A retrospective on the 2010-11 ASUO
The 2010-11 school year has been accompanied with a number of twists and turns in the University’s student government. But there have been a few storylines that have run throughout the year of ASUO politics.
Then-current and former executives, Emma Kallaway and Amelie Rousseau, request a transfer of $20,000 from Graduate Teaching Fellow pay — used earlier to teach the ASUO internship class — into several different projects. The pair of presidents used $10,000 of the requested transfer to pay for the salary of a sustainability coordinator. The Senate approves the transfer, enabling a hiring process to begin during the summer.
Rousseau begins her term as ASUO president and an Executive staff list is published.
Senators vote to approve an allocation from surplus to pay senators who serve in the summer. The allocation, it is later revealed, did not take place, because the paperwork went unfiled.
A decision to have a new key policy is postponed by the EMU Board of Directors.
A meeting of the summer Senate takes place. The earmark from the May 19 transfer to hire a sustainability coordinator is approved.
ASUO members visit a regional United States Student Association conference in L.A. to discuss higher education issues.
The summer Senate session is deemed unsuccessful, because senators who were elected to participate often did not show up during meetings scheduled for this month, preventing quorum.
Contract negotiations are finally determined, with ASUO members and the University’s athletic department agreeing to sell 1,000 football season tickets. Students can purchase the tickets for $200 and attend all six home games, without dealing with the online ticketing system.
A hiring committee is in the works for the sustainability coordinator. Rousseau’s vice president, Maneesh Arora, eventually chairs the committee.
Rousseau and Arora work during the summer, planning some of the campaigns that the ASUO will work on. This includes promoting a smoke-free campus, working toward the creation of a civic engagement minor and working closely with the legislative affairs coordinators to advocate on public policy issues.
Sens. Brennan Lowes, Tyler Griffin and Michael McInerney and Political Director Robert D’Andrea resign for various reasons. Each steps down before school starts.
A group of people in West University neighborhood grows quickly on the Friday before school starts. Eugene Police Department responds with tear gas and other riot gear when the crowd began damaging property. Rousseau condemns the use of force and names it as a reason why the Department of Public Safety should not become a sworn police force.
At a convocation speech, Rousseau again condemns the use of force and apologizes to the freshmen in the audience. She also offers all the students a voter registration card and explains the importance of voting with the higher education issues on the docket for the state legislature: the DPS issue, University funding reforms and tuition equity.
Fall Street Faire happens, coordinated by then-Events Coordinator Molly Bennison.
Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group holds its first meeting of the year.
ACFC chair Brianna Woodside-Gomez elects to be an unofficial tag for OSPIRG at the committee’s first meeting.
Two students in consecutive weeks are nominated to replace the open spots in ASUO Senate but are not confirmed. This provokes the Senate to discuss what it truly takes to be a student senator.
Opposition to a smoke-free campus holds a smoke-in protest in the EMU Amphitheater and supporters hold a counter-protest. Among the supporters were peer health educators from the University Health Center as well as Rousseau and other ASUO members.
University administrators announce in a press conference that the University campus will be tobacco-free by Fall 2012.
James Dos Santos, Emma Newman and Kristina Harding are confirmed to fill the open spots on ASUO Senate.
Jeremy Blanchard indicates intention to resign the following fall term because of his impending graduation.
ASUO Senate approves a $65,000 allocation from the Over-realized Fund to start hiring artists to perform at what will be Mallard Madness, a week-long festival of arts and culture.
Rousseau and other ASUO members protest the closure of the EMU Post Office, but to no avail. The post office closes its doors January 14.
Sen. Jackson Hite also resigned from Senate after fall term, citing his plans to study abroad in winter term.
Sustainability Coordinator Louisa de Heer starts work. after being hired over winter break. It is announced that the accompanying Sustainability Center will have a grand opening soon.
OSPIRG supporters have a meeting with ACFC members to discuss the general tenants of the group’s $117,000 request. Executive Director Dave Rosenfeld attends the meeting in support of the student chapter; Rosenthal holds the executive director position over both the student and state organizations.
Sen. Erin Altman resigns, citing her workload outside of the ASUO and what she considered to be inefficiencies in the Programs Finance Committee on which she sat.
Rousseau meets with the other members of the Oregon Student Association board to discuss issues of the term. The board unanimously votes to oppose the New Partnership as proposed by University President Lariviere.
The Over-realized Fund committee starts the process of allocating $200,000 of extra money.
OSPIRG has an official ACFC hearing. After debating with the four presenters, Woodside-Gomez moves to adjourn the meeting before a vote is held, leaving them without an allocation. Rousseau states intention to veto a budget without OSPIRG funding.
A second hearing is held for OSPIRG, as members appeal the ACFC’s previous decision. More members of the audience are allowed to participate in the discussion, but a proposed motion for $45,000 is voted down. OSPIRG supporters continue to call this an unfair hearing, suggesting that ACFC members had their minds made up before the hearing took place.
Senate hears a third appeal from OSPIRG, but votes down the $45,000 motion again — 5-14. An ACFC budget is approved, not featuring an OSPIRG contract.
The final ASUO budget, that of the Programs Finance Committee, is approved by Senate. While it, ACFC’s and EMU Board’s budgets are all increases of more than 4 percent, Department Finance Committee’s has a decrease and the incidental fee per student per term decreases because of an unexpected sharp increase in students.
Rousseau vetoes the ACFC budget, citing a desire to renegotiate a better deal for students.
A majority votes to oppose Rousseau’s veto, but it is not the two-third majority required to overturn the veto. With the veto standing, ACFC members work with Lane Transit District and find an extra $80,000 that was paying for students who don’t attend the Eugene campus.
ASUO members return to school and start primary elections. Rousseau’s chief of staff, Ben Eckstein, runs against Programs Administrator Sinjin Carey for the presidency along with Cimmeron Gillespie from the Student Insurgent; Curtis Haley, who opposed the simplicity of running for ASUO President; and three candidates from the Oregon Commentator — Sophie Lawhead, Stephen Murphy and Nick Dreyer.
ACFC uses additional funds from LTD renegotiation to pay for current service level allocations for athletics and not for OSPIRG, wanting students to be able to opt out of paying for the group. Senate approves it, but Rousseau vetoes the budget again. Senate doesn’t vote on the override this time, and it sticks.
Eckstein is elected as president in a landslide; each candidate on his slate for Senate elections wins. Also, all of the ballot measures the campaign pushed for passed.
The only Senate race in contention goes to the candidate on Eckstein’s slate also.
Senators-elect start attending Senate meetings.
Kerry Snodgrass is named Eckstein’s chief of staff for the next year.
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