Saturday, January 31, 2009

Don't Forget Who Did This to AZ's Kids

Come time to vote, don't forget who buried education and danced on its grave.

"Senate Minority Leader Pamela Gorman likened the Legislature's mood to a funeral."

We are ashamed that we are already 51st in the nation (DC included) in K-12 funding and refused to raise taxes even a tiny bit to keep us from falling off the bottom of the chart entirely:

"The K-12 schools must cut their budgets a collective $113 million, which averages about 1.6 percent to individual school districts through June. Charter schools were cut $4 million, and the state Department of Education was cut $8 million.
Rep. Eric Meyer, R-Scottsdale, said he, like many other lawmakers, was flooded with emails urging lawmakers to spare cuts to schools. “Our classrooms will change, and that change will be for the worse,” said Meyer, who also serves on the Scottsdale Unified School District board."

We are ashamed of Republican lawmakers that determine their budget deadline according to how it works with their Superbowl plans:

"Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to quickly sign the bill into law, capping her first 10 days in office. She is scheduled to leave for Tampa and the Super Bowl later today."

Shame on you for what you have done. May we never forget it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I declare a full emergency!

I just received this e-mail from Paula Aboud:
"This is urgent. And this is serious. We need your help to save Education for Arizona. We just received word that Gov. Brewer is tallying the # of phone calls on the Education budget cuts! You must call her now and say eliminate the cuts to Education!!!

Her # outside Phoenix is: (800) 253-0883 Inside Phx: (602) 542-4331 Paula Aboud State Senator District 28, Tucson US +1 8003528404 Call X 6-5262 Appropriations Committee, Ranking Democrat , Health Committee Education Committee "

I just called and the voice mailbox is full!!!!!!! (11pm, Friday the 30th of January)

Write an e-mail using this website:

Call! Don't know what to say? Here's a suggestion:

"Hello my name is (NAME) and I live in (CITY). I am calling to oppose cuts to public K-12 and university education in Arizona. I feel that such cuts would not only be detrimental to our future, but also irreparably harm our state’s economy. I am ashamed that such cuts have even been proposed, considering Arizona’s current education standing in the nation. If (SEN/ /REP. _____) upholds these cuts, I will encourage everyone I know to vote against (HIM/HER) in the next election."

Then call Rep. Kavanagh (602) 926-5170
Speaker Adams (602) 926-549
President Burns (602) 926-5993
Sen. Pearce (602) 926-5760

Too shy? Call in the middle of the night like we did and leave a voice mail!
It’s 4 calls and will cost you 4 cell phone minutes.

You do not need to be an AZ resident, a citizen or currently living in AZ to call: You value your AZ degree, your AZ job, your child's education. No matter who you are or where you live, you have a right to defend the value of quality public education!

Do it now! Opinions are being counted! Have your voice heard before it is too late!

Want to look betrayal in the eye?

Come time to vote, don't forget who chose to lay off thousands of state, university, city and county employees. Write them an e-mail or call and ask them why they don't support education in our state. These are the supporters of the cuts to education:



Do these men represent YOU?
From the AZ Republic:
"All in all, it was as dour a day as any in recent memory as the state Capitol became ground zero for the state's budget crisis.
"E-mails have come. Phone calls have come. People have rallied," said Democratic Sen. Amanda Aguirre, recalling a week in which thousands of Arizonans descended on the Capitol. "The pleas have been there not to cut things we have right now on the table."
Legislative leaders generally ignored those pleas Thursday, moving swiftly to meet a self-imposed Feb. 1 deadline and save an estimated $160 million in additional cuts.
But cuts were watchword of the day, and public testimony on the plan was wrenching at times. "While I am one person standing here in front of you, my voice is not alone," Apache Junction resident Jessie Geroux told Senate lawmakers. She spoke in defense of state assistance for her 8-year-old autistic son, as well as members of the disabled community with her at the Capitol.
"They're not optional," Geroux said of the state programs. "They're not luxuries."

A Sad Day in Arizona

It's still not too late to call the Governor's office and tell her what you think: 1-800-253-0883

Come time to vote, don't forget who ruined education in Arizona.

In the Tucson Citizen:

"Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, the secretary of state who became governor when Napolitano resigned Jan. 17, did not release any budget-balancing suggestions of her own. She called the Legislature into special session Wednesday night after Republican legislative leaders assured her they had worked out a plan and had enough votes to approve it.
Saying Arizona likely will net well over $500 million once Congress settles on a stimulus package, legislative Democrats argued that the Republican-led Legislature was moving prematurely to adopt painful budget cuts.
"Republicans have declared war on our education system for no reason," said Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat who cited a U.S. House vote approving that chamber's version of the stimulus package."

