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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Student government general election endorsements

    Editor’s note: This weekend, the Arizona Daily Wildcat opinions board sat down with the candidates for the ASUA senate and executive offices. While the strength of the candidates varied widely, this year’s field was without a doubt the strongest in memory, with truly exceptional candidates in every race. It is the Wildcat’s pleasure to endorse the following candidates based on the strength of their interviews and platforms.

    President ? Erin Hertzog

    In the past four years, no candidate for student body president has been as qualified as Erin Hertzog.

    A journalism junior who is currently acting as Associated Students of the University of Arizona president, Hertzog is running on an incredibly ambitious platform. She plans to bring a major concert to campus that would trump this year’s offerings, in addition to hosting a gubernatorial debate and fighting for undergraduate and graduate issues alike.

    What is perhaps most exciting about Hertzog is that beyond her ambitious platform, there is a near-bottomless reservoir of research that she has tapped to make her promises a reality. For example, Hertzog brings a fresh perspective to concerts that would allow student government to actually turn a profit. As it stands now, it’s acceptable for ASUA to break even or lose money. That won’t fly under Hertzog.

    Additionally, Hertzog’s relentless position on student advocacy when it comes to differential tuition or remission for graduate assistants and teaching assistants proves that she is ready to work with administrators while simultaneously holding them accountable for their actions.

    Hertzog’s opponent, Matt Van Horn, has made a campaign out of promising to reform the supposedly tarnished image of ASUA. Hertzog has no need to make such a claim, as her platform and character will help engender a new era of outstanding leadership at the UA in terms of student government.

    In an era of political do-nothings and scandals, it’s refreshing to see Hertzog, with such confidence and candor, on the ballot. Students would do right by electing Hertzog, as she will ultimately do a lot right for students.

    Exec Vp ? David Reece and Rhonda Tubbs

    The hardest race to call in this election is for the office of executive vice president, in which both candidates are highly qualified but for different reasons.

    When Reece says he will work to achieve greater equity in club funding, find and eliminate areas of ASUA that are inefficient and cut down on wasteful spending, he means it. Also, while Reece’s platform does lack specifics, he brings a unique perspective to the campaign and the Wildcat is confident that he will be able to provide strong leadership to the senate that will hopefully translate into success.

    The Wildcat likes Tubbs because of her work ethic and accomplishments. She has proven as a senator that she puts in the time and makes the necessary connections to make projects a success. Now she is working to create security liaisons and is in discussions with the bookstore to allow students to work for textbook discounts. While Tubbs hasn’t proposed much to stir up the status quo, overall she is an excellent candidate.
    When it comes to this position, either Reece or Tubbs would be an asset to ASUA. It’s unfortunate the student body can only have one.

    ASUA senators ? endorsements

    Amid a remarkably strong field of senatorial candidates, four students stood head and shoulders above the rest. For that reason, the Wildcat strongly endorses the following candidates:

    Jessica Anderson
    Anderson has the makings of a rising star in ASUA. Her plan to improve wireless access on campus via corporate sponsorship is one that should have been undertaken long ago by other senators. Additionally, her idea of moving constituency council forums online has the potential to vastly improve communication between major campus groups and the student population at large.

    Matthew Boepple

    A senate veteran, Boepple hopes to remain in his post in order to reform the structure of ASUA, as well as help the senate look for reliable alternative funding sources for projects. His platform of promoting civic engagement is a noble one for the coming election season.

    Brad Burns

    Burns’ ambitious platform includes an overhaul of the way funding is allocated in ASUA, through which he hopes to dramatically increase the amount of money allocated to campus clubs and organizations. Burns will be a valuable ally in the fight against future student fees, many of which he rightly describes as wasteful and poorly defined.

    Lauren Conway

    Conway’s platform demonstrates that she understands the scope of ASUA’s power, and will be an effective senator as a result. She hopes to develop a better roommate selection questionnaire for incoming freshmen and institute off-peak incentive plans for the Student Recreation Center – both appropriate and attainable goals for a senator.

    Admin vp ? Jami Reinsch

    Although the Daily Wildcat did not endorse Jami Reinsch in the primary elections, the strength of her interview and her ability to demonstrate the feasibility and cogency of her campaign platform were so impressive that it now endorses her candidacy. Reinsch seems to have an exceptional comprehension of the importance of the diverse programming under the purview of the administrative vice president and will work to improve the efficacy of currently under-performing services and programs. She also presents interesting strategies to make the Wildcat World Fair a student-serving event worth the time and money that ASUA put into it this year. Even her plan for making legal insurance available to all students, which seemed unrealistic at first glance, is grounded by extensive research and plans for moving forward. Her previous experience in ASUA and the obvious passion she has for the position buttress the Wildcat’s confidence in this very qualified candidate.

    Senator Endorsements continued

    Of the remaining candidates for ASUA senate, five stood out from the field. Accordingly, the Wildcat additionally endorses the following candidates:

    Tom Connor– Connor’s goals of protecting students from fee and tuition increases and reforming the fund allotment process in ASUA are noble. However, he had difficulty articulating particular steps he would take toward those ends.

    Jen Dang – At first glance, Dang’s proposals – healthier foods in the union, more comprehensive student health insurance and reduced textbook prices – seem beyond the range of a student senator. However, the extensive research she put into her proposals indicates she is well aware of the difficulties she will face and feels herself capable nonetheless.

    Steven Gerner – Gerner’s platform also seems overly ambitious on its face – especially his plan to lower textbook prices. However, like Dang, his research and enthusiasm nonetheless indicate that he has the makings of an innovative, effective senator.

    Shawn Ingram – Ingram’s proposals to achieve campus-wide wireless Internet coverage and reform the men’s basketball ticket lottery are good ones, though far from novel. Ingram’s greatest asset is his obvious, overwhelming enthusiasm for the position.

    Samantha Kerr – Kerr is cut from the same cloth as Dang and Gerner – and it’s the right cloth for an ASUA senator. Her proposals are perhaps unrealistically ambitious but fitting for such an eager, genuine candidate.

    Though 10 senators will be elected this week, the Wildcat has elected to only endorse the nine candidates above. The remaining candidates vary widely in their goals and attitudes toward ASUA, but were all missing an essential component of a good senator: a willingness to thoroughly research one’s proposals. Though all were guilty of the same infraction, the worst offender by far was Kelsey Hawes, whose platform promises were without exception redundant, silly or impossible.

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