Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuition Hearing

UPDATE: Join the Mad Fee Party on Facebook! This group already has hundreds of members and was featured on KVOA 4.

SHOW UP AND BE HEARD AT ABOR ON MONDAY. Fight for the AZ constitution's guarantee of higher education that is "as nearly free as possible." Fight for your degree. Tell the administration you won't let them jack up the price without your say!

Monday, March 1st from 5-7 pm in the Harvill Building, Room 211
The Regents will be discussing tuition and fees. Show up early and get in line for the call to the audience! Tell them you can't afford to pay unreasonable fee and tuition hikes! Bring signs! (Some suggestions? No Taxation without Education. I can't afford this fee hike. Increased fees = GAT pay cut. Close the Rec before you cripple the UA. )

Check out AZ Star reporter Becky Pallack's breakdown of the numbers in her recent blog post. UA wants to raise tuition, but has a higher number of needy students than its peer institutions.

Check out this opinions article from the Wildcat on how UA compares to its "peer institutions." And take a look at how the Rec has become a money pit.

*Special thanks to the Mad Fee Party for the awesome graph on student fees!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


UPDATE: Check out The Desert Lamp's Rec/Health fee breakdown and while you're at it, take their Campus Policy Survey.

Update: A Facebook group has been established to protest the Health/Rec Fee.

While GPSC and ASUA try to come to a consensus on fee recommendations, Shelton goes ahead and releases his plan:

If you can read between the "Yeah UA" lines, you'll basically see that in addition to increasing graduate and undergraduate tuition (again), Shelton would also have each of us paying $665 in additional fees next year (for some, an over 400% increase): "In addition to a new Campus Sustainability Fee of $24 and a Health and Recreation Fee of $306, Shelton has proposed an increase of $335 to the Library Information Fee."

The AZ Star reports that tuition and fees may rise about $2,000! Are we the only ones that are more than a little PISSED OFF? Can you afford to shell out about $500 each semester at the beginning of the semester before the university has even started paying you for teaching or research?

E-mail your GPSC Rep and tell them to fight harder for you. Find their e-mail addresses here:

While you're at it, e-mail ABOR and tell them you can't afford this kind of tricky increase in fees:
Here are their e-mail addresses, so you can just cut and paste:,,,,,,,,,

ABOR ultimately sets tuition and fees, so they are the ones you want to contact!

According to the AZ Star: "Hearings are scheduled for 5 p.m. March 1 at the UA Harvill Building. The Arizona Board of Regents will vote on the proposal on March 11 at the UA."

No time to write an e-mail? Here's one you can cut and paste.

Dear Arizona Board of Regents,
I am a graduate student at the university of Arizona and I am deeply concerned about the proposed increases in fees for the 2010-2011 school year. If passed in their entirety (a $665 increase), they would mean that graduate students would have to come up with approximately $500 each semester before the university has even begun to pay them their salaries for teaching and research. This would add to the already burdensome workload that graduate students carry. In order to remain competitive in research and educational standards, it is essential that these fees be eliminated or included in graduate assistant remissions. We risk losing our excellent graduate student teachers and researchers to universities that offer them a full remission if we do not take this step immediately. Key faculty members rely on graduate assistants, as do the undergraduates whose classes we teach. Please do not risk the future of our state's universities by failing to offer support for these important members of the system.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter,

Monday, February 8, 2010


Fee Update! ASUA has voted against supporting the exorbitant Health/Rec fee (currently at a $306 increase), despite the evidence presented from the very poorly designed survey Student Services put out.

Here are the fee proposals as they stand right now.

Next year you could be looking at approximately (these are mostly still being proposed and discussed in both ASUA and GPSC, but they'll be going to Pres. Shelton soon):
Library: $150
AZ Rise ("Green" Fee): $50
PIRG (Advocacy group): $2
Tech: $300
Health/Rec: $306

Right now you probably pay about $144ish...oops, that's per semester. So $288 per year. (Of course, that depends on the program).

plus the other fees you usually have to pay...
Tuition surcharge: $414
Student Services: $40
Rec Bond: $25
ASA: $2
AFAT: $15
KAMP: $1

That's $498.

Of course, these are all approximations...we don't know what the final result will be until the fees are actually set and posted to your bursar's account.

Are you ticked off? Contact your GPSC rep. They can't represent you if you don't tell them what you think. GPSC will have a meeting dedicated entirely to fees on Feb 17th in Law 168 at 6pm. Open your mouth before you open your wallet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Packing Heat

Two proposals are making their way through the Arizona State Legislature:

One would allow faculty members to carry concealed weapons on campus, overriding Arizona Board of Regents' weapons-free-zone policy at all three Universities. The other would eliminate the (already very minimal) requirements for carrying a concealed weapon! The AZ Star article emphasizes how alarmed Arizona police officers are at the possibility of legal concealed carry with no background check and no training. I'm sure we can all see where this is leading: soon it could be legal for any adult with no special training or regulation to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

If you have a problem with this, make sure to call the bills' sponsors: Senators Pearce R, Gorman, Gray C; Representatives Antenori, Barnes, Gowan, Montenegro: Senators Allen S, Harper, Verschoor; Representatives Burges, Crump, Kavanagh, Lesko, Murphy, Seel, Stevens. (Contact info for your legislators is always available in the left-hand column).

And don't forget to contact the governor's office.

Arizona Board of Regents, the UA Faculty Senate, the three university presidents, the three university chiefs of police, and the GPSC have issued statements against concealed carry on campus. ASUA has not. They are holding a special forum on Tuesday at 7pm in the Santa Rita room in the Student Union. If you have an opinion, go and have your voice heard, but keep in mind that it's ultimately the state government that makes the decision. Call them. Tell them you're registered to vote and you have an opinion.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

Where is everyone?

Last semester had us thinking the faculty had really stepped into the 21st century with the UA Defender Blog, which was developed by some anonymous members to protest the firing of UA's VP for Instructional Development Garcia (who was opposed to the so-called mega-classes). Now we see that the last post was October 2, 2009.

If you try to visit the awesome site developed by ASU student Haroon Saleem, Speak Up Now, you'll get re-directed; it doesn't exist anymore. The facebook and twitter pages still exist, but haven't been actively used since last summer.

The Chalk is Speech website, developed by outraged faculty during the Evan Lisull and Jacob Miller chalking affair, also seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Even the occasionally overly-enthusiastic Arizona for Education group hasn't posted to their blog since October of 2009.

The only blog that seems to be as strong as ever is the Desert Lamp. We don't always agree with them, but we still consider them one of the best resources for independent news and informed opinions on this campus.

This begs the question: Is blogging-as-resistance still viable? If we blog when we're angry, but then get frustrated and give up, is that resistance, or shouting into the wind? Last year these blogs were so much of a threat that Pres. Shelton actually mentioned them in his letter to the AZ Star (see our previous post "Well, Shame on Us"). Now they seem all but dead in the water.

Where do we go from here?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Arizona's Economic Crisis

Arizona Public Media invites two economists to discuss Arizona's budget shortfall. Big surprise: in the days of plenty, the legislature initiated permanent tax cuts that a 2/3 majority requirement makes almost impossible to overturn. We have more outgo than income.