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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Battle for senate heats up at debate

Valentina Martinelli /Arizona Daily Wildcat

Raymond Arvizu, a political science freshman, answers questions at the ASUA senate debate while Taylor Bilby, a pre-business freshman, waits her turn along with other candidates to speak on March 4, 2010.
Valentina Martinelli
Valentina Martinelli /Arizona Daily Wildcat Raymond Arvizu, a political science freshman, answers questions at the ASUA senate debate while Taylor Bilby, a pre-business freshman, waits her turn along with other candidates to speak on March 4, 2010.

The 16 Associated Students of the University of Arizona senatorial candidates presented their platforms to an eight-person student panel during a debate Thursday night.

More than 30 people came out to hear candidates respond to questions from ASUA, the Graduate and Professional Student Council, the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, Greek Life and many other representative bodies on campus.

Although the event was called a debate, candidates spent two minutes explaining their platforms, then fielded one question each from the panel of student representatives.

Some candidates made sure to make their mark during this limited time.

“”I want to take a minute to talk to you about sex,”” said Scott Rising, a family and consumer sciences senior, promoting his sex education platform. “”(During orientation), we’re teaching them all kinds of things about how to use their CatCards, but they don’t know how to use a condom.””

The room, audibly surprised, sat nodding heads and laughing in a mixture of shock and agreement.

Other candidates used their platform presentation to shock in a different way.

“”ASUA has the honor of being the least representative student government in the Pac-10,”” said Trevor Hill, a sophomore majoring in English. During his speech, he noted that 10 senators are elected to represent 29,000 undergraduates at the UA and proposed more direct student representation.

The candidates issued campaign promises, described their involvement backgrounds and tried to win over undecided voters.

“”You see your department getting smaller, you see your classes getting bigger, and you might not feel as connected as you did before,”” said Gabriela Castillon, a political science senior. She echoed many of the candidates’ pledges for more student involvement.

Most candidates emphasized transparency and creating more cooperative initiatives between ASUA and other sections of campus.

Justine Piscitello, ASUA elections commissioner, said that cooperation is necessary.

“”I think it’s important that we form relationships with those outside of ASUA,”” Piscitello said at the close of the debates.

Although candidates seemed eager for real debate, this event marked the last public forum for senate candidates to voice their platforms outside of personal campaigning before general elections.

Debates for the presidential, executive vice presidential and administrative vice presidential candidates take place Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Ventana room of the Student Union Memorial Center. They will employ a similar question-and-answer format, with a student panel and more time for each candidate to speak.

 

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