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Q&A: Katy Murray talks summer preparations

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Kyle Wasson
Kyle Wasson/Arizona Summer Wildcat

After being elected in March as the ASUA president, Katy Murray, a marketing senior, has promised to take an aggressive stance toward tuition cost and ASUA’s outreach to fellow students. During the summer, Murray and her cabinet are making preparations to ensure that her goals are met over the coming academic year. The Summer Wildcat caught up with Murray to discuss how these preparations are coming along.

Summer Wildcat: How does ASUA spend its time over the summer?

Katy Murray: Basically the majority of what happens over the summer is planning and preparation for the coming years. Now is my time to figure out exactly what projects I’m going to be working on and then I work closely with administration now to figure out what projects we can get. Currently, one of the biggest things that we’re planning is Vote 2012 and the whole UA Votes campaign because we want it to take off running right when school starts in the fall so all of that planning and preparation happens now.

This year’s really unique because the UA gets to choose the next student regent, so that process also starts right away in the fall. So we also are planning that timeline and that whole committee now.

One of the main issues that was focused on last year is keeping attendance costs down. How does the process work to maintain that goal?

It is a very complex process. Essentially, from the student level, my role really is to take in the student perspective. You have to take in all of those pieces and then say, “What do the students want?” And then that’s when it’s my job, my duty, to go to administration and say that this is what our students can and can’t take, and this is what we really need. Not only can you work with administration, but you can also work with the Board of Regents. This is where that student regent factor comes into play.

What were some accomplishments with last year’s presidency?

We did a lot. We established the student diversity coalition, which was something that we had been working on for the last two years. We expanded the Bear Down Camp, which is a camp for incoming freshmen to learn about university traditions and our history. We continued our conversations regarding bringing Spring Fling back on campus for the 40th anniversary and that is one of my biggest priorities this year. I would say another really big thing we did was bringing Mac Miller to campus last year. We had over 7,000 students in attendance all on the Mall and it was really just awesome to see that many students there. We did a lot of things looking back on it and it was an incredible year.

What were the shortcomings?

Something I’m working toward is increasing our outreach and our visibility to students. If there’s one thing that I’ve heard time and time again even from within ASUA, it is reaching out to as many students as we can.

And then probably my biggest thing that I’m undertaking would be working with the incoming university president, Dr. Hart, because essentially we’re the first group of students that she has the chance to work with. So it’s my goal to really show her what ASUA is all about, what the student leaders on this campus do, and I want to try to engage her with as many of the student leaders on this campus as possible.

In terms of outreach, what can students expect to see when they come back over the summer? Will there be obvious changes to what ASUA is doing to get student perspectives?

One of my biggest goals in terms of reaching out is going to as many student club meeting as possible. We have over 600 clubs on this campus, so I’m going to try to go to as many of their meetings, at least one, just to introduce myself, get to know the students, figure out what their biggest issues are and see if we can help them because I think personal contact is key and so it’s my goal to increase the number of personal contacts that we make.

How do students go about voicing their opinions with ASUA?

Our office is open every day. Something I’m going to do is I’m going to have one hour, and it’ll probably be bi-weekly, where I’m just in my office, available, sitting there, ready to talk to students. I want them to know that in addition to the ways that we’re trying to reach out, I would love nothing more than to see students come into this office and tell me what they want to see in our leadership, what they want to bring to campus, and how we can better serve them.

What needs to happen over the coming year in order for you to be able to say that your presidency was successful?

We had a president’s dinner at the end of April where all the past student body presidents come back and kind of impart their wisdom and knowledge, and the biggest thing that they told me was don’t lose anything for students. If you don’t lose anything for students, then you’ve already won a battle. On top of that, I would say from a personal standpoint my key to having a successful year will be if I can see students who I feel like I truly left an impact on, and if I can just leave at the end of my term saying that I left a legacy that will help future Wildcats. If I can leave something behind and come back in 20 years and say, “That was my contribution to the students,” then I will say that that was a huge success.

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