From the AZ Star:
The UA is likely to cut 600 positions in an effort to shave $57 million off its $418 million budget this year, said university spokesman Paul Alvin. At least 200 of those positions will be layoffs. The other 400 may be cut through attrition and elimination of vacant positions.
All units across campus will experience a 5 percent budget cut, Alvin said. He repeated what university presidents said earlier: Students will see fewer courses, making it harder to graduate on time.
The university is not yet considering requiring employees to take unpaid time off, he said, because that is not a deep enough cut.
The three university presidents had recommended a total $100 million cut for the trio of universities. Alvin said with the number rising above that, the consequences would be greater than UA President Robert Shelton had anticipated.
"The president's numbers stretched the rubber band as far as we could stretch it," he said. "This goes beyond that."

A criticism of the cuts:

Thursday, January 29, 2009


This is a full-on emergency: Contact everyone you know and tell them to call the governor's office and the leaders of this proposal. Make your voice heard before it is too late.

The AZ Star reports that as a result of a closed-door Republican meeting, encouraged by Gov. Brewer, the new budget will be voted on FRIDAY the 30th.

The Republican-led group also refuses to even consider collecting more taxes or taking federal money that may be earmarked. This article is extremely informative:

"The plan also cuts state funding for higher education by $150.5 million.

The remaining $134.7 million in reduced funding for universities would be allocated among the three schools by the state Board of Regents.

Democrats also complained about as being left out of the process, with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, arguing the process was done "in secret.''
GOP leaders did put together the final package in closed-door meetings with members."

Governor's office: 1-800-253-0883

Senator John McCain. You may not agree with his politics, but he has fought to keep employers in AZ. This situation is no different. The universities and schools are major employers: Washington office:(202)-224-2254, Tucson office: (520) 670-6334

See previous posts for the phone numbers for the legislators who proposed these cuts in the first place. Call them and ask if they want to be remembered as the ones who destroyed our state's future.


Call Governor Jan Brewer and tell her that the new plan is still unacceptable:

Telephone (602) 542-4331

Toll Free 1-(800) 253-0883

Fax (602) 542-1381

Then call back and ask to speak with Rep. Kavanagh (602) 926-5170, Speaker Adams (602) 926-5495, President Burns (602) 926-5993 and Sen. Pearce (602) 926-5760.

Republican lawmakers met in a closed-door meeting last night to decide education's future, including $142 million in university budget reductions and $133 in K-12 reductions:

There is no plan to increase taxes as an option to offset these deficits. Don't forget that the Daily Star reported that a one cent sales tax increase would bring in $1 billion in a year!

According to Dr. Matt Heinz (Rep, Dist. 29): "We are at risk of decimating the university system and of becoming the lowest in K-12 per-pupil funding nationally - in fact, it appears that according to the most recent stats from 2007-08 we are now solidly at the bottom of the barrel with a ranking of 51st (DC schools included)."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


More on the massive student protest soon....

Sources have told us that the AZ legislature's budget-cut fans are scheming to accelerate the vote on decimating AZ education!

Phone-flood campaign:
Even if you have called before, call the state legislature and demand to speak with the governor's office:
602 - 542 - 4900

Then call back and ask to speak with Rep. Kavanagh (602) 926-5170, Speaker Adams (602) 926-5495, President Burns (602) 926-5993 and Sen. Pearce (602) 926-5760.

Tell them they are taking us down the road to total economic devastation. These cuts will result in massive lay-offs and destabilize our state.

Have your parents call. Have your friends call. Ask your classmates to call. Tell your professors about it. Do not let these proposed cuts sneak in under the radar. Demand that your elected officials hear your voice!

You do not need to be an Arizona resident or a U.S. citizen to call. You have a right to stand up for your education and your job!

Fernanda Echavarri of the Tucson Citizen has already posted her article on the protests:

From UA News: What University presidents say about the cuts:

And the Daily Star is on top of the protest:

And the Arizona Republic reports on the protest, although they seem to have undercounted the number of students (they say 1,000, but we were there, and it was more like 2,000):

From Northern Arizona: 1/2 of the original cuts are being considered by some lawmakers:

The latest is that Jan Brewer, 'our' new governor is refusing to submit her 2010 budget proposal. Could it be that she doesn't want her name on the extremely unpopular education budget cuts? Call her office and ask!

