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President Ann Weaver Hart visits ASUA meeting

President+Hart+speaks+to+diversity+concerns+raised+by+Sen.+Enrico+Trevisani%26nbsp%3Bat+the+Associated+Students+of+the+University+Arizona+meeting+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+2+in+the+Student+Union+Memorial+Center.+Senators+were+able+to+ask+Hart+questions+about+her+policy+and+current+projects.
Steven Spooner

President Hart speaks to diversity concerns raised by Sen. Enrico Trevisani at the Associated Students of the University Arizona meeting Wednesday, Nov. 2 in the Student Union Memorial Center. Senators were able to ask Hart questions about her policy and current projects.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart attended the ASUA Senate meeting on Wednesday night to address questions relating to university-wide policies, among other concerns presented by students and faculty.

Executive Vice President of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Trey Cox called the meeting to order with the introduction of new orders of business.

Hart expressed her appreciation for ASUA and their progress as a senate over the last few years.

She also addressed the importance of the university and its students and faculty to spread acceptance and to promote diversity, even if not everyone agrees with one another at all times.

Hart was immediately called to question by Sen. Kincaid Rabb, representative for the College of Fine Arts, who vocalized the questionable working conditions of his colleges facilities.

Rabb said the practice rooms exist in horrible condition and requested that the university help to revitalize the current infrastructures.

Hart expressed her remorse and explained the university is facing over $1 billion worth of damages to older buildings which it has neglected over the years.

“The university can not put this problem off any longer,” Hart said. “Thus far, the university has been focused on building new buildings, instead of fixing the old ones. The board is working on funding to renovate older buildings in order to help promote accessibility for the good of the university.”

Sen. Danielle Ledezma, representative for the Students of Sustainability, asked Hart about the progress of the Second Nature’s Climate Committee, which helps regulate the admittance of fossil fuels in the environment and around campus.

Hart said all UA facilities and buildings are on their way to obtaining certification through their focus on the elimination of fossil fuels throughout campus structures.

The committee has also been promoting recycling around campus by requiring every classroom to have both trash and recycling bins.

Although she does not have a say in the order, senators asked about what kind of person Hart wants to succeed her as president at the UA following her withdrawal from office.

“Universities are remarkably bad at planning for success in leadership turnover [and] individuals tend to make this process secretive,” Hart said. “But what the university really needs to do is focus on maximizing the success of the university as a whole. It is not about an individual looking successful, it is about an organization who wants to make the entire community prosper that is most important.”

Sen. Matt Lubisich mentioned diversity around campus and asked for Hart’s opinion on whether it is improving.

Hart said she thinks the university is making good progress on “asking people to the dance, but not asking people to dance once they are there.”

She said the concept of inclusive excellence, where individuals actually spend time together, is a hard concept for some to grasp.

Hart said she believes the university has done a substantial job of promoting and accepting diversity as the years have progressed.

Lubisich also asked Hart how the UA plans on accommodating the increased amount of students accepted to the university.

“It’s our goal that over 60 percent of Arizona residents obtain bachelors degrees,” Hart said. “We want to give them the opportunity to do so while also accommodating for out-of state-students. We now offer multiple online courses for our students to take, with working professionals willing and capable of teaching them. We have enough professors who have the background to teach, as long as students are self-motivated and willing to take classes in every mode of instruction.”

Hart added that on-campus housing is working on expansion to help accommodate for the higher acceptance rate at the university.

Sen. Enrico Trevisani, representative from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, asked Hart about the lack of healthy food options on campus.

Hart said this topic of discussion is out of her hands, but she agrees that healthier options for food should be established. She suggested students make a petition and submit it to the Student Union by asking for healthier food options, such as more fruits and vegetables.

At the beginning of the meeting, Rabb suggested the Senate approve the adoption of photo packages, which would provide senators with head shots and committee group photos to help brand themselves as an organization, but this item was yielded for later discussion as Hart entered the room.

Following her exit, the senate decided to hire Tom Price as a photographer for the ASUA senate.


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