By Joseph Altman Jr.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Associated Students' President T.J. Trujillo has been appointed to the ASPIRE selection committee by the state board of education.
ASPIRE is a financial aid program which would give 200 to 300 third-grade students the chance to earn a tuition scholarship if they maintain academic standards and stay out of criminal trouble, as well as meet several other requirements.
A letter from the board announced the appointment, which comes after controversy regarding the appointment of Arizona State University student Bill Tierney to the committee by Governor Fife Symington.
After Symington appointed Tierney to the committee, the Arizona Students' Association lodged a petition drive to show their disapproval over the appointment.
ASA delegate Ben Driggs said, "Our big complaint was if T.J. (Trujillo) wasn't on there and Bill Tierney was, it would be a big slap in the face to ASA and all the students who worked so hard to get it passed."
Trujillo said there was "lots of concern as to Bill's (Tierney) background and knowledge on the ASPIRE committee."
Now, however, Trujillo said he is optimistic about the committee.
"It's the best of everything," Trujillo said, since there are now two students on the committee instead of one. "It all worked for the best."
Driggs also said he is pleased with the appointment.
"It's outstanding. It is vital, for the early stages of the program, to have the author and main advocate of the bill on the committee," Driggs said.
Tierney was unavailable for comment yesterday.
The role of the selection committee will be to acquire funding for the project, Trujillo said. After that, the committee will set up guidelines for eligibility and selection of the participants in the program, he said.
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