Get to know the ASUA election candidates
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona will be holding general elections for next year's senate and executive leaders on March 3-4. Here's everything you need to know about this year's candidates.
Noah Vega is a candidate for executive vice president of ASUA.
“I’ve been quite involved on campus,” Vega said in an email. “Sydney Hess [president of ASUA] gave me the opportunity to become the policy director for ASUA. While being in meetings and planning on long term developments for students has inspired me. As of right now, I am working on financial literacy programs with Senator Madison Smith."
Vega said working with this year's ASUA executives, President Hess and Executive Vice President Bennett Adamson, inspired him.
"While working alongside [Hess] and [Adamson], I was able to get a more inside look as to their responsibilities," Vega said. "Stepping into meetings here and there for them, I fell in love with the atmosphere, knowing an undergraduate student could make change on campus. Meeting students and faculty with fascinating stories and understanding two sides of the story opened my mind to reach out to more individuals to get their say on certain topics.”
Vega’s priorities as executive vice president would include streamlining and simplifying the club registration process and ensuring club funds are allocated equitably.
Running for the position of executive vice president, Vincent Jasso is studying political science and public management and policy. He is also the UA Debate Series lead intern and a multicultural clubs scholar board member.
“I chose to run for executive vice president because I’ve seen division on campus among the student body,” Jasso said. “This division has been caused by both various events on campus and within our society as a whole. I look to help heal this division, if elected.”
His plans are focused on hopes to boost several organizations on campus. He stated he would do so by providing more funding to smaller clubs and create committees that bolster collaboration amongst the clubs. He also would create a cultural festival that all the cultural centers on campus would have the opportunity to participate in to help promote inclusivity and unity on campus.
Maryan Hassan is the only candidate running for administrative vice president of ASUA.
“My campaign, 'See Commitment, Feel Change' focuses on three platforms; Advocacy, Student Engagement, and Integrity," Hassan said on the ASUA elections website. "I will be an advocate for students and be a leader who amplifies student voices by taking initiatives that commit to student concerns and needs, and addresses these concerns based on the student’s terms.”
Hassan’s priorities as administrative vice president would include addressing sexual assault on campus and increasing student engagement by making clubs and organizations more accessible to those who experience marginalization.
Anisa Hermosillo is the only candidate running for College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture senator.
“I promise to work hard and diligently to connect the CAPLA students to the events and opportunities on the University’s campus and vice versa," Hermosillo said on the ASUA elections website. "I promise to uphold the dignity and prestige of my college through my actions and communication between ASUA and CAPLA students. I promise to create a better environment within CAPLA that encourages the outside engagement in extracurricular activities and organizations throughout the University’s campus. Not only would I serve as the voice of CAPLA, but I will be the individual that enacts positive change in CAPLA that coincides with the University’s policies and betters the college’s environment as a whole.”
The candidate running for senator for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is Esther Lopez, a student majoring in agriculture tech management with an emphasis in leadership and communications.
“I decided to run for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) senator because I wanted a way to become further involved with the university and a chance to make a difference,” Lopez said.
The foundation of her campaign is building a strong community within CALS. She wants to be a voice for the rights of students and advocate for them, and to find a way to showcase how valuable the CALS students and faculty are to the university.
The candidate for the College of Education is Ella Wood, who is studying special education and rehabilitation. She hopes to help other students find the same community she has in the college and be the voice for other students.
She hopes to implement more career-centered support that prepares students for the real world, as well as working with staff to make sure all digital resources are updated and reliable for students that need them. She also hopes to highlight all the opportunities in the college that students may not be aware of, like mentorship programs and scholarships.
Swathi Ramkumar is a candidate standing in the ASUA elections for the College of Engineering.
She said on the ASUA website, “My goal is to bridge the gap between students and professors to foster a deeper understanding of course material and applications within industry. I also wish to design an outreach/mentorship program for both underclassmen and upperclassmen for opportunities in the industry, within the university and abroad.”
She plans to partner with local organizations to enhance the engineering experience. Considering the strength of the college, her profile on the site states, “I believe that creating a cohesive community within the engineering college to cultivate personal and academic growth is fundamental to our stories as college students. I hope to be able to represent the 2,500 students who call this college home.”
James Brown is a candidate for College of Engineering senator.
Brown’s priorities as senator of the College of Engineering would be to promote inclusion and diversity among the engineering student body.
John (Jack) Haskins
Haskins is a freshman currently enrolled in the dance and philosophy, politics, economics and law program, or PPEL, programs and is contesting for the senate position of the College of Fine Arts.
