By Anna Sellas
Fund the Union, not telescopes
I'm puzzled that any student would willingly submit to paying an additional $40 per semester in fees for something that our university should be providing. Will we next have a library fee, a computer lab fee, a classroom fee? When we pay tuition to this university we do so with the expectation that certain accommodations will be provided and if this institution had rational priorities we would have a new Union years ago.
One case in point is the Mount Graham telescope project. New students will be interested to know that this project is tens of millions of dollars over the original projected cost with mirror lab overruns at 300 percent. Several times, the administration has gone to the Regents and requested emergency funding to keep this project afloat. Countless UA millions have been spent on lobbying to allow this project to circumvent cultural and environmental law and in litigation, defending legal activities. Recently, the University was back before the Regents requesting an additional $10 million for a telescope powerline.
Does this project benefit the student at the University of Arizona? No! It benefits only a tiny handful of graduate students and researchers? It's time the administration recognize that this university community is made up of many thousands of students. If so many resources and so much money can be poured into one department, certainly the administration can provide a Student Union that will have a tangible impact on us, the student population. Vote No on November 18.