ASUA Senate Candidate Debates…

I attended the ASUA Senate candidate debates this evening and left with both feelings of optimism and surprise.

I am optimistic in a few of the candidates whom I have not yet had the chance to meet or hear their views. A few candidates impressed me. I feel as though facebook groups and flyers can only tell you so much, but to meet someone and acquire that personal interaction with them gives one an immensely greater sense of who they are and how they would do as an candidate.

Upon hearing all candidates speak and convey their views on the position, I can’t help but wonder if I, myself, had some unfeasible platform ideas or seemingly erroneous ideas of what the position of senator entailed. I say this not as a shot at the candidates, but rather an opening of a line of discourse on the position of senate, candidates that run for the position, and the overall ideas people develop who are, for lack of a better term, on the outside of the position.

My platforms as a senate candidate included budget, transparency, ASUA campus image, and a leadership conference for at-risk high school students at the U of A.

The budget is something that is made very visible in the spring semester, this might seem like an awkward statement to make, but it is true with tuition setting and many budgetary decisions made in the spring. I believe I discussed students as the clients or customers of the university, and as such, we should know where our increase in investment is going to benefit us. This is a statement that no one would refute. However, upon my research of the budget and attempting to make public breakdowns and allocations of every dollar students pay, I found that this would be extremely difficult due to the fact that moneys garnered by the school are sent to the state, as which time the get a portion back and it is lumped into a large pot (to put it very very VERY plainly).We are still working on this, but it is kind of on hold until tuition and fees are set.

My next platform was transparency, which I feel we have improved upon. Senate minutes are online and accessible to all, in addition to the ASUA monthly budget breakdowns and out outreach to students. This is very important, in order to battle that ever present ASUA stigma.

Lastly, I am working on a leadership conference for high schoolers with a couple other senators through the peer mentorship program I have launched.

With that, my platforms were pretty feasible, on the whole. I am lucky to have been able to accomplish so much in my term. I have absolutely taken advantage of every moment I have had as an ASUA Senator. I have created a Peer Mentorship program geared towards helping any student who identifies as new, struggling, or exploratory find their social and academic niches on campus. See peers.asua.arizona.edu for more information. Additionally, I have drafted resolutions for our senate to make statements on various issues regarding students and campaigns that impact student lives. I have also launched a new progressive marketing campaign with the help of my senate aide called I Dare You Arizona, which is meant to break through the apathy of students to get them to care about issues that impact their lives. See idareyou.arizona.edu for more information.

Now—– back to the hopefuls.

I hope that in the future, Senate is seen as more of an upperclassmen position with necessary qualifications including more than one semester experience on campus and in college. This is by no means a knock at any candidate running as a freshman, nor any others that have done so in the past – some of these people have done some great things at young ages. However, to be truly representative of a student-body that is as diverse as our, should their representatives at least have been in college for a complete year? Should they have gone through a tuition setting cycle at least once? Should they have gone through more than one registration cycle?

I am here for questions and I will answer, to the best of my ability, anything asked of me on this matter, but I hold it very strongly that the position of senator should be held with someone who has had a substantive experience on campus, as well as someone who has done ample research of the position, i.e. as a candidate, your platforms should be achievable as a senator. That is not to say that one must complete them alone, but more importantly says that as a senator there are time constraints and other feasibility restraints that keep certainly things from being with the realm of possibility.

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Comments
2 Responses to “ASUA Senate Candidate Debates…”
  1. I think you were realistic and optimistic with your platform goals. I remember your Wildcat interview from last March, and you lived up to everything you wanted to do. Transparency has improved considerably, and there seems to be a bigger turnout at ASUA meetings (even if the number still remains small). You’re also willing to meet with other students to discuss campus improvements. As I’ve said before, you’re a good change of pace for ASUA as well since you aren’t the stereotypical member of Greek life (not that this is a bad thing). I think a variety of different types of students in ASUA is important, and you’re easy for most students to relate to since you’re involved with campus activities besides Greek. Good luck with the conference and peer mentorship program. Overall, you’ve taken your position seriously, and that’s what we need in ASUA!

    The senate candidates seem pretty excited and most appear willing to work hard, but I am nervous about the prospect of half of the senate being freshmen. They haven’t been in school long enough to understand that classes get harder overtime, and they don’t even really know what the UA is like. ASUA should work to represent all four classes in senate, but I’m wary of it being made up of mostly freshmen.

    It’s seems like some of the candidates don’t know what they’re doing or getting into, and I’m hopeful that the student voters will be wise enough to vote for the qualified over the best campaigners.

    • Tyler Quillin says:

      Thank you very much Laura. Your kind words mean a great deal to me.

      As for the hopefuls, I agree and hope that voters look into qualifications before voting. However, we both know that is not probable. And we know this via life experience and our collegiate experience in particular. đŸ™‚

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