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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Giffords’ former interns reminisce

ASUA members have interned for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords throughout her time as a representative of Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Emily Fritze interned in Giffords’ district office and said working with her staff is nothing short of uplifting.

“”We were all made to feel, as interns, inspired to work for the congresswoman, and made to feel important even when helping out in very basic tasks such as filing or filling out memos,”” Fritze said. She added that she got a chance to meet Giffords a few times, an experience she valued because the congresswoman took the time to reach out to her interns and personally thank them for aiding her in her efforts in the community.

“”She always expresses that she appreciates what we did,”” Fritze said.

ASUA Academic Affairs Executive Director Tyler Quillin, a senior majoring in philosophy and English, interned with Giffords last semester and said that Giffords surprised him with how “”genuine”” she was, regardless of her position. He added that Giffords’ personality was unforgettable.

“”Once, I was bringing a pitcher of water to her and her staff during a meeting, and she actually got up to open the door herself,”” he said. “”She said ‘Hi’ and thanked me for coming, and helped carry the tray back to the table herself. And that was something that seemed really genuine to me,”” Quillin added.

Quillin also knew Gabe Zimmerman, one of several killed in the shooting last Saturday, and said that he was an “”absolutely beautiful”” person. He went on to add that the congressional staffer and director of public outreach was a “”compassionate”” and “”overly-kind”” person.

“”You could ask him the most mundane, dumbest question, and he’d stop, smile and say, ‘You know what, let’s figure it out together,’ and he would research with you until you found a solution to the problem,”” Quillin said. “”He was also one of the busiest, most overwhelmed people working for Giffords, yet he seemed underwhelmed because he was always just so kind.””

ASUA has been very active in helping to plan the memorial that President Barack Obama and his family will be attending on Wednesday.

“”We are putting together many volunteers and are involved in gathering materials to present for the memorial,”” Fritze said. “”We hope to convey, from a student standpoint, what this means to us as students and as members of the Tucson community in keeping Giffords and those who were injured in our hearts.””


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