The term in review: ASUO Winter wrap-up
Winter 2016 was an eventful term for the University of Oregon student government. In case you haven’t followed our coverage on the Emerald website, Facebook and Twitter, here’s what you might have missed.
ASUO passed 4.5 percent increase incidental fee not without opposition.
ASUO Senate unanimously approved next year’s 4.5 percent increase for the incidental fee; this results in a $10 increase, bringing the total students pay each term to $233.75. The budget did not come together easily.
Senate was forced to send its meeting on Feb. 13 into a recess when Senator and ASUO presidential candidate Zach Rentschler stormed out amid voting to protest the Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee’s proposed budget. Rentschler criticized the budget for increasing funds for OSPIRG while continuing to cut the 79x late night bus services through the Lane Transit District.
After Rentschler’s departure, senate managed to hold quorum again by Facetiming Senator Jason Selby. But the vote was nullified when the miscalculation arose in stipend costs in the Program Finance Committee. All four committees had to make cuts from its original budget.
The EMU Board took the biggest financial hit by cutting $120,000 out of its budget.
The Programs Finance Committee also reduced its budget by $10,299. The ASUO Executive cut $6,750 off its budget.
ACFC cut $2,423 out of Sexual Assault Support Services’ fund, bringing its budget to a 1 percent decrease.
Department Finance Committee cut $2,000 that was allocated for office supplies to the LGBT Education Support Service.
ASUO continued to fight and fail in persuading Board of Trustees against tuition hikes.
The fight on tuition hikes continued this year when UO President Michael Schill proposed a 4.8 percent and 4.6 percent increases on top of last year’s hike. The increase will help cover the at least $17.5 million in increasing costs.
Despite the early involvement in the process, ASUO President Helena Schlegel and students still felt that their cries fell on deaf ears this year.
Multiple students who spoke at the Board of Trustees meeting said they would drop out or transfer to other schools due to the hefty price tags. The board voted 11-3 in favor of Schill’s proposal anyway.
ASUO Federal Affairs Commissioner Amy Schenk, who has been actively protesting against tuition hike, continues to organize plans to include students’ voice sooner in the process next year.
ASUO Senate rally against impending live-on requirement
Senators Zach Rentschler, Keegan Williams-Thomas, Andrew Dunn and Max Burns have been actively fighting against the live-on requirement that will go into effect Fall 2017.
Senate passed a resolution Feb. 17 asking administration to reconsider the mandatory housing for freshmen. Senate criticized the fact that UO Housing operates on profits instead of students’ benefits by competing against luxury off-campus apartments like the Hub.
In addition of the tuition increases this year, senators said UO is pricing out both resident and nonresident students
Since then, senators have met with UO Housing’s Michael Griffel, but the meetings have been “unproductive,” Burns said. Dunn also spoke to UO President Michael Schill about the matter, hoping Schill would get the Board of Trustees involved in the process.
Senate spent over 66 percent of its surplus fund
Two-thirds of the way through the school year, the Senate has spent 66 percent of its surplus funds by the end of winter term, leaving the unofficial surplus at $165,527. Senate approved 66 special requests from multiple student organizations on campus by the end of winter term.
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