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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA candidate endorsements

As the elected representatives for the nearly 40,000 students at this university, the candidates for Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate should serve as a cross-section of the diverse student body. They should know what the students want, know what they need and endeavor to promote the interests of the students in their proposed programs. The platforms of this year’s ASUA candidates extend the spectrum of good to really horrible, from promoting the representation of the students to throwing a concert/party/festival to promote love and understanding (and, probably, rainbows and smiles).

The majority of the candidates are young, inexperienced and ill-equipped to function as a legislative body of a government that does anything more than select a prom theme. Some may think ASUA doesn’t do anything and that these elections don’t matter, but voters must also remember that the organization has a 2009-10 budget of $1.5 million generated by students.

Different voters expect different standards from their elected officials, and a true representative body will reflect these expectations as well as possible. Each voter must decide whether we really need another film festival, whether ASUA should draft referendums on important political issues such as gun control and whether these senators really represent the sum of this student body. What ASUA and the people it claims to represent don’t need is another crop of drones who think a shuttle to Target and condom fashion show (two real platforms from this year’s spread) will do anything to fix the real problems that affect today’s Wildcats. We don’t need another candidate who thinks an attempt to revitalize Tucson’s downtown is what the students need. What we need are senators who understand that they are elected not to throw parties and take pretty press photos but to represent and remain accountable to their constituents.

Endorsements for senate:

Trevor Hill

Though he placed only 12th in the primary elections last week, Hill is one of the few candidates that is campaigning not on costly additional programs and more concerts but on representation. From his platform: “”ASUA’s main job is to be the voice of the student body and represent them … As such, I believe any issue that requires funds from the students should be presented and approved by the students.”” Hill has also expressed that he would like to expand the ASUA Senate from ten seats, which makes it the least representative student governmental body in the Pacific 10 COnference schools, to twenty at-large Senate seats. “”We have the technology to determine what students want,”” Hill said. If you are interested in ASUA being more of a government than a party planning committee with bloated coffers, a vote for Hill is, hopefully, a vote for a change.

Jarrett Benkendorfer

Like Hill, Benkendorfer’s campaign slogan is the forgivably punned “”Give U A voice in the 2010-2011 ASUA Senate.”” In his platform, Benkendorfer says, “”The Senate is in place to specifically vote in favor of its constituents.”” His plans include polling the students and creating a newsletter about ASUA Senate proceedings to “”let them know what issues will be brought up [in Senate meetings] and how the Senate is keeping up on their campaign promises.”” Though his plans for expanding the Undergraduate Council may be a bit misguided, Benkendorfer’s platform is also refreshingly void of plans to make new rules or “”create”” programs that already exist, as some of his fellow candidates plan on doing.

Endorsement for administrative vice president:

Hillary Davidson

According to ASUA’s Web site, “”The Administrative Vice President is responsible for assisting the directors in establishing a working budget (and) planning events … The position basically entails overseeing all 15 programs and services and ensuring that all is functioning as planned, as well as being knowledgeable about other events in ASUA.”” Though both candidates have experience with and knowledge of ASUA, Davidson’s stronger emphasis on student involvement makes her the more likely candidate. In addition to promoting existing programs and ambitious individual plans for keeping rising freshman, underclassmen and upperclassmen involved in campus life, Davidson plans to hold town hall-style meetings with community leaders every other week. She also plans to create an e-mail distribution list to promote programs happening on campus. Though some of her programs, including those involving bringing speakers to campus and events for potential freshman, could prove costly, Davidson’s enthusiasm and experience make her a strong choice for this position.

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