Q&A: ASUA president-elect discusses goals
Katy Murray, a marketing junior, is the president-elect of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. The Daily Wildcat asked Murray about her plans to effectively represent the UA’s undergraduate student body.
Daily Wildcat: What are the top three issues that our undergraduates will face next school year and how do you plan to fight them?
Murray: One would be to just maintain an affordable cost of attendance for UA students, which outgoing President James Allen did great this year by “advocating for zero.” We need to ensure that we have zero to minimal increases in tuition and fees.
Secondly, ASUA needs to work on its outreach to really represent the voice of all students. Next year, we are going to strengthen our student diversity coalition that was started this year by bringing in more interns. I am also creating a new position, the leadership and development director, which is designed to link new student programs, freshman retention programs and transfer student programs. Student government really hasn’t had a huge role in tapping into the student experience from day one.
Lastly, I want to make sure our students are civically engaged by voting in the upcoming presidential election. I hope to work with the community to make sure our students are heard loud and clear in the election and that we amplify the youth vote.
Allen was all about lowering the cost of attendance. How exactly do you plan on continuing that?
I plan on working with organizations like the Arizona Students’ Association as well as our own students to really get feedback on what they want. I want to maintain strong connections with the Arizona Board of Regents and our administration, because they make a lot of decisions that directly affect students.
In addition, regents Chairman Rick Myers will have an office on campus, so we will have the opportunity to work closely with him. I am really excited to continue our presence at the state Capitol and lobby the Legislature.
How are you going to work with faculty, students, administrators and legislators to advocate for students?
The best way to work with these different parties is communicate with them and always be open to what they have to say. We need to be in constant contact with them, whether it means traveling on my end or scheduling as many meetings with them as possible.
This summer, I plan to form various relationships at the local and state level so that we start on a great foot in the fall. It needs to be easy to talk to administration, faculty and the regents, and I would like to know them on a personal level as well.
How do you plan to balance your duties as president with school, your sorority and a social life?
Time management has always been a huge priority for me, and it is something I really had to learn this year. For me, school always comes first because I truly believe that you can’t be a strong student leader without being a strong student. I will be working on my honor’s thesis next year, but I will prioritize all of my duties.
I love “to-do” lists and I will figure out what needs to be done in a timely manner. School comes first, then the presidency, then any other obligations.
What do you think will be your biggest weakness and strength as ASUA president?
I am a perfectionist, which is what I think will be my greatest weakness. I like to do everything myself because I want things done in a certain way. I need to learn to rely on my directors, because they have great areas of expertise. I want to have great relationships with them and trust they can carry out their duties.
My passion and love for this position will be my greatest strength. I absolutely love serving students. I can’t imagine doing anything else next year and my love for advocating on their behalf will help me stay strong, no matter what happens.