A bill passed the Arizona state senate Tuesday that would ban all use of student fees for lobbying or in support of organizations not chartered by the university. It is currently awaiting Governor Jan Brewer’s signature, amid a lobbying campaign to push her to veto.
HB 2169 was drafted in response to controversy over the Arizona Students’ Association support for last year’s Proposition 204, which would have imposed a state sales tax surcharge to fund education. But the bill goes far further than even that criticism of the ASA.
The bill has two sections, the first of which would bar the use of any student fee money to “for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed election.” No student buses to lobby for higher ed funding, in other words. No flyering with student fee money for rallies about reproductive freedom or tuition bills or hate crimes laws or open admissions.
The bill’s second section would ban the use of any student fee money to support student organizations not under the control of the university in the absence of “affirmative consent in writing” by each student whose fee money was to be so used. This provision would ban not only referendum funding for organizations like the ASA, the United States Student Association, and Arizona PIRG, but also funding such groups through the student government budgeting process.