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ASUA officers inaugurated


Aaron Farnsworth
Arizona Daily Wildcat

ASUA President Cisco Aguilar hands off his symbols of office to next year's President Ben Graff at the inauguration ceremony yesterday on the UA mall. Along with the "A," Graff received a signed men's basketball team ball, keys to the president's office and an Arizona Daily Wildcat punching bag.

By Audrey DeAnda
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
May 2, 2000
Talk about this story

Graff reaches his goal of student body president

Ben Graff has been president of his class every year since 8th grade and yesterday he fulfilled his dream of becoming student body president of the University of Arizona.

Graff was inaugurated yesterday afternoon on the UA Mall along with the other Associated Student new vice presidents and senators in front of parents, students and university administers.

Ben's mother, Sandra Graff, and 15-year-old sister Emily, were among the 50 people watching the ceremony.

Sandra Graff said she helped Ben write his 8th grade presidential speech and said he has always wanted to be student body president at a university level.

"It's what he's always aimed for," Sandra Graff said. "He was born a president."

Outgoing ASUA president Cisco Aguilar presented Graff with a variety of traditional gifts including the UA spirit stick, a basketball signed by past ASUA presidents and an academic "A."

"He can see this 'A' and think of the last name Aguilar," he joked.

Aguilar added that he has confidence in Graff.

"I think he'll do a good job," Aguilar said. "I just hope Ben has dedication to the students, he does sometimes hold that one student voice."

Graff is approachable, friendly and responsible, Aguilar said.

"He always gets student opinion before making a change," Aguilar said. "He knows how students think and what students want."

Graff, who served in ASUA as executive vice president last year after being a senator the year before, said as president he wants to change the face of ASUA.

A lot of changes are occurring on this campus with construction, Graff said.

"We're changing the face of U of A for the better, but as we change the face of the university, it's time to change the face of ASUA," Graff said.

Graff said the Arizona State Legislature needs to take the student government more seriously and ASUA needs to be more involved in faculty issues.

Graff added that the group of students inaugurated yesterday are servants to the rest of the student body.

"It's time to make the students see ASUA differently," Graff said.

ASUA's vice presidents and senators were also inaugurated in the ceremony.

Graff presented the new Executive Vice President Erick Negri with a gavel inscribed with his name, the executive vice president plaque and the keys to his office.

The hardest part about being executive vice president is not being able to express your opinion, Graff said. The position is a non-biased member of the senate.

"The incoming Executive Vice President Erick Negri is a very opinionated person, and he will have trouble holding to that part of the job," Graff joked.

Former Administrative Vice President Viviane Safrin presented her successor Tiffany Podbielski with a UA flag, a plaque and keys to her office.

Safrin said she has full confidence in Podbielski.

"Her strong will and great people skills will help her succeed," Safrin added.

ASUA Supreme Court Justice Robin Klein also swore in the 10 new senators.

Michelle Lee, one of the new senators sworn in yesterday, said she was excited to take office.

"Everyone is really tight," Lee said. "We're going to work well together next year."

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