ASUO Senate funds Block Party and UO Security Club

Wednesday’s senate meeting heard a total of six special requests.  There was some hesitancy over the University of Oregon Security Club’s request (UOSec). The group that educates students on cybersecurity requested a total of $5,980 in order to fund three weekly meetings — consisting of two meets and a day dedicated to participating in security competitions (known as ‘Capture the Flag’ events). The group also requested funds to host two security engineers to give talks for its two planned “Speaker Night” events.

Several senators voiced concerns for UOSec’s request, which would provide $1,320 for 11 weeks worth of coffee and snacks for an expected 20 person attendance in its bi-weekly meets and $2,200 in coffee, snacks and lunch for its CTF meets.  “During our weekly meetings, we do meet pretty much right after classes end; they are from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. We are asking people to come when they are usually going to eat.” said a spokesman for the group

“I would be in favor of funding $200 for a kick-off event, I don’t really think you need food for every single one of these events,” Senator Andrew Lubash said.

The senate voted to cut costs requested by providing hotels to speakers for one night instead of two, and made significant decreases by deciding to fund $200 for food for the group’s speaker event, $100 for food for a CTF Kick-off event, $100 for advertising — cutting down the request to $2560.

There were many disagreements over Ethos Magazine’s request, which the senate tabled from  week nine’s meeting in winter term. The request was to fund $4,000 for its “Block Party,” which would primarily go towards insurance and crowd management.

Although several senators praised the group’s work in decreasing the request significantly from the $9,000 they had requested earlier — due mainly to removing the branding aspects of the event — concerns remained about the involvement of several student organizations that Ethos claimed to have reached out to and are getting involved.

“This is not to me about holding a party, but it is about giving back to a community and bridging the gaps that I have seen on campus,” said public relations director of Ethos Magazine, Lindsey Simmons.

“I don’t know if this is the most appropriate setting. Some groups might not feel that this is a safe space,” said Senator Francisco Morales-O’Connor, who echoed some of the concerns that other senators had with the event’s potential to attract intoxicated students despite its no-alcohol policy.

Lubash stated that he was swayed from his initial stance against funding this event. “I think you all have done an amazing job reaching out to groups,” said Lubash. He suggested reaching out to the Multicultural Center and LGBT advocates on advice to make Block Party’s environment more inclusive.

Senator Connor Lasken reaffirmed his belief that Block Party should not be funded by the ASUO, “This group and the Senate are aware that students are going to pre-game, and people are going to try to sneak alcohol in; therefore, I find it inappropriate for us to give funds towards this.”

After initially voting down on the proposal, the senate decided to make an amendment to fund the event on the premise that it is to end at 7 p.m.

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Andrew Field

Andrew Field

Former Japan Times intern. Daily Emerald reporter and FishDuck editor. Tokyo-Singapore-Houston-Eugene, but Oregonian forever. West Ham United and Portland Timbers fan.

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