On the TV:

KOLD News 13 (Wondering who was in that helicopter over the protest? It was them!):

KGUN9: Protest Cuts at Capitol

Also, Paula Aboud, Arizona State Senator, gave Sallygradstudent a high five at the rally at the state capitol today. Write her an e-mail and thank her for supporting public education. Fighting for justice can feel like an exhausting and thankless job sometimes: mailto:paboud@azleg.

***For more photos and an open forum where you can post photos, videos and comments, join Gradstudents for Change in Arizona on Facebook***

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Be Heard!

Protest: AZ State Capitol, Wednesday, January 28th. Check for more info and driving directions if you're not riding the bus.
There may still be space if you need a ride. E-mail

Sallygradstudent is accepting photo submissions, guest posts and any other commentaries on the protest. You can write anonymously or use your own name (we will never reveal your name or e-mail address without your permission.)

E-mail us at

Stand up for education in AZ!
Save our Schools and Save our State!

Sallygradstudent now has a facebook group! Sign in and post on the group wall any time!

Also in the news today:
Forced unpaid leave for university staff is one of the many methods proposed for absorbing the cuts, but will not keep away massive lay-offs if the cuts pass:

Massive turn-out expected for Phoenix protest:


The GPSC has chartered buses from Tucson to Phoenix so you can put your energy into the protest and not parking! There is plenty of space left!

From the GPSC:

There are still approximately 700 spots. There are still TONS of spots and space, and we need people right now. Especially grad students! The more the merrier. It is extremely urgent that folks sign up now. They can do that in the ASUA office, by emailing, or, at this point, showing up on Tuesday morning in the Grand Ballroom in the student union between 7:30 and 8:45 to get on a bus and check in. (Earlier is better if students want to go in a group, but as bus space is ample, it shouldn't be a problem.)

To all,

The GPSC has only received 16 graduate and professional student RSVPs, though we are aware that many more than that plan to go. These records are essential for estimating how much food and/or water is needed and urgently request that if you are riding a bus to the protest to please send us your information by 5p today.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 28 between noon and 2 pm. (Buses leave Tucson no later than 9am.) LUNCH will also be provided.

WHERE: Arizona State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix


MEET IN THE STUDENT UNION BETWEEN 7-8:30 AM for sign-in and registration. Breakfast will be available. Twenty-five buses have been chartered for this demonstration, and about 1500 seats are available for those interested in coming. These buses will leave Old Main NO LATER THAN 9 AM.


Email the GPSC with ALL of the following information no later than Tuesday at 5pm:
1) Your Name
2) Your cell phone # if you have one (this is for text message reminders ONLY)
3) Your e-mail address

It is important that you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure to allow for everyone to be seated. We look forward to your participation and let us show the Arizona State Legislature that we do not support the proposed budget cuts to higher education!
Stephen W. Bieda, IIIGraduate & Professional Student Body President

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wednesday Protests - Excuses Offered!

ASA volunteers will be starting to check students in at 7:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom in the Student Union, where the ABOR meeting was. If groups want to ride on the same bus and the number is pretty large, then checking in earlier is better in order to stay as a group.

Here is a message from Tommy Bruce, ASUA President:

"Dear Wildcats:The Arizona State Legislature will be making difficult final decisions on mid-year budget cuts for fiscal year 2009 in the very near future. In an effort to ensure that our students all make their voices heard, The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, Graduate & Professional Student Council alongside the Arizona Students Association will be providing students an opportunity to travel up to the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday January 28th.

The details are as follows:
Arizona State Capitol Trip
Wednesday January 28, 2009
Depart Campus: 9am
Return to Campus: 5pm (at the latest)
Breakfast & Lunch will be provided
25 buses will be leaving The University of Arizona on Wednesday morning, which means we only have room for 1,500 students of our 38,000 - sign up quickly to make your voice heard.

If you would like to go, we need you to sign-up by Tuesday 5pm on January 27th. You can sign up by doing one of the following:
SIGN-UP:E-Mail: Call: (520) 621 - ASUA Go To: ASUA Office (3rd floor of the Student Union Memorial Center, directly above The University of Arizona Bookstore - open from 8am - 5pm)
Please Include The Following Information:
Full Name:
Student ID:

Students who attend this trip to the capitol will receive written verification of their attendance, but will be responsible for communicating with their professors about their absence and for all work that they miss prior to departing.
For more information about this opportunity please visit the ASUA website at
Bear Down!
Tommy BruceASUA Student Body President"

A message to the faculty:
"Dear Faculty Colleagues:
We are writing to alert you to the student protest against the proposed budgetcuts, planned for Weds, Jan 28th at the State Capitol. (See detailsbelow.)

