ASA letter was politically-motivated


I was shocked at Tuesday's letter to the editor concerning Benjamin Driggs and ASA's supposed lack of success this year ("Lobbying association failing students" Feb. 21). I recently joined them on their lobbying trips to Prescott for the U.S. Congressional Budget Committee hearing and the legislative luncheon in Phoenix. It appears to me that ASA has been actively involved this year in attempting to pass their Work Study Bill and the Pre-Paid Tuition Bill. The legislative road can be long and tedious and ASA delegates, including Ben Driggs, should be commended and not criticized for their perseverance. Even in the face of obstacles like Sen. Carol Springer they have kept lobbying for the passage of their bills. By the way, Sen. Springer's response to funding for higher education is that the "world needs plumbers too" even in the face of increased college costs.

This year has not been mired in a lack of success. ASA was instrumental in getting the credit limit legislation killed. ASA defeated the regent's decentralization bill. Throughout the year, ASA has been working on keeping tuition low and getting voter registration reform for the university population. It is essential to realize that history does not change overnight, it is a gradual process.

The letter comes across as a personal attack against Mr. Driggs. It appears as though Mr. Fleming may have been politically-motivated due to the fact that Ben is running for ASUA president. From my personal observations, Mr. Driggs cares greatly about the students of the university and he feels deeply about issues that affect them personally. He is committed to making their educational experience at this institution worthwhile. Mr. Fleming was not in attendance at either the U.S. Congressional Budget Committee hearing or the legislative luncheon. He cannot possibly have an inside view of the amount of work and dedication that Ben brings to the position of ASA director. Mr. Fleming did not grasp the opportunity to accompany ASA on any of their lobbying trips or do any research on the legislation that ASA sponsored this year. Therefore, what right does he have to personally attack Mr. Driggs? By attacking Mr. Driggs during his presidential campaign, he is encouraging mudslinging and dirty politics. That is something that this university does not need.

Kimberly Montanaro

Finance and East Asian Studies Freshman

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