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ASUA Senate reforms bylaws, creates director positions

Tyler+Besh+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AASUA+meeting+in+the+Ventana+room+of+the+Student+Union+on+September+4%2C+2013.
Amy Johnson
Tyler Besh / The Daily Wildcat ASUA meeting in the Ventana room of the Student Union on September 4, 2013.

The ASUA Senate voted Wednesday night to remove statewide student lobbying group ASA’s director positions from its bylaws and to create three similar director positions within its own staff.

Although the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate voted 8-0 to remove these positions, it still plans to discuss the future of its relationship with the Arizona Students’ Association this semester, according to Morgan Abraham, ASUA president.

The reason for the change to ASUA bylaws stems from ASA’s changes to its own bylaws, which no longer allow the student government president to appoint directors to the ASA board.

Because Abraham had already selected students to serve on the board, he said he decided to create positions for them within ASUA.

The former ASA directors will now be called ASUA directors of state affairs, serving a similar role but within a different department of the student government, according to the changed bylaws.

“All we did was change our bylaws to reflect their [ASA] bylaws,” Abraham said. “Instead of appointing three members to the board, I’m appointing three members to serve the University of Arizona.”

Abraham said ASA is still in the student government’s constitution, which means the organizations remain affiliated, despite the removal of the ASA director positions from the ASUA bylaws.

Ahead of the senate vote, Zachary Brooks, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council and a board member of ASA, suggested ASUA members reach out and talk to him regarding ASA.

“You all know I’ve shared everything with you and I’m really concerned you’re making this decision without any consultation whatsoever,” Brooks said. “Please reach out, please take this decision very seriously.”

Some members of ASA also expressed concern regarding the decision and said they considered it a hint at what is to come from ASUA when the senate discusses the future of the relationship between the two organizations.

“When [creating policy positions is] happening in conjunction with ASA being stricken from the bylaws, that’s something we take seriously,” said Anthony Carli, ASA vice chair of Internal Affairs. “That’s something that we view as a signal of things to come.”

Carli said that although he believes the new ASUA positions are a good thing, there was a lack of communication between the organizations regarding the changes. However, he also added that following the meeting, he spoke with Abraham and is now less nervous about the relationship between the two organizations.

“I’m pretty excited these new positions were created,” Carli said. “I think it’s going to be good for ASA to be able to work with these people. We’re going to have a good relationship moving forward. It was miscommunication that really caused some unneeded drama.”

Abraham said he noted the confusion at the senate meeting, but that the relationship between the two organizations remains the same.

“In no way are we disaffiliated from ASA,” Abraham said. “We’re just as much a member as we were yesterday, and I’m still sitting on the board.”

Josh Nothnagle contributed to this article

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