The students have asked for our help in the following ways:
1) Allow your students to attend by excusing absences on wednesday (ASA is happyto provide proof of attendance for each individual student). OR just bring yourwhole class to the protest.
2) DONATE MONEY: The ASA is renting buses to bring students from UA to Phoenix-- the buses are expensive ($1000 for each bus holding 58 students). They have provided several convenient ways for us to contribute: CREDIT CARD ONLINE at, PERSONAL CHECK to Arizona Students Association Drop it off at the ASUA office onthe 3rd floor of the Student Union Memorial Center. ORSend it to: Arizona Students Association, 3507 N. Central Ave., Suite 202 Phoenix, AZ 85012

Many thanks for your support,
Wanda H. Howell, Chair of the Faculty
Miranda Joseph, Chair, Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee"

The Protests have begun!

From the Daily Wildcat: AZ Schools ally against cuts:

1,500 Students, Parents and Teachers show up at the capitol on Sunday to protest cuts to elementary and secondary education!

From the Daily Star:

The K-12 protest in the Tucson Citizen:

These protests have reached the AP wire, making this resistance a national story.

Want to get involved?
All-community protest Wednesday, January 28th from 11am-1pm at the State Capitol!
Need more info or want a spot on the bus to Phoenix?
or e-mail Tommy Bruce, ASUA president at

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wednesday's Protest: S.O.S. Save Our Schools!

Wednesday, January 28th, students, faculty and community will be at the state capitol to protest the proposed cuts to education made by some members of the legislature. Our goal is to be 10,000 strong.

Buses will be gathering at the U of A near the flagpole at Old Main beginning at 8:45 and leaving at 9am to take protesters to Phoenix. The protest is from 12 noon until 1:30pm, so anticipated time of return is around 4pm.
GPSC's procedure for graduate students is to email their seat request to Information we need to collect is name, email, and phone number.

People are encouraged to donate at Donation is done through paypal.

For people who are driving themselves, the address is 1700 W Washington St., Phoenix, AZ. There may not be many parking garages nearby, only downtown in the Central Ave / Van Buren St area. That would be about a two mile walk (30-40 minutes). The closest garage is located at NW corner of N 3rd Ave and W Adams St.

See protest details:
For information, write to Tommy Bruce, ASUA president: or GPSC President Stephen Bieda III:

Check out one new-and-improved flyer for the protest. Feel free to make as many copies as you want.
Also, if you are going to write a letter to your elected representatives, consider sending copies (through e-mail) to local journalists. Some Sallygradstudent readers have done this and then been interviewed or had part of their stories printed. Every little bit helps:
Aaron Mackey (AZ Star):
Renee Schafer Horton (Tucson Citizen):

Want to Write an Angry Letter? Don't Bother! We Did it for You!

Please feel free to cut and paste or use any or all of this sample letter to write to the Appropriations committee (e-mail addresses included in the document: just cut and paste): Don't forget to date and sign it! For access to a word doc, click the link:

To the Members of the Arizona State Legislature

Want to know to whom you're writing? (click on Appropriations)

Want to know how to contact your district's representative?

In the News

Arizona Spotlight's report on the cuts to universities:

AZ Spotlight says that students are fighting back! They play recordings from the rally on Tuesday and from the ABOR meeting on Thursday.

In the Tucson Citizen:

"Kavanagh was reacting to reports regarding Thursday's Arizona Board of Regents meeting where more than 900 students, faculty members and state business leaders implored the regents to fight the budget options Kavanagh and Sen. Russell Pearce released last week."

See some more details of the proposals from lawmakers here:

"The negative public reaction to the Appropriations Chairmen's options has been of great help in gaining support for theuniversities within the legislature. But it will be a long process, and we need our supporters to stay with us all the way."

The legislature is also trying to eliminate ABOR in order to more easily micro-manage the universities:

"HCR 2002. Regents; Elimination; Replacement. This HouseConcurrent Resolution would, if passed, go to the ballot in 2010 for avoteof the people; would abolish ABOR, and establish separate governingboardsfor each university."

See about the Monday hearing on the budget cuts:
Monday, Jan. 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Casa Grande Middle School District Conference Room, 300 W. McMurray Blvd., Casa Grande, Ariz.

Check out the U of A New's In-Depth coverage of the ABOR meeting:

In the Arizona Republic (we're trying to cover more Phoenix news):
This article breaks down the cuts and how they are distributed:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Your Phone Calls, E-Mails and Protests are Working!

Renee Schafer Horton of the Tucson Citizen reports that Rep. John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee is starting to back-track on his proposal to cut AZ universities by hundreds of millions of dollars!

