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ASUA discusses concerns over new Student Success District (ASUA Notebook: 2/13/2019)

ASUA discusses concerns over new Student Success District (ASUA Notebook: 2/13/2019)
Randall Eck

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, UA’s student governance body, voted to fund a number of campus events and discussed UA’s new Student Success District and new fees at its Feb. 13 meeting. 

Student Success District 

The senators were briefed on UA’s new Student Success District by the interim senior vice provost, Vincent Del Casino. 

The district, which will encompass the Main Library, Science-Engineering Library and Bear Down Gym, is expected to be complete by Fall 2021 at a cost of $81 million.
A new Student Success Building will also be built behind the Bear Down Gym and will centralize student services, including mentoring and tutoring and career counseling, according to Del Casino. 

As part of the new district, Bear Down Gym will host more health and wellness activities, the Science-Engineering Library will have new spaces for student collaboration, and new outdoor environments will increase connectivity between library spaces and collaborative classrooms, Del Casino said. 

          RELATED: ASUA approves funding for 18 campus clubs, most in single week

Madeline Melichar, senator for the College of Engineering, questioned Del Casino on the impact of the new district’s construction on campus life, especially future bike paths around the libraries. 

Del Casino said the bike paths are slated to remain and encouraged students to bring their concerns to the project’s organizers, who are seeking student feedback regarding transportation and other concerns. 

While the current budget for the project is $81 million, Del Casino told the senators that current projections show the project slightly exceeding this budget. 

Part of the funding for the new district comes from the student service fees; a portion of its recent $99 increase goes towards the district. Gifts to the university are expected to make up the remaining $20 million of the budget. 

Funding Requests

Senators approved an approximately $1,100 funding request from UA’s Hillel Foundation for its annual Holocaust vigil. 

The senate also approved $2,000 of funding to print Cat’s Claw Ivy, a student art publication. The project was spearheaded by Noah Huang, senator for the College of Fine Arts, with the goal of sharing artistic expression. 

Additionally, senators voted to give their affiliate organization, Students for Sustainability, $1,800 for an Earth Day Event.

Lastly, the senate approved the distribution of over $4,000 to campus clubs handed out by the ASUA Appropriations Board. 

Some of this funding will help the UA’s Program to Advance Women Scientists attend a national conference in Florida and UA’s Wildcat Print Association register for a conference to display the group’s art. 

ASUA has over $56,000 in remaining funds for clubs to apply for.   

Tuition 

Matthew Rein, ASUA executive vice president, briefed the senate on a potential increase in UA’s enrollment fee. The administration is seeking to increase the fee from $390 to $425.  

“A lot of other fees are staying the same or going away in terms of individual programs,” Rein said. 

The senate agreed to stay up to date on proposed fee changes in order to ensure the student voice is a part of fee discussions. 

          RELATED: Senate approves an increase in stipends and looks to increase outreach

In regards to tuition, ASUA discussed writing a resolution in support of Arizona State Senate bill 1518, which raises taxes to provide more dollars to Arizona higher education. 

The bill is modeled after a proposal made by the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs Arizona’s three public universities, in which the state of Arizona would fund 50 percent of the cost of a college education for Arizona students.  

Check back to the Daily Wildcat next week for continued coverage of ASUA and its upcoming elections. 


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