A year in review: Members of ASUO reflect on the year
On April 10, 2015, Helena Schlegel was elected ASUO President.
Her campaign, UO Forward, won the election with 1,604 votes, outrunning its opponent, We are Oregon, by nearly 200 votes. The platform promised to improve communication and increase inclusivity.
One year later, with a little over a month left , members of her slate reflect on what they have done in the last eight months.
Continuing the fight for tuition transparency
ASUO Federal Affairs Commissioner Amy Schenk started to take the lead on tuition transparency after administration announced its proposal of a 4.7 percent and 4.5 percent tuition hike in February.
“We couldn’t stop it from increasing, but we were able to make a tuition transparency campaign that we hope is going to last for years to come,” Schenk said. “We will not stop working for educational justice.”
The tuition transparency group, comprised of four facilitators, will keep the campaign going all year, not just when the Board of Trustees meets about tuition, Schenk said.
Although the group is in its planning stage, Schenk said it will host more events to reach out to the student body. The goal is to keep the conversation about tuition transparency going, Schenk said.
The group is looking into putting up an art exhibit, creating interactive art and making a documentary film of the struggling students on campus.
Starting the conversation of campus safety
In fall 2015, former Director of Staff Casey Edwards, together with UO student Sydney McBride, started to work on an emergency response plan in case of an active shooter on campus.
Since then, Edwards has been working with faculty and staff on a campus survey to recognize problematic areas on campus. The data from the survey will impact safety policy on campus, Edwards said.
“We all know it’s a long process,” Edwards said. “We might have to pass it down to the next executive[…] but it will be hard because they are not currently working directly on the project right now.”
Pushing for increased campus inclusivity
This year’s ASUO executive set out to put up four training sessions for members of student government. The goal was to address any exclusiveness on campus.
Edwards said it could have gone better, and although the ASUO executive and senate president are required to hold these training sessions, members of ASUO are not forced to go.
“People on our team worked really hard on it, and [Schlegel] is still working to get it implemented,” Edwards said. “I wish we could have been more apparent on campus and more effective at creating some of those constitutional changes.”
ASUO Senate keeps striving to better
For senate, there’s a lot more to be done, Senate President Max Burns said.
“It’s been a productive year,” Burns said. “This year was both eye-opening and frustrating at the same time.”
Senate fulfilled its duties of allocating funding to student groups in need and did the best it could with the budget, Burns said.
Burns wants to start the conversation of senate liaison position again. The proposal, presented by senator Abel Cerros twice in fall term, got shut down because senate couldn’t agree on payment for the position.
Burns also said an over-realized committee will be formed to make sure student money goes back to students in the best way possible.
“It’s important because the surplus next year will be very small,” Burns said.
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