The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

66° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASUA executive candidates debate platforms, ideas

Steve+Nguyen%2FThe+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ATaylor+Ashton%28left%29+and+Issac+Ortega+%28right%29+speak+on+their+views+in+the+ASUA+executive+debate+in+the+SUMC+Kiva+Room+on+Sunday%2C+March+9th+at+7pm.
Steve Nguyen
Steve Nguyen/The Daily Wildcat Taylor Ashton(left) and Issac Ortega (right) speak on their views in the ASUA executive debate in the SUMC Kiva Room on Sunday, March 9th at 7pm.

The remaining candidates vying for executive positions in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona fielded questions from a panel of moderators at Sunday’s debate.

Daniel Douglas, a philosophy, politics, economics and law sophomore and the only candidate for administrative vice president, opened the debate with a brief speech about his platform. Douglas discussed how he wants to create two summer sessions for Bear Down Camp because 14.5 percent of incoming freshmen currently do not get the opportunity to attend.

Douglas said he also wants to increase the budget of the Pride Alliance.

“[The Pride Alliance] is a place where LGBTQ students feel at home,” Douglas said. “The work they’ve done with Coming Out Week and other events are things that have constantly been growing, and I think they need more money to expand their efforts.”

After Douglas wrapped up his platform, the debate turned to the two executive vice-president candidates, Jordan Allison, a journalism and gender and women’s studies junior, faced off against Daniel Anderson, a political science and psychology junior. Allison emphasized her desire to reach out to first generation students, and said only 27 percent of first generation students make it to graduation.

Anderson discussed increasing ASUA’s digital scope by creating an app to show when club advocates are available as well as posting more on the Facebook page and having information more readily available on the web.

“We’re not effective if we’re not ensuring that all the information and knowledge we have is made available to the students who are seeking that knowledge out,” Anderson said.

Allison also said it is implausible to reach every single student on campus, but Anderson disagreed.

“You’re setting yourself up for failure if you have that kind of mindset,” Anderson said.

After the candidates’ closing statements, the questioning turned towards the presidential candidates: Taylor Ashton, ASUA chief of staff, and Issac Ortega, ASUA treasurer.

Ashton opened with an overview of his platform, describing it as clear, tangible and simple.

“We’re the ones driving this institution, and it’s important that the decisions have the best interests of the students in mind,” Ashton said. “I am confident in my ability to bring change.”

The discussion turned to the accessibility of ASUA, which Ashton emphasized as a major part of his platform.

“The one thing that I would change is making sure that students know that they can come up to ASUA and talk to us,” Ashton said.

Ortega said that encouraging students to come to ASUA is important, but it’s only the first piece of the puzzle, and that ASUA has to be willing to go to the students as well.

Both candidates agreed that a good relationship with the Graduate and Professional Student Council was necessary for moving in a positive direction with ASUA.

“We really hammered out the beginning of a collaboration with GPSC for years to come,” Ortega said.

Ashton also introduced the idea of a task force that would meet several times over the year to discuss the budget and find out where students’ money is going. One member of the task force would be from the Daily Wildcat, which would then produce a one-page spread on the issues brought up at the meetings and inform the student body on what happens with their money,
Ashton said.

The candidates closed with a discussion of their qualifications and why they want to be president.

“This place is my home,” Ashton said. “I am dedicated to doing whatever I can to bettering it.”

Ortega said he wanted to make a difference in the community.

“Right now is the defining moment of our university’s history,” Ortega said. “I do it because I care.”

More to Discover
Activate Search