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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Prop 107 under review

The possible effects of Arizona’s Proposition 107 are still being reviewed, though UA administrators do not anticipate substantial changes in policy.

“”We do not expect Proposition 107 to have a dramatic impact on the institution,”” said Raji Rhys, special advisor to the president for diversity and inclusion. “”The university’s Non-Discrimination Policy has been in place for a number of years, and already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity, national origin and other protected categories.””

That position has also been enumerated by UA President Robert Shelton during his State of the University address earlier this month.

“”We have been anticipating its (Proposition 107) passage for some time, and have been working to address a range of issues it will impact,”” Shelton said. ””We will certainly honor the letter of the new law in all we do, but we have nevertheless been frustrated by many misconceptions around it.””

Shelton said that even though proponents of Proposition 107 said it would eliminate hiring quotas and reverse discrimination, such action was unnecessary because the UA has never used such criteria to evaluate admissions.

“”Instead, what will likely be affected by it are things like programs that are designed to attract more women into engineering, something that business leaders and the scientific community have identified as one of higher education’s most critical priorities,”” Shelton said. “”Or how to deal with private scholarships, where the donor designated their gift to support a female student or Hispanic scholar or someone from any other group you can imagine.

“”These are hardly the kind of things that anyone should fear.””

One program that might be affected could be the UA’s Women’s Resource Center.

“”The WRC exists to facilitate the success of female and male students in being a part of the UA community, providing opportunities for leadership development, and to foster a better understanding of feminism, healthy masculinity and gender equity,”” said Lori VanBuggenum program director of the Women’s Resource Center. “”(It) serves as a safe space for students, staff and faculty by offering advocacy and confidential information-referral services for gender-related issues.””

VanBuggenum said she did not anticipate any major changes in policy or programs at the Women’s Resource Center, but that they will continue to evaluate.  

“”The WRC has and will continue to be open to both female and male students, staff and faculty,”” VanBuggenum said. “”(It) will continue to work hard to ensure that both female and male students are successful, feel like a part of the UA community and have access to resources and information that aid in addressing gender-related issues.””

Despite confidence that the UA will have little problem complying with the new law, Rhys expressed concerns over how it might change how prospective students or faculty view the UA.

“”Our biggest concern regarding the impact of Proposition 107 is that potential students or employees from populations that have been underserved in our state may feel that they are not welcome at the UA,”” Rhys said. “”As the president said, we will work vigorously within the law to communicate the available pathways to becoming a Wildcat.””

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