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ASUA Notebook 02/15/23: Senators express concerns about accessibility resolution, vote delayed

Want+an+inside+look+at+the+University+of+Arizonas+student+government%3F+Read+the+Daily+Wildcats+Associated+Students+of+the+University+of+Arizona+notebooks%2C+which+recap+the+ASUA+Senates+weekly+meetings.
Jasmine Ma
Want an inside look at the University of Arizona’s student government? Read the Daily Wildcat’s Associated Students of the University of Arizona notebooks, which recap the ASUA Senate’s weekly meetings.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona senate met on Wednesday, Feb. 15 to continue the discussion of the accessibility accommodations resolution and consider funding requests from six student organizations.

Accessibility accommodations for ASUA events are still up in the air

The senate discussed resolution S5004 for the third week in a row. The resolution would require ASUA programs and services to provide accessibility accommodations at all events and would create a committee to oversee the implementation of accessibility guidelines.

During the discussion of the resolution, some ASUA officials voiced their concerns about how groups would be held accountable for providing accommodations.

“The committee itself, I’m not sure that it will be strong enough to do the work that needs to be done,” said Administrative Vice President Lauryn White. She also expressed concern that the resolution was being rushed.

College of Science Senator Carly Snell agreed with White.

“My concern, similar to AVP White, is that there is going to be a huge influx of work for this committee – all the different events that they will have to review,” said Snell. Snell suggested that the resolution should define how long the committee has to review an event in advance and expressed doubt that clubs would actually self-monitor the implementation of accommodations.

College of Fine Arts Senator Jack Haskins countered that these issues could be addressed in the revision of ASUA’s bylaws rather than in the text of the resolution.

“This is a resolution. It’s different than our bylaws […] I don’t know that we have to be super particular on the language about that for the resolution, but if we want just to signal to people our support for this but also the specific ways we’re going to go about it, I think that can be expanded much more in the bylaws,” Haskins said. He emphasized that the responsibility to oversee accommodations should not fall onto the committee alone but should be shared with ASUA programs and services.

After discussion, Amy Gaudet – senate president and College of Social and Behavioral Science senator – moved to bring the resolution to a vote. It failed, and the senate voted instead to table the resolution for next week’s meeting to allow for more revisions to be made.

Senate addresses six funding requests

The senate funded two old requests from the UA’s Army ROTC program and the Student Health Advocacy Committee, an ASUA program. The organizations proposed their funding requests at last week’s senate meeting.

The senate voted unanimously to give $5,780 to the Army ROTC program. The money will support lodging for upperclassmen cadets and staff members to go on a trip that is a prerequisite for graduation.

The senate also unanimously approved $1,748 for SHAC to purchase t-shirts and banners for their “Culture through Cuisine” food festival on April 21.

The senate heard new funding requests from four student organizations: ClariCats, the Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences Student Association, Feminists Organized to Resist, Create and Empower and the senate elections committee.

ClariCats, a non-ASUA-affiliated club for clarinet enthusiasts, requested $4,619.50 to attend ClarinetFest 2023 in Denver, Colorado.

“The reason why this is so important for us in our field is because not only do we get traveling experience, since that is crucial for our field, it also gives us networking opportunities which is really important so we can potentially build collaborations for our career,” said Tiana Molina, a music education and performance student.

The request was tabled and will be considered at next week’s meeting.

The HASSA requested $1,243.08 to fund social events for the Hydrology & Atmospheric Science department to “lower the barriers between students and reunite students within the department” following the Oct. 5 shooting of HAS Professor Thomas Meixner. The senate unanimously approved the request in the full amount.

FORCE requested $1,600 to purchase 200 emergency contraceptives which it will distribute at the Women and Gender Resource Center. It has already distributed 515 contraceptives since Fall 2021.

Feminists Organized to Resist, Create, and Empower distributes Plan B to students at the Women and Gender Resource Center. (Courtesy FORCE)
Feminists Organized to Resist, Create, and Empower distributes Plan B to students at the Women and Gender Resource Center. (Courtesy FORCE)

The senate voted to table the request for next meeting after College of Engineering Senator Helena Zikov noted that the organization may be able to purchase the contraceptives in bulk for cheaper.

The senate election committee requested $2,241.70 for food and snacks, which it will give out while it tables on the UA mall on the first day of ASUA’s elections. ASUA officials will promote elections and their services to the student body.

The senate voted to table the request for the next meeting.

The next ASUA senate meeting will be on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. in the Pima Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.


 Follow Kristijan Barnjak on Twitter 


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