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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA hosts meet-and-greet

    Aaron Elyachar, political science freshman, talks with Sens. Jimmy MacKenzie, left, and Jason Mighdoll on Thursday at an event designed to enable students to meet ASUA officials.
    Aaron Elyachar, political science freshman, talks with Sens. Jimmy MacKenzie, left, and Jason Mighdoll on Thursday at an event designed to enable students to meet ASUA officials.

    A small crowd of seven students mingled with members of ASUA yesterday afternoon in the Student Union Memorial Center. The informal mixer made senators available to answers students’ questions about running for a senate position next semester.

    Though the elections will be held in March, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona want to reach out to students early and “”try to find one of the largest and most diverse candidate pools for the spring elections,”” said Kenny Ho, ASUA elections coordinator. “”This is just one of our events to get students out there and find out what ASUA is,”” he said.

    ASUA is also going “”to do more info packets,”” which are available at their office, and is contacting different departments, colleges, Greek organizations, and clubs around campus to see if “”they can nominate students who they think will be really qualified candidates,”” Ho said.

    ASUA President Tommy Bruce said this is the first time in his tenure at UA that students have been invited to a mixer with members of ASUA.

    “”We’re really trying to ramp up the opportunities for students to learn about getting involved with ASUA early,”” because traditionally most of the people who run for office either have friends who ran in the past or have already worked with ASUA themselves, he said.

    “”We want to give everybody a chance to be on the same playing field,”” he said. “”We want people to know that it is very accessible to run.””

    Aaron Elyachar, a political science freshman, said he plans to run for the ASUA senate and found the event “”very helpful.””

    Elyachar’s questions ranged from what being a senator entails to specific advice about his platform.

    “”I feel like I gained so much experience out of it … I feel very confident now,”” he said.

    “”I’m looking forward to the next couple of months. It’s going to be one heck of a ride,”” Elyachar added.

    Kseniya Efremova, also a political science freshman, said she is interested in “”getting involved with something that actually affects students that go to UA.””

    Efremova said that many students wait until their junior or senior year to run for office but that “”the earlier you get involved the more experience you get.””

    “”I feel that you don’t really need to be older to make a difference; even as a freshman you can help out,”” she said.

    The mixer was open to all students, including those who are not thinking about running for office but want to meet members of the student government, said Bruce.

    Lucy Patterson, an art and elementary education senior, said she “”just wanted to come meet people and check things out.””

    Patterson said she was most interested to learn that ASUA runs the A-town program, which informs its members about social justice issues.

    Ho said he had expected 10 to 15 students to come to the mixer, adding, “”obviously when you do events you prefer really big turnouts but if we can reach even 1 person about ASUA then I am excited.””

    “”I hope we can do more of these events and get more of a student response,”” he said.

    Bruce said that ASUA plans to have “”quite a few”” of these events at the beginning of next semester, because “”before you know it elections will start and the application process will start.””

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