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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Likins turns down GPSC inquiry request

    Paul Thorn
    Paul Thorn

    President Peter Likins turned down GPSC’s request that he ask the Arizona Board of Regents to allow him to appoint a committee to assess the need for a possible separation of graduate and undergraduate student government.

    In a letter written to the Graduate and Professional Student Council late last week, Likins said the GPSC should continue to compromise with the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, according to Paul Thorn, who was inaugurated last night as GPSC president.

    GPSC wrote a letter to Likins April 10 asking him to initiate an assessment of student government, in hopes of facilitating a separation of GPSC from under the umbrella of ASUA.

    The committee would have reviewed the ASUA constitution, which states that ASUA represents all UA students, but Likins declined to make the request of the regents, Thorn said.

    “”He indicated that we have two options: to compromise or push the administration to formally recognize a separation,”” Thorn said.

    Likins, who has been out of the office since having emergency heart surgery April 12, was unavailable for comment.

    The letter didn’t clear up some issues between GPSC and ASUA, according to Thorn.

    “”He said he thought ASUA was willing to compromise, but I don’t think that’s true,”” Thorn said. “”Personally I was a little disappointed. I didn’t think we were really given the opportunity to present our situation.””

    Thorn said GPSC had no plans for the next step it would take, as it just got the letter at the end of last week.

    “”Obviously we will continue to lobby,”” Thorn said. “”Likins won’t be here much longer, so when (Robert) Shelton comes, we will lobby his administration.””

    Thorn said the letter did not state whether Likins has a preference for an all-encompassing student government over a two-tiered structure that would separate graduates and undergraduates.

    “”He basically indicated that he’s heard of our requests for a long time, he’s been supportive, and student government should be structured by how the majority, both undergraduate and graduate, feel it should be structured,”” Thorn said.

    ASUA President Erin Hertzog said she’s more than willing to compromise and work with the GPSC on the things graduates want to accomplish next year, and she’s sure they can be accomplished.

    “”I’m looking forward to coming up with some compromises between ASUA and GPSC that don’t compromise the constitution,”” Hertzog said.

    She said she didn’t think it was her place to comment on Likins’ letter because it was personal correspondence.

    GPSC officials have sought interference on the part of the administration since ASUA refused to recognize a referendum on the March GPSC election ballot, in which 94 percent of graduate students voted to “”not be represented by ASUA.””

    ASUA officials called the referendum a “”survey”” and said the administration of the “”survey”” was inherently biased.

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