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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Protest goes to Capitol today

    Nicole Pasteur, a sociology junior, works in the ASUA office Tuesday evening to add names into a database of people attending todays trip to the Capitol to protest the proposed budget cuts toward education.
    Nicole Pasteur, a sociology junior, works in the ASUA office Tuesday evening to add names into a database of people attending today’s trip to the Capitol to protest the proposed budget cuts toward education.

    At 8 a.m., approximately 1,500 UA students are scheduled to leave campus in 25 chartered school buses headed for the Arizona State Capitol. UA students will join students from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University to protest against the proposed state university budget cuts.

    Efforts to organize the transportation of students to Phoenix are being sponsored by the Arizona Student Association, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

    Private donors, ranging from alumni, members of the university and even students, are funding the majority of the trip.

    ASA is also helping ASU and NAU organize and fund bus trips to the state capital.

    In an impromptu and brief ASUA meeting on Tuesday, the senators voted to donate $2,000 in order to help support the ASA in their efforts to transport the students to Phoenix.

    “”Senators are very passionate in representing the students in this aspect,”” ASUA Executive Vice President Jessica Anderson said. “”Their (discretionary) account is designed to carry out functions of the student voice and this is probably the biggest opportunity they will have all year to do that.””

    ASUA President Tommy Bruce said most students realize that the potential impact of the budget cuts will affect every aspect of the UA, and he is determined to make sure the student voice is heard at the Capitol.

    “”Number wise, we are looking at about 1,500. Expectations are to make a very large impression at the state capital to the legislatures who are going to be voting on this issue, as well as across the state,”” Bruce said. “”We need to continue to impress upon all of the citizens of Arizona how important higher education and education in general is.””

    Although the entire country is going through an economic downturn, Bruce said the Arizona state schools are the most at-risk in the nation.

    He said the protest will reiterate the concerns of the students and present a united and powerful front to the legislature.

    “”No university in the country is going through this near the level that our university is going through it,”” Bruce said. “”We are not going to stand for this, and we are going to speak up and be an active participant in this entire process.””

    GPSC President Stephen Bieda III believes that all members of the university need to take an active role in protecting the UA.

    “”The hope is to turn out in mass. We want make sure that our benefits don’t get cut,”” Bieda said.

    Technically, the UA administration is not allowed to support any political action by the students.

    There was originally some confusion regarding students obtaining Dean’s Excuses in order to go to the protest, stemming from a university-wide e-mail sent out by Bruce, which was quickly corrected.

    Instead, protest organizers said they will provide paper documentation for students who attended the protest, aimed at encouraging UA instructors to overlook absences on Wednesday.

    “”I was very proud of our students and their dedication. It is equally as important for the students to speak loudly for themselves,”” Provost Meredith Hay said.

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