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Politics Weekly Roundup: From solar panels to soaring business

A look back at this week's politics reporting


Graphic published on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

Welcome to the second installment of The State Press Politics Roundup, where we bring you the week's coverage of on-campus and local politics.

This week, our reporters spoke with ASU officials who said President Donald Trump's recent tariff on foreign-made solar panels could make future installations on campus more expensive. Reporters also learned why U-Haul ranked Tempe as the top spot for one-way rentals and what that means for the city's growing economy.

In recent USG and campus news

Election season is on

Candidate applications for the Undergraduate Student Government elections were released last week, setting campaign season in motion. Applications are due by Feb. 23 at 11:59 p.m. The two week campaign begins on March 12 and will conclude March 27 and March 28, depending on the campus. Results will be announced March 29.

Crow addresses students, community leaders in West campus forum

President Michael Crow spoke to students on the West campus last week, trumpeting the achievements of the University since he became president. He pointed to ASU topping “numerous” national rankings, including being named most innovative for three years in a row. Crow also addressed his new funding model and his plans to increase enrollment and graduation rates. Event attendees said questions from students centered around those national rankings, explanations for how ASU was ranked and what plans the University has to improve and further serve students.

ABOR, student governments discuss campus updates over dinner

Student governments from the state’s three public universities met at Tempe’s Student Pavilion Wednesday night to mingle, exchange ideas and announce campus program plans and achievements in student engagement. USG members highlighted their efforts to further engage with the student community, particularly about the upcoming health fee vote, efforts to expands Downtown’s grocery shuttle service and the ASU Day at the Capitol event, happening Feb. 14.

Here is a look at our reporting from the week:

Politicians and student activists stress importance of dialogue between University and government

Tempe mayor Mark Mitchell discusses projects and improvements ASU and the City of Tempe have worked on and will continue to grow on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017.

Each week, student groups host on-campus speaking events with city and state leaders where they can speak directly to students and hear their concerns. The events bring in officials like Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee and others, who said the events help them connect with a key demographic in Tempe. Read more here.

U-Haul rates Tempe as top migration destination for 2017

People paddleboard and kayak through Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018.

A new report released by the moving company lists Tempe as the top destination for one-way truck rentals, which the University administration said is helping foster business growth in Tempe. As more qualified job candidates continue to flood into the city, large businesses are beginning to invest in offices, hoping to attract recent graduates. Read more here.

Student government plans to increase health fee

ASU marketing and business senior Brittany Benedict speaks at a USG meeting at the Memorial Union at ASU's Tempe campus on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. 

USG and the Graduate and Professional Student Association received input from students and will vote on whether or not to increase the health fee from $40 to $55, which would leave students to pay $110 per year. Some say the increase is needed to expand University-provided health services. Each campus student government president will vote in accordance with their senators. A majority vote from all campuses is needed to pass the increase.  Read more here.

Trump's solar tariff and proposed energy cut trouble ASU professors

"The imposed tariff on solar panels will cause issues in solar research at ASU." Illustration published on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

President Donald Trump implemented a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels to encourage buying panels made in the United States, a change that University officials said could make future on-campus solar panel installations more costly. The tariff is meant to incentivize domestic production of solar panels. Solar advocates are generally opposed to the tariff, which comes amid solar research cuts in the Department of Energy. Read more here.

Editor's note: A version of this roundup published with the State Press newsletter incorrectly identified Michael Crow's student forum as his first of the school year. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @AndrewNicla on Twitter. Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter. 

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