ASUO resolutions include gender equality, Supreme Court ruling and Quack PAC, among others
“When a resolution is approved by Senate, we are saying, ‘As the ASUO Senate, we are making this statement on behalf of the student body,'” Senate Ombudsperson Samantha Cohen said. It is acknowledged, however, that the viewpoint may not be representative of every student.
This past term, two resolutions were brought before Senate.
Any student championing a stance on an issue has the opportunity to present their resolution to the ASUO.
Issues are typically on a national or campus-wide scale and the resolutions are ultimately voted on by the Senate.
The first pertained to a commitment to support increasing the presence of gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus, which was brought forth by members of the LGBTESSP, among others. Senate approved that resolution, and is currently working to improve the issue.
The other resolution Senate came with a bit more controversy, and was presented by OSPIRG. It pertained to the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United v. FEC case of 2010.
The decision ruled that restricting independent political expenditures, most notably in the area of campaign financing, by nonprofits, corporations or labor unions was inconsistent with the First Amendment, and has been cause for controversy across the nation. Oregon was the 17th state to pass a resolution calling for Congress to nullify the decision, and the resolution presented by OSPIRG to the ASUO Senate was calling for the same. The resolution was approved, but not unanimously.
“I find it interesting that we take on Citizens United when we throw a ridiculous amount of money at our own elections,” Senator Will Iversen said.
Two resolutions from last year include the Quack PAC resolution entitled, “The University of Oregon’s Commitment to Israel’s Right to Exist and Thrive,” which expressed support for the nation of Israel and its “positive contributions to the modern world.” The vote was 13-5-1 and was a subject of long debate. Quack PAC used rationale including, “Israel serves as a leader for the free world as the only country in the Middle East that contains equal rights for all of its citizens.”
Not all members of the student body or the ASUO agree on whether national issues are something Senate should pass resolutions on.
“Resolutions are giving statements on behalf of the student body as a whole so they’re generally more fit, at least according to this philosophy, for issues pertaining to campus,” Cohen said. “There’s definitely a divide.”
Also a source of controversy was the resolution regarding the presence of Lierre Keith on campus to speak. The resolution, brought forth by UO Survival Center and allies, stated that the student body would stand in solidarity with the trans community at the UO “in condemning the discriminatory views and practices of Lierre Keith and Deep Green Resistance.”
“The resolution started off as ‘Hey, we would recommend that this didn’t happen.’ On the Senate floor, it morphed into: ‘We condemn the views of Lierre Keith,'” according to Senate VP Miles Sisk. It is possible for resolutions to change during the shaping process.
Issues can be presented to Senate during Wednesday night meetings. By the following Wednesday, the comprised resolution is put to a vote by Senate.
Meetings are at 7 pm in the EMU Walnut Room.
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