The Arizona Desert Lamp

ASUA Senate Meeting XXV

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 2 April 2009

Bylaw Changes [PDF]. It would appear that each of the incoming officials were required to go through the by-laws pertaining to their department, and to recommend changes for next year (this, of course, being a not-so-sneaky way of making officials actually read the bylaws that they’re responsible for).

We’ll try to avoid getting too wonky here, but suffice it to say that the majority of these changes, unlike the impeachment bylaw changes, really are custodial. The exceptions:

-President-elect Chris Nagata added a clause to ensure the survival of the ASA intern program in the absence of a UA campus organizer (apparently, ex-President Hertzog, having taken her salary from the ASA mandatory fee, has found greener pastures elsewhere).

-EVP-elect Emily Fritze added a clause requiring that one of the Appropriations Board directors must be a graduate student, created a position of Chief Club Advocate, and added a new section for a ‘Club and Organization Standards Board.’ These were the most substantive changes, and deserve their own write-up.

-AVP-elect Gabriella Ziccarelli and the Senate-elects made mostly incidental changes.

Yet even these cannot go by without some controversy – and so, Sen. Bryan Baker raised an interesting point – why should we change the rules now, when they won’t affect us? “If we’re going to change what the next Senate is responsible for, they [next year’s Senate] should vote on it. . . . It’s not fair to change the rules after we’ve left.” EVP Anderson somewhat dismissed these concerns, citing the practice of setting stipends for next year’s class and saying that, “They can reverse anything that they don’t like.” This, though, seems to imply that the Senate has the power to change the by-laws at any point during the year, which still leaves an unanswered question – if these changes are necessary, why wait until the very end?

Arizona Budget Crisis Update! A shorter summary of President Bruce’s report:

Essentially, Congress passed a stimulus package that nobody bothered to read, analyze, or to consider how it might be implemented – all we know is that once we unlock the secret code, rainbows and unicorns will come streaming out, and happiness will reign again on “A” Mountain. Or something.

Meanwhile, the UA continues to maintain its high standards of transparent governance, as President Shelton declares that the UA is seeking “additional revenue streams.” ASU and NAU’s presidents at least had the cajones to say that, yes, we will be increasing mandatory fees and adding tuition surcharges. Yet the President must release a proposal of increases by April 10, and must hold a public hearing on these proposals “somewhere around 11 days prior to the vote.”

Here, though, President Bruce added an interesting detail – the bottom-third policy applies to tuition and mandatory fees, but it does not apply to differential tuition or, say, user fees. So why was this not proposed as a compromise at the Taskforce meeting? Rather than simply knocking out the last boundary between here and $40,000 per year, why not allow for, say, undergraduate differential tuition, an idea implemented at the U. Michigan but rejected by our own ABOR in 2005? Rather than implementing a mandatory adviser fee, why not make it a per-visit charge, exempting it from the count towards the top?

President Bruce also believes that the ’emergency’ ABOR meeting at the end of this month will not only vote on the proposal to rescind the bottom-third policy, but will also vote on increasing tuition and/or fees.

Gen-Ed Scholarship? As if the “Jay-Z/Clarkston Scholarship” weren’t enough, Sen. Rubio has proposed a new scholarship. As he described it, the scholarship would be open to any students who have taken or are enrolled in a “Diversity Emphasis” – a type of course that is required by the General Education program – and who write an essay about how they were impacted, changed, etc. Thus, anyone who has completed their general education is eligible for this prize. The sentiment can be questioned (and has been), but the bigger issue is that students are essentially being offered a reward for something that they literally must do to get a University of Arizona degree.


3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Amanda said, on 2 April 2009 at 9:17 am

    Erin Hertzog didn’t just leave…she got promoted within ASA and now works at their Phoenix office.

  2. […] Evan Lisull on 9 April 2009 1. Battle of the Bylaws. It started with Sen. Baker’s concerns last week, but this week it was Sen. Rubio who lead the charge against what began as uncontroversial and […]

  3. […] Scholarship, approved. You can read about the proposal here, here, and here. Sen. Macchiaroli was the lone “nay” vote. Tagged with: Andre Rubio, Arizona […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: