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Students asked to invest in UA

By Dana Crudo
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 13, 2003

Now that Campaign Arizona has reached its $1 billion goal, university officials want students to jump on the fund-raising bandwagon.

On Friday UA officials announced that they will establish a Student Foundation to get students to invest in the university.

This announcement came just a few days after President Peter Likins revealed in his state of the university address that Campaign Arizona had reached its fund-raising goal of $1 billion almost two years early.

The Student Foundation will be responsible for awarding grants and scholarships and initiating funding projects that help enhance the educational experience here at the UA.

Coordinators are looking for a core group of 10 students to help create and execute the organization next semester. Applicants must be able to commit up to 15 hours per month and maintain a 3.7 GPA.

The foundation is a joint venture among the UA Foundation, the Dean of Students Office and ASUA.

The Student Foundation will be modeled after a similar organization at Georgia Tech.

The Georgia Tech Student Foundation was started in 1986 with a $100,000 gift from an alumnus named J. Erskine Love Jr. Students contribute to the endowment that funds new organizations and new student initiatives on campus, according to the Georgia Tech Web site.

"It's a really big deal there and is a prestigious organization that does a lot of good things to help students financially," said Jim Drnek, an ASUA adviser who will also serve as an adviser for the organization.

The UA wanted to start the foundation in order to show Arizona that students care and are willing to contribute, Drnek said.

"We've seen the community step up, and now this is an opportunity for students to show interest in their education and institution," he said.

The foundation will ask students to donate and solicit private donors. The money collected will go to an endowment for philanthropic endeavors.

"Students right now can help students of the future; it's a way to create a philanthropic attitude among students," Drnek said.

But Mary Hammond, an elementary education junior, said asking students to help fund raise and donate money is unfair since students already pay so much to go here.

"I'm taking 17 credits, I have a part-time job and already work to make money myself to pay tuition. I don't have time to raise money for the university," Hammond said.

Mitchell Wherry, sophomore majoring in political science and English, said he supports the initiative because it's the students who are raising the money and deciding where it goes.

He said he hopes the foundation focuses not just on the dollar figures but also on where the money goes.

"The focus should not be on how to get money but instead on how the money is spent," Wherry said.

J.P. Benedict, ASUA president, said the expectation is not that every student participate.

"We know students are paying tuition and have debt already; we're very understanding for why students don't want to participate. But there will be a lot of incentive for students to contribute," Benedict said. "If students feel that way, then they don't need to do it."

Drnek said that the students who serve on the Student Foundation would act as visionaries who decide on the organization's structure, how money will be raised, and what projects will be funded.

"It will be totally run by students and all the funds will help students," Drnek said.

Drnek said the position would increase students' organizational and managerial skills.

"Students will get real-world experience, since they will be managing and allocating money," Drnek said.

Once the students are chosen, they must attend a half-day retreat on Dec. 7 in order to make decisions concerning the foundation, such as what its bylaws will be and how its director will be chosen.

Students interested in applying can fill out an application online at:

Or they can visit the ASUA office, located above the UofA Bookstore, and pick up an application. They are due Monday.

At last night's ASUA Senate meeting, senators approved the Appropriations Board's consent agenda for $775.11 in special funding for LeaderShape UA and the Percussion Club.

LeaderShape received funding for its marketing campaign. LeaderShape UA will select 60 students to attend a six-day leadership session in May.

The club needed money in order to advertise the campaign so that students would be aware of the opportunity.

The Percussion Club originally requested $1,774.42 for a trip to Las Vegas on Dec. 13 where they could meet with the Blue Man Group in a percussion-intensive show.

The Appropriations Board only gave them $396.11 for vehicle rental since the event would not benefit a large number of students at the UA.

During the senate meeting, Victoria Ruan, the administrative vice president, presented information about the "Road Trip Nation" film screening tomorrow.

The documentary follows a group of recent college graduates on a trip around the country in which they try to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

Ruan said the documentary could help students find out what they really want to do rather than what others tell them they should do.

"It's a topic that affects everyone; I don't know anyone who knows what they want to do after they graduate," Ruan said.

The screening will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Social Sciences building, Room 100. Students can also meet the authors of the documentary from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UA Mall.

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