The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

96° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASA braces for deep cuts as HB 2169 awaits final vote

A student-run, statewide lobbying group faces an uncertain financial future, pending a final vote by the Arizona Senate.

House Bill 2169, proposed by Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills), would ban state universities from collecting fees and transferring money on behalf of non-university recognized organizations.
HB 2169 would be a blow to the Arizona Students’ Association, which lobbies the state Legislature on behalf of Arizona students and relies on a $2-per-student, per-semester fee for funding.

The bill passed through a senate voice vote last week. It now awaits a roll call vote by the senate and Gov. Jan Brewer’s approval.

“I’m pleased that it’s going through without any significant opposition,” Kavanagh said. “I think a lot of people are outraged that a group would take mandatory student fees and donate it to election campaigns.”

As of now, the organization is preparing for the worst, ASA leaders said. ASA’s board of directors will meet Wednesday to discuss moving forward and how to set up the board for next year.

“I feel like, as much as we all hate to say it, it’s not really an ‘if it goes through.’ I feel like it’s more of a ‘when the bill goes through,’” said Jordan King, ASA vice chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the internal affairs committee. “So, as of right now, the board will just have a conversation about what the next steps are for ASA.”

Last fall, ASA donated more than $100,000 to the Vote Yes on Proposition 204 campaign using student fee money. Proposition 204, which failed in November 2012, would have extended a statewide one-cent sales tax increase to fund education.

The donation brought the organization under increased scrutiny by student government leaders at all three universities, the Arizona Board of Regents and legislators like Kavanagh. But ASA’s mission is to represent students across Arizona, said Zachary Brooks, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

“It’s horrible for 140,000 students throughout the state that they won’t have one unified voice to advocate for them if this vote goes through,” Brooks said.

King said he hopes the student governments at each state university campus will come together and “keep ASA thriving.” Discussions are already underway with next year’s president of the
Associated Students of the University of Arizona, he added.

“Right now we’re just going to be looking at all our options,” said Morgan Abraham, ASUA president-elect. “Obviously, there’s so much that we can do for the future, whether it’s going to be changing or starting something brand new. I’m really exploring all my options and just trying to get as much input as possible.”

More to Discover
Activate Search