Arizona State University is under fire for paying the Clinton Foundation to host an event in 2014.
According to the Arizona Central, Arizona State paid the Clinton Foundation the amount of $500,000 to host a Clinton Global Initiative event back in March 21-23, 2014. The CGI University event focused on five core areas; education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.
Arizona State spokesperson Mark Johnson said the money used to pay for the CGIU did not come from monies received from taxpayer funds. What wasn’t said was that once all monies are pooled into the general fund, there is no way of telling where the money exactly originated.
Arizona State is receiving a bunch of heat due to dealings with the Koch brothers. Charles and David Koch, known for contributing millions to Republican causes, have donated more than $4.5 million to Arizona State. This, however, is money coming into the Tempe, Arizona campus. The CGIU issue is with Arizona State paying a half-million dollars to host an event in light of the recent economic problems with Arizona State, as well as the state of Arizona.
Arizona governor Doug Ducey (R) has slashed the higher education budget by $40 million for the 2016 Arizona State budget. Since 2008, the state of Arizona has cut the higher education budget by 50.4 percent since 2008, while tuition has doubled at Arizona State since 2005.
The Communities Digital News is reporting that Arizona State lobbied for the necessary funds via Title VIII, Russian and East European Research and Training Act of 1983. Arizona State also stated they lobbied for the funds after Hillary Clinton had stepped down from the Secretary of State position. There was no indication as to whether or not the university received the lobbied-for funds.
After the event, the CGIU claimed that over 1,100 students participated in the weekend event, raising more than $60,000 and participating in a “Day of Action,” performing community service that weekend.
Of the 82,000 students enrolled at Arizona State, 1,100 students, less than one percent of the student body, were able to attend the event. The student body surcharge of $320 that students pay yearly to attend Arizona State events did not cover the CGIU event.
The biggest complaint Arizona State is receiving is that the $500,000 could have been used to assist students’ tuition payments. This tends to be a slap in the face to those who are trying to go to school to make a better life for themselves without going into major debt.
[Image courtesy of Naz Student Blog]