Senators make progress with housing resolution, plan to vote on issue next week

We went to the ASUO senate meeting so you don’t have to. Here’s what you need to know:

Senators finalizing housing resolution language, possible vote next week

Senators Max Burns, Andrew Dunn and Zach Rentschler have continued working on the housing resolution that was introduced last week.

The senators have been working on the resolution’s language and what the senate can do about the issue, Rentschler said.

Dunn spoke with President Michael Schill, who studied housing policy. Despite affordable options in Eugene, the school still plans to renovate Bean and Hamilton halls to implement mandatory housing.

Burns says that the university is pursuing this policy because students who live on campus do better academically and are more likely graduate within four years.

However, the senators are against the policy because it reduces affordability for students. Burns will be speaking with University Housing Director, Michael Griffel about the policy next week.

Rentschler says the group is working to finish the resolution by next week’s meeting to vote on it.

ASUO Senate granted a total $7,966 to four student groups

The Women’s Center requested $5,053 from surplus and $6,098 from its internal budget to cover an increased salary for its new director. Current director Erin McGladrey said the increase is important for the hiring process.

The Women’s Center said the current director is underpaid compared to the median salary range of directors at other schools and needs to be paid more, according to the Dean of Students.

The increase will bring the director’s salary from $47,000 to $49,000.

Senate passed the request with 19 “yes,” zero “no” and two abstained votes.  

Senate unanimously passed a $1,709 request for Graduate Evolutionary Biology and Ecology Students. GREBES plans to bring three well-known speakers in the science community to campus during its Spring Seminar Series about “de-extinction.”

The seminar will discuss current research involving bringing extinct animals back to life.

Senate granted $900 for the Asian Culture Communication Association to host its first photograph exhibition. The group will display photographs taken by students on Feb. 5.

Senate also passed Circle K International’s request of $304 to send two members to a conference in Oregon Feb. 12. A speaker from the group said the conference will help leadership roles grow.

Divided senate denies returning student group’s request

Divisi came back to the senate seeking a reimbursement for its Winter Gala after its request was tabled last week due to an unclear formality.

The senate was divided over the fundraising nature of the event, which surplus funds cannot be used for.

ASUO Advisor Becky Girvan said Senate can vote either way on the request without the Green Tape Notebook, the bylaws by which the senate operates.

While senator Quinn Haaga was in favor of the request, senator Abel Cerros said he was uncomfortable provide funds for a fundraising event.

The senate did not approve the request with 10 “yes,” 11 “no” and zero abstained votes.

2016 – 2017 budgets nearing finalization

All four of the committees — Program Finance Committee, Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee, Department Finance Committee, and the EMU Board — have finished their hearings for their 2016 – 2017 budget ahead of their Jan. 29 deadline.

ACFC is expecting a 0.6 percent decrease in its budget and the senate will vote on each of the committee budgets on Feb. 13.

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Miles Trinidad

Miles Trinidad

Miles Trinidad is an Opinion Columnist for the Emerald focusing on politics, social policy and economics. Prior to joining the Opinion Desk, Trinidad was a reporter and covered student groups and ASUO for the Emerald from 2015-2016 and contributed to Flux Magazine in 2017.

Trinidad has worked in political campaigns, non-profit political advocacy, and a legislative and communication role for a U.S. senator.

Trinidad is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in political science, economics, and journalism.