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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASUA Senate endorsements

The Daily Wildcat editorial board individually interviewed 21 of the 24 candidates running to represent students in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Board members could easily tell which candidates would be able to live up to that goal. The people who are the student voice in tuition and fee discussions, have thousands of dollars at their disposal and oversee all recognized clubs on campus should be knowledgable, logical and elequent. The following candidates stand out among their competition and understand how to work to solve ASUA’s weaknesses.  

Michael Weingartner

Michael Weingartner is a member of the ASUA Appropriations Board, which provides funding for UA clubs and organizations. He is also the younger brother of ASUA Executive Vice President Katherine Weingartner.

As an ASUA insider, Weingartner’s platform is pretty standard: fiscal responsibility, transparency, diversity and financial aid. However, with his experience and intelligence, he seems like a candidate who can practice what he preaches. He has pledged to reach out to specific groups on campus, including transfer students, international students and veterans. He has successfully identified underrepresented and uninvolved groups and pledged to get their input. He will work to expand upon ASUA’s current financial aid workshops and centralize financial aid resources.

The Wildcat endorses Weingartner, a smart candidate with achievable ideas, for ASUA Senate.

Danielle Dobrusin

Danielle Dobrusin served as a senate aide to current ASUA Sen. Deanna Mariner. From that role, she has been able to see which programs work, and acknowledges that ASUA is not very representative of its constituency.

Dobrusin has pledged to change that. She proposes half of senators’ required “”office”” hours — 10 hours per week — be spent outside of the ASUA offices, at locations such as the UA Mall. She knows students don’t tend to seek out senators, so she would have senators carry literature describing exactly what ASUA can do for the average Wildcat. But, to the Wildcat’s mind, Dobrusin’s most exciting platform expands diversity and social justice awareness programs like Tunnel of Oppression and Collegetown. In particular, she would work with the four Greek councils to create a Greek Life-specific version of Collegetown.

Because Dobrusin clearly understands some of ASUA’s shortcomings, and pledged achievable reform, the Wildcat is proud to endorse her.

Chad Travis

Chad Travis is, in his own words, “”not done representing the students.””  

As the only senator running for reelection, Travis said he wants to continue working on the student-centered programs he began, such as a shopping shuttle for campus-bound students. With a year under his belt, Travis would also provide leadership to a new senate class.

Travis’ secondary platform, having the UA administration integrate a fall break into the academic calendar, is the most exciting platform of any senatorial candidate, though probably lofty. His work on the project, along with that of Sen. Lindsay Hartgraves, is a well thought-out and methodical approach, based on historical shortcoming of previous attempts.  

The Wildcat endorses Travis for ASUA Senate due to his experience, worthwhile senate projects and even the slightest chance of a fall break.

Marielos Castro

Marielos Castro, though only a freshman, has cultivated a well-developed platform for her ASUA senatorial campaign.  

After experiencing her own financial hardships as a first-generation college student, Castro said she wants to help combat increasing tuition and fees. But instead of encroaching on the lobbying effort of the Arizona Students’ Association, Castro would like to help students get increased financial aid and scholarships.

To achieve this, she proposes adding links on UAccess to FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and Scholarship Universe, a UA website where students can search through compiled scholarships. Castro also proposes to introduce monthly workshops to help students apply for scholarships and write the daunting accompanying essays.  

The Daily Wildcat is excited to endorse Castro for ASUA Senate for her simple yet helpful solutions to rising student costs.

Robert Rosinski

As a veteran, father and small-business owner, Robert Rosinski has a worldview different from any other candidate. Though never a member of ASUA, Rosinski has experience in student service with the Arizona Students’ Association.

His commitment to safety on campus and transfer students to the UA are well-grounded platforms, even if slightly vague on details. In addition, Rosinski has  innovative cost-cutting ideas. His platform to turn appointed ASUA positions into internships and having the UofA Bookstore print UA-specific supplements to general textbooks, thus relieving students of having to constantly buy new editions, are cost-cutting and innovative.  

His “”broader and more encompassing vision”” is why the Daily Wildcat is proud to endorse Rosinski for ASUA Senate.

Carlita Cotton

A member on the ASUA Appropriations Board, Carlita Cotton has experience working within student government and, as she is not a traditional student, would bring much-needed diversity to the senate.

If implemented, Cotton’s transfer orientation program, a two-week buddy system for transfer students, would bring a viable service to an underserved population. Also, Cotton’s focus on expanding and fixing problems with CatTran would directly help students. Her platform to create a campus-wide Google calendar for student events is probably a bit too idealistic for implementation, but the sentiment demonstrates her devotion to students.

The Daily Wildcat is proud to endorse Cotton for the ASUA Senate because of her experience within ASUA and her diverse perspective.

Josh Ruder

Josh Ruder’s studies in physics clearly influence his reasonable, methodical approach to ASUA.

Ruder plans to create a website similar to Wildcat JobLink focused on increasing students’ accessibility to internships, and preparing students for entering the work force. Although he lacks experience and knowledge about bigger issues like tuition and fees, his approach to student government is scientific. Ruder exercises caution and restraint before taking a stance, and for this, the Wildcat endorses Ruder for ASUA Senate.

Kevin Elliott

Kevin Elliott is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and ROTC. This combination, in addition to his drive and impressive but achievable platform, makes Elliott an excellent choice for ASUA Senate. As he points out, ROTC and Veterans’ Affairs traditionally have little representation in ASUA, and as such, go unheard. Elliott will fight for these groups — focusing especially on priority registrations for veterans on government scholarships that require they finish school in four years — as well as for the rest of the student body. He is committed to taking ASUA to students, in person and on social media, and sees ASUA as a “”mediating body between the students and the higher-ups”” that isn’t performing at its best.

Because of his pledge to represent voices not often heard in student government and his commitment to bringing ASUA straight to its constituents, the Wildcat is proud to endorse Elliott for Senate.

Jason Brown

Jason Brown speaks fluent ASUA. He began his involvement in Freshman Class Council, and served as Executive Vice President Katherine Weingartner’s chief of staff. He understands that massive overhauls aren’t possible in just one academic year, but has singled out achievable changes.

Brown would like to focus on broadening ASUA’s representation by bringing international students into the fold. Those students, though sometimes not on campus for long, still bring in creative new ideas, he said. He would institute a program for ASUA to become more involved in the acclimation process for these students. Brown also proposes a system of budgeting for senate projects from early in the new senators’ terms, and have senators fine-tune those budgets as their financial needs became clearer. He would also attempt to put any extra senate money into a scholarship fund.

Brown understands ASUA’s capabilities and limitations, and hopes to help the senate be as effective as possible. For these reasons, the Wildcat endorses him for ASUA Senate.

 

Endorsements for ASUA candidates are determined by the Daily Wildcat editorial board. Board members are Kristina Bui, Ken Contrata, Michelle A. Monroe and Heather Price-Wright. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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