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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ASUA needs new adviser

    After seeing many student governments come and go in his 13 years as Associated Students of the University of Arizona adviser, Jim Drnek is looking for a replacement.

    Drnek, who was promoted in October, will take on responsibilities previously held by former associate dean of students Alexis Hernandez, and will not be able to fulfill the responsibilities as an adviser.

    To take on the additional responsibilities that Hernandez held while he was there is a full-time job in and of itself, Drnek said, and those responsibilities prevent him from being an adviser.

    Drnek said being around students was one of the best parts of the job and it kept him going for 13 years.

    “”Being an adviser was an extremely rewarding and professional experience,”” Drnek said. “”The students are creative, bright and have great ideas and being around them and their optimistic energy energizes me.””

    ASUA President Erin Hertzog, who has been involved with ASUA for three years, said Drnek’s promotion is bittersweet.

    “”Rather than showing us one direction, he shows us the different paths and supplies us with different information and opportunities,”” Hertzog said.

    David Martinez III, ASUA elections commissioner and newly appointed non-voting student regent, said that he will miss Drnek’s advice and support.

    “”I could always count on him when things got tough for good advice,”” Martinez said. “”It was also an amazing opportunity working with him on elections.””

    The search for a new adviser began in November when the Dean of Students Office, working with ASUA leadership, developed a position description, Drnek said.

    ASUA Treasurer Carrie Pixler researched past advisers during the fall semester and looked at the responsibilities they held to create an overall position description, Hertzog said.

    After forming a general position description, UA officials from various departments on campus, and ASUA leadership formed a search committee to find a new ASUA adviser.

    The search committee, which is comprised of five students and five different administrators from a variety of backgrounds, including the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, the ASUA staff and the UA Department of Risk Management and Safety, will choose the new adviser by July 1, Hertzog said.

    Dean of Students Melissa Vito and Senior Associate Dean of Students Carol Thompson, along with Drnek and Hertzog, laid out the requirements and expectations to the search committee who is now accepting applications.

    What makes the search for a new adviser unique from other departments on campus is the heavy involvement of students in the search.

    “”It’s important that the process has a lot of student involvement,”” Hertzog said. “”ASUA is primarily a student-run organization, so the person in the adviser position has to work for the student.””

    It is important that advisers do not interfere, but rather guide the students involved in ASUA.

    “”We want an adviser that the students can feel comfortable approaching and who understands that it is a student-run government and that they should be doing the job on their own,”” Drnek said.

    ASUA officials also want their independence maintained and want an adviser who understands the role he or she would play in advising ASUA.

    “”The position of adviser is to give advice on what they should do or not do,”” Hertzog said. “”The position is not to run the organization or influence policies or people.””

    Though Drnek will not play the adviser role, the new adviser will report to him.

    “”I’m really excited to identify a person to put in place,”” Drnek said. “”I’m looking forward to getting the best person for the job.””

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