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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Voice for students grows larger

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Bill Mason, Cat Tran Driver (Brown hair) Dennis Cady, Cat Tran Driver (black and white striped shirt) AJ Dowgiert, Cat Tran Driver (Plaid/Checkered Shirt)

Started in 1913 as the student body organization of the university, ASUA has represented students with the goal of “engaging and empowering” ever since as the university’s student government on campus.

Comprised of executive, legislative and judicial branches, ASUA has a similar model of government as the United States, balancing power, responsibilities and duties throughout.

ASUA’s role is to build an inclusive environment that promotes leadership and wellness on campus and to be the voice for the student body from clubs, to events, to political action. If it involves students, ASUA is involved.

“We’ll plan pretty much anything that engages students,” said Evan Hastings, ASUA executive vice president. “That’s really what our purpose is—to get students involved with the school.”

Hastings has worked with ASUA since his freshman year and joined ASUA because he wanted to get involved with the UA community and meet new people.

Manuel Felix, ASUA president, encourages every student to get involved. Although executive and senate positions become available in the spring, there are still ways for incoming freshman to get involved through the Freshman Class Council, which begins during the fall.

Designed to be an introductory path into the organization, the council allows freshmen to shadow various parts of ASUA and shows them the inner workings of the organization.

The executive branch is made up of the president, executive vice president and administrative vice president. These positions are filled by an election process, and eligibility is based off the same rules as club eligibility.

As for the judicial branch, those five seats are filled by law students who are appointed by the student body president.

The legislative branch is comprised of 10 “at large” senators who have been elected in the same manner and with the same requirements as the executive officers. Next year, however, the election process will change, and the number of senators will double.

“We wanted to move the senate into the future,” said Michael Finnegan, the former senator who spearheaded the referendum and the current chief-of-staff. “It was an effort to increase the amount of students represented.”

For the 2016–2017 election cycle, candidates will campaign for a senate seat representing the college in which they are enrolled and will be voted on by students registered to their respective colleges. This means that each of the 17 colleges on campus will have a representative vested in their interests.

“Senators really wanted to represent their constituents better,” said Chris Hargraves, senior assistant dean of students. “They wanted to actually advocate for colleges and the students in those colleges.”

In addition to these 17 seats, there will be three additional positions for “senators at large.” Their responsibility will be to represent the interests of the general student population, much like the current senators.

More information about ASUA or how to get involved can be found on the ASUA website, ASUA.arizona.edu

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