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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Q&A;: Old dog, new tricks”

James Allen, a political science junior and current ASUA chief of staff, stands outside of Old Main on Monday. Allen is one of the three candidates for ASUA president.
James Allen, a political science junior and current ASUA chief of staff, stands outside of Old Main on Monday. Allen is one of the three candidates for ASUA president.

James Allen is one of three men running for president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. He is a political science junior.

 

Daily Wildcat: Why are you running for ASUA president?

James Allen: First and foremost, I am running because of my honest and raw passion for student advocacy. I enjoy what I do in ASUA every day, which makes it easy to get up and want to go do it. I believe I have a collage of experiences here at the UA — as a freshman I got to know the campus, the classes and meet people. Then I took steps to get involved in leadership roles. Now I know what it’s like to be a backbone of ASUA operations. Relating with other students is something I love, and it gets me up in the morning. I want to be able to sit at the head of those tables advocating and fighting for students.

How do you think your experiences in ASUA or other clubs will help you as ASUA president, if elected?

I can take my experiences from a wide variety of places on campus. Being involved in an honorary, Greek Life and ASUA can help me bring more involvement into the office and represent different sides. As the ASUA safety director, I helped put on a forum on gun control, a state of the student address, and it prepared me as a policy leader. Now, as the chief of staff, I work with the president and each entity of the office, which has given me huge insight to what I think is great. It’s been a great journey, and it became so clear to me that I want this.

If elected, what changes do you plan to make at the UA?

Being the student body president means putting the student first. My platforms are all about access, affordability and accountability. Access means giving students more access to clubs and groups, as well as ASUA. Many students aren’t aware of what we do and how we can represent their interests. Accountability means showing students how we come through for them through blogs, streaming live senate meetings, and communicating well overall. I want my presidency to hold all offices accountable as well. Affordability is the biggest thing, and I want huge improvements on fees and student input on fees. Students are fair, and they need the option to say what they need and understand why decisions are made the way they are. I want to focus on financial aid and fight the rising costs.

How are you feeling about the campaign process?

 

I am genuinely really excited to have this unique experience. It’s good knowing I can look back and say I had the honor to run. I have loved meeting new people since I got to the UA, and the scale I am doing it (at) now is just awesome. A lot of times, people look at who they know and what they are involved in to get the votes, but, as president, it’s your role to represent an entire community. While it’s great to look at influential groups that are great and necessary, I want to “”unlook”” the underrepresented groups and have a collage of support. Students have a voice, and it’s heard when someone is there to listen.

How are you feeling about your competition?

 

I am excited to know we have so many candidates running for all the positions; it’s such an important part of the democratic process. To have the diversity and the amount of candidates running makes it exciting for students because they have a choice. And students should have choices.

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