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ASUA Notebook 9/6/23: Senate kicks off new school year with first meeting

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Jasmine Ma
Want an inside look at the University of Arizona’s student government? Read the Daily Wildcat’s Associated Students of the University of Arizona notebooks, which recap the ASUA Senate’s weekly meetings.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate, the school’s undergraduate student government, held its first meeting of the school year Wednesday, Sept. 6. The group’s main agenda items were presentations from the Campus Sustainability Fund and the All Leadership Council. 

Partnership with ALC

While no significant votes were taken at the meeting, the main debate centered around a potential partnership between ASUA and the All Leadership Council. The ALC started off as a group chat where leaders from a variety of organizations could work together and promote events. 

The two ALC co-chairs, Noah Weaver and Utsav Kataria presented to ASUA explaining the history of their initiative. Both are members of the Bobcats Senior Honorary, and Kataria is also a senator, representing the Eller College of Management.

The ALC was responsible for last year’s Evening of Excellence, an event that gave awards to clubs and organizations on campus, and the co-chairs stated their goal to increase the frequency of events like this. 

Weaver and Kataria proposed various opportunities for a collaboration with ASUA, including the university’s Giving Day fundraiser and community service in Tucson. Reactions from the senate ranged from intrigued to skeptical, and they resolved to meet again to discuss specifics later on. 

ASUA Executive Vice President Eddie Barron asked how the ALC was supporting smaller, non-Greek Life organizations. Mimi McVey, the senator representing the College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture, questioned how awards were decided at Evening of Excellence, and whether diverse perspectives were considered. College of Fine Arts Senator Dylan Crites raised concerns about ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion within the ALC.  

In response to these questions, Weaver repeated that the goal of ALC is to bring all organizations together in order to help each other, and stated their intention to make the ALC and its events more equitable in the future and to help ASUA reach a wider audience.

“Coming together, we can reach as many kids as possible that are interested in getting involved on campus,” Weaver said. 

Supporting sustainability

Additionally, students Madison Gerdes and Nolan Tomshack from the Campus Sustainability Fund committee presented to ask for continued support of their initiative, which approves grant requests for sustainability projects.

“Our mission is to fund both environmentally and socially sustainable projects throughout campus,” Gerdes said. “The money for this fund comes through the sustainability fee, which was actually helped to be pushed through by ASUA.”

The $10 per semester fee was approved in 2021, and student leaders from ASUA and Students for Sustainability helped to institute the fund. Barron affirmed that the executive team would continue to support the CSF and collaborate with them on a promotional video. 

Club updates

Aside from these presentations, Administrative Vice President Sara Kandel provided the senate with updates on the ASUA open house, Campus Pantry and Campus Closet volunteering, and events hosted by Feminists Organized to Resist, Create, and Empower (FORCE).

The ASUA Senate will meet again on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. in its office on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center.


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