Devils in the White City

Midterms-in-hand, ASU Real Estate Development Master’s Candidates set out Sunday to join their alumni and prospective employers at the Urban Land Institute’s fall meeting in Chicago, Il.

The sun set early as the Devils ascended into the eastern sky, their trek a welcome change from the design-studio-style class of almost thirty.

The faction of future financiers, who attend class together Monday through Friday in the nine-month accelerated program, will tour some of Chicago’s most revered real estate.

This year’s candidates range in age from mid-twenties to early sixties.

They are artists, brokers, accountants, realtors, landlords and engineers.

They are Arizona natives and foreign exchange students.

Their goals for this week are as diverse as their resume´s.

Some will face more challenges than others.

“I’m a little nervous because it’s really hard for me to follow you guys sometimes,” said James Hwang, “I have a story but I don’t know how to interact.”

Hwang moved with his wife and son to the U.S. from Seoul, South Korea a year ago.

He worked for a real estate company in New York before he was accepted at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

“It’s hard for me to talk to people,” he said in perfect English. “It’s hard for me to raise my hand and discuss in class, and about this conference I have no idea.”

Hwang wants to learn from U.S. developers so he can eventually return and modernize undeveloped areas of North Korea and Russia.

“I want to meet some key people, I’ve got some key targets,” said Tom Haney. “I’m interested in adaptive re-use, adaptive places.”

Innovation is certainly not unique in a city where dill pickles are served atop hot dogs and even McDonald’s features a revolving glass door.

ULI hosts two annual summits in roving iconic American cities to showcase innovative and economic solutions to urban challenges.

“I want to see some stunning modern architecture,” said Melissa McCann, a landscape Architect. “There’s some new things here.”

McCann has been building for over thirty years.

Her craft has taken her all over the globe.

She splits her time between Phoenix and San Francisco, where she lives with her husband who is also an architect.

As part of their tuition, the MRED candidates will experience an insider’s tour of notable landmarks, past and present, including a private tour of Wrigley Field and the Prairie Crossing conservation community (urban farm) residential development.

They will learn about Chicago’s retail staple, Merchandise Mart, from the perspective of its current owners.

Their itinerary includes several traditional and modern skyscrapers too.

But It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns at the airport Sunday.

The group were handed their Market Analysis mid-terms as they arrived at the airport.

By mid-flight, they were socializing, watching movies, or catching up on rest.

“I can’t think right now, I’m dysfunctional without food,” said Max Gomez, a twenty-four-year-old real estate broker from Tucson.

U.S. Airlines charges for peanuts and pretzels, so only some ate anything on the plane.

“I helped a very nice elderly gentleman open his crackers,” said Ryan Garret with a sardonic grin. “I’m looking forward to a 64-oz steak.”

Garret, 35, was a budget planner with NASA before moving to Arizona for the program.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know my classmates,” he said earnestly.

Gomez and Garret were not the only ones whose stomachs grumbled during the flight.

“It used to be you’d get a full meal and a glass of wine,” said Steve Grimes, a former Arizona appraiser in his sixties.

Grimes wasn’t impressed with the flight itself, but enjoyed getting to know his neighbor, a Chicago developer who was not affiliated with W.P. Carey.

“We swapped stories and business cards,” he said.

Thousands of industry players are expected to attend this fall’s conference.

The ASU Candidates will learn from, and rub elbows with market moguls throughout the week.

“They’re in one of the best examples of architectural cities in America,” said Andy Conlin, a developer and professor at ASU. “They’re going to be introduced to people who were successful bringing forth developments, and building a sense of comeraderie they will carry with them the rest of the year.”

Conlin co-teaches market strategy with fellow developer, and program director Mark Stapp.

Conlin organized a majority of the trip.

“The downtown area of Chicago has undergone incredible renovation,” he said while viewing the Chicago night skyline. “The number of people who live in downtown has increased dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years.”

Conlin said there was a real possibility one of the candidates would meet their future employer during one of the dozens of seminars elaborating on post-crisis market analysis, strategy, and design.

“The camaraderie will happen by default, he elaborated. “There will be things that will occur you couldn’t anticipate.”

The crowd of cohorts were eager to get to their rooms at the chic James Hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago.

“It’s good to see people in boots,” joked Robbie Thompson, a broker and native of Canada. “It reminds me of home.”

Rain or shine, wind or warmth, the cohorts will rise early tomorrow for their first real test, the opportunity to network with today’s and tomorrow’s industry leaders.

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“Twerk and Shout” Sundevils React to Changes in the Dictionary

http://www.statepress.com/2013/09/04/twerk-and-shout

(click the link to read the published story, edited by ASU State Press Magazine Editors.)

(Originally written version, including some commentary along the way and a writer’s note at the end.)

