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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA election today

    Andre Rubio
    Andre Rubio

    Students vote online today to elect one of two candidates to Students of the University of Arizona senatorial position. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with winners being announced at 8:30 p.m. in the Kiva Room of the Student Union Memorial Center. Students can place their vote at one of several polling stations located around campus or by logging onto www.asua.arizona.edu.

    Andre Rubio and Dominick Plado, both political science juniors, are running for the vacated seat. They were each separately asked the same questions, and their answers are listed below.

    What is your platform for the election?

    Andre Rubio: Experience: “”I’m already in the cabinet … I do different stuff than typical ASUA … I have experience working with different organizations that don’t normally have their voice out there.””

    Finance education: “”Teach students about credit, debit, credit scores – stuff like that so when a student graduates, they can get low payments … which is really helpful because that is the real world stuff.””

    Student outreach: “”Finding ideas like (adding campus safety measures and ways to reduce campus waste), because they’re out there. You just have to go out and find them.””

    Dominick Plado: Election reform: “”Every college (should) elect its own senator, and all of these senators (should) come together to form the ASUA senate.””

    Sustainability: “”Get rid of styrofoam plates and to-go containers (in the student union) and replace that with recyclable plastic dinnerware. I also want to bring the Outside the Bottle campaign to the UA … (This works to get student organizations) to opt for tap water instead of bottled water.””

    Fiscal transparency and responsibility: “”Create an online forum, in which students can log into (and share their opinions).””

    What role should student government play within the university?

    Andre: “”In order for (the student government) to really do its job, the students have to be enthusiastic about it … ASUA can’t do everything because it requires an involved audience. The role here on campus should be outreach and to make (the) student government look like (the) students. I’m (trying to become) the first Latino senator in years, and Latinos are 15 percent of the school.””

    Dominick: “”I think (student government) needs to be a voice for the students … (Before this campaign) I had never been contacted by a senator and none of my friends have. I really think (student government) needs to really pay attention to the students and give the students what they want.””

    What experience do you bring to the position?

    Andre: Rubio is currently serving his second year as ASUA diversity director. He said that his ASUA experience, his ability to bring in previously untapped minority opinions and his diverse background would allow him to add a new perspective to the senate.

    “”When I started (as diversity director), that was a brand new position … I was that kid saying, ‘I’m going to go in and change things.’ Change takes longer than a year … it takes constant outreach, constant communication and really constant service.””

    Dominick: Plado is in the middle of his third year as a member of the Residence Hall Association, and he said he is also chair of a national convention.

    “”I have never been involved in ASUA before, so I think that will help me by bringing in a fresh face as someone who hasn’t been involved with the organization … (As) conference chair for a national conference (The NACURH Conference) I oversee a budget of over half a million dollars, as well as a conference staff of about 30 (people).””

    What aspects of ASUA need to change?

    Andre: “”A lot of (ASUA) programs and services are pretty top notch. What they need to do better is educate students on what they do, so kids know that ASUA is doing this for them.””

    Dominick: “”By giving students just one person to go to at their college, I think that will definitely get people interested and make them feel more important and part of this university … Right now I feel as if students feel as if they don’t matter to ASUA.””

    How would you work in tandem with the young ASUA senate?

    Andre: “”The clubs they are in are none of the clubs that I work with, so they don’t have that perspective … I was born in Mexico City. My views and beliefs are very different … (The current senate) might think that they are the nine guys and that I’m just the tenth guy who is just going to go along with what they say … Hell no, absolutely not. I plan on going in there and holding onto all of the work I have done, and that work is going to force me to disagree with what they say.””

    Dominick: “”I think that I will be able to bring my residence hall association experience … (along with my experience of) dealing with other universities. Right now I’m talking with the (student body president) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I have all of these different contacts all over the country, so I think that will definitely add something to the senate.””

    Does ASUA have a negative perception? If so, how would you work to change it?

    Andre: “”I think ASUA is doing a good job of making an attempt to represent the students, and their programs and services are really top notch … they need to expose themselves more because then you will get more students coming (to events) and then those students will tell you what is wrong with your programs.””

    Dominick: “”The negative perception comes from a lack of education about the programs and services that ASUA offers, as well as a lack of communication between ASUA and students … (This can be changed by) working with the freshman orientation leaders (and the residence hall association) to educate new students about ASUA and the programs and services they offer.””

    What issue is most important to students, and how will you address it?

    Andre: “”Money talks and money has been saying goodbye to our wallets and going into (the university’s pockets) … Since you’re not going to change tuition anytime soon, you really need to provide education to students on how to cope with those expenses … (The second issue) is going to be getting students registered to vote (in the presidential election) … we need to vote, because if we vote, politicians will recognize students) and hopefully they will represent us better.””

    Dominick: “”(Students) feel that ASUA doesn’t really work for them … they feel that the senators from ASUA are only there to benefit certain number of students and there isn’t something for everyone … (This can be fixed by) working with different clubs and organizations on campus to get the word out and educate students about all of the programs and services that ASUA has to offer. (ASUA) really is an amazing organization, I just don’t think enough people know about it.””

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