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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “ASA, ASUA united on tuition response”

    ASUA President Tommy Bruce, left, addresses the media on Monday about ASUAs role regarding plans for tuition as ASA Vice Chair Kendal  Nystedt and UA student Regent David Martinez III look on.
    ASUA President Tommy Bruce, left, addresses the media on Monday about ASUA’s role regarding plans for tuition as ASA Vice Chair Kendal Nystedt and UA student Regent David Martinez III look on.

    ASA and ASUA officials made themselves available to the public Monday for the first time since their initial response to a proposal for a 13.1 percent tuition increase.

    At the press conference, Arizona Students’ Association officially presented their tuition, supported by Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Tommy Bruce and the rest of ASUA.

    Bruce made it clear that ASUA’s support rested on ASA and its efforts to amend the university system. Bruce stressed the importance of giving students the tools to graduate and get their degree. He said he felt it was unfair that students have to guess tuition increases from year to year.

    The platform of the statewide student advocacy organization lies with universities not keeping their promises to properly look after their students’ best interests, said Michael Slugocki, ASA board chair.

    “”One of the big things we work on every year is tuition and trying to make sure it is affordable and predictable for students,”” Slugocki said.

    While students are constantly putting money into the university system, the quality of their education is not improving. Shelton’s new tuition increase proposal will continue the cycle that has been perpetuated by the university for years,

    Slugocki said.

    Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University have guarantees for their students that specify the maximum amount students will have to pay for their undergraduate tuition.

    “”ASA is committed to fighting for affordability, because we believe that higher education in the state of Arizona should be as nearly free as possible, as our Arizona constitution states,”” said Kendal Nystedt, ASA vice-chair. “”We have been putting two new ideas on the table this year in terms of how we can make the tuition situation more favorable for our student population.””

    The ASA proposal asks that 9 percent of the total tuition revenue be directed toward student-determined priorities. ASA also states in its proposal that students should be able to determine where that money goes because of the average 9 percent increase in total tuition over the past five years. The student lobbying group also asks that the university offer predictable tuition to its second- through fifth-year students. They said they believe students pay for an entire degree, not just an expensive semester.

    “”This is a vital day to move forward in the next steps of our campus, our university and our state,”” Bruce said. “”We believe so strongly that there is no better way to empower our students, to make them feel invested and involved – and give them the right that they deserve to be involved in where their tuition dollars go.””

    ASA paid special attention to the other in-state university presidents, who have already taken the steps they are urging UA President Robert Shelton to take. Shelton was heavily criticized by the governor’s office and the Arizona Board of Regents for the policies that are currently implemented at

    the UA.

    “”We are saying that this is the year, this is the time. The pressure is on President Shelton this year to provide the same resources and benefits for our student body,”” Nystedt said. “”When it is coming from the governor, the board of regents and the students, we believe that that means it’s a critical year to actually make it happen.””

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