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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ASUA hopefuls discuss policy

    The main issues at last evening’s Associated Students of the University of Arizona vice presidential and presidential forum were concerning the budget situation and increasing student involvement in ASUA.

    For presidential candidates Shane Cathers and Chris Nagata, their level of qualification to be ASUA president was called into question.

    Cathers is a journalism junior who is new to the UA and has not been involved in ASUA before. He was asked questions about his qualifications for president since he has not had any previous leadership experience at this school.

    “”I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I was qualified,”” Cathers said.

    Cathers said that his creativity and power to relate to and unite students would be very important traits.

    “”I’ve been playing catch-up and I think I’ve done a great job,”” Cathers said about his knowledge of the university and the issues he would have to deal with as president.

    Nagata, a physiology senior, has been a member of ASUA and the Arizona Students Association for all of his three years at UA.

    Nagata is a write-in candidate, because he did not get enough signatures from students to have his name on the ballot. Nagata was asked for his response to accusations that he was not dedicated to the position since he is a write-in candidate.

    “”I reject that entirely,”” Nagata said. “”I am absolutely committed.””

    He went on to say that he was completely devoted to the responsibilities of ASUA presidency. He said he even postponed his own graduation and medical school with his decision to run for president.

    “”I do not want to disrespect Chris, but I covered my bases,”” Cathers said. “”I think about the worst-case scenario and plan for the best. I took care of my petition votes with a 20% error rate.””

    “”When I saw the chance to get involved with the great community of Tucson, I jumped at the chance,”” Cathers said in his opening statements.

    Cathers said one of the things he would really like to achieve as president is to bring the face of ASUA closer to students. He said he thinks a lot of students have a very cynical view of ASUA and government in general, and he would like to make everything more accessible to the average student at the university.

    Nagata has been very involved in ASA and said that he thinks the experience will help him as president.

    “”The greatest thing about being a member of ASA is that it was not just limited to ASA related things,”” he said. “”ASA has been great training grounds for the position of president.””

    Nagata said he also plans to work hard to get students involved and get their input.

    “”I believe that the students should be first and foremost,”” he said.

    Nagata said that he plans to make his cabinet work hard next year for the students.

    “”I plan to work them, and work them hard,”” he said. “”There’s a lot of work to be done.””

    About 35 students were present at the debate, many of which were other members of ASUA.

    Senator Gabriella Ziccarelli, who is running, unopposed for administrative vice president, talked about her three goals for next year: outreach, opportunity, and openness.

    “”Especially in this time when we have a lot of crisis going on, we need to work together and get more people involved,”” Sen. Ziccarelli said.

    “”I want to ignite passion within people and show them that they do have a place,”” said Sen. Ziccarelli. “”A student should be able to come to (an executive officer) and say, ‘Hey, here’s what I want to do, how do I make it happen?’ I want to be that person.””

    Some other issues Sen. Ziccarelli discussed were plans for an outreach program to the Tucson community called Junior Cats, working with residence halls for more solar power on campus, and expanding the involvement and support of Pride Alliance and the Woman’s Resource Center.

    Senator Emily Fritze, who is also running unopposed for the position of executive vice president, talked about her goals for the continued involvement of clubs on campus.

    “”I’d really like to specialize the role of club advocates more. I think it would give designation and dedication,”” she said.

    Sen. Fritze addressed the issue of Greek life as a club. She said they are a campus organization and feels they still need to go through the same things other clubs go through each year.

    She also talked about helping the new senators coming in.

    “”One thing that has always stuck with me is that in order to be a good senator, you have to be as thoughtful as you can in all situations,”” she said. “”I would really like emphasize that in the senate.””

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