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The author of this blog has moved his efforts over to a new group blog. Please visit The Arizona Growler.

O'Hara Factor
Monday, August 08, 2005

AZ Student Unions: Okay fine. We'll force everyone to pay!

Amidst the stern refusal of ASUA and RHA to support a mandatory meal plan, now Arizona Student Unions has come up with a more attractive way of getting the money: a mandatory $20 fee for all students.

At UA, mandatory fees are a regular part of the beginning of the semester. Quoting from my own account summary, current mandatory fees include:

ASA (Arizona Students' Association) Fee
Pays for lobbying the Arizona Legislature and Board of Regents for "pro-student" causes such as lower tuition.
$ 2.00
Recreation Center Bond Retirement Fee
Separate from the "program" fee, this pays off the loan for the relatively-new recreation center
Arizona Financial Aid Trust
Pays financial aid for other students
Pays the student radio station, to which I have never listened except when they set up equipment on the mall
$ 1.00
Recreation Center Program Fee
Separate from the "bond retirement fee", this pays for the actual use of the rec center.
$ 3.23

Granted, some of the fees are refundable (meaning they want your money first), but who knows how to get the refund, and who has the time during final exams?

Cash Patch Kids Award
Cash Patch Kids Award

According to the Wildcat, ASUA president Cade Bernsen is not sure about the fee, and has demanded that students get something better if the fee is implemented. Bernsen is also on record supporting the construction of a university child-care center, which warranted the Cash Patch Kids Award on ASUA Watch (now on hiatus).

Despite my policy differences with him, Cade Bernsen is a warrior. Expect Arizona Student Unions to make some serious promises before he lends his support.

Update: After some random Googling, I found that a similar proposal came out in 1997, before the current Student Union Memorial Center had been built. In a student referendum, 71.8 percent voted NO and 24.2 percent voted YES, with 4,413 students voting. However, this mandatory fee was to be $40, double the currently-proposed $20.

Mandatory Meal Plan Proposal Indicates Larger Problem
PDF: "The Mandatory Meal Plan; In Support of Equality"


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