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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA greek streak

Associated+Students+of+the+University+of+Arizona+President+Issac+Ortega%2C+Business+economic+senior%2C+stands+in+front+of+Pi+Kappa+Alpha+fraternity+on+Tuesday.+Ortega+said+Greek+Life+makes+up+a+big+chunk+of+the+voter+tunrnout+for+the+ASUA+elections.
Sally Lugo

Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Issac Ortega, Business economic senior, stands in front of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity on Tuesday. Ortega said Greek Life makes up a big chunk of the voter tunrnout for the ASUA elections.

The past six ASUA presidents were Greek Life-affiliated, and the trend has a 50 percent chance of repeating in this year’s primary elections. 

Current candidates Hannah Sager, a Chi Omega sorority member, and Manuel Felix, a Delta Sigma Phi fraternity member, hope to be the seventh, while non-Greek affiliated candidates Karlyn Bradley and Andrew Falwell aim to start a new trend. 

“Greek Life is a huge voting bloc for candidates,” said Issac Ortega, current president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. “Not only due to the fact that more than 13 percent of the campus is greek, but many greek organizations have housing close to campus, and they are easy to target during election season since all greek chapters hold meetings.” 

Falwell, a chemical engineering junior and ASUA presidential candidate, said he is not affiliated with any greek chapters.

“Three professors have spoken to me saying that they are frustrated that we receive only a fraction of the education funding we received a few years ago but continue to elect popular greek candidates year after year,” Falwell said. “Some faculty may even openly say that we’re suffering because of this system.” 

Ortega said that five of the 10 current ASUA Senators are affiliated with Greek Life at the UA, and added that he does not think his affiliation with a greek chapter affects any decisions he makes as ASUA president.

“Our senators and other elected officials are aware that our role is to represent all students of the campus as best we can,” Ortega said.

He added that extracurricular activities are often required by greek members.

“ASUA offers hundreds of leadership opportunities, so I am not surprised to see that members of the greek community get involved every year,” Ortega said.

Felix, a junior studying Spanish and political science and an ASUA presidential candidate, said Greek Life is an even smaller community within the community of the UA.

“Once you get involved in various organizations, you start realizing that the UA is actually a pretty small school and you start seeing familiar faces,” Felix said. “When you join Greek Life, you are already getting more involved. You meet a lot of people in the process.”

Bradley, a senior studying political science and communication, said he feels it is much more difficult to win against members of Greek Life because they already have a large established network.

“They have their sisters or brothers in their sorority or fraternity, as well as other people from other sororities and fraternities that they may meet from working on philanthropic events together,” Bradley said.

Felix said he was the first president of the founding father class for Delta Sigma Phi at the UA.

“I don’t think I would have as many of the leadership qualities as I have now if I wouldn’t have joined Greek Life,” Felix said. “You learn time management skills, organization, responsibility. You realize what you have to work on, you learn how to talk to people and you learn how to connect with students.”

Primary elections end today at 8 p.m. Candidates and platforms can be found online at elections.asua.arizona.edu.

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Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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