TWERK AND SHOUT!

Long before fire and the wheel, humans figured out grunts and clicks to convey ideas.

We haven’t shut up since.

What we now call a dictionary existed long before last week, when publishers of a respected English reference decided a word was needed for pretend sexual intercourse performed on one’s feet, presumably in rhythm to synthesized drumbeats.

Why the Oxford Online Dictionary digitally enshrined twerk for the ages is not nearly as clear as what we can watch Myley Cyrus, former-Disney-daddy’s-girl-turned-glorified-skank, do over and over at the 2013 MTV music awards.

Of course, there’s nothing new about slang or sex in western pop culture.

Both have been cash crops of entertainers since before the Beatles commanded girls “twist and shout,” because “you really got me going now.”

But the speed by which ideas are being immortalized digitally is unprecedented.

“Language is changing and they’re trying to keep up,” said ASU Linguistics Professor Patricia Friederich. “There’s a stage when use is so widespread it justifies being in the dictionary.”

Friederich described herself as a descriptionist, a scientist who observes word phenomenon in societies.

She’s not interested in “right” or “wrong” judgments but how use changes through time.

“There is a natural progression,” she said. “Technology is making it a lot faster.”

She said twerk probably wouldn’t be added to other references anytime soon.

The scholars at the Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford Online’s older brother) preserve thousand-year-old texts to translate meaning from their roots.

They have yet to acknowledge the hybrid of “twist” and “work.”

Regardless, pictures of Cyrus’ ecstatic writhings inspire 1000’s of words.

Their “official” title will be shelved digitally with other pop-culture-inspired English tweaks like “aint,” “refudiate,” and “irregardless.”

 

YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING?

Cristina Garcia and three friends burst into laughter when asked about twerk.

“We were just talking about it,” the global sciences junior said with a wide grin. “One of our classmates was on the computer and said ‘this is a no-twerking-zone’ and we all just laughed.”

The group decided ‘twerking’ means to “shake one’s butt vigorously to a beat.”

“Twerk is slang,” said Alyssa Timms from across the table.

A political science junior and Army ROTC cadet, Timms said there is a difference between pop slang and useful jargon.

“Jargon in the military is more about efficiency,” she said. “It’s not made to look pretty or cool, it’s made to get things done.”

Elly Van Gelderen is a Regent’s Professor in English at ASU.

“There is no one official language,” she said “Each person has (their) own variety.”

Though Van Gelderen said slang and jargon are legitimate parts of language, they are different than words made up arbitrarily.

“Slang is a kind of linguistic dressing up,” she said. “From a linguistic point of view there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Van Gelderen teaches that meanings in language evolve through cycles, expanding and contracting.

“If a word becomes useless it is dropped,” she continued.

Van Gelderen said concepts like color, shape, and negation may have existed before language, but conditions like “if” cannot be understood looking around the world.

“When a child learns a language it builds up ideas in its head,” she said.  “That’s how language goes about: re-analysis by a child.”

Both Friederich and Van Gelderen said it was natural for slang and jargon to start with exclusive language among groups trying to form identities, only to become so widespread they are accepted into general society.

“I think the vital question is, is (a word’s) use stable?” said Friederich. “We all know words that burned down quickly, so much so we associate them with a particular time.”

(Think groovy.)

HUSH YO MOUF!’

About 70 students were selected at random in the Memorial Union to participate in a snapshot surey.

They were asked to identify which of three provided meanings “they most closely associate” with six commonly used words.

To allow students to focus on their own perceptions, they were assured there were “no wrong answers,” and shouldn’t worry about “official” definitions.

“These are some tough choices bro,” said Simon Patterson, a mechanical engineering junior.

He asked if the word gay was on the survey before he was handed the sheet.

It did, with choces: “cheerful,” “foolish,” or “homosexual,” each a historically widespread usage according to Oxford English Dictionary (the one still holding out on Myley.)

“Gay just always sticks out,” Patterson explained. “Maybe it’s just my generation but they really tried to enforce in grade school not to use that.”

He said teachers assumed kids meant derogatorries when they really meant something was stupid.

Just under 75% of Sun Devils surveyed primarily associate gay with sexual orientation, though its original meanings, noble and showy, had nothing to do with sex or gender.

“I think people put way too much thought into words most times,” said Jacob Cook, a secondary education junior with a minor in biology. “Words don’t necessarily mean what they mean in the dictionary, they mean the intent behind it.”

His friend Alexus Demetres is graduating with an Anthropology degree next semester. She didn’t like the available choices for awkward: “reverse,” “clumsy,” or “embarrassing.”

“I’m trying to think of a better word but I can’t,” she said. “Depending on what context you use, the meaning could change.”

