By Amanda Hunt
Arizona Daily Wildcat
He has already directed the remodeling of one union, and his top priority at the UA would be to remodel its union.
Edward Slazinik, associate director of the Illini Union at the University of Illinois, appeared as the first of four candidates competing for the University of Arizona Student Union director position yesterday.
His most rewarding experience at Illinois was "the completion and operationalizing of a renovation program." Slazinik complimented the UA union on its food services, but said the facility hinders its potential. Working to improve the facility, he said would "be fun."
Slazinik discussed other goals for improving the union and his experience with union management in several forums with union staff, students and faculty during the day.
Slazinik competes with Bruce Zimmerman, from the University of Southern Colorado; Daniel Adams, from West Virginia University; and Sam Wheeler from Northern Arizona University for the position. About 50 candidates applied for the job, which has been open since Bob Ernstein resigned in March 1994.
Zimmerman will be at the university this Thursday and will hold an open forum at 4:15 p.m. in the Senior Ballroom.
Qualifications for the job include experience with food service, privatization,
renovation and remodelling, budgeting, staff management and working with students. At least seven years experience at a university union and a master's degree in business administration or food service is preferred for the position.
Slazinik has worked as associate director at Illinois since 1990. He was also the director of operations at Norris University Center at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. from 1986 to 1990 and the assistant to director at the Student Center at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. from 1981 to 1986.
He has a master's degree in educational administration and higher education from Southern Illinois University.
At the student leaders forum, concerns expressed for the new director were expanding All Aboard privileges outside campus and accommodating students better with food services by extending the hours of operation.
Undergraduate Senator Jennifer Haber said the residence halls would "really benefit" from extending the hours. Haber said she believes Slazinik is personable and interested in involving students more with the union, but said he "could have researched more" about the UA in general.
Kylle Cooper, Education by Example chairwoman, said she liked Slazinik's goals of students working more directly with faculty in a Student Advisory Board with Vice President for Student Affairs Saundra Taylor. Cooper also liked his idea to better utilize wasted space in the union, such as putting the empty swimming pool behind the building to better use.
Aside from problems with the facility, Slazinik said there is a great lack of activities occurring in the union.
"What people see is just a place to eat ... that's not what a union is for," he said.
"Both (residence life and the union) service students by fostering and aiding in outside-of-classroom experience," Slazinik said. He also said the union needs to work towards offering more opportunities for students to gain "real world" experience, like being part of a board, volunteer experience, service and intern learning.
Bob Sankey, director of curriculum, agreed with Slazinik. "We must understand the enormous impact the student union has on campus," he said. Sankey said the union is principle in creating an educational atmosphere for students.
While approximately 10 student leaders were present at the student forum, no faculty members were present at the faculty forum.
"It demonstrates the involvement faculty on this campus have with the union," Slazinik said.
Slazinik said the change from Illinois to the UA would not be too drastic. "The situations (at both schools) are similar; the biggest change would be going from the prairie to the desert," he said.
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