ASU student fees fund Pro-204 campaign

| September 28 2012
Hannah Thoreson

When a student pays their tuition and fees each semester, there are probably a dozen lines on the receipt that make little or no sense to them.  There are the fairly obvious charges for labs or using the gym, but then there are also smaller fees that often go to purposes that are less than transparent.  For example, an organization known as the Arizona Students’ Association (ASA) collects a mandatory $2 fee from students every semester.

What does ASA do?  They require the winners of student elections to serve on their board of directors, which is in and of itself ludicrous.  They don’t like their agenda to be publicly known, but the short answer is that they exist to collect fees from students and turn around and use their money and clout to support liberal causes.  Most recently, ASA has been using the money collected through student fees to back the campaign for Proposition 204.

According to campaign finance reports filed by the Quality Education and Jobs campaign, ASA has donated $122,120.70 so far to date, $120,000 in cash and the remainder as an in-kind donation of grassroots support.

Nearly every student who attends a state university in Arizona has been forced to “donate” to ASA, whether they agree with the need for a $1 billion sales tax slush fund or not.  ASA then kindly uses their revenue to donate to political organizations backed by the left.  It’s an organization with an explicit political agenda, despite their official nonpartisan status.  ASA has partnered up with the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) in the past, to try and obtain more money for their “advocacy” work.  Its a sham.

The worst part about it of course is the compulsory nature of student participation in ASA.  Hopefully this latest controversy will introduce an element of voluntaryism to the relationship between the Arizona Students’ Association and the students of Arizona.  There is no reason that enrolling in a state university should obligate one to support liberal causes such as a sales tax increase that funds social welfare programs and public transit.  That is the unfortunate status quo on campuses in Arizona, and it must change.

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