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ASUA cancels primary election citing low number of candidates (ASUA Notebook: 2/22/2019)

Chloe Hislop
Matthew Rein, executive vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, and Eller College of Management Senator Michelle Mendoza at the ASUA meeting on February 20. ASUA serves as the student government for the University of Arizona.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, UA’s student governance body, canceled their upcoming primary elections due to a lack of competitive Senate and executive races, discussed upcoming events and approved club funding during their Feb. 20 meeting.

Primary Election Canceled 

Marlon Freeman, ASUA election commissioner, briefed the Senate on the lack of sufficient candidates running for Senate and executive positions in the student government to warrant the scheduled primary election. 

“I have decided to cancel the ASUA primary elections due to the fact such elections would not eliminate any candidates,” Freeman said. 

          RELATED: ASUA discusses concerns over new Student Success District

Usually, the top two candidates for each senator and executive position would advance to the general election from the primary election. The primary elections, scheduled for March 18 and 19, would not have dramatically changed the general election races due to the lack of candidates for many positions. 

“It would be counterintuitive to have two elections that are identical,” Freeman said.

This comes after the Senate already moved back their elections, normally held in February, to late March, on the recommendation of Freeman. 

After failing to fill a number of Senate seats during last year’s election, ASUA has made a concerted effort to ensure every position has at least one candidate and no senators will need to be appointed without an election. 

ASUA’s general election, scheduled for March 25 and 26, will go ahead as planned along with a number of planned debates between candidates for executive positions. 

Club Funding 

ASUA approved close to $14,000 in funding for campus clubs appropriated by the ASUA Appropriations Board. 

Some of this funding will help UA’s National Society of Black Engineers attend a conference in Detroit and UA’s Model United Nations host an event on campus.

ASUA has over $40,000 left to distribute to campus organizations. 

Event and ASUA Updates 

ASUA was briefed on this year’s Spring Fling festivities on campus by Samantha Pear, Spring Fling executive director. 

The weekend of music and events will take place from April 12 to 14 with help from partnerships with Coca Cola, the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association and the University of Arizona Police Department. 

ASUA will be announcing a competition for artwork to display in their offices with cash prizes. 

Matthew Rein, ASUA executive vice president, briefed the Senate on ongoing discussions to alter the stipend system for senators and executive officers in ASUA. Budget discussions are ongoing. 

Campus Closet, an ASUA run organization that provides students with access to professional clothing, will host their first distribution day Monday, Feb 25, in the Career Services office located in the Student Union Memorial Center.

Students are encouraged to donate clothing at more than a dozen donation boxes around campus. ASUA plans to hold a benefit dinner for the organization later in the semester. 

          RELATED: ASUA approves funding for 18 campus clubs, most in single week

ASUA is organizing its annual “I Will” week to fight sexual assault and rape culture on campus. The Senate discussed a resource fair for students and drafting a resolution in support of students. 

The Arizona Board of Regents will host a public meeting at UA on April 12 to hear student input on the UA’s tuition and fee increase proposal before voting to adopt the changes in a meeting on campus later in the semester. ASUA is participating in tuition and fee meetings leading up to the UA’s official proposal to the regents in order to ensure students remain connected to the process. 

Check back with the Daily Wildcat next week for continued coverage of ASUA. 

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