ASUO Senate transfers $142,000 for Mallard Madness

Mallard Madness may soon become a reality thanks to a recent vote by the ASUO Senate to transfer $142,000 from the over-realized funds into the concert’s line item.

ASUO executive members Zan Schindler and Lainie Vinikoor helped make this possible. Both members have been working for months, contracting with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to schedule the group to perform at the proposed concert.

The concert would cost students $15 to attend and would take place in Matt Knight Arena.

The idea of this concert came about through the We Are Oregon campaign that noticed a hankering from students who strongly supported the idea of holding a university-supported concert.

“We are the only Pac-12 school that doesn’t provide something like this,” Vinikoor said.

The funding of the concert, combined with the $15 ticket cost would ensure that the concert could happen multiple times down the road, with the main hope from the ASUO executive team that the concert would be completely sustainable in the future.

“I support this because I’ve looked at who it will impact and I think this is first and foremost something that students want,” ASUO senator Taylor Allison said.

Although many senators were in strong support of the concert, there were  senators — and audience members — who adamantly opposed the funding.

“There are many organizations that could be funded that would impact students in a much greater way. What if a student on this campus found out they had an STD because of ASUO funding? This is a much greater impact,” ASUO Sen. Ben Bowman said. “If we make this allocation tonight, we will not have an opportunity to help any of those organizations later this year.”

Audience members were concerned that if the request was passed, other groups would not have a fair chance to promote their needs and ideas to the Senate at a later date. The over-realized budget before the Mallard Madness request was $212,000 so the request, fiscally speaking, would use up a majority of the funds leaving only $70,000 in the over-realized fund for the rest of the year.

After two hours of discussion, Senators ended any ongoing discussion by moving to vote.

The motion passed 11-5-1. Multiple audience members did not have a chance to speak on the topic despite waiting up to five hours.

Emma Newman, the ASUO advocacy director, approached Senate later in the meeting and communicated to the body that some of the audience members were “very disappointed” about how they were treated by Senate and how they were not offered a chance to speak.

“I wanted to talk to that as well,” Bowman said. “Because we always preach inclusiveness and when we got a room full of students with lots of ideas we didn’t let them talk.”

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Ian Campbell

Ian Campbell