ASUA to launch campaign supporting stable tuition
ASUA will be making a push for a guaranteed tuition plan for UA students.
Tuition has nearly doubled over the last six years, ASUA President Morgan Abraham said on Wednesday night at the ASUA Senate meeting. Abraham presented his resolution for a campus-wide push for a guaranteed tuition initiative.
At her State of the State address in January, Gov. Jan Brewer called for tuition to become more stable at the state’s universities.
Abraham got the idea to push for this initiative at the UA after hearing about House Bill 2244 by Rep. Chad Campbell (D-Phoenix), a bill designed to guarantee tuition for four years.
Student Body President Morgan Abraham answers questions at the senate meeting regarding his Guarantee Tuition Initiative presentation Wednesday. The Guarantee Tuition Initiative is looking to make tuition for future years more predictable at the University of Arizona.
NAU already implements this guaranteed tuition plan, which is known as its pledge program, Abraham said. This pledge program was what pushed his older brother to attend NAU instead of the UA. Since this plan creates incentives for a four year degree, Abraham said it was important for ASUA.
“This is the biggest legislative push ASUA has had in years,” Abraham said.
Abraham presented his plan to engage the student body by reaching out to several organizations and utilizing social media to spread the word. He also said part of this initiative will be digital campaigns, writing letters and making phone calls to the state Legislature.
In addition to engaging the UA student body, Abraham said he wants to get the surrounding community involved — something ASUA has never done before. This community outreach would include local PTAs, high schools and professors.
ASUA Sen. Zac Miller, an aerospace engineering junior, said he had a positive experience working in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and dealing with students whose scholarships don’t change as tuition increases.
“I am 100 percent for it,” Miller said.
At this meeting, Abraham said the campaign will start Monday, after which there will be tabling on the UA Mall for two weeks. In March, ASUA will begin to reach out to the Legislature, have a community kick-off event and continue to rally for support.
Sen. Mike Mazzella, a communications junior, said the fight in the state Legislature for stable tuition will be difficult.
“[This will be] an uphill battle for Rep. Campbell,” Mazzella said. “By approving this resolution, we will be doing what we were elected to do.”
While the ASUA Senate favored this resolution, Miller asked about the potential downfalls with this campaign for a locked tuition rate. Abraham addressed this concern and said the UA administration is not able to move money around as easily.
When Miller suggested reaching out to Arizona State University with this initiative, Abraham said the UA will not be working with ASU.
In the coming months, Abraham said he will be making several trips to Phoenix because there could be a lot of support from the state Legislature.
Abraham said by engaging students through a grassroots effort, this bill could be passed. Students can find other ways to get involved with this campaign by contacting ASUA.
“We think this is something every student can kind of buy into,” Abraham said. “This is something that hits home and hits home right away.”