New leadership takes reins as President Bertha finishes term


Photo by Alexander Popichak

USG President Robert Bertha announced the results of March’s elections during Monday’s meeting in 701 of the Student Center.

Written By Carley Bonk, Editor-Elect

United Student Government (USG) President Robert Bertha has high hopes for the new administration that will succeed him upon his graduation this April after the election of Kaylee Kearns as president and Brittany Arp as vice president.

“Kaylee and I have worked closely together for a long time now and I’ve worked with Brittany on many different occasions,” Bertha said following the meeting. “I believe they are both very well qualified for the positions.”

Kearns, a sophomore sports, art and entertainment management major, is anxious to jump into her new role after serving one semester as senator and one semester as vice president consecutively. She already has sights on specific areas she would like to work on to make USG better.

“For me, communication is top of the line,” Kearns said following the meeting. “Everyone is talking about needing more communication, so I really want to work to find the root of that and fix it.”

Arp, a freshman political science and legal studies double major, agreed with Kearns. She’s hoping that her own communication skills will aid in remedying the situation.

“I feel like my ability to work with people of all the different parties can bring us all together to have a little sit down and talk,” Arp said following the meeting.

Both were compelled to run for the positions because they felt underclassmen needed to step up.

“There isn’t really anyone necessarily above us in the organization that isn’t graduating so somebody needed to step up and fill those shoes,” Kearns said. “Why not let it be me?”

Arp took a carpe diem approach.

“No better time than the present,” Arp said.

Kearns is hoping to get back to the basics in regards to assisting organizations in meeting their goals and establishing themselves as an active, independent body.

“We are going to start looking at the student activity fee,” Kearns said. “Seeing where that can take us, if potentially get more funds to allocate to clubs so they can be the best organization they can be.”

Both officials have learned valuable lessons from Bertha they plan on keeping in mind throughout their terms.

“You are kind of the figurehead of the students, but it doesn’t just end with you,” Kearns said. “You have people under you that you can rely on and work with to make the organization run smoothly.”

Bertha said the new roles are being filled with new perspective, a good change for the student body.

“Kaylee, being a commuter student, is going to bring a whole lot of new viewpoints into the fold, Bertha said. “Brittany will be a sophomore taking over as the vice president, so she has years ahead of her to strengthen her leadership and grow the student government into the organization it should be.”

Reflecting back on his term in the presidency, Bertha noticed similar sentiments in his own growth. Bertha is currently campaigning as a Democrat in PA’s 54th Legislative District.

“I think my leadership skills that I’ve learned in the student government has helped me lead my campaign to the point where it is right now,” Bertha said.

Kearns and Arp hope to work together to represent students and continue the goals USG pursued under Bertha’s administration.

“[We want to] be able to listen from all angles and work with everyone to make sure the best results are coming forward for everybody involved, not just being biased and favoring one side over the other,” Kearns said.

Arp hopes to continue the rewarding work of addressing concerns.

“Looking over the student concerns that come in and being able to fix those concerns, like the washers that broke and getting milk in the cafe, [was] really satisfying,” Arp said. 

Overall, Bertha is optimistic about the future of USG in the hands of Kearns and Arp.

“I hope the new administration continues with the mindset that the student government needs to be a large organization to have full representation,” Bertha said.