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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASA lays out 2011 priorities

Music, decorations and pizza created a welcoming environment for potential Arizona Students’ Association interns and volunteers during their spring kick-off meeting last night at the UA campus.

The meeting focused on how attendees could help fight against future tuition increases, student fee increases and budget cuts through advocating to elected officials and student organizations.

Several ASA members gave a PowerPoint presentation entitled “”AZ crisis by the numbers,”” showing attendees that Arizona is facing a $763.6 million budget shortfall this year and that tuition has increased 63 percent in the last few years with the potential of being even larger this year.

Attendees broke into small groups where current ASA interns asked each circle the question: “”Why is higher education important to you?””

By and large, the groups said higher education was important to them because it gives students a variety of opportunities in the world, better paying jobs and the ability to make a difference while creating innovation in research and giving our children a brighter future.

Dan Fitzgibbon, a member of the ASA Board of Directors, said ASA’s main goals for this semester are to ensure “”affordability and accessibility”” in the Arizona higher education system.

In order to reach these goals, he said they are going to try and keep tuition and fee increases at a minimum.

Another part of the event was “”debt torching,”” where attendees wrote approximately how much debt they will gather by graduation on a fake bill. The debt totaled right under a million dollars.

“”This should be motivation for all of you,”” said Simone Malkovich, a political science sophomore and an intern with ASA.

“”I’ve come to learn that although you may not realize it now, students have so much power,”” said Emily Fritze, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. “”It is possible to make change. It’s not easy, but ASA has shown that.””

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