The patronizing tone of his statements is nauseating. Basically claiming that the public has misinterpreted his list of ideas for actual proposals, he laments students, teachers, parents and community leaders getting bent out of shape over them.

What, exactly, did he expect? If the ideas were just brainstorming, then they should never have become public. Why is it acceptable to ridicule his constituents for taking his proposals seriously? And why does he refuse to define his own term "significantly less"? Were the outrageously high cuts proposed in order to make the public relieved when slightly lesser cuts are eventually enacted?

Demand that Rep. Kavanagh explain himself:

Budget Hearing and Capitol Protest!

Click here to read about the public budget hearing for this Monday (Jan 26) night in Casa Grande.

Don't forget about the Wednesday protest in Phoenix! We are hoping for 10,000 students from U of A to attend. Many professors are excusing their students from class. Buses and carpools will be meeting at Old Main at 9am. Contact Tommy Bruce, ASUA president, if you want to help:

Watch this Video

This video pretty much sums it up, and the site is an excellent resource for contacting your representatives and provides opportunities for you to contribute:

Speak Up Now, Arizona from Speak Up Now on Vimeo.

ABOR Student Protest in the News

In the Wildcat:

"Following the meeting, Bruce said ASUA would be organizing a trip to the state's capitol in Phoenix on Wednesday, Jan. 28, with the intent of protesting the proposed budget cuts to the legislature. He said he wants as many students as possible to attend."

The Daily Star (by Aaron Mackey):

"In what several regents described as the largest-ever crowd at a board meeting, business and community leaders and students packed the UA's Student Union Memorial Center's North Ballroom to protest the high levels of potential university budget cuts."

The AZ Republic:

The Chronical of Higher Education:

The Tucson Citizen (by Renee Schafer Horton, one of our favorites):

"It was the largest crowd in recent history at a regents' meeting, dwarfing the groups of 200- to 400-plus people who protested tuition increases in the past, university officials said."


"The cuts, proposed by Sen. Bob Burns and Rep. John Kavanagh, respective chairmen of the Senate and House appropriations committees, would reduce the base budget of Arizona's three-university system by about 40 percent.
Burns and Kavanagh were not available for comment."

Maybe we should write them an e-mail or give them a call and ask why they seem unwilling to defend their own policies:
Burns: , (602) 926-5170
Kavanagh: (602) 926-5993

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Student Budget Protest at ABOR Meeting

Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and community members were at the ABOR meeting to protest the proposed budget cuts.

One staffer told Sallygradstudent that as far as she can tell, this is the largest turnout for an ABOR meeting ever.

Students held up signs like "Save our Schools: Save our State" and "40%=DEATH"

Read Aaron Mackey's report in the AZ Daily Star:

This was a great warm-up for the planned protest for Wednesday, January 28th at the state's capitol. Buses will be gathering at the flagpole at 9am to help transport protesters. If you need a ride or are interested in contributing to the protest or you want to offer to post fliers or give financial support, contact Stephen Bieda III of the GPSC:

Read his message to students here:

Be a part of something. Participate in this historic protest and help make us 10,000 strong. Stand up for your own education and for the future of Arizona!

Watch KVOA 4's coverage of the ABOR Meeting:

Link leaders decry proposed cuts

KGUN 9's coverage: Show Up to Oppose Proposed Cuts

You can e-mail the Regents at

Poisonous "solutions"

In an effort to save money, UA's poison control center may be closed. This center takes hundreds of calls a day and advises callers on drug interactions, refers them to hospitals, and advises them on what drugs can be taken during pregnancy, among other services.

The Tucson Citizen says that closing this center will significantly cost the state when people who do not know what to do walk into the hospital emergency rooms rather than call the poison center for guidance:

See you at the ABOR meeting at 1pm in the North Ballroom of the Union. Wear black and carry your signs!

Campus Fights Back

In today's news:

Student protests planned for the ABOR meeting today:

ASUA meeting focuses on resisting cuts:

Brewer takes over as governor and states her policy. Despite its doom and gloom, she seems to support education (at least in theory, and as long as it doesn't involve spending any real money):
"Brewer, in her inaugural address, also said Arizona needs to make itself vibrant and ripe for further economic growth through a "massive stimulus package" to instill freedom in all aspects of life, from education and transportation to environment and public safety."
Make her stick to her word!

