The Arizona Students' Association is an organization directed and funded by Arizona's public university students. ASA works to make sure that higher education in Arizona is affordable and accessible by advocating to elected officials and running issue campaigns to engage students.
ASA is hiring an Executive Director!
The Arizona Students’ Association (ASA) seeks a full-time Executive Director for a statewide student advocacy association. The ideal candidate has a proven ability to foster coordination and cooperation among diverse groups. He or she will be committed to getting results in a fast-paced environment and be able to handle a heavy workload with a multitude of responsibilities. The position is based in Phoenix, Arizona and reports to the ASA Board of Directors, which is comprised of student leaders from Arizona’s public universities.
Click here to see the full job description and apply for the position!
Students file lawsuit against Board of Regents to protect Freedom of Speech
PHOENIX – The Arizona Students’ Association filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents in Federal Court Tuesday because the Regents violated the First Amendment rights of students by suspending funding to ASA in retaliation for support of Proposition 204.
“Students believe the regents decision to change ASA’s funding method was a direct result of ASA’s support of prop. 204,” said, Brianna Pantilione an ASU student and ASA’s board treasurer. “The reasons for the Board’s decision at its final vote were nothing more than excuses to justify retaliation.”
ASA is a student-run advocacy organization that is funded by a refundable $2 fee that students overwhelmingly voted for in 1997 and 2008. A 26-member student board of directors from Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University governs ASA.
In 2012, ASA engaged in financial and grassroots support for Prop. 204, a ballot proposition to extend a one-cent sales tax to fund education, because it sought to fund universities and student financial aid. The ASA Board of Directors voted unanimously to contribute more than $120,000 to Prop. 204 because it was well within the organization’s mission. On numerous occasions, Regents publically criticized ASA for its support of Prop. 204.
On Nov. 26, 2012, ABOR held a meeting on the topic of ASA’s two-dollar fee and did not notify the public that an official vote would occur. Still, ABOR voted to suspend the fee in a manner that may have violated open meeting laws. During the meeting, Regents noted that the suspension was “political” in nature and a result of ASA’s support of Prop. 204. On Feb. 7, the Regents made a final vote to change ASA’s funding model to opt-in, rather than opt-out, which will cause irreparable financial harm.
ABOR’s suspension of its collection of the ASA student fee and subsequent change to opt-in was based upon the content of ASA’s political speech in support of Prop. 204 and constitutes a regulation of speech and is a violation of the First Amendment.
“We will go to any length to ensure students have a clear voice and can exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of retaliation,” Pantilione said.
ASA has retained the law firm of Montoya, Jimenez and Pastor, P.A. to represent it in court. A copy of the full complaint is attached.