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By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 16, 1998

CatCard resolution delayed by ASUA Senate


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Infuriated mudslinging replaced decorum at last night's ASUA Senate meeting when activists protesting the UA's CatCard challenged senators to pass a proposal denouncing the new identification system.

"I challenge you to do a roll call vote so we can see who has the balls to pass it," said Kirsten Tynan, a non-degree seeking graduate student and anti-CatCard activist who was at the meeting.

An angered Tynan continued by saying she wondered why the Senate didn't address student concerns when the problems began.

"When the hell are you going to do this?" Tynan said. "You should have taken care of this a long time ago."

Tynan was later asked by Sen. Justin Klump to "show some respect" for the Senate after she told CatCard Director Elizabeth Taylor, "At least you're doing something, which is more than I can say for you (the senators)."

But to the displeasure of Tynan and 15 other audience members, action on the resolution was delayed until more meetings between ASUA, university officials and students can occur.

Several senators also wanted to amend pieces of the resolution before passing it.

"I am not willing to make a statement in full denouncement," said Sen. Mary Peterson. "I am not willing to say that and I am not willing to have ASUA say that."

Peterson asked the Senate to remove the lines in the resolution that call for a "full denouncement of the precipitous institution of the CatCard."

The proposal, written by senator-elect Marisa Hall and former Senate candidate Travis Klein, called for the Associated Students to denounce the University of Arizona's CatCard and asked for the program to be re-evaluated. The resolution also requested that the UA increase its division between business and educational aspects.

The CatCard controversy began when the UA released student and employee Social Security numbers to Saguaro Credit Union and MCI Telecommunications Corp. University officials later admitted the law-breaking error and retrieved the information.

But the UA's concessions didn't satisfy several students who attended last night's meeting in the Memorial Student Union Rincon Room.

Hall, a junior majoring in Spanish and history, said she didn't think the resolution's language was too strong, despite several senators' objections.

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Gilbert Davidson

"You're either strong or you're indifferent," she said. "This is the inherent purpose of ASUA."

But ASUA President Gilbert Davidson warned the Senate not to pass the resolution and said it was inappropriate for the Associated Students to send such a strong message.

"It's another slap in the face," he said. "I won't sign this if it's this way and if you're going in the direction you're going in."

And Taylor also said she was unsure about the strong language.

"I question how many students were polled here," she said. "The data isn't there to back this up."

But Klein said the Senate let the students down by not taking a stand.

"It's total bullshit," said Klein, an economics freshman. "They're worthless and they have let all the students down."

In other business:

Administrative Vice President-elect Ryan Rosensteel's proposal, which would have moved several ASUA community programs into a new service headed by a director, failed.

The motion needed a three-fourths vote for approval, but six senators, including Sen. Morgan Long, who directed the ASUA/Residence Hall Association Basketball League, voted against the proposition. Sens. Cisco Aguilar and Summer Katzenbach voted in favor of the measure and Sens. Aaron Young and Leslie Hunter were absent for the vote.

Rosensteel later said that when he takes office in May, he will create the service using an executive order without placing it in the bylaws.

Note: Below is the text of the proposed resolution. ASUA action on this resolution was postponed.

ASUA Senate Resolution

WHEREAS the Associated Students of the University of Arizona are the elected representatives of the student body;

WHEREAS the responsibility of the elected officials is to represent the interests of the students, which includes the institution of the Catcard and all ensuing effects on the student body;

WHEREAS this ASUA Senate issues this resolution in full denouncement of the precipitous institution of the Catcard. The students of this University recognize the implementation of the Catcard to be a direct infringement on their rights of privacy, with far-reaching ramifications for over 33,000 students, in addition to the over 10,000 faculty and staff of the University.

With little regard to the University community as a whole, the implementation process of the Catcard has followed a path of rapid advancement without much concern for privacy rights, cost-effectiveness, acceptable use of technology, and proper institution of the Catcard.

WHEREAS numerous objections have been raised throughout the University which amply illustrated the need on behalf of ASUA to address this issue, it is vital that the administration itself places the controversies associated with the Catcard as an utmost priority, and consequently, devotes their efforts to the student concerns at hand. In keeping with federal regulations which offer the protection of the privacy rights of students, faculty and staff, the Catcard program should be re-examined and further evaluated with the interests of all members of the University community in mind. As the representatives of the student body, we call for the institution of precautions to preclude future problems of this type, as well as an increased emphasis on the division between business and the educational institute of the University of Arizona.

IT IS HEREBY SWORN by the affirmative vote of the ASUA Senate, elected by the students of this University, a total support of the aforementioned requests regarding the institution of the Catcard. This resolution will be the official policy for the Associated Students with regard to the Catcard program.



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