U of A seeks to raise its out-of-state limit from 30% to 40% to help offset costs:

This is not just about higher education. K-12 will be cut, too, inevitably leading to an even higher illiteracy rate in our state:

Don't forget to come to the ABOR meeting today in the North Ballroom of the Student Union at 1pm. The audience can comment, but you usually have to sign up first, so come early and get your name on the list!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

20,000 to Phoenix

This proposed budget cut and the narrow-minded people who proposed it won't wait to destroy education. As reported by the Arizona Daily Star, rather than raise sales tax by one cent, which would bring in $1 billion a year, certain lawmakers have decided to sacrifice our already crippled public education system. It has been said that the leadership of these budget cuts won't hear alternative views from anyone, including our former governor or their own constituents. Now the measure is being pushed quickly through the legislature in order to minimize protests.

This is an absolutely outrageous move to keep the poor and illiterate in their place, guaranteeing that the only residents of this state that will have access to quality education are the ones who can buy it.

This moment is historic. We encourage you to participate. A march on the capitol is being organized for next week. We are hoping for 10,000 from U of A and 10,000 from ASU.

Fight for your education! Fight for your fellow students and teachers! Fight for dignity and common sense in Arizona!

No taxation without representation! No taxation without EDUCATION!

Thursday ABOR Meeting

Thursday, January 22, 1pm, North Ballroom of the U of A Union: the Arizona Board of Regents will be meeting. There will be a call to the audience and the new Governor of Arizona is likely to attend.

Please come and make your dissatisfaction with the budget proposal known to our new governor.

You can read Regent Fred Boice's reaction to the proposed cuts here:

From Regent Boice's statement:

“I think it’s important that supporters attend this meeting, voice their concerns and show our legislative decision makers we are serious when we say this proposal is unacceptable,” said Regent Fred Boice, president of the board. “Only together can we demand the legislature retract this unrealistic and disproportionate proposal, and work with the universities to determine a reasonable solution that helps the state’s budget crisis, without destroying higher education in our state.”

Also take a look at the frustrating proposals by certain lawmakers, as reported in the Daily Star:

According to the Star, Republican leaders have refused to raise taxes even a nominal amount, which is unfortunate, considering that "A 1-cent hike in state sales taxes would bring in about $1 billion a year."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1,000 students protest proposed cuts!

The Tucson Citizen Reports that 1,000 students turned out to today's protest! Renee Schafer Horton's well-written article sums it up:

One of our favorite quotes:
"I don't think Sen. Pearce will meet with us," said Alison Betts, chief of staff for the Graduate and Professional Student Council. "He's been very resistive to talks about the budget and resistive to education in general. But we're trying to set up meetings and we will deliver the signatures."

Tha AZ Daily Star also reports on the protest:

...and the Daily Wildcat, although we're not so sure how we feel about being called "Rabble-rousers":

Isn't this the time for Sen. Pearce to ask for help? Shouldn't he listen to his constituents rather than shut them out? What kind of elected official refuses to meet with the group his policy will effect? What qualifies the Allocations Committee to micromanage our school system?

Want your voice heard?
Attend the Thursday, Jan. 22nd meeting of the Arizona Board of Regents at 1pm in the North Ballroom in the Student Union.
To read Regent Fred Boice's statement to the public:

Our student protest in other news outlets:
And another sharp article from the Citizen:

You can also read Stephen Bieda (GPSC President)'s message from after the demonstration here:

Consider Contacting your Congressperson

Our national representatives should care about AZ's economy, too. Call or write to them and tell them you don't like what the AZ Legislature is doing to education in our state. This is not just local.

Senator McCain
407 West Congress Street, Suite 103
Tucson, AZ 85701
Main: 520-670-6334
Fax: 520-670-6637

Congressperson Gabrielle Giffords
1661 N. Swan, Suite 112
Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 881-3588
Fax: (520) 322-9490

Don't forget to make our presence known at the Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, January 22, 1pm in the North Ballroom in the AZ Student Union.

Student-driven protest on the U of A Mall!

Despite the short notice, hundreds of students, faculty and employees turned out today at noon on the U of A mall to protest the proposed budget cuts.

Some students passing by decided to join in and have their voices heard. Many students didn't know anything about the cuts, though, so keep spreading the word. You can direct them to the local newspapers or the Daily Wildcat article from today's front page.

We'll be posting links as the local television and paper outlets report on the protest.

In the meantime, start getting ready for the ABOR meeting on Thurdsday, January 22nd.

GPSC president Stephen Bieda's message appears below:

"The Arizona Board of Regents needs to know that the students here at theUniversity of Arizona support drastic measures. Their meeting is due to takeplace at 1 pm in the Catalina/North Ballroom. Governor-in-waiting Jan Brewerand/or her designee is expected to attend this meeting, and this willdemonstrate to her the importance of the issue to our campus."

