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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

What do you want in an ASUA president? You told us, Mikey Finnegan answered

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“I expect the ASUA President to represent the interests of everyone, both students and faculty on campus. I believe it’s important for students to have their voice heard, in any issue. The biggest [problem] I noticed are some of the free speech protesters. While I am in support of the First Amendment, I think there needs to be a line drawn.” – Grayson Largman, a finance junior.

Mikey Finnegan: Great question Grayson. To answer your first point, being a former ASUA Senator, I have had the privilege of representing students and faculty. Faculty and student interests typically run hand-in-hand, especially regarding the university’s academic standing. Research funding is a vital issue too that students and faculty want more of. It is estimated by the year 2020, ASU will have more research funding than the UA. We as students must do something in order to keep our world renowned research. Now, for your second question, this is a difficult issue due to the fact that the UA is a free speech campus. We can not ban people from expressing their views, but we can limit the spaces where they can express those views. ASU and other campuses around the nation do not put their free-speech zones in the direct center of campus like the UA does, i.e. on the Mall. As ASUA President, I will work with President Hart and the free speech office to move these free-speech zones into more less-populated areas of campus to make sure that we students who are already working so hard are not offended going from class to class.

“I think, from a UA student, someone who is going to represent us well. Obviously, someone who is going to be outstanding academic wise and doing community service, helping the students and hearing our voices as well.” – Aarynn Majeta, a finance junior

MF: Being an Eagle Scout, I understand the need to benefit our community. Community service is the best way to represent students. When we go to the state legislature and brag about what are students are doing not only in the community, but in the world, it helps them understand the need to fund universities and the benefits the UA can bring to the community.

“I expect the ASUA President to be in communication with the students at all times, just bridging that gap between the school at-large and the students.” – Sheriff Akanni, a psychology junior.

MF: As a student body senator, I restructured our old and out-dated 10 at-large senators, which were mostly comprised of business and political science students. Now, our new system is comprised of over 20 senators and 17 of them represent the colleges on campus. We also have three at-large senators. This gives every college and student a voice which can be heard by your student government from the colleges of Fine Arts to Optical Sciences. As student body president, I will be allowed to push through these changes and set the ground work for years to come.

“I expect them to keep the student interest in mind when they go forward making decisions. I expect them to try and keep diversifying and talk to everyone on campus and not just focus on their goals. I feel like a lot of people get caught up in what they think is best and don’t talk to the student body. I think UAlert is really weird. We get notifications for random things like a gas leak and we won’t get them for bigger things like gun shots. I think that’s something that should be definitely looked into.” – Nick Jackson, a pre-finance freshman

MF: Great point regarding the UAlert system. What is the point of having such a system when it doesn’t even warn you about dangerous events on campus or near campus? The reason is the university wants to look good and not cause a panic, but in its attempts to do such the university puts students in danger. Currently. ASUA is beginning a discussion with faculty and administration about such an important campus safety issue and as president, I will get administration to keep the students informed about all events that may serve as a danger to students.

“It’s weird because I don’t even think of them as being part of the campus. But I’m sure that it’s a safe and productive environment as it could be with the given resources. I go to poetry readings and they get out at 8 p.m. and I don’t know if there would be a way to organize it, but there is no one in the center of campus and it just feels extremely unsafe as I try to make my way from one end to the other.” – Sasha Hawkins, a creative writing sophomore.

MF: Thanks for the question Sasha. The student body senators last year helped fund an app called LiveSafe, sponsored by the University of Arizona Police Department. This app can be downloaded through the app store and you can use it to tell family, friends, even UAPD where you are. Think of it as a portable blue light that you can turn on and off. Also, increasing the patrolling that UAPD does on campus, not just via car, but more importantly walking through the Mall and in other less lit areas of campus.


Follow Lauren Renteria on Twitter.


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