Safeguard Old State might have seen its last year as an organization at Penn State, but founder Tom Shakely remains positive its tradition will continue.
Discussions are currently being held regarding whether Safe-guard Old State (SOS) will formally continue its mission of "preserving the rights and traditions of Penn Staters" as it states on its Web site, safeguardoldstate.org.
Shakely (senior-political science) said he doesn't know if there is a need for SOS because of the increased presence of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) on campus.
Shakely said he founded SOS in an effort to discuss "what concerned alumni and what students have been able to do." He said he was inspired to create it because of the people he met during his time at Penn State.
UPUA president Gavin Keirans said he was not aware of the current status of SOS but is pleased with the forward direction in which UPUA is going.
He added he believes UPUA will only continue to grow in its influence over the next year and that it will be able to remain the major representation of students on campus.
"I feel at this time that because of the success of UPUA, we're in a position to unite the student body," Keirans (junior-business management).
Keirans said one of his goals for UPUA is to make sure that it will be a dominant force on campus, regardless of who is president. While UPUA currently faces no opposition, Keirans said he believes criticism is a good thing, as students should hold UPUA accountable because it is the official voice of the student body.
Shakely praised Keirans for the work he has done during his presidency.
"I think he's been a tremendous success in what he's done to unite different parties at Penn State," Shakely said. "All these groups coming together is unprecedented."
Shakely also said he believes UPUA will continue to have a positive impact on campus.
"As long as UPUA stays true to its constitution, any Penn Stater has to support it," he said.
Shakely said regardless of SOS's status, he believes students will continue traditions such as Paternoville and State Patty's Day on campus. Keirans said UPUA will have
no involvement with State Patty's Day.
"Students would have made it happen whether we were there or not," Shakely said.
Despite his belief that traditions will continue regardless of his organization's status, Shakely said students will still need the motivation and mentorship to make the events happen, and he plans to stay involved in campus activities even after he graduates.