When Penn State student Remy Maisel heard political pundit and satirist Stephen Colbert's challenge to college students around the country last Thursday, she was ready to accept.
On his satirical late night television show, The Colbert Report, Colbert encouraged every college campus to start up its own branch of his super PAC, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow."
Maisel (freshman-animal sciences) said she hopes to establish one at Penn State. The University of Texas at Austin was the first college chapter of Colbert's super PAC to be recognized after Colbert granted permission for it to be started on his show Thursday.
She created a Facebook page called "Penn Staters for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow," soon after seeing Colbert issue the challenge. As of press time Thursday, the page had 125 "likes."
Maisel described a super PAC as a political organization with the ability to collect unlimited amounts of money from corporations, groups, unions and individuals.
She said she wants to show how easy it is to start a super PAC and for colleges to get involved. Super PACs are one of the most important issues facing our political system today, she said.
"Colbert, with his super PAC, is trying to illustrate the absurdities of the lack of limitations placed upon the super PACs, and the obvious loopholes in the rules about coordination and disclosure," Maisel said.
Colbert also promised a free appearance at the college campus that wins a special contest, outlined in his super PAC start-up kit, "the Super Fun Pack."
Maisel said she will use the Facebook page to regularly update people who are interested in the group and said she hopes hundreds of Penn State students, faculty members and State College community members get involved in the group.
She said student involvement, especially, will bring attention to the issues the government is facing.
"Students are in a unique position because we have the time and opportunity to devote to this project," she said. "Penn State has had some less than positive publicity lately, but Stephen Colbert has handed us an opportunity to demonstrate the real Penn State spirit. Now, we can rally behind an important cause and have fun doing it at the same time."
Lisa O'Hara, an assistant clinical professor in the Smeal College of Business and Maisel's professor in MGMT 100: Survey of Management, said she is excited to see Maisel taking a risk and doing something she believes in.
"It's always a good idea for students to get involved with something that's positive and a group where they can meet other individuals," O'Hara said.
Sarah Bass (freshman-bioengineering) agreed that "Penn Staters for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" is a good opportunity for Penn State to unite together as a university.
"This group can bring to light some issues that we have in the political system," Bass said. "It can bring alertness to the issues with the government, and it can also bring the student body together."