“I’ve been practicing dance for 11 years and hold it as one of my greatest passions," Haskins said on the ASUA elections site. "Even more so, I’m dedicated to serving others in the best ways I know how and I’m confident that would be as your Fine Arts representative.”
The goals that he plans to achieve whilst in the position are specifically listed as follows: “Streamlining communication and collaboration between CFA majors of varying fields. Bolstering campus-wide exposure for the work of CFA majors and exploring opportunities for students to create work in the name of progressing the University. Addressing the issues unique to each CFA major and the students within them.”
His most valued qualities in leadership are inclusivity, ingenuity and compassion.
Marisol Ibarra is a candidate for the College of Medicine. She is a third-year physiology student.
“I hope to connect students to experiences outside of academics that will help foster their success in applying to jobs or professional schools’ post-graduation," Ibarra said on the ASUA elections site. "I would like to implement a program akin to Research Matchmaking for clinical and/or shadowing experiences that physiology majors seek out. I would also like to collaborate with resources centers outside of the college of medicine in order to provide even more diverse opportunities specifically for physiology students.”
She is a first-generation college student and promises to make herself available to suggestions from students if elected to the post.
Kalia Kang is a physiology student now running as one of two candidates for College of Medicine senator. Her experience as a student on the medical track has inspired her to run for College of Medicine senator because she wants to help students be successful in the field.
“I decided to run for my position because I wanted to represent an amazing body of students,” Kang said. “I also am super passionate about this position because I can help advocate for and empower people that do not feel as though they have a voice on a campus as large as this one.”
She wants to build an environment that supports, challenges and engages students, which she hopes to do with a few of her ideas and with projects already put in motion by the current College of Medicine senator. If elected, she would like to create a student council for the college to help highlight diversity and inclusion, as well as start a peer mentorship program to connect undergraduate and graduate students. Along with these two ideas, she also would like to implement a program for students to study for the rigorous MCAT.
“I, ultimately, just want to do the best that I can for the student population that I would be representing," Kang said, "and would be completely open to any and all ideas that would benefit the college as a whole.”
Miller, a second-semester junior majoring in nursing, is running for College of Nursing senator.
“I am committed to fostering and enhancing 'excellence, balance, social responsibility, and creativity', not only in the students but in the community as a whole," Miller said on the ASUA elections site. "My platform entails promoting professional development among existing and prospective students. I aim to integrate the college’s interdisciplinary approach, while also expanding in order to create programs and workshops that give students the basic tools, they need to create a resume, interview, network, and communicate effectively. By creating these types of programs and workshops, my hope is that students will be able to feel confident as they move forward into the real world. Though already a very encouraging and supportive environment, I hope to bring this collection of faculty and students even closer together; I want to ultimately expand on current relationships, while also facilitating new ones.”
Isabelle Perea is a candidate for College of Science senator. She is currently majoring in molecular and cellular biology and minoring in biochemistry.
“This year I decided to run for the College of Science senate position, due to my increase of campus involvement within different communities which has allowed for me to increase my awareness on certain issues,” Perea told the Daily Wildcat in email correspondence. “One of my many passions is helping students as much as possible, which I do with my current job as a peer mentor within the FirstCats program. For this reason, running for senate will allow me to help those in my community. I want to make sure that the College of Science is meeting the needs of diverse students.”
Perea’s main priority as senator of the College of Science would be to focus on improving the way in which students are connected to undergraduate research. She would invest time and resources into developing a central website or application where students and lab coordinators can communicate with each other.
One of the candidates running for senator of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is Alexandra Devereux. If elected, she would focus on professional development, a strong relationship with ASUA and finding more study abroad opportunities for SBS students. Another thing she hopes to do is implement a career fair that would help students find internship opportunities and post-graduation plans.
As a senator, she would aim to be a familiar face for students and hope to have direct relationships with SBS students to improve their experience.
The other candidate running for senator of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is Benjamin Grimm, a junior studying political science and history.
The focus of his campaign is promoting complete accessibility, promoting and encouraging voting and voter registration among students and creating more opportunities for students, like creating connections with future employers and increasing participation in clubs.
He hopes to enrich every student's experience in the college if elected to the senate.
Miller, a first-semester accounting major at Eller College of Management, is running for the Eller senator position.
“I am from a very small town in Colorado. I graduated from high school with a class of 26 students," Miller said over email. "In my hometown, I grew up with my parents running their own business. I am also a part of a new club within Eller that works with freshmen on their professional development (ELITE).”
Miller said he believes he is the right candidate because he is willing to be a "sound board" for Eller students.
"I am ready to be receptive of suggestions and concerns that my peers have and be able to voice those suggestions and concerns to ASUA,” he said.
