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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASA protest continues

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Representatives from the Arizona Student Association are set up on the UA mall for their third day of demonstration against House Bill 2675 on Wednesday , Feb. 15. The paper cutouts are a representation of the students who could not attend the demonstration, but are opposed to the $2000 fee that HB2675 would impose on most students who are accepting forms of financial aid.

Members of the Arizona Students’ Association covered their booth on the UA Mall with life-size paper silhouettes to represent the students who can’t show their opposition to HB 2675.

HB 2675, a piece of legislation that would require all Arizona university students to pay $2,000 of their tuition as an out-of-pocket fee unless they are on a full-ride academic or athletic scholarship, was scheduled to pass through the Higher Education Committee at the Arizona State Senate on Wednesday, but was unexpectedly pulled off the agenda just as the interns from ASA began securing their “flat-Stanleys” against the wind.

“These silhouettes are representing the students who can’t be here because they already have their skin in the game,” said Sara Olivo, an ASA intern and psychology senior. “Skin in the game” refers to a statement made by Rep. John Kavanagh, the sponsor of the bill, who said he believes that the cost would further motivate students by giving them an extra financial stake in their education.

The interns of ASA said they believe the state Legislature has misconceptions about the actual costs and investments that go into receiving a higher education. They have spent the last few days spreading awareness to students and collecting actual testimonies of how much students invest into their education, both in terms of time and money.

“We’ve spoken to the entire economic spectrum,” Olivo said, “and no one wants to see this bill pass.”

The “flat-Stanleys” that were hung on the ASA tent displayed different stories from people with concerns about the bill. Some expressed worry of how their grade point average might be affected by the time required to work off the $2,000 tuition contribution, while others showed sympathy for friends who don’t have the same economic advantages.

“If the legislators were more aware then they would understand us better,” said Sara Mattio, an international relations freshman.

In an effort to show students’ concerns to the Legislature, ASA interns have already gathered approximately 300 students to register to the online service, Arizona Listening Information System. The system offers students the opportunity to vote in on a piece of legislation, and for the Legislature to hear their voice.

“I am extremely against this bill, and it’s just moving so quickly,” said Marc Small, a sophomore studying pre-business and political science. Small was recently appointed as a senator in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, and said he wishes to support ASA in all the efforts of spreading awareness.

“We’re working together to fight against this legislation from passing,” Small said. Representatives from both ASA and ASUA traveled to Phoenix on Tuesday to express opposition to the bill.

ASA interns said they hope their “flat-Stanleys” will strike a nerve with the public over how this bill will negatively impact the student body.

“We’re not going to stop doing what we’re doing,” Olivo said. “We want this bill to die.”

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