Candidates: Keep tuition low

Candidates: Keep tuition low

Andrea Lerch

ASUA presidential candidates Tommy Bruce and Brad Wulff agreed that tuition increases are the most pressing issue UA students face during the presidential debate last night in the Student Union Memorial Center.

“”Tuition has risen astronomically, and I think it’s important to work with the UA president and other student body presidents in Arizona to address this issue,”” Wulff said.

“”We need to come at it in a way where students are no longer given the burden of tuition,”” Bruce said.

Candidates were also asked to share their views on differential tuition and special fees that some UA departments are beginning to implement.

“”This is a problem because it creates a slippery slope and once again puts the burden of tuition on students,”” Bruce said. “”We are out-pricing students from majors, so we need specific restrictions on differential tuition guidelines.””

“”I agree with Tommy,”” Wulff said. “”We should never press students out of majors, and I promise you I will fight so we don’t have student fees.””

While tuition was a major factor of discussion in the debate, candidates were also asked about affordability issues facing students.

Bruce said his top priorities were reducing textbook costs and living expenses for students.

“”I want to work directly with the budget office to see how we can make these issues better for students,”” Bruce said.

Wulff said his top priorities regarding affordability were financial aid and textbooks.

“”I can’t wait to work on getting more financial aid to the students,”” Wulff said.

Both candidates agreed that promoting school spirit is an important role of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona president.

“”This is a big issue especially with the student sections,”” Wulff said. “”We need to make sure student sections stay ours for years to come.””

Bruce said he would like to get more money from the athletics department.

“”We can continue to grow the Zona Zoo program and get information out there,”” he said.

Another issue candidates debated was whether UA admissions should be stricter, and how that would affect the UA’s Hispanic student population.

Bruce said he does not support raising admissions standards.

“”We need to focus on being a Spanish-serving institution, and everyone should have a chance to get a great education,”” Bruce said.

But Wulff said he disagreed.

“”I think the university should be representative of the community it is in,”” Wulff said. “”By raising admission standards, we can get the brightest and the best students at the U of A.””

Both candidates said they also want to help ASUA shed its “”elitist”” look around campus.

“”We need an open line of communication with the students so they know what we are doing for them,”” Bruce said. “”We need to make students more passionate about what ASUA is doing.””

Wulff said there is a lack of transparency in ASUA.

“”Students have been kept out for so long that they don’t even care anymore,”” he said. “”But we can combat this.””

Candidates were asked to sum up their leadership styles in three words at the end of the debate.

“”Mine would have to be ‘balls to the walls,'”” Wulff said. “”Even though that’s four words.””

“”I would say mine is ‘get excited!'”” Bruce said. “”I don’t think anything is worth doing unless everyone involved is excited about it.””

General elections start today at 8 a.m. and run until 8 p.m. Wednesday. Students can vote online at www.asua.arizona.edu or at voter booths around campus.