Twice as many students selected “awkward” as a synonym for embarrassment.

Nearly all (94%) associated nice with “pleasant” whereas it was originally a polite adjective for someone who is “simple” or “stupid.”

Students were ambivalent over the word: manipulate. Only nine chose the word’s original meaning, “to re-shape.”

The rest almost even split between “control” and “ deceive,” the latter denoting ill will.

Respondents were assured choices were “associations” found in the dictionary. In the case of “ironic,” which has remained relatively un-changed, two of the three choices provided were commonly misused antonyms.

Three-quarters chose “coincidence,” which would be two un-related events with similarities occuring at the same time.

Such is not ironic.

An ironic situation is almost perfectly opposite of what one would expect given circumstance.

Less than 20% chose “Opposite.”

Likewise, a vast majority (89%) indicated respect is most closely related to “honor.”

Literally translated from Latin (“Re-specere: ‘to re-see,”) respect more traditionally suggested re-consideration of a person’s position and behavior. The word is contemporarily used to imply virtue, begging the question: would it be ironic to honor authority without question?

“If I decided today I was going to call a chair a table, and a cat a dog, tomorrow no one would understand each other,” said Friederich. “It’s perfectly acceptable so long as it makes sense.”

The SPM survey was designed to provoke conversation. The results indicated Millenial’s usage is very differently from the words’ original meanings.

“So many words change I don’t think its possible to say whether it’s right or wrong,” said Brianna Steele, a psychology freshman.

“My mom’s culture is very much about respect and honor rather than obey,” she said. “But my first instinct was obey.

WORD, YO

There is a principle in law that allows attorneys to transcend even the most complex arguments of philosophy.

Res ipsa loquitor, literally translated “let it rule the thing speaks for itself,” commands that the very essence of something be defined first by virtue of itself.

This is why trials focus on evidence, translated from Latin, “what can be seen.”

So, even though a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, it’s important to remember its thorns will prick your finger.

Friederich jokingly blamed billionaire reality TV sisters Kardashian for incorrectly using the literally in place of figuratively on a regular basis.

“Every two words that they say, one is ‘literally’ and not correctly,” she chided. “You can’t say literally unless something is to-the-letter.”

Friederich said various uses of “awkward” and “gay” don’t bother her because their meanings evolved and can be connected over time.

It is embarrassing to be clumsy or backward and many stereotype homosexuals as non-serious and overly exuberant.

“Using words that are more positive in the people you’re talking to will generate more goodwill in the world,” Friederich said. “When you change language you can also change society.”

She said new definitions appeared for “sustainable” and “green” in the last decade.

“Who uses the word really matters,” elaborated Friederich. “Some people feel (African-American) is a good term because it’s without negative connotation, while there is disagreement within that community that the word signals they are less of an American.”

“What we really need (for a word to evolve) is a social movement in one direction.”

As for Miley, creative writing junior Jeff Kronenfeld said he didn’t like “twerk” but it’s not his place to decide if it should go in the dictionary.

“Obviously it was done to try to use controversy to gain some attention,” Jeff added. “Everyone was bashing on Miley, but nobody’s said anything about the dude who was sticking ‘it’ up in there.”

THE LAST WORD: “ODE TO A UTOPIAN APOCOALYPSE

Ours is a world in which Tweets have toppled governments and newspaper comics insight slaughter.

A Florida jury recently acquitted George Zimmerman for killing an unarmed teenager outside their home, after the State failed to prove the shooter used racial slurs.

Arizona passed a law, portions of which were struck down because it allowed police to detain people for speaking languages other than English.

Academics like Freiderich and Van Gelderen not what’s right or wrong, but rather in what direction are we heading?

Are we all headed in the same direction?

Are we excelling toward an enlightened future of peace-inducing communication norms or are we careening off the rails into an Orwellian pit of misunderstanding and ignorance?

These are questions that sexualized pop icons, dictionary definitions, linguists and student surveys can’t answer, directly.

Hopefully generations to come will have something “nice” to say about a society that codifies gratuitous sexual displays because they’re popular.

Giffords’ Hero Loses Student Election; Scandal, Student Courts, and Expression Restraints

Read Brian Mori’s series coverage of the Spring 2011 UA undergrad scandal involving Daniel Hernandez Jr., the intern President Obama hailed as a hero for attempts to help Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the Tucson Mass Shooting earlier this year.

Daniel Hernandez Jr. was twice turned down for student body president of the University of Arizona by undergrad voters. The campaign was contentious, according to all parties during two rounds (four total) student court hearings on the UA Campus.

