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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“ASUA tackles textbook prices, Rec Center fees”

ASUA started off their spring meetings with a campus view of the future, including moving forward with Campus Recreation, a textbook adoption program and a presidential appointment.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona and Arizona Students’ Association have been working together to address the issues of textbook pricing.

“”We need good adoption rates because if we get these booklists in on time, we save these students money,”” said ASUA President Emily Fritze.

On a $100 textbook, a $50 return comes back for students with teachers who submitted book lists on time, whereas late book lists create only a $25 return.

ASUA, according to Fritze, asked for full disclosure of submitted orders to compile data for the last six semesters “”to figure out why this is such a difficult thing to do”” in certain departments.

Communication, astronomy, and electrical and computer engineering have all been successful in turning in booklists on time.

“”We’re just trying to help with the education of that (book adoption prices),”” Fritze said.

Fritze also said including book turnover in annual performance reviews might improve turnover rates and also aid students. Conflicts of interest with professors writing their own books were relieved when ex officio Sen. Brian Seastone informed the senate that publishers, not professors, set book prices.

Daniel Hernandez Jr. was added to the agenda at the last minute by Sen. Jeff Adams as an ASA director as well as Andrew Chaifetz, a pre-business freshman, with technology and website revamping for ASUA. The former director graduated, and Hernandez’s application was already submitted last semester.

Mark Zakrzewski, interim director of UA Campus Recreation, presented information about the future of recreation facilities to ASUA.

“”Our program by almost every metric is completely different than what it was last year at this time,”” Zakrzewski said. “”It’s much more than just a weight room.””

Offering numerous non-fitness related programs is a philosophical change for the recreation center, he said.

“”We want to make the Rec a destination to study, hang out with their friends, get a healthy snack and obviously use the facilities,”” he said.

Zakrzewski also addressed fees “”that are on this group of students’ minds”” including the bond fee, which, at $25 a semester, serves as a  ””mortgage payment”” for students, a refundable program fee at $3.63 per semester slated to disappear next semester, and the health and wellness fee at $306 a year, of which the facility receives $140, phased in over the next two fiscal years.

Both the retail store Wildcat Threads, a partnership with the UofA Bookstores, and Fuel, a partnership with Arizona Student Unions and Dining Services, were introduced to keep current fees flat and help generate revenue for the center. Naming rights and sponsorship, including some discussions with UA Healthcare and Rosemont Copper, have been discussed to garner more revenue, but nothing is solidified as of yet. According to Zakrzewski, “”we may not have the latitude to just pick and choose where that money goes.””

Zakrzewski also addressed problems with the biometrics fingerprinting system, expanding programming and fees.

“”We can always Monday morning quarterback the thing,”” Zakrzewski said, saying the decision to expand was made years before its completion and the justification of the new center is that students, faculty and staff are enjoying new services. “”You can’t un-ring the bell … but what’s more valuable than your health?””

In October 2009, around 55,784 visits to the facility were recorded by Campus Recreation. After the expansion a year later, 106,688 visits were recorded in the same month.

A cooking class series will be opening this spring, targeting obesity-related programming, upgrading physical challenge courses, introducing classes for credit as well as more collaborations across campus are on the horizon for the center, Zakrzewski said.

“”It’s (the Campus Rec) offering this experience that is way different from other recreation facilities,”” said Sen. Lindsay Hartgraves, a part of the class-for-credit push from ASUA.

The ASUA Senate also passed a full club funding gamut. A Christian Fellowship Fund was stricken from Monday’s appropriation board agenda because the group wants to resubmit a new proposal later. Mock Trial club appeared twice on the agenda due to a scheduling conflict carried over from the fall semester. The appropriations board decided to fund the previous request as well as a new spring semester request from the group.

There was $4,125.46 funded to campus clubs out of more than $6,000 requested. The year’s total toward club funding comes to $58,860.05.

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