Phi Beta Cons

Desert Storm (Over Using Student Fees for Political Activism)

There’s quite a row occurring over the ability of the Arizona Students Association, “a private group that lobbies on behalf of Arizona’s public university students,” to receive mandatory fees from every student in the entire University of Arizona system. Currently, the system’s 130,000 students each must pay $2 annually to fund the group.

The problem is, the association did not confine its activities to working for students, but was instead directing funds to liberal causes. In response, the system’s Board of Regents voted to end the association’s mandatory fee collection and make it optional as of this coming fall. The association has responded as one would expect a liberal political organization to do: It is suing to get its free money back.

The Goldwater Institute, a libertarian/conservative think tank (what else would you expect them to be with a name like that?) has entered the fray by representing five Arizona students who wish to make themselves plaintiffs on the side of the regents. The action by those five students greatly weakens the association’s argument that it is the rightful representative of all the students.

We have a similar problem in North Carolina, with the University of North Carolina system’s Association of Student Government officers getting substantial stipends in return for being shills for the system’s administration.

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