Guest Viewpoint: ASUO senate should have prioritized restoring 79x bus hours

This piece reflects the views of the author, ASUO Senator Zach Rentschler, and not those of Emerald Media Group. It has been edited by the Emerald for grammar and style.  Send your columns or submissions about our content or campus issues to [email protected] 

This Saturday, we in the ASUO Senate failed you. We let what should be our top priority, your safety, slip due to poor management of the budget. It is not your fault for not paying enough fees; it is our fault for our failure in morals, accountability, and priorities. While those of you who live near Autzen have to wait hours before getting a Safe Ride or Designated Driver Shuttle, we failed to allocate the money to restore the 79x hours. Many of you chose these affordable housing areas when you had robust options for how to get to campus and back home.

The deal that LTD offered this year to return the 79x to full operation was incredibly affordable; for just an additional $50,000 out of a nearly $16.5 million ASUO budget, we could have restored that service that many of you relied on. Instead, we increased OSPIRG, an advocacy group, by $20,000.

This is not to disparage the students on campus who work with OSPIRG. I share many of their values, love of organizing and passions. However, those of you who live in Chase, Ducks and the other apartments in that area won’t notice the increases in OSPIRG’s funding, but I know you will notice if you can’t get a safe ride home at night.

This kind of insider politics is exactly what burns people out of student government. What should be a hub of services to make your college experience more affordable, intellectually rich, and enjoyable instead gets lost in the details and politics while we fail to put the money where our mouth is when it comes to your safety.

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