14 ASD members leave ASUA, form new group

By Melanie Klein
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 30, 1996

Kristy Mangos
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Eric Olson, ASD member


Members of the Association of Students with Disabilities separated from ASUA and decided to form their own organization Friday.

Fourteen of the 24 ASD members chose to withdraw from the student government-funded program and seek recognition and funding as a new and independent club on campus. With their votes, they also decided to retain limited contact with the Associated Students' organization.

Seven members were present at the meeting while the other seven cast their votes via electronic mail. Three of the votes favored no contact with ASUA whatsoever.

"This is a good outcome," said Judi Schneider, interdisciplinary studies senior. "Now students can be a part of whatever they want without being eliminated from one group or the other."

The dispute between the student government and the disabled students organization began when Mindy McCollum, ASUA vice president for programs and services, appointed Ann Fowler, a psychology sophomore who was not an ASD member, as director of the organization. The Undergraduate Senate later approved Fowler's appointment.

Eric Olson, who had been recommended by ASD members for the directorship, said "the separation is in reaction to ASUA's actions."

He also said having dual members of both organizations will help in changing the ASUA bylaws that govern ASD.

Members of the new club who retain contact with ASD are seeking to change the bylaws that govern how their director is chosen.

Undergraduate Senate Chairman Gilbert Davidson said, "This gives Ann (Fowler) a far greater challenge than before as director."

Fowler was unavailable for comment.

But Davidson also said to the members, "If you need any help along the way, you can count on me."

He offered the new club advice on how to petition for club funding and said he would help in changing the bylaws.

Beyond the bylaw changes, the new club discussed how it would interact with ASD but could not come to a consensus.

Some club members proposed using ASD funds to implement their plans and actions, while others disagreed.

Schneider said the new club needs to meet again formally before anything can be officially decided by the new members.