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Monday March 19, 2001

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ASUA: promises made, promises kept?

By The Wildcat Opinions Board

ASUA boasts a whole new administration for 2001-2002, with a whole new set of campaign promises.

Let's hope these promises are not merely campaign-season rhetoric that the candidates spew to the UA community in order to get elected. If this set of ASUA leaders wants to prove itself to the student body, it should make its campaign goals materialize.

ASUA President Ray Quintero based much of his campaign on the goal of increasing student involvement. He and Executive Vice President Sam Chang both support moving the PULSE program to the Senate and improving its effectiveness.

The PULSE program, initiated by President Ben Graff, is a student polling program. ASUA can poll the student body to find out which programs and services students most deem valuable.

ASUA must take advantage of the PULSE program and actually put it to good use -only then will it be able to commit to programs in which students will actually participate. Then, programs like Fall Ball will not crash and burn after ASUA has already invested time and energy into creating them.

The new PULSE team should regularly poll the student body, and Quintero and Chang must see to it that this happens.

Extending the hours of the UA Escort Service was also a campaign goal among many ASUA candidates, including Administrative Vice President Tricia Williams and Sen. Jered Mansell. Both candidates, Mansell in particular, are focused on improving student safety.

But like the other issues, this one requires pro-active lobbying. While often the senate's power is limited to only voting in favor of or against programs, senators can also take it upon themselves to convince their colleagues in ASUA to support their ideas. Unless Mansell pitches his idea to the rest of ASUA and garners support, it will never materialize.

Finally, many candidates, including Sen. Jessica Patze, supported revamping the appropriations board. Often, clubs felt intimidated when they approached the board for funding. The board would sometimes not provide funds to the clubs that most needed it.

Considering that this board controls funds that so many campus clubs need, it is critical that these officers be pro-active in making improvements. Considering Patze's experience as a former leader of the appropriations board, she ought to spearhead this initiative.

ASUA campaigns litter the campus with brightly colored leaflets outlining candidates' platforms. They force students to stare at billowing white signs, painted in red, boasting nothing but candidates' names. Candidates are active and omnipresent, and suddenly very eager to hear about student concerns for the tiny window of time when they campaign.

But to prove that they genuinely care, ASUA officers need to make a concerted effort to be just as present and active year-round. Only then will the UA believe that their campaign promises ring true.