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A not-welcome wagon

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
August 24, 1998
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Matt Heistand
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Undecided freshman Bethany Martin (left) and her mother, Tammy Thomann, wait in the shade Saturday for ASUA representatives to take them on a tour of the campus. The tours were scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., but ASUA members never showed up.

What was supposed to be a happy and special day for new and returning students eager to tour the campus with their ASUA representatives turned out to be a bust.

As a part of Wildcat Welcome, a program designed to make students feel comfortable in their new surroundings, UA Associated Students officials were scheduled Saturday to lead newcomers around campus and help them find their classrooms. The problem - not one ASUA member showed up.

While only a handful of people came to take the tour, they were left standing in the 100-degree Tucson heat until they gave up and walked away.

"The whole thing is Wildcat Welcome week and this isn't making me feel very welcome," said Bethany Martin, an undeclared freshman.

Martin and her mother, Tammy Thomann, waited on the grass in front of the Douglas Building for about 25 minutes before they picked up their maps and decided to take their own private tour.

"It's kind of frustrating," Thomann said.

ASUA's Administrative Vice President Ryan Rosensteel said he was a tour guide on Friday, but knew nothing about Saturday's scheduled tours.

"That's really too bad that nobody showed up," he said. "I think it's unfortunate but I don't think it's typical of ASUA's behavior."

Rosensteel said the University of Arizona alumni office "dropped the ball" by not informing ASUA representatives that they were leading Saturday's tours, which began at 1 p.m.

"It's too bad that they used our name and didn't even tell us about it," Rosensteel said.

ASUA President Tara Taylor said she was aware of her responsibility, but Taylor went to the Student Recreation Center, where she thought the tour was supposed to begin. Brochures for Wildcat Welcome and an oversized poster on the front door of the Associated Students office, however, directed people to a location between Old Main and Centennial Hall.

Taylor also blamed the Welcome Week coordinators, who were unreachable for comment last weekend.

"It stinks because it reflects badly on us and not the Wildcat Welcome people," Taylor said. "We followed orders and wound up getting burned at the end. I wasn't going to question the authorities who told me what to do."

ASUA Executive Vice President Cisco Aguilar said he, too, regretted the mistake.

"If it says ASUA's going to do something, we should uphold that and be there," he said. "I don't know what happened and I really do feel bad about it."


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