What is the BugPAC? Click here for a comprehensive explanation.
At the May 4, 2015, meeting, student leaders went to the Borough Council and requested additional street lights in downtown alleyways heavily traveled by students. The proposal was dismissed virtually out of hand. In response to the request, Councilwoman Theresa Lafer implied that if the lights were installed, students would gather around those lights like bugs and cause property damage.
And thus, the BugPAC was born.
The Borough of State College is a quintessential college town. According to the 2010 census, 71% of Borough residents are between the ages of 18-24. The vast majority of these residents, and residents in other age ranges, are Penn State students. However, our elected officials have not adequately represented the interests of students and young people. Respectful student requests are continually ignored, or increasingly often, met with hostility from our elected officials.
BugPAC aims to change this mentality by promoting candidates who respect and value ALL residents — students, young professionals, and long-term residents alike.
BugPAC was born out of both frustration for the present but optimism for the future of State College as a place to live for students and residents who appreciate the unique energy that only college towns create.
The “Bugs” of BugPAC, aspire to change this by providing State College residents with the resources to turn out the vote for our endorsed candidates in municipal elections who truly represent what has always made State College special.
BugPAC helped elect two pro-student advocates to Borough Council in its first municipal election in 2017, while nearly quadrupling the previous record for write-in votes in a municipal primary. It also received attention for securing a $1 million assurance from Google and Youtube to defend itself against C-Net, the government-owned broadcast network, after it threatened to sue the organization for using anti-student snippets from recordings of Borough Council meetings, which were protected by Fair Use.
It has no plans to slow down.
Together, we can make State College more inclusive and welcoming to ALL residents.
Contacts (Future leadership TBD)
Watch BugPAC Founding Co-Chairman and Treasurer Terry Ford discuss the problems in our local government at the 2017 State of State conference.
BugPAC in the News
BugPAC has no plans to stop effort to promote student-friendly policy – Centre Daily Times
BugPAC: Students advocating for change – The Underground
YouTube Backs BugPAC With $1 Million To Defend Against Potential C-Net Copyright Lawsuit – Onward State
Public Access Channel Tries To Shut Down Use Of Council Meeting Video Clips; Claims They Aren’t Fair Use – TechDirt
C-Net Bullies BugPAC For Using Public Borough Council Footage – Onward State
BugPAC aims to give students a voice in local government – Centre Daily Times
BugPAC endorsed mayoral candidate Michael Black tentatively earns Republican nomination – Daily Collegian
Absentee Ballots at an All-Time High For 2017 State College Municipal Primary – Onward State
BugPAC optimistic for State College primaries as number of student absentee ballots skyrocket – Daily Collegian
Penn State students make big push to get involved in local politics – WJAC
Calling out local government – WTAJ
Penn State Student Leaders Launch ‘BugPAC’ to Help Elect Endorsed Candidates for Borough Council, Mayor – StateCollege.com
Political committee BugPAC holds first press conference in the HUB – Daily Collegian
Student Government Presidents Launch ‘BugPAC’ Campaign to Reclaim State College – Onward State
BugPAC Vote Tracker (5-2 Votes)
BugPAC-endorsed candidates (Evan Myers and Dan Murphy) occupy two of the seven State College Borough Council seats. This space will be used to monitor when these two pro-student voices stick up for the rights of the majority of State College residents and oppose the other 5 anti-student voices on the Borough Council.
To date, there have been 2 such 5-2 votes.
Borough Council Approves Overnight Parking Permit Pilot Project for Highlands Neighborhood — Council voted 5-2 to restrict overnight parking during football weekends. It had been a longstanding policy that guests could park overnight in downtown State College and the surrounding neighborhoods overnight on event weekends. Student government opposed this vote with a resolution, which was ignored. The new policy will create problems for all guests who come to town to cheer on the Nittany Lions and support the local economy. Expect DUI incidents to increase this football season as Highlands Neighborhood residents resist the university culture of a college town. Myers and Murphy opposed this policy.
State College Borough Council votes ‘yes’ on HARB — Council voted 5-2 to establish a establish a Historical and Architectural Review Board, which will make it more difficult for student renters to live in the Holmes-Foster, Highlands, and College Heights neighborhoods. Council does not want the neighborhoods to be developed so that students are forced to live in downtown high rises or less desirable locations (“Not in my neighborhood,” as they say). Myers and Murphy opposed this ordinance.