David Adewumi has spent his life as a jack-of-all-trades -- dabbling in everything from athletics to enterpreneurship -- and is emerging as this year's dark horse in the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) presidential election.The lifelong State College native boasts a lengthy list of accolades: National Merit Scholar, high school All-American track runner and U.S. Army Airborne Infantryman.
And though he hasn't pursued student government until now, Adewumi (junior-Spanish) said his accomplishments speak for themselves. He's currently the Beta Theta Pi risk management chairman, a Homecoming 2010 corporate relations captain and a member of the University Park Allocation Committee.
Though Adewumi said he respects the current student government, he wants to focus on the key needs of the student body he thinks aren't being addressed.
"If you're not dealing with the biggest issues and dealing with them effectively, are you truly representing the student body?" he asked. "How can you justify paying $45,000 for a spring festival when there are kids dropping out when they can't go to school?"
Adewumi's past has helped shape him into the leader he has become, friends say.
Colin Brown, who spent time in the military with Adewumi in 2005, quipped his friend was "horrible" at shooting. Still, Brown said, he is a motivated and incredibly hardworking individual.
Adewumi's plans for UPUA include establishing a tenant-landlord review program similar toRateMyProfessors.com, creating a VPN-free wireless Internet service on campus and lowering tuition drastically -- a $10,000 reduction in 10 years. Vice-presidential candidate Devin Weakland (freshman-public relations and international studies), calls her running mate "focused" and "very committed," citing Adewumi's experience as a world-traveler and his missionary work as assets to his leadership style.
Adewumi recently organized a spring break service trip for Penn State students to provide aid in Haiti, equating his drive to pursue his most recent service work with his drive to lead Penn State as a whole.
"My decision to run for president is almost like my decision to go to Haiti," Adewumi said. "Ultimately, I decided if I don't organize this trip to go to Haiti, it's not going to happen. And in the same token, if I don't stand up and fight for the students and fight for what the students want, it's not going to happen."