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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Safety card money splits ASUA

    After over a half-hour of heated discussion, disagreement, confusion and failed motions, the ASUA Senate found themselves in their first tie vote of the year.

    Safety cards designed for UA students to carry with them and use during their spring break travels were the hot topic at last night’s Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate meeting in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    Sen. Jimmy MacKenzie’s brainchild called for $980 to distribute 3,000 safety cards to students. The cards display useful contact information for those traveling outside the United States, as well as a chart presenting alcohol consuption guidelines for men and women.

    Executive Vice President Jessica Anderson broke the tie by voting to approve the full amount for the cards.

    “”Approving this amount doesn’t mean we will use the full amount,”” she said.

    The tie vote was the first in the last five years, Anderson added.

    MacKenzie is setting a goal to have the cards printed by the end of this week and distributed by the end of next week, he said.

    Immediately after opening discussion of this item, Sen. Emily Fritze called into question the funding amount and suggested the senate could find more conservative ways to fund the cards.

    “”I’m very wary about the amount of cards,”” she said. “”You might be able to get a better deal.””

    Fritze also thought that it would be difficult to distribute all of the cards, especially to students in residence halls.

    Instead, Fritze suggested printing fewer cards and changing the funding amount.

    Sen. Bryan Baker stressed that the benefit of the cards far outweigh the costs, saying that if the distribution of the cards saves even one student, the funding amount would be worth it.

    “”Sen. MacKenzie has done his homework on this,”” Baker said. “”We need to get this out by spring break.””

    The cards also have lasting value that will stick with students for years, MacKenzie said. “”These cards will last for years. It could save your life.””

    Sen. Jason Mighdoll echoed the sentiment.

    “”If this saves one life – if it saves two lives – just one life saved is worth it,”” he said.

    Instead of directly reducing the funding of the item, Sen. Andre Rubio suggested passing off a part of the funding to the Residence Hall Association, who have been working with MacKenzie on the safety cards.

    Since ASUA already spent $8,000 on club funding for the week, including $200 to promote advertising for upcoming Senate Town Hall Forums, neglecting to fully fund something that can potentially help every UA student would be a mistake by the student government, Mighdoll said.

    “”We just spent $200 basically to promote ourselves,”” he said. “”It’s vital we fund the full amount.””

    Fritze told the Senate she believed they were taking the funding of the item to an extreme.

    “”We’re almost dramatizing the effect this has (on the students),”” she said.

    MacKenzie stressed the importance of the cards, and that students would actually embrace and use them on their travels.

    “”It’s not like students are going to be like, ‘B.A.C. calculator? I know how to drink!'”” MacKenzie said.

    The Senate chose to vote on the originally proposed amount, leading to dissention in the form of a 5-5 vote.

    Sen. Kayla Patrick was not in favor of the original amount and questioned the timeliness in which the safety card process was put together.

    Immediately following Anderson’s approval of the item, Patrick stood up and briskly walked out of the room – not stopping even after tripping and knocking over a photographer’s $1,500 camera lens.

    The idea for the saftey cards came to MacKenzie when he first received a card as a fraternity member. At the time, only those in Greek Life were given safety cards.

    “”I thought the cards were a good idea,”” he said. “”It shocked me to see these weren’t available to everyone. I mean, the UA will have thousands of students traveling for spring break.””

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