[ NEWS ]








By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 23, 1998

Senate passes deflated resolution

After less than five minutes of discussion, the ASUA Senate last night approved a crippled resolution addressing the controversy surrounding the UA's embattled CatCard program.

The original resolution that would have denounced the problem-plagued identification was tabled by the Senate last week.

The new resolution, revised by Sens. Morgan Long and Mary Peterson, calls for the University of Arizona to educate staff members on federal policy regarding student privacy issues, and asks for the new CatCard advisory committee to serve as a forum for student concerns.

But after last night's two-hour meeting in the Memorial Student Union Tucson Room, Peterson said she doesn't believe the resolution "carries a lot of weight.

"I don't think the resolution was needed," she said. "I don't think it says anything to the administration that they don't already know."

Initially, the resolution called for the "full denouncement of the precipitous institution of the CatCard," and "an increased emphasis on the division between business and the educational institute of the University of Arizona."

Several members of the Senate said they found those statements, written by senator-elect Marisa Hall and economics freshman Travis Klein problematic.

After the Senate passed the new resolution, Hall said she was curious why major portions of the original document, including the line calling for limited business interest in the UA, were removed from the final copy.

"If they were going to neglect issues that I brought up and make such drastic changes to the heart of the resolution, they should have thrown it out and started over," said Hall, a junior studying Spanish and history.

Troubles with the CatCard began last month when the UA illegally released student, faculty and staff Social Security numbers to Saguaro Credit Union and MCI Telecommunications Corp. UA officials realized the error and retrieved the information, but protesters urged the Senate to make a statement on behalf of UA students.

The Senate discussed the original document for more than an hour at last week's meeting, which featured impassioned arguments from CatCard opponents, who were concerned the senators were avoiding taking a stand.

Kirsten Tynan, a non-degree seeking graduate student and vocal CatCard protester, said she was also curious why the ASUA Senate hadn't drafted a resolution all their own.

"Why didn't you guys write this?" Tynan asked at last Wednesday's Senate meeting.

And John Barrantine, another CatCard opponent and physics senior, urged the Senate to use the resolution to make a statement.

"The wording is strong for a reason," Barrantine said last week. "We're not going to put up with this crap anymore."

But no CatCard protesters attended last night's meeting, and nobody other than ASUA officials spoke about the resolution.

Nine Senate members approved the item, with Sen. Paul Zaragoza abstaining from the vote.

In other business, senators passed an item addressing ASUA's relationship with the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

Associated Students President Gilbert Davidson said he wants GPSC to be autonomous from ASUA. For example, he said, any student referendum their council endorses should be exclusively decided by graduate students.

Davidson also said he wants graduate students to have an opportunity to run for all ASUA elected offices, despite GPSC policy.

Davidson told senators he wants to complete the division of the two student councils. Despite their five-year separation, Davidson said, ties still exist from when the councils were considered one entity.

Although ASUA and GPSC split five years ago, Davidson said communication problems still exist.

"GPSC should stop bickering with ASUA," he said.

One senator quibbled over the $62,500 ASUA gives to the GPSC every year.

Sen. Aaron Young said he wondered if ASUA is forced to give money to GPSC.

"We're giving them $62,500 and they're giving us the finger," he said.

But Davidson clarified that the allotment is non-negotiable.

The motion passed by a 5-1-1 vote, with Peterson voting against the item, Sen. Summer Katzenbach abstaining and Sens. Rosanna Savone, Cisco Aguilar and Morgan Long absent at the time.

(LAST_SECTION)  - (Wildcat Chat)  - (NEXT_STORY)