By Joseph Altman Jr.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Last night's presidential debate had one of the candidates asking "Why?"
Ben Driggs and Ethan Orr shared their platforms and answered questions from a panel of campus leaders, as well as students present at the debate.
A major concern for both candidates was getting the Associated Students of the University of Arizona to work together as an entire body.
Orr said, "As students, we need to think about what student government does." And while ASUA has many different facets that do different things, "There isn't one unified 'Why,'" he said.
Finding student government's purpose has increased his senate staff's efficiency "three-fold," Orr said.
He said many of his plans come from the national campaign of "reinventing government." He said people need to "buy into a lot of the ideas of efficiency and effectiveness and then come up with formed solutions that have worked in governments around the country."
Driggs said, "Everyone who runs for ASUA talks about reform, change, bringing it back to the students. I try to focus on real issues, real ways to bring about that reform, real ways that we can help the students."
Driggs re-stated his reason for running during the debate Ä to be the voice of opinion for the student body and "see how student government can effectively bring about change."
He spoke of his plans to create a state-based work-study program and a program that would allow juniors and seniors to receive credit for tutoring and peer advising.
Orr began his opening statement by explaining the goals he has achieved as an undergraduate senator.
"When I ran during my freshman mid
year for senate, I ran on some things that people said really couldn't be achieved," Orr said. "I was able to achieve them my freshman year and I'm finishing up one of them right now."
Orr discussed his work to get KAMP Student Radio an AM transmitter, saying a station that broadcasts 24 hours a day would be a good means of entertainment and communication for the students.
He linked KAMP to his forums with administrators as well. Orr has organized forums with administrators from Parking and Transportation and Facilities Management, as well as the interim director of the Student Union, Mike Low, and said he wants to broadcast such forums on KAMP so they will reach greater numbers of students.
While Orr said turnout at many of the forums was low, they gave him an opportunity to give his input regarding key decisions and allowed students to have input into the operations of campus departments.
Driggs said the state gubernatorial debate he coordinated last year drew about 200 people, making candidate Paul Johnson stay an hour longer than the 45 minutes that he expected to be there.
In closing, Orr said, "We need to focus on why student government exists, and to me, that is to meet the needs of the campus community and to benefit and serve our fellow students. That's an ideal that needs to permeate all of ASUA and all of its elected servants."
Driggs concluded by saying, "The student body president needs to work very well, he needs to work with students, he needs to know the issues and represent students well . Student government isn't going to be perfect, it's not going to solve every problem, but it can do a lot more than it does now."
Read Next Article