The Associated Students of the University of Arizona hosted a forum with all senate candidates who won the primary elections on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
The forum featured a panel including ASUA Executive Vice President David McGarey, Administrative Vice President Lorenzo Johnson, ASUA Senator Erin Thompson who represents the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, as well as Senator for the College of Education Briana Chaney.
All 16 candidates advancing to general elections introduced themselves and their platforms, then each candidate answered four questions asked by the panel.
Common themes from the candidates and panel were food insecurity, diversity, inclusion and connecting the campus community with ASUA.
Katie Christopher, the senator for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is running to retain her position, with expanding campus pantry through volunteers as one of her platforms.
“I think to expand campus pantry, you have to have the donations and you have to have the volunteers behind it,” Christopher said. “And so, I think that if there was a more organized way to sign up the volunteers, then those volunteers can be expanded along with senators managing their outside office hours with campus pantry.”
At-large senate candidates Anthony Rusk and Rocque Perez also addressed food insecurity across the campus.
Perez is running on a platform to increase support of the UA Campus Pantry through finding alternative use of student fees.
“There’s so many fees that we use,” Perez said. “Not in particular to campus pantry, but utilizing, I think it’s the student activities fee, where we can go in front of students and we can request to utilize those funds for the purposes that the students and student advisory board see fit.”
Rusk said he would like to see food insecurity on campus addressed in a way that uses the competitive nature of UA.
Named "The Hunger Games Food Drive," the UA would compete in a food drive with Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University to see who can raise the most amount of food for their food bank of choice.
“It’s collaboration and it's setting an end goal that everyone's interested in,” Perez said. “Whether it’s the food drive itself or beating NAU and ASU, as ridiculous as it may seem.”
Many of the candidates spoke of diversity and inclusion through education and connection through clubs.
Kelly Dorney, also running for an at-large senate position, recognized the space for different diversity programs at UA.
“I want to make sure that students are not only aware of those programs,” Dorney said. “But, feel confident in joining them, so they have that diversity.”
Sedona Lynch, running to represent the College of Public Health, said she wants to make sure that diverse communities in dorms feel safe and comfortable.
“I want to do that by including various programs that both RAs and students can be a part of to improve safety and comfort,” Lynch said.
Connecting the campus community with ASUA was a topic met with many angles and ideas.
Khenda McIntee, one of two candidates running to represent the Eller College of Management, says she wants to make that process as smooth as possible.
Eric Roshak and Bennett Adamson, running to represent the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, told the panel that they would continue to engage in dialogue after the campaign cycle.
All candidates who participated in the forum will be in the general elections held on Tuesday, Feb. 27 and Wednesday, Feb. 28.
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