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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

New ASUA senate to host SB1070 forum

The 2010-11 Associated Students of the University of Arizona will meet for the first time Wednesday and will hold an open forum on Senate Bill 1070, which deals with Arizona’s immigration policies.

SB1070 has been a subject of controversy since Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill on April 23.

There will be no consent agenda at this forum because ASUA is done allocating funds this semester.

The forum will have no formal outline, according to Executive Vice President Katherine Weingartner, but there will be a speakers list, which attendees can sign if they wish to make a speech.

Speakers must put their names and e-mail addresses on ASUA’s sign-in sheet, so ASUA members can contact them if necessary.

“”Whoever shows up first can speak,”” Weingartner said. “”They’ll be given a minute or two to talk, they don’t need to RSVP to the meeting beforehand, attendees can just come in and say whatever they’d like.””

Weingartner expects different groups and organizations to come and present speeches about their thoughts on SB1070.

“”Unfortunately, this happened during transition period,”” Weingartner said in response to the forum taking place at the end of the school year. “”But we thought this was an important forum to address, even now, because it affects lots of students on the campus.””

Weingartner said the forum is also in response to UA President Robert Shelton’s recent e-mail, which stated that some potential UA students will no longer be attending the university next fall as a result of SB1070.

“”We want to make sure we have an outlet for the people affected by this,”” Weingartner said. “”We have summer governance coming up, and the senate will have to decide how they will handle that.””

Garrett Voge, a newly inaugurated senator, expressed excitement for the forum.

“”I think that allowing the students to voice their opinions on important issues such as this one is vital with such a large and diverse student body,”” Voge said. “”I encourage students to speak at the event or to simply go feel for what how UA students are reacting to the new state legislation.””

Voge hopes the forum will be the first of many forums regarding university, state and national issues.

“”I am interested to hear how Arizona students feel about the bill and the possible consequences of it, rather than hearing it from the commonly referenced and often biased media sources,”” Voge said.

Tyler Quillin, a junior majoring in English and 2009-10 ASUA senator, said it’s the job of student government to hold forums for discussion, but he is unsure that the forum will persuade people who have already developed their opinions on the subject of discussion.

“”Forums are places for people who are already invested in the issue, and they go and speak,”” Quillin said. “”There won’t be people at this forum simply looking to educate themselves on the issue, I don’t think. There will be people who are really for SB1070 and really against it. It’s difficult to find someone who is just going to the forum simply wanting to learn about an issue.””

He was opposed to the February gun forum held by ASUA because he was concerned that attendees would have made up their minds before the forum took place.

“”It’s funny that the new senate hasn’t had a meeting yet, but they’re having a forum tomorrow,”” Quillin said. “”But it’s the role of student government to provide constructive situations where people can voice and discuss heated issues, and they’re doing that, I’m proud of the new senate for doing that.””

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