The student court hearings questioned powers of student officials to regulate student expression and campaign tactics as well as evoked memories of the 2000 Bush / Gore election

GPSC: Resignations and rejections result from representatives’ resistance

 

  

Click to view online story

GPSC Meeting, 3 March 2010 [UPDATE]

RESIGNATION RESULTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES’ RESISTANCE

The debate over student fees came to a head at last night’s GPSC meeting with the resignation of President David Talenfeld and the announcement of the resignation of Campus Recreation Director Juliette Moore (See below regarding “retirement” vs. “resignation of Juliette Moore.)

Click to read Talenfeld resignation letter

Vice President David Lopez-Negrete will serve as GPSC President for the remainder of Talenfeld’s term.

The Council clapped when Lopez-Negrete was sworn in. They voted to suspend for the rest of the semester the GPSC constitutional requirement to replace Lopez-Negrete’s Vice-President seat and tabled for future discussion whether or not Lopez-Negrete can receive both the V.P. and Presidential pay.

Talenfeld spoke briefly at the opening of Wednesday’s meeting to reiterate his support for over $600.00 in student fee increases for Fall 2010.

“The solutions to our states’ critical deficit problems can only come in the form of compromise and on the backs of all stakeholders … in our case that’s students,” He said.

Wildcats face a tuition and fee increase total of $2,766 (in-state) if proposals by University of Arizona President Robert Shelton are approved by the Arizona Board of Regents March 11.

English Graduate Union Co-Chair Jessica Erica Cirillo-McCarthy accused Talenfeld of “misrepresenting the students” by signing the letter as President of the Graduate Student Professional Council

“Should I dig into my heels and refuse to represent the council or hold true to my own views? Rather than be stubborn, I have chosen to resign and trust David (Lopez-Negrete) to adequately reflect the students,” Talenfeld said. “I think everyone is working for a solution, diligently, and in good faith.”

Talenfeld said that he believed after meeting with University administrators and state budget executives that no one wants to harm the students.

“The (Arizona State Legislature’s) 30 year track record proves that they don’t value higher education,” Talenfeld said after the meeting. “Likely no one else will.”

 

MOORE ABSENT; GPSC QUESTIONS BOOKSTORE ADMINISTRATORS’ CLAIMS

Campus Recreation Director Juliette Moore was supposed to report to the council on student usage but University Bookstores Executive Director Frank Farias attended in her stead, saying that Moore “chose to resign (retire), wisely.”

Farias helped to restructure moneys brought in by the bookstore to support some of the costs of Campus Recreation’s budget.

The GPSC objects to the bundling of fees proposed by Campus Health, Campus Recreation, University Libraries, and University Information Technology Services.

The representatives complained at several meetings that combining fees proposed by Campus Health and Campus Rec into a $306 “Health and Wellness Fee,” and those by UA Libraries and U.I.T.S. into a combined $335 “Library Technology Fee,” is “dishonest”, “unsubstantiated,” and “not reflective of the core needs of the University.”

President Robert Shelton said following ABOR’s public hearing Monday that the fees were first presented to him as bundled.

“If you don’t know how much money we actually need, how can you advocate for the fees as proposed?” College of Humanities Representative Lucy Blaney asked Farias.

Lopez-Negrete has represented GPSC on tuition and fee matters since Talenfeld wrote of his philosophical support for the fees as proposed to the Arizona Daily Wildcat, contradicting the Council’s statements of objection against student fees.

“This is the first time in 33 years I’ve had to come in and ask for the money. I’m humbled by this situation,” Farias told the graduate representatives. “The need is inescapable, financial, numerical. Somebody has to provide that.”

Farias was unable to provide any numerical or statistical data to the council to justify his claims that the bundled Campus Health and Wellness fee of $306 was needed to support both departments at current operating levels.

“I may not have the numbers right now, because I have not had the time, but I assure you the need is there” Farias said.  “You have already invested to build this facility (Student Recreation) but there’s no funding to protect it,”

College of Nursing representative Helena Morrison said 90% of the students she represents don’t live in Tucson and will never use either Campus Health or Campus Recreation.

Morrison challenged Farias, as she has Campus Health Administrative Services Director Kris Kreutz, on philosophical grounds of making students pay for things they may not use.

“Mandatory fees without usage is just not appropriate,” she said.

Kruetz told the Council at last week’s “special” meeting that bundling the fees was “good medicine” and that as a taxpayer, he understood the council’s natural objection. “I pay taxes for services I don’t use too.”

Moore was not available for comment Wednesday night.

 

COUNCIL DOUBTS SURVEY RESULTS; SUGGESTS CUT-BACKS

The Council has also rejected the legitimacy of surveys conducted by both Campus Recreation and University Information Technology Services that Shelton has used to justify both the need and desire of students to maintain services at current levels.

A review of the Student Information Technology Survey results provided by Papaleo revealed that only 374 students responded.

