The Arizona Desert Lamp

ASUA Senate Meeting XVIII: Guest Coverage!

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 6 February 2009

Rec Center Sketch

We spent a lot of time criticizing student government here at the Lamp, but sometimes they do good things, and credit must be given where credit is due. So is the case with Sen. Emily Fritze, who went out of her way to type up a lengthy summary of this Wednesday’s meeting, after I was unable to attend. This, I must say, is transparent government at its finest.

Here is her summary of the meeting:

I just thought I would fill you in on an uneventful Senate Meeting. If you had to miss a meeting, this was definitely a good one to miss.

Colleen Morgan, Facilities Design Manager, gave a presentation on the expansion of the Rec Center. Basically, the Rec Center will be completed late November 2009 and will be opened Spring Semester 2010. Some exciting additions of the expansion include: sand volleyball courts, outdoors adventure area with bouldering, new work out area twice the size of the current area with new equipment, a Multi Purpose Court, and a lounge area with a huge TV. The expansion is not affected by the state budget issues since a 25 dollar rec fee went to the expansion costs. The entire new facility is made of glass and is two stories high. I think blue prints are available online somewhere.

I also gave a small update on the proposed field space area for the Rec Center. As you might remember, I had a platform dealing with field space for the Rec Center and the possible implementation of a student tailgating there. Just to clarify, since the Wildcat misunderstood slightly, this was a collaborative idea with the Rec Center and myself. Last year, I was looking into donors with the Recreation Center’s director, and looking at ways to budget the buying of this space from Parking and Transportation. With the dire situation currently, this is no longer a possibility for the Rec Center. They are doing their best to simply balance their budget this fiscal year. The reason I wanted to pursue the student tailgating area through the Rec Center was because I had the support of their director for use of that field space, regardless of liability issues. Now, I am looking into other areas on campus that might be willing to rent out their space. However, most places that are suitable for this kind of activity are owned by Parking and Transportation. Most likely, they will not agree to work with us. They already make a lot of money on tailgating and on parking for the games. Letting students take over one of these areas is not ideal for their revenue or liability concerns. However, I have not completely  given up on the idea!

– Senate Reports: No one had anything incredibly interesting to report. Senator Mackenzie talked about Spring Break Safety Fair. Senator Baker talked about “Roll with a Senator” which will start next week. I reported numbers for the Readership Program. Week 1 averaged 1860 copies per day, and Week 2 averaged 2109 copies per day. This was a 13 percent increase from one week to the other. Also, we are meeting with the Star to work on a way to appease the Wildcat’s advertisement concerns.

A few notes:

1. Yes, the Rec Center is being paid for by a $25 per semester student fee that was approved in 2005. Yet there is some definite cognitive dissonance when one meeting discusses the impending “DETH” of the university, while the next meeting discusses the new beach volleyball court, LEED building standards, and a lounge area “with a huge TV.” It’s at the very least unseemly.

Without going too far into this, I think this is part of why the Collegiate Readership Program was so refreshing — for once, student dollars were considered being allocated to something that actually dealt with, y’know, learning. The plan certainly has flaws that need to be worked out, but this aspect alone puts it head-and-shoulders above new video games and audio systems.

2. I actually remember this plan of Sen. Fritze’s from way back during election season, and it’s nice that she still seems to care about her election promises. (Meanwhile, I’ve heard nothing regarding Sen. Wallace’s proposed “human anatomy course.”) Yet at the time the plan sounded a bit too idealistic, especially when contrasted with the Readership Program; now, it’s looking all but impossible.

3. ‘Roll with a Senator’ sounds a lot cooler than it actually is.

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