ASUA senate race wide open as 12 vie for eight seats

By Christie S. Peterson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Where there is an election there are candidates, and this year there are twelve for the eight Undergraduate Senate positions.

The candidates are Jay Won Bartlett, Jonathan Bierner, Gilbert Davidson, Enrique Davis, Kyle Dorsey, Andrew Higgins, Charlie Hong, Sergio Jasso, Mike Lavin, Gahl Leddel, Mindy McCollum, and Mark R. Willner.

The second six were featured in the Friday issue of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, and the first six will be introduced here:

Jay Won Bartlett is a junior nursing major who has never been involved with ASUA before, but said she was encouraged to run by friends who thought she would do well as a senator.

This beginning has had an impact on her election goal, which is to increase student involvement and knowledge in ASUA.

"I'm in a lot of clubs and activities," she said, "(but) students who aren't involved at all probably don't know anything about it."

To alleviate this problem, Bartlett would like to implement a program in which freshmen and transfer students would fill out an "interest questionnaire" so that they could be matched to appropriate clubs and activities.

"We've got so many clubs and activities that there's got to be one for everyone," she said. "College isn't just about class, it's about living, learning, and growing up."

Bartlett said she has not done much campaigning because, "I was very discouraged at the beginning because I don't know that much about politics ... but my whole goal in life is helping people."

Jonathan Bierner is running for re-election to the Undergraduate Senate, where he served as Vice-Chair this year. His issues include continuing projects he has already begun, as well as starting a few more.

Already, Bierner has used his senate position to begin a CPR training program which has certified 60 students. He has also created a Safe-Ride program to discourage drinking and driving.

For next year, he would like to expand these programs to provide free CPR training to students, to make it "more of a program that can be passed on," and to make the Safe-Ride program a permanent part of the escort service.

Additionally, Bierner has what he calls his "superb idea:" an "under-21 club" which would offer discounts at local theaters and such, weekend retreats, and other organized events to underage students.

"I wanted to offer students that can't get into bars something else to do," he said.

Finally, Bierner wants to increase productivity by requiring senators to submit monthly reports, attend meetings of two clubs they're not already involved in, and work on at least two projects each semester.

"This way, people won't be able to slack off," he explained.

Gilbert Davidson, who has worked in ASUA for two years, has served as the assistant director of Special Events and as chief of staff for current senator and presidential candidate Ethan Orr.

He, too, would like to see reform increasing ASUA accountability. His plan centers around the formation of an evaluating committee of students and faculty outside of ASUA to "look at what's working, what's not working" and to suggest "ways in which we can affect students."

Affecting students by "increasing awareness of ASUA services and programs" is another of Davidson's goals.

"ASUA has a lot of awesome programs and services," he said, "and it's not offered to all of the students on this campus."

Davidson's final goal also centers on student outreach by continuing and increasing the series of forums begun by Ethan Orr.

"I have seen a lot of the great things ASUA has done and I'd like to be a part of more of that," he said.

Although Enrique Davis, a political science/Mexican

American Studies Junior, was unavailable for an interview, campaign literature lists his qualifications and participation.

According to campaign literature, Davis has served as president of Pima College Student Government, as well as a student representative to the Pima College Board of Governors.

His issues include equalizing club funding and qualifications, building better relations with university administration, working on extending weekend library hours, and increasing campus safety.

Students are encouraged to call Davis with input at 617-3124.

Kyle Dorsey said he was always "one of those students that said, 'What is ASUA?'" until he decided to find out and become involved himself by running for Undergraduate Senate this year.

Dorsey was involved in student government in high school but was too busy as a track runner at the university to become involved.

Now, his campaign is centered around students like he used to be, to listen to their suggestions and to make sure that they're informed.

He visualizes student awareness as a the base of a pyramid on which ASUA should be built. His ideas for increasing this awareness include publishing senate meeting minutes and decreasing the distrust of government he sees on campus.

When voting, Dorsey said students should be fully knowledgeable of the candidates. "It shouldn't be an educated guess," he said, "but an informed decision."

Dorsey sees honesty, hard work, and dedication as his most important qualities for this job. "I may not be the most informed person, but I can be and I will be," he said.

Andrew Higgins has also decided to run for ASUA because he felt that he, as a student, was not an important part of it.

"Every once in a while I'd read about ASUA, but I and everyone I'd ask knew nothing about it," he said.

He would like to increase student involvement in general through Project Volunteer, which he directed and which helps match students to agencies that need help.

"I saw many people," he said. "They want to help, but don't know how."

Increasing student interaction and involvement in ASUA are important to Higgins' campaign, but are not his main goals.

Higgins' major issue is campus safety, which he wants to increase mainly through education.

Campaign literature from Higgins states, "Students have been terrorized on their own campus for far too long a time.... By instructing people how to avoid getting into potentially dangerous situations, many of the problems will be alleviated."

Primary elections for all positions will be held Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Read Next Article