“I’d like to see what is done with my $25 before I invest any more,” said College of Law Representative Edwin Slade III

Blaney recommended that Farias consider closing the Rec swimming pool in the winter, opening membership to surround Rincon Heights residents, and firing any student personnel not absolutely required.

“Anyone who gives me attitude or blows gum in my face just has to go,” Blaney said. “We can’t afford them.”

Farias said that he has cut not only student positions, but Campus Recreation administrator positions as well.

 

BRIEF ON TUITION AND FEES; GPSC CONSULTS ASA

Teaching and research assistants’ tuition is often waived or covered by grants in return for their services.

The representatives voted, via listserv, to support President Robert Shelton’s proposed tuition increases as necessary to ensure the 2006 Maintenance of Effort levels required by the federal government to keep receiving education stimulus dollars.

If Arizona does not maintain k-College education spending at 2006, they will forfeit badly needed federal assistance.

The Arizona Constitution mandates that public education remain “nearly as free as possible.”

The ABOR’s interpretation for this measure for at least the last decade has been that student tuition input remains at the top of the bottom 1/3 of the total cost of education.

Fee increases do not typically enter into a parents’ accounting when gauging the cost of education, Jacobi said.

The GPSC considered mentioning in their memo that while there is an expectation that parents pay portions of undergraduates’ tuitions, graduates are usually on their own and still bound by FASFA limits that require a student to reach the age of 25 not to be counted on their parents income taxes.

The GPSC voted to utilize the Arizona Students’ Association’s stance that ABOR should now consider the cap at tuition as 30% of Arizona’s median income which is somewhere between $41,000 and 49,000

The U.S. Census Bureau reflected that the median income of a 2-person family in 2008 was $56,900.

GPSC: Reps Change Minds, Drop Support for Admins’ Fees

Link to online story

GPSC takes stand against fee process, drops support for previously agreed-upon amounts

Coverage from last Wednesday’s GPSC meeting, courtesy of freelance journalist Brian Mori.

The Graduate and Professional Student Council voted Wednesday to express their displeasure with how University of Arizona administration has presented student support for fee increases to the Arizona Board of Regents.

The council voted to change their support (in dollars) from what they agreed upon in a February 16 joint “Student Response to Fees” with the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

Newly elected GPSC Secretary Cory Christenson confirmed that the council would draft and release a new statement some time over the weekend which would support separating the bundled Campus Health and Wellness fee (Campus Health Services/Campus Recreation) and the Library and Technology fee (University Libraries and Univ. I.T. Services).

GPSC and ASUA supported $404 in their joint statement (still available on GPSC website.)

GPSC reduced their support Wednesday to $264 $364.00. (No online update as of March 1)

“I think that this will more directly reflect the voices of the graduate students,” David Talenfeld, President of the GPSC, said after the meeting.

Talenfeld has publicly disagreed with the GPSC’s opposition to proposed fees based on his own opinions.

At the heart of their concern is what GPSC representatives called “unsubstantiated” comments that Shelton made in a memo on student fees claiming that students’ were adequately consulted.

“I’d be happy to support these fees if they were presented in an honest way,” said Helena Morrison, College of Nursing representative.

“They did not provide us any more information than we had in previous years,” said November Papaleo who sits on the Internet Technology Student Advisory Board and represents the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

“The IT fee was unsubstantiated,” she said. “I would want more information before I approve the funding in its entirety.”

Papaleo said she hasn’t attended the advisory board meetings because they are held in direct conflict with GPSC’s on Wednesday nights.

“I can’t attest with the recommendations because I haven’t been there and they don’t send notes.”

“These entities did not (originally) propose these fees (as bundled) and they have been proposed as such (by Shelton),” said Morrison.

TUITION HEARINGS

The Arizona Board of Regents will hold it’s Annual public hearing on tuition matters today at 5 p.m., via teleconference with all three state universities.

The University of Arizona justifies cost-of-education policies by consulting multiple student advisory boards, on which student leaders and delegates collaborate with administrators to determine students’ educational needs and priorities.

According to Papaleo, the results of recent surveys conducted by University Information Technology Services were not sent to her until 2/23, after President Shelton released his memo assuring the Arizona Board of Regents that his proposals came from duly consulting students.

The representatives also voted to include comments in their new statement reflecting their suspicions over bundled fees.

University of Arizona Vice-President and Chief of Staff Jacqueline Mok explained during a mid-January interview that the process by which fees are presented to Shelton, and ultimately the Board of Regents, involves many rounds of discussions and negotiations between students, faculty and administrators.

“Our perspective is that (health services and campus recreation) are inextricably linked. This is good medicine,” said Kris Kruetz, Director of Administrative Services for Campus Health.

Campus Recreation Director Juliette Moore told the council she’d bring reports reflecting recreation center usage for the GPSC’s next meeting.

