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Sophomore cello player represents College of Arts and Architecture in UPUA

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Alexander Wu

The College of Arts and Architecture finally has a representative in the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA).

Sophomore Alexander Wu is the new voice for students within the college. As a member of UPUA’s General Assembly, his role is to make improvements and represent every major that calls the College of Art and Architecture home. Because the UPUA General Assembly has lacked an Arts and Architecture representative for quite some time, Wu, who applied for the position, understands the importance of ensuring the college is fairly represented.

“I knew that I wanted to help the College of Arts and Architecture because we aren’t always as fairly represented and that’s only because there are so many different disciplines within the college,” said Wu. “I felt that having someone to be able to represent the entire college as a whole and all of the different students would really help both the college, and also the arts we are all trying to pursue.”

The UPUA works to better student life by advocating for improved facilities on campus, strengthening the academic experience for all students and working with local, state and federal legislators. 

With every other college being represented, Wu felt it was time for someone to vouch for his fellow performing and visual artists and designers. 

As a cello performance and political science double-major, Wu said the level of intensity of his studies is incredibly high; however, he wanted to help the UPUA make an impact on the College of Arts and Architecture.

He recognizes most students within his college have a demanding course load, which makes it difficult for them to take on a position such as this one.

As a representative in the General Assembly, Wu serves as a direct connection between students in the College of Arts and Architecture and the UPUA, allowing him to share their concerns beyond their individual academic units. 

“Everyone wants change, but having the power to be able to make that change and having the connections and the resources to be able to make that change is something that is unique to my position,” said Wu. 

Although he has only been the Arts and Architecture representative for a few weeks, Wu said the most rewarding part of his position is simply knowing he has the ability to present an idea or spark change. 

Wu juggles his UPUA responsibilities with several other activities, including the Philharmonic Orchestra, Cello Club and Pre-Law Society. He said he takes pride in being a Penn State musician, because he loves being surrounded by like-minded performing artists in a challenging yet motivating environment.

Although he is only a sophomore, Wu, who started playing cello at age 6, has an idea of what his future holds. 

“I would love to be in some type of performance environment, whether that be as a member of an orchestra, or of a chamber ensemble,” said Wu, who was a winner of the 2019 School of Music Concerto Competition. “I want to be a part of something that is related to being on the stage, traveling, performing and making music with different people and sharing it with others. That would be a dream.”

Story by Carlie Fox
Photo by Sarah Nekich