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The Daily Wildcat

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UA students, staff rally over school’s reaction to money crisis, Israel, more

The+University+of+Arizonas+Old+Main+building+on+campus.
Heather Newberry
The University of Arizona’s Old Main building on campus.

University of Arizona students and staff protested the Arizona Board of Regents for its measures to address the school’s financial crisis and more Thursday, Nov. 16

United Campus Workers of Arizona led the protest, which took place prior to the ABOR meeting. The group expressed outrage over the UA’s management of its current financial situation.  

As stated on UCWAZ ’s Instagram, “UA admin ‘lost’ $240 million, causing a financial crisis. Workers on the bottom refuse to pay for admin’s failures in cuts to our wages, salaries, departments and financial aid. We are coming to tell ABOR to ‘CHOP FROM THE TOP’.”

This protest aimed not only to voice concerns about the school’s unfair actions in addressing the financial crisis, but also to address the institution’s stance on supporting Israel. 

“Our central administrations are complicit in the genocide and illegal occupation of Palestine, supporting Israel and other settler colonial projects of mass murder and displacement (including themselves) through contracts with Raytheon and other arms manufacturers,” noted the same UCWAZ Instagram statement.  

A the rally held before the ABOR meeting began on the east side of Old Main at noon, followed by a march to the Student Union Memorial Center’s north ballroom around 1:15 p.m. As the ABOR meeting held its public comment session, several students and faculty expressed their disapproval and anger towards the school’s actions, addressing their speeches to UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins

A speaker at the rally before the meeting, who wished to remain anonymous for safety concerns, spoke about the unjust labeling of the Palestinian people as “terrorists,” as well as how Robbins “completely disregards this and more in the name of antisemitism and pro-terrorism, saying that student organizations who express solidarity with the Palestinian people and their resistance are antithetical to the university’s values.” 

The speaker recalled two events in the last year that happened on campus where no action was done in support of these “university beliefs.”

One of these issues pertains to the passing of professor Thomas Meixner and the fact that he was receiving antisemitic emails with no appropriate action being taken. Another concern they mentioned involved the presence of an anti-abortion group on campus that displayed disturbing images of Holocaust victims to evoke shock in support of its cause. 

At the protest, Rhys Williams, a sophomore at the university and co-chair of Direct Action for UArizona Divest, addressed the detrimental impact of the school’s proposals to raise tuition and reducing financial aid as a means to address their financial challenges. 

“Why are campus workers who are asking for $25 an hour by 2025 seen as unreasonable? Why is the university raising its tuition over and over again every year? Why are incoming students who are just like me made to pay for the mistakes of others?” Williams said. 

Many more students expressed their own fear about this tuition increase and potential financial aid cut as they spoke to Robbins during the public comment section. 

UCWAZ’s website lists all the petitions the group is promoting in hopes to influence a positive change to the decisions made by the Arizona Board of Regents.


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