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ASUA town hall: Student body presidential candidate wants to rebrand and diversify ASUA

The+Associated+Students+of+the+University+of+Arizona+logo+painted+across+the+wall+at+the+ASUA+office+in+the+Student+Union+Memorial+Center.
Caitlin Claypool

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona logo painted across the wall at the ASUA office in the Student Union Memorial Center.

Patrick Robles is the one and only presidential candidate running in this year’s election for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. 

Several of the other ASUA positions have only one candidate, and some senator positions are still lacking any candidates, even after the deadline for the application was extended by a week. 

The ASUA presidential town hall meeting was held virtually over Zoom on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. Seven people total were at the meeting, including ASUA advisor Sylvester Gaskin and hosts Deip Sekhadia and Sophia Volpe. 

Sekhadia and Volpe asked Robles a series of questions revolving around campaign goals and qualifications for the role of student body president. 

Robles said he had four campaign goals; keep UA campus libraries open 24/7, accessibility and transparency for ASUA, promoting and creating mental health care opportunities for students and more representation for BIPOC communities. 

RELATED: ASUA Notebook 02/09/22: ASUA elections are here

When asked how he plans to promote transparency, he said he wants to keep in touch with students and the community by tabling on the UA Mall or sending out a weekly newsletter. His exact method for being available to the people has not been set in stone. 

Robles went on to say that ASUA needs to have more diversity on its staff, and recalled times he had been the only person with his Latino background at board meetings.

“We are a Hispanic-Serving Institution, why am I the only minority on this board?” Robles said. “Let’s rebrand who we are.” 

Robles spoke about wanting to offer mental health resources on a larger scale as part of his plans if made the new ASUA president. 

“Let’s make sure everyone receives fantastic service at [Counseling & Psych Services],” Robles said.

He suggested putting up flyers in the Student Union Memorial Center and making it known on a larger scale that mental health support is available to students. 

Robles said he spoke to friends from ASU who were shocked to hear that the UA doesn’t have libraries open for 24 hours and this helped him decide that he wanted to change that fact on campus.

“A million dollars is pocket change for a university like ours,” Robles said about the cost the university would incur if this adjustment to library operating hours was made. 

Sekhadia said the elections for ASUA executive officers and senators will be held on March 1 and 2 through an online voting system. 

Students will be able to cast two votes for the presidential position, executive vice president position and administrative vice president. Students will be able to vote once for a senatorial candidate that represents their respective college. 

For more information about the candidates, check out the ASUA elections web page


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