Senate continues to decline event raffling firearms
ASUO Senate declined the Young Americans for Liberty’s request for its Liberty Poker Night that will raffle firearms.
Thomas Tullis, president of The University of Oregon’s YAL chapter, said that their second senate proposal was to reimburse a private donor’s contribution to the organization after senate voted down their request last week.
Senator Robin Lilley, among other senators, said that it would be “financially irresponsible” to approve the request for additional funds to the donor, when YAL has already received the necessary funds for the event.
In addition to the reimbursement, Tullis said YAL wanted “to give [senate members] a chance to clear [their] names from viewpoint discrimination” at the meeting. He said that senators did not approve the original request because of their viewpoints regarding firearms at the event.
“Voting based on your constituents viewpoint is viewpoint discrimination,” Tullis said.
YAL attempted to contact UO President Michael Schill regarding “the violation of the first amendment” through Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit organization focused on civil liberties in higher education.
Senator Cavan Davies said that if marijuana and alcohol cannot be given out as prizes, firearms should be held at the same standard.
“I encourage you to host a discussion regarding concealed carry on campus as a mean to protect students,” Davies said. “University of Oregon is a gun-free campus; therefore students expect their tuitions and fees being used in a way that aligned with University of Oregon’s vision.”
Several audience members who were not affiliated with UO also spoke for YAL at the meeting.
Lane Community College YAL President, David Nickles, said LCC students were shocked to see others express their conservative beliefs on campus. He was tabling for the event at the LCC campus, when students expressed oppositions towards him.
An audience member identified as “Pleasure” defended YAL based on the Constitution and UO Student Conduct Code, saying it’s a “responsible event” that will “provoke intellectual conversation.”
UO student Henry Corman stands neutral on concealed carry, but supports First Amendment rights. He said he will attend the event and believes political discussion does occur at poker nights.
Senate voted down the request with one “yes,” 12 “no” and 10 abstained votes.
Senators also confirmed three individuals – Allie Swartz for EMU Board, Summer Commander for Program Finance Committee, and William Leo for Constitution Court. The Senate did not confirm Rudy Zarosinski for a position on the Election Board as Tullis and EMU Board Chair Miles Sisk questioned his credibility after being involved with the election last year.
Senate passed all ASUO Finance Committees’ benchmarks for 2016-17.
Program Finance Department will receive a 5 percent budget increase. Senate approved a 0.22 percent increase for Athletics and Contracts Finance Department. The Finance Department will receive a 7 percent increase, and the EMU Board will receive a 2.52 percent increase.
The Senate also approved 17 other special requests including $8,751 for the Women in Business to attend a conference in Los Angeles, $1,200 for Ethos Magazine to hold its UO Snowball event and $7,423 for the Sports and Entertainment Law Forum to host an on-campus conference.
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