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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Presidential election offers three new faces

Students heading to the polls for the ASUA special election on Thursday will choose from five potential presidents: previous candidates James Allen and Daniel Hernandez and newcomers Jesse Gunsch, Robert Rosinski and Myles Tacher.

Michael Colletti, elections commissioner for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, estimated that more than 10 elections packets had been picked up, though only five candidates collected 100 signatures, enough to be eligible to run in a special election.

Colletti also said he placed a larger emphasis on the language of the Elections Code during the mandatory candidate meeting last Friday, so that any issues or confusion could be addressed.

“”I’m excited to give the students an opportunity to vote for who they want to represent them and give them a chance to have their voice heard,”” Colletti said. “”I think it will be a good process.””

For the candidates, the process is as much a referendum on Allen and Hernandez as it is an election. Rosinski said he decided to run because he feels that neither Allen nor Hernandez are responsible enough to lead the student body. He questioned whether either of them could be trusted after “”cheating”” in the general election.

“”It’s not hard to follow a few pages of rules,”” Rosinski said. “”I think the student body deserves better than that.””

For Rosinski, he said he believes his experience in the military prior to coming to the university is what makes him best suited to serve as ASUA president.

“”I understand budgeting, I understand time management,”” Rosinski said. “”I understand service and I understand sacrifice.””

Rosinski said he has a “”long litany of things”” he would examine if elected, including going through both ASUA’s and the university’s budgets line-by-line, the examining fee-setting process and placing a larger emphasis on ASUA-sponsored community service events.

“”We need to get out there and counter the negative stereotypes about students,”” Rosinski said.  

Gunsch said he views the presidency as a way to get in touch with students and the university community. He also said he thinks that ASUA is out of touch with the most pressing needs facing the student body.

Gunsch said it is necessary to have student input on all fee increases.

“”The way tuition is jumping, the way fees continue to go up, … I think that is hitting home to most students right now,”” Gunsch said. “”I think for the majority of students here, finances are becoming more and more of a concern.””

Gunsch also said a student vote should be the final say in all potential fee increases, since students themselves are best equipped to make decisions about the kinds of services and improvements they want.

Specifically, Gunsch said, if elected, he would re-examine the current ASUA club funding model, which allows any ASUA-recognized club to apply for funds from the senate. Gunsch said he would prefer a model where students involved in clubs would fund them internally.

“”I don’t think the model of having ASUA-recognized clubs is efficient or even necessary,”” he said.

He also pledged that he would re-evaluate student programs, keeping those that students widely support, such as Safe Ride, and eliminating funding for those that are overspecialized and redundant, such as the Think Tank.

Tacher said he thinks ASUA leadership needs to serve as role models for the student body.

“”I feel they (ASUA members) barely work with students,”” he said. “”Most students don’t know what ASUA does for them.””

His niche as a political outsider gives him a unique and more relatable perspective, Tacher said. He stressed accessibility as his major platform and said that as an out-of-state student he would have appreciated more outreach.

He also said he feels that ASUA does not adequately utilize its resources.

“”When I put my foot down, I feel like I’m stepping on an oil well of a wealth of knowledge, and we’re barely tapping into that,”” he said.

To Tacher, it is ASUA’s responsibility to make its mission known.

“”Even without ASUA, you’d still have a student body,”” he said. “”It’s ASUA that has to make the effort to reach students.””  

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