ASUO Executive enters office with a full plate of plans
As of last week, ASUO President, Helena Schlegel, Internal Vice President, Claire Johnson and External Vice President, Francisco Morales-O’Connor, have begun their tenures in the ASUO executive office.
As leaders of the ASUO Executive, they will be responsible for developing campaigns and projects which serve to represent the interests of the student body. It also has a role in approving the final incidental fee recommendations that the ASUO Senate agrees on before it is sent to the University of Oregon president. New members of the Executive staff announced their current plans for the term in an email to the Emerald.
The ASUO Presidency’s immediate goals are to establish open lines of communication with student groups and different departments around campus. The executive also plan to change existing policy to expand the counseling center and reform the stipend model. With the groundwork for cultural competency training already in place under the leadership of former ASUO President, Beatriz Gutierrez, new leaders plan on implementing it as a requirement for incoming University of Oregon freshmen.
Open Lines of Communication:
The ASUO Executive decided to email out a monthly newsletter to students. The newsletter will contain records that summarize meetings, such as University and ASUO Senate meetings, where policy decisions are being made. The newsletter will also contain meeting times of different programs that students could get involved with, as well as information about upcoming events.
Expansion of the University Counseling and Testing Center (UCTC):
The Executive plans to aid the counseling center by promoting its services through tabling and in-class presentations. The executive plans to help the UCTC develop new programs, such as one that focuses on students working in the housing department — a group of students which they believe face unique responsibilities and difficulties.
Changing the stipend model:
The new Executive considers the current stipend model of student group leaders to be problematic. Currently, student leadership stipend allocations are based on the funding level of a student group — the team feels that this does not consider the amount of time a student group leader puts in, or the impact of the group’s services.
The new Executive aims to assure student leaders, “that they don’t have to make tough choices about whether to take on campus roles that may be vital to their personal growth, or take on multiple jobs to cover basic living expenses.” It believes that currently, stipends are being decided, “bureaucratically rather than on a case by case basis.”
Therefore, it intends to give the ASUO Finance Committees the power to decide stipends based on the, “situation and details surrounding each group.”
Cultural Competency Training:
The Executive plans to implement cultural competency training for all entering UO students during the freshman “Week of Welcome.” The training will educate students on their cultural identities and histories.
Former Internal Vice-President, Tran Dinh, mentioned that her executive had worked with resident hall staff to get the plan started, “It is really important for Helena’s administration to keep working with the people who have been working on this, instead of trying to start from the ground up,” Dinh said, “but continue to work with what has already been laid out, and strengthen it.”
The new Executive is still hiring:
Last senate meeting, the new ASUO Chief of Staff, Casey Edwards, and ASUO Finance Director, Shawn Stevenson, were announced. However, the new executive still has several spaces to fill. Open positions are listed on the ASUO website.
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