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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA supports DREAMers tuition


Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. Michael Finnegan speaks during the ASUA Senate’s weekly meeting at the Student Union Memorial Center on Wednesday. At the last senate meeting of the year, the senators chose to support giving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-approved students in-state tuition.

At its last meeting of the year, the 2014-2015 ASUA Senate class unanimously approved a DREAM Act Resolution in support of allowing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-approved youth to have increased access to higher education. 

The resolution offering resident tuition rates to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-approved students was drafted by Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Issac Ortega and was discussed last week. 

ASUA Sen. Michael Finnegan said Ortega is out of town in Washington working with senators.

In his absence, Finnegan said Ortega was telling him about how the Arizona Board of Regents will be voting on a DACA resolution to give students 150 percent residential tuition.

Currently, the resolution drafted by Ortega says they support 100 percent of residential tuition, but Finnegan said, “He wanted us to change ours from saying the same price as residential students to a 150 percent.”

Finnegan said they thought this would be the best way to increase cooperation with the board of regents. 

The ASUA Senate then made a formal amendment to change the wordage of the last paragraph of the resolution to now say, “Therefore be it resolved that the Associated Students of the University of Arizona support[s] offering a 150 percent of residential tuition rates to ensure that DACA-approved youth have greater access and affordability to the University of Arizona.”

In response to ASUA Sen. Joey Steigerwald’s question of what the chief arguments against offering reduced tuition rates to DACA students, ASUA Sen. Joe Zanoni said, “I can play devil’s advocate.” 

Zanoni said that although these are not his personal statements or opinions, the main counter arguments include that in-state pay more into the system than undocumented migrants do, such as taxes, and that technically, their parents or someone broke the law.

The senate unanimously approved the DREAM Act Resolution and also killed its first bill of the year. 

Last week, the senate had discussed a Homeless Bill of Rights Resolution that was written and sent in by a community homeless activist.

Many senators voiced their concern over the resolution and the strong ambiguous language used throughout the bill at the previous meeting, which may have affected the passage of the bill.

Executive Vice President Jordan Allison said that, due to personal reasons, Finnegan, the original sponsor of the resolution, had expressed his interest in rescinding his sponsorship for the bill.

With no objections from any other senators, Finnegan removed his sponsorship for the bill; therefore, the bill was dead, Allison said.

With Wednesday’s senate meeting being the final of the year, many senators took the time to say thank you to everyone in the room for the hard work they’d put in over the last year. 

“You guys have done a really good job this year,” Administrative Vice President Daniel Douglas said. “You all have worked very, very hard, and that’s very clear in the work you’ve done. You’ve actually accomplished things; a lot of you have done platforms, and it’s been really cool to see.”


Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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