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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“ASUA’s stance fuzzy on chalk, guns”

Ashlee Salamon / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Ashlee Salamon
Ashlee Salamon / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The student government passed resolutions concerning the recent student chalk protests and a sensitive state gun bill during Wednesday’s weekly meeting.

However, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s official stance on both issues remains unclear.

The Student Senate’s Freedom of Speech Resolution states ASUA will advocate on behalf of students who choose to exercise their freedom of speech.

The resolution comes in the wake of two UA students being detained and cited on charges of criminal damage after using chalk to draw protest signs on university property.

Earlier this week, President Robert Shelton asked UAPD to drop the charges and requested that the students be referred instead to the Dean of Students Office.

The resolution is in direct response to the chalking incidents, said Emily Fritze, executive vice president of ASUA.

ASUA is not taking an official stance on the situation because the organization does not want to overstep its boundaries with the University of Arizona Police Department and the Dean of Students Office, said Chris Nagata, ASUA president.

“”ASUA doesn’t have any business telling UAPD how to adjudicate cases,”” he said. “”It is an unfortunate incident.””

While Fritze said she is glad UAPD will drop charges against the students, ASUA will “”wait and see”” what punishments are levied against the accused before taking any further action, Fritze said.

“”We understand the university perspective, but we also understand the student perspective,”” she said.

ASUA’s Gun Policy Resolution stressed the student government’s awareness of the safety issues that may arise now that weapons are potentially closer to campus.

An Arizona state bill that has passed through the legislature will allow firearms to be stored securely in parked cars.

ASUA has avoided taking an official stance on the issue in the past several weeks, and now “”do not feel the need to speak against it because it would not have a huge effect,”” Fritze said.

The resolution likewise does not give an official student government stance, but cautions against the progression of the law to potentially “”open the door”” to weapons on campus, she added.

The concern over such a possibility is not based on anything ASUA has heard, but rather on research pertaining to Arizona’s current gun laws, Fritze said.

Taking an official stance on the bill itself is unnecessary at this point, Nagata said.

“”We recognize that the bill has been passed by the state,”” he said. “”We’re just considering the issues of safety.””

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