Senate approves 4.5 percent increase for incidental fee budget

We went to the ASUO Senate Meeting so you didn’t have to. Here’s what you need to know:

Senate approves 4.5 percent increase on the 2016-2017 Incidental Fee Budget

ASUO Senate unanimously approved next year’s 4.5 percent increase for the Incidental Fee. As a result, students will pay $233.75 per term, a $10 increase.

Last week’s budget meeting was nullified after unexpected stipend costs in the Program Finance Committee resulted in a 4.9 percent increase of the incidental fee, larger than its original goal. All four committees had to make cuts from its original budget to reach their goal.

Senate asked the EMU Board to revise its budget after ASUO Executives scrutinized its proposal at Saturday’s meeting. In response, the EMUB allocated $100,000 from its reserves to pay for some of its costs and cut $20,000 from the Center for Student Involvement.

The EMUB was willing to accommodate ASUO’s proposal, but the committee was unhappy that it had the largest decrease.

“[The cuts] will hurt the building operation,” EMU Board chair Miles Sisk said.

The Programs Finance Committee also reduced its budget by $10,299. The ASUO Executive branch cut two stipend positions which saved $5,500. It also cut $1,250 because the executive will no longer advertise job positions in printed editions of the Emerald. PFC also cut $800 out of Unbound’s budget.

The Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee continued to cut costs in its decreased budget from .06 percent to 1 percent. The committee reduced Sexual Assault Support Services’ funds by $2,423. The reduction aims to make the program run “more efficiently” because some of last year’s allocated funds for position stipends were not used, ASUO Finance Director Shawn Stevenson said.

The Department Finance Committee reduced its budget by $2,000 that was allocated for office supplies to the LGBT Education Support Service.

Housing Resolution

The Senate unanimously passed its housing resolution urging Vice President of Student Life Robin Holmes and University Housing to not implement its tentative mandatory on-campus living requirement for first-year students in fall 2017.

Election board completed after confirming fourth member

ASUO Senate completed the elections board today after confirming Megan Williams as its fourth member.

Under the bylaws of the Green Tape Notework, the document under which ASUO operates, the Election Board requires a chair member and four additional members before ASUO elections can begin.

Williams has experience in the ASUO with the PFC. Election Board Chair Abraham Youhana said that her experience will be “invaluable.”

Student groups receive total of $17,812

Mind the Gap, an a capella group, received $8,500 to attend the VocalJam acapella festival and competition in Fayetteville, Arkansas from April 1-2. The group originally requested $11,200, but senators were able to find alternative flights to lower the cost.

The LGBTQA3 received $4,412 to send members to the TRANSforming Gender Conference at the University of Colorado Boulder on March 10. Members of the group hope that attending the conference will help students create a more inclusive environment for “transgender, intersex and two-spirit students” at the UO.

The International Student Association received $2,200, $700 more than it originally requested, to fund its weekly Coffee Hour. The group originally requested $1,500, but the group required more funds to avoid additional requests for the Coffee Hour for the rest of the year. Senator Max Burns encouraged the senate to increase the amount for the group. The funds will be used for decorations, advertising, and activities.

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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.