By Zach Thomas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
"They walk in single file to hide their numbers." Although this line from the movieStar Wars may seem out-of-place, support and action in a democracy work in a similar way: the greater your numbers, the greater your voice.
ASUA has moved toward an increased voice, after both the graduate council and the undergraduate senate passed presidential cabinet motions for membership in the National Association of Students for Higher Education, a lobbying organization for post-secondary education.
The vote for membership gives ASUA nine votes on NASHE's national board.
"It's a way for universities and student associations across the country to get reliable information," said Brook Rosenbaum, ASUA federal relations director.
The Arizona Students Association, a state-level lobbying group, is already a NASHE member.
In its first year of existence, NASHE is still an infant in its lobbying efforts. However, the organization hopes to hire a paid lobbyist in Washington, D.C., by January 1996.
"By virtue of joining, we give the national organization more legitimacy," Rosenbaum said.
Organization membership cost $900, which will be divided between the ASUA undergraduate senate and the presidential cabinet.
NASHE held its second formative national meeting in October, and proposed federal financial aid cuts took center stage.
"Some people wanted a narrow focus on student financial aid," said Sergio Jasso, NASHE pacific region coordinator and undergraduate senate member. "We tried to figure out where it's going."
ASUA has belonged to a similar lobbying organization before, but bowed out three years ago when the U.S. Student Association went beyond student issues to topics such as capital punishment. NASHE's mission statement says it will "advocate solely on issues of higher education."
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