The Penn State student body, and all of its spirit and community, needs leaders who advocate on behalf of students. We firmly believe that the Penn State student government can better serve students; with an emphasis on communication and engagement—and through simply showing up to listen to those we hope to represent—we aim to be the champions of this change. We intend to work with students to ensure their concerns are addressed through long-term solutions that create a better atmosphere and community for all.
For President: Zachary McKay
My name is Zachary McKay, and I’m running for President of the UPUA because, along with Lexy, I believe that student government can better represent the Penn State community and all it aspires to be.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my outlook is shaped from what I’ve witnessed my city achieve. Pittsburgh’s post-industrial era is shaped by the city’s efforts to clean up its act and better appreciate the natural world, in the renewed entrepreneurial spirit of the economy, and in the steel integrity of the bonds which anchor this community together.
Penn State’s community has the opportunity to undergo similar change. Through listening to and seeking out the concerns of students, Lexy and I firmly believe that the Penn State community has the potential to work towards a future with goals of environmental, economic, and social sustainability.
I was raised with an intrinsic appreciation of active civic engagement, of societal, technological, and environmental advancement, and of continuous community service. These values shape how I’ve served the Penn State community in the past. As the College of Arts and Architecture Representative and as an At-Large Representative, I have come to meet so many students with such unique experiences and legitimate concerns. This past year alone, I’ve addressed those concerns by helping bring about STI Testing at no additional cost to students, working with Lexy and other student organizations to create a mentorship program called “Penn State Pals” for international students, and collaborating with a multitude of student organizations to plan and execute one of University Park’s largest “PSU Votes” student voter registration drives to ensure student voices are heard not just by me, but by local, state, and national government officials, too.
Whether it be as Chair of the UPUA’s Governmental Affairs Committee, Student Representative on the Parking Appeals Review Board, or as the student coordinator of the University’s PSU Votes initiatives, I have always been a proponent of transparency and growth within the student government, of active inclusion and participation within our nation’s civic processes, and of genuine concern and compassion for fellow students just like us. Extracurricular involvements aside, I am a junior in the College of the Liberal Arts, studying Economics with minors in Political Science, Military Studies, and Theatre. And, I am proud to be considered for your next President of the Undergraduate Student Body.
For Vice President: Lexy Pathickal
My name is Lexy Pathickal and I’m running because my experiences as a first generation American and student who has an undying love for Penn State have enabled me to realize this University’s opportunities for growth. I am also a junior studying Political Science with minors in Economics and Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts.
Penn State’s core values have always resonated with me, especially Community, Integrity, and Discovery. In many ways, my hometown represents these values through its history and cultural contributions to the country as a whole. Much like Philly serves as a place of cultural intersectionality, I’ve found that Penn State can be a place which welcomes and accepts all students, regardless of culture, country of origin, political belief, or pie-in-the-sky dreams. Yet, it’s not always that way for many students; I know my own experiences have allowed me to see the ways that students’ voices have been silenced in the past. Through listening and working with others, too, I’ve realized these sentiments are pervasive. I want to work, along with Zach, to ensure these values are not just buzzwords, but apparent throughout the Penn State community.
Through my service as an At-Large Representative and as Chair of the UPUA’s Outreach Committee, I’ve heard from so many students about their own difficulties on campus, whether cultural, financial, or emotional. These concerns need to be heard and addressed. And, through my past experiences I have learned that I want to be a public servant for the rest of my life because I believe learning the stories and struggles of individual people gives me a better understanding of the world which can engender action to then fight for these people. While I hope that my Penn State degree will allow me to do this after graduation, I know I can fight for this change now, too. Through working as the student government’s vice president, I hope to enable the voices and concerns that I’ve heard to spark change. This is why I’m running for Vice President of the Undergraduate Student Body.
Even though we come from different ends of Pennsylvania, our ideas to better the very heart of it couldn’t be more connected. Our administration will work tirelessly to:
- Engage with an increased number of students, particularly students from diverse backgrounds, working to bring justice and equity to their experiences on campus. An example of one way in which we aim to do this is through reaching out to a variety of groups on campus, which Lexy has done through her service as Chair of Outreach, and ensuring their concerns are heard.
- Ensure that students’ voices are heard by the administration, as well as local, state, and national governments. One of the ways we aim to do this is through an expansion of PSU Votes initiatives, which Zach has played, and will continue to play, an integral role in.
- Change the structure of student government, fundamentally, in a way which invites new ideas and students, and which encourages the core tenets of service to the community, respect, and integrity in the development of student leaders. By showing up to hear from students, we hope to create an atmosphere in which students can effectively advocate for themselves and others.
None of this will be possible without your help. Visit our website at www.votemckaypathickal.com to learn more about our ideas and how to get involved. See you on the campaign trail!
- Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC)
- Future Naval Officers Organization
- Presidential Leadership Academy (PLA)
- Lion Caucus
- University Park Undergraduate Association
- Lion Caucus
- Lion Ambassadors
- College Democrats