Letter: Student unions support postponement of referendum
There is a wide array of student groups that call the EMU home. Our spaces within the building are important — they hold our resources and our histories and are a home away from home. Historically, these spaces didn’t always exist. They were fought for by students before us and today we are threatened once more with the prospect of losing them. We cannot allow this.
Because our student spaces are so important, there are certain concerns we need met in the planning process for the new EMU. We want a guaranteed minimum square footage equal to or greater than our current situations. We want the same amount of privacy for our student unions as they are afforded now. For some of us, privacy is essential to the work we do.
The right space is necessary to provide students safety and a place to be listened to, whether they be survivors of domestic violence, LGBTQ-identified students needing support without wanting to be outed, or anyone else who needs a safe space. We want a commitment to prioritize student space over retail space in the planning process. We want Student Affairs to commit to a sustainable building with the lowest possible maintenance costs and environmental impact.
These demands have not been met or even adequately addressed. It is important to us that before students vote on the EMU referendum and that we are all well informed about the work that goes on in the EMU and how the renovation will affect the services provided to students by students. In order to put students first, we need a written guarantee that student spaces are to be protected.
We are among the students who were consulted on a regular basis by the ASUO in the process leading up to the referendum postponement. We voiced concerns with how our needs had not yet been addressed and discussed the option of postponement of the referendum as a way to protect our stake in this project. We hope that Student Affairs will finally begin to hear student voices as the ASUO has done and agree in writing to the requests we have put forth.
UO Truth Alliance member
Oregon Students of Color Coalition Member
Multicultural Center Staff
MEChA, MCC, OSCC
Hong Kong Student Association member
BSU member, College Democrats Member
ASUO Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate
Climate Justice League Organizer, ASUO University Affairs Coordinator
MEChA member, ASUO State Affairs Coordinator
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