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Editorial: Minorities well-represented in ASUA elections

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 24, 2000
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With the primary election for Associated Students of University of Arizona five days away, a new group of policy makers will soon be making decisions for the betterment of our university.

These soon-to-be elected officials will have the responsibility of representing more than 26,000 undergraduate students who differ in gender, ethnicity and age.

Last week, several multicultural program directors expressed their concern that too few minority students were running for office, and as a result, several groups on campus would be underrepresented.

Of all campus organizations, ASUA is at the top of the list of clubs that has a proportionate number of minorities.

Nineteen students have applied for ASUA Senate this year, five of whom - slightly more than 25 percent - are minorities.

UA's undergraduate enrollment rate is roughly 29 percent for all minorities.

Additionally, ASUA elections commissioner Gloria Monta█o said last week that 21 of the 63 elected and appointed ASUA positions are currently held by minority students. That figure equates to about 33 percent.

Simply, multicultural program directors should not be concerned because minorities are not underrepresented in ASUA.

Rather, they are continuing to thrive and represent their various areas of our university.

"I think that it's extremely important to have minorities represented in the Senate because there are lots of issues on campus," Alex Wright, the director of African American Student Affairs, said last week. "Minority students bring a different mix, a different perspective to the table, so its critical."

While Wright is correct that minority students can offer the campus a different view, it's not that they haven't been doing just that in recent years.

For starters, our current student body president, Cisco Aguilar, is a minority student. So is Ty Trujillo, one of the three candidates for ASUA president.

Monta█o said last week that she didn't target any particular ethnic group when recruiting candidates.

"I didn't go out just for minority outreach because my personal goal was to bring in people regardless to whether they were in ASUA already or if they were a minority," she said.

Students, whether Caucasian, black, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian, will run for ASUA if they feel they have positive ideas to bring before the student body. They will join committees for similar reasons.

Another important fact to remember is that while minority students may be able to represent minority groups, this does not necessarily mean that non-minorities cannot. Elected officials, by nature, must represent their entire constituencies, and in the case of ASUA, this includes every student on campus.

UA multicultural program directors have every reason to want to maximize their representation in student government.

But minority under-representation is not a problem right now. The number of ASUA minority officials is on par with the undergraduate ratio of non-white students.

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