It’s time for change.
In that vein, The Daily Collegian endorses Evan Ponter and Ryan Kristobak for the 2012-13 UPUA presidential and vice presidential ticket.
If Penn State students were comfortable with the direction the university was headed, if we wanted more of the same from the student government, if we completely trusted the university’s leaders, Ponter (junior-journalism) and Kristobak (junior-journalism) might not be the right choice.
But the fact remains that our university is at a crossroads. Everything can — and should — change in the next year.
In the storm after charges were filed against former football coach Jerry Sandusky, anyone with any Penn State connection began rightfully questioning everything.
Students lost faith in the administration this year, and we believe that Ponter and Kristobak will regain trust in student government. More than any other ticket, they have proved that they are in touch with the everyday student at Penn State. They are the only candidates who could rally the support of every student on campus.
From day one of their University Park Undergraduate Association campaign, Ponter and Kristobak showed they are willing to challenge the university administration and hierarchy on campus.
If this year’s events have shown us anything, the way our school is run — all the way down to student government — must change.
Ponter and Kristobak were the only candidates who, when asked, said they would voluntarily give up all other commitments to dedicate their full attention and time to UPUA. Student government is not just another club; as the advocates for more than 40,000 undergraduate students and keepers of a budget of almost $140,000, the UPUA presidency and vice presidency should be a full-time job that requires more than 20 hours per week.
UPUA has shown us this year that the student government can have the power to make changes within the administration when time and effort is put in; fireside chats with President Rodney Erickson is a great example. But it shouldn’t take a scandal for our student leaders to realize that.
This job comes with responsibility. Ponter and Kristobak, please be responsible with the power you will have once elected. Be respectful when making changes. Know that you have a learning curve you will have to overcome as newcomers to UPUA and that you will have to put in extra time to learn the ins and outs of the organization. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to admit when you don’t have the answer. Don’t lose the passion and enthusiasm for the changes you want to make within UPUA.
Don’t ever think it’s OK to spend $3,600 for plane tickets to a resume-building conference or more than $3,000 on fake Ray-Bans and promotional pens, when students — who are struggling to pay for their rent and food — are forced to foot the bill through their Student Activity Fee.
To current UPUA members, be open to Ponter and Kristobak. This could be what your organization needs to make beneficial changes for Penn State students. Don’t let this divide you; unite UPUA behind a common goal to better our university.
Now more than ever, we need representatives who are willing to challenge the administration and change the way things have traditionally been done.
Ponter and Kristobak are the only candidates who will put students first and give us a voice.