ASUA Senate candidates talk platforms
A debate on Tuesday night gave the candidates running for ASUA Senate a chance to prove why they belong in student government.
Thirteen out of the 17 candidates running for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate turned out for the debate.
The candidates were quizzed by current ASUA president Morgan Abraham, executive vice president Danielle Novelly and administrative vice president Amanda Lester on topics such as their platforms and what it means to be a senator.
The candidates’ platforms focused on varied topics, from sustainability to on-campus dry cleaning services.
ASUA candidate Michael Finnegan explains his platform during a question and answer session at the Student Union Memorial Center Kiva Room on Tuesday.
Ellen Dunn, an ASUA Senate candidate and biosystems engineering junior, said she wants to bring a farmers market to the UA.
“I want to tailor it to the students that can’t go off campus if they don’t have a car and want the access [to healthy food],” Dunn said, “or are just passing by and want a healthier option.”
Dunn also provided statistics on ASU’s farmer market, saying that it was a successful project and that many vendors and farmers found it a great place to sell their produce.
William Box, an ASUA Senate candidate and pre-business freshman, said he not only wants to extend the hours of Safe Ride’, but also hopes to implement the preferred name policy that would allow transgender students who have not legally changed their name to have their preferred name on D2L and on their CatCard.
“My goal is to make students feel much more comfortable and accepted at the university,” Box said.
Several candidates suggested having the UofA Bookstore offer more online textbook options and increasing parking at the Student Recreation Center.
Josh Wexler, an ASUA Senate candidate a neuroscience and cognitive science junior, said he supports increasing the availability of online textbooks. Being involved with ROTC helped him to understand his responsibility to the university, Wexler said.
“You work for your people, and your people come first,” Wexler said. “This is my people, this is my family. I believe my role on campus is to be their voice.”
Michael Finnegan, an ASUA Senate candidate a philosophy, politics, economics and law major, said he supports bringing solar power to campus, creating a quality of life survey and expanding the number of restaurants that accept CatCash.
Finnegan said he hopes to install solar panels on the parking garages on campus, which may lower the cost of parking on campus, and is willing to work with the Office for Sustainability and the Institute of the Environment to make this happen.
Finnegan said he also wants to survey students to see how they feel about ASUA projects.
“The obligation of the ASUA is that they need to know what the students are thinking about the programs they’re putting on,” Finnegan said, “ask people what they personally think, increase the people that know about ASUA.”
Elena Gold, a philosophy, politics, economics and law sophomore, is a returning senator running for re-election.
Gold said she wants to extend the alternative spring break program to winter break as well, which would be a cost increase of $4,000. Gold added she hopes to create a resource and supply center for clubs.
Joey Steigerwald, an ASUA Senate candidate and political science freshman, said he wants to offer medical amnesty for students who are in need of medical attention for overdoses and alcohol poisoning.
“Cornell installed a policy like this in 2002,” Steigerwald said. “Their policy protects victims also, and increases people getting educated and people calling and getting help.”
From the pool of 17 candidates, the ASUA elections will select 10 students to be part of the senate.