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Section Header
Candidate Profiles: President & Executive Vice President

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday March 10, 2003


J.P. Benedict
Candidate for president

Benedict plans to boost school spirit

J.P. Benedict has known the words to "Bear Down Arizona" since he was five years old. As a third generation Wildcat, Benedict believes that he harbors a love for UA that only a student body president could have.

Benedict, a business management and marketing senior and director of the Freshman Class Council, is running for the office of student body president. Last week he won 40.22 percent of the vote in the primary election.

If elected president, Benedict said he promises to increase school spirit by delegating a student liaison between the athletic department and ASUA to serve as the student voice in athletic decisions.

"School spirit is not necessarily athletics, but I think a lot of it comes out in athletics," Benedict said.

He said that the most important thing about being a UA student is having pride in oneself and one's college, citing his involvement in painting the "A" on ASU's mountain red and blue.

"There's a balance between having fun and getting things done," Benedict said.

As director of the newly formed Freshman Class Council, Benedict said that he knows what it means to have fun, but still get the job done.

After many years under the guidance of the Alumni Association, the FCC was moved to ASUA last year.

The group, which consisted of 40 new students at the beginning of the school year, is now comprised of about 20 consistent members. But Benedict said that despite the number of dropouts, including three transfers, the FCC has been an effective addition to ASUA.

The FCC initially met weekly, but this semester meet bi-weekly, often for dinner or a social outing. Members have also attended legislative and Arizona Board of Regents meetings.

"We have a lot of fun. If you're not having fun with your job, you're not going to be effective," he said.

In the last year four members of the group volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, 12 attended the AIDS walk and almost 20 took part in the FCC car wash. They are currently establishing a new program that will allow clubs and organizations on campus to paint fire hydrants in the club's name. Additionally, they implemented a question-and-answer program that allows freshmen to e-mail a question to the FCC to be researched and answered.

A common concern on many freshmen minds is where to live next year.

Benedict said he plans to create an online renter's guide that will provide more specific information about apartments in Tucson.

"We need something accessible for the students," he said.

With running mate Melanie Rainer, Benedict said he will continue to lobby the state Legislature to ensure that the student voice is heard and considered in all legislative decisions.

""First and foremost they need to increase access to students," he said.

Benedict also said he hopes to reestablish the Collaboration Board, which would consist of leaders from various campus organizations like the Residence Hall Association and the Arizona Daily Wildcat meeting monthly to develop more interactive student programs.

In doing so, Benedict said he intends to develop more open lines of communication throughout campus, and thus, develop more unity and spirit.

"That's my thing, working with people and talking," he said.

- Rebekah Kleinman

Jered Mansell
Candidate for president

Mansell focuses on representation

Jered Mansell wears his school spirit literally. The presidential candidate can often be found patrolling the sidelines of men's basketball games at McKale Center wearing nothing but short shorts, red and blue paint, and a cape that reads, "Zona Zoo-Keeper."

"I love this campus," Mansell said. "I love everything about it."

The current administrative vice-president said he believes that his passion for UA

will enable him to succeed as student body president.

Last week's primary election showed Mansell, a political science and economics senior, in second place with 37.45 percent of the vote behind J.P. Benedict.

But despite his standing after last weeks election, he said he is confident that he will come out on top this week.

Mansell said he has the dedication to the student body that is essential to being president. A job that he believes has only one main responsibility student representation.

"ASUA has an ego," Mansell said. " I could care less about credit as long as people are benefitting."

If elected president, Mansell said he would institute an open-door policy for his office, allowing students more accessibility to ASUA; something he said has been lacking in the past.

"They can find the Bookstore fine and U-Mart fine, but they can't find a representative body and that's a shame," he said.

The idea of accessibility is important to Mansell because he said there are many programs and services provided by ASUA that students do not know about, and many others that students do know about, but are unaware as to how to get involved.

Mansell also said he believes that increasing student awareness can be accomplished through more outreach on the part of ASUA to other groups on campus such as the Residence Hall Association and the University Activities Board.

He has served as a resident assistant for three years and attributes his involvement in RHA and the everyday lives of students to his ability to understand the need to increase student awareness.

Mansell said he hopes to do so by running a weekly column in the Wildcat to announce upcoming ASUA events as well as the ASUA senate agenda.

Mansell said he also plans to work hard to keep the Arizona Board of Regents from raising tuition further, something the board said it would not do.

"I'm going to hold them on their word," Mansell said.

As administrative vice-president, Mansell has worked to improve several programs, including the Women's Resource Center, making it, he said, the strongest it's been in years.

Mansell has also helped establish the SafeRide Express, a program that shuttles students to and from the Student Union Memorial Center until 4 a.m. The program will begin later this month, and will allow students living near the closed Park Student Union to enjoy the new union, safely.

Prior to serving as administrative vice-president, Mansell was an ASUA senator.

Mansell believes that he is the most qualified candidate because of his ASUA experience, and his dedication to the students.

"I do have the best working understanding of ASUA operates," Mansell said

- Aaron Mackey

Executive Vice President

Scott Cheney
Executive vice presidential candidate

Cheney wants strong senate

As an ASUA senator, Scott Cheney knows what it's like to have lofty goals.

The executive vice presidential candidate knows his experience and knowledge is important to help other senators accomplish their own objectives during their individual terms.

"I understand the trials and tribulations that a senator will go through to try to accomplish those goals," Cheney said.

If elected, the biochemistry junior said he will work to "provide a little push" to senators to ensure that they accomplish something, "even if they can't achieve their own platforms."

Cheney, who also served as chair of the appropriations board, said he would also like to oversee the club funding process.

"I would really like to get the word out that we have this money for (clubs)," he said.

However, Cheney voted in favor of the club funding measure last week that banned clubs that receive funding from other entities on campus from any ASUA funding, with the hopes of creating within each club a more self-sufficient means of funding.

If elected, Cheney said he also wants to enact a program, called UA Latenight, he and members of the Freshman Class Council designed.

The UA Latenight will provide students with a safe alternative to partying. The program would utilize students, faculty and parents to fund and organize alternatives to alcohol-related activities.

In addition, Cheney said he would like to enforce ASUA office hours. He said that as a senator, he was there for his office hours, and he believes it is a responsibility of elected ASUA officials to attend their office hours to open the lines of communication between ASUA and the student body.

"I really feel that the senate can be more utilized," said Cheney, who believes that doing so, after his own experiences as a senator, will make him a stronger executive vice president.

Cheney said that one of his key objectives, however, is to encourage senators to complete their campaign goals.

"This is where I've been involved and what I know most about."

Despite his self-proclaimed lofty goals, Cheney received more votes last year that any of his opponents.

- Kristina Dunham

Melanie Rainer
Executive vice presidential candidate

Rainer pushes club e-calendar

Melanie Rainer, a business economics junior, has never been a student senator, but says that her experience in an ASUA appointed positions makes her the best candidate for executive vice president.

Just last week, Rainer, a student lobbyist and voting member of the Faculty Senate, had a slight upset when the Arizona Board of Regents all but ignored the student tuition proposal she helped construct.

But now she's focused on winning the seat as the chief commander of student clubs and organizations.

"Clubs are the heartbeat of this university," she said.

And to certify that, Rainer wants to help clubs advertise more, but not just with signs and advertisements.

Rainer wants to create an online personal calendar for students, possibly through Student Link. Students would choose their interests at the beginning of the semester, and then their calendar would be updated as related events are organized.

In addition, Rainer wants to market a "ClubCard" to area businesses for student clubs and organizations. The card would give clubs a discount at stores ASUA frequents.

"It would be good for the clubs and the businesses," she said.

Before this year, when she worked closely with President Doug Hartz on the student tuition proposal, Rainer was a club advocate.

She also co-found the Freshman Class Council. After going to Texas A & M University with student government presidential candidate J.P. Benedict, Rainer said the two got the idea for the council. Rainer sees the council as a chance to build school pride and at the same time enhance the quality of students running for ASUA senate.

Rainer trailed Senator Scott Cheney in the primary with 46.33 percent of the vote.

But Rainer's confident, saying she just needs to grab 123 more votes to win.

If she wins, Rainer will oversee the senate, and she said she wants to empower senators to get more things done and be accountable to voters.

"If your senators are not educated, you're not serving the students," she said.

- Daniel Scarpinato

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