Student groups face troubles with ASUO program administrator’s resignation

The University of Oregon campus is flourished with student activities of more than 200 ASUO recognized student organizations. Last year, ASUO allocated about $2.5 million to support these groups with a hope to enhance the experiences and student perspectives on campus. But this year ASUO recognized programs, and new applicants, have seen a bumpy start.

ASUO recognized student groups have to prove they are beneficial to students and be able to sustain, in exchange they will get financial support from ASUO incidental fee budget. According to its size and activities, a recognized student group can be divided in from class 1 to 4 with an according fund amount.

Vietnamese Students Association Co-president Michelle Nguyen said the program has flourished thanks to the ASUO funds throughout the years. VSA has $14,745 of funding this year, according to ASUO 2015-16 Budget Book.

But to get on the bandwagon is not easy. The procedure is lengthy and complicated, Vanessa Santillan of Association for Women in Sports Media said after submitting the application last week.

“We have to build (the program) from the ground , and this is new to all of us,” Santillan said. “And Orgsync is so complicated.”

Executive Program Administrator’s responsibilities include tending to all programs’ concerns and overseeing the recognition application process.

When the now former Executive Program Administrator Carter Fritsch resigned due to personal reasons earlier this term, the Executive Program Recognition Review Committee was left with a puzzle to solve.

Santillan said the application should be more user-friendly, after ASUO digitalized the whole procedure.

“Though I know [ASUO] is willing to help, but us students are so busy to have time to seek out for help,” Santillan said.

Nguyen, while she doesn’t have troubles going through the application procedure, found a lack of guidance from ASUO.

“I felt a little lost coming into my position,” Nguyen said. “ I wish there were more meetings that would help the transition.”

Chief of Staff Casey Edwards and Finance Director Shawn Stevenson immediately took charge to keep up the process.

“Fritsch is a good communicator, and we are constantly talking to him,” Edwards said. “It’s not like ‘House of Cards’ or anything.”

Stevenson was appointed to be interim chair of PRC thanks to past experiences with student groups in Program Finance Committee. Last week, he held a meeting to inform student groups about the changes. As of this week, PRC is working with four new applications.

While ASUO is looking for a new personnel, student groups have not reported any major complications, Stevenson said.

“I appreciate that students are being very understand of the situations,” he said.

To be eligible for ASUO recognition, student groups must sustain at least six months prior to apply, hold at least two meetings in six academic months and complete organization’s’ bylaws, among other things can be found here.

Applications will go through PRC, Deans of students Paul Shang and ASUO President Helena Schlegel before finalization, which can take up to two weeks, Edwards said. ASUO recognized student groups, who want to be on budget cycle, need to submit applications before Nov. 20, Stevenson said.

Application for ASUO Program Administrator is available here. Deadline is Nov. 5.


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Tran Nguyen

Tran Nguyen