Student protests make front page! (and they haven't even happend yet!)

The Daily Wildcat announces our protest today!

And check out the Opinions article and Mailbag letter, which both criticize the proposed cuts!
Way to stick up for your readers, Daily Wildcat:
"We will see you on the Mall today at noon. Wear black, and come ready to fight."

The Tucson Citizen also rejects the proposed cuts!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Online Petition and Tucson Citizen Announcement

Click on the link to view and then sign the online petition hosted by U of A graduate students.

It has over 400 signatures already!

Don't forget to wear black and bring signs and fliers to the protest tomorrow at 12 noon in front of the student union!

Just as a side note, we here at Sallygradstudent love Renee Schafer Horton for never skipping a beat in her Highter Education reporting for the Tucson Citizen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Updated call to action with more details and times



(Click on the link for access to the updated call to action)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

AZ Star Opinion

Check out this Opinions article in the Star. It strongly criticizes the GOP proposed cuts.

Our favorite parts:
"The budget-balancing proposal floated by the state Legislature's Republican leaders on Thursday is an abomination, pure and simple.
It attacks a delicate, critical problem with a chainsaw instead of with a scalpel. The result: Arizona's public health and education system, from kindergarten through universities, would be bloodied and dismembered. "

And read Shelton's response to the cuts in the Citizen:

Our favorite part:
"In addition, the universities are a state agency that actually generates income for the state, Shelton said, pointing to the $530 million in grants brought in by UA this year.
"The universities are a solution to the budget problems that this state has, not part of the problem," Shelton said, adding that the JLBC proposal is "draconian" and would destroy higher education in Arizona "for decades to come.""

We hope to see you at the protest on Tues. 1/20/09 from 12-1 on the UA mall!

Also, if you haven't written an e-mail or made a phone call to your elected representatives to voice your opinion yet, please use the information in the posts below. It only takes 10 minutes!

Protest Groups on Facebook!

You know it's big when it hits Facebook!

Please consider joining these groups:

Arizona Students Against University Budget Cuts

Arizona Students Against Cuts to Higher Education Action Group

Don't forget the protest on Tuesday, January 20th from 12-1 on the UA Mall.

Wear Black to symbolize the death of higher education.


The first campus and community protest will be held Tuesday, January 20th from 12-1pm on the UA mall.

Please see the flyer below and feel free to copy and distribute it widely.

You Have a Right to Higher Education

Stand up for Education!!!!

Please see the two newly embedded documents in the two posts below:

The first is Stephen Bieda III's letter to the GPSC regarding the proposed cuts and his call to action. Bieda tells Sallygradstudent that he never thought such protests would be necessary in all his days at the U of A, but sadly, they are.

The second is a list of contact information for your elected representatives and senators in Arizona. They have conveniently been broken down for you. Special thanks to the concerned graduate student who compiled these!

***The permanent links appear above the embedded document in case you want to download a copy or if you prefer to read them in Scribd. The embedded versions also allow you to zoom in if the text is too small to read as it is.

We're waiting to hear from the GPSC president about the exact time of the Tuesday protest and the location and pick-up time for the protest buses for Wednesday. Please check in to this blog for updates in the next couple of days and we will keep you posted.

If you have something you want to say or post on, you can always e-mail us at or comment anonymously on any posting.

Stephen Bieda's Call to Action

GPSC President Report[1]

*We are aware that it should be "capitol", not "capital."

Arizona State Legislators' Contact

Senate Leadership1[1]

The Revolution

Time to take it to the streets!

GPSC and other Campus Organizations are bringing us together to protest the State of Arizona's choice to turn away from higher education.

We urge you to participate. A decision will be made soon.

Don't let our state go down without a fight!

This is from the GPSC president's report:

"Student Government President’s Action Plan

The Student Body Presidents, Undergraduate and Graduate, at ASU, NAU and the University of Arizona have plotted a course of action following an emergency meeting earlier tonight. The actions that will be taken include:

a) Campus Protests – Tuesday, January 20

For the University of Arizona, this will take place on the UA Mall in front of the
Memorial Student Union. Bring your posters expressing your opinions, wear
black shirts to signify the death of higher education and bring as many of your
friends as you can. The greater the numbers, the stronger the message.
Media members have been invited and will be present to record this event.

