
My greatest strength is my approachability. I maintain a positive outlook on life, never judge somebody else, and always try to find a reason to smile. I have been featured on Season 6 Episode 21 of “Impractical Jokers” (a comedy on TruTV) and Season 1 Episode 5 of “Impractical Jokers: After Party” because I never take myself too seriously. Therefore, there is never a reason not to voice your concerns about the University with me.
My full platform can be found at lobby4bobby.com. I outline detailed and actionable ways to improve student life including mental health and wellness, campus parity, civic engagement, academic reform, and career advising. I would like to call special attention to my ideas for fostering a better community at Penn.
Penn should be a place where everybody has the opportunity to make lifelong friends. There has to be a better way to make a large, urban campus feel small and intimate. This starts with encouraging freshmen to participate in programs such as PennQuest. Coming into freshman year I was confused and overwhelmed. I did not have the necessary information to decide whether or not I wanted to participate.
The next step is to help everyone find a family at Penn that they can be a part of, as their true selves. I have a good friend at Yale and most of his social life is through his residential college. Why doesn’t Penn place students into four year social groups that promote friendship, inclusion, and diversity?
In addition to residential colleges, there is still something to be said about camaraderie founded on shared passions. We need to further efforts to make more social and less competitive clubs participate in the activity fairs. Non-academic spaces and student centers empowering students to pursue their personal passions must be a top priority. Greek life organizations need to be supported appropriately, promote socio-economic diversity, and monitor pledging processes. Additionally, student-athletes need to have a voice in student government and have their needs actually met.
We compete in the classroom to the point that our grades are too often determined on a curve. We compete against one another for jobs and internships. I love competition, but not to be a part of a community. Do not welcome a Penn that isn’t welcoming. Believe that together we are unstoppable.
Lobby for Bobby!
ROBERT KLOPF is a College junior studying mathematics and economics. He is running for UA President. You can find out more about his campaign at lobby4bobby.com. Visit pennstudgov.com from April 3-5 to vote.