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Lubisich rises through ranks to ASUA presidency

ASUA+President-elect+and+economics+and+political+science+junior+Matt+Lubisich+poses+for+a+picture+in+his+future+office+on+Tuesday%2C+March+21%2C+2017.+Lubisich+has+been+involved+with+ASUA+since+his+freshman+year.+
Rebecca Noble
ASUA President-elect and economics and political science junior Matt Lubisich poses for a picture in his future office on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Lubisich has been involved with ASUA since his freshman year.

UA’s next student government president, Matt Lubisich, wasn’t even interested in politics three years ago.

Lubisich came to the UA following in his mother’s footsteps. She was an Associated Students of the University of Arizona senator in her time at the UA. 

“She was the one who first inspired me to get involved with ASUA,” he said.

In his first year at the UA, Lubisich joined Freshman Class Council, an ASUA organization focused on philanthropic events and outreach opportunities. He quickly immersed himself in campus issues and student government.

“It was intimidating that year,” he said. “You’re surrounded by older students who know the issues better than you.”

Lubisich recalled having no aspirations to become president at the time. After his freshman year and his experience at ASUA, he decided to run for senator.

“I was really trying to make a name for myself,” he said. “I started interacting with campus groups and co-directed the ‘I Will’ campaign.”

RELATED: ASUA Supreme Court dismisses Saltalamacchia’s appeal, Lubisich indisputable president

Josler Tudisco, current ASUA spring fling marketing director and former classmate of Lubisich, also worked on “I Will,” a sexual assault awareness campaign.

“It was a treat to work with Matt and see that campaign go together,” he said. “I’ve never seen someone put so much time and effort into anything.”

Madeline Dunlap, Lubisich’s campaign director, met him that year through Sophos Sophomore Honorary. 

“We became friends through that,” she said. “It was awesome to get to know him and see that he had some vision going into ASUA.”

During his time as a senator, Lubisich gained experience allocating money to clubs around campus and hearing students’ concerns.

“That’s why I wanted to run for the position of an at-large senator,” he explained. “Because college senators only focus on the stance and goals of their college and I wanted to represent the student body as a whole.”

These ideas, along with knowledge Lubisich gained as a senator, are what helped to shape his campaign platform when he decided to run for ASUA president.

“It was some point around sophomore year that I realized I actually wanted to be ASUA president,” he said. 

During his work with student groups, many individuals encouraged Lubisich to run for ASUA president. 

“I wanted to fix issues within ASUA, which was starting to lose touch,” he said.

Shortly after this decision, Lubisich asked Dunlap to be his campaign manager.

“I was so shocked, since I’ve never had any experience with ASUA,” she said. “But after seeing his work ethic and hearing about what he did as a senator, I said yes.”

Throughout his latest campaign cycle, Lubisich was confronted with calls for his disqualification from the running and a smear campaign, the first ever seen from any student government at the UA.

“I’m not gonna lie, that really worked in my favor,” Lubisich joked. “People were suggesting I did it to myself, but we didn’t have the budget to pay for those posters and I’m not that creative.”

RELATED: Uncertainty looms following ASUA elections

The ASUA Supreme Court dismissed allegations against his campaign earlier this week.

According to Dunlap, even before the smear campaign posters circulated, Lubisich made his presence know throughout campus.

“People recognize him around campus,” Dunlap explained. “During their campaigns, other candidates are short-handed, but with [Lubisich’s] that was never an issue.”

Tudisco agreed and added that students related to Lubisich’s platforms. 

“He has specific and attainable goals,” Tudisco said. “He’s naturally a good leader and a good representative for UA students as a whole.”

Going forward, Lubisich said he hopes to change how UA students perceive ASUA.

“ASUA is not going to be synonymous with a lack of effort when I’m president,” he said. “I want students to know how we’re spending their tuition money and that we’re working hard for them.”


Follow Jessica Blackburn on Twitter.


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