By Joseph Barrios

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Closing out a turbulent year

ASUA's newest elected members were sworn into office during a ceremony yesterday afternoon on the UA Mall.

And as these students take their places in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, their predecessors look back on a year marked with disputes over what student government should be, who it should give money to and who its next leader should be.

Next year's officers were sworn in by Scott B. Bernstein, chief justice of the ASUA Supreme Court, who is also ending his term. About 80 people attended.

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T.J. Trujillo, ASUA president, said he looked forward to next year because he wants student government to work on issues like tuition, financial aid and other immediate concerns students have.

"I thought this day would never come for you," Bernstein said to Trujillo during the ceremony — a statement met with laughter from the crowd.

Trujillo was eventually declared ASUA president by Bernstein last month, despite Sen. Jason Wong’s submittance of two appeals contesting the presidential election.

Wong's first appeal was submitted in March in regards to the general elections. The Supreme Court said Wong was denied due process when the ASUA Elections Commission alerted Wong to a discrepancy in his eligibility application, but did not give him adequate time to correct the problem.

So, a second election was deemed necessary for the two students in which Trujillo won.

The second appeal was submitted last month, alleging that the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association broke ASUA Elections guidelines in the aforementioned election and misrepresented his opinion on funding greek organizations. But Wong agreed to settle the appeal without asking for another election.

Now, one of the first international issues Trujillo said he will address is the revision of such guidelines.

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In another event, greek chapters on campus can now receive ASUA funding due to a unanimous Supreme Court decision handed down on April 26.

The decision stems from an appeal by IFC and Panhellenic to a legislative bill that states greek chapters could not receive funding from ASUA.

The case which brought about the appeal dealt with a Jan. 31 request by Alpha Kappa Lambda for money to attend a leadership conference. The funding was originally granted, then rescinded.

The funding prompted Sen. Naomi Mudge and GPSC representative Dan McGee to submit the bill prohibiting ASUA from funding such organizations.

The Appropriations Board, charged with funding clubs and organizations on campus, was another starting point for a series of appeals bringing up the issue about who and what ASUA can fund.

The Central Governing Council voted 8-0 on March 25 to deny $292 to CARP for a guest speaker who claimed he could “heal” homosexuals. The Collegiate Association of the Research of Principles hosted Richard Cohen, a psychotherapist who counsels homosexuals about what he calls the healing process of changing to a heterosexual orientation.

Two peaceful protests were held on March 2, when Cohen spoke. Soon after the event, CGC members said they felt the speech, entitled “Healing Homosexuality,” implied that homosexuality is an illness that needs to be cured.d.

But the CGC voted 6-0 with two abstentions to let CARP keep the original $215 because the money was already transferred to CARP’s account. The $215 was used for the initial arrangements costs.

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ASUA faced its first full year under a new tricameral legislative structure, with bodies representing both undergraduate and graduate students. Senate, the Graduate and Professional Student Council and the CGC control the legislative structure.

Early in the semester, a proposal submitted by Sens. Brad Milligan and Jon Shoemaker and Wendy Anderson, a GPSC member, in January called for the creation of just one central legislative branch in ASUA.

Sens. Naomi Mudge and Maggie Glover threatened to resign and GPSC threatened to separate from ASUA if the proposal was put on the ballot for students to decide.

Both bodies worked out their differences during separate meetings on Feb. 2. The bodies’ decision led to the creation of a Committee on Effectiveness, which tried to address how ASUA can be more effective passing legislation.

About two weeks ago, aoutgoing ASUA President Derek Lewis said the concerns about the new structure and the move to change it again were “growing pains” because this was the first year the new structure was instituted. h

Milligan said he will postpone his plans to continue with the restructuring proposal.

"The sentiment is basically that we're going to go with this new structure a while with new personalities in there,” Milligan said. Read Next Article