ASUA senators ready to 'work their butts off'

By Christie S. Peterson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

It's that time of year again when baby birds hatch, trees bud, and a new generation of undergraduate senators enters into the world of ASUA.

So what can undergraduates expect from their representatives over the next two semesters?

If the first meeting of the newly elected officials Gilbert Davidson, Andy Higgins, Gahl Leddel, and Mindy McCollum is indicative, the overriding themes for the next year will be outreach and action.

The senators say they are still concerned about the issues on which he or she ran, but Friday's meeting concentrated more on group goals than individual ones.

Jonathan Bierner, the new senate chair, led the meeting and began by suggesting that each member of the group prepare two monthly reports on their goals and progress on them.

However, Bierner said he does not want to see this become an exercise in bureaucracy. He said he would rather see the senators turn in a blank page than worthless inventions.

He also wants to require senators to attend two club or organization meetings per month which they would not normally attend. He suggested that he himself might visit one of the Christian student groups on campus.

"(This will) force us to experience things we're not used to expe-

riencing," he said. "It's important for us to get our faces out."

Senator-elect Mindy McCollum also emphasized that the senate needed to "get our name out there" through philanthropic and social projects.

"Sometimes senators get the reputation that we're elitist and that's not what it's about," she said.

Others agreed with her, and Bierner "amended" his group goals to include a "yearly massive project" for each senator, such as a volunteer project (which was one of Higgins' campaign goals), an ASUA week on the Mall (suggested by Davidson), or a youth basketball league (Gahl).

"Everything we are saying is valid, but we cannot just say them ... As chair, I'm not going to allow people to slack off like that," Bierner said. "I've seen what can go on this year."

ASUA President-elect Ben Driggs was also present at the meeting, and spoke about a need for communication between his office and the senate.

"I want to work as closely with the senate as possible ... so we have a really practical relationship. The senate should be the most important body," he said.

Specific goals of Driggs' include passing a summer budget in May, instead of waiting until July to do so, as is traditionally done, and publishing teacher evaluations.

He said he knew this had been an issue for "umpteen years," but that, "if we can't get it done through administrative ways, we should go do it ourself."

Bierner closed the meeting by saying, "I want people to look back on our board and say, 'Wow, they really worked their butts off.'"

The new ASUA Undergraduate Senate will kick off their outreach program today with a noontime karaoke performance on the UA Mall.

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