The term in review: ASUO Fall wrap-up

The ASUO kicked off the term with a number of empty seats to fill. Candace Joyner and Casey Edwards left their positions on the executive branch, and two additional resignations on senate brought the total number of open senate seats to six.

The hiring process turned out to be a bit more controversial than expected with the testimonies of several interviewees who claimed that they were treated unfairly and unprofessionally by the hiring committee. Exec and Senate Seat 20 and Academic Chair Abel Cerros later defended the process, saying it was conducted with the proper integrity. Inconsistencies between the two sides remained, but the confirmation process continued undeterred.

The Senate confirmed Senator Aven-itza De Primavera for seat 19 (Journalism and History), Senator Quang Truong for seat 4 (EMU Board), Senator William Iversen for seat 11 (Business and Economics), Senator Lizeth Marin for seat 17 (Law and Social Sciences), and Senator Sami Tayeh for seat 15 (Psychology and Cultural Studies). In addition, Austin Palacios was confirmed as Associate Justice to the Constitution Court. Later, Hao Tan was confirmed as Freshman Representative.

With Charlie Pontrelli’s resignation in November, the ASUO will now have to fill Senate Seat 16 (Life Sciences). No update on that position has been given yet. Will Iversen was appointed to replace Pontrelli as Treasurer.

The ASUO also hit an unexpected rough patch with the revival of blogs ASUO Progressive Probs and ASUO Conservative Probs. The Emerald’s coverage of senate VP Miles Sisk’s endeavor to shut down the blogs with the help of the administration gained widespread attention. No action was taken against the websites, and they continue to run.

The ASUO has been working on several projects of note, including the collaborative efforts between executive members, senate and other student groups to forward provision of gender-inclusive bathrooms. The senate created a working group to help push for changed signs and increased mapping so that students are aware of the locations of gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus.

Senate also worked with the Student Mental Health Advocates in efforts to bring about changes to student ID cards so they would have emergency numbers printed on them, as a part of the SMHA’s #mysafetymatters campaign. Like the work on gender-inclusive bathrooms, these efforts will continue into winter term.

The ASUO also focused its efforts on supporting the GTFF prior to and throughout the striking period. It first ran a letter in the Emerald expressing support of the GTFF. Later, the ASUO joined forces with the Student Labor Action Project in a series of demonstrations, including visiting Interim President Scott Coltrane at his office hours in Lillis and holding a Solidarity Study-In in the lobby of Johnson Hall, even attempting to enter the office spaces the second day, though they were deterred from doing so.

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Kaylee Tornay

Kaylee Tornay

Kaylee is the Emerald's 2015-2016 Hiring and Training Director. Formerly an ASUO reporter for the News Desk and writer for the Arts and Culture Desk, Kaylee has also interned for the Medford Mail Tribune and freelanced for the Bend Bulletin.
Ask her to discuss local journalism or for tips on throwing shade at people who take up too much room on the sidewalk.