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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA town hall meeting offers narrow perspective

    Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

ASUA held their monthly Town Hall Forum discussion for students on Thursday in the Kiva Room of the SUMC. The open forum allowed students the opportunity to ask questions of Roxie Catts, director of the Advising Resource Center, and Juan Garcia, Vice President of Instruction concerning the UAs transformation process and proposals for new student fees.
    Mike Christy
    Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat ASUA held their monthly Town Hall Forum discussion for students on Thursday in the Kiva Room of the SUMC. The open forum allowed students the opportunity to ask questions of Roxie Catts, director of the Advising Resource Center, and Juan Garcia, Vice President of Instruction concerning the UA’s transformation process and proposals for new student fees.

    Members of the administration reassured ASUA members, at Thursday’s Town Hall Forum, that student needs would continue to be the focus of the university, despite an expected rise in enrollment.

    The forum, which ASUA officials said was intended to include all student voices, was attended by several faculty members and ASUA officials, but few other students made their way to the Student Union Memorial Center’s Kiva Room, where the event was held.

    At the forum, Vice President for Instruction Juan Garcia assured the senate that during this time of drastic change, student’s needs would continue to come first.

    “”In this time of change and uncertainty, we are keeping students needs at the forefront,”” Garcia said. “”In the immediate future, there will be no dramatic changes in terms of a students degree or major. We just want to reassure students that the road will not be pulled out from under them on short notice.””

    To balance the budget and increase revenue, about 7,000 more students will be admitted to the university in the fall, he said. With more students and department cutbacks, some students in attendance were worried that the quality of their education could suffer.

    “”That is what keeps me awake at night,”” Garcia said. “”We have to admit more students. We are raising the out-of-state ceiling from 30 to 40 percent. How we are going to find enough seats to accommodate all these students – we don’t know yet. On one hand it’s good news, on the other, it’s bad news.””

    With an increase in enrollment, ASUA Senator Andre Rubio said he feared there would be a classroom seat shortage.

    “”I already find it difficult to get into classes in my major,”” Rubio said. “”How do we know it won’t get worse?””

    If a student cannot get into a class, there are other options, Garcia said. Some students choose to gain credit outside of the classroom by taking for credit internships.

    “”There’s always dangers when you change the structure of a university,”” Garcia said. “”There were $53 million in cuts, problems will arise and we will address them. We are re-examining each department and finding the best way to focus the resources.””

    Attendees also voiced their concern as to what services will remain for students who have not declared a major.

    “”The advising is not going to look much different at all for students,”” said Roxie L. Catts, director of the advising resource center. “”The services that specifically help students to explore and find their major, that will continue.””

    Garcia said that students, especially those in power, should continue to let their voices be heard.

    “”Leadership of the students is important – they really need to get out there and realize they have a responsibility.”” Garcia said. “”Students have a great deal of power. They just need to exercise it.””

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