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.
Don’t infringe on student freedom of speech!
An Arizona State Representative has introduced a bill (HB2169) that attempts to ban any student organization, which includes student governments, from using its funds to support or influence political activities or advocate for or against any legislation.
Ensure your voice is heard – e-mail your state legislators now by clicking here and tell them you want them to strongly oppose this proposed legislation. Tell them that you won’t stand for any bills that would limit student freedom of speech!
This bill stifles student freedom of speech. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kavanagh, is the same legislator who proposed HB2675 last year. HB2675 was the notorious proposed law that would have required all students to pay $2,000 toward tuition without using scholarships or grants.
The intent behind this bill is to rob students of the freedom to use student funds to advocate to elected officials or engage in elections. This bill targets all student groups on campus!
It was your efforts that ensured that HB2675 never became law. Now’s the time to let your legislators know that you won’t stand for this legislation or any other like it. E-mail them now by clicking here!
Join an ASA committee!
The Arizona Students’ Association uses both standing committees and ad-hoc committees to increase the efficiency of the organization. ASA’s five standing committees are Executive Affairs, Internal Affairs, Legislative Affairs, Financial Affairs, and Graduate Affairs. All committees are open to any students, with the exceptions of Executive Affairs and Internal Affairs. Check out the new committees tab for news and upcoming committee meetings that you can join and help make important decisions!