Senate discusses possible funding for legal counseling service for survivors
We went to the Senate meeting, so you didn’t have to. Here’s what you need to know:
Senate discusses funding for legal counseling service for sexual assault survivors
University of Oregon Law professor Merie Weiner asked if Senate could use its overrealized budget to fund law graduate Kasia Mlynski in the Law school’s domestic violence clinic. Mlynski has given counseling and legal advice to sexual assault survivors the last two years.
According to Weiner, Mlynski’s service is unique to campus because she offers counseling and legal advice to sexual assault survivors. ASUO Legal Services and student advocacy programs, which usually handle law suits, can’t help with cases where students sue against students according to Student Conduct Code.
Currently, the $97,000 service is funded through a soon-to-be-expired Law school grant for post-graduate students.
Upon the formation of the overrealized budget committee last week, Weiner asked if there could be a way for Mlynski to apply.
Senator Zach Lusby supported the service, but says he’s concerned that there will not be enough time for Senate to finalize the overrealized budget process. Last year, it took senate the entirety of spring term.
“This is an important and resourceful service for survivors,” Lusby said. “[…]I’m disappointed that [administration] is not taking on the responsibility for this service.”
Senator treasurer and the committee chair Martin Martinez-Santoyo agreed that time would be an issue. He also wants to open the process to all groups on campus, if the committee has enough time to choose new applicants. In addition, the overrealized budget currently only has $10,000.
ASUO President Helena Schlegel, who introduced the program last week and urged the formation of the committee, said she didn’t feel “a sense of urgency in this process.”
Senator President Max Burns said that senate wanted to help, but it’s out of their hands.
“We are trying our best, but the money is in limbo, because last year’s groups have to be willing to give the money back,” Burns said. “It’s not our fault if this is not going to happen[…] I don’t want to leave any false hopes.”
Audience member addresses senator’s comment on free speech
Vickie Gimm, Multicultural Center’s outreach director, criticized the senate body for its “eurocentric white standard.” She called senate “a bunch of lazy shit heads who are bad at their jobs” for not apologizing to Joaquin Ramos.
In last week’s meeting, Ramos introduced himself as “a boss ass bitch.”
Senator Jason Selby said Ramos was being “unprofessional” after the request was passed. Ramos said, “it’s my body, I can call it whatever I want.”
Selby later addressed Gimm’s comment, saying his response didn’t represent senate as a whole. He welcomed everyone to express their opinion and apologized to senate for being called “shitheads.”
Senate approves the shortest list of special requests this term
- Design for America requested a $165 transfer within its budget to fund the activities of our Native Bees and Campus Safety teams.
- Museum of Natural and Cultural History Student Ambassadors requested to transfer $200.
- MeCha is asking to transfer $680 within its budget for food for its event Patos Primavera Pachanga.
- Korean Student Association has two requests for its Korean Culture Night, $2,513 from surplus and $710 within its budget.
- Vietnamese Student Association requests $678 within the budget for its annual retreat.
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