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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students visit capitol for ASA lobby day

    PHOENIX – About 40 UA students participated in the Arizona Students’ Association’s 21st annual student lobby day, one of the biggest events the association holds, organizers said.

    ASA, which represents the student governments for the state’s three universities, organizes a lobbying day at the Arizona Capitol each year.

    This year students were able to put more effort into meeting with legislators to discuss issues important to them, like not cutting funding to universities in the midst of a state budget shortfall and textbook prices, said ASA Government Affairs Director Tiffany Troidl.

    ASA is very concerned with the state budget because of the state of the economy, she said.

    “”What we’re trying to explain to legislators, and help them remember, is (that) the return on investment for putting money into higher education is very big for the state,”” she said.

    If the legislature cut funding to universities, it would impact students directly because tuition would most likely increase, said Kendal Nystedt, a UA international studies junior and one of ASA’s directors.

    “”The quality of the education is going to be sacrificed, or students are going to have to pay from out of their pocket,”” she said.

    It is important for students to communicate with legislators over issues in higher education, Nystedt said.

    “”If education is prioritized and seen as an investment in the future of this state, then that’s where the money should be going,”” she said.

    Catherine Neish, Graduate and Professional Student Council president, said she is concerned about the UA’s budgets and making sure they aren’t cut by large amounts, as it would have an impact on all students.

    In particular, it would impact the pool of money graduate and research assistants use for tuition remission, which starting next year would refund tuition to students by 100 percent.

    “”It really affects everything the university does,”” she said.

    Having a chance to talk to legislators makes a difference because it shows that students care about the issues that affect them, Neish said.

    “”(Legislators) can’t know everything about everything, so having a chance to talk to them about the issues that are important to you might put it in the forefront of their mind,”” she said.

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