b) Arizona Board of Regents Meeting – Thursday, January 22

The Arizona Board of Regents needs to know that the students here at the
University of Arizona support drastic measures. Their meeting is due to take
place at 1 pm in the Catalina/North Ballroom.
Governor-in-waiting Jan Brewer
and/or her designee is expected to attend this meeting, and this will
demonstrate to her the importance of the issue to our campus.

c) State Capitol Protest – Wednesday, January 28

The University of Arizona Student Body Presidents, in coordination with ASU
and NAU Student Body Presidents, are organizing busses to travel to the
State Capital to loudly demonstrate against the proposal laid forth by the
State Legislature Leadership. The more students that are present, the
stronger our message will be.

d) Letter Writing Campaign – Friday, January 30

The Arizona Governor’s Office and the State Legislative Leadership are being
targeted a writing campaign:

1. Senate/House Education Chairs
2. Senate/House Appropriation Chairs
3. Senate/House Leadership
4. The Governor’s Office
5. The Arizona Board of Regents

When writing elective officials, the tone must be respectful no matter how
much we disagree with them. In combination with this effort, GPSC Vice
President Boris Glebov is gathering business leaders across the community
to support our cause.

Drastic measures are needed for drastic proposals. The State Legislative
Appropriations Committees will put this measure to a vote by month’s end

***Sallygradstudent will be working on compiling e-mail addresses for all committees so you don't have to shift through their website. The Appropriations committee is already listed in the previous post.

It is now or never, people.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Just to make your life easier.....

If you're planning on writing an angry letter to the Arizona State Legislature Appropriations committee, you can just cut and paste these e-mail addresses or write them a letter using the info link below: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Member Roster:

Angry phone calls are also always a good idea!

Senate Info Desk
(520) 398-6000
House Info Desk
(520) 398-6000

Phoenix Senate Info Desk
(602) 926-3559
Phoenix House o Reps. Info Desk
(602) 926-4221

$103 Million

Arizona State Legislators have proposed a $103 million mid-year cut to U of A. That, piled on top of the $20 million cut already taken this year means even more hardship for the university and its employees and students.

Pres. Shelton's thoughtful video response to the cut can be viewed here. (We disagree with him so often that it's important to note: We agree with him on this one!)

Also read his statement to the Daily Wildcat:

Our favorite line: "And we encourage every citizen of this state who cares about their quality of life - who wants their children or grandchildren to have an opportunity to attend a quality university - to speak up now and to speak loudly," Shelton said.

How long will it take AZ to realize that failing to invest in education will result in the dumbing down of our population? We may see savings by cutting now, but 10 years from now what kind of business will locate itself in AZ? How can we expect anything short of mediocre citizens if we are unwilling to educate our future leaders?

Have you written an angry letter to your state legislator yet? Make sure to tell them you vote on education. You care about your children, your students and yourself and you won't vote for anyone who doesn't.

Don't know which legislator is yours?

While you're online anyway, check out the Tucson Citizen article on majors that may be cut in the coming semester.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is more.....less?

Since the announcement of the new super-college (as the Daily Wildcat calls it) that will hold four colleges in one, called Liberal Arts and Sciences, there has been a lot of confusion about what, exactly, the result will be and precisely how it saves money.

Take a look at the "Welcome Back" message from Provost Hay:
Can you tell exactly what this means?

It seems that this merger is a clever way of eliminating overlapping programs (which might be good and might be bad) and will certainly cause lots of 'synergizing', 'brainstorming' and 'cross-program co-collaborationality.' It will also surely result in cuts, mostly in terms of personnel.

The Daily Wildcat (way to stay on top of things, guys!) questioned the benefits of the merger to the student body at large in their Opinions section today:

If class-offerings are being cut when it's already hard to get your required credits and get out on time, where exactly are the benefits to the students?

SPBAC reports that: "ABOR has instructed the UA to prepare for a $20M, $40M, $60M or $80M budgetcut THIS fiscal year, i.e., within a few weeks. The high end is a distinct possibility."

With rapidly declining support from the State of Arizona, the university is taking drastic steps. Program closures are to be expected.

More information should be released tomorrow (Friday).

This all leaves us asking: Shouldn't we be investing in education? Does panic today mean a totally dumbed-down population of our state tomorrow?

Monday, January 12, 2009

In Case You Missed It....

Conveniently released on December 18th, after so many of us had left for winter break, the new College of Letters and Sciences will incorporate 4 other colleges under its huge new umbrella:

Although the administration claims that this new college will cut costs, it seems like a whole new level of bureaucracy to us. "Collaborating" seems like a fancy word for cutting class offerings and condensing foundational courses. The plan also adds a new 'executive dean' to the whole mix, making us wonder how the administration is making less out of more.