The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

71° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Signatures soaring

Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Political Science freshman Hugo Polancco gets a key chain from a chicken A.K.A Whitney Kraner as anthropology senior Cate Clifton looks on. Krane and Cliffton are part of student club called Arizona PIRG, collecting petition signatures in order to get on the ASUA ballet to receive funding.
Gordon Bates
Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat Political Science freshman Hugo Polancco gets a key chain from a chicken A.K.A Whitney Kraner as anthropology senior Cate Clifton looks on. Krane and Cliffton are part of student club called Arizona PIRG, collecting petition signatures in order to get on the ASUA ballet to receive funding.

Arizona Public Interests Research Group (or PIRG) successfully reached its second-day goal of 2,000 signatures on Tuesday, in order to get on the ASUA ballot for funding. PIRG needs 4,000 signatures by the end of the week to get on the ballot.

PIRG is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest group that seeks to become a student-funded chapter.

If they are put on the ballot, the PIRG initiative would require students to pay a $1.50 per semester.

“”The proposed fee is $1.50, but students who don’t support the program could get their money back,”” said Whitney Kraner, UA’s PIRG campus coordinator.

Students would have to go through a similar process to get their money back as they would to get the money back for the Student Recreation Center fee.

The money from the fee will go toward hiring professional staff, like organizers and advocates that will help PIRG run grassroots campaigns on campus and lobby on the university’s behalf in Phoenix and in Washington, D.C.

PIRG volunteers spent Monday and Tuesday getting student signatures on the UA Mall, and they will be there again today.

Last year, PIRG requested a $2 per semester student fee and the ballot measure did not pass.

“”Instituting fees should only be done in the name of furthering the academic mission of the UA,”” said Evan Lisull, a political science senior and author of the Desert Lamp, with regards to the PIRG initiative. “”Funding an organization that has no significant divergences from the Green Party platform does not even incidentally contribute to this goal.””

PIRG will not be spending the money from the fee on students, however.

“”As PIRG itself has stated, this money will be used to ‘hire our own professional staff,'”” Lisull said. “”Arizona students are already paying a $4-per-year fee towards a lobbying organization — the Arizona Students’ Association — that works on issues that pertain to ‘student interests’ on a local, state, and federal level.””

PIRG needs 5 percent of students on campus to sign the petition in order to get on the ballot.

“”We want to civically engage students on campus on a number of issues we’re learning about every day,”” Kraner said. “”We would also like to be able to hire advocates so all our work on campus will be heard in back rooms where policies are being made.””

PIRG created themes for each day they are petitioning on campus. Monday had a “”Go Green”” theme, for which volunteers wore green, and students got their names put on a big cardboard tree.

Tuesday’s theme was “”Don’t be a chicken, sign a petition because social change is hard work!”” A volunteer wore a chicken costume to advertise the petitions.

Today’s theme will be “”Arrgh you ready for social change?”” There will be a volunteer dressed as a pirate.

The final Associated Students of the University of Arizona ballot will be released on March 9 and 10.

More to Discover
Activate Search