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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA senate at-large candidates talk diversity on campus

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate candidates talked diversity, race and preachers on campus.

Trinity Goss

ASUA Senate at-large candidate, Trinity Goss, is trying to promote diversity on campus and alluded to the racism seen at the University of Missouri, during which the UA Black Student Union held a protest in solidarity with the UM students.

“I’ve been really involved and active in trying to promote diversity in an effective way,” Goss said. “An example of that is my club, the Black Student Union, held a demonstration and, as a result, the faculty held tours of each of the cultural centers and resource centers.”

While this act of racism at Buckle’s home shocked students and faculty alike, racist sentiments against the Muslim community at the UA is nothing new to the Islamic Center of Tucson, located off campus on First Street.

The vandalism of the ICT by residents of the Sol y Luna apartments has been a reoccurring problem the past two academic years, the most recent incident occurring in January. The last incident prompted a meeting between the apartment’s management and ICT administration, which resulted in eviction of residents.

Joey Steigerwald

Joey Steigerwald, another ASUA Senate at-large candidate, discussed the vandalism of the Islamic center. Steigerwald addressed the growing problem of prejudice against Muslim students and the Muslim community.

“Islamophobia is becoming a real issue and, unfortunately, that’s not something we’re immune to even though this is a place of higher education,” Steigerwald said. “If I was elected, I would try and help make an environment that’s more accepting and understanding of different cultures; maybe have different events on campus that highlight cool things in other cultures.”

Lorenzo Johnson

In light of recent events, there are many resources on the UA campus that promote diversity, but some think that these resources are kept in the dark. Senate at-large candidate Lorenzo Johnson feels these resources are under-represented and wants to find a way to make students more aware of the centers available to them.

“A lot of students don’t [know] about the resources offered by the Martin Luther King Jr. Center,” Johnson said. “If elected, I would work on making students more aware of the resources available to them on campus.”

John Oliver

John Oliver, senate at-large candidate, spoke specifically about campus preachers who directly obstruct students’ welfares by telling women they deserve rape and speaking negatively about homosexuality.

“I really disagree with what Brother Dean is doing. I believe that we, as students, have a right to freedom of speech. We have that right to express our views how we want,” Oliver said. “But as soon as those views infringe on the rights of others, then that’s a problem.”

Oliver also expressed his support of the petition that strives to remove these preachers.

Shanna Nelson

Diversity remains a topic high on the list for the ASUA. The candidates have some ideas on how to make the UA a more diverse campus.

ASUA Senate candidate Shanna Nelson agrees with her opponents that the UA can improve in diversity. She wants to include more students from different ethnicities in hopes of making the ASUA all-inclusive.

“There is a lack of diversity in ASUA. I think by making ASUA more available to other students who aren’t involved with it, we could create more diversity and allow people to get more involved on campus,” Nelson said. “My plan for that is to have office hours on the mall and have town hall-style meetings.”

Matt Lubisich

Matt Lubisich is a current ASUA senator running for re-election. He said there is reason to take a look at campus-wide diversity.

“There are voices that are speaking out, specifically within the cultural centers. There’s definitely a reason why they’re speaking out,” Lubisich said. “As an ASUA senator, I feel it’s my responsibility to come to them and see what issues they have with the university and talk about it.”

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