A public policy resolution resulted in disagreement amongst senators, bylaws were changed, a presentation was given on the ThinkTank and $1,000 was allocated at the weekly senate meeting on Dec. 5.
Public Policy Resolution
Sen. Valerie Hanna, Morgan Abraham, and Logan Bilby urged senators to approve a resolution, which stated the senate supported the consideration of a public policy department within ASUA.
The general idea for the department was to create student positions for advocates of the UA student body at the university, local, state, and national levels.
Sen. Danielle Novelly had an issue with the resolution saying the three senators handled this incorrectly; that resolutions should be used for action items, not thoughts.
The group said this was a good idea because it would serve as a precaution in case of a permanent removal of the $2 fee collected by the Arizona Students’ Association. Bilby used the analogy, “if a roof has a leak, one should fix it, even if it’s not raining just yet.” Many others spoke out against his comments, questioning the need to spend time and money on a nonissue.
Abraham began the discussion on the resolution with a statement saying no one should be concerned about offending anyone. Following this, there was a popular theme of stating ‘no offense’ before speakers made a statement on the resolution.
Despite statements of ‘no offense,’ many officials were offended with the resolution, including ASUA Academic Affairs Director, Anthony Carli.
Carli spoke at the beginning of the meeting, explaining how his position was overlooked in the formation of the resolution and he said he found it upsetting some people didn’t know who he was. He explained his position is to advocate the student voice to higher officials at the UA, which was one of the positions the resolution wanted to create.
ASUA President Katy Murray was also upset at the resolution and at the fact that the three senators who created the resolution had not attended the cabinet.
“I am not in any way against change or revision,” Murray said. “But I think it’s really uncalled for and almost pathetic to call for change just to call for change. You can’t really work on something without necessarily having a cause or a direct way that you want to go with it. I also feel like why run, if you don’t need to run yet.”
Some also had an issue with the resolution due to cost. Graduate Professional Student Council President Zachary Brooks spoke at the beginning of the meeting on concerns for the cost of such a department. The three senators said there would be restructuring to ensure there is no waste of resources or any extra money spent in ASUA than there is now.
After a heated discussion, the resolution was struck down. However, by the end of the discussion, there was a general agreement of the necessity of change in restructuring ASUA.
SafeRide’s official name in their bylaws removed the ASUA from the title so as not to sound redundant.
Appropriations board bylaws changed to allow ASUA to cut funding for a club if they receive more than 30% from a university organization. Before the change the bylaws stated a club/organization could not receive funding from ASUA for the remainder of the year if they received $500 from another university organization. This was to prevent double dipping into funds.
James Allen and William Holmes gave a presentation on the graduate student services the ThinkTank offers.
According to the presentation, preparation courses and tests are administered at the ThinkTank for lower prices than what private companies offer. The test prep classes are $550 for four weeks as compared to the $1200 fee most companies charge.
LSAT tests are $160 with 87.5% of students saying they agree their scores increased after taking the class. GMAT test takers pay $250 and 88% of students claim their scores increased after taking the prep course. Students who want to take the GRE need to pay $175 and out of the students who took the GRE test prep course, 82% said they felt their scores increased.
UA’s test prep courses value added is that specialists on a test or particular sections of a test teach the courses.
Any money generated from the cost of the tests or courses are put straight back into the ThinkTank and the revenue will also lower the amount ThinkTank receives from the student services fee.
Senators allocated $1000 to fund Dr. Maura Cullen to speak at the UA on Jan. 26 and 27.
Her speaker cost was $5000, after she lowered the price for ASUA since she plans to speak at NAU around the same time. Dr. Maura Cullen is a diversity speaker who some RA’s watch before they begin their job at the UA.