October 10, 2019

Governmental Affairs


The Governmental Affairs Committee oversees all matters pertaining to advocacy and relations at the local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as the Penn State Board of Trustees. The committee works to better students’ lives through projects including increasing student voter registration and turnout, advocating strong appropriations from the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and building and maintaining continued relationships between students and their elected officials.

One of The Governmental Affairs Committee’s annual projects is the PSU Votes Drive. The purpose of the PSU Votes Drive is to provide new and returning students the resources to be able to vote. During PSU Votes Week in the Fall, the UPUA and other affiliated organizations table around campus to help students register to vote before the general election. A recent addition to the PSU Votes Drive is PSU Votes Local. For one week in the Spring Semester, the UPUA and other affiliated organizations provide voter registration forms and absentee ballot request forms. The goal of PSU Votes Local is to increase student turnout for the local and primary elections that occur during the summer break.

Another of The Governmental Affairs Committee’s annual projects is Capitol Day. During this day, students travel to Harrisburg to advocate for the the state’s support of higher education. Students get to talk one talk to legislators, bound with other Penn Staters, and attend a rally. This is free trip is one of Penn State’s largest advocacy events.


Leadership


Chair of Governmental Affairs Committee:

Zachary McKay

govaffairs@upua.org


Vice Chair of Governmental Affairs Committee:

Steven Zhang

smz5285@psu.edu


Director of Governmental Affairs:

Brady Feuer

blf5323@psu.edu


The Governmental Affairs Committee is headed by the Assembly-elected Chair of Governmental Affairs and the Committee-elected Vice Chair of Governmental Affairs. The Governmental Affairs Committee is assisted in its work by the Director of Governmental Affairs in the Executive Branch. These three people form the core leadership of the Governmental Affairs Committee.

Other members of the committee exercise leadership by becoming liaisons. The Borough Council Liaison is the UPUA’s primary contact with State College Borough Government. The Association of Big Ten Students (ABTS) Liaison is the primary facilitator of communication and coordination between the UPUA and other student governments in the Big Ten. The Pennsylvania Association of State-Related Students (PASS) Liaison is the primary facilitator of communication from the UPUA to the Lincoln, Pitt, & Temple student governments. The Federal State Liaison is in charge of tracking relevant legislation in the State and Federal Government. The Community Diversity Liaison is the UPUA’s bridge to the Community Diversity Group and the Community & Campus in Unity.


Initiatives


General Projects

  • Utilize Life of a Penn Stater for Stronger Advocacy
  • Increase Student Engagement with the Board of Trustees

Borough Projects

  • Creation of an Online Submission for Fair Housing Protections
  • Expand LION Event Collaboration
  • Expand Polling Locations on Campus
  • Create Additional Downtown Resources for Students
  • Increase Student Voter Registration and Turnout
  • Host “State College Sampler” Event
  • Strengthen Relationships with Neighborhood Associations
  • Establish Institute for Community Improvement

State Projects

  • Advocate for Additional Student Voice on the Board of Trustees
  • Advocate for Voter Registration Reform
  • Advocate for Increased State Appropriations

Federal Projects

  • Expand Collaboration with the Association of Big Ten Students
  • Advocate for a Student-Friendly Higher Education Act
  • Advocate for Student Loan Reform

Contact Information


All questions and concerns on these matters and others similar to them can be sent to Chair McKay at govaffairs@upua.org. To keep updated with what The Governmental Affairs Committee is doing, follow us @UPUA_Gov on Twitter