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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA executive candidates debate

ASUA administrative vice president candidate Brett Ponton makes his opening statements during the debates held last night in the Student Union Memorial Center

The candidates for the top offices of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona voiced their platforms and answered questions at the debates on Monday night.

For a crowd of several dozen, the two candidates for administrative vice president and the two current ASUA members running in uncontested races for the executive vice president and presidential spots faced rounds of questioning from a representative student panel.

The two unopposed spots went through a similar debate system to the ASUA senatorial debates on Thursday, though with five minutes for platforms and a question from each of the nine panelists chosen to represent the student body.

The real debate came between the two candidates running for the administrative vice president spot, Sen. Hillary Davidson and pre-business sophomore Brett Ponton.

Davidson presented her platform, which deal with direct student involvement through town hall meetings, outreach program to bond students and faculty on campus and a peer mentoring program implemented during orientation.

Ponton’s platforms dealt more with community building, focusing on cultural and arts preservation and student interaction with athletes with learning disabilities in the Tucson community, which would connect those on campus with the diversity of people off campus.

Both Ponton and Davidson were asked a series of questions from the panel and had the chance to ask a question in rebuttal to the other candidate.

Davidson thought the debate went well and served its purpose, especially for the administrative vice presidential race.

“”I think the debates were very informative just to kind of see the direction for ASUA next year,”” she said.

Ponton left immediately after the debate and was unavailable for comment.

Sen. Katherine Weingartner, executive vice presidential candidate, noted there was room for improvement in ASUA but wanted to work on both the governmental body’s image and the information students have about it.

“”I want people to know what we do, because it’s tremendous,”” said Weingartner during her time at the podium.

Emily Fritze, the current executive vice president and the uncontested candidate for president, noted that even for positions with one candidate in the running, the debates were beneficial.

“”I think that for the unopposed positions, it was a great way to see if they are qualified for the position,”” Fritze said. “”Especially since there was a diverse panel of students, I think that it was a good set up to see what candidates stood for.””

Audience members were unable to ask questions of the candidates, as the debates ran over time, said Justine Piscitello, elections commissioner for ASUA.

These debates were the last public forum for candidates to speak with voters. General elections will be held from 8 a.m. today through 8 p.m. Wednesday.


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