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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Students ride with senators

ASUA senator Lindsay Hartgraves, a pre-education and English sophomore, stands by a safe ride car on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011.  Hartgraves rode in safe ride cars on Monday night to better connect with the student population.
ASUA senator Lindsay Hartgraves, a pre-education and English sophomore, stands by a safe ride car on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. Hartgraves rode in safe ride cars on Monday night to better connect with the student population.

Safe Ride helps students get from point A to point B — and now helps student officials reach their constituents.

Last year, former Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. Hillary Davidson, now a director for ZonaZoo, utilized ride-alongs to gauge student opinion.

“”When I went on my ride, I was able to explain some of the programs and services that we offer, including Safe Ride,”” said ASUA Sen. Lindsay Hartgraves, a sophomore studying pre-education and English. “”But it’s been really great hearing student opinions and their concerns on campus.””

Hartgraves said hot topics like creating a resolution for or against the proposed gun laws and the formation of a fall break to span the full Thanksgiving week were both on the list of subjects for students. A lot of students knew about bills in the Arizona Legislature, but not about how they impacted them, according to Hartgraves, something she said she was happy to discuss.

Senators go on two-hour blocks throughout the night to talk with students.

“”Safe Ride and Chris(topher Wozny) have been really great,”” Hartgraves said. The transition from idea to reality was short due to the collaboration between the two offices.

Sen. Chad Travis is going on his ride-along later in the week, and added that topics will vary in the coming weeks but the random sample of students in the Safe Ride cars allows for a more widespread view of campus opinions in a more comfortable setting.

“”It’s a great opportunity to talk to students,”” Travis said. “”Because I know from campaigning, students don’t want to talk on the (UA) Mall. You are walking somewhere, that’s why you are on the Mall.””

Emailing students does not give the “”face-to-face interaction”” ride-alongs do, said Travis.

Hartgraves handed out her contact information to students leaving cars on Monday but thought flyers announcing ASUA events and vacancies in the office might be a nice way to further educate students.

“”Roll with a Senator,”” where ASUA members use golf carts to take students from class to class and hear their opinions on issues, is an extension of the program Hartgraves also thought could be coming in the future.

“”It’s nice to hear different opinions that might not always be around the office through a program that could develop into something later on,”” Travis said.

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