The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

59° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Is ASUA capable of doing anything?

    It’s November and the semester’s end is fast approaching. For the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, that means election season is just around the bend, and ironically it seems as though the last meaningful act to come out of the ASUA office was inaugurating the most recent group of student leaders.

    You don’t need a detailed memory to recall the debacle that was last year’s presidential race. To be fair though, let’s not beat a dead horse. That election is over and done with, but the promises made thereafter coupled with the actions thus far can’t be ignored.

    The terms of all ASUA members are nearly halfway over, and it’s hard to point to anything they’ve achieved. While this has always been a issue for ASUA, it seems more apparent this year. Even a follower of ASUA’s actions would conclude that little has occurred.

    It seems that many UA students have no clue what ASUA does or what they’re currently doing. This, of course, is a given. Not everyone cares where ASUA’s budget of nearly $1.5 million goes.

    When ASUA President James Allen was elected by way of special election last spring, he wrote a letter to the Daily Wildcat on April 27. Amid an onslaught of criticism, Allen promised to “continue to act with professionalism,” to “address (ASUA’s) flaws and to restore legitimacy to (the office of president).” He also touched on the flaws in the elections code, claiming it “was unprepared for an election of this capacity.” He even went as far as to say that ASUA was “unprepared to handle a competitive election with diverse and avid candidates” and “ill equipped” to respond to the scandal.

    Allen’s message was perfectly timed. It seemed like a healthy dose of reality from a candidate who had otherwise been mum on the issue of flaws in the code or the process. However, Allen’s presidency seems to be characterized by inaction and apathy appears to be a problem for the entire organization.

    Nonetheless, the elections code has yet to be reformed. This is particularly important considering the “research period” where interested candidates may begin to ask questions of elected members of ASUA and gather information, is fast approaching with the candidacy period in February. The very fallacies Allen promised to rectify remain on the books and are hardly being discussed.

    Additionally, ASUA has entirely undone all of the efforts toward achieving the “transparency” that the organization worked so hard to establish. Former ASUA President Emily Fritze’s presidential blog, which was set up to enable the president to speak to the campus community more regularly and shed light on the goings-on in ASUA, was terminated. To be fair, the posts were getting outdated anyway, a point raised earlier in the year. Furthermore, ASUA has lagged in publishing the senate meeting minutes. The most recent minutes are from Oct. 5. even though the senate meets every Wednesday.

    Fixing past problems and transparency are key to rebuilding ASUA’s reputation, and both have been neglected. How do you inform people of what exactly you do? You publish public documents so that at least those who want to know can be informed. How do you get the opinions of the day-to-day student or let them know what is going on? Create a forum where your day-to-day actions and views as an elected student representative are documented.

    It’s bad enough that ASUA has done seemingly nothing all semester. Terms are nearly halfway over and what does ASUA have to show for it?

    Aside from sending some ASUA members to the Conference of Arizona Student Leaders, what have our senators done this year? Advancing student leadership skills is fine and dandy, but when will it benefit the rest of the student body? It is necessary to aid the skills of ASUA’s internal staff, but if all ASUA is doing is helping the people who are already working for student government, then ASUA is not really helping anyone at all.

    In the past, you might have said that ASUA was ineffective or even misguided in its efforts. This year, you can’t say that anymore. To be labeled as either, ASUA must first actually do something.

    — Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Bui, Storm Byrd, Nicole Dimtsios and Steven Kwan. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

    More to Discover
    Activate Search