Alison Berlowe is a candidate for College of Public Health senator. She is currently a junior studying public health with an emphasis in health promotion.
“I chose to run in the election because I have several friends that are active within ASUA and I have been lucky enough to see how they are able to impact the university as well as grow as a leader, which is what initially piqued my interest,” Berlowe told the Daily Wildcat in email correspondence. “Looking into it further I have noticed that not many students within my college, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, are involved with student government or even realize that they can participate … I'm very excited and grateful for this opportunity and I look forward to possibly representing my college as well as UA!”
Berlowe’s main priority would be forming more connections between ASUA and the College of Public Health, specifically by increasing marketing of programs such as Campus Pantry and the Student Health Advocacy Committee to students of the college.
Nora Day is a candidate for Student Body senator.
In the primaries, her vote share was the highest among the candidates. She has a spinal cord injury with cerebral palsy, but this does not stop her from being a support system for the students.
Her profile on the ASUA candidate page states, “I have been fortunate that in my time at the University of Arizona, I have met the most kind and supportive students. No one has ever said that they wouldn’t open a door for me and to help me. I am forever grateful — and now I want to begin paying it forward to my fellow members in the UA community. I will serve as a support system to the students, providing my knowledge and help whenever it is needed. If you see me on campus, or shoot me an email, I will always give up some of my time to help you."
Lady Dorothy Elli
Lady Dorothy Elli is a candidate for student body senator. She is currently majoring in speech, language, and hearing sciences and pre-public health with minors in American sign language and Spanish.
“As a student body senatorial candidate, I am leading this campaign simply because I want to serve,” Elli told the Daily Wildcat in an email. “A position in ASUA is a position of service and not just of leadership because, at the end of the day, effective progress and change are determined by the student body and not by oneself. For the first time in a long time, here is a candidate who is willing to sit down, listen to your concerns, and work with you to implement positive change on campus instead of deciding for you. We’ll run together.”
Lady’s priorities as a student body senator would include diversity and inclusion, health equity and mental health awareness, first-generation students, sustainable initiatives, and resource accessibility on campus.
Running for a position as student body senator, Sami Muslmani wants to make the campus a better and safer environment for all students. He hopes to do this by focusing on transparency and raising engagement, which would see better exposure to what all the colleges have to offer and helping the freshman students during their transition. His focus also includes systematic and health aspects, like implementing more sanitation systems across campus and finding a more efficient way to utilize students' meal plans.
Muslmani believes that as a candidate, the constituents always come first, and hopes, if elected, that his platforms will better the university as a whole.
Rodrigo Robles is currently a business student, hoping to major in business management with a minor in Spanish. Robles is also currently an ASUA senator looking to be reelected. He would like to keep the legacy of a former president and former senator that represented his hometown of Nogales, Sonora, as well as helping the community on campus.
As senator, he said he found a passion for helping others and working with clubs on campus, which he would continue to do by reaching out to them and informing them of how to get more involved and the resources available to them.
He also said he hopes to increase sustainability efforts across campus, continuing his movement of converting to stainless steel straws and keeping it strong.
"As a Senator at large, it takes a lot of commitment and I like to listen to what the students want or changes around campus," Robles said in an email. "It is a huge responsibility to be part at our Student Government because it’s an honor to represent not the first, not the second, but the third person to represent from my hometown which is rare because most of us go here at the University of Arizona."
Jordan-Isaiah Toyos, a political science student, is a candidate for student body senator
“I want to see more representation in ASUA, I want to see effective change and student success," Toyos said in an email. "My three platforms are first-generation student support, student professional development, and outreach. Some things I plan to do during my term is creating peer mentors in every college. Each mentor will work alongside that college-specific senator in creating monthly workshops based on the eight dimensions of wellness.”
Toyos said he has straightforward plans and a passion for helping other people.
"When something does not go my way, I always have a backup plan," he said via email. "I have learned many things that I wish I would have known as a freshman, and now it is time for me to give back to my wildcat community in ways that I couldn't come into college.”
Harris Scharf, an aspiring student body senator, is focusing on three primary platforms: mental health, accessibility and diversity.
"Mental health is an issue that needs to be taken seriously," Scharf said on the ASUA candidate website. "According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide was the second leading cause of death amongst Americans aged 10-34 in 2017. It is our responsibility to ensure that students have access to the support they need."
To improve accessibility, Scharf says he will work closely with UA's Counseling and Psych Services and ASUA's Student Health Advocacy Committee.
"We must increase awareness of the existing resources and provide for all students regardless of their financial status," Scharf said on the site. "I want to be a genuine representative of the UA population."
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