“Getting sunlight helps you too, I guess we should support the green fee then,” smirked Jim Collins who represents non-degree seeking graduate students. “It was a completely spurious decision.”

The council voted to recommend the following fees for the Fall 2010 semester:

Campus Recreation: $23.

Campus Health: $36 $136.

Internet Technology: $85.

University Libraries: $120. (No change from joint statement).

Graduate Council Fueds: What Really Happened

Click to view online story

What really happened at last night’s GPSC meeting

(The wildcat was there, but left early. Originally published 2/27/10)

 (Brian Mori, who has written reports for this site in the past, offers this dispatch from last night’s contentious GPSC meeting.)

The Graduate and Professional Student Council halted their weekly meeting Wednesday night and evoked executive session privacy to discuss “personnel issues”  shortly after English Graduate Union Co-Chairwoman Erica Cirillo-McCarthy questioned Talenfeld about his public voicing of stances on fees that differed from those of the council. 

The Arizona Daily Wildcat published an editorial written by Talenfeld that seemed to endorse a philosophical “no other alternative” stance to accepting all proposed student fees, what some GPSC representatives said runs contrary to that of the council’s and graduate students wishes.  

 “Some of my students are on scholarship that only covers (base) tuition. When these fees go up $1,000, it comes out of their pockets,” said EGU Co-Chair Laura Bivona after the meeting.   Bivona explained that graduate students, who are offered tuition waivers to teach undergraduate classes, face extra hardships because they are still responsible to pay student fees.

 “I’m personally troubled that (university) administrators influenced your decisions,” Cirillo-McCarthy told Talenfeld during the public portion of the meeting. “You should express the concerns of the students.  The CEO’s and CFO’s, we need to influence them and have them come to our side.”  

 Both ASUA and GPSC agreed to support President Robert Shelton in requesting the Arizona Board of Regents approve increases to support budget gaps in the UA library system, improved internet technology throughout campus, and a combined health and recreation fee.  

GPSC has declined to endorse instituting other fees like those proposed by the grass-roots activist organization Arizona Public Interest Research Group and Campus Sustainability, both of which want access to students funds to provide support for environmental and other research.

Bivona and Cirillo-McCarthy also take issue with Talenfeld signing his “personal” letter as GPSC President:  “We’ve talked to our constituents about what they want,” Bivona said.  

The joint statement released Tuesday can be read online on GPSC’s webpage.   Talenfeld apologized for vagueness in his Daily Wildcat letter that did not specify it was of his own personal opinion, but stated that he still believes fee endorsement decisions should be made publicly and by votes of elected student representatives.  

“I want for you and your constituents to be aware that I have been diligently voicing your opinions in my meetings with President Shelton and the Provost,” Talenfeld said. “The purpose of the letter to the Wildcat was to explain where we disagree.”  

The GPSC constitution lists “misrepresentation of the GPSC to outside persons” as grounds for impeachment of representatives.  

 “It’s not what we voted for. The (ASUA & GPSC) statement says ‘hey let’s break this down and negotiate this and (Talenfeld’s) letter says otherwise,” Cirillo-McCarthy said.   

Talenfeld said he believes students need to consider looking ahead to establish long term financial support for issues that matter to students, and that does not run contrary to GPSC’s overall position to represent students.  

 “I don’t think there is a contradiction. I’ve issued a personal letter why some amounts, novel increased fees (in addition to the $720) should be considered by students,” Talenfeld said. “My impression has been if we don’t give a little ground to pay for this education than nobody else will.”  

College of Engineering Representative Robert Jacobi, who initiated the vote to evoke executive session said “it’s hard to say” whether or not Talented intentionally misrepresented the GPSC.

UA Student Council Hosts Forum on State Gun Law

Click to view online story

FEB 11, 2010

Those of you with especially keen memories will remember that back in September (interestingly enough, the last time a firearm-related resolution came before ASUA), journalism student Brian Mori offered a guest report of the GPSC meeting where a walk-out was considered. We’re fortunate enough to have him back again, to offer an actual news report – with sourced quotes! and background grafs! –  on last night’s forum, hosted by ASUA. Enjoy (although this will probably not be the final post on the matter).EML

Originally published 2/11/10 on Desert Lamp http://www.desertlamp.com

There were more than just students among the crowd of about 50 gathered Tuesday night in the Santa Rita room of the UA’s Student Union Memorial Center to discuss what stance student representatives will take on current Arizona gun legislation.

The Senate of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona hosted the hour-and-a-half long call to the audience after heated objections from students during last week’s senate meeting.

Last week, ASUA proposed a statement against Arizona Senate Bill 1011, which would expressly allow university faculty with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on campus.

