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Senate approves new textbook resolution and discusses possible town hall (ASUA Notebook: 3/27/2019)

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Chloe Hislop | The Daily Wildcat Matthew Rein, executive vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, and Eller College of Management Senator Michelle Mendoza at the ASUA meeting on February 20. ASUA serves as the student government for the University of Arizona.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, UA’s student body government, discussed how it wants to increase diversity and heard presentations on a new UA-focused networking site in the senate meeting Wednesday, March 27. 

Prior to roll call, executive vice president Matthew Rein announced that Ashin Katwala, College of Science senator, resigned. 


Diversity Discussion

Rocque Perez, at-large senator, said he wanted to start planning a town hall close to the end of April. Perez cited a constitutional expectation for ASUA to conduct town halls and recent events on campus like the Border Patrol protest as reason to hold one. 

“Ultimately, I think this would be a great opportunity for students to finally voice their concerns,” Perez said. He also said the town halls would be an opportunity to bridge the gap between student body, student government and administration. 

          RELATED: ASUA looks to end semester with number of resolutions

Olivia Johnson, College of Nursing senator, said newly-elected ASUA members should come to the town hall in addition to current members, since new members will be taking office May 1. 

“We need to make sure that everyone's opinion is involved in order to make it an event that focuses not only on recent events but other issues that students are definitely concerned about here on campus,” said Sedona Lynch, senator for the College of Public Health. 

Tara Singleton, at-large senator, said this town hall should set precedent instead of being a reaction. 


Bear Down Network

Rebecca Determan and Quinn Miller from the UA Alumni Association introduced Bear Down Network to ASUA students. 

The network aims to connect students and alumni within the UA community. 

“This is a really nice meeting between Facebook and LinkedIn, for only UA people," said Determan, project specialist for recent alumni and student engagement. "It's a really good opportunity to connect with alumni, with each other.”

Students and alumni will be able to connect to find alumni in a certain city or industry. ASUA members were invited to join the network before its official launch next month. 

Madeline Melichar, senator for the College of Engineering, asked if other student services on campus such as Student Engagement and Career Development were aware that Bear Down Network will soon be a resource available to students to help ensure a competing resource doesn’t emerge later. 

“We’ve been working with Career Services since the beginning to make sure that Handshake remains its own resource and that Bear Down Network is its own resource with unique opportunities,” said Miller, digital content coordinator. 

Miller said that industry-related groups will also be available on the website, similar to Facebook groups. 

Melichar also asked what sets Bear Down Network apart from websites like Handshake and LinkedIn.

“This wouldn't be a replacement for LinkedIn, because that's also a really great resource, it's a lot bigger,” Miller said. “A key difference, you'll notice, you can go into the directory, people will indicate how they're willing to help. You know when you're reaching out to this person, they want to help you."

Miller and Determan said they were also working on a corresponding app, which will be released in the near future. 


Textbook Resolution

ASUA unanimously approved a textbook resolution proposed by Brennen Feder, senator for the College of Education. 

The resolution encourages instructors to use low or free-cost materials in their courses, in addition to submitting their booklist to the bookstore prior to the deadline set by the office of the provost and using databases available to students. 

“Sitting on student affairs and policy committee, this was definitely a big push that they had and something that they wanted senate support [for],” Feder said. 


Funding 

VolunteerUA is an organization within ASUA that enables students to volunteer around the UA, the Tucson community and the Southwest region. Members requested $1900 to cover the cost of transportation for their recent trips to Houston for disaster relief, Las Vegas for food security and San Diego for immigration under the Alternative Breaks program.

          RELATED: Senate discusses upcoming elections and possibly attending "LobbyCon"

Volunteer UA is requesting funding because Motor Pool has increased their prices, but the club wants to be accessible to as many students as possible, so they have not raised their fees. 

VIDA, the Arnold Air Society, the Filipino American Student Association, Alpha Kappa Psi, Students on Stage, the Microbiology Club, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Black Girls' Fitness Club and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space all had their funding requests approved at the Appropriations Board meeting Monday, March 25. ASUA has over $17,000 remaining in its budget.  


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