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Editorial: ASUA needs to examine its priorities

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 1, 1999

Apparently, ASUA has some important things to spend its money on. Very important items. Items so vital that ASUA can't be bothered to help one of the few worthwhile organizations on campus.

In the Sept. 29 meeting, the Senate decided against granting money to the ASUA Escort Service. In their Sept. 22 meeting, the Senate decided against extending funding to Camp Wildcat. In fact, they refused to even consider it.

While they couldn't find the money for these projects, there were plenty of less-important organizations that received some of the funds they requested.

$300 was given to the Association of Sri Lankans. $190 was given to the Young Republicans. $602.41 was given to the Ranger Challenger club.

But those were the small items.

We don't start talking about real money until we get to the National Society of Black Engineers, which was granted $2,400 of the $5,820 it requested. The Bobcats Senior Honorary was awarded $6,944.45 to pay for Homecoming.

While it is certain that most of these organizations deserved the money they were appropriated, it seems that ASUA needs to get its priorities straight.

While there were funds to pay for the uniforms for the Ranger Challenger club or a 30-hour cricket tournament for the Association of Sri Lankans, there is no consideration of $800 for Camp Wildcat, an organization that provides student-run camps for underprivileged children.

Now, the volunteers for Camp Wildcat will be required to pay $13 for transportation up to the camp. If the request for additional funding had gone through, they would only have been required to pay $7.

Already, Camp Wildcat members volunteer their time doing maintenance work at the site where the camp is to be held. Camp Wildcat has one of the largest active student memberships at the University of Arizona.

The money is important as a token, a sign of support for one of the few worthwhile organizations on campus. Camp Wildcat is one of the most worthwhile investments that ASUA can make.

Even ASUA agrees to the importance of Camp Wildcat. It is a three-time recipient of the Edgar Goyette award, presented by ASUA, for outstanding philanthropy and has been University of Arizona club of the year three times in the last five years.

In fact, if any club is more deserving of ASUA's money, or at least its attention, it is the Escort Service. It is an integral part of the university's program to reduce drunk driving and other serious crimes on campus, and it is in deep financial trouble. With a rising number of students requesting its services, it is important that they are not forced to turn anyone down. Everyone that they are forced to refuse is a potential victim.

ASUA needs to examine its priorities. Certainly, many organizations deserve money, but we need to establish which ones should be given top priority and which ones should be dealt with later. For now, give the Escort Service and Camp Wildcat their due. They've earned it.

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