The resolution also requested an exception to the current policy allowing for concealed-carry permit owners to keep guns in cars parked on campus lots, overturning a previous resolution passed last September.

ASUA’s proposed resolution echoed opposition by University of Arizona President Robert Shelton, the University of Arizona Police Department, and the Arizona Board of Regents that guns simply do not belong on campus.

The Senators were silent as the undergraduate and graduate students, a couple alumni, a UA professor, and co-owners of a Tucson based firearms safety instruction company spoke of their opinions of the legislation and ASUA’s position.

The remarks were limited to three minutes a person, and the speakers raised several questions including: the likelihood of increasing firearms related accidents, the need for professors to intervene in mass-shooting scenarios, a lack of a campus attack response plan, the state and federal constitutions, and ASUA’s role in speaking on behalf of students.

“Any sort of shooting is absolutely unacceptable but I’d rather have 1 or two dead bodies to 30,” Josh Walden, a student at both Pima and the UA said before the forum.

Most who supported the legislation, including Walden, cited the mass murders at Virginia Tech and Columbine as examples of where students and teachers were defenseless against depraved assailants.

In 2002, a University of Arizona medical student shot and killed 3 professors before committing suicide. Speakers at Tuesday’s discussion forum disagreed on whether or not he had a concealed weapons permit.

“Teachers sign contracts that they are first and foremost responsible to protect students. That’s why we have fire drills, tornado drills, and bomb drills,” said Erin Goheen, a UA student.

Currently, all weapons – including firearms – are banned from Arizona college campuses, although the Arizona state constitution forbids preventing an individual from bearing arms in defense of their person.

“In reality, weapons and firearms are already being carried in and out of classrooms everyday,” Walden added later. “That sign (prohibiting guns) is not going to stop them from pulling the trigger.”

Sarah Button, a UA alum and Tucson middle school teacher said that it’s more important to improve weapons permit background checks to include mental health screenings before giving professors rights to carry guns where students cannot.

Button said professors with guns are more likely to confuse police or others trying to control a dangerous situation. “What if (professors) don’t see who is the shooter, and five people spring out and they still don’t know who to shoot?”

Professor Peter De Mars, an Aerospace and Mechanical Engineer adjunct professor, was the only faculty to speak at the meeting. He said he’d rather see more done to educate teachers and students to respond without the use of weapons should the unthinkable occur.

“If I asked my class if they felt safer if I carried a gun, they’d say no,” he said with a laugh. “The idea that a professor could be in the spot where they could protect students in 12 million square feet (the UA campus) is an anomaly.”

De Mars said he’d feel safer with keys to lock his classroom door than a gun.

Several of the speakers pointed out that Arizona statute exempts adults who leave weapons out of sight in locked vehicles on school grounds other than universities from prosecution for weapons misconduct.

“The people that are out there without the (Carry Concealed Weapons Permit), are the problem,” said Tim Popp, firearms instructor and owner of Double Tap Firearms, a Tucson safety and firearms instruction company.

Double-Tap co-owner Shawn Pop said that those who want to kill mass amounts of people pick public places where they know people are unarmed. “Education is the key to everything,” he said. “The CCW permit is the way to get educated.”

“The whole purpose of having a CCW is that people don’t know that you have a gun.” said Katie Pavlich, a UA journalism senior and one of five College Republicans in attendance. “The people who have the CCW have the training, the knowledge, there’s a reason why they went through the class, paid the fee, and got their fingerprints taken.”

James Allen, a UA sophomore said that giving professors guns would make them primary target for someone on a rampage or someone trying to get a weapon.

“If the guy knows that, then yeah, teacher’s going down first,” he said. “I don’t like supporting things that limit constitutional amendments, but I just can’t shake that guns don’t belong on campus.”

Allen is also ASUA safety director but did not speak on behalf of the student government Tuesday.

“I find ASUA’s resolution to be inappropriate,” Robert Rosinksi told the Senate. “You represent the student body and obviously extreme division here.”

Rosinski is founder of Students for the Second Amendment, an non-recognized club on the UA campus. “You shouldn’t go through with it. When you have hard facts that something’s dangerous, then you can do it,” he said.

After the forum, MacKenzie said he didn’t think ASUA adequately reflected the student population’s opinion of guns on campus. He said he believed that if people understood the training required for a concealed weapons permit, they’d be more likely to support the legislation.

“We have a lot to talk about tomorrow,” said Senator Hillary Davidson.

The senators will meet Wednesday in the Ventana Room of the SUMC at 5 to discuss and vote on whether or not to pass their previously released statement.

“They’ll probably talk about what they thought but nothing official will be decided until tomorrow, because of Arizona open meeting laws.” said Executive Vice President Emily Fritze, who presides ex-officio over the senate.

