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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ASA’s new directors face new problems

    As the state teeters on the edge of financial crisis, the Arizona Students’ Association says they have been working around the clock to lobby for the student population at the UA in this time of fiscal uncertainty.

    Such efforts will not include student protests this summer, though.

    A reduced budget and decreased student population have taken away one of ASA’s most powerful platforms. During the 2008-09 school year, hundreds of students were bussed to the state capitol to protest in-person against budget cuts levied by the legislature.

    If Gov. Jan Brewer strikes a deal with the legislature to make the state budget further resemble Brewer’s own proposal, ASA will not organize more protests, since the upcoming 2010 fiscal year’s proposed budget is not as debilitating as the previous budget, said Elma Delic, an ASA director.

    Deciding against summer protests, ASA has turned its attention to summer orientation sessions, in which the organization will be working to get incoming students to know who they are, their goals and offer internships with ASA.

    New directors are recruiting new students, having just participated in a transfer of power from the previous directors to journalism junior Delic, sociology senior Nicole Pasteur and economics sophomore Billy Holmes.

    “”So far they’ve done great. I’m really excited about the new directors,”” said Michael Slugocki, the former ASA board chair and a current ASA field organizer. “”I think they’re going to do an incredible job for the students. Training went well this weekend, I know they learned a lot and did a lot of training, and are ready for the year.””

    “”I have every confidence that they will do well and succeed,”” said Chris Nagata, current student body president and former ASA board member. “”I personally chose every single one of them and I look forward to working with them.””

    The new ASA leadership, along with the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, are facing severe challenges early because of news that the university may lose its federal stimulus package, an act that would devastate the already desperate school, Nagata said.

    “”I was disappointed when I heard the news,”” he said. “”I think the university system as a whole needs that money.””

    While the prospect of the university system losing $146 million in promised stimulus money is frightening for Arizona’s three universities, it is far from definite, Holmes said.

    “”That’s rumor right now. It’s not necessarily true,”” he said. “”There is definitely a good chance that that money will go to the university. Right now there are too many variables…As a statewide board of directors, we need to discuss it as a board before any sort of decision or plan can be made.””

    ASA will continue to lobby on behalf of the students to the legislature, unwavering in their goals despite new complications, they said.

    “”We are lobbying at the capitol to get that money into the university system,”” Holmes said. “”The budget proposal is changing daily, weekly and all the time.””

    Nagata added, “”It is difficult to follow, because they are ever-changing, because the right one hasn’t been approved. And our work is never-ending until the right one is released.””

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