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Letter: Taylor grievance based on old gossip news

The grievance filed on Tuesday against ASUO Vice President Katie Taylor@@http://asuo.uoregon.edu/executive.php?a=12#[email protected]@ is ridiculous because it continues to place unimportant gossip before real work that needs to be done in the ASUO. It does not uphold the true meaning of “conflict of interest,” and it ignores the incredible work that Taylor has accomplished this year.

First of all, the marriage of Taylor and Charles Denson@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@ should not be a matter of petty politics and poor reporting @@oh [email protected]@— it’s their personal business. It is offensive to nontraditional students and students who are married to continue stigmatizing their marriage.

If the issue really is about a “conflict of interest” and not about a personal vendetta against OSPIRG and Taylor, then where were the grievances and reporting when former ASUO Sen. Alex McCafferty @@http://ethosmagonline.com/archives/[email protected]@sat on the Emerald Board of Directors and simultaneously voted on funding for an ACFC budget that included money for the Emerald?@@I’m pretty sure Alex disclosed his connection to the Daily Emerald. Katie didn’t. Why is this so hard to [email protected]@ It’s obvious that Vice President Taylor and Mr. Denson are being attacked because of their personal lives.@@Is it? Is it obvious? See previous [email protected]@

Furthermore, even if the marriage were a legitimate concern to students, it still does not constitute a “conflict of interest.” Taylor was involved with OSPIRG at Lane Community College and supported the organization before she met Denson. Furthermore, the Emerald article by Emily Schiola@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@, referred to OSPIRG as “Denson’s organization,” which is a completely false statement. First of all, Denson has been unaffiliated with OSPIRG this year @@after [email protected]@and stepped down from his position as board chair.@@after [email protected]@ Yes, Denson continues to support OSPIRG — just like more than 50 percent of students on our campus. What matters though is that he has never held a paid position with the organization.

Taylor supported OSPIRG before she knew Denson, so he did not sway her decision, and neither of them benefited financially from the decision to fund OSPIRG, so there is no “conflict of interest.”

The fact that Taylor has committed herself to students this year and has accomplished so many great things is being overlooked because of a focus on petty grievances and gossip about her personal life. In the meantime, Taylor has put her energy into many important issues that protect student rights.

To name just a few of her accomplishments, she has worked with the University’s Truth Coalition to address changes to the structure of the Office of Multicultural Academic Success@@http://pages.uoregon.edu/omas/@@; ensured students’ voices are heard in the development of the EMU/Student Recreation Center and made sure student participation is included in the decisions to change the Department of Public Safety.@@http://safetyweb.uoregon.edu/@@

Instead of dwelling on old gossip news and turning the decision to fund OSPIRG into a personal vendetta, students and ASUO members need to focus on important work to be done in the ASUO.

Rina Sundahl
University student

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