Fritze encouraged students to come speak during tomorrow’s Senate meeting call to the audience.

The Senate of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona hosted the hour-and-a-half long call to the audience after heated objections from students during last week’s senate meeting, at which ASUA proposed a statement against Arizona Senate Bill 1011, which would expressly allow university faculty with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on campus. The resolution also requests an exception to the current policy allowing for concealed-carry permit owners to keep guns in cars parked on campus lots, overturning a previous resolution passed last September.

ASUA’s proposed resolution echoed opposition by University of Arizona President Robert Shelton, the University of Arizona Police Department, and the Arizona Board of Regents that guns simply do not belong on campus.

The remarks were limited to three minutes a person, and the speakers raised several questions including: the likelihood of increasing firearms related accidents, the need for professors to intervene in mass-shooting scenarios, a lack of a campus attack response plan, the state and federal constitutions, and ASUA’s role in speaking on behalf of students.

Most who supported the legislation, including Walden, cited the mass murders at Virginia Tech and Columbine as examples of where students and teachers were defenseless against depraved assailants.

In 2002, a University of Arizona medical student shot and killed 3 professors before committing suicide. Speakers at Tuesday’s discussion forum disagreed on whether or not he had a concealed weapons permit.

“Teachers sign contracts that they are first and foremost responsible to protect students. That’s why we have fire drills, tornado drills, and bomb drills,” said Erin Goheen, a UA student.

Sarah Button, a UA alum and Tucson middle school teacher said that it’s more important to improve weapons permit background checks to include mental health screenings before giving professors rights to carry guns where students cannot.

Button said professors with guns are more likely to confuse police or others trying to control a dangerous situation. “What if (professors) don’t see who is the shooter, and five people spring out and they still don’t know who to shoot?”

“If I asked my class if they felt safer if I carried a gun, they’d say no,” he said with a laugh. “The idea that a professor could be in the spot where they could protect students in 12 million square feet (the UA campus) is an anomaly.”

Double-Tap co-owner Shawn Pop said that those who want to kill mass amounts of people pick public places where they know people are unarmed. “Education is the key to everything,” he said. “The CCW permit is the way to get educated.”

James Allen, a UA sophomore said that giving professors guns would make them primary target for someone on a rampage or someone trying to get a weapon.

Allen is also ASUA safety director but did not speak on behalf of the student government Tuesday.

“I find ASUA’s resolution to be inappropriate,” Robert Rosinksi told the Senate. “You represent the student body and obviously extreme division here.”

“We have a lot to talk about tomorrow,” said Senator Hillary Davidson.

The senators will meet Wednesday in the Ventana Room of the SUMC at 5 to discuss and vote on whether or not to pass their previously released statement.

Fritze encouraged students to come speak during tomorrow’s Senate meeting call to the audience.

Transferring schools might get easier

Originally published Arizona Daily Wildcat 1/28/10

If passed, a bill presented Wednesday at the Arizona Senate would require state community colleges and universities to standardize the names and course numbers of 100- and 200-level classes to ease registration for students who transfer within the state.

Sen. John Huppenthal, R-Chandler, state senate education chairman and chairman of the Senate Education Accountability and Reform Committee introduced SB 1186.

He explained the purpose was to make transferring credits for approved equivalent courses easier between community and university campuses.

“You have thousands of courses and some of them are pretty straightforward,” Huppenthal said. He added that the idea that calculus at UA is different than calculus at ASU is ridiculous.

Huppenthal credited the Arizona Students Association for helping draft the legislation.

“This is something we’ve been working on for a decade and a half,” he said. “(But the Arizona Students Association) had a lot of the work done in advance.”

Ben Henderson, member of the ASA Board of Directors, hopes the bill will pass through to the Senate without problems.

“We noticed that students have had a lot of trouble transferring their credits. I think we’re expecting a smooth ride the whole way through,” said Henderson. “Whenever they need a student opinion we’ll be right there to give it.”

Henderson was at the capitol in Phoenix for the Senate Education Accountability and Reform Committee’s decision. “We’re all really excited about how smoothly it went. The vote was 7-0,” he said.

The bill still has the journey through the caucus and then back to committee before it goes to the floor of the Senate, but Huppenthal said he expects it to do well. “It’s just a phenomenal idea, the question is nothing is ever simple,” he added.

Henderson, an ASU student, said the only questions raised by the senators were about how to implement the specifics.

Huppenthal is running for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.  If elected to the position, he will also sit as an ex-officio member on the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs education policy and cost.

“Taking unnecessary classes that don’t help to get your degree is an incredible waste. I think establishing this will be healthy. It may need some follow-up legislation,” he said.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona South President Andres Gabaldon said that SB 1186 will greatly help students on the non-traditional college path.