By Christie S. Peterson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
One of Ben Driggs' first official actions as ASUA president-elect was to appoint a cabinet, and the major announcements were released last week.
Matthew Troth was appointed ASUA treasurer; Kimberly Montanaro is Driggs' chief of Staff; Brook Rosenbaum was named Arizona Students' Association Federal Relations officer; Christine Thompson and Julie Rice are the new ASA directors; Steve Romero is the University Budget Review commissioner; Archie Arechederra was appointed to the Campus Policy Review Committee; and Greg Gemson is ASA Task Force director.
"I'm excited just because we have people who have had success in other arenas, on other parts of their life, and now they will be working on the more macro issues," Driggs said.
Driggs said he is proud of these selections not only because they are all very qualified, but because they represent students at all levels of university education: some with "new ideas and new perspectives" and "others that know how to get things done within the system."
The senior member of the staff is Troth, a doctoral student in the department of management and policy and vice president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council.
"The fact that he has an MBA and wants to work with student government shows his dedication," Driggs said.
Both Driggs and Troth said the treasurer's duties need to change
somewhat from those of previous years because many of the duties originally assigned to the position have been transferred to the ASUA accountant.
To justify the stipend paid to the treasurer, both said Troth needs to adopt new responsibilities, move to a smaller office, have his stipend reduced, or a combination of these options.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum are freshmen Montanaro and Rosenbaum.
Montanaro is a finance and international business major who sees her job as chief of staff as "emphasizing communication with other areas in ASUA to dismantle compartmentalization ... finding out what people need from him (Driggs) and what he needs from various other people and overseeing the presidential staff," which will be appointed later this week.
Rosenbaum, a double major in political science and French, worked as chief of staff for current Federal Relations officer Wende Julien this semester.
In his newly appointed position, Rosenbaum will be following in the footsteps of current workers by organizing student lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. on issues such as financial aid.
Rice, a sophomore, and Thompson, a junior, have worked together before as club advocates in ASUA, and now their job will be to help organize statewide lobbying to the Legislature on issues such as pre-paid tuition.
Thompson is currently interning at the education committee of the Arizona State Legislature, which will give ASA as a whole an advantage for future lobbying, Driggs said.
"Thompson has a better idea of the legislative process than anyone we've had in recent years," he said.
Romero is a political science sophomore who was an assistant to President T.J. Trujillo this year.
In his new position, he will be a "student representative reviewing policies to see if they are fair to students or not." His main goals for next year will be to resolve disputes about Student Recreation Center fees, and search for more funding for minority student resource centers.
Arechederra is a microbiology junior who worked on Driggs' campaign as well as in ASA, and said he plans to work to ensure that Driggs' campaign promises, such as publication of teacher evaluations, creation of peer tutoring and mentor programs, and work on the core curriculum programs, are fulfilled.
Gemson is working as the ASUA Escort Service director and is someone Driggs described as "very concrete." He was unavailable for comment yesterday.
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