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ASUA president signs Wildcat denouncement resolution

By David J. Cieslak
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 10, 1998
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Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Tara Taylor

ASUA President Tara Taylor said yesterday that she signed a resolution passed last week by the Senate that denounces the Arizona Daily Wildcat for publishing a controversial comic strip.

The "Looking for Billy" cartoon that appeared in the Wildcat Aug. 31 featured two insects hugging and later being gunned down by a third insect who screamed "homos."

The Associated Students Senate responded immediately, drafting the resolution on Sept. 1 and passing it the next day at its weekly meeting.

Taylor said yesterday that the resolution sends a message that ASUA holds diversity close to their hearts.

"I think it's important that ASUA represents the beliefs of all different groups on campus and this is something that really offended a lot of people," she said. "It's just saying that you (the Wildcat) may have crossed the line."

Taylor also said that while "prejudice and bias isn't going to pass tomorrow," the Senate's dialogue, spurred by the comic, was laudable.

"I think it's good that they had this dialogue and represented their constituents," she said.

The comic strip sparked intense emotions last week, as Sen. Josue Limon said the cartoon could endanger lives, and Sen. Maria Rodriguez, a strong proponent of the resolution, ran out of the meeting in tears after pleading with other senators to pass the item.

After last night's meeting, ASUA Adviser Jim Drnek praised Taylor and the Senate for the swift action.

"I'm glad that they got on this right away and got on it in a quick and responsive manner," he said.

Sen. Dave Snyder, who abstained from last week's passing 9-0-1 vote, said last night that it's not his decision to define what students think.

"I can't dictate to 25,000 undergraduate students what they think on a particular issue," he said.

In other business, senators rejected a proposal to change ASUA's constitutional bylaws at its meeting in the Memorial Student Union Rincon Room.

The bylaw prohibits the Senate from reviewing any financial legislation unless the person or group requesting money submits all the information at least four business days before the weekly meeting.

Snyder said he dislikes having little time to form a decision.

"You'd expect that they'd give you the courtesy of reviewing it beforehand," Snyder said. "It makes us more responsible to our constituents by using our time and money in the best way."

But Executive Vice President Cisco Aguilar said he thinks the Senate could find other ways to buy time aside from placing restrictions on students.

"My final opinion is not to approve the bylaw," he said during the meeting. "I think you've seen that tabling items works."

And a verbal spat occurred between Sen. Marisa Hall and Limon, resulting from Hall saying she puts class first and ASUA legislative business second when she is pressed for time.

"I think it should be to the benefit of the student body and not to our personal schedules," Limon said.

Hall responded sharply, saying at one point, "then why was I elected?"

Aguilar warned Hall for talking out of turn, and the Senate later voted to kill the motion by a vote of 6-2-2, with Sens. Ben Graff and Limon voting against it, and Sens. Mai Luc and Ty Trujillo abstaining.

Shortly after the vote, Snyder questioned Aguilar about the required number of voters to pass a motion.

According to constitutional bylaws, seven senators had to support the proposal for it to pass, but the Senate spent about five minutes searching through their paperwork in an effort to determine if the item passed or failed.

When the motion failed, Aguilar banged his gavel and said, "my decision stands - I guess."

David J. Cieslak can be reached via e-mail at David.J.Cieslak@wildcat.arizona.edu.

Financial Times Fall 98