Graduating high school and attending Penn State aren’t the only two things Paul Ferrera and Jeff Pytlewski have in common. The pair seeks change for the upcoming school year for all of the Commonwealth Campuses. But in order to do so, Ferrera and Pytlewski want to be elected as the CCSG president and vice president, respectively.
For Ferrera (junior-finance), current CCSG Academic Affairs Director, the idea of running for president has always lurked in the back of his mind.
Ferrera began his commonwealth journey when he first attended the Penn State Altoona campus in the fall of 2009. During that year, he served as the freshman class president for the Student Government Association. The following year, he served as the campus chair of the council.
As academic affairs director, most of his efforts revolve around influencing the academic nature at Penn State, with the voice of the commonwealth students. Most recently, he helped push the motion to declare students’ minors on eLion in a committee with the associate deans of each college.
On his 15-page platform, Ferrera pointed out the importance of ensuring the legacy of CCSG that it has created over the years. He said he wants to assure a strong, unified student voice from the commonwealth students is heard.
“Commonwealth campuses make up a substantial portion of the population,” he said. “And sometimes they are forgotten about.”
Another item listed in the platform was Ferrera’s idea to implement a Student Needs Survey, which he helped start at the Altoona campus.
The survey would be distributed among the CCSG representatives to then assess 10 fellow students with what problems they have with the university.
“As student leaders, we have our own views of what problems we have with the university,” he said.
Though Ferrera has expressed most of his commitment has been with student government, he said that he has gained the experience and relationships needed to become president.
Though running for CCSG vice president has not always resided in the back of his mind, Pytlewski (junior-marketing) said he sees this opportunity as a chance to take on more leadership in an aspect of Penn State he loves — improving student life.
Prior to being the current CCSG Student Life Director, Pytlewski served as the co-chairman of public relations at Penn State Berks, and then moved on to being the chairman of public relations and ultimately, the vice president of SGA at Berks.
Since arriving at University Park, he has advocated for a stronger transition process for the commonwealth campus students by sitting in transitional steering committees and developing a mentor program for the academic colleges.
Pytlewski echoed his running mate in saying that their main focus is for the continuation of CCSG’s success brought by previous presidents. Promoting transparency throughout the entire governmental system is crucial to comprehend what’s going on and when it will take place, he said.
Using his background in student life, programs such as the academic college mentor program, which helps ease the transition for students, ranks high on his list of important topics to tackle within the platform.
“When you have a strong bond,” he said, “that feeds into getting things done and being transparent. We have the right answers and our ticket will go far to do great things.”