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ASUA Notebook 4/13/22: Senate discusses passing of mandatory meal plan

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Pascal Albright | The Daily Wildcat ASUA is the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona met this Wednesday, April 13, to discuss announcements and upcoming plans, including the Arizona Board of Regents' passing of mandatory meal plans for on-campus students. The meeting was called to order at 6:04 p.m. and adjourned at 6:26 p.m. 

Two senators were absent: College of Public Health Senator Edda Anderson and College of Architecture Senator Lauren Heath. Neither of those senators are close to having the five unexcused absences to be eligible for automatic impeachment. The only senator who will be eligible for impeachment if they miss another meeting is Eller College of Management Senator Jack Healy, who was late to the meeting.

Club funding (Appropriations Board)

Absent any old business to discuss, the first item of new business was the approval of the appropriations board minutes. The appropriations board met on April 11 where they approved general funding for the Filipino American Student Association, the Graduate Christian Fellowship and the Physiology Club. They denied general funding for the University Filmmaker’s Association. The minutes were approved.

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The last appropriations board meeting will be Monday, April 18, which will be the last time for clubs to request funding for the remainder of the year. Club applications will end in September 2022 for the upcoming fall semester.  

The special elections for the updated constitution will be held Wednesday, April 27. The modified constitution can be viewed on the ASUA website.

Meal plan update

College of Fine Arts Senator Jack Haskins updated the senate on the passing of the meal plan fee at the April 7 ABOR meeting. The proposition, according to the ABOR meeting powerpoint, was “requesting approval for a new mandatory meal plan for all on-campus residential freshman beginning in Fall 2023 with prices starting at $5,090/year.” 

This change previously faced criticism from President Vega and multiple senators due to the added cost it would bring to students’ tuition and fees. 

“I think [Haskins] and I kind of felt a lot more comfortable with the whole process … . I guess the whole route that they’re taking, I do trust the administration when it comes to it, but we mentioned, when [Haskins] and I spoke at ABOR, we don’t really trust the transparency or the process of how it got to this point, ” Vega said. 

Vega then talked about the Associated Students of Northern Arizona University's visit with the Senate and his meeting with their executives about their mandatory meal plan. NAU has a mandatory meal plan implemented where students swipe their ‘Jackcards’ to get their meals.

“One thing we couldn’t implement previously, what they have operating over at NAU is a swipe system … so if a student isn’t using all their swipes and is becoming infrequent it will sort of raise an alarm and they’ll reach out to them asking them how they’re doing,” Vega said. He followed up by explaining this could be good to find students who may need help. 

Senator at-large Lady Dorothy Elli later asked Vega who would head up and monitor this swipe system initiative if it were to become a reality, to which Vega responded he was unsure. Vega and other members of the Senate speculated it would be multiple offices including the CatCard office and the Student Union Memorial Center. 

Honorable mentions

Senator for the R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy Ziana Collins updated the Senate on the office renovations, including the ordering of furniture. She hopes it will arrive before finals. Senator Haskins also talked about the mural he plans to spearhead for the office and he will be meeting with different departments to consult on how they want to be represented. 

Senator for the College of Engineering Swathi Ramkumar proposed a way to use the extra funds left in the Senate budget of roughly $2,000. A contact from the College of Public Health reached out to Senator Ramkumar asking if the Senate could help with an event she was involved with at Banner, a prom for pediatric patients. 

Ramkumar elaborated that there were already two UA sports teams but the Senate would help fill in gaps of miscellaneous costs. ASUA advisor Sylvester Gaskin advised Ramkumar to speak to the ASUA business manager, Estella Trevers, on whether this would be a feasible possibility. 

You can learn more about ASUA on their website, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for updates.


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