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pacing the void

By Amanda Riddle
Arizona Daily Wildcat
May 2, 1997

Newly elected ASUA officials take office


Robert Henry Becker
Arizona Daily Wildcat

After handing the UA Spirit Stick to ASUA President Gilbert Davidson, former President Rhonda Wilson begins to whisper the presidential "secret" to him at yesterday's inauguration. The new ASUA senators and cabinet were also sworn in.

In her final act as ASUA president, Rhonda Wilson handed over the UA spirit stick and whispered the presidential "secret" to the new student body president Gilbert Davidson last night during ASUA's inaugural festivities on the UA Mall.

Wilson thanked all the elected and appointed officials who helped her throughout the year, then stepped down to let the 13 newly elected officials be sworn in by Associated Students Supreme Court Chief Justice Dev Sethi.

"I hope that we can say we dreamed the important and gave it our all," Davidson said to about 40 audience members, who included Provost Paul Sypherd, Dean of Students Melissa Vito, parents and students.

In the ASUA general elections, Davidson received 71.85 percent of the votes, defeating Wilson, who was running for a second term as ASUA president.

Wilson, an accounting and finance senior, said she will not be involved in ASUA next year. She said she will focus her priorities on graduating.

"Overall," Wilson said, "I'm pretty happy with my year. It has been a positive learning experience for me."

Wilson said one of the highlights of her year was completing the split of the Graduate and Professional Student Council from ASUA, which brought about the need for a new constitution.

The new constitution went into effect yesterday.

"This allows for next year's group to focus more on the job they are supposed to do and represent the students," Wilson said. "It allows for next year to be very successful."

After the inauguration, Davidson, former Senate chairman, said his plans for the summer include interning in the UA's Budget Office.

"I hope this will give me insight on how to better advocate for the students and get money for projects," he said.

Davidson and Executive Vice President Casey Cuny said they will use the summer to organize a new ASUA event called CatsFest '97, a back-to-school concert on the UA Mall scheduled for the end of August.

Administrative Vice President Tara Taylor, who received a Hershey's bar and keys to the office at the inauguration from Mindy McCollum, the former vice president of programs and services, said she will work this summer to establish a 1-800 phone number for Escort Service.

Establishing the number and increasing the awareness and accessibility of programs and services were Taylor's main campaign issues.

Along with the three executive officers, 10 new senators were also sworn in.

Former Sen. Maile Weigele said earlier that the new Senate should focus on learning the constitution and getting along with each other.

One of the major changes in the new constitution is to increase the number of senate seats from eight to 10.

Weigele said creating the new constitution was the highlight of the Senate's work this year.

Since the election, newly elected Sen. Mary Peterson said she has been attending Senate meetings and studying the new constitution.

Sen. Leslie Hunter, who was also sworn in yesterday, said she wants to make sure KAMP Student Radio receives its student fees money next year for the purchase of an antenna.

This year, the Senate worked with the student-run radio station to get its referendum on the spring ballot. The referendum, which passed by 82.65 percent of the voters, allows a $1 per semester charge to be added to tuition bills for the purchase of an FM antenna that can broadcast throughout Tucson.

Former Sen. Ryan Anderson said the KAMP referendum was one of the positive contributions this year's Senate made to the student body.

Sen. Cisco Aguilar said that since his election in April, he has been organizing the ASUA "Meet Your Representatives" event that will take place today.

Students can meet the new ASUA officers on the UA Mall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. KAMP radio will broadcast on the